Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Wednesday. 23d. CFA Wednesday. 23d. CFA
Wednesday. 23d.

Fine clear day. I was very much occupied most of my time in executing a business operation. Having gathered together all the sums I could well spare, I have been negotiating to put them all on interest so as to be payable on the precise day on which the Note to the American Insurance Office becomes due. I applied to the Cashier of the Tremont Bank but he was not disposed to accommodate, nor very civil in his manner about it. I therefore consulted with Mr. Degrand and made an arrangement as advantageous as I could wish. I deposited the whole Sum together with 6 per cent Interest received in Advance, in the Commercial Bank, withdrawable on the 21 of December, with the exception of $400 which I retain on Interest myself.

I paid a visit to Mrs. Clay, as I felt bound to, particularly as he had the magnanimity to go out yesterday and see my father. She looks much as ever.1

In the Afternoon, I rode to Quincy. I forgot to mention that I went to Faneuil Hall to hear Mr. Clay speak to the people.2 The crowd was great and he said a few words of no material consequence. The feeling in his favor is considerable. Conversation with my father—Political. He disclosed to me his intention respecting the election, to be kept a profound secret for the present.

Took tea and returned late. Found my Wife and children comfortable, but I was so fatigued that I did not work very actively the remainder of the time.

200 1.

CFA attended Mrs. Clay’s parties in Washington while her husband was Secretary of State in the Adams Administration (vol. 2:92). Of Clay’s visit during his swing through the Northeast preparatory to another Presidential campaign, JQA wrote: “This fashion of peddling for popularity by travelling round the Country; gathering crowds together; hawking for public dinners, and spouting empty speeches, is growing into high fashion.... Mr. Clay has mounted that hobby often, and rides him very hard.... Mr. Clay had two deputations sent to him from Boston, at Providence — One, of the tough Seignors to invite him to a Public Dinner, and one of the tender Juveniles to escort him into the City” (Diary, 22 Oct.).


Meaning is clear but overwriting in MS has made the reading of “to the” uncertain.

Thursday. 24th. CFA Thursday. 24th. CFA
Thursday. 24th.

Very lovely day. I went to the Office and was engaged much of my time in Accounts. Settled up all my books and found myself likely to be pretty hard pressed for Money for two months to ensue. My father also is likely to make severe draughts upon his Account so as to leave little or nothing. I called at Mrs. Procter’s to receive her rent, which is nearly the last at present due. My clearance has been pretty thorough.

My father and Mother came in. I went up to see the latter about the christening of my Child before they went away. But accidentally striking some wrong chord, we were unable to come to any decision. I talked on the subject also with my father, and settled upon having it done here in Boston on Sunday next.1

In the afternoon I had a call from Josiah Quincy about his Letter; he publishes tomorrow, but I think the probability to be rather harm than good from it.2 I read a little of Bacon’s Novum Organum. Copied a paper for my father and wrote a draught for the Memorial to the Legislature. In the evening, I finished the first book of Virgil’s Aeneis and read the Lounger.


From LCA’s letter written the following day and received by CFA on the 26th (Adams Papers), it would appear that LCA had voiced strong objection to the idea that the christening of JQA’s namesake take place other than at the First Church in Boston and at a Sunday service, feeling that the suggestion reflected an unworthy sensitivity to the public controversy then raging around JQA.


The Columbian Centinel (26 Oct., p. 2, col. 1) reprinted Col. Josiah Quincy’s letter to the editor of the Daily Advertiser, in which Quincy detailed the circumstances that had caused him to become convinced since he wrote his earlier letter that the letter from JQA to J. B. Davis was genuine, was written at the time asserted, and had come into JQA’s possession through the agency of Stephen Bates in the way alleged earlier. He reiterated, however, that existence of the letter had not been known to him or to Davis’ family earlier. In the Centinel’s editorial comment following, the accusation was repeated that JQA, in publishing a private letter not his property for political profit, was guilty of an impropriety.