Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

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

Cloudy with a thunder storm in the evening. I went to the Office and was tempted from thence to study General Jackson’s new Protest against the usurpations of the Senate.1 He is irritated by the vote of censure passed there and replies to them in a manner very well calculated to make the Nation awake. The paper is written with skill and ingenuity. It maintains that the Senate have prejudged his case and thereby violated their duties as final Judges in cases of impeachment, that he had a right to remove the Secretary of the Treasury and every other Officer but the Judges of the U.S., that he has the custody of 299the Treasury without control of the two Houses and that he is the representative of the People as contradistinguished from the Senate who do not, and who are an aristocratic body arrogating to themselves all the powers of Government. The intent of all this can hardly be misunderstood. It is a blow at the independence of the Senate, and the contest which will convulse the Nation for twelve months to come will be a final one between these two powers. The House of Representatives being divided so nearly in equal portions will not exercise much influence upon the result. Whatever it has will now be for the President. The times are growing fearful. This is a new ingredient in the political cauldron and may lead to results in comparison with which all that has gone before will be as nothing. The Country is certainly in a state of crisis.

Thomas Doyle called upon me and I despatched him to Washington. What the result of his mission will be I do not know. But I a little mistrust his capacity. Accounts and walk.

Afternoon, Maritime Discovery and the remainder of Briseis to Achilles. There is much beauty in the style of Ovid and he seems to have penetrated into the heart and been imbued with the feelings of a woman more perhaps than was perfectly appropriate. Evening at home. Miss Edgeworth’s Belinda, and afterwards German.

1.

The President’s Message protested against the Senate’s resolutions “touching the constitutionality and expediency of the Removal of the Public Deposites ... from the Bank of the United States” (National Intelligencer, 18 April, p. 3, cols. 4–5). The Message itself, published simultaneously in the Globe with its dispatch to the Senate, was printed in the Intelligencer on the 21st (p. 1, cols. 1–7; p. 4, cols. 1–3).

Tuesday. 22nd. CFA Tuesday. 22nd. CFA
Tuesday. 22nd.

Clouds and chilly atmosphere. I went to the Office. Time rather wasted. Read a little of Jefferson’s Letters which are not so interesting as one might expect. He seems to have been fond of the arts and desirous of introducing them into this Country, but his political ideas did not seem to obtain much more basis from the enlarged sphere in which he found himself.

Walk. I am interested in political affairs and wish I could do something in aid of the present excitement, but there are so many that I feel as if I could do but little. Why not try? and not be so confounded indolent as I now am. But I have been so indolent that I cannot wake up and so unsuccessful heretofore that I have no motive to wake up.

After dinner, Maritime Discovery and Ovid. Phaedra to Hippolytus—300The shameless pleadings of criminal love. There is something disgusting in the argument and impudent in the tone which deprives the writer of all sympathy. Evening quietly at home. Belinda.