Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

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.)

Saturday 6th. CFA Saturday 6th. CFA
Saturday 6th.

Morning to the Office. Weather again severely cold, although I did not feel it nearly so much as before. My Wife received an amusing Letter from my Father,1 which I read. It is full of the Washington scandal, but sarcastic enough. I was very much prevented from attending to any thing in particular, by several visits I made. One to Mr. Brooks to inquire how Mrs. B. did, one to Edward Blake to know what the result of the meeting of the Committee was. I was very little interrupted however while at the Office, so that I had opportunity to finish the record of my Diary, which had been lagging behind.

In the afternoon, instead of reading Demosthenes, I was engaged in making preparation for some few remarks I had to submit at the Meeting in the Evening.2 My arrangements this day were short, for my only duty was that of attack of a proposition without submitting any thing for a substitute. But I pursued the course I always propose, that of methodizing my ideas in such a manner as to present a clear and definite statement of my grounds of argument, and not going at all out of the way. I accordingly attended and succeeded in submitting my propositions very distinctly. They brought on an animated discussion 156which lasted till quite late, and though myself considerably attacked, I had no opportunity to reply, a thing perhaps a little lucky for me, for I was perhaps a little too warm. We adjourned, and I returned home tolerably well content—My powers of speaking being undoubtedly improving.


31 Jan.; an answer to ABA’s letter of 13 Jan. (both in Adams Papers).


In its first three meetings in February, the Debating Society devoted itself to the subject of the militia. What the views were that CFA presented at these meetings is not known.