Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

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.

Friday. 19th. CFA Friday. 19th. CFA
Friday. 19th.

I remained at home all day and pursued my usual occupations with tolerable industry. Read a little of Horace and was pleased at the acquisition which I made of Gesner’s edition yesterday. The notes are not so long as those of Dacier and Sanadon while they contain quite important matter. I finished the second volume of Neale, and am at present somewhat in doubt whether to go on with it or not. I also pursued my reading of Tudor with interest. He has embodied many of the anecdotes of the Revolution, which without him, would probably have perished. And his Judgment upon facts is generally sound. His sketch of Franklin is a very good though perhaps rather a favourable one. He touches the points of his character which are weak tenderly. Perhaps this is due to a man whose services have been so great as to compensate for his faults. But Mr. Sparks at the present day is attempting far more than this. He is for setting up Franklin at the expense of every body else.1 Afternoon, finished the second volume of St. John which is dull enough and read one or two Articles in the North American Review. Evening in my Mother’s room. Conversation. Observer.

1.

On the impact upon the Adamses of Jared Sparks’ interpretation of American diplomatic history from a strongly pro-Franklin position, see vol. 4:xii–xiii.

Saturday. 20th. CFA Saturday. 20th. CFA
Saturday. 20th.

Clouds but no rain. I rode to town and passed my time in a very desultory way. Read a little of Marshall however. Went to see Mrs. Frothingham and sat with her half an hour. This engrosses pretty much all that I did.

Much newspaper discussion of Mr. Everett’s letter. The National Republican Presses are out against him very generally. Yet what is National Republicanism at this day? A splinter of a party—Containing 131not a Majority of any State in the Union. The fact is that just at present there is a centripetal force in parties which brings the mass together previous to new divisions.

Afternoon, I did little or nothing more than write my Diary and read an Ode or two of Horace. Mrs. Frothingham and her Son Thomas came out to pass the Afternoon. Passed the Evening in my Mother’s room who continues to improve, and read the remainder of the North American Review for July. I have not gone through a number for a long time before. It is pretty good. The Observer—Numbers upon Greek Literature.