Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

December. 1833. Sunday. 1st. CFA December. 1833. Sunday. 1st. CFA
December. 1833. Sunday. 1st.

I read a little of Mr. Chalmers’ book before I attended Divine Service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach all day. John 19. 25. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother.” The duty of firmness in cases of trial, and of active interposition. Afternoon, John 5. 3. “In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.” Upon the morally sick and infirm, those who suspected not their own condition, those who could stand when there was no trial. The discourses were good but not very interesting.

Read Atterbury—A Funeral Sermon upon the death of the Lady Cutts. Eccles. 7. 2. “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than 222to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men and the living will lay it to heart.” Of course a panegyric. She was but eighteen and according to him a model of excellence. The style is simple and the praise moderate, perhaps it may have been just.

Received a letter from my father which I sat down directly to answer.1


To CFA, 26 Nov., Adams Papers; to JQA, 1 Dec., LbC, Adams Papers.

Monday. 2d. CFA Monday. 2d. CFA
Monday. 2d.

Morning cloudy and mild. I went to the Office and was occupied there in reading the Parliamentary History. Only one or two interruptions. Dr. Brown, the Quack who wants my house 103 Tremont Street in connection with the other,1 and Mr. Peabody. Nothing else material.

Politics are not pleasant. Mr. Rush has come out against the Bank and the question seems likely to become Antimasonic. If so, of course I am out of my element. Took a walk. Afternoon, writing and copying my answer to my father. Tom Jones and Smith. Correspondence, Boileau and Racine.


John A. Brown, “botanic physician,” lived at 105 ( Boston Directory, 1833). In the entries below for 20 and 26 Dec., CFA refers to Brown as “the Steam Doctor,” and in that for 10 Feb. 1834 calls the house he occupied, “the Infirmary.”

Tuesday. 3d. CFA Tuesday. 3d. CFA
Tuesday. 3d.

Morning cloudy. I went to the Office. Mr. Conant the younger called on me from Weston about the Farm and discussed the subject of the Lease. I told him of what I proposed to do. It seems both these brothers want the Farm, and very probably will bid upon each other for it. I do not much relish the idea but see no way clearly to help it. After he had gone, I called to see Mr. Hallet and had a long conversation with him. I communicated to him my father’s determination1 and heard his objections which were neither few nor gentle—To all which I tried to reply as well as I could. He said he would write to my father, which I urged him to do.2 I suppose he suspects me a little of partial statements. I am not radical enough. We discussed the Memorial also. Quiet afternoon. Walk. Lord Bacon de Augmentis Scientiarum. Virgil seventh book. Tom Jones and writing to my father. Correspondence Boileau and Racine.


In letters to CFA of 19–21 and 26 Nov. (both in Adams Papers), JQA was unequivocal in his determination to withdraw his name when the choice of governor came up for consideration in the Legislature. “If I were certain of 223being elected and if I had the highest popular vote (short of a Majority) I should still withdraw. I never would be Governor of Massachusetts, but by the voice of the People.” He further granted CFA permission to communicate his intent at CFA’s discretion. Public announcement of the decision would be made at the proper time in a letter JQA would write to the Advocate.


Hallett’s letter to JQA (7 Dec.) is in the Adams Papers.