Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 4th. CFA Tuesday. 4th. CFA
Tuesday. 4th.

Morning doubtful but the present is an uncommonly mild time. I forgot yesterday to mention a Meeting of the Directors of the Middlesex Canal at Mr. W. Appleton’s Office1 upon the reduction of rates. The question was upon receiving the report of the Committee in favour of an agreement with the Concord and Boston Boating Company, by which they may be able to reduce their amount of freight. I assented to the proposal as an experiment but I am somewhat inclined to think that at this moment when the cry is out against Corporations, it is rather injudicious to both for one to throw a monopoly into the hands of the other. Nobody however expressed any such opinion. This ought to have been in yesterday’s record.

I did very little but in the way of Accounts this morning. The Judge came up and I settled with him, and my Clients told me their business 396was settled, for which I am glad. I went to take a walk. My Wife is quite unwell and I feel for her. Afternoon reading the Orator which I still find great difficulty in understanding. My spirits are somehow or other very middling. Why, I cannot conceive for I have enough to be thankful for. But my progress is not what I want it to be. Evening, reading Evelina and French, after which I made considerable progress in my Catalogue and read the Tatler.


The counting room of William Appleton, a director of the Middlesex Canal Company, was at 54 State Street ( Boston Directory, 1831–1832).

Wednesday. 5th. CFA Wednesday. 5th. CFA
Wednesday. 5th.

Morning very mild but inclining to rain, which came in torrents in the course of the afternoon. I went to the Office and received a letter from my Father very short, authorizing me to do what I liked about the Stone posts at Quincy.1 Mr. Brown called to see me about some Shares of the Suffolk Insurance Office which I wanted and after conversation I agreed upon taking twelve for myself and three for T. B. Adams Jr. and thus getting rid of his balance. This is an attempt on my part, to make use of the floating balance of Money in my hands. I am sensible that there is hazard in it, and it may lead to much more and looser risks. This must be regulated by my Judgment.2 Mr. Curtis called to pay me my Fees for Mr. Boylston’s Estate and I obtained the Dividends upon different Stocks. The Tenants pay amazing slowly this Quarter.

Took a walk and returned home to dine at P. Chardon Brooks’s. Found my Wife so unwell she could not go, so I went alone. Mr. Brooks was there and our dinner was agreeable enough. Returned home and read the Orator which is excessively hard and technical. It requires severe reviewing. Evening, read Evelina to my Wife and after she retired, prosecuted my Catalogue and read two Numbers of the Tatler.


JQA to CFA, 30 Dec. 1830, Adams Papers.


The shares were bought at $38.66 each. The funds for Thomas B. Adams Jr.’s investment were derived from the distribution made by the executors of the estate of JA. CFA’s investment was made largely from funds on hand in the Robert New estate, a part of which represented CFA’s compensation as executor (M/CFA/3; M/CFA/9). On the apparent impropriety, uncharacteristic of CFA, see further, the following entry.

Thursday. 6th. CFA Thursday. 6th. CFA
Thursday. 6th.

Morning very bright and clear, but somewhat colder than it has been. I went to the Office as usual and passed my time reading and 397occupied with my affairs which plague me not a little. I have left myself with rather too small a balance to do any thing, and I believe on the whole this shall be the last time I ever make such difficult experiments. If I did not feel every day the necessity of so extending my means as to meet the prospect of increased expenses, I should not expose myself to such straits, but I will not ask my father for any thing more, and I feel too much pride to think of being any farther assisted by my Wife’s. It is true my progress must be slow, but if I see the means of helping myself I feel as if I ought to use them reasonably. I have inquired of my Father whether he would invest his money which he has declined doing so that it lies in my hands together with New’s, without any call or use. Now I invest it to secure a Dividend in April and if by that time I cannot pay for the Stock out of my Income, to sell some other stock which may be likely to be less profitable.

I read a good deal of Enfield and reviewed the whole doctrine of Plato, which I am glad to know a little better. At one I returned home, as we were invited to go to Medford, and started with Mrs. Frothingham, my Wife and Chardon Brooks in the Carriage. Our ride was pleasant and we found there Mr. Gorham Brooks and his Wife with Mrs. Everett and Miss Phillips. The dinner was as usual, and we returned home after which I read Evelina to Abby, continued my Catalogue and read two numbers of the Tatler.