Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 9th. CFA Tuesday. 9th. CFA
Tuesday. 9th.

Foggy morning but a very beautiful day. I remained at home all day and consumed a quantity of it in fishing in company with my Mother. We had very moderate success. Just enough to be tempted to try for more. On my return, passed an hour in comparing Text of the MS.

After dinner, my father wished me to accompany him to Braintree for the sake of taking possession of the Estate there belonging to the Judge.1 I accordingly went with him in the Carriage and the business being accomplished returned home alone. The rest of the day was short and passed in reading Lingard.

Quiet evening at home. Mr. Beale and Mr. Price Greenleaf called 376in and passed an hour. I finished the reign of John in Lingard and Idlers as usual.


JQA held a mortgage on the house and farm which TBA had owned and which was leased to Caleb Hollis (JQA, Diary, 9 Oct.).

Wednesday. 10th. CFA Wednesday. 10th. CFA
Wednesday. 10th.

Morning cloudy, but I went to town notwithstanding, for the purpose of attending to the receipt of some Wood which I purchased the other day. I went to my House but left it in charge of the Office boy, for the purpose of performing Commissions of various kinds. The time has now come to make arrangements for our return to town, in order to which the household must be engaged which is now almost done. Returned to Quincy to dine.

Afternoon passed in reading Lingard in whose book I did not make much progress from the great shortness of the day. After tea, occupied putting labels into books until eight o’clock when I went up to Mrs. Adams’. The ladies took tea there. Mrs. Angier was there from Medford. I was very quiet hearing music until it was time to return home and read Lingard in whom I get along. I like his History so far, quite well.

Thursday. 11th. CFA Thursday. 11th. CFA
Thursday. 11th.

Clouds and occasional heavy rain. I remained quietly at home occupied in reading Lingard and comparing with Hume, and in correcting Text with my father. Few men have left closer pictures of their mind in youth, than my grandfather. And to all it is a study of some interest. We came today to the place where a transition of eleven momentous years to him occurred, and where you jump from his hopes and prospects, his wishes and his discouragements, to the hour of his success and establishment in the world. Is it not a lesson. He was six and twenty in the first instance.1

Afternoon, lost my time in looking over an Account of the trial of two Mr. Sheares for Treason in Ireland in 1798.2 Cruel enough. Evening with the family. Read Dr. Granville who is a little too minute to be interesting. Lingard and Idlers afterwards.


In a small stitched booklet in which JA recorded his early reading and studies and in which he made some journal entries (D/JA/4 in the Adams Papers) there is a gap of eleven years between the entry for 20 Nov. 1761 and the next entry, that for 21 Nov. 1772. In the latter entry JA philosophized on the changes that had occurred during the interval (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:224; 2:67–68). CFA’s words here should probably not be understood to mean that at this time he and JQA had not yet come upon some or all of JA’s 377journal entries, somewhat irregularly made, during the intervening period in one or another of the booklets he used for his diary (same, 1:226, 235, 252, et seq.).


Report of the Trial for High Treason of Henry and John Sheares, Dublin, 1798.