Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday 21st. CFA Monday 21st. CFA
Monday 21st.

Morning clear but windy, cold and disagreeable. I continued my Catalogue and then went to the Office. Received a letter from my father informing me of the departure of my Mother from Washington and the probability of her being here some day this week. He also gives me news about the Tariff &ca. not of a very agreeable nature. He deserves credit for his very independent political course, but it is rather an injurious one in this Quarter, and likely to add to his unpopularity.1

After dinner, I went to Quincy. Found every thing in very good order. On the whole, more progress has been made in setting things right this year than during the three last. I am myself surprised at the result.2 I gave all the directions that remained to give which were not in great number, and returned home.

The Dr. pronounces the child better, and I think she is, but I still doubt the expediency of carrying her away from him. He does not however, so that I ought to be satisfied. My Wife and I paid old Mrs. Dexter a visit this evening. She is a woman of sane mind with a rather broken body. Returned home and continued Catalogue.


“I expect to report a [Tariff] Bill tomorrow; but what is to become of it and of myself for reporting it, is in the Council of higher Powers. My Bank Report extinguishes all the fire of my Southern friends. I suppose the Tariff Bill will demolish me in the North, and then —

“Why then for the Biography of the last and the Oaks of the next Century”

(JQA to CFA, 16 May, Adams Papers; 302printed in part in MHS, Procs., 2d ser., 19 [1905]:519).

LCA, on her arrival, expressed her pleasure in the changes she found at the Old House. To JQA she wrote, “I find every thing here in beautiful order and you would hardly know the Place” (26 May, Adams Papers); and to CFA, “I thank you very much for the improvements which you have made in the house which looks altogether different from what it was last year. And the Garden seems to be in fine order” (26 May, Adams Papers).

Tuesday. 22d. CFA Tuesday. 22d. CFA
Tuesday. 22d.

Cold and very windy with rain. I went to the Office and occupied myself in my usual way. Mr. Mills, the Painter from Quincy, called and I paid him more than I think he is entirely deserving of. But he is old and infirm and probably the surplus is beneficial to him so that I made no difficulties. On the contrary I corrected an error in his bill which gave him something more. Read a little of Gibbon and took a walk. Then home. Found there Horatio Brooks who dined with us. He has returned from his Voyage pretty much the same kind of a genius that he went away. About as wild.

After dinner I continued my Catalogue, until it was time to start off for Medford. This was the day that had been fixed upon by us to close up the House for the Summer and live among our friends. I hope we shall find the benefit of it.1 The day was quite raw. Mr. Brooks sent in his Carriage for my Wife and the Baby, and I went out in my Gig. We arrived to tea and had a quiet evening among our friends. I did not read my Ramblers though I do not intend to discontinue them.


“[W]hat astonishes me is that Charles has entirely broken up housekeeping shut up his Mansion and discarded all his help for the Summer” (LCA to JQA, 26 May, Adams Papers).

Wednesday 23d. CFA Wednesday 23d. CFA
Wednesday 23d.

Morning cold and cheerless. I went to town and to the House where I was quite occupied in various measures necessary previous to finally locking up all. I removed some of my Wine into my own Closet in order to see whether it would not keep better there than upstairs. Somehow or other I have made a very respectable collection of Wine. With my income this seems a little surprising and my saving as much as I have done. But with caution any thing is possible in this world. The only thing is to keep a proper attention to the adaptation of means to end beforehand.

I went afterwards to the Gallery and spent an hour very agreeably. Then to the Tremont House where I dined. Afterwards I went up to the House, superintended the departure of the last of my Servants, 303locked up the House, and proceeded to Medford. Quiet Evening. Read an Article in the Edinburgh Review upon the character of Hambden which I admired.1 Read four Ramblers today.


An essay-review of Lord Nugent’s Some Memorials of John Hampden, His Party, and His Times in Edinburgh Review, 54:505–550 (Dec. 1831).