Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 29th. CFA Friday. 29th. CFA
Friday. 29th.

The heavy rain continues though with little Wind. I am anxious for my father’s family who must be somewhere upon the Road. Resumed the reading of Demosthenes and made rapid progress in it. The Text is easier than that of Aeschines which I mastered more slowly but more thoroughly. At the Office where after my usual occupations, I continued my Article which I am trying to make able. Col. J. B. Davis called upon me and I agreed to send it to him. Attended a Meeting of the Bar of Suffolk for the first time.1 It was upon the application of a person for admission and of another for dismission.

Returned home and in the Afternoon, read the remainder of the Oration for Plancius. On the whole, this pleases me particularly. The tone of it is a relief from the general invective, the management of the feelings both of opponent, Judges and Client is wonderful, and the beauty of the principles laid down as well as the language, in his defence of himself, all these make this Oration in my opinion among his very best. I began the Oration for Sextius.

The day was dark and cheerless, and my Wife’s spirits seemed to flag. Continued reading to her from Moore’s Life of Byron after which 38I read some of Dr. Richardson’s Appendix to Franklin’s Journal,2 and the Spectator.


Full membership in the Bar apparently followed upon admission as attorney at the Supreme Judicial Court; see vol. 3:422; and above, entry for 2 March.


See above, entry for 25 April, note.

Saturday. 30th. CFA Saturday. 30th. CFA
Saturday. 30th.

The Weather would not clear away although it made repeated efforts so to do. The consequence was a mist and drizzle altogether comfortless. My Wife was so unwell that I concluded to send for Dr. Stevenson. Nothing alarming however. After reading Demosthenes as usual I went to the Office, and with the usual avocations was entirely occupied in finishing my Article upon the troubles of the Cabinet. I think I write well, but my constant tendency is to be dissatisfied. This business appears to be an opening but on the whole it may be deceptive. In these days of diffused instruction, it is difficult to obtain reputation on mere writing.

After dinner, as the weather was too bad to allow Abby to go with me, I rode out alone to Quincy. Found my Father only, the rest of the family not having yet reached the place. They came however late in the Afternoon.1 My Mother looks better than he does. I hope she will remain so. I had a great deal of conversation with them and regretted the necessity which made me return to town, but I was obliged to go.

The ride was dark and I did not get home until nearly Nine. Found Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham at my House, and my Wife already better. So tired that I could do little or nothing.


The family and attendants had left New York on the 27th for Providence by the steamboat President, Capt. Bunker. A stormy passage delayed their arrival at Providence until the 29th. All except JQA remained there overnight. He continued as far as Dedham, reaching Quincy on the morning of the 30th (JJQA, Diary).