Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 12th. CFA Tuesday. 12th. CFA
Tuesday. 12th.

We were exceedingly surprised this morning upon awaking to find the ground covered with snow, and a pretty thick drifting storm. After having had so much mild and agreeable weather, this was a very disagreeable return of Winter. The sky cleared however at Noon and the melting process began quickly.


I went to the Office. Not interrupted materially so that in the course of the morning, I accomplished all the principal Articles in the North American Review, which appears to me but a poor number. None of the vigour of good writing. Not much else accomplished. As the snow was still partially to be seen, I concluded it would not be worthwhile to go to Quincy today as I should be unable to accomplish any thing for which I should go.

Remained in my study and pursued the study of the Oratio pro domo sua, which I concluded, but as I propose to review it with more care I shall postpone remark upon it. Pursued Parry in the evening and finished the Account of the third Voyage. He certainly has earned the reputation of a bold and indefatigable Navigator. Read afterward, a part of Captn. Ross’s Voyage in 18191 and the usual Numbers, finishing the first Volume of the Spectator.


Sir John Ross, A Voyage of Discovery ... for the Purpose of Exploring Baffin’s Bay, and Enquiring into the Possibility of a North-West Passage, London, 1819.

Wednesday. 13th. CFA Wednesday. 13th. CFA
Wednesday. 13th.

Morning fine at last, though uncommonly cool for the season. After an hour’s progress in Aeschines, I went to the Office and having no particular occupation to distract me, I did pretty well in my study of Montesquieu. I find many more questionable propositions than I thought. But the fund of actual thought contained in this Author is prodigious. He is one of the few writers who does understand the relative value of thoughts and words, therefore he uses none of the latter which do not correspond to something he has of the former.

I went home early today as this was an opportunity, the first good one I have had for some time, of going to Quincy. After an early dinner, I started with my Man, Benjamin, and we were very busy all day in working upon different parts of the Garden. I first cleared away the rose bushes in front of the House and then commenced the very necessary work of transplanting some of the English Oaks and the Elms which had been suffered to grow in the Nursery ever since I set them there. My only difficulty was to find place to put them, our limits being rather scanty. I again tried the drying ground being the third effort. We accomplished a good deal though not all I wished. We were busy until dark, when I got in my Gig and drove to the Judge’s to accomplish my business there. Sorry to find Miss Abby quite ill and discouraged. But I could not stay to console her, so drove home to Boston, which I barely reached by nine o’clock. Fatigued, so that I 28accomplished little in Ross, and began the second Volume of the Spectator.