Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 2d. CFA Tuesday. 2d. CFA
Tuesday. 2d.

It is not easy to say how much I suffered during the night and morning—The child taken so suddenly, my Wife in no condition to bear so much anxiety and compelled to rely upon our own resources for a remedy. In a strange house so far as all the assistance we required was concerned and giving trouble, I felt quite unhappy. Then there is such a change in the house that I hardly know Medford again. Mr. Brooks himself appears to me depressed by his own difficulty, a recurrence of a complaint in his knee which arose from an injury received some years ago, as well as from the changes about him. I accompanied him to Boston as the child had taken medicine and seemed somewhat better. Little Peter, Mrs. Gorham Brooks’ child had been affected in just the same way.

My hours in Boston were anxious, and the weather was very warm. I was engaged in a number of little occupations relating to money affairs and had an hour’s conversation with Mrs. Frothingham in 120which I spoke very unreservedly of matters as I viewed them. Such is the vanity of human expectation. The plan which I had supposed would fix the comfort of Mr. Brooks’ declining years, turns out the least eligible of any that he has pursued.

I returned to dinner with Mr. Brooks, the child had seen the Dr. and he had relieved very much all our apprehensions. The Afternoon was quietly passed. I looked over the North American Review, more especially my Article which I find much less altered from the original than was the preceding one. It must now take its chance with the public. My expectations of literary success have been humbled to such an extent that I expect little praise, and my peculiar views together with my name lead me to anticipate some little censure. To counterbalance this I have nothing but a clear conscience. Evening, there were visitors. Mr. and Mrs. Stetson and the Misses Osgood.1


Rev. Caleb Stetson, Congregational minister at Medford, his wife, and the Misses Lucy and Elizabeth Osgood are briefly characterized at vol. 3:76–77.

Wednesday. 3d. CFA Wednesday. 3d. CFA
Wednesday. 3d.

The child had an excellent night so that she appeared quite nicely this morning. As I had written to my Mother what was calculated perhaps to alarm her1 if I should not go to Quincy and as Mr. Brooks was to be absent all day tomorrow, I concluded to go to Quincy instead of returning. Went first, however, to Boston. Occupied there in the usual manner with me at Quarter time—Drawing up Accounts &c. Mr. W. Lovering called upon me with respect to an Interest in land in High Street, possessed by my father, for which he makes an offer.2 I told him I would let him know. The day was showery so that I could not be in the Streets much. Rode to Quincy and found the family much as usual. My Afternoon was spent in making up the Arrears of my Diary as well as reading. Quiet evening. I went to bed early.


2 July (Adams Papers); the subject of the letter was LCA2’s indisposition.


On JQA’s interest in property on High Street, Boston, see vol. 3:210.

Thursday. 4th. CFA Thursday. 4th. CFA
Thursday. 4th.

It is now so many years since the Declaration of Independence that the vigour of its celebration is rather slackened. The City of Boston still holds on to its accustomed forms and here and there is to be found some place where the festival is held, but noise is not to me a necessary 121concomitant of rejoicing. I hope I felt duly grateful for the enjoyments of the day which were to be found in a profound quiet.

My time was taken up in writing, and reading Horace, Neal and the Life of James Otis. I compared the latter with Hutchinson and detected him in some want of candor. If I should again review anything I think it would be this book.

Quiet dinner at home. My father seemed unwell from a sever cold. In the Afternoon I rambled down to the Orchard at Mount Wollaston and spent an hour gazing at the view which was in great beauty today. The men were mowing exactly as if it was not a bit of a holiday. The trees of the Orchard look very stationary although they have gained this Season considerably. Returned home. Mr. Jo. Angier of Medford made a visit and took tea. He came over with his Mother and Mrs. Angier Jr. After tea we went up, and found Mr. Beale, Miss Louisa Smith and a whole room full. Returned and read some of Mr. Rush’s late publication upon England.1


Probably Memoranda of a Residence at the Court of London by Richard Rush, Phila., 1833.