Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 22d. CFA Tuesday. 22d. CFA
Tuesday. 22d.

As the weather was clear, and my father had business in town, we concluded to go in my Gig. My morning was spent as usual in a thousand little things—Making up bills and paying them. Received a short and snappish Note from Col. Tyler, inclosing the evidence of my brother’s subscription, which I answered by sending him the Money.1 Wrote to Spear my doubtful Tenant.2 Mr. Woods called upon me about his Mother’s affair, and talked it over. I told him I must go by the face of her Note, and if he had any statement to make, it must be submitted to the Judge of Probate. Mr. J. Q. Adams called about the Printing and I gave him his answer. Mr. Curtis spent a part of the morning at my room, but they could do none of the business they had contemplated.3 I paid a short visit to Mr. Brooks and so the whole is explained.4

We returned to Quincy, and spent part of the afternoon in the Catalogue. But my father was dull and out of spirits. He had been 266talking Politics with Alex H. Everett. An effect is directly perceived. Evening Judge Adams and his Wife here. My Wife was quite unwell. My Mother and Mary sat down to Supper, but we had a stupid time.

1.

Enclosing payment, CFA wrote “it required only evidence of the fact, to produce payment of such an engagement” (to Col. J. S. Tyler, LbC, Adams Papers).

2.

The letter to John I. Spear is missing.

3.

The Treasurer of Harvard College had in the meantime changed his mind (JQA, Diary, 22 June).

4.

That is, CFA’s and ABA’s new plan to alternate between Quincy and Medford for the summer.

Wednesday. 23d. CFA Wednesday. 23d. CFA
Wednesday. 23d.

Morning clear and cool. Rode to town and passed all the morning as usual in a variety of pursuits. Having written my Journal and been to my House to dress, I walked down to see the progress of Mr. Hollis in covering my father’s houses. Found the three completed, but neither of the sheds even commenced, nor were they working which I noted down, for I have a kind of notion they make me pay for it all. At my return to the Office, I sat down and read my father’s further Chapters upon Turkey, in the Annual Register. His mind is a singular, certainly a powerful one, and though I am often tempted to doubt the correctness of his conclusions, yet I cannot help being struck with the power of his reasoning. Called in to see Mr. Brooks for a moment and found with him his son Edward and Mr. Everett. Talked a minute and then started for Quincy.

After dinner we went on with the Catalogue pretty rapidly, so that before evening we had finished one whole side of compact books. I read a little of Smollett’s History of the last Years of George 2d in order to understand more clearly Horace Walpole’s Memoirs which I propose to read.1 But I always found Smollett very dull as a Historian. He hardly deserves the rank above a mere Annalist. Conversation in the Evening with my father upon Jeremy Bentham and Neal’s Story about Platonic Trinitarianism.2 He did not recollect it. After Supper, a discussion of the South Carolina Doctrines, and the nature of State and governmental Sovereignty.

1.

The reign of George 11 is encompassed in vols. 3–8 of the edition of Tobias Smollett, The History of England from the Revolution to the Death of George the Second ..., 8 vols., Basle, 1793–1794, now in MQA. The memoirs of Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, to which CFA refers were published as Memoirs of the Last Ten Years of the Reign of King George II, 2 vols., London, 1822.

2.

Probably in the memoir of Bentham written by John Neal (1793–1876) to accompany an edition of Bentham’s Principles of Legislation published at Boston in 1830. See the DAB entry on Neal.

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