Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Friday. 17th. CFA Friday. 17th. CFA
Friday. 17th.

As this was the day destined for the Celebration of the Anniversary of the settlement of Boston, and about to produce a tremendous consequent fuss I thought it would be expedient for me to have nothing whatever to do with it.1 I have a great horror of Crowds, and if I make up my mind to attend public days always have cause to repent it. So I remained at Medford and spent my day in reading Rollin.

The weather was exceedingly cold for so early in the Season and I found it absolutely uncomfortable without a fire. Indeed I felt altogether so chilly that I was obliged to take a quick walk to get warm. This was in the direction of West Cambridge Pond which is a spot always attractive in my eyes.2 Susceptible of being improved into infinite beauty. The day except in the cold was exceedingly fine and gave animation to the spirits. These bracing days make strong frames 322stronger, and weak ones weaker. They are enemies to disease either in preventing or accelerating them. Nobody came through the day and we were very quiet.


The celebration of the 200th anniversary of the settlement of Boston began with a grand procession from the State House down Beacon Street, across the Common to Tremont Street, ending at the Old South Church. There the oration was delivered by President Josiah Quincy. The day ended with an evening party at Lt. Gov. Winthrop’s house (Boston Patriot, 16 Sept., p. 1, cols. 3–5). On JQA’s participation in the observances of the day, see his Diary, 17 Sept., and Bemis, JQA , 2:205–206.


CFA’s allusion is probably to Spy Pond in West Cambridge, which was a comfortable walk from Mystic Grove.

Saturday. 18th. CFA Saturday. 18th. CFA
Saturday. 18th.

Morning fine but rather cold—There being quite a sharp frost. I took a bath but found the water cold and the air colder so that I nearly made up my mind to stop at least for the present. Mr. Frothingham not being at Medford, I decided to ride down with Mr. Brooks. On the road he opened the conversation about his prospects for the Winter. I gave him an invitation for the Winter, which he seemed disposed to decline, and under the circumstances in which I am situated, I did not urge it.1

At the Office. Occupied all the morning in work of different sorts, time flew imperceptibly. Worked a little upon my Catalogue. Called as a return visit upon Mr. Krehmer2 and attended for a few moments an Auction.3 Besides this a little of Hutchinson. I go on slowly. Returned to Medford with Mr. Brooks. Gorham and his Wife were there to dine. They are civil to me, but I cannot forget the former’s conduct when I was differently situated. Consumed the whole afternoon in this manner. Evening passed quietly, finishing the Historical portion of Rollin’s book.


Mr. Brooks remained at Medford through the winter of 1830, moving to Boston in Nov. 1831 (Brooks, Waste Book).


Probably George Krehmer, a childhood acquaintance in St. Petersburg, who was second secretary of the Russian legation in Washington; see vol. 2:289.


Furniture, household goods, wines, hams, cigars, &c., were scheduled for auction at the Julien Auction Rooms (Boston Patriot, 17 Sept., p. 3, col. 5).

Sunday. 19th. CFA Sunday. 19th. CFA
Sunday. 19th.

Morning clear but so cool that I declined taking the Bath. I attended divine service at Mr. Stetson’s Meeting house all day and heard him deliver two Sermons upon the verse in the first Chapter of Genesis affirming that God created man after his own image. They were good although they did not satisfy me upon the nature of the passage.


My day was otherwise much wasted. I heard my Wife read French to me and afterwards went down to see Mr. Jonathan Brooks and his English Son Samuel who drank tea. The children inherit the loquacity of their father and the English branch having additional sources of information and observation is just in so much spoiled by the further ease it gives to his propensity. A little of Rollin afterwards.