Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

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.

Tuesday. 30th. CFA Tuesday. 30th. CFA
Tuesday. 30th.

Morning mild though with an East Wind. At the Office as usual. Time passed in a rather useless manner. As I have finished Williston and not yet assumed any other reading, I found myself soon at a loss what to do, after I had got through the measures proper for bringing my Accounts into order for settlement. I got hold of a copy of Bacon’s Essays however, which could not but be good reading, and studied two or three of them with the usual pleasure. Wonderful the power of that man’s mind. Strong and sound thought.1

I tried to find Mr. Degrand to talk to him about Atlas Stock, but could not, so that I must go into Market and appear a buyer tomorrow if I wish to invest at all. Called to see Mr. Brooks, and afterwards gave the proper directions for the little repairs I wish in this building. I am now getting my Carpenter to attend to little minutiae very well. And I am gradually bringing all this property into better condition than it has been for a long time back. The Store looks now exceedingly well, and on the whole I feel tolerably satisfied with the present appearance of affairs.

Whitney came up to see me and seemed disposed to settlement. He agreed to pay me a part Cash, and a part by Note, but as he appeared unwilling to close, I acted in rather a Cavalier Style, satisfied that my appearing a little careless would have a better effect than my former anxiety. We parted standing as we were.

I dined with Abby at Chardon’s, as usual. Afternoon at home passed in reading the reviews of Demosthenes in the Edinburgh over again. They are excellent and if not a little too sneering and dogmatical would deserve the first rank for papers of criticism. As I had felt a 201little inclination to head ach during the day I thought it would be advisable to walk a little. The Evening was fine, and I had a pleasant though lonely stroll on the Common. After which I went to Chardon’s to the usual weekly Meeting, which was pleasant as they commonly are.


Bacon was one of the authors to whom CFA returned many times. He had read the Essays with some regularity early in 1824 (see vol. 1:23–68passim). Of CFA’s two copies of the Essays, Moral, Economical and Political in MQA, that published at Chiswick, 1822, has his signature and the date 1824. The other (London, 1822), originally GWA’s, has CFA’s bookplate, marginal comments, and a note dated 1831 in CFA’s hand, together with an inscription to JQA2 dated 6 Oct. 1853.