Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Monday. 23d. CFA Monday. 23d. CFA
Monday. 23d.

I slept but about two hours, for my anxiety about my Wife kept me uneasy. She was exceedingly exhausted by her labour and in a critical state all night. The Dr. remained with her all night and left only in the morning. She was however somewhat better on his return at ten o’clock. My mother had passed an agitated night but was on the whole as well as I could reasonably expect. On the whole, I felt as if I had great occasion to be grateful to God for dealing thus tenderly with me in a day of so much trial. Another relation is imposed upon me, my utmost wishes have been gratified.1 May it impress me with a further sense of my own unworthiness, and with a resolution still farther to exert myself in a becoming and proper manner, that I may be a real father to my children.

Rode to Quincy as well to notify the family of these occurrences, as to get Mrs. Kirk to come in with me for the purpose of aiding in the care of the invalids, especially my mother. The family seemed pleased. Returned home by one o’clock and found my people doing well.

Afternoon, I went out to attend a Meeting of the Boylston Market Directors. Little or no business beyond declaring a Dividend. At last after the lapse of eighteen months, we make out to pay a sum of two dollars on the share. I hope hereafter we may do better.

Returned home and passed the evening in my study working upon my article, which now again makes progress. Feeling much fatigued, I was glad to retire to my little room to rest.


To the gratification of CFA’s “utmost wishes” was added JQA’s deep satisfaction in the extension of the line to still another generation: “There is no Passion more deeply seated in my bosom than the longing for posterity worthily 177to support my own and my father’s name. I trace my ancestors in the graveyard and on the town Books to Henry Adams one of the first Settlers of the town of Braintree at Mount Wollaston. All I know of those of my fathers name untill him is that they were born, were married and died. He was eminent, and my desire has been that his name and his possessions here should continue in his and his descendants’ name. For this I have done my part. My sons must do theirs. There is now one Son of the next Generation, and my hopes revive.” (Diary, 30 Sept. 1833.)

Tuesday. 24th. CFA Tuesday. 24th. CFA
Tuesday. 24th.

My Wife had a good night and seemed to be on the whole much on the recovery. The boy is a stout little fellow, and seems quite tolerably. Thanks be to God for all his mercies. My mother begins to feel her weakness and the severity of the blow she received in her fall. But she is on the whole tolerably well.

I went to the Office and was engaged most of my time in Accounts as well as making up my Diary which has been backward for a few days. Prepared a list of Boylston Market Proprietors and took quite a longish walk to get rid of an impending head ach. My system has been so subject to wearing anxiety for some time past that I should not be surprised to have it disordered, it is not yet diminished entirely. But I feel great relief from my reliance upon a higher power than this world contains.

Afternoon, reading the Massachusetts State Papers over without profit. I never gained much from repeating after a certain time. Evening, Mr. Degrand called in for a few moments. Kirk came in with the Carriage, but as Madame was not strong enough he went out again. Evening, writing.

Wednesday. 25th. CFA Wednesday. 25th. CFA
Wednesday. 25th.

Beautiful weather. My Wife was tolerably today. My Mother not quite so well, but both on the whole still comfortable. It was the day of general muster, and the noise of guns was somewhat trying, especially in the Afternoon, but they got over it pretty comfortably.

I went to the Office and was engaged there some time in Accounts and the &c. of business. Mr. Knowles called upon me at last to let me know that the Carriage was to be in today. It is a little more than four months since he engaged to make it, which is double the period contracted by him to deliver it in. He has been to Washington and has had a fever.

I went to see a collection of Pictures for sale,1 and took a long walk. 178Exercise is a thing I find absolutely necessary since my removal to town. The ride has a beneficial effect upon my health which I should hardly be able to realize if I did not find the contrast directly. But my regular quantum of exercise restores things.

Afternoon reading, but lazily. I finished in the course of the evening, my Article, and upon reading it over am less satisfied than ever. The positions are loosely stated and the argument disjointed. There is besides a superfluity of words. I must go over it with the file. Virgil and the Mirror.


The paintings being shown at Cunningham’s Auction Room included, according to announcement, works by Carrachi, Barrochio, Sassoferato, Poussin, Titian, Holbein, Ostade, Teniers (Columbian Centinel, 25 Sept., p. 3, col. 7).