Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Friday. 5th. CFA Friday. 5th. CFA
Friday. 5th.

Cloudy and very sultry. Committed some lines of Pope and then to the Office for a few moments but did not stay. I find the Atlas and Centinel are both out upon me and my attack upon Mr. Webster.1 The latter scolds like a fishwoman and argues a little. I had not time to spare upon them today but hurried home and from thence to start for Quincy in my Gig with Louisa. My Mother has been desirous to have her there to pass the day and I have complied though disliking extremely the hazard of a Gig with children.

We arrived shortly after eleven and I passed the time in conversation with my father and mother. He was exceedingly kind to me as upon such occasions he usually is. Discussed the substance of my Political Speculation and notified me of a valuable present of coins and medals he destined for me.2 This is a present of high value to me as some of the pieces are reminiscences of the public services of my parents. No other family in the Country possesses any thing like the same advantages in this respect. He seems gratified with my political course. 152If it was not that I was under the perpetual stimulus of my family pride I would never mix in the heated waters of political affairs.

I came home in fear of a thunder shower. Louisa slept the whole distance. Arrived at home I felt weary, and retired tolerably early.

1.

In their issues of 5 June both the Daily Atlas and the Columbian Centinel carried strong editorials taking issue with CFA’s No. 7, published on the 4th, which was CFA’s most direct attack upon Webster to appear thus far. Both quoted at length from the offending piece; both denied that the writer was a Whig and objected to the misuse of the name. The Atlas identified the author of the series as “a Tory writer” (p. 2, col. 1), while the Centinel made its comment under the banner, “Political Antimasonry identified with Jackson-Van Burenism” (p. 2, cols. 1–2). JQA took note of the response CFA had elicited, recording that “Charles’ political speculation N. 7 published yesterday ... has produced much excitement” (Diary, 5 June).

2.

“I told him I wished to give him my collection of Medals and coins, and that he should undertake to arrange them and have them put up in suitable boxes and draws” (JQA, Diary, 5 June).

Saturday. 6th. CFA Saturday. 6th. CFA
Saturday. 6th.

Morning clear and cold. I read a little of Pope committing imperfectly a part. Office but remained there little as I had to go round in quest of horses and a Carriage for my Mother. This took much of my time. I called to get the Newspapers necessary to substantiate my assertions against them. But I could not find Mr. Hallett any where. Went to the Athenaeum where I procured Lloyd’s Debates of the First Congress,1 and Niles’ Register but it did not contain Mr. Webster’s Speech. I must have that at all events.

Home where I read a little of Juvenal but I foresee that while my present work is in hand I shall not be able to pursue my regular occupations. Afternoon, I sat down and made a rough draught of what I propose to say about the Faneuil Hall Meeting. I could not pursue the subject of my answer from a want of the Newspapers themselves. In the evening however, Mr. Hallett brought them himself and I conversed with him upon the subject in general. He discussed a proposed diversion in Pennsylvania in favour of Judge White. I told him I expected the greatest resistance to our policy would come from that quarter, but that it must be surmounted. I discussed with him my plan of uniting Alexander H. Everett with him and myself in writing up the Advocate and putting it at the head of the particular department of Politics which we adopt in New England.2 To this purpose I have already waked up Mr. Everett and he has been in quest of me all day for some as yet unknown purpose. I shall be ready for him. I went upstairs to my study afterwards and made a draught of a Paper in answer to 153the Centinel which is the only one of the two Newspapers that attack me which I shall notice. I did not get to bed until late.

1.

Thomas Lloyd [shorthand recorder], Congressional Register; History of the Proceedings and Debates of the 1st House of Representatives of the U.S., 3 vols., N.Y., 1789–1790.

2.

CFA’s plan to enlist A. H. Everett to write a series of political articles in the Advocate to intensify the impact created by his own efforts there against Webster’s candidacy and to improve the circulation of the Advocate was realized during July and August. See entries for 11 June and 24 July, below.