Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Wednesday. 17th. CFA Wednesday. 17th. CFA
Wednesday. 17th.

The day was cool. I remained at Quincy and occupied myself in reading according to my usual way. An Ode or two of Horace, a Chap-129ter of Neale who becomes more and more prosaic as we go along. Tudor’s Life was more interesting. He gives sketches of three of the leading men of the day, Hawley, S. Adams and Hancock, which I compared with those drawn by Hutchinson. Considering the difference of the source, I think the likeness is tolerably kept. While Tudor either does not mention at all or softens away the unfavourable portions of character, Hutchinson makes them a little the strongest, but both admit the correctness of each other, the one by confessing the faults, the other by allowing the virtues. This is as much as can be expected from history.

Poor Hutchinson. Dr. Holbrook was only yesterday telling a Story of Dr. Jeffries visit to him three days before his death. He then regretted his house on Milton hill, and his old habits in his native State.1 Such is the fate of Man.

Afternoon reading St. John who was a little dry and uninteresting. I called in the evening at Mrs. T. B. Adams. She has gone to Medford. Saw E.C.A. her daughter with whom my little business was. Saw there Miss Smith, Mr. Beale and Mr. Gourgas. Returned home at nine. My Mother was much better today.

1.

Dr. John Jeffries, a Bostonian and a loyalist, afterward practiced in London, where, in addition to attending former Governor Thomas Hutchinson, he was present for the birth of JA’s first grandchild, William Steuben Smith, in 1787 (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:203). Hutchinson built his celebrated countryseat on Milton Hill in 1743 and resided in it, mainly during the summer months, with pride until 1774, when he left Massachusetts for England. The history of the estate is to be found in Malcolm Freiberg, Thomas Hutchinson of Milton, Milton, Mass., Milton Historical Society, 1971.

Thursday. 18th. CFA Thursday. 18th. CFA
Thursday. 18th.

Cloudy with occasional thunder showers round about us but no rain of any consequence here. I rode to town and spent my morning in rather an idle way. Went to the Office, the Athenaeum, and dawdled an hour at the second hand Book Store where I purchased a copy of Gesner’s Horace for the sake of comparison with my copy and those of Dacier and Sanadon.1 I have little or nothing else to say in excuse for nearly four hours. Commissions however took up some time.

In the Afternoon I was engaged in copying a long Antimasonic Letter from my father to a Committee in Vermont. He rather overdoes this business. Mr. Everett has lately written a letter however, which has transferred a large portion of the Hornets to his person. He is less easy in the traces. I do not know how he will get through.2 Read an Ode 130or two of Horace. Evening with my Mother who is better. Read the Observer.

1.

See above, entry for 1 Feb., note.

2.

Edward Everett, in a letter of 29 June to H. W. Atwill printed in the Concord Gazette, had come out strongly against Freemasonry. National Republican newspapers were severely critical of him for thus inflicting damage on the party of which he was a leading member (Columbian Centinel, 15 July, p. 2, col. 5; 20 July, p. 2, col. 1). The plan of Everett and his brother Alexander Hill to effectuate a union of the National Republicans with the antimasonic forces through the nomination by both parties of JQA for governor, presenting a common front against the Jacksonian Democrats (A. H. Everett to JQA, 11 July 1833, Adams Papers), would presently appear.