Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 10th. CFA Tuesday. 10th. CFA
Tuesday. 10th.

The day cold with clouds. A Frost is supposed to have taken place, rather injurious to the present state of the Fruit Trees. I made great progress in Demosthenes, and then went to the Office. My time pretty much occupied in making a draught of my third and last Number of Cimon. Some doubts occur to me how I can tell the truth here. Newspapers are squeamish. The story is certainly not very creditable to any one. One or two interruptions. A Mr. Libby called to hire one of the Tenements.1 These are destined, I believe to give me trouble constantly.

Took a walk to the Athenaeum and tried to find the Telegraph of the 16th of April but without success. Returned home and passed the afternoon in continuing the Oration for Sextius, which I nearly finished. It is not so perfectly handed down to us as that for Plancius nor is it to my notion so fine in itself, though the passage upon the Optimates in a State is very good.

Evening, read Grimm. He was beginning to be more interesting and just at that moment I am obliged to give him up for a fortnight, the 45Athenaeum calling for an examination of their Library. He is perfectly absurd about Diderot. Read two Numbers of the Spectator.


Joseph Libby occupied tenement No. 3 at 101 Tremont Street from 17 May to 31 Aug. (M/CFA/3).

Wednesday. 11th. CFA Wednesday. 11th. CFA
Wednesday. 11th.

Morning clear and mild. After reading a part of Demosthenes as usual, I went to the Office and spent my time in writing out the last Number of Cimon. The idea strikes me to be good but I feel out of spirits about Newspaper writing. The second Number appeared today. On reading it over, it seemed to me well written.1 One or two interruptions. One for the purpose of voting for the lower House which took place today. I went for the regular ticket as far as I could, but I could not swallow Mr. Buckingham.2 Found at the Probate Office the return of the Commissioners upon Mr. New’s Estate, reducing the Dividend to 25 cents on the dollar, and payment not to be made until the ninth of June. Walked down to see Mr. Forbes and contract with him for a horse and gig. Then to the Tenements to see them and make inquiries concerning Mr. Libby.

Afternoon finished the Oration for Sextius and read that against Vatinius. A continual invective in the shape of a series of questions. This method has much power in itself but it tires by its weight very soon. Man requires variety in every thing.

Evening took a short walk with my Wife to Mr. Frothingham’s, so that we had little time at home. After my Wife retired, I read with great pleasure, one half of Horace’s Art of Poetry,3 and after it, Two Spectators.


CFA’s second letter on “The Resignation of the Cabinet” addressed itself to an inquiry into the true, as distinct from the announced, causes. Primarily, the letter is an historical exposition of the competing forces arrayed one against the other during the second administration of President Monroe, of the ambitions thwarted by the compromise choice of JQA for the Presidency in 1824–1825, and of the uneasy alliances created in 1828 to elect a President whom none respected. “The hidden animosities now erupt.” Boston Patriot, 11 May, p. 2, col. 4.


Sixty seats in the state House of Representatives were at stake. The National Republicans offered a full slate; also on the ballot were candidates from the Working-Men’s Party, and others running on Antimasonic, Jackson, and Independent tickets. In the voting 53 candidates, all National Republicans, received a majority of the votes cast and were elected. Joseph T. Buckingham, publisher of the Boston Courier, was among the seven National Republicans who failed to receive a majority. A second election was called for 14 May to complete the representation. Boston Patriot, 11 May, p. 2, col. 2; 13 May, p. 2, col. 1; Columbian Centinel, 14 May, p. 1, col. 3.


Apparently, CFA was reading Horace’s poem in the Abbé Batteux’s collection, Les quatres poëtiques d’Aristote, d’Horace, de Vida, de Despréaux; see below, entry for 11 August.