Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Sunday. 19th. CFA Sunday. 19th. CFA
Sunday. 19th.

I spent most of this day in the company of either my father or mother. The former was making preparations to go off to Washington tomorrow morning and leaves me with the care of the family upon my shoulders, to go on with my Mother whenever the opportunity will permit. They were both very much affected and in conversing with me seemed to derive their main support. I promised to do everything I could to relieve them, which God knows, is less than I could wish. My mother was pretty quiet on the whole.

I did not attend divine Service or in short do any thing at all. At 406about 4 I started to take my father to town. We arrived and I left him at the Tremont House. I then went down for letters and got one dated the 16th from Mr. Johnson.1 It is not so discouraging as Walter’s. It expresses Dr. Huntt’s opinion that the case is critical without entirely depriving us of hope. I felt a little relieved by it. I remained with my father and Mr. Degrand until nearly eight. This gentleman poked himself into the business without invitation and yet I felt glad he was there as he turned my father’s thoughts from gloomy subjects.

It rained heavily all the evening. I went down and got into the Medford Stage, which runs in the evening, reached there at nine o’clock precisely. From the tavern the man sent me in Chaise and at half past nine I surprised Mr. Brooks and my wife by my presence. I sat down and we had some conversation upon our intentions. My going to Washington will take place probably early in next month, and Mr. Brooks will take my Wife to his house for the winter. This will relieve me very much from anxiety about my own family, which I could not reconcile myself to leaving alone.


Letter missing.

Monday. 20th. CFA Monday. 20th. CFA
Monday. 20th.

I left Medford this morning in a very heavy rain which did not appear encouraging to my father’s progress, but it soon stopped and before evening became very clear and bright. In turn, occupied much in Commissions, and copied some letters for my father, this with other things engrossed much time and I found myself soon called upon to start again for Quincy. The weather growing colder.

Arrived at Quincy, found my Mother more quiet, but suffering from faintness consequent upon the reaction of her system. I was in the mean time, beginning to suffer under one of my head achs which I resisted as long as I could but which I was finally forced to give way to and go to bed although only eight o’clock. Elizabeth C. Adams and Louisa C. Smith still here.

Tuesday. 21st. CFA Tuesday. 21st. CFA
Tuesday. 21st.

A beautiful morning with a fine North west breeze. I think my father must have had a favorable passage. I went to town. My Mother was quiet although she did not pass a very quiet night. Her head is now running upon ever so many things and she worries herself out of 407trifles. We had no letters by the Mail of this morning, nor by yesterday’s, which I consider in my brother’s case as a favorable omen.

At the Office engaged in writing. Called at Mr. Frothingham’s to see my Wife and occupied in a variety of Commissions for my Mother. Returned to Quincy to dinner. Afternoon passed with my Mother and in planting some of the seeds left by my father. Evening I managed to make use of some hours to read some pages of Ovid and my German.

My occupations grow less and less and my anxiety greater and greater. When I reflect upon the future I think I perceive much to be gone through before we reach again a clear sky. My brother may if he has energy enough left and survives this attack, yet recover. But the probabilities must be admitted to be against the first even more than the second condition. My father is daily becoming more helpless in his private concerns and there is nobody but me who takes interest enough in them to attend to them properly. I foresee much sacrifice and after all, but it is useless. My ideas are perhaps those of a croaker. And it is better for me to trust implicitly to a superior being who guides us all, only keeping myself properly prepared to execute whatever it may fall to my lot to do.