Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

71 August 1st. 1826. CFA August 1st. 1826. CFA
August 1st. 1826.

I went this morning to see David’s Painting of the Coronation of Napoleon. The subject is not one of much interest but the painting is certainly fine. I spent an hour in looking at it. I would it could have been three. My feelings became again very singularly worried and a scene which I had to go through with John Boyd put the finishing stroke to my patience. This is one of the two Nephews of Madame who owing every thing to her bounty have behaved in a most scandalously ungrateful manner. And my Mother has been delicate about them to such a degree as almost to encourage them in the abuse of her bounty. I knew them to be completely good for nothing and was therefore outrageous about this.1 So much so that I had no feeling of comfort during the rest of the day. It is my purpose to glance very slightly over this part of my Journal for it would distress me to give an history of my feelings, and there is no danger of my forgetting them although unrecorded. Charles King and Mr. De Wint spent the evening with us.


Samuel Southard, Secretary of the Navy, shared CFA’s unfavorable view of John Q. A. Boyd and Joshua J. Boyd. Of the former he wrote: “I have no hope that he can ever be useful in the service, unless there be a radical reformation in his habits. After I had given leave requested by LCA, I received a letter written previous to it, complaining of his misconduct while in New York.” Joshua Boyd, the kindly Secretary continued, was being transferred to the Brandywine, in the hope that he would behave better there (Southard to JQA, 25 Aug. 1826, Adams Papers). Later LCA requested that Joshua be dismissed from the service (JQA, Diary, 13 Nov. 1826).

2d. CFA 2d. CFA

Madame finally decided to go up the North River. We left New York in the morning, were all day getting to Newburgh, and after a dull passage, although much delighted by the scenery up the river, I was glad to reach Mr. De Wint’s.

It is needless to go over a regular history of the five following days. Mr. De W.’s is a country residence prettily situated at Fishkill but subject like all other country residences to much dullness.1 Madame was very unwell during her whole stay and I was in constant terror. Rides, Writing letters home and a visit to West Point constituted all our entertainment. This last happened on Saturday, we dined there, saw Robert Buchanan and the spot which is admirably adapted for the purpose to which it is put. I dined at Mr. Christie’s, a country neighbor of Mr. De W.’s. To say that it was stupid would not express my idea of it at all. I am spoiled by our luxury here at home.


The de Windt home was at Cedar Grove, Fishkill Landing (later Beacon) in Dutchess County, about 56 miles from New York. In D/CFA/1 further 72details of the visit are given. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gallatin and Churchill C. Cambreleng attended Mr. Christie’s dinner on 3 August. LCA was unwell the next day. The visit to West Point occurred on 5 August, and on the following day a Mr. Heyet and a Miss van Wagenens, probably the sister of William Alexander van Wagenens who married AA’s great granddaughter Julia de Windt, called. See Adams Genealogy.