Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Sunday. 20th. CFA Sunday. 20th. CFA
Sunday. 20th.

Milder. The first thing this morning was a tremendous fire. It was the Sugar Refinery in Atkinson Street. My morning was short. Attended divine Service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach morning and after-14noon. His first was from Isaiah 45. 15. “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” The incomprehensible character of the Deity, as affecting four descriptions of persons, the infidel, the superstitious believer, the curious inquirer and the men of melancholy temperament. The division was an interesting one, but it did not seem to me that the treatment of it was carried out equally well. Took a walk. Mr. Beale of Quincy dined with me, and accompanied me in the Afternoon. Having lost my usual Nap, I was so drowsy I did not catch much of the discourse. Text Romans 9. 20. “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” On my return home, read a Sermon of Massillon taken from Matthew 5. 5. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth.” Subject the happiness of the just, 1. by the light of the faith which alleviates their sufferings, whilst the want of it increases those of sinners, 2. by the softening influence of grace which calms the passions when the absence of it exposes others to their unrestrained influence. This division did appear to me to be unneccessary—The ideas and treatment corresponding almost exactly. Evening at home. My Wife was suffering from tooth ach. I heard today that my father was quite unwell. Read Anquetil.

Monday. 21st. CFA Monday. 21st. CFA
Monday. 21st.

Very mild and pleasant morning. The changes of our weather are most exceedingly strange. Received letters from home, mentioning the illness both of my father and brother, and their partial recovery.1 So that, I thank Heaven, my anxiety has not been of long duration. Time somewhat wasted today. The President has sent a Message to Congress which begins to dispel the thick Mist that hung over his course.2 Mr. Gourgas spent half an hour at my Office. Questions about the Medford Farm. Difficulty with the Proprietors of the Railroad.3 Mr. E. Blake also called in for a moment, to inquire about the Middlesex Canal for the second time. I told him, I was entirely ignorant.4

Took a walk. Met Misses Dehon and accompanied them. The eldest is sensible and conversible and I was quite pleased.5 Afternoon, attended a Meeting of the Directors of the Boylston Market. Nothing done as usual. Might as well not have met. It is a tedious business, and I shall be very glad to get out of it. But I see no immediate prospect of doing so. Evening quietly at home. Caroline of Litchfield and Lady Craven. I afterwards attacked Wieland, but my German does somewhat lag behind hand.

15 1.

LCA to CFA, 16 Jan. (Adams Papers).


On the Nullification issue.


John M. Gourgas Jr., who had for a number of years been affianced to wed TBA’s daughter, Elizabeth, upon the death of TBA had been named by the widow to administer the estate. At the same time JQA gave over to Mrs. TBA during her lifetime the rents from the Medford farm which TBA had inherited from JA but which had passed to JQA by default of a mortgage (vol. 4:266, 269–270). The productivity of the farm was currently threatened by a right-of-way acquired across the land by the newly constructed Boston & Lowell Railroad (vol. 3:xix, 236; 4:42).


On the speculative interest in the Middlesex Canal Co., of which CFA was a director and his father a substantial stockholder, see below, entry for 28 Jan. ( See also entries for 1, 2, 3 and 4 Feb. 1830 in also vol. 3:150–154).


The eldest of the sisters of Mrs. Sidney Brooks, married to ABA’s brother, was probably Mary M., who later became Mrs. Edward Blake.