Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Wednesday. 10th. CFA Wednesday. 10th. CFA
Wednesday. 10th.

Morning at the Office. The Weather which for three weeks past has been cold this day moderated so much that the snow began to disappear with amazing rapidity. I have now become so much accustomed to it that I rather regret this, for it makes only an interruption in our winter Weather and not a final change from it. My last Evening’s Supper gave me a slight uneasy head ach which made me feel unable to do much, and the condition in which I found my Office distracted my attention. The People were in it making repairs. I think it is about to be fully worth what I think I ought to ask for it. But there are now so many Offices empty that I am fearful I shall not get rid of it, just at present.

I passed the morning in reading the Speech of Mr. Quincy upon the New army Bill so noted for its violence and the reply given to it by Mr. Clay.1 There is some eloquence in it, but the want of judgment, Mr. Q.’s prominent weakness throughout life is manifest. I then called to see Mr. Brooks who was again low spirited and I went to inquire of Quincy what the result of my Note for the Note was, but it was not to be found so my pursuit was fruitless.2 My morning passed and the Afternoon was taken up in looking over and correcting Letters for Mr. Sparks. This is a disagreeable business at all times, and particularly when suffering a little from indisposition. I read aloud in the Evening, a little of Sir Charles Grandison to the Ladies and afterwards read Lord Kaimes.


The speeches of Josiah Quincy (1772–1864) and Henry Clay, delivered in the House, Jan. 1813, are in Williston’s Eloquence at 3:5–76.


Josiah Quincy (1802–1882) had not been able to locate JQA’s note to the executors of JA’s will so that it could be returned, payment having been made; see entry for 28 Jan., above.

Thursday. 11th. CFA Thursday. 11th. CFA
Thursday. 11th.

The morning was warm and pleasant. Quite a change from what it has been, and the snow went off in quantities until about twelve o’clock when it began to freeze and grow cold again. At the Office as usual. Received a long and gratifying letter from my father,1 which I read with pleasure, excepting in the business part where he charges the funds in my hands with a still further burden in the education of John Quincy Adams, his nephew, which fact explains to me what before was dark in the matter of the visit of my Uncle to me yesterday morning—He being seldom inclined to favour me excepting when demands are to be made.

I proceeded in my usual occupations. Wrote several Notes to my Tenants and read a part of Mr. Poindexter’s Speech on the Seminole War.2 Mrss. G. A. Otis and S. Brown called to request my subscription to a fund for establishing a Post Office. I subscribed as it is probable it will benefit my father’s property in Court Street. Mr. E. Clough called to speak about the Share in the Republican Institution belonging to my brother. He notified me that the Government declined taking it and asked me if I would not take it for myself. This establishment is now of so little use that I think it exceedingly questionable whether it is worthwhile to keep it up. But seeing Mr. Rayner the President of it afterwards he told me that he thought it likely a motion would be made to wind it up this next annual Meeting, and accordingly I should get what I wanted.3 I asked Mr. Brooks how they were at Medford, and his answer was, much as usual. I tried to find Mr. I. P. Davis, but could not succeed.

The paperer was this day busy with the other Office I was about to move into. He finished and beautified it in such a manner as to make it look entirely another thing. How badly this building has been treated. And now I am afraid I shall do it no good. Had it been so managed at the time of the Fire, it would have yielded richly.4 After dinner I read Demosthenes with pleasure. A fine author and one constantly to be studied. I am an admirer of his pithy, meaning5 style. There is no trifling. And I propose to make him my study. Made a draft of my Essay No. 2. and in the evening read Sir Charles Grandison to the Ladies, and finished Kaimes to myself but I must read him again.


5 Feb. (Adams Papers).


George Poindexter’s speech delivered in the House, Feb. 1819, is in Williston’s Eloquence at 3:128–183.


On Ebenezer Clough, John Rayner, and CFA’s effort to have the Republican Institution buy back GWA’s share in it, see vol. 2:411–412 and note.


Ten brick buildings and some wooden structures on Court Street had been destroyed by fire on 10 Nov. 1825, forcing 35 attorneys to find other quarters. The spread of the fire was checked at the building adjoining 23 Court Street (Columbian Centinel, 12 Nov. 1825, p. 2, col. 3). Since rebuilding had not been completed until the end of 1826, office space had been in great demand (Brooks, Waste Book, 10 Nov., 27 Dec. 1825; 14 Nov., 30 Dec. 1826).


Thus in MS, for “meaningful”?