Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 28th. CFA Sunday. 28th. CFA
Sunday. 28th.

The morning was bright but chilly with a harsh March wind blowing. Immediately after breakfast, Abby and I went to Medford. The ride was the least pleasant I have had this year—My provisions against the cold not being such as they would have been in Winter. We found the family as usual, Miss Phillips still there. I went to Meeting all day, and heard Mr. Stetson preach two rather dull Sermons. He is a man of considerable sense, but it is obscured by his being so corpulent and consequently indolent. His mind is rather above the common order, of Country Clergymen. The remainder of the day was passed at the House as usual. Little or nothing remarkable happening. I read 199more of Monsieur Bausset, but not with much interest. The close is put in to fill up four volumes. The French are full of bookmaking, which is a business tolerably easy in these times, and particularly where Napoleon is concerned, who in every little incident of his life, is now a subject of interest to the Nation.

Medford is a different place since the death of Mrs. Brooks. I do not feel even the degree of interest I then had. What a loss is the head of a family to all the younger members, for the binding force being gone, division comes. What I have said heretofore in this Journal, is likely very soon to prove true. I pity Mr. Brooks very much.

Monday. 29th. CFA Monday. 29th. CFA
Monday. 29th.

Morning mild, and had there been no snow on the ground, would have been as lovely as last Monday. Went to town with Abby. At the Office where I found a letter from my father inclosing a draught upon the Branch Bank here for three hundred dollars.1 This is at once a relief to me in his pecuniary affairs. It is rather matter of surprise that he can remit to me from there, but since I cannot inquire, my only satisfaction is that I am now out of immediate difficulty. I went to the Bank and deposited the money, then hearing that Mr. Brooks’ famous law case of last Summer was receiving it’s quietus in Court, I went in and heard the latter part of Judge Parker’s Opinion. It was decidedly favourable to Mr. Brooks, confirming the settlement of 1808, but allowing the Plaintiff to correct the account so far as it might be wrong by the admission of Mr. Brooks. This will probably cost him four or five thousand dollars, which is a cheap way of getting rid of a demand of more than one hundred.2 I went up to see and to congratulate him upon it. He seemed affected by the expression of sentiment of his friends. I am glad of it on his account as I hope that he will now rest quiet.3 The decision was an able one.

The rest of my morning was passed at the Office in reading Mr. Holmes’ Speech in the Intelligencer.4 It is a severe dressing of Mr. Benton and must have made him feel unpleasantly in many particulars. This debate in the Senate may have a very good effect in showing that New England is both able and willing to defend herself from all attacks ungenerously made against her.

The afternoon was spent in reading Auger’s translation of the Oration on the Crown by way of review. But I was not in good mood for study and did not manage it well. Auger takes liberties and cannot give the force of his author. Evening reading Clarissa to my Wife, and afterwards, reading more of Campbell’s Rhetoric, a very sensible book.


24 March (Adams Papers). Uneasy over the impending quarterly obligations and desiring to avoid the sale of stock earlier considered, JQA sent the order on his personal funds.


On the case of Henry Farnam, administrator for the estate of Tuthill Hubbart, v. Peter C. Brooks, see vol. 2:390.


“Poor Father! I scarce ever saw him so much Excited! He said more than 20 gentlemen came to offer him their congratulations.” In speaking of the court’s decision “he wept like a child!” About Mr. Webster, his attorney, and Mr. Wirt, attorney for the plaintiff, “he could not restrain his tears. ‘Mr. Wirt I shall always love for his peculiar kindness to me while he was here and for his having told me that he would never again plead a cause against me.’” (Charlotte Everett to Edward Everett, 30 March, Everett MSS, MHi). For further expression of Mr. Brooks’ intense satisfaction in the outcome, see Brooks, Waste Book, 31 Dec. 1830; “Autobiography” in Book of Possessions, Brooks MSS, MHi; Brooks to Edward Everett, 21 April 1830, Everett MSS, MHi.


The speech of John Holmes, U.S. Senator from Maine, delivered on 18 Feb., was printed in the National Intelligencer, 25 March, p. 2, col. 1 through p. 3, col. 2.