Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 18th. CFA Monday. 18th. CFA
Monday. 18th.

Morning at the Office. Weather tolerably cold. I dropped in to see how the Workmen came on and found Mr. Hollis tolerably busy at his Work. I begin to feel better satisfied with him than I have been. He seems to work with tolerable diligence which is the great thing. Mr. J. Y. Champney called upon me to pay me some rent though not as much as he owes me. I was glad to get any thing. I spent much of the morning for once in reading the Speeches in Williston only going out to try to find the residence of Mr. Trueman for the purpose of returning him a visit.1 I was not successful.

On my return I wrote my Journal and Mr. John Knapp came in to talk to me and give me some idea of the condition of the Boylston Market. His present proposition is to purchase an adjoining Estate which is offered to the Corporation, by which they in their limits will not be 136so confined. He came to know whether I would assent in the name of my Father if such an arrangement were to be made. I told him I could not tell but that I would write for information in time for the annual Meeting which will take place on the first day of February. Thus the morning passed and I returned home to dine.

I found Miss Julia Gorham with Abby who dined and passed the day with her. I wrote a Letter to my Father about this Market Stock,2 and spent the afternoon in reading Mitchell’s Preliminary Discourse to his Translation of Aristophanes. This is another digression but it cannot be helped and I hope to be through it soon. The work is very interesting though the political effect designed to be produced by the work rather weakens the deductions and Statements made of the Athenian character—Taken too in connection with Mitford who is evidently the basis of the writer’s views. There is yet much spirit in the style and a classical taste which is very refreshing. I accomplished the Discourse and a part of the translation of the first play of the Acharnae. The spirit is very well supported in it.

1.

Perhaps Robert Trueman, who lived at 3 West Cedar Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831).

2.

LbC in Adams Papers. The land adjoining the Market had been occupied by a rival market and was needed for expansion. The land had recently been bought at auction by two or three stockholders of the Boylston Market who now offered it to the company at the price they had paid. The proposal was to issue additional stock to the amount of the cost.

Tuesday. 19th. CFA Tuesday. 19th. CFA
Tuesday. 19th.

Morning cold and clear. At the Office where I had many persons to see me. Mr. Whitney the Tenant of the House came to talk about the rent which is due to him. He was very anxious to have me take off the Quarter’s rent upon the House which I charged him, but I declined very positively so as to make him assured that I should not.1 After much conversation he withdrew, making me suspect that he designed making an appeal from my decision. I care very little if he does. My own duty in managing the affairs of the Agency is performed.

Mr. Leighton called upon me at last upon the Affairs of the Housewright Association and promised an early settlement.2 I then went to receive the Dividend upon the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Office Stock.3 Met there Mr. Foster who talked to me upon the subject of the Boylston Market and tried to get me to go into the plan. Indeed I should not feel at all unwilling to follow him, notorious as he is for his clearness of4 Money affairs.5 I hope my Father will return a favourable answer. I then made the Deposit and returned to my Office to 137consider over the matter of a Letter from Mr. Vaughan to my Father. I tried to find Mr. Curtis but not succeeding opened the letter at a hazard. Returned home and in the afternoon had a copy taken, after which I sent on the original with a letter of my own.6

I then passed some time in reading Mitchell’s Aristophanes, finished the Acharnae and was induced by it to open Brumoy’s Account of the same author in which I did not go far before evening, when I went down to see the family at their usual Meeting on this Evening. The Meeting was much as usual, without material interest and only better than others because the individuals were not at open war. I did not relish it much. The Society is not that to which my own taste inclines.

1.

Prentiss Whitney had vacated 23 Court Street on 1 Jan., owing a large arrearage. In addition, it was CFA’s contention that the terms of his lease required payment to 1 April. Whitney asked for withdrawal of this claim as a part of a settlement. CFA instituted suit against him for the total amount. CFA to JQA, 2 Feb. (LbC, Adams Papers).

2.

The Boston Housewright Association, represented apparently by Charles Leighton, housewright, of the firm of Lee & Leighton, Portland Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831), had made arrangements to rent the room opposite CFA’s office at $35 a year, but the matter had not yet been concluded nor payment made.

3.

JQA owned thirty shares of Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Co. stock for which he had paid $100 a share. Dividends, paid annually, were currently at $7 a share (M/CFA/3). The company offices were at 50 State Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831).

4.

Thus apparently in MS, but CFA very likely meant to write “cleverness in.”

5.

James H. Foster’s reputation has been mentioned earlier (entry for 30 Nov. 1829 and note).

6.

The letter from Petty Vaughan is missing; it contained further information relating to the funds due the Thomas Boylston estate. CFA, in his covering letter, also relayed to his father Foster’s advice on the Boylston Market matter (19 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers).