Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 23d. CFA Tuesday. 23d. CFA
Tuesday. 23d.

The day was quite cool with an Easterly wind which to the feeling was very pleasant after yesterday’s heat. I was occupied all day pretty busily. Read Horace and finished Tudor’s Life of Otis besides copying several Letters into my book.

My new scheme may lead me into an extensive examination of the papers remaining which will not be without its uses to me hereafter, I hope. I read this afternoon a portion of the correspondence of my Grandfather with his Wife about 1780–82 which is exceedingly char-133acteristic.1 I do not know a part of his private MS. which are calculated to be more amusing. There is nothing in them but the high toned honesty which prevails in all his actions throughout his Life. But the gentler tones of affection are constantly to be found in them, and here it is that the public understands him very little.

Elizabeth C. Adams spent the day here. She is better since her return from the Journey lately taken with Mrs. Miller. Evening quiet at home. I was exceedingly drowsy, but managed to copy a letter for my father2 besides reading a couple of the Observer.


The letters of this period are contained in vols. 3 and 4 of Adams Family Correspondence .


JQA’s reply (LbC, Adams Papers) to A. H. Everett.

Wednesday. 24th. CFA Wednesday. 24th. CFA
Wednesday. 24th.

Another day of extreme heat terminated by a flurry accompanied with a very little rain. I remained at home and was very busily occupied in writing off the correspondence of my Grandmother with Mr. Jefferson in 1804.1 Letters of great power and in a tone and temper which are exceedingly creditable to her. Mr. Jefferson has rather the worst side of the argument although such as it is, he maintains it stoutly.

I read two long and beautiful Odes of Horace and in the Afternoon went through a considerable number of old papers. This was my afternoon’s work. Went down and took a short bath, but was hurried away by the blackness of the surrounding clouds. Dipped into the fourth volume of Prince Puckler Muskau—A curious book, somewhat entertaining and graphic in respect to the present manners of the British nobility. Luxury seems to have crept over the nation—And present appearances seem to indicate another example of the uniform course which takes place with empires.

Mr. Beale was here in the evening for an hour but had nothing new. The night was sultry.


CFA included AA’s letters to Jefferson of this period in his Letters of Mrs. Adams , both in the 1840 and later editions.

Thursday. 25th. CFA Thursday. 25th. CFA
Thursday. 25th.

A cool day. These alterations of our weather are very relieving to the feelings. For the air is chilled before it gets to be so heated as to afford little support.

I went to town and inasmuch as I picked up the rent from a Tenant, 134did not lose my time. Continued reading the second volume of Marshall and the account of Washington’s last days. Perhaps it was fortunate for him that he died exactly as he did. The storm that came on immediately afterwards would not have proved agreeable, nor would he have felt comfortably under the appeals of Hamilton and many other of his friends to avert it by personally coming forward again.

Returned to Quincy without seeing any acquaintance. Afternoon passed in writing and reading, finished the Jefferson Correspondence. And went down to the Wharf where I took a very agreeable bath. Mrs. Ed. Miller with L. C. Smith and Elizabeth C. Adams paid a short visit in the evening. Read some of Puckler Muskau who has a kind of dry humour, that is very amusing. Conversation and the Observer.