Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday 29th. CFA Tuesday 29th. CFA
Tuesday 29th.

Morning to town. At the Office nearly all day, busy in preparing my Quarterly Accounts, bringing them down to the present period and drawing out a Copy to present.1 This has been the best Quarter since 271I have had any thing to do with the Agency. Yet my father has the impression that his property in Boston is paying him nothing. So that aware as I am of the difficulty I have had to arrange it to the best advantage, I find that the expectations are always higher.

My reply to Mr. Foster’s Article upon Railways appeared in this morning’s paper, just after an article of his on the Constitutionality of it.2 I did not relish it’s appearance as I never do my own writing. Mr. Curtis called for a minute to see me, to speak of the Boylston affairs. After going to order a bathing tub for my Mother, I started for Medford.

The afternoon was again showery though with little thunder. I made great progress in Winthrop’s Journal. Mr. Savage is a Tory, and a maker of very indifferent Notes. Strange that the Puritans should have fallen into such hands. Strange that a descendant should become so infected with the spirit of European dominion. Evening, Mssrs. Angiers came in on a visit of an hour.3 Told us of a Robbery of the Branch Bank.


CFA to JQA, 30 June (LbC, Adams Papers). The quarterly statement of the Agency showed a balance of $906.21 after payment of all repairs undertaken on the property. This amount did not include quarterly payments of $565 due to be met on 1 July nor any of the receivables due on the same day. CFA urged that the surplus that would be deposited to JQA’s account be invested promptly. He reported as information that the income before expenses received by the Agency, 1 July 1829–30 June 1830, was $5,619.12.


The second letter of “Honest Industry” urged the constitutionality of a grant by the city toward the construction of a railroad. CFA’s letter, signed “A Calm Observer,” followed this letter but was an answer to the earlier letter published on 24 June. Opposing the city’s “dabbling in railways,” CFA argued that government operation was inefficient and uneconomical, that railroad building was an artificial stimulant to the Boston economy, that “where capital is, there it will naturally seek advantageous investments.” Summarizing, he wrote: “My choice is the slow jog of common sense, by which, though I lose in quickness of motion and perhaps opportunities for display, I am sure to get an equivalent—i.e. my journey’s end without risk of my neck” (Boston Patriot, 29 June, p. 1–2).


John and Luther Angier of Medford, masters of an academy for boys which several of ABA’s brothers had attended (vol. 2:405; Brooks, Waste Book, 1821). On John Angier, who later married Abigail Smith Adams, see vol. 2:206 and Adams Genealogy.

Wednesday. 30th. CFA Wednesday. 30th. CFA
Wednesday. 30th.

Morning fine, but it seems now hardly possible to go through a day without some rain. I went to town as usual, and passed my morning in making out my Accounts against the different Tenants and preparing my receipts as usual. This occupied much time. I have had little leisure to read any thing this season. My time seems short, and what 272with interruptions and small necessary jobs, I get on but indifferently in any studies I choose to lay down to myself. My intention was to have read Hutchinson and Minot, but I have not been able as yet to touch them. Returned to Medford to dine. Afternoon taken up with Company. Mr. Frothingham’s relations, his Mother and sisters came to see him and the place. And they took tea.

Mr. Fuller the receiving Teller of the Branch Bank has gone off with forty thousand dollars—A Circumstance that produced considerable excitement here.1 I saw him there so often that I had formed a kind of idea of his honesty which it seems circumstances prove very absurd. Every body now cries out how extravagant he was. The Bank would have thanked them perhaps if they had done it sooner. Evening at home. Winthrop.


On the evening of 28 June, John Fuller, second teller in the Boston branch of the U.S. Bank, settled his accounts and handed over to the cashier his locked trunk, supposed to contain his balance of cash. The trunk was placed in the vault until morning. On the 29th Fuller did not appear; the trunk was opened and found empty. Reward was offered and a wide search begun. A week later he surrendered himself, returning all but $600 of the $40,000 taken. (Boston Patriot, 30 June, p. 2, col. 2; 10 July, p. 2, col. 3.)