Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Wednesday. 10th. CFA Wednesday. 10th. CFA
Wednesday. 10th.

Fine clear morning. I walked for an hour on the Common with my child. Met my old classmate Lothrop.1 He is a Clergyman at Dover in N.H. We left Cambridge with some little clouds between us on Account of certain reports stated to have been set in motion by him. I never took the trouble to ascertain their correctness. We were stiff and civil.

I went to the Office. T. B. Adams called in and spent an hour. 66Conversation various. He leaves this quarter on Tuesday for Pittsburgh. I wrote, and read part of the American History. Walk as usual. Went round by Sumner Street to look at a range of new Houses. Their fronts are very pretty.

T. B. Adams and Louisa C. Smith2 dined with me. The afternoon was by this means exceedingly shortened. I read Botta. Evening at home. Idle. Read more in relation to Pompeii. A very curious subject.


After an early intimacy, CFA and Samuel Kirkland Lothrop quarreled over matters not entirely clear. Thereafter CFA was never more than correct toward him and maintained a low opinion of his integrity. See vol. 1:170, 249–250; 2:170; below, entry for 16 Sept. 1834.


Louisa Catherine Catharine Smith, a spinster niece of AA, had resided at the Old House since her childhood, and during JA’s later years had devoted herself entirely to his care. Later, she returned to the Old House to take charge of it for JQA during periods when LCA was absent. Still later, after TBA’s death, she boarded with the widow and was her consolation (JQA, Diary, entries for 5 Oct. 1826, 14 Aug. 1832, 14 Oct. 1833; CFA to ABA, 18 April 1827; to LCA, 30 Oct. 1829; both letters in Adams Papers; see also Adams Genealogy).

Thursday. 11th. CFA Thursday. 11th. CFA
Thursday. 11th.

I made ready to go out of town this morning, but the weather on the whole looked so threatening that I concluded to remain At the Office—Having a morning somewhat uninterrupted I was able to make good progress in reading the Account of the United States. Reached the close of the War. The Account is superficial with little of the spirit of philosophy and rather calculated to interest than to improve.

Took a long walk with Mr. Peabody. Early after dinner, as it cleared away, I concluded I would not lose the day, so I rode to Quincy. Found the workmen at the house busily occupied and promising to finish this week. Walked up to Mrs. Adams’ and saw Elizabeth. She looked better than I expected to see her. Difficult to get a man. High time now.1 I remained looking round until 6. Then returned. Tea and quiet evening at home. I was much fatigued.


It had become apparent that the long engagement, now of four years’ duration, to John M. Gourgas (vol. 2:387) was not likely to lead to marriage; see below, entry for 31 May.

Friday. 12th. CFA Friday. 12th. CFA
Friday. 12th.

Cloudy with rain. Weather altogether unpleasant. I went to the Office after reading a portion of Horace. Got a couple of hours to read the American History besides going to the Athenaeum and calling on Mr. Lothrop. The work is in the latter part of it full of gross errors. 67The Writer had but a very indistinct idea of the operation of our system.

After dinner, was obliged to go down and attend a Meeting of the Directors of Boylston Market. No Quorum. Went over to the Insurance Office where I looked at the plan for widening the Street— The object of a Meeting to advise further expenditures. Decided to call one for Monday. Mr. Baldwin1 talked away for a couple of hours. He strikes me as a very unpleasant man to have any thing to do with. I do not like the whole business.

Returned and read a little of Botta. Evening quietly at home. Les Parvenus, and one Act of Twelfth Night. Afterwards Pompeii.


Perhaps Aaron Baldwin, on whom see vol. 3:303.