Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

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

The morning was tolerably fair but cloudy, and it rained shortly afterwards. I received, upon arriving in town, a letter from my Mother 304at New York stating the reasons why the journey was delayed and mentioning the probable time of their arrival.1 But judging from the weather I did not expect her so concluded to return to Medford. My time was somewhat cut up in fritters by Commissions of several kinds and Accounts.

Returned to Medford to dine and passed a very quiet peaceable time in the afternoon. Our stay here has been a singular one. For we have had scarcely any thing but rain since we came. I walked about the Garden and made some inquiries about the box, a poor attempt at resetting which I have made at Quincy. Read the discussion of the affairs of England for 1830 in the American Register, written by my Father.2 It bears his mark. The more I think of it, the more I am astonished at the power of his mind. And its extent which has no equal in this or perhaps any Country.

Evening, we went by invitation to take Tea with Mr. and Mrs. Angier, and passed the time until nine o’clock. Mr. Stetson, and Mr. L. Angier were there. Returned in a heavy rain.

1.

LCA to CFA, 23 May (Adams Papers).

2.

See above, entry for 26 Oct. 1831.

Sunday. 27th. CFA Sunday. 27th. CFA
Sunday. 27th.

Heavy and continued rain all day. I remained at home as the Carriage was full going to Church in the morning. Most of my day was spent in reading the American Register which however does not equal in other parts that of my father’s. I got hold of the Memoirs of Miss Hawkins the daughter of Sir John Hawkins.1 They are trifling but not uninteresting.

It is an object of sincere regret that I cut up my time so much to waste. But I can do nothing. The avenues seem at present all stopped up. I have no friendly faces to encourage me to exertion, and not natural confidence enough to carry me on without them. I do not improve myself sufficiently. I do not give forth what I believe to be in me. The evening passed as the day did.

1.

The edition at MQA of Laetitia Matilda Hawkins’ Memoirs, Anecdotes, Facts, and Opinions, 2 vols., London, 1824, has the signature of Horatio Brooks on the titlepage of the first volume. It would seem likely that CFA found the work among the books at Mystic Grove, had not finished reading it when he left Medford, and took it with him to Quincy.

Monday. 28th. CFA Monday. 28th. CFA
Monday. 28th.
Quincy

The morning was cloudy but much more like Spring. I went to town accompanied by Horatio Brooks. My time at the Office was taken up in 305reading my father’s last Report upon the Domestic policy. I must confess that I have been dreading this considerably and find myself on the whole very much gratified and agreeably disappointed. It contains a clear and conclusive argument in favour of the system, while it concedes to the agitation of the South as much as it reasonably can, not because they are right in their demands, but for the sake of peace and harmony. On the whole, whatever the result may be, I must say, my father has exalted himself prodigiously in my opinion. There is a high souled independence in his course which suits my particular temper exactly.1

Not having received any Note or intimation of my Mother’s arrival, I was in doubt as to what was proper to be done.2 After consideration, I decided upon going at all events. The Road was shocking. But I arrived and found my Mother very quietly settled since Saturday night. Passed the rest of the day with her in conversation about one thing and another.3 Rode up to Mrs. T. B. Adams’ with her, to pay a visit, and spent the evening quietly. Remained at Quincy for the night.

1.

The report of the Committee on Manufactures submitted to the House on 23 May was printed in the Daily National Intelligencer on the 24th (p. 2–3). In its account of the session, the Intelligencer reported JQA’s remarks which accompanied the presentation: “With respect to the report itself, which the Committee had indulged him (Mr. A.) with permission to present, it was to be considered an expression of his views alone. Different members, he added, approved different parts of the report, but there was, perhaps, no member of the Committee who approved the whole of it, except the reporter of it himself” (25 May, p. 2, col. 6). The Report later appeared as a pamphlet. A “First Draught,” dated 23 May and chiefly in JQA’s hand, is in the Adams Papers.

2.

Delivery of LCA’s letter to CFA of 26 May (Adams Papers) announcing her arrival at Quincy was apparently delayed.

3.

Undoubtedly the conversation was in part on political questions. Next day LCA wrote to Mrs. JA2, “Mr. A—s is quite knocked up here it seems and will probably not be sent again. His Report is not admired and it is all over with him” (29 May, Adams Papers).