Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Friday. 18th. CFA Friday. 18th. CFA
Friday. 18th.
Medford—Quincy

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.

1.

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.

2.

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

Saturday. 19th. CFA Saturday. 19th. CFA
Saturday. 19th.

Morning warm. Went to Boston, and passed my time as usual in a variety of occupations, first going to the House where I wanted a volume to be returned to the Athenaeum. Then busied with writing Notes, to Mrs. Woods, about New’s Estate, Col. Tyler about George’s subscription, and to a certain Mrs. Bailey to try to recover something from that large demand.1 All of this disagreeable business necessary to be done, without hope of good to come from it. I then went to the Athenaeum and to execute one or two little Commissions with which I was charged by my Mother. Returning to the Office I found Mr. Curtis, who gave me some papers to carry to Quincy, relating to a Mortgage of real Estate in the hands of the Boylstons, which he had succeeded in selling.2 Returned to dinner and was occupied all the afternoon in the Catalogue which my father and I are taking together.

My mother I am glad to find considerably better and more cheerful than I have known her for years. I am in slight hopes that she will find some things to recommend this part of the Country to her, and that finding herself now more independent than she ever was before, she 264will relish having a house of her own. My father seems to me however to be exceeding heavy, and not to take as well as he did the leisure with which he is perhaps overburdened. He thinks more of politics than I wish he did, but this is a necessary consequence of his situation in the Winter, in such a hot bed as Washington is. Evening my Mother went to ride, after which I had a little conversation with her. My father walked out to pay a visit or two, and I read Hume’s Essay upon Eloquence.3

1.

The notes to Mrs. Woods and Col. Tyler are probably the same as those mentioned in the preceding entry; the letter to Mrs. Bailey is missing.

2.

Nathaniel Curtis negotiated the sale to the Treasurer of Harvard College of a mortgage for $10,000 on the Tremont Theatre (JQA, Diary, 19 June).

3.

CFA owned an edition of David Hume’s Essays and Treatises published at London in 2 vols., 1788, now in MQA. The “Essay upon Eloquence” is in vol. 1.