Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

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.

Saturday 26th. CFA Saturday 26th. CFA
Saturday 26th.

Morning fine. My Wife and I left Quincy this morning for some days intending to make a stay for a short period at Medford, according to invitation. First to town, and I to the Office as usual. Inquired about my investment but found I had lost my chance. Still resolved to sell out of the American Bank if the Stock should go up. Finished a fair Copy of My Article about Railways, to send to the Patriot. Finished the whole of my fathers portion of the Annual Register with the Chapter on Greece. And consumed the remainder of my morning in going to make a bargain about my Mother’s bathing tub, which I did not succeed in after all.

Went with my Wife to Medford and found upon our arrival Gorham Brooks and his Wife there, who came to dine and pass the afternoon. They are not favourites of mine. She has not character enough, he too much. Began upon Winthrop’s Journal,1 being resolved that if I must stay here, my time should not be altogether wasted. Evening, Conversation with Mr. Frothingham about Cromwell—Our views of his character.


That part of John Winthrop’s “Journal” known at the time was published in 1790 at Hartford. With the discovery in 1816 of a third section of the MS in the Prince Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society began at once to plan for a reissue of the earlier printed volume, corrected and annotated, and for the printing of the previously unpublished part in a second volume. With some help from the legislature and under the editorship of James Savage, the first volume was published at Boston in 1825, the second in 1826, both under the title The History of New England from 1630 to 1649 (MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 1 [1791–1835]:254, 374, 376). It was this edition that CFA was reading; see the next entry. His copy of the work is in MQA.