Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Thursday. 10th. CFA Thursday. 10th. CFA
Thursday. 10th.

Morning fine. Our Weather is uncommonly pleasant for this month. I suffered a little from head ach during the day owing to my Supper of last night. At the Office I found a package from Mr. Everett containing his Speech on the Indian Question, with which he had at last favoured me.1 Mr. E. thought I could buy his Speeches if I wanted them. And he had many people of more public influence than I might ever be to conciliate by these small marks of attention. Now however that he has a cheap edition to circulate, he can be gratious with one. I feel obliged to him for it, though after I had read it, I could not attach great intrinsic value to the present. He had better have been silent for he has done nothing by it.

I read a little of Lord Chatham’s Speech about the Falkland Islands,2 but was interrupted by the hour for my walk, which I took as usual. Afternoon, I finished the Oration for the Manilian Law; and began that in defence of Cluentius. The first is a little polished gem of much lustre, but not so solid as some of the law Orations. These show the greatest talent. The Oration for Cluentius is again in another style.

Miss Adams left us today. Evening alone with my Wife. I read to her a part of the Account of Captn. Parry’s first Voyage to the North Seas.3 After which Dr. Valpy and the Spectator. Horatio Brooks lodged here this night.


The more recent of Edward Everett’s speeches on the Indians was delivered in the House on 14 and 21 Feb. and published as On the Execution of the Laws and Treaties in Favor of the Indian Tribes, Washington, 1831. Earlier, he had spoken on 19 May 1830, On the Bill for Removing the Indians from the East to the West Side of the Mississippi, Boston, 1830. Everett’s views as revealed in the speeches are closer to JQA’s than to CFA’s; see vol. 3:139.


The “Speech on the Seizure of Falkland’s Islands” is in vol. 2 of the edition of Anecdotes of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, With his Speeches in Parliament, 1736–1778, published at London in 1792, owned by CFA, and now at MQA.


Sir William Edward Parry, Journal of a Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific ... 1819–1820, London, 1821.

Friday. 11th. CFA Friday. 11th. CFA
Friday. 11th.

Morning fine. I went to the Office as usual. Received from my Father a bundle of Papers, being Powers of Attorney for himself and T. B. Adams Jr. to receive Money in the different Offices here.1 Also a letter from John with the welcome news of some Stores for us.2 After my common pursuits, I sat down and read the first part of Mr. Brougham’s Abstract of the Novum Organon of Bacon,3 and was much instructed by it. My capacity has improved, for this is clearly ascertained by the fact that three years ago I made an effort to read this and failed.

Went with Mr. Peabody to see the sales of Butter and other things under the Patronage of the N. E. Society but I made no purchases.4 Sent for to go out with some others of the family to Medford, so we went and reached there in time for dinner. Found Mr. Brooks at home a little unwell. Quite an uncommon thing for him. Spent the Afternoon as usual and returned home before dark. Evening, a visit from Edward Brooks and a short reading of Parry. Afterwards finished Dr. Valpy and read the Spectator.


Accompanying the papers was a letter, JQA to CFA, 6 March (Adams Papers).


Letter missing.


Lord Brougham’s Account of Lord Bacon’s Novum Organon Scientiarum was one of the publications of the Library of Useful Knowledge.


“Family butter” was sold at 12 o’clock at Quincy Hall along with machinery and household goods (Boston Daily Advertiser, 11 March, p. 3, col. 4).

Saturday. 12th. CFA Saturday. 12th. CFA
Saturday. 12th.

Morning clear and pleasant. I went to the Office as usual. Nothing material took place. I went through my usual occupations and then read the second part of Bacon’s Novum Organon as drawn up by Mr. Brougham. I have been enlightened by this reading. It has explained to me clearly what I only knew generally before, the merits of the inductive System of reasoning. The difficulties existing in the mind 8against a true examination of effects to find causes, and the proper course to remove them. I am fully convinced of the value of this short work which I am not always in what I read.

Took a walk and in the Afternoon continued the Oration for Cluentius. It is a peculiar production, rather laboured and showing marks of Orationizing if I can use such a word. The thing among persons at the bar now, is often felt. Perhaps the nature of the case required it. Of this we are at this day unable to Judge not being acquainted with the feelings of those who were to decide the cause.

Evening sitting quietly with my Wife. Read a part of Captain Parry’s Journal. What a course amidst all the horrors of an Arctic Winter. Desolation around them, and danger in every motion. A person cannot think of this without some wonder that any thing can induce poor weak man to endure such privations. Yet such is his spirit of curiosity and enterprize. I afterwards read Buffon’s Theory of the Earth. But I am now so intolerably drowsy late at night that I can do nothing with effect. I must change my plan to earlier rising. The Spectator as usual.