Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Friday 24th. CFA Friday 24th. CFA
Friday 24th.

Returned to town this morning, and passed it as I usually do in the performance of a multiplicity of little things no one of which was of great consequence yet all needing attention. It is quite surprising to perceive how many little duties accumulate upon one without his being sensible of it. In like manner in the afternoon, I was writing to 408all the different individuals connected with my various duties as Agent and Administrator, dunning letters, for money. One agreeable thing however occurred, Mr. Coffin paid me a fee which is the first professional money I have touched since May, though I have done some business since. My head was a little out of order, and I felt nervous. Saw Mr. Kinsman and consulted him about a Note from a man by the name of Williams to my late brother. I have not yet made up my mind whether to prosecute. Rode out of town with Abby Adams. She has passed a few days in Boston and returns with a Cold. Evening at Quincy. Col. Josiah Quincy and his brother in Law Greene1 paid a visit. The latter rather silly. Conversation prosy, and I was so sleepy as to be glad to go to bed.


Benjamin Daniel Greene, Harvard 1812, married Margaret Morton Quincy (Edmund Quincy, Josiah Quincy , p. 450). See Adams Genealogy.

Saturday. 25th. CFA Saturday. 25th. CFA
Saturday. 25th.

Morning to town but very late. My father first entering into conversation with me upon the subject of my prospects and his own in consequence of my a little disliking the tenor of a certain paragraph in the letter to my Mother which I copied for him this morning.1 He went over much that was said before and without much difference in the facts, excepting that now his determination to build a house is weakened. I told him that with regard to his future intentions, all I desired was to be thought not to have any opinion upon the subject but to leave him to the exercise of his own judgment and discretion. I was in Boston a very short time and did little though I seemed engaged. At one o’clock I rode to Medford. Found there, Mr. and Mrs. Chardon Brooks, Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and Mrs. Story of Salem.2 Dinner was pleasant enough. Mrs. Brooks quite ill and Abby very low spirited about her. Evening pleasant and quite happy.


LCA had objected to her husband’s plan to build a pretentious stone house in Quincy and had urged instead that he construct two frame houses, so that he could leave one to each son and thus root them both in Massachusetts soil. In view of his heavy debts and expenditures, JQA replied, “I shall . . . suspend my purpose of building at all, and instead of dreaming of greatness past or future . . . shall confine my contemplations to the reduction of my expenditures, and the payment of my debts, hoping that my children by their industry and their frugality may be enabled to build frame houses for themselves” (JQA to LCA, 25 July 1829, Adams Papers). When CFA made a copy of the letter for JQA’s letterbooks, he took the quoted passage as a personal affront.


Presumably Mrs. Joseph Story, the former Sarah Waldo Wetmore ( DAB ).

Sunday 26th. CFA Sunday 26th. CFA
Sunday 26th.

Passed all day at home at Medford. The day pleasant but quite 409cool. I read the remaining Articles of the last Number of the North American Review and also Abbot’s Letters on the condition of Cuba.1 These might be amusing as Letters though they fail to make a book. A Country Clergyman travelling for health with ideas confined very much by former habits and studies has but little power of explaining the resources and manners and disadvantages of foreign countries. He seems to have relished good cheer and kind people and to have met more than usual of each. Conversation with Abby. She inclines to fix the third of September for our marriage, which now rapidly approaches.


Abiel Abbot, Letters Written in the Interior of Cuba, Boston, 1829.