Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Wednesday. 3rd. CFA Wednesday. 3rd. CFA
Wednesday. 3rd.

This was the day fixed for the sale of the Wood at Weston. But it looked so cloudy and dark in the morning that I hesitated much about going. At last I concluded that it would be advisable to go if only to stop the sale in time, if bad attendance or weather should cause any necessity for such course. Stopped for Richardson who was ready to go, and arrived there by ten. The sale had commenced, but the Company was large and responsible so that I felt no necessity to do any thing but look on. It was managed with a great deal more expedition than last year. And on the whole was as favourable to my father. The usual ceremony of dinner was performed at which I had an appetite for the rough fare greater than I do on common occasions for the best of food. I stopped the sale at about half past three o’clock when we returned to the House,1 having done enough for one day. The necessary appendage of Tea followed which in the neatness of it’s arrangement pleased me exceedingly. But we delayed too long, for I barely got to Richardson’s House to save him from the rain, which came on with greater violence every minute, and I had for the rest of the time a dark and wet time of it. When I reached home, I was pretty well in the 355Water. Having changed my Clothes, I felt heated and fatigued, and unable to do any thing. So I retired early.


That is, to the farmhouse on the Weston property; see entry for 18 Sept. 1829, above.

Thursday. 4th. CFA Thursday. 4th. CFA
Thursday. 4th.

Morning clear after the Storm, though I felt heated and with a slight cold which did not do much to make me comfortable. Went to the Office where I spent some time in writing my Journal and looking over the sales of wood at Weston last year, from which I find that the one held yesterday will probably be considerably more productive than I had supposed. But as yet I have no evidence to judge certainly by.

My time passed in correcting and writing over passages of my Article. Returned home and after dinner, occupied myself in writing over what I had attempted to mature. The defence of the Puritans I have altered considerably, and put a little more care in it as it is the part of the whole which may be most questioned. I hope it will look like a good chain of reasoning at least if many people should hesitate about its soundness.

I was interrupted by the arrival of my father from Quincy who came in to be present at the marriage of Wm. Lee to Mrs. McLean.1 He took occasion to speak to me of my Mother who is suffering from loneliness ever since the departure of her family from Quincy. He is fearful, she may be sick which would not do. I am desirous of doing what I can to prevent it, and therefore asked my Wife to write out an Invitation to come and stay here for a few days.2 I hope she will do this, as she seems unwilling to have us go there. My father went at eight and I read Corinne with my Wife until nine. After which I was writing all the evening.


At six o’clock at 44 Beacon Street, the home of Mrs. Ann Amory (widow of John) McLean, Mrs. McLean and William Lee, a widower, were married. Both had been friends of JQA “in the heyday of youth before either of them was first married.” The bride, aged 57, was the youngest of the numerous Amory clan whom JQA called “social companions of my youth”; the groom, closer to JQA’s age, was a friend from their days in the foreign service. The occasion gave to JQA the opportunity to see once again many of his contemporaries with whom he had been out of touch (vol. 1:50; JQA, Diary, 4 Nov.; NEHGR , 10:65 [Jan. 1856]). The passage from JQA’s journal entry relating to the wedding is printed in A Yankee Jeffersonian, Cambridge, 1958, p. 233–234, being a selection from William Lee’s diary and letters edited by Mary Lee Mann.


Letter missing.

Friday. 5th. CFA Friday. 5th. CFA
Friday. 5th.

Morning clear and cold. Went to see the Tenements which are 356undergoing pretty thorough repair. The middle one strange to say does not let though the cheapest. Perhaps the difference is great but I confess I do not see it. Thence to the Office where my time was passed in writing, correcting my Article and reading Monsieur Meisel who is not very entertaining. On the whole I begin to feel as if I ought to hurry upon my reading of Law or German. My anxiety about my Mother is now very considerable and was increased rather by her not sending us any answer nor coming today.

The afternoon passed in my writing in continuation and with the aid of a small part of the evening finishing my Copy of the Article. I have now read, studied, and copied it so much that I feel in perfect disgust with it. But my pains ought not to go without some result now. So I am glad I have finished it. It shall with the blessing of Heaven, be sent on Monday to take it’s chance.

I read French with my Wife, and tried to read a little Poetry, but a message from Chardon Brooks’ wife about Horatio drove me to Edward Brooks to ascertain the true state of the case. Found as usual the thing was clear exaggeration. Read two numbers of the Tatler.