Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 13th. CFA Sunday. 13th. CFA
Sunday. 13th.

Morning quietly at home writing my Journal, a thing I have not had an opportunity of doing before on this day for a long time. I enjoyed it exceedingly for it gave me an idea of home which is in itself exceedingly pleasing. I attended divine service this morning with my wife at Mr. Frothingham’s Meeting House. It was the first time I had ever been to it but as I am not one of those who think that religion is to be found in particular places alone, I am perfectly willing that it 14should always be my place of worship for the future.1 My wife was dressed as a bride and people stared as they usually do.

The remainder of my day was passed at home. I was almost entirely devoted to my Wife who was lonely and a little unwell. Marriage comes to her as a great change and some of it’s features do not please her altogether; to be sure it is a great change for her to go from ease and entire freedom from care to a condition involving them both. But I cannot feel altogether as if she should repine at the change for if she has lost some advantages, she has gained others which should compensate in the end although it is natural enough that at first they should not be sufficiently appreciated. I read aloud during the afternoon and evening a considerable portion of Devereux to her, a new Novel which I do not think much of.

My own situation is somewhat changed. I am called upon for attentions which are altogether new to my system of life and to make sacrifices which in the selfish method of philosophy which I formerly cherished are entirely unknown. It gives me however a pleasure to perform them now which in my old notions I could never have experienced, and which arises entirely from a desire to do what I believe to be my duty.


That the minister of the First Church, Nathaniel Frothingham, was married to Ann Brooks was but one of the ties the Brooks family had to the First Church. Peter C. Brooks noted repeatedly that his mother’s great-great-grandfather was the celebrated John Cotton, the church’s second minister (Waste Book, 4 March 1818; “Book of Possessions, ” Brooks MSS, MHi). Mr. and Mrs. Brooks seem to have attended the First Church from the time of their marriage. Their first child, Edward, and four other children, including ABA, were baptized there. Mr. Brooks served the Church in numerous ways through the years; he held pew No. 77.

The Adams family was not without First Church connections. JQA and his wife had their marriage at Allhallows, Barking, London, 1797, entered in the First Church records; they had CFA. GWA, and JA2 baptized there; and JQA was a pewholder from 1802 when the church was located on Washington Street. CFA’s affiliation, sometimes active, extended to 1868 at least.

See Richard D. Pierce, ed., The Records of the First Church in Boston 1630–1868, Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns. , vols. 39–41 (1961). An engraving of the First Church meetinghouse, 1808–1868, on Chauncy Place just off Summer Street is reproduced in the present volume. See above, p. xi.

Monday 14th. CFA Monday 14th. CFA
Monday 14th.

Morning at the Office after reading for a little while in Devereux to Abby who was suffering from a violent head ach and whose spirits were consequently somewhat affected. It is impossible for me to reach the Office quite so early as I formerly did, at least at present. Perhaps I may do better in time. I reached it however just in time to meet Mr. 15Curtis who came to me requesting to know what was necessary to be done. I told him to apply to the Judge, and at his request drew up an Application for Administration of Thomas Boylston’s Estate on the part of the Executors. This took a considerable portion of the morning. I then called upon Mr. Brooks for a few moments and had conversation with him upon the loss of those rings,1 then went to see Mr. Head as to the character of my Servant William, and then returned home having been unsuccessfull in my attempt to find him.

Wrote my Journal at home before dinner. Conversation with Abby upon some unfortunate history which has happened within our observation. Miss Julia Gorham came in and I went down according to appointment to see Mrs. Longhurst as to the condition of the House she lives in. She appears to have come to her senses and I feel therefore considerably more disposed to assist her. I looked at the House and asked Hollis the Carpenter who lives next door to call and see me about it. I will do what I can without incurring too much expense. I then went to the Office and after spending an hour there, returned home to find my Wife and Miss Julia in my study. The latter young lady took tea here and I escorted her home.2 In the evening I read aloud to Abby in Devereux as long as she felt able to sit up, after which I was so much interested as to finish the volume. It is a tale written by a strong mind but more laboriously put together than his preceding productions and written so very artificially as to injure it’s effect. We are always seeing a labour for point and never are allowed a moment when something is not absolutely required.


Peter C. Brooks’ counting room and office was at 10 Court Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).


Julia Gorham lived with her mother, Mrs. John Gorham, whose home was at 1 Park Street (same).