Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

267 Thursday. 24th. CFA Thursday. 24th. CFA
Thursday. 24th.

Morning fine. Rode to town as usual. In reading the Newspaper I was very much struck with an Article in favour of the City’s assuming the expense of Railroads.1 Feeling myself as in some manner directly interested in this question, I felt very much disposed to answer it and accordingly began an Article for the purpose, but was obliged to leave it to go about Commissions for my Mother. These took me much time and were badly executed too. Mr. Merrill2 called to pay me the sum due from J. T. Winthrop, to my brother George’s Estate, which I had very little expectation of getting.3 So far so good, but my Tenant Spear does not pay me. I had desired to finish my Article this morning but could not succeed. To Quincy to dinner. Afternoon employed in the Catalogue with my father in which we made no great progress, as it took much time to arrange the books. I had a little conversation with my father and mother upon the affairs of his property, and with the latter about the former. His condition worries me considerably, and I tried to induce my Mother to excite his almost blunted purpose, of writing upon my Grandfather. Louisa C. Smith and Abby S. Adams dined and spent the day here. My mother was unwell.


In the letter signed “Honest Industry” (i.e. W. Foster), the use of tax money in the construction of a granite market (the Quincy Market) and a wharf is cited as a precedent for the construction at public expense of a projected railroad to the westward (Boston Patriot, 24 June, p. 2, col. 3).


Probably James C. Merrill, counselor, of 39 Court Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831).


Apparently part of the balance owed on the loan made by GWA to the City Guards, of which Gen. Winthrop was commander (see entries for 3, 13 Oct. 1829; 10 April 1830, above; 10 Nov., below).

Friday 25th. CFA Friday 25th. CFA
Friday 25th.

Morning fine. The Summer Weather seems to have set in at last. Went to town as usual and was occupied at the Office in making out the Accounts of the Quarter in order to see what the balance would be, as I contemplated taking advantage of the money, in a profitable opening which presented itself to me. The balance of the time was passed in reading the rest of my father’s part of the annual Register, and finishing what I had written against “Honest Industry.” Col. J. B. Davis happening to call in to ask if he should find my father at home if he went to Quincy, I told him of my Article which he consented to admit into his paper.

On Change I commissioned Degrand to buy me four Shares of Atlas 268Insurance Stock, which he had spoken to me about, and in order to meet it decided upon selling out American Bank at the advance which it will probably bring. The rises and falls of Stocks are things not easily explicable to me. I do not see why now that Stock should be mounting which has been the source of so little profit for a long time back.

To Quincy to dine. Afternoon pursuing the Catalogue though languidly. It is a slow business and in this part of it not over interesting. It was terminated much sooner than usual by my accepting the determination of the ladies to ride. We went down to the Mount Wollaston Farm which looked pretty and wild enough. Had I wealth, I should like no better spot to beautify.1 The Evening was passed in conversation with the family, in which my Mother took a very lively part.


CFA’s diary entries during the summer of 1830 reflect a delight in Mount Wollaston renewed with each visit. The attraction to it felt by four generations of Adamses, beginning with JA, found final expression when CFA’s son JQA2 in 1877–1878 built his home upon it (Abigail Adams Homans, Education by Uncles, Boston, 1966, p. 5–10, illustration facing p. 86). Located on the shore of Quincy Bay, the tract, originally the property of AA’s maternal forebears the Quincys, came into the possession of the Adams family after the death of Norton Quincy in 1801. On Mount Wollaston, see JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:x, 141, 340, illustration facing p. 256.