Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

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.


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.


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.

Sunday. 7th. CFA Sunday. 7th. CFA
Sunday. 7th.

My morning was taken up in reading the Debates of the First Congress upon the removing power. It seems probable that I shall now have to go into a thorough examination of Mr. Webster’s Speech. God protect me through it. It is the critical moment of my life and I am twenty seven years old. Let that fact and its associations already recorded on my last birth day stir me up.

Attended divine Service and heard Mr. Frothingham. My daughter Louisa with me. Text John 1. 19. “Who art thou.” She distracted my attention. The character of the Saviour and John with a reference to the Communion, and to self examination. This is very blind. Afternoon Mr. Eliot, a young Missionary from St. Louis, on an errand for charity.1 His Sermon was an Address. 2. Corinthians 8. 13 and 14. “For I mean not that other men be eased and ye burdened; But by an equality that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality.” A very ingenious argument in favour of rendering aid from here to build up a Church at St. Louis. The manner was good, and the whole application interesting, and had it’s effect. But my mind was not convinced and therefore it would have been weakness to have yielded to the mere example of others. He had a collection afterwards which was well supported.

Read a Sermon of Barrow. Ephesians 5. 2. “And walk in love.” The necessity and good effects of charity. A very good discourse, but my head is so full of constitutional argument I do not pay proper attention to my regular duties. Evening wrote a Paper No. 8 of Political Speculation and did not go to bed until midnight.


Rev. William Greenleaf Eliot had gone to St. Louis following his graduation from Harvard Divinity school in 1834, and by March 1835 had organized the First Congregational Society there. He had been brought up in Washington of Massachusetts parents and had taken his first degree at Columbian College there. In 1837 he married Abigail Adams Cranch, a daughter of Judge William Cranch of Washington. Eliot’s long career in St. Louis was 154devoted to the establishment of churches and schools and to raising funds, in extraordinary amounts, for their support. He was active in movements for temperance reform, women’s rights, and the emancipation of salves. In 1853 he established Eliot Seminary which later became Washington University. He resigned his pastorate in 1870 to become the University’s chancellor, a post he held until his death in 1887 ( DAB ).