Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

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

A mild and pleasant air in the early part of the day although the wind went round to the Eastward afterwards. The walking very bad from the melting of the snow. I went to the Office. Read the Presi-45dent’s Inaugural Address—A very prudent performance which expresses enough of each side to be perfectly safe. Did some business with Mr. Degrand and made an investment on my father’s Account of some surplus Money that was lying in my hands. I accomplished a good deal of Gouverneur Morris. This with my walk finished the morning.

Afternoon at home. P. C. Brooks Jr. came in to tell us of the fears entertained of the fate of Mr. Dehon, the father of Mrs. Sidney Brooks. She has come from New York with her husband in consequence.1 The poor man has been in the utmost embarrassment in his affairs for some time, and it is feared he may have made away with himself. It is a week since the family have had no tidings of him. How much suffering there is in this world.

Read more of de Retz. Evening quietly at home. Read to my Wife. After which finished Burke on the sublime, and the World. This is the most indifferent of the Essayists that I have yet read. The tone is too light to be useful and yet too heavy to be amusing. There is much coarseness in many of the Papers under the idea of Wit, and the ironical is altogether too profusely general. I am glad to have finished it.


Sidney Brooks, brother of ABA, had lived in New York since his marriage five years earlier; his wife Frances was the daughter of William Dehon (see vol. 3:4, 36, and Adams Genealogy).

Saturday. 9th. CFA Saturday. 9th. CFA
Saturday. 9th.

Fine morning. I went to the Office and passed my time pretty industriously there. Read more of the life of Gouverneur Morris and of his intriguing disposition in France. He was an Aristocrat in feeling. His connections were Tories and although he emancipated himself from their bondage, he retained through life the marks which had been printed in early life.

Went to the Athenaeum to read the comments that the principal Newspapers make upon public affairs. Mr. Clay comes out rather brighter than has been anticipated. Success is the great rule by which public men are tried. It saved my father in his critical position of last year, and it will probably extricate Mr. Clay now. The principles which produced both measures, will remain open for discussion in future years.

As my Wife went to Medford, I dined at P. C. Brooks Jr’s. Salt fish and Mr. and Mrs. with the two Miss Olivers.1 Nothing peculiar. Returned home and read De Retz. My Wife got back to tea. Quiet evening at home. Sidney Brooks called in and sat an hour. He told us more of 46Mr. Dehon’s absence. The better opinion seems to be that he was in a state of the utmost mental anguish and on a stormy night of last week wandered away and was frozen under some snow bank.


Probably the Francis J. Oliver family, relatives of Mrs. P. C. Brooks Jr., who was Susan Oliver Heard.