Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 29th. CFA Monday. 29th. CFA
Monday. 29th.

Clear and cold. I went to town. Engaged all my time in commissions. My house is now to be opened and prepared for our reception. I was therefore engaged today in ordering grate &ca. for the Room to be devoted to the Nursery. I also was occupied in making a transfer and effecting a sale of some of my Bank Stock. It has been on the whole not very productive to me and as I can now part with it with a trifling gain to myself and turn it into a direction that may yield more, I have concluded to part with all I have excepting what is in the State Bank.1 Should General Jackson succeed in his election and the Bank of the U.S. wind up, this Stock will appreciate. At any rate it will be a safe thing, where many of our Banks will be unsafe and I shall transfer my Deposits to it.

I was very much hurried and returned to Quincy later than I had engaged to. Dressed and proceeded with the ladies and my father directly to Mr. Bussy’s.2 Found there, Mr. and Mrs. Abbot Lawrence, General and Mrs. Wingate,3 General and Miss Dearborn, Miss Wingate, Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn,4 Mr. Pierpont and Dr. Gray, Mrs. and Miss Davis of course. The House, dinner &ca. was in a style of splendour quite above the ordinary character of gentlemen’s establishments here. But the master and mistress are not at all in character. They are vulgar people. I sat next to Miss Dearborn and was on the whole as much amused as I could have been in any part of the table. Returned by moonlight. Read Lingard.

388 1.

CFA owned shares in the American Bank and in the Boston Bank (vol. 3:333).

2.

Benjamin Bussey’s residence and farm in Jamaica Plain were left by his will to Harvard University as a part of his devise for the foundation of the Bussey Institution. The tract constitutes the largest portion of the lands which now form the Arnold Arboretum (information from Dr. Richard Alden Howard, Harvard Univ.).

3.

Joshua Wingate, Harvard 1795 (JQA, Diary, 29 Oct.), of a family identified with the New Hampshire militia for three generations (Joseph Dow, History of the Town of Hampton, N.H., 2 vols., Salem, Mass., 1893, 1:268; 2:1045).

4.

George H. Kuhn, an associate of Benjamin Bussey in the Dedham Woolen Mills (Frank Smith, A History of Dedham, Massachusetts, Dedham, 1936, p. 255).

Tuesday. 30th. CFA Tuesday. 30th. CFA
Tuesday. 30th.

Weather moderated, making one of the most delicious of our Autumn days. I rode into town for the purpose of making further arrangements in respect to my House. Found that it had not been opened yesterday. And I waited two hours without seeing a particle either of Chimney Sweep or Mason. The Woman came however, and I went down to effect the rest of the business relating to the Bank Shares &ca. My time is always so much taken up when I have no Office boy that I am always in a hurry.

Returned to Quincy. Miss Smith dined and spent the day. I had intended to employ the afternoon, but Mr. J. H. Foster and his daughter1 came in and I was disappointed for my father left me to bear the brunt of it. They returned to town before tea.

Evening wasted in the Parlour. Read Lingard afterwards and finished the reign of Edward the 5th, the gloomiest period of the whole British history. Began the second Volume of the Idler.

1.

Mary Smith Foster (JQA, Diary, 30 Oct.).

Wednesday. 31st. CFA Wednesday. 31st. CFA
Wednesday. 31st.

I staid at home this morning while my Mother and Wife went to town. Occupied very constantly though not much intellectually. My father wished me to go into the Garden and examine the Peach Trees which have been usually neglected and suffered to decay more rapidly than they grew after the second year. I did this after writing my Diary which has of late been kept rather irregularly. In our work, we were interrupted by Mr. H. Brooks and Miss Julia Gorham who came out to see the ladies. These disappointments are constantly occurring. They stayed only a few minutes. I passed another hour in pasting in labels. The ladies came home late.

After dinner, I went down to fish but had no sport. The water was too clear, and the winds have been so perpetually to the westward that 389the smelts remain in deep water. I do not know when we have had a more lovely day.

Returned to tea, and in the evening read Lingard. Richard and Henry the 7th. I think well of the history so far, and as to the wars of the Roses and all the subsequent events, prefer it to Hume.