Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 11th. CFA Monday. 11th. CFA
Monday. 11th.

The morning was clear but colder than any we had endured this Winter. I went to the Office as usual and was engaged in occupations which prevented me from paying any attention to Williston. I was called down to oversee the work which the Painter was putting upon the House in the rear of this, at a season most unfit for the purpose. I looked over it and gave the necessary directions, being glad to get back to my room. But I was soon called away to go and inquire of Mr. Tarbell whether he knew any good man of whom to obtain Butter, a domestic errand but a very necessary one. I stopped to converse a little while with him about his little affairs in my hands and then returned, but my day was gone, I could not put any thing more into it.

The Afternoon was passed in reading Aeschines which was the conclusion of the Oration on the Crown. I admire it on the whole. How far it is superior to the long and laboured efforts of our day, when power is overlooked in the search for it. I then continued my Essay in a way I did not like. The evening was spent in reading aloud in Clarissa, wherein we progress slowly. I afterwards read the Article on the North American Indians.1


Probably the review bearing the running-head title “Removal of the Indians,” North Amer. Rev. , 30:62–121 (Jan. 1830). The (anonymous) author was Gov. Lewis Cass.

Tuesday. 12th. CFA Tuesday. 12th. CFA
Tuesday. 12th.

Morning cold. At the Office as usual, and engaged in doing my work upon the usual affairs, but on this day I was exceedingly hurried. Rufus Davis again came to me, and again I went with him to the Pension Office where I saw all the steps necessary to procure for the man his new Pension, and I went through them all and forwarded to Mr. Eaton secretary of War, the Papers. This took much time. I then went into Court and heard Judge Putnam deliver his Opinion in the case of the Warren Bridge.1 The Court delivered their various Judgments seriatim, no two being agreed altogether, but on the essential point being equally divided. I could not wait to hear Judge Parker. Returned to the Office, and continued doing what I could but that was little. Josiah Quincy came in and sat a little while, then Mr. Curtis came on business, and he detained me until dinner time so that the whole morning went and I returned home. I forgot to state that I had received a Letter from Mr. Barry this morning quite respectful2

The day was cold, but as it was the time fixed for the Meeting of the Canal Company at Quincy, I started at half past three. My ride was a cold and very disagreeable one but I reached my friend Mr. Beale’s before five. With him I had a little conversation, but finding that I should not be able to see my Uncle’s family after the Meeting I decided to go before, so I went up and found only the Girls as the remainder of the family had gone to Exeter to place their son John at school. Whether this is done by them or by my Father, I do not know.3 I sat with them a little while talking pleasantly enough, until it became time to go to the regular Meeting. I found the Members of the Company present.4 They elected their Officers and among others I was chosen a Director which I accepted and hope soon to know a little more about the affairs of the Company. Little else was done, the great point of paying the Interest on the Notes was not settled, and I returned to town feeling that here was another source of disappointment to me in the expectation of Funds. So that now I am compelled to abandon my cherished idea of investment. My ride was not quite so bad as I had expected. It was lighter, and I arrived in town before ten. Abby had been attending the usual Meeting at Chardon’s.


The Supreme Judicial Court sitting in chancery had heard the application of the proprietors of the Charles River Bridge for an injunction against the proprietors of the Warren Bridge on the ground that construction of a second bridge connecting Boston and Charlestown, located only a short distance from 131the first, constituted an impairment of its rights. Chief Justice Isaac Parker and Justice Samuel Putnam delivered opinions supporting the application, Justices Morton and Wilde opposing. There being no majority, the application failed (Columbian Centinel, 13 Jan., p. 2, col. 5). The case is more fully discussed in vol. 2:264.


The letter from the Postmaster General, W. T. Barry, is missing; on the occasion for it, see above, entry for 29 Dec. 1829, note.


CFA learned shortly that JQA in November had proposed that if TBA’s son, John Quincy (1815–1854), be sent to Phillips Exeter Academy JQA would pay the board and tuition of $200 a year (JQA, Diary, 8, 30 Nov. 1829; JQA to CFA, 5 Feb. 1830, Adams Papers).


Although CFA owned a share in the Quincy Canal Company given to him by JQA, CFA attended so that he could represent JQA’s interest.