Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Wednesday. 16th. CFA Wednesday. 16th. CFA
Wednesday. 16th.

Morning warm, but the wind changed to the eastward in a little while and a thunder shower in the evening cooled the air completely. I went to Boston, and spent an hour or more at the House in bottling the remainder of my Sherry Wine which turns out better than I had anticipated. I have now five dozen and a half to keep as choice wine, which will be worth nearly what I paid for the whole, besides the quantity used for the last six months. This done I went to the Office and was occupied there in my usual way of writing my Journal. I find my time now much more limited than it used to be last Summer as I go out of town to dine.

Called in to see Mr. Brooks and found him engaged so much that I did not stay long, and from there went to Quincy. Found my Mother so much better as to sit up and she seemed moreover in tolerable 262spirits. After dinner I sat down with my father to the work of a Catalogue of his Library.1 How far we shall succeed I do not know. But the value of a library like that is essentially diminished by not knowing what is in it. We were interrupted by a visit from the two Mr. Everetts, Alex. and Edward. The former of whom spoke to me of my Article for his Review very openly and made me feel a little awkward. After a short visit they were driven away by the rain. Evening, a short and uninteresting conversation with my father.


The catalogue was brought to completion on 12 October (see below, entry for that date). Among the sundry catalogues of Adams books in the Adams Papers this one has not been located.

Thursday. 17th. CFA Thursday. 17th. CFA
Thursday. 17th.

Morning warm but the weather soon gave way to an East Wind which chilled the Air for the rest of the day. I breakfasted early and rode to town with my Wife, and after leaving her at the house I went to the Office to write my Journal and read a little of the Annual Register. But my time was much taken up first by a visit to my father’s Tenements to see how the workmen got on with their work. I found that they had finished one side of the Houses and had begun upon the other. This is doing better than I had expected. The rest of the job may be longer but still it will be closed by the end of next week.

At twelve I went home to ask of my Wife to accompany me in one or two visits I was desirous of making, to Mr. and Mrs. Gorham and Mr. and Mrs. Webster. I feel as if I ought to keep up the current of those kind of acquaintance or I may be dropped myself. They were out and we left Cards. Returning we started for Medford and reached there early before dinner. The afternoon was nearly wasted. I did manage to read Dr. Channing’s Sermon delivered upon the day of Election.1 It did not please me. There is too much mysticism about it. Instruction is good for nothing if not plainly expressed, without metaphysics. Evening a walk with Mr. Frothingham and much conversation upon the family of Mr. Brooks, and his character. We agreed very much in our views. Mr. B. and his two daughters visited their Aunts until nine, after which a short conversation.


William Ellery Channing’s Sermon, preached 26 May at Old South Meeting House, had been published more than a week earlier (Boston Patriot, 7 June, p. 3, col. 3). On Channing, see vol. 2:182.

Friday. 18th. CFA Friday. 18th. CFA
Friday. 18th.

The morning was cloudy with cold wind and damp air. We left 263Medford with an uncomfortable ride before us, and it was made still more uncomfortable by the running of my horse which frightened my wife not a little. After arriving, I went to the Office and passed my time as usual, in writing my Journal and doing little or nothing else. I wrote a Note to Mrs. Woods and one to Col. Tyler,1 the two things I had set down for myself to do. Examined and corrected my Accounts with my father, and by that time it became necessary to start for Quincy.

We arrived without any accident to dine. The afternoon passed in making out more of the Catalogue of my father’s books, though it progresses but slowly. Saw my Mother who seemed pretty well, growing better of her attack fast. She seems perhaps more lively than I had expected, but my father shows a manifest change. A kind of want of purpose which alarms me, as I think I see in it the source of much restlessness and of some danger. But I hardly dare to think much about it. Evening, a short visit from Josiah Quincy and his Wife, who have just come out here.2 Conversation with my father.


Mrs. Woods was indebted to the estate of Robert New; the letter to her is missing. CFA’s letter to Col. J. S. Tyler (LbC, Adams Papers) requested him to make a further check to ascertain if a bill on the estate of GWA for a subscription had not in fact been paid by GWA before his death.


Col. Quincy, his wife, and child were spending the summer at his father’s house in Quincy (JQA, Diary, 18 June).