Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 19th. CFA Monday. 19th. CFA
Monday. 19th.

The day was warm but an Easterly wind arose about the middle of the day to make it much more tolerable than any of the preceding ones have been. I rode into town as usual and was occupied, first in making up my list of demands against New’s Estate, finishing the appraisement, returning the Inventory and making application for the sale of his real Estate. This took a large portion of time, but as the period within which I was limited expires next week, it is matter of much satisfaction that the whole affair is arranged.

I then went up to the house to give my Cook her directions as to going out of town. It was still very warm to walk so that all this exertion fatigued me. Warm weather is agreeable enough when a person has nothing to do but to sit at home, when much walking is necessary, it might as well be dispensed with. Returned to Quincy to dine. My father was so exhausted by the heat of last night that he 284could not prosecute the Catalogue, so that I was compelled to go on with the alphabetical arrangement, and this moved very slowly. Evening, a little more of the Quarterly Review and Supper. How time flies.

Tuesday. 20th. CFA Tuesday. 20th. CFA
Tuesday. 20th.

The weather does not seem to moderate materially, but the East wind which rises in the day prevents one from feeling quite so much it’s violence. I had not quite so much to do in the town today and therefore enjoyed my stay in town much more. Yet I do not know that in fact I spent my time a particle more usefully than usual.

Some few things to be obtained of different persons for my father, and my own hair to be cut, took up much of the morning, the balance passed in reading the Oration of Mr. Everett at Charlestown.1 This is good. He has taken the right hold of the matter though in a tone a little too meek and lowly for my taste. The State of Massachusetts will exist firmly only while she sticks to the principles and feelings planted by the Puritans, and one of the worst of her signs at the present day is that their posterity is so ready to undervalue them.

I returned to Quincy as usual and occupied myself in the Alphabetical arrangement as my father was too warm and fatigued to do much. He overexerts himself and then complains.2 The Evening was cool. I read Walpole when I was not conversing. Judge Adams’ two daughters and Miss Mary Foster paid a visit.


Edward Everett’s address at the commemoration of Charlestown’s settlement was published as a pamphlet only the day before (Boston Patriot, 19 July, p. 3, col. 3).


JQA noted in the monthly summary of his day that his “worst symptom is a growing and unresisted repugnance to labour” (JQA, Diary, 31 July). His diary entries during most of the summer are given over largely to summarizing the passages from Cicero that he read each day.

Wednesday. 21st. CFA Wednesday. 21st. CFA
Wednesday. 21st.

Morning exceedingly warm. I rode to town without being at all aware of the severe nature of the heat, or it is more than probable that I should have remained at home. At the Office occupied as usual, but as I felt extremely indisposed to make exertion I took the day very quietly to read Hutchinson in which I made considerable and good progress. The History interests me more and more, and satisfies me that my impressions formerly taken are correct. It is strange how the impressions concerning it are perverted.

Little or nothing took place of any consequence and owing to the 285warmth of the weather I was not much disposed to remain very long in town. Returned slowly. The heat was greater today than it has yet been. The Afternoon passed as usual, my father quite unable to do any thing, and I pursuing the arrangement of my Catalogue as rapidly as possible. But this is not very much when one melts visibly. The evening with the family. On the whole, pretty idle.