Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

25 Thursday. 7th. CFA Thursday. 7th. CFA
Thursday. 7th.

Sunrise clear, but it soon changed to a driving storm from the north west with excessive cold, and was on the whole as unpleasant a day as I have experienced this Winter. I went to the Office and was occupied in writing and reading as usual. Continued Mackintosh and admired him more and more. I was also out a good deal executing commissions. Attempted to walk but found it too much.

Returned home and made ready to dine at Mr. T. L. Winthrop’s. The Company consisted of Mr. S. P. Gardner and J. L. Gardner, I. P. Davis, F. J. Oliver, Mr. Brooks and P. C. Jr., Grenville and Robert Winthrop. The only two ladies Miss W. and Mrs. Grenville.1 I was placed next to the latter and Mr. Oliver, and I had a pretty stupid time. The Company was not one of any interest to me. Nor was there any valuable or lively conversation. Returned home. Mrs. Gorham Brooks took tea and spent the evening, he came in late. Nothing but the World.


Thomas Lindall Winthrop had been until recently Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and was one of the few of the powerful figures in Boston who continued in friendly relations with JQA. His guest lists, as on this occasion, tended to mix the generations, including when possible fathers and sons, and even the sexes. Samuel Pickering Gardner, Isaac P. Davis, Francis J. Oliver, and Peter C. Brooks were among the wealthiest of Boston merchants, insurance executives, and capitalists. Davis and Brooks, along with Winthrop, were exceptions to the generalization that the ruling families in Boston were hostile to JQA; see, for example, the entry of 18 March, below, and the references to each in earlier volumes.

Friday. 8th. CFA Friday. 8th. CFA
Friday. 8th.

Morning clear with a North West wind but milder than it has been. I went to the Office as usual. Received a letter from my Mother1 of a tenor rather more encouraging than heretofore. My father has nearly recovered from his sickness, and all the family are better excepting the children. I read Sir James Mackintosh, and had one or two interruptions from applicants for the empty house. Called on T. Davis and Blake to ask them to dine with me tomorrow. I was then engaged on one or two Commissions. Thus passed the morning, terminated as it usually is by a walk.

After dinner Anquetil and the intrigues of Cardinal de Retz. Evening read at home, Caroline de Litchfield until nine, when my Wife and I went to a party at Mrs. A. H. Everett’s.2 A great many there and a very mixed assemblage. Few whom I ever knew. I endeavoured to 26make my bow to every body whom I did know. And to find something or other to say, but it is hard work. Mr. Gannett speaks the truth. The conversation of an evening party is disgraceful to intelligent beings. Returned home late and read the World.


3 Feb. (Adams Papers).


On Mrs. A. H. Everett, the former Lucretia Orne Peabody, and her husband, see vol. 3:57–58.