Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

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

The Papers in the Whig Interest are all startled at my last number and cry War. But the Centinel has engaged to republish my Argument in reply to my challenge and now I must set my shoulder to the Wheel.1 I went down for an hour to examine the various publications and then returned in order to go to Quincy according to engagement. I took with me John Quincy my boy and Catherine our nursery girl to take care of him. The day was excessively sultry until noon.

Arrived at the house I took up my father and left the others. We proceeded to the Railway and walked from the Hotel to the two Quarries lately leased by my father. Mr. Winkley the late Agent showed me their progress and seemed a little discouraged at the difficulty and expense incurred for good stone. They had arrived at but little yet, though it gave good promise. We went also to see Mr. Dudley. He was not there but his workman there gave exceedingly favorable Accounts. Indeed the stone showed for itself.2 The wind came suddenly round East so that our exercise was not rendered so fatiguing through the heat as I had anticipated.

We returned to dinner. Remainder of the day passed in conversation with my father in the course of which he gave me many very valuable hints for my Papers. Indeed my only difficulty was from their number. He approves of what I have done. The rain set in and I was extremely anxious about my child, but it holding up I concluded to start and we got home in good season and condition. Fatigued but did some reading before retiring.

1.

In his No. 8, CFA had charged Webster with violating the intent of the Constitution in the position he had assumed on the Executive Patronage Bill. Webster’s newspaper supporters jumped to his defense. Among them, however, the Centinel asked for a development and proof of the charges and offered its columns for the purpose: “As this writer holds an able pen, we are disposed to afford him scope” (Columbian Centinel, 10 June, p. 2, col. 3). CFA’s next series, “An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs,” was the fulfillment of his offer to prove his challenged assertion; see note to entry for 23 June, below.

2.

Two companies “have begun to work, but with different prospects of success.... There are varieties in the composition of the rocks, one portion of which only is in great demand. It is that which ... has a uniform appearance of darkling blue, without any veins of a rusty reddish colour; for the latter when exposed to the atmosphere exudes a 156dusky smoky, discolouring matter, and is in no demand.... This difference ... first became generally known by the discolouring of the Quincy Meeting House which is very great, to the excessive disappointment and mortification of the People. There is a taste of fashion for the bluish uniform colour, which makes the difference of value between that and all the rest, as great comparatively as between that of gold and copper.... One of the quarries now opened on my land appears to yield Stone of the best quality” (JQA, Diary, 10 June).

For a detailed descriptive and technical account of Quincy granite quarries and quarrying, with maps and illustrations, see T. Nelson Dale, The Commercial Granites of New England (U.S. Geological Survey, Bull. No. 738), Washington, 1923, p. 315–335.

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

Cloudy morning but it afterwards cleared away. I went down to my Office but only for a short time. Called at the Advocate Office and at the Athenaeum to get books. Found a three column reply to my last number in the Centinel.1 The pieces produce an effect. I returned home and without much effort wrote a reply to this long winded Article. It took me my morning.

I had engaged to take Alex. H. Everett out to Quincy today to dine and accordingly at one o’clock he called at my house and we started in my Gig. Nobody there but Mr. Durand. He has got a good head of my father and a very good one of little Fanny.2 Pleasant dinner. Afterwards, Messrs. Minott Thayer, T. W. Phillips and Whitney of Deerfield, members of the General Court paid a visit which took the rest of the Afternoon. Returned home at seven o’clock.

Mr. Everett’s object in seeing me is what I took it to be, to discuss the state of Political affairs, which we did. I found that he agreed pretty well in sentiment with my argument, and accordingly I suggested to him a plan of operations like that described in Saturdays Diary. He objected to the vehicle of the Advocate and seemed to have on his side an idea of a new Paper. I can easily see his motive which is bread. I regret it, but was obliged to tell him that I could come into no arrangement built upon the ruins of the Advocate. Thus we parted and I think my scheme has failed. Short evening. Continued writing.

1.

P. 2, cols. 2–4.

2.

See notes 1 and 2, respectively, to entries of 18 May, above, and 29 June, below.

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

Finished my draught of Political Speculation by a Whig Antimason No. 9 and last. I am about to take up a new tack. My plan is to go to the Office and do all work absolutely necessary after which home and 157work. The Newspapers are all full of allusions to my numbers which have at last roused public attention. This is the cast of the die with me. Called upon Mr. Brooks and T. K. Davis. Told the latter of my Authorship at which he was astonished. I devoted the remainder of the day to a redraught of No. 9, which puts off the publication until next week and gives me time to go on with the new series which is to be an Appeal from the new to the old Whigs against the Patronage bill. In the mean time all my studies, and occupations of every sort are stopped.