Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday 25th. CFA Friday 25th. CFA
Friday 25th.

Morning pleasant with a warm Wind. After reading Kotzebue for a sufficient time, I went to the Office as usual and was busy as usual with my regular work after which I read a portion of the “Bibliotheque de L’Homme Public” containing Maxims of Guicciardini which on the whole did not strike me, and a part of An Analysis of the State of 16France by Seigneur du Haillan.1 I was interrupted however by An Applicant for the Transfer of a Share in the Boylston Market, and by some other little bits of business of a trifling character yet seizing time. Took a walk.

After dinner I read the rest of the Oration for Rabirius which is but a fragment, and the first Oration against Catiline. It is a little remarkable that in the first of these two, Cicero contradicts the whole of his doctrine about a future state which he adopts in that for Cluentius. This would make it appear as if he suited his Opinions to the cases he argued, a principle which I cannot quite see the correctness of.

In the evening as Mrs. Dexter had sent in to ask us to spend the evening, My Wife and I feeling refusal to be impossible, paid her a visit. Judge Ward was there.2 She is a singular Woman, but not an unpleasant or an unkind one. Returned home to read Kotzebue and the Spectator.

1.

Both the “Plusieurs advis et conseils” and “De l’état et succès des affaires de France” are in vol. 3. CFA’s comments accompany the text from Guicciardini.

2.

Artemas Ward, chief judge of the Court of Common Pleas, was married to Samuel Dexter’s sister (Winsor, Memorial History of Boston , 2:555; Boston Directory, 1831–1832).

Saturday. 26th. CFA Saturday. 26th. CFA
Saturday. 26th.

Morning delightful—The air being soft as Midsummer. After reading an hour in Kotzebue and finishing the Voyage which ended in nothing, compared to the preparation that had been made for it, I went to the Office and found there a letter from my Father covering the Certificates of the Mass. Fire and Marine Ins. Shares. I therefore went directly and obtained the repayment of one fourth part of the Capital upon my Fathers and T. B. Adams Jrs. Shares which I deposited. This business being over I went back to my Office and sat down to answer my Father’s letter which did not appear to me to be exactly the thing I wanted. He never should have meddled with that Mill. I am afraid before he has done with it, the thing will ruin him.1 In this manner I was so much occupied that I was unable to do any thing else.

Returned home, and after dinner, Started for Quincy, with my Man Benjamin. Found the House in great disorder, as they were painting it, and in setting the new Posts they had unfixed every thing about the Fence very much. I went to find Mr. Veazie and talked with him in regard to the Work to be done.2 It seems Mr. Beale has been very labouriously expressing his Opinion about these matters. I think the interference of Neighbours very gratuitous. Went up to see the 17Judge and his lady and took Tea with them. After which I returned home. The former was sick.

Stopped at Mrs. Frothingham’s where my Wife and Miss Julia Gorham were spending the Evening. After sitting a little while, returned home. Read the Spectator and retired early.

1.

JQA’s instructions were to deposit to his account in the U.S. Branch Bank both the money repaid to Thomas B. Adams Jr. from his investment in the Massachusetts Fire and Marine Insurance Co. and that portion of Abigail S. Adams’ legacy which she wished to have invested. JQA proposed to pay interest to each until the principal was called for or was otherwise invested. CFA’s assumption, probably the correct one, was that JQA intended to utilize the funds to reduce the heavy indebtedness incurred earlier in the year in unproductive speculation in flour. CFA countered therefore with arguments to support his proposal that JQA should advise Abigail S. Adams to place her funds in an annuity at the Massachusetts Life Office in trust. Further, that Thomas B. Adams Jr.’s funds should be used to meet the outstanding obligations incurred in the maintenance and repair of the Old House until the income from rentals, &c., could be built up to a sum sufficient to equal those demands, and that interest be paid to Thomas B. Adams Jr. from 1 April. JQA to CFA, 21 March; CFA to JQA, 26 March, LbC (both in Adams Papers).

2.

On George Veazie, of Quincy, carpenter, see vol. 3, entry for 29 Dec. 1830, and below, that for 8 April.