Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 18th. CFA Sunday. 18th. CFA
Sunday. 18th.

Morning cloudy with an air chilly and uncomfortable. I attended divine service all day at Mr. Frothingham’s Meeting House whither I suppose I shall go in future regularly having thus started in married 49life. We heard this morning Mr. Greenwood upon the observances of the world, Courage and fortitude.1 His style is peculiar but interesting and I was interested considerably more by him than by the more musical style of Mr. Frothingham. He is practical and direct, instructing the minds of the plainest of his hearers and not below those of the most cultivated. Mr. Young in the afternoon.2 Text, “Thy Kingdom come.” He writes well and reads well, but his delivery is bad, and he has a defect in his pronunciation which materially operates upon any thing he might be able to say. But I was on the whole agreeably disappointed by him. The Boston Clergy have certainly a very high standard of style in writing introduced by the models of Mr. Everett and Mr. Buckminster.3 It now remains only to create an equal ambition to excel in Oratory. And this led me to entertain the idea of writing something upon the subject and reading for the purpose. I do not know whether I can find time for the purpose but I certainly have the disposition, and something I must soon do I think is certain.

I passed the remainder of the day and evening in reading the Preface to Jeremy Taylor’s Life of Christ which I read twice over with great care. It deserves the perusal, being an argument in support of Christianity as being derived from the principles of Natural Law originally fixed by the Creator and being therefore the revival among men of those feelings which time and corruption had obscured. He argues that the world was established only with two Laws—The love of God, which leads man to be holy and pious, the love of our Neighbour which leads us to act with justice and creates our other social duties, and the love of ourselves which teaches prudence and sobriety. This last however is only subsequent. Thus my evening was useful and I felt better for it. Conversation with Abby and some Chapters in the New Testament before retiring.

1.

Francis W. P. Greenwood was minister at King’s Chapel (Unitarian), Tremont and School streets ( Mass. Register, 1830).

2.

Rev. Alexander Young Jr. held the pulpit of the New South Church (Unitarian) on Summer Street; see DAB .

3.

Edward Everett, before his academic and political careers opened, was, from 1813 to 1815, the successor to Joseph S. Buckminster as minister at the Brattle Street Church (Unitarian). On both, see DAB . For a brief account of the leading figures in the contemporary Unitarian clergy in Boston, including Greenwood and Young as well as Buckminster and Everett, see Winsor, Memorial History of Boston , 3:475–476.

Monday. 19th. CFA Monday. 19th. CFA
Monday. 19th.

Morning at the Office. Weather exceedingly warm and for the season a little unusual. I went down this morning and attended a meeting of the Stockholders of the State Bank in order to satisfy my-50self in regard to the condition of the Company.1 Much excitement has been produced in the Community by the omission of this Bank to make any Dividend this Season. The losses of the Bank have been very heavy and a Committee was raised in order to inquire into them and produce the result which they did. The losses have been considerable and owing to the state of the times, not unattended however with some negligence on the part of the Directors. To punish this negligence an attempt was made to remove the present Board of Directors and elect an entirely new Set. I did not very well see the expediency of such a measure, as it seemed to me hazardous to bring an entirly new set into the management of a Capital so large as this, at a time when all property of this kind is in very depressed circumstances, but I thought it would be expedient to make a partial change in order to serve as a warning to the old Directors, and to bring in some new who had a deeper interest in the Capital Stock of the Company—It being a singular fact that six of the Directors have but forty two shares in the aggregate. That is to say that one half the board own about 2500 dollars in a Capital of 1800,000. I voted therefore eight of the old Board with four others of the New List whom I supposed to possess the most Capital in the Company.

This took much of the morning, the rest was spent in a Call upon Mr. Brooks, where I talked about things in general, and in Conversation with Thomas B. Adams Jr. who called and sat with me for an hour or so. He returns to Charleston, leaving this tomorrow, his furlough being about to expire. I was unable to do any thing this afternoon as he again called at my house shortly after I had commenced my afternoon’s occupation and remained until after tea. He came to take leave of Abby before going away. I know too well what it is, not to feel somewhat sympathizing for him. Passed the evening with Abby at Mr. Frothingham’s, and enjoyed much a little Supper which we had.

1.

JQA owned at this time sixty shares and CFA seven shares of stock in the State Bank. They had been purchased at par: $60 a share. See vol. 2:286 and M/CFA/3.