Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Friday 27th. CFA Friday 27th. CFA
Friday 27th.

The Weather looked so exceedingly doubtful that I did not feel very secure to move and in hesitating I lost the proper time. So I occupied myself all the morning in continuing my Catalogue which I now feel hurried to complete. My progress was quite considerable. The afternoon was taken up in finishing the German Books which completes the Catalogue as first taken, the only remaining work being now to finish it in the other way and copy the whole. Enough in all conscience.

The weather changed and became so fine that I asked my father to ride down with me and look at the Mount Wollaston Farm. We accordingly went down and I never saw the place look more beautifully. 310The natural advantages of the place are very great, and tempt me very much to commit foolish imprudences. I am sensible of an absurdity in my desire to go there, but the property is destined to hang in the family and upon me if any body, and I should like at least to think of improving it.

Our object ostensibly was to select a site for a young Orchard, but as it is commonly with my father we did nothing but talk and look round. It is a little singular how thoroughly speculative he is in his views, and how vain it is to hope for practical results which in any other case one might expect. Returned home and passed the evening as usual.

Saturday. 28th. CFA Saturday. 28th. CFA
Saturday. 28th.

The morning was clear and became very warm. I rode to town and passed a great deal of my morning in bringing up arrears in my Diary which had occurred for a considerable time previous. This irregularity from town puts every thing out of order. I also went down with Mr. Brooks to see Mrs. Sidney Brooks who has just come to town. She looks tolerably but not very well. Our visit was short and I returned to my Office to study the business of New’s Estate. Made a draught of an advertisement of the Sale and then returned to Quincy. Pursued my Catalogue in the afternoon.

Robert Buchanan this day left us. During his stay we have been much enlivened though some things in him I did not altogether like. He had become so much pleased as to depart with great regret.

My Mother was not so well today. In the Evening, my Uncle the Judge called and Abby accompanied me to visit Mrs. Danl. Greenleaf at the foot of the Hill.1 She was not at home but we spent half an hour looking at the place which is pretty. Bright Moonlight.


Daniel Greenleaf and his wife Elizabeth were cousins; they had no children. He owned the wharf on Quincy Bay from which JQA customarily swam during the summer months. See entry for 25 Oct. 1829, above, and Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family , p. 210.

Sunday. 29th. CFA Sunday. 29th. CFA
Sunday. 29th.

Morning clear and pleasant. My Mother is again down with the Erisypelas and confined to her room.

We attended divine service and heard Mr. Hedge preach both morning and afternoon. His morning discourse was upon the existence of right and wrong and the limit to which the confusion between them is justifiable. The afternoon’s was the same with that which I heard 311him deliver at Medford some time since upon eagerness for unnatural excitement, and was exceedingly well. He is one of the few among my Class for whose character and attainments I have some respect. Rarely has it fallen to man’s lot to be associated with so ordinary a mass. I could not help being struck with it on Commencement day.1 The larger part of the afternoon was occupied in continuing my Catalogue with as much rapidity as I could. But it drags nevertheless. Evening a short visit from Mr. and Mrs. Danl. Greenleaf.


That is, at the Commencement just past.