Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 16th. CFA Tuesday. 16th. CFA
Tuesday. 16th.

The morning cloudy with a kind of drizzle which freezing when it reached the pavements made the walking slippery and dangerous. I got down as well as I could and upon arriving safe at the Office went about my usual avocations. This morning was not much interrupted so that upon finishing my usual day’s record, I sat down and read with attention two or three Speeches in Williston—Those of Messrs. McLane and Sergeant on the Missouri Question, and Mr. Hayne’s on the Tariff with Mr. Webster’s on the Greek Question.1 The latter I recollect to have heard. It was an able though perhaps not in itself a proper effort. The question was not in itself one which would pay a man for the 164trouble and risk in raising it. On the whole I was better satisfied with this morning than with any for a long time preceding.

Mr. Farmer called upon me again and being a little impertinent, I ordered him out of the Office, which as I hope will put a stop to his visits. That affair is not yet over. But time enough has passed to make me indifferent about it. Moses Thompson came to present a bill.2 He is a plaisterer whom I have dismissed on account of intemperate habits. He made a charge which I could not settle unless I previously arranged with Mrs. Longhurst. So I told him to postpone it. Returned home and passed the afternoon reading Demosthenes. Mr. Kingman called about the House in Common Street but declined the rent. My Greek was easy. I regretted to hear the despairing account of Mr. Brooks. The case is hopeless.3 The evening came and I went to the usual family Meeting at Chardon’s. Mrs. Frothingham was so sick, she could not go, so that the party contained all it had last time excepting her. It was very agreeable, and we came away early enough for me to read a Chapter of Lord Kaimes.

1.

Louis McLane and John Sergeant in the House, Feb. 1820; Robert Y. Hayne in the Senate, April 1824; Daniel Webster in the House, Jan. 1823 (Williston’s Eloquence, 3:277–363, 378–416, 470–524).

2.

His address was 37 Warren Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831).

3.

Mr. Brooks had continued to maintain hope of Mrs. Brooks’ recovery, but on the day following he wrote with resignation to her brother, Benjamin Gorham, in Washington; to their son, Sidney; and to their son-in-law, Edward Everett (Brooks, Farm Journal, 17 Feb.).

Wednesday. 17th. CFA Wednesday. 17th. CFA
Wednesday. 17th.

The morning was cloudy and weather disagreeable. I went to the Office as usual first going to inquire of Mr. Brooks what the proposed arrangement might be, as to Abby’s going to Medford. He told me she would go out with her Aunt, Mrs. Gray, probably to remain until tomorrow. I then returned to the Office. Mr. Russell Freeman called upon me, he is the ejected Collector of Newburyport and has lately returned from an exploring visit to Washington, he came to me only to make acquaintance and to say he had seen my father and family well.1 Mr. Jones called upon me from Weston to inform me he had a little more money, proceeds of the sale of Wood at Weston. I was quite glad of this for I fear the funds of this Quarter will turn out but poorly. The remainder of the morning was passed in finishing Mr. Hayne’s Speech upon the Tariff of 1824. It is good but it is a little surprising that this should have been the course taken by the Southern Gentlemen. For in raising up a new Market for their Cotton here what is it to them if they lose a little elsewhere, and but little for Great Britain must take 165what they want, because they can get none so good and so cheap any where else.2

Miss Phillips and I dined together, Abby sending me a Note saying that her Mother was worse even than she expected, and wishing to stay. Miss Phillips left me after dinner so that I passed the whole afternoon and evening in my study. I read a portion of Demosthenes as usual with all the critical remarks in themselves a material assistance. In the evening not having written for a long time to my Mother I sat down and made one out,3 though now it is hard to write as she has very much ceased to interest herself in the smaller affairs of my situation. I am sorry, but I think she does not think so nearly of me as she used to do. Retired to a solitary room.

1.

Although Russell Freeman was a friend of JQA (Bemis, JQA , 2:183n.), CFA had only a minimal respect for him, holding him to be “a gambler in politics” (CFA to LCA, 17 Feb., Adams Papers).

2.

Thus in MS. The meaning seems to be that because of the lack of competition the purchasers (Great Britain) must pay what the growers demand.

3.

The letter to LCA is that cited above.