Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Saturday 3rd. CFA Saturday 3rd. CFA
Saturday 3rd.

Morning cloudy and warm. I took my last Shower bath. I have enjoyed them every day this week very much, and regret on their 274account leaving Medford, as I do on many others. They have there a quiet way of enjoying things which is extremely gratifying to a person after he gets accustomed to the ways of the family. But I felt obliged to leave for Quincy as I propose to make most of my visit as soon as possible.

At the Office. Mr. Conant my Tenant came in from Weston to make a final settlement of Accounts for last Year. He brought in all his demands and after setting them off paid me the balance. So far, so good. My Uncle, T. B. Adams came in and applied for his Quarterly Payment which I made to him. I then sat down to read my second Article in the Patriot, and afterwards, some of the North American Review, but was interrupted by Edmund Quincy who came and consumed the remainder of the time.

Went to Quincy to dine. Found my Mother better, but the family very much disordered by the conduct of a black fellow who came with them from Washington, whose looks I never liked. My father’s servants have far too great licence. Nobody commands them but John and he is far too indulgent.1 Went on with the Catalogue though rather slowly. Evening cool and damp. I felt restless and discontented.


JQA dismissed William Taylor, paying him his wages “in full two months to the 18th,” and sending John Kirke “to set him down at Boston.” JQA’s observation was that “it is scarcely possible to keep within any rule of order a family consisting partly of white and partly of coloured Servants.” The next day John Kirke returned with a white boy, John Phillips, as a replacement. (JQA, Diary, 3, 4 July.) The generalizations of both CFA and JQA upon the incident are made less tenable by an occurrence a year later. At that time the same William Taylor proved to be the thief who entered and robbed in the night, JA2’s house in Washington (JQA, Diary, 5, 6 July 1831).

Sunday. 4th. CFA Sunday. 4th. CFA
Sunday. 4th.

This is the great Anniversary of the Nation, and as it comes on Sunday, it would cheat people of their regular celebration if they had not the idea of making a succeeding day answer the purpose. My Mother as well as my Wife attended divine service this morning—An effort quite unusual to the former. Mr. Whitney gave us an occasional Address flat enough. Afternoon, my Wife and I went, and I was very sleepy. Nothing of any consequence happened, in the evening, I walked with my Father down to see Josiah Quincy and his Wife.1 We found Miss Anna Q. there also.2 A little affectation, and a great deal of family palaver with the latter lady, the former not much less, with a greater allowance of sentiment. We returned to sup at home.


Sentence thus punctuated in MS.


Presumably, Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy (b. 1812), youngest daughter of President Josiah Quincy, later Mrs. 275Robert C. Waterston; see Adams Genealogy. Selections from her journals kept during 1833 and 1834 are in The Articulate Sisters, edited by M. A. DeW. Howe, Cambridge, 1946, p. 193–244.