Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 27th. CFA Monday. 27th. CFA
Monday. 27th.

Very disagreeable day with snow. At the Office as usual. Passed the larger part of my time reading Gibbon and his doleful account of 249the sack of Rome and the spreading of the Barbarians over the face of the earth. It is all barren desolation. Received a very short letter from my Father merely saying that his engagements would be such, he should be entirely unable to write to me any more during this session. At the same time appointing me to the superintendence of his Affairs in Quincy, to the same extent at which I have those in Boston. I do not feel particularly pleased with the Job though it may add a trifle to my Compensation. The Cost of going out there to superintend will more than balance what I receive.1 Took a walk and then home. Afternoon I finished the Eclogues of Virgil besides writing an answer to my Fathers letter.2 This consumed my whole time.

Evening: my Wife had made an engagement to go and visit the Mother and Sisters of Mr. Frothingham.3 I accompanied her and Mr. & Mrs. F. There were several People there. I got through it pretty well. But my character is most exceedingly unfit for this kind of thing.


JQA to CFA, 20 Feb. (Adams Papers). CFA had proposed in his letter of 5 Feb. to JQA (LbC, Adams Papers) that he assume the management of JQA’s affairs in Quincy which had suffered somewhat when under the oversight of Deacon Spear. JQA’s acceptance included his agreement to CFA’s proposed charge for the service: 5 per cent “upon all Receipts from that Quarter.”


CFA to JQA (LbC, Adams Papers). For this letter, see below, entry for 7 March, note.


Mrs. Joanna Langdon Frothingham, the widow of Ebenezer and the mother of Rev. Nathaniel Frothingham, lived at 28 South Street. Her two unmarried daughters were Priscilla Langdon and Abigail Langdon, later Mrs. Thomas B. Wales ( Boston Directory, 1832–1833; Thomas B. Wyman Jr., The Frothingham Genealogy, Boston [1917], p. 42, 58, 96, 126).

Tuesday. 28th. CFA Tuesday. 28th. CFA
Tuesday. 28th.

More disagreeable weather. At the Office. Read Gibbon and had but one interruption. Mr. I. Farrar from Quincy to pay a portion of his rent. He is about to quit the Farm not at all to my regret for he is a very wretched farmer. But whether he will have a successor at all better is a question still. Took a short walk and returned home.

Afternoon, the first Georgic of Virgil. I did not quite finish it. Copied also, the letter to my Father and sent it.

Evening at Mr. Frothingham’s. A family party. P. C. B. Jr. the only one not there of those commonly present. It was pretty well. There seemed however to be some under-current. I congratulate myself that I have kept out of all difficulties arising from Jealousies, which assuredly I could not have done if I had shown the least disposition to accept the invitation to live at Medford. I regard the death of Mrs. Brooks as a great misfortune to this family. Returned home. Read 250Dryden’s Mac Flecnoe. Distinguished by his usual beauties and faults, but not so good as Absalom I think.