Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

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.

1.

Sentence thus punctuated in MS.

2.

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.

Monday. 5th. CFA Monday. 5th. CFA
Monday. 5th.

The morning threatened to be warm but a pleasant East Wind came in time to cool us. I declined going to town, and passed my day in reading Walpole’s Memoires of the last ten Years of George the 2d. with a volume of Smollett to illustrate. It is interesting, yet the very miserable accommodations which I have for reading injure the interest of my occupations very much. Continued my Work of Catalogue and what with morning and afternoon did tolerably well. But my Father was fatigued and indolent, and we were interrupted more than once. Robert Buchanan, son of my Aunt, Mrs. Frye, came to Quincy to pass a few days with us. He has just left West Point, and comes here to pass a short time for the purpose of seeing the Country. He has altered infinitely since I saw him last, and on the whole improved very materially.1

This was the day for celebration and noisy enough at the house at Quincy, there being a celebration just above at the Railway.2 We drank John’s birth day in a glass of pretty indifferent Champagne. I was sleepy and stupid. Evening, a visit from Mr. Beale our Neighbour. Brilliant night.

1.

Robert Christie Buchanan (1811–1878) was the son of LCA’s sister, Mrs. Nathaniel Frye Jr., by her first husband, Andrew Buchanan. Robert Buchanan had graduated from West Point a few weeks before and was to have a distinguished military career. See vol. 1:4, 2:21; DAB ; Adams Genealogy.

2.

Independence Day was celebrated at Quincy beginning at 10 o’clock with a procession to the Second Congregational Meeting House in Milton, near the Quincy and Milton (“Granite”) Railway, where services were held at 12 noon. Following the services, there was a dinner attended by two or three hundred persons in a tent erected in the rear of the Railway Hotel (Boston Patriot, 3 July, p. 2, col. 5; 8 July, p. 2, col. 1; 14 July, p. 2, col. 2). On the Railway, see below, entry for 23 Aug.; its proximity to the Old House is evident on the “map of Boston and the adjacent towns” reproduced in the present volume.

Tuesday. 6th. CFA Tuesday. 6th. CFA
Tuesday. 6th.

Morning clear and very warm. I rode to town with the other Horse in my Gig who has been sick. He is a very fine horse and brought me into the City in amazing little while. At the Office. Owing to my absence from the City for two days I had a good deal of Journal to make up, and with my interruptions, allowed me little time for reading. Mr. Champney came in to present his Account in set off of Rent. 276I balanced it and he promised to pay me directly. Mr. Gay gave me his money. Champney asked me also to make a Writ for him against him. It is now so long since I have made one that I felt as if it was quite a new business. I then went to the House for Abby S. Adams’ receipt to make to her my regular payment. Found my man Benjamin Salter inclined to go away and he accordingly gave me notice that he should quit me upon my return.1 Mr. Curtis called to ask me to draw a Deed, another little business Job. R. G. Wait, an appraiser of New’s Estate came with a schedule of his desperate debts. He told me they intended making a return next week. Mr. Spear called to pay the balance of his Rent. Expressed himself well satisfied with the House. I called upon Stone and received the amount from the sale of G.W.A’s Uniform and afterwards my own Dividend at the Atlas Office, which investment has so far turned out very well.

All this left me no more time, and I went out of town in a Shower, to meet the Directors of the Neponset Bridge Corporation at their Annual dinner at Squantum. They invite a number and make quite a party. The situation is very pleasant, though a great way to go round to reach it.2 Mr. Joseph Head and his two sons Joseph and George, Mr. Miller, T. Greenleaf, Beale, J. Quincy Jr., Gourgas, J. H. Foster and his son Wm. E., Mr. T. B. Wales, my father, Uncle and myself constituted the party. We dined upon Fish and had on the whole a tolerably pleasant time. Returned and passed the Evening quietly. Edmund Quincy called with a young man from Halifax, by name of Sewall.3 The ladies were out. I was very tired.

1.

CFA’s manservant, Benjamin Salter, returned to CFA’s employment after a few months (see below, entry for 23 Sept.).

2.

The dinner was probably held at the Old Squantum House located on the point and overlooking Quincy Bay. The area is included on the map referred to in the notes to the preceding entry.

3.

JQA identifies him as the grandson of JA’s youthful friend, the loyalist Jonathan Sewall, and as of Montreal (Diary, 6 July).