Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Sunday. 10th. CFA Sunday. 10th. CFA
Sunday. 10th.

It rained very heavily during the Night, clearing off this morning with a North West Wind and absolutely cool. I attended divine Service all day and heard Mr. Whitney preach. His morning Sermon upon the necessity of redeeming time. A valuable text, and full of moral to all.1 I feel the weight of it every day I live. The afternoon I do not particularly recollect. Feeling myself in many respects deficient in a due knowledge of the Scriptures and in attention at Church I propose to set upon a course after my return to town which shall fix me in a useful habit on Sunday. At present my Church going is rather useless. I read in the afternoon a good deal of Grimm and see more and more of his infamous infidelity. This was the cry of Reform in those days. Seeing so much of Diderot in these Memoirs I felt 87curious to know something of him and accordingly read the Article with that Title in the Dictionnaire Historique. I do not consider him entitled to one half the merits he seems to have thought his. Yet he did much in building up the useful heads of the Encyclopedie, though he is also responsible for it’s great crimes. Evening, continued Grimm and the Spectator.

1.

Thus in MS.

Monday. 11th. CFA Monday. 11th. CFA
Monday. 11th.

The Wind was in the North and East all day, and made it so cold, I was absolutely shivering all the time my ride into town lasted. Arrived unusually early and went to the Office. Occupied by Commissions. Mr. Ayer called by appointment and I went with him to my House for the purpose of directing him about some draws, my Wife wants put in. Returned and engaged in Accounts. Time slips away without my knowing how to account for it. I made up some Arrears in my Diary which takes up a great deal of space now. It is a great question with me whether my time is suitably paid.

Went out of town, and found at dinner Mr. and Mrs. T. B. Adams, Miss E. C. Adams, Miss Harrod and Miss Smith—It being the anniversary of my fathers birth. He is now Sixty four and enjoying his powers with as much vigour as ever. Nothing material took place. He went in the afternoon to town to hear Mr. Fuller’s Antimasonic Oration.1 Mr. James H. Foster and his family came out and passed part of the Afternoon after whom came several other visitors. I did little or nothing. Read an article or two in the North American Review, and in the evening, read Grimm and the Spectator.

1.

JQA took yet another step towards public identification with Antimasonry in allowing himself to be seated on the dais in Faneuil Hall at the right hand of the orator, Timothy Fuller (JQA, Diary, 11 July).

Tuesday. 12th. CFA Tuesday. 12th. CFA
Tuesday. 12th.

The morning was clear and cool, though warmer than yesterday. I went to town as usual. On looking over the Newspaper I noticed the death of Mr. T. Welsh. I do not know when I have been more shocked. The notice came so suddenly and I had seen him within a few days in the enjoyment of such full health, that I could hardly believe it real. I sent to ascertain the nature of the case and found it was something like Apoplexy, which on the whole nobody could be surprised at. Yet such things come like a thunder clap from a clear sky, as if to warn us of another world. I decided to remain in town and attend the 88Funeral.1 My time was occupied in writing my Diary. Mr. S. Brown called about some Mercantile Marine Insurance Shares which I purchased at 24 per Cent advance. They are for my Father and T. B. Adams Jr.2 The advance looks large, but they have in addition to the ordinary profits of their business added fifty thousand dollars to their Capital, and they make regular semi-annual Dividends of five per Cent, which I think makes the Stock worth it. At any rate, it is a present investment and if my father should say a word in disapprobation of the price, I have had the shares put in my name so that I will advance their price and take them myself. I read today in the Bibliotheque d’un Homme public, a fancy called, La République des Philosophes ou Histoire des Ajaoiens, attributed to Fontenelle.3 An amusing chateau en Espagne.

Dined at Mrs. Frothingham’s quietly and comfortably, and sent a message out by them as they were about visiting the family at Quincy, not to be alarmed. At four I attended the Funeral. Found there a considerable number of persons, members of his immediate Circle and of the Bar, though but two blood relations. But a few months since I followed to the same spot his father. Thus it is that families vanish from the face of the earth. There are few men in Boston I shall miss more than this. Almost daily I saw him in his Office or in the Street and he had been more friendly to me than was customary with him to any body. I could not help feeling melancholy upon it. Returned to Quincy immediately and passed the remainder of the day and evening quietly. Mrs. and Miss Whitney called to see the Ladies. Read Grimm and the Spectator.

1.

Thomas Welsh Jr. had died on the day before (Boston Daily Advertiser, 12 July, p. 2, col. 3). On hearing of his death at CFA’s return, JQA recounted for himself the events of Welsh’s life in some detail (Diary, 12 July).

2.

CFA purchased three shares for JQA’s account and two for Thomas B. Adams Jr.’s at a price of $124 per share (M/CFA/3).

3.

The work appears in vol. 9.