Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Wednesday. 7th. CFA Wednesday. 7th. CFA
Wednesday. 7th.

Morning warm. Rode to town as usual. At the Office regulating my Accounts both as Agent and in my private capacity. Wrote my Journal and drew the Deed for Mr. Curtis as requested, though he did not call for it. Drew the Dividend for the Neponset Bridge and received the rent of the House in Hancock Street from Miss Oliver, so that I was enabled to make a very good deposit. But all this and a call upon Mr. Brooks kept me much longer than I had any idea of so that I did not get to Quincy until half past two. Afternoon occupied in the 277Catalogue which progresses gradually. But there is so little energy in the process that I am heartily tired and sick of it.

This day was one of my dispirited, discouraged days. I felt a disgust with the mode of life which I am pursuing, and with the manner in which my fathers family is conducted. The Servants being extravagant and unruly, my father dispirited, my Mother sick, my brother’s Wife querulous, and all on the whole uncomfortable. I did little or nothing. Evening, Supper, and a short Conversation with my father upon Warren Hastings, but without much interest, as I was fatigued.

Thursday. 8th. CFA Thursday. 8th. CFA
Thursday. 8th.

The morning was cloudy, which became afterwards rain. Robert Buchanan went into town with me, and I left him at the end of Purchase Street for the purpose of starting in the Steam Boat to the Fort where he wished to go.1 At the Office myself, in my usual avocations, which were not quite so much of a business kind today. Read a portion of Hutchinson’s History of Massachusetts over again. Conversed with Thomas Welsh upon New’s Affairs and made final arrangements respecting my brother George’s Assets, by sending all the rest of the saleable things to be disposed of at Auction. Thus passed the morning. And after going to my House to obtain Elizabeth Adams’ receipt, I went out of town with Robert to dine.

My father seemed unwell, and we made slow work with our Catalogue particularly as John arrived in the midst of our commencement and distracted us a little. I felt differently towards him this year from what I ever did before, which arises from many circumstances too numerous to mention but more particularly from the very uncomfortable condition in which the family is put by his Wife.2 My own were not false anticipations. Judge T. B. Adams was here in the Evening. Retired early.

1.

Probably Fort Independence, at the entrance to Boston’s inner harbor; a military garrison was maintained there.

2.

Mrs. JA2 was a semi-invalid, being in the last months of pregnancy. The space which she required along with that needed for her little girl and the child’s nurse resulted in some inconvenience to JQA and LCA.

Friday. 9th. CFA Friday. 9th. CFA
Friday. 9th.

Morning cold and cloudy. I rode to town with my Wife who came in for a Bath. At the Office as usual where I read another silly communication from W. Foster in the Patriot.1 The time for decision is now rapidly drawing to us, and I today reflected upon the materials 278for a closing Article in this Controversy. My ideas would not come freely so I felt obliged to give up the point, for the day.

Mr. Degrand called to offer me some Atlas Stock at 2 per cent which I declined, not caring much about placing any more there. Mr. Curtis also called for the Deed I had drawn which I gave him. Mr. Holt a paper hanger called with a trifling bill for Work at the Tenement rented by Mrs. Welles. I would not pay it intending to do some more work there. Called to see Mr. Brooks who told me a comical story of Mr. J. Porter’s going to Europe. It seems his Wife does not know her own Mind.2

Returned with my Wife to Quincy to dine, after which I was engaged with my father in making out his Catalogue, which occupied much time. We were interrupted by a visit from Mrs. Cruft and Pickman with their Mother Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Otis and her daughter Mary.3 An old set on their annual visit. I then walked up to Judge Adams’ to see Miss Elizabeth, to pay her quarterly interest but she as well as all the rest of the family were absent. The remainder of the evening with the family.

1.

Boston Patriot, 9 July, p. 2, col. 2.

2.

Probably Jonathan Porter, whose wife, Catherine, was the daughter of Samuel Gray of Medford by his first wife and was a ward of Peter C. Brooks after the death of her father (Brooks, Waste Book; Medford Vital Records, Boston, 1907, p. 113, 277).

3.

On Mrs. Edward Cruft, Mrs. Benjamin Pickman Jr., and Mrs. Samuel A. Otis; on their mother, Mrs. William Smith; and on Mary Ann Otis, see vol. 1:269, 270, 334, and Adams Genealogy.