Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

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

Morning rainy and unpleasant. I arose suffering very heavily from my cold. I do not know how or when I could have contracted it but it seems as severe as any I have had. At the Office engaged in reading Marshall, and in making out the accounts of my father’s Agency for the quarter. Mr. Child sent me a letter requesting the use of my late brother’s Uniform. I told him in reply, first in a letter and then verbally when he called to see me that I did not feel at liberty to let him have it in that manner,1 that I wished to part with it but felt it impossible to allow the value of it to be diminished constantly by these occasional uses. He allowed the reasoning and seemed puzzled to know what to do and so left me. Mr. Curtis called and left a letter from my father in which he complains of not hearing from his man to put up a fire place for him.2 This compelled me to go and find him after dinner which was not at all agreeable as I felt much more in a humour for remaining at home. My comfort was entirely destroyed during the day and evening although I felt all the luxury of a comfortable home. Mr. Child made me go to the Office at seven o’clock in order to come to a decisive arrangement about the Uniform. He concluded to take it and give me the appraised price which I thought very low. He paid me only a small part in hand and promised the remainder in ten days. I know what his promises are but I was foolish enough to give them up and do much more than was altogether suitable to my conscience.3

1.

Correspondence missing. On David Lee Child (1794–1874), who succeeded GWA as brigade-major of the City Guards ( Mass. Register, 1829, p. 107; 1830, p. 92), see vol. 2:152, 351, and DAB .

2.

JQA to CFA, 29 Sept. (Adams Papers). The reference is to the brother of Ward Litchfield, agent of the New 31England Soapstone Co., probably Allen Litchfield, mason, of 28 Myrtle Court ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).

3.

Child purchased at this time only parts of the uniform (hence “them”). The price was $85. CFA to JQA, 26 Feb. 1830 (LbC, Adams Papers).

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

My morning after going to the Office was very much taken up by the calls of different individuals, and though my cold made me suffer exceedingly I did not feel able to abandon myself to it. My father came in to make some arrangment in respect to the Affairs of Mr. Boylston which he succeeded this time in completing. My Uncle called for his quarterly payment due tomorrow, which I paid in advance, as I did also both the girls.1 Col. Davis called to see my father and to request a conversation.2 Mr. Curtis came in about Mr. Boylston’s Affairs, Mr. P. Whitney to notify me of his abandoning the House in Court Street formally, as he was a little out of temper about my binding him for another quarter. I was engaged also in making up the Accounts of the Agency for the quarter and the Bills for the next quarter. Thus my time passed until dinner.

The afternoon was passed in a walk with Abby, making some purchases for Miss Smith at Quincy, and calling to see Mr. Cruft about my father’s library which I was to see about transporting. He was not at home but I saw his wife, her Mother Mrs. Smith and brother.3 She could not however inform me of any thing. I then returned home and passed some time in my study–The noise which the military were making on the Common interrupting me considerably. It was a horrible day of Review. Evening at home, reading aloud a little of the Man of Feeling, to Abby, my cold having improved.

1.

The two daughters of TBA, namely Abigail Smith Adams (mentioned earlier in this volume) and Elizabeth Coombs Adams (1808–1903) (ECA), being both of age, received their proportionate share of interest on mortgages under the terms of JA’s will. The payments to each were $45 quarterly. For himself and his four minor sons, TBA received $225 quarterly. See vol. 1:99, 2:387; M/CFA/3; JA, Will, inventory, and estate papers, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 181; Adams Genealogy.

2.

On John Brazer Davis, see entry for 31 Oct., below.

3.

Edward Cruft, merchant, lived at 6 Pearl Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830). His wife, the former Elizabeth Storer Smith (1789–1859), was a daughter of Hannah (Carter) Smith (b. 1764) and William Smith (1755–1816) who was a first cousin of AA. The brother spoken of is probably Thomas Carter Smith (1796–1880). See vol. 1:224, 334; 2:19; and Adams Genealogy.