Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Friday. October 1st. CFA Friday. October 1st. CFA
Friday. October 1st.

This is the finest season of the year with us. The weather is clear though cold in the mornings and evenings, and the air has an elasticity very strengthening to the frame. I went to the Office and was busy for the greater part of the morning in making up my several Accounts for myself, my father and the Estate of R. New. This and an expedition to obtain a Stove which I completed consumed much time.

The balance was spent upon the new Number of the North American Review in which my Article does not appear and upon the Appendix to Hutchinson containing the Sketch of Plymouth History. I feel a little hurt with Mr. Everett for not inserting it according to promise, but my hands have now little power to resent even if I had the disposition so to do.

Returned home and after dinner passed my time as usual in reading Cicero. This book about Invention in its Rhetorical Sense has much merit as a Work though difficult in these times perfectly to comprehend. It has given me already new ideas upon the extent to which the 331disposition of materials may be mechanically ordered. And I hope it will not fail in the advantage it can confer if properly used to a practical end.1 Continued Corinne with Abby and Mason’s Memoir of Gray. A book more agreeable than I had anticipated. Two hours passed afterwards upon Horn Tooke’s Diversions of Purley.2


Word editorially supplied.


JQA’s copy of John Horn Tooke, The Diversions of Purley, 2 vols., Phila., 1807, is in MQA.

Saturday. 2d. CFA Saturday. 2d. CFA
Saturday. 2d.

Morning delightful. Went to the Office. Occupied a considerable time in making out my Accounts, and in preparing a statement of New’s affairs which is to be used at the sale on Wednesday, to finish this I was compelled to go down to the Office of the Assessors to obtain the schedule of Taxes chargeable to the Estates. And I did not complete the business before my father came in, after which he kept me at work in various little errands all the morning. So that I found exceeding little time to myself.

Returned home and found my Mother at my House, the first time she has come to town since she came to this part of the Country. I was of course glad to see her and she dined with us while my father went to Isaac P. Davis’. The afternoon was wasted as I did not feel as if I ought to leave her and pursue my occupations. We waited until after tea, and then concluded to go out with them and spend the Sunday at Quincy. The evening was very fine, the Moon beautiful and we arrived safe and sound in due time, at the old Mansion.

Sunday. 3d. CFA Sunday. 3d. CFA
Sunday. 3d.

Morning clear but cold with a blustering wind which reminded us strongly of the approach of Winter. I copied a letter for my father,1 and held some subsequent conversation with him upon the project of electing him to Congress. He does not disappoint me as I wish he had done. His is not the highest kind of greatness. And much as he may try to conceal his feeling under the cloak of patriotic inclination; My eye is a little too deep to be blinded by the outside. I regret the decision on his account. I regret it upon my own. To neither of us can it prove beneficial to be always struggling before the public without rest or intermission.

Went to Meeting and heard Mr. Whitney preach a couple of Sermons during the day which were dry and dull as usual. He is a per-332severing speaker of nothings. After service in the Afternoon, my father and I went to ride in the gig, round to the Mount Wollaston Estate. He went out in search of Acorns, and left me shivering in the Gig. I felt less partiality for the place this time. It is cold and bleak, and what are my ideas but vanity and vexation of spirit. I have no motive to hope for perpetuating the property.

Felt glad to return home, and after tea walked to the Judge’s, my Uncle’s. Saw him and the young ladies, but Mrs. Adams had gone to Haverhill. Passed an hour in conversation, and then did my regular Quarterly business, after which I returned to read two Articles in the Quarterly Review before retiring.


Probably a letter from JQA to William Plumer Jr. at Epping, N.H., dated 30 Sept., which is in CFA’s hand in JQA’s letterbook (Adams Papers). The letter relates in some detail JQA’s controversy with the New England Federalists (see above, entry for 31 Oct. 1829, note 4).