Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 23d. CFA Monday. 23d. CFA
Monday. 23d.

Morning at the Office. Hard frost last night by which all the vegetation must be somewhat retarded. I finished the Peruvian letters with which I have on the whole been pleased.1 The idea is purely French. The Peruvian is somewhat civilized and exceedingly delicate. 285But the observations are frequently just and the style has much of feminine sentiment. I was pleased.

My time at the Office was taken up by Accounts. Mr. Spear called to pay me from Quincy and I was thus relieved from a great deal of the pressure which I have been experiencing. Took a short walk. Joseph H. Adams came in from Quincy today for the purpose of starting for New York upon his final expedition for some time to come in this Country I hope.2 He goes out in the United States. I gave him advice, and one or two letters,3 with money enough to go to New York. This took so much of the Afternoon, that I devoted the little balance to my Catalogue.

Evening at home. My Wife having gone out to visit with her father, I read a large quantity of the Life of Napoleon and worked on my Catalogue.


See above, entry for 24 March, note.


See above, entry for 6 Jan., note.


CFA to Sidney Brooks; same to Capt. Isaac Chauncey, commandant of the navy yard at Brooklyn (both LbC’s in Adams Papers).

Tuesday. 24th. CFA Tuesday. 24th. CFA
Tuesday. 24th.

Morning clear, but the weather holds on cold. Went to the Office. But passed my time without any very clear advantage. Joseph H. Adams went off this morning. May success go with him. I have felt anxious all along for him. But now I think he is in a fair way. I. Hull remains and of him I have considerable doubt. But he seems to have the will and I hope he will acquire the power. Time taken up in Accounts.

Afternoon, went to Quincy with him. Engaged the whole afternoon in superintending the transplanting and arranging trees. I think this year and the last have done a good deal in the way of improving the old mansion. It looks more like a Gentleman’s place. It has been done at some expense but on the whole pretty economically. The distribution of the money has been fully made up by the added value to the place. It had been so suffered to fall into neglect that in a few years nothing would have answered but a complete repair, which would have been equivalent to a new house. Returned to tea.

Evening at home. Mr. & Mrs. Frothingham came in and spent an hour very pleasantly. Afterwards I felt so tired and sleepy I only read the Rambler.

Wednesday. 25th. CFA Wednesday. 25th. CFA
Wednesday. 25th.

The day was exceedingly unpleasant although considerably warmer 286than it has been. I read a little of the Letters of Ortiz, an Italian book that I purchased at Mr. Eliot’s sale.1 Went to the Office. Passed an hour in writing and Accounts after which I was obliged to go out in quest of Fuel for my House. This involved a walk to the Southern extreme of the town. And I consumed the whole of my time in it before dinner.

The afternoon was all taken up at the Boylston Market there being a Meeting of the Directors to consider the expediency of making certain repairs &ca. There was a vast deal of discussion but no great conclusion. And I had little or nothing to do but to keep myself warm which was not perfectly easy. Got away quite tired at six o’clock. I have no great fancy for this situation. It is one of some labour and no great ease. I mean by this that the manual labour is all required.

Evening, went to a small party at Mrs. P. C. Brooks’ given to Miss Fowle. It was not very agreeable yet not absolutely stupid. Returned home but read only the Rambler.


Jacob Ortiz, Ultime Lettere, 2 vols. in 1, London, 1817. CFA has inscribed the information relating to his acquisition of the book in the copy now at MQA.