Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Thursday. 22d. CFA Thursday. 22d. CFA
Thursday. 22d.

I accomplished more this morning than usual before going to the Office, and my library in which my servant had made a Fire was so comfortable I regretted exceedingly to leave it. At the Office my time 53was better spent than usual as I completed a considerable portion of Marshall on the nature of Warranty in Insurance notwithstanding a number of interruptions from various people, some calling for Money, others about the Tenement which Orcutt is about to vacate. This seems to be in much demand as no less than three people have been this morning for it in addition to others heretofore. The only danger in these cases is as to the admission of persons of doubtful character or credit, no security being required. I saw a person today whom I should be willing to admit, as she looked tolerably respectable. The morning passed in this manner rapidly until I found it had reached the time when I promised to go to Medford with Abby. I was obliged therefore to hurry home and found myself just in time. We had a pleasant though a cold ride, as I had not clothed myself as a man should in these times. But in walking in the sun in town, the weather is deceptive. We found Mr. and Mrs. Brooks as usual, Chardon and his Wife, and Mr. Burnap, the Clergyman in Baltimore, a very disagreeable man.1 My appetite was somewhat improved by the Country Air, and on the whole we did justice to the fare. Judge and Mrs. Lyman of Northampton came in after dinner and passed the afternoon.2 They are friends of Mr. and Mrs. Brooks and he is an agreeable and gentlemanly man. At this season the sun sets early and as Abby was desirous of returning home before night, we started at about sunset, and stopping only a moment at Mr. Everett’s to find them not at home, we reached our own house to take Tea and for me afterwards to read a little of La Harpe with the usual five Chapters of St. Luke.

1.

Rev. George Washington Burnap, a distant kinsman of Peter C. Brooks, was a nephew of Massachusetts governor John Brooks (d. 1825); see vol. 1:238, 2:155; JQA, Diary, 26 Aug. 1827; Brooks, Farm Journal, 26 Aug. 1827, 22 Oct. 1829.

2.

Probably Levi Lyman, chairman of commissioners and register of deeds, Hampshire co. ( Mass. Register, 1829).

Friday. 23d. CFA Friday. 23d. CFA
Friday. 23d.

Morning fine, with the ground covered with a brilliant white frost, which in it’s appearance resembled snow. At the Office, Mr. Orcutt called to ask me about the applications for his house and to remonstrate against the admission of a certain Mrs. Wells one of the applicants.1 I cut him short being obliged to go according to appointment to see Mrs. Lewis. She commenced as all Tenants do by abusing the House and finished by requiring repairs and a diminution of rent. The lease of this House by Dr. Lewis expires on the 13th of December, and the rent has hitherto been punctually and fully paid. Rents have fallen and I think it myself very doubtful whether this House could 54longer be let at it’s present rate.2 I promised however to refer the matter to my father. On returning to my Office, I found two applicants for the Tenement, both anxious to take it, and having heard a very good character of Mrs. Wells from Dr. Lewis who offered to be bound for her rent, I thought this better evidence than Orcutt’s and so admitted her, so that this Tenement has not been a moment on my hands. Should I make arrangements with Mrs. Lewis, the House and Store in Court Street will be the only things left 3 of my anticipated trouble. I had time also to read a portion of Marshall, but not with steady or fixed attention. Afternoon at home, reading La Harpe on the Writings of Demosthenes and Cicero, subject of eloquence. I attempted a commencement of my project but was dissatisfied with the result. Continued my Catalogue. Miss Julia Gorham took tea here after which I read the account of the Cat tribe in the Library of Entertaining Knowledge.

1.

Mrs. M. Wells did become the occupant of Tenement No. 3 at 101 Tremont Street, remaining until 13 Aug. 1830. Her monthly rent of $12.50 was, in general, paid promptly (M/CFA/3).

2.

Dr. Winslow Lewis, the husband or son of Mrs. Harriet Lewis, was unsuccessful in securing a reduction in the annual rental of $450 for the house at 105 Tremont Street. When the house became vacant, CFA was able on 1 April 1830 to obtain a rental of only $375 (M/CFA/3).

3.

Word omitted in MS.