Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

154 Thursday. 4th. CFA Thursday. 4th. CFA
Thursday. 4th.

Morning clear and pleasant. Went to the Office and was busy nearly the whole of my Common period of time in copying the report of Mr. Sullivan upon the state of the Middlesex Canal. It is in many respects a valuable paper containing much information upon points where I could not gather any at the period of my last winter’s examination. The theoretical portion I dissent from, and the inclination to further works seems a little singular after the misfortunes of those already perfected. But all which relates to the facts which the Writer by experience well knew is valuable. I devoted the larger part of my disposable time to it, afterwards only calling upon Mr. Brooks to inquire how Mrs. B. was.

Mr. Blake sent me a notification to attend the Meeting of the Private Debating Society at four o’clock in the afternoon but when the time came I found myself so comfortably seated reading Demosthenes in my warm room that I could not reconcile myself to going in the cold to do nothing. I accordingly pursued the study of my Greek with much pleasure. I have the assistance of so many Authors and Commentators that I hit the sense with a good deal of ease. Miss Julia Gorham spent the day here with my Wife and we had an agreeable time. I tried to write my second Number but could not please myself. On the whole, the day passed quietly but with little interest. I did not retire until late.

Friday 5th. CFA Friday 5th. CFA
Friday 5th.

Morning clear. The weather is now steady Winter, and not in itself very disagreeable. The snow now lies hard on the surface and makes a pleasant chance for sleighing. At the Office, engaged in finishing Mr. Sullivan’s report which I did. This has taken me a good deal of work. But I find upon comparing it, that it is in fact no longer than the abstract I made last year. After it was finished I went to Mr. Foster’s to give directions about the putting on of the Papers as I am now rapidly going on with the repairs of the two Offices—My first attempt at speculation, I am a little afraid it may fail.1 But at any rate it relieves me from the responsibility of paying so much rent, myself, or at least of costing so much to my Father. I feel a little delicate about that at the present time when his income comes very close with his expenditure.

I asked Mr. Foster to buy one Share of the Boylston Market Property for me, in case he purchased himself and not without. I also paid two remaining Accounts against my brother’s Estate. There is now a single one left, and as Mr. Stone this day gave me hope that the Note of the City Guards would be soon paid in part, I believe I shall proceed at 155once to close the Administration.2 This and calling to see Mr. Brooks was all I did, and Richardson coming in to spend half an hour interrupted me in my closing my Journal, so I returned home, and spent the afternoon in reading Demosthenes.

My afternoon studies are the pleasantest portion of my life. They are so far removed from the bustle and noise and risks of my morning occupations, and they are so much more profitable to the mind. I tried to write another Essay but failed. The attempt to handle the subject properly is difficult. At seven, I walked to the Athenaeum to hear a Lecture delivered by Dr. Park upon the knowledge acquired by Sensation.3 An easily written, agreeable Lecture, containing a good deal that is practical and pleasant. Stopped at Mrs. Frothingham’s for Abby who passed the evening there, and we sat down to a little Supper very agreeably. After which we returned home by a brilliant but rather cold Moon.


See entry for 22 Jan., above. In an effort to create more rentable space in the 23 Court Street building, CFA was moving his office to a previously unused area on the floor above.


Ebenezer W. Stone was Adjutant of the 1st Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the Mass. Militia (“City Guards”), Mass. Register, 1830, p. 93.


Although Dr. John Park had his degree in medicine, he was not in practice. His office was in the Boston Lyceum. ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831; Mass. Register, 1830, p. 159.)