Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Wednesday. 16th. CFA Wednesday. 16th. CFA
Wednesday. 16th.

The Winter which has been extremely severe on the whole, is now drawing to a close. This day we had a Southerly wind accompanied with rain by which the Snow began to disappear with considerable rapidity. I arose early and after going to my Office for a moment or two, obeyed the Summons to the Supreme Court. The Judge occupied some time in charging the Jury, and a Case was interposed by the Government so that the morning was entirely wasted. I was extremely shocked however to find Mr. J. C. Park engaged in the cause1 and more so when I saw that he had summoned the Girl2 as a Witness in the case. Dr. Tuckerman3 who was also summoned exerted himself to effect a compromise to refer it to Arbitrators and the whole morning was spent in the negotiation. I went home still in doubt.

As it happened Mr. Brooks, and two of his Sons, Chardon and Horatio dined with us, and I was compelled to play the agreeable. This was perhaps quite fortunate as it kept me from thinking painfully. I returned to Court at half past three o’clock and the business appeared in so unpromising a state that I had braced myself up to an exhibition before a crowded Court of the whole melancholy Story, when by the exertion of Counsel, the case was finally referred to three Gentlemen, Messrs. Pickering, Curtis and Shaw.4 This will at least make the affair more private and I thanked God with an overflowing heart that he had 424spared me this trial. Returned home, but I had been so excited during the day that I was not able to do any thing of consequence. Evening, French with my Wife. Read to her half of the Jealous Wife,5 after which Latin Grammar and the Tatler.

1.

John C. Park, whose own marriage had been damaging to his reputation in Boston (see above, entry for 28 Nov. 1829), is not elsewhere mentioned as of counsel. Both the court docket and the Farmer-Storer Trial identify the attorneys as Samuel D. Parker for the plaintiff and Richard Fletcher for the defendant (SJC, November Term 1830, Docket No. New 104, 16 Feb. 1831, Suffolk County Court House; Farmer-Storer Trial ).

2.

Eliza Dolph; see above, entry for 21 Sept. 1829, note.

3.

Joseph Tuckerman, D.D., was minister of the Congregational Chapel in Friend Street, to whose congregation Eliza Dolph had apparently belonged and perhaps Miles Farmer also. At some time after the birth of her child, Tuckerman had been able to place Eliza Dolph in domestic service. Farmer-Storer Trial , p. 12–14, 18, 22, 28; Mass. Register, 1831.

4.

John Pickering, Charles P. Curtis, and Robert G. Shaw, all of the Boston bar, were named as referees by agreement (SJC, November Term 1830, Docket No. New 104; Farmer-Storer Trial , p. 19).

5.

An English comedy by George Colman.

Thursday. 17th. CFA Thursday. 17th. CFA
Thursday. 17th.

Morning beautifully mild and warm even. This seems to give us a taste of a new Season. I went to the Office as usual and was occupied in writing, making up my Accounts and reading. I examined the transfer book of the Boylston Market Association and draughted an Alphabetical list of Stockholders, which was perhaps needless, but I like to arrange things regularly. I read a little of Enfield which did not interest me.

Upon my return home I found Miss Abby S. Adams, who had come in at last to spend a few days with my Wife. She looks ill, though not by half so badly as one would be led to suppose from her Account of it. She appears pleased with her engagement to Mr. Angier.1 I hope it will prove fortunate with all my heart.

Evening and afternoon devoted by me to study. I continued the Orations against Verres beginning with that upon the Corn law, which I found easier than I had expected. I read also a little of Justinian’s Institutes,2 an Ode of Horace, the Grammar and the Tatler.

1.

When a few days earlier CFA wrote his father of the engagement of JQA’s niece, Abigail Smith Adams, to John Angier, who conducted a large school for boys in Medford, CFA called him “a very respectable and worthy man,” and to her brother he wrote, “we believe she has chosen well.” His comments in later entries suggest that he modified this view on further acquaintance. See CFA to JQA, 13 Feb., LbC; CFA to Thomas B. Adams Jr., 20 Feb., LbC; CFA to JQA, 28 Feb., LbC; all in Adams Papers; also Adams Genealogy.

2.

At MQA are four editions of Institutionum juris civilis expositio including one with CFA’s bookplate, Paris, 1757. At this time, however, CFA was reading a translation by George Harris, London, 1761, borrowed from the Athenaeum.

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