Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 2d. CFA Monday. 2d. CFA
Monday. 2d.

The weather is fine, but the continuance of the heat without rain is a trying thing for vegetation. I find many of the young trees which I have transplanted heretofore, begin to give evident signs of distress. One of my greatest vexations is the loss of so many fine young trees.

Went to town this morning and was occupied in drawing up Accounts for the beginning of the new Quarter. Struck my own balances and found my affairs just about as I expected. Had a little conversation 323with Mr. Peabody about this Tariff bill. He says it is a little more satisfactory to all parties than was expected. I hope it will not prove the bugbear that men’s imaginations have made it. Returned to Quincy.

Read in the Afternoon part of the book of Consolation to Marcia, and as my father is now likely soon to come home I thought I would set down and write. But I did not satisfy myself at all. It is very disheartening to labour so much with so little profit. Quiet evening at home.

Tuesday. 3d. CFA Tuesday. 3d. CFA
Tuesday. 3d.

Another cloudy morning followed by a very bright day. I went to Boston again as it was about the commencement of the Quarter and persons might come in. There were but one or two however who did. My time was devoted as usual to a parcel of trifles. I walked down to the Old Theatre for the purpose of seeing some Pictures there for sale.1 The owner seemed disposed to puff them as exceeding fine, but I saw nothing in them attractive to me. He did not appear to meet with much success. Returned to the Office and then called to see Mr. Brooks with whom I passed twenty minutes in pleasant conversation. Then went back to Quincy.

Afternoon, I took a bath in the Salt water, read a little of Seneca, continued my article and read a little of Ludlow’s Memoirs.2 Evening quiet at home.


The sale of “elegant oil paintings” was advertised to take place “at the Saloon of the Federal street Theatre” (Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 3 July, p. 3, col. 5).


The Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, one of the regicides, was composed during his long exile spent at Vevay. Its first appearance was in an edition published there in 3 vols., 1698–1699. This is the edition now at MQA with JQA’s bookplate. Volume 3 of an Edinburgh, 1751, edition is among JA’s books at the Boston Public Library ( Catalogue of JA’s Library , p. 152).

Wednesday. 4th. CFA Wednesday. 4th. CFA
Wednesday. 4th.

Fine clear morning though much cooler than it has been for some days back. As this was the usual day of festival, I remained quietly at home. Last year, we had a day of great heat and noise, which for my own part I must confess I do not relish, as I did this today.

Occupied all the morning upon my Article which I at length finished. Took half an hour to go up and see my Tenants at Penn’s hill to whom I presented my bills but got no money from them. At any rate this part of my duty is done. Returned and got the intelligence of the appearance of the Cholera in New York.1 This will renew the 324Alarm here, although that has already been so pressed that man’s nature generally re-acts into confidence. My Mother has been for some days in a state of great and distressing anxiety on account of my brother’s child, Mary Louisa, whose disorders seem to have settled in her eyes, and produce excessive suffering. Indeed the whole house experiences the consequence, particularly at night.

Afternoon, I read a good deal of Seneca’s Consolation to Marcia. His pictures are too laboured. He dwells on what he thinks a striking thought until he has gone into every detail, and in fact wears it entirely out. Evening quiet. Elizabeth C. Adams was here at tea, and my wife and I accompanied her in her walk home.


Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 4 July, p. 2, col. 2.