Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 16th. CFA Tuesday. 16th. CFA
Tuesday. 16th.

Fine morning but cool. I rode to town to see about getting my Coal in, and was accompanied by my Child’s Nurse, Mrs. Field. Morning very much taken up at my House. Yet I found time enough to finish and send what I wrote yesterday.1 My father’s advice to me is sound, not to engage myself in the mere easy, every day writing of political electioneering, but to discuss questions upon some clear and definite basis of a public nature requiring information and research.

Returned to Quincy, and wasted the Afternoon with my Mother in 380fruitless fishing. Evening at home reading Granville. Continued Lingard in the reign of Edward the third.

1.

Whether CFA’s article on the current political situation was published is not known.

Wednesday. 17th. CFA Wednesday. 17th. CFA
Wednesday. 17th.

Milder and clear. I remained at home all day. It was my intention to have employed my time very industriously but somehow I did not carry it into effect. My father gave me an account of the Executors to copy.1 I then was busy in comparing the old Journals for correction, and this with pasting a few labels is all the rational Account I can give of the passage of time. It is manifestly inadequate.

The Accounts from Pennsylvania today are a little more discouraging. The result is very doubtful and we can only hope for the best.2 I was hardly aware how much I was interested in the event of this election, until today.

My afternoon was consumed in fishing. A very vain attempt. But I had a pleasant walk along the bank of the Creek as far as Mount Wollaston. I shall put up my rod for some days. Quiet evening. Read a part of Mr. Webster’s Speech aloud to the ladies.3 It is the last effort of a man considerably excited both on public and private accounts against the President. He has wound himself up to inveigh against the Government with a bitterness which in political affairs is unusual with him. No wonder. What can be worse?

In the evening. Continued Lingard in Edward the third. It would be a curious labour to examine how many years in every Reign in England have been consumed in foreign wars upon groundless and frivolous pretences. How much of it’s best blood has flowed upon every field of the Continent merely to gratify an idle desire for Conquest and fame. The Reign of Edward is a particularly striking instance of the mischief arising from such ambition. Probably France and England suffered as much during this as during any period of their history.

1.

The copy in CFA’s hand of the 7th Report of the Executors of JA’s Will is in the Adams Papers (Microfilms, Reel No. 181). JQA had finished the report on the preceding day; it was to be signed by the executors, JQA and Josiah Quincy, and presented to the Judge of Probate at Dedham on 6 Nov. (JQA, Diary, 16 Oct.).

2.

The earlier reported majorities for the anti-Jackson candidate for governor of Pennsylvania had been overturned as the votes were counted in the less populous counties (Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 17 Oct., p. 2, col. 1).

3.

The first part of the speech delivered by Daniel Webster to the state National Republican convention at Worcester on the 12th appeared in the Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot on the 17th (p. 2, cols. 2–4); the speech was continued in succeeding issues.

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