Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Sunday. 12th. CFA Sunday. 12th. CFA
Sunday. 12th.

Fine morning although we had a sea fog for half an hour. I attended the divine service all day and heard Mr. Capen of South Boston preach. I have gone back again in my habit of attention in Church since giving up the practice of examining the Text. I regret it but then what can be done? The generality of the Clergy who preach at Quincy certainly have exceeding little to attract any one—Manner very poor, and matter somewhat common place. This was not the case however with Mr. Capen.


I read a little of the second volume of Oliver Cromwell, and in the Afternoon continued my attempt to consider the Sermon on the Mount. This may prove a beneficial exercise to me. Miss Smith and Miss E. C. Adams dined here. Dr. Stevenson called to see the Baby and Mrs. Adams, on his road to Plymouth. Evening Mr. and Mrs. Miller, Miss Smith and Miss Adams paid a visit.

Monday. 13th. CFA Monday. 13th. CFA
Monday. 13th.

Fine morning and clear, warm day. I went to town and was engaged during the morning in my usual manner. Nothing of particular consequence took place. Finished the book of Major Hordynski upon Poland. I think I have gained a good deal of information as to the detail of military operations during the war, and a general notion of the causes and consequences of the struggle. This author does not seem at all to comprehend the real motives of action in any party. He limits himself to that which would probably interest his readers while it is more convenient to himself. I never thought that Poland could stand alone against Russia. My only real wonder is that France, who knew that a war with her was impending, did not assist her.

Dined at the Tremont House and from thence to the Boylston Market to meet a Committee upon Rents and Leases; which Committee took up the Afternoon. I returned to Quincy and passed a quiet evening. Mr. T. Greenleaf and Miss Greenleaf paid a visit.

Tuesday. 14th. CFA Tuesday. 14th. CFA
Tuesday. 14th.

My Child has completed her first year. She has on the whole enjoyed a remarkable share of health and has given as little anxiety to her Parents as any infant so young could. May the blessing of Heaven rest on her progress.1

I went to town. The day was exceedingly warm. My morning was engrossed by a visit to my House and some trifling interruptions. I also had time to read several criminal trials among which that of the Queen of England. It is one of the historical monuments of that reign. I do not imagine that there can be much doubt of her guilt but the extenuation is to be found in the character of her husband. What morality can a King require in any body around or under him that he is not willing himself to practise?2

I dined at the Tremont house and from thence went to a Meeting of Directors of the Boylston Market according to adjournment. The afternoon was consumed by them in considering the new rate of rents, and 346they concluded upon an advance of about eleven hundred dollars. It now remains to be seen how the Tenants will like such a rise.

Returned to Quincy in the evening and after taking a solitary Tea, I went up into town to Mrs. T. B. Adams where the family had gone. Quiet evening. Mr. Gourgas was at home and was quite agreeable. Returned home at nine, and after a little conversation with my Father, and two Adventurers, retired.


LCA’s letters during the summer provide a picture of LCA2’s health, appearance, and progress at the end of her first year: “She is a singular looking Child.... Her eyes are very dark her hair light and the form of her head exactly like your Fathers” (to JA2, 2 June); “the peculiar formation of her head seems to occasion some uneasiness to her father as the Dr. who attended her in Boston seems to think she will cut her teeth hard and that her head will be much affected in consequence” (to JQA, 6 June); “she has superb eyes but they indicate high temper and want sweetness” (to Mrs. JA2, 10 July); “your Father calls Abby’s Baby a giant” (to JA2, 27 July); “we found she had cut three teeth last week without our knowing it. She is the picture of health but is so fat she has no idea of walking” (to Mrs. JA2, 13 Aug.; all the letters in Adams Papers).


CFA’s words and the fact that his historical reading at this time was in the 17th century make it clear that the reference is to Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II.