Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Wednesday. 6th. CFA Wednesday. 6th. CFA
Wednesday. 6th.

Morning at the Office. As Miss Oliver this morning sent me a portion of her rent I was again occupied in arranging my Accounts, though they did not take up quite so much time as usual. I was engaged in reading Williston and the sharp Speeches of Mr. Giles and Mr. Bayard upon the Judiciary Bill of 1802. Mr. Beale of Quincy called in to see me having heard I had made inquiry respecting the meeting of the Quincy Canal Company. He told me that the meeting would be held at six o’clock on Tuesday next which is a very inconvenient hour to me. But I agreed to attend as my Father is desirous that I should. He gave me also the unwelcome news that the Neponset 126Bridge Company made no Dividend this Quarter. I am somewhat disappointed at the State of my father’s funds, this month, and am thus taught the necessity of never anticipating too much. This Company is a rarely failing source of revenue. But so it is, it fails when most calculated upon.

After dinner I was as usual occupied reading Aeschines in his close where he attempts to anticipate the objections of his Adversary and so evidently exhibits the great dread he entertains of him, but I did not finish the Oration. As Abby was again out I continued my Essay upon Eloquence. Although I get dissatisfied as I go on, yet I am resolved to persevere, and after my whole plan is finished I will then look it over to criticize. This evening I was not in the spirit, being oppressed with a bad cold upon my Lungs. I left off to call for Abby at her sister Anne’s, after which, I read over the Lives of Demosthenes and Cicero by Plutarch.

Thursday. 7th. CFA Thursday. 7th. CFA
Thursday. 7th.

The morning was cloudy and threatened snow, but it finally cleared away and became very fine, as if it seemed difficult to break up the continued series of fine weather which we have enjoyed. I was at the Office all the morning engaged in my usual duties and in reading Williston. I made a call and sat with Mr. Davis for a few minutes. Mr. Cruft also came and informed me of a Fire which had occurred during the Night in the House owned by my Father and occupied by Mrs. Oliver.1 This is not agreeable News for it is probably too small to be covered by my Father’s Insurance. I deferred going to see it however until I should be sent for. After dinner I went to see the spot where the Fire took. The Kitchen came very near being destroyed. It was luckily saved from the violence of the Enginemen, so that the Expense of repair will probably be trifling. From thence I went down to meet Chapman and Pickering upon a Committee upon the affairs of the Debating Society which kept us an hour.2 We looked over their Affairs and made out a case, not of the most flattering kind. I left them to go to the Office and meet Mr. Hollis my father’s Carpenter, and direct him to estimate the amount of damage done so as to ascertain if the Insurance Office will pay it. Thence home where I read only a little of Sophocles before Tea. The evening was passed in reading Clarissa Harlowe. We progressed beyond the catastrophe and I was exceedingly affected by it. Seldom have I read a book which excited my sympathies more. After Abby retired, I read some articles in the North American Review but went myself to bed early.

127 1.

The house owned by JQA at 55 Hancock Street was occupied by Miss A. B. (or A. R.) Oliver and N. K. G. Oliver, schoolteacher. See M/CFA/3; CFA to JQA, 2 Feb., to Miss Oliver, 10 April 1830 (both LbCs and in Adams Papers); Boston Directory, 1830–1831.


Jonathan Chapman Jr., CFA’s Harvard classmate and friend (vol. 1:101 and numerous references thereafter), was an attorney, 16 Court Street; Edward Pickering, also an attorney, was at 21 State Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831).