Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 3d. CFA Monday. 3d. CFA
Monday. 3d.

Morning clear and fine. I rode to town accompanied by T. B. Adams Jr. My time was taken up in a great variety of occupations as usual. Arranging my Accounts and paying such of them as I found due, and brought to me. Then to the House, then to see Mrs. Frothingham and Mr. Brooks. And some time upon various Commissions intrusted to me.

Dined at Mr. Frothingham’s and had a pleasant conversation with him. Attended the Meeting of the Directors of the Boylston Market Association, Messrs. Williams and Child the only ones present. I drew up the records and completed the business that was waiting my presence to form a Quorum. Conversed a little about the Antimasonic proceedings in relation to the Presidency and the Governorship. This party is under bad guidance here. Returned to my Office where I met Thomas, and we proceeded to Quincy again. Evening with the 151Ladies. I was overfatigued. Read one of Bacon’s Essays and the Spectator.

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

The morning was clear but an East wind soon blew up the Clouds for a Storm. I thought I would try a little fishing this morning and so went down. The tide was high and my success was tolerably good. The fish now begin to run up.1 Returned at noon and wrote my Diary. This is not the detail of a very satisfactory morning, but one thing may be considered, I do not spend many such.

Afternoon. Read the remainder of the twelfth book of Letters to Atticus. They are very short and relate rather to business, particularly to the purchase of Gardens wherein to build a monument to his daughter. It is remarkable to notice how earnestly he was engaged in this scheme. In our day, these things are little considered of. Read Bacon’s Essay Of Beauty, and Attended a Party at Mr. Beale’s given to Miss Roberdeau. The usual Quincy Company. Mr. B. came out very handsomely with a Supper Table.2 Returned home, read my Spectators and went to bed.


JQA recorded that the fishing party was “at the Creek” (Diary, 4 Oct.), that is, Black’s Creek, a tidal inlet to the north and east of the Old House.


In the course of Mary Roberdeau’s stay in Quincy, George Beale became an attentive admirer. Within the family circle, some expectation of a proposal of marriage was entertained, but that point was not reached before the end of her visit. LCA to Mrs. JA2, 4, 18, and 26 Oct.; LCA to CFA, 30 Sept. i.e. Oct. (all in Adams Papers).

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

Dark with drizzle and an Easterly Wind. Arose late. I spent my morning in a variety of ways. Completed my Journal in the first place. Then took a turn to the Wharf to fish but found the Tide had been too quick for me. Wet my feet in trying to get bait without effect. Got back and after changing my dress, read the letters of Pacificus and Helvidius upon the proclamation of neutrality. Also, more of the Debates in the Massachusetts Convention. All the talent in the State was arrayed in its favour, against the majority perhaps in numbers. Had the objections been better conducted the decision would perhaps have been less fortunate.

After dinner read part of the 13th book of Cicero’s letters to Atticus, but the afternoons are growing so short that the progress in them is not so great. Read also Bacon’s Essay, of Deformity. Conversation with my father upon Politics, and then we all went to Mrs. Baxter’s 152party. Few or no Quincy People but some from Milton. It was quite handsome though dull. My father and I walked home and I read the Spectator.