Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

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.

Saturday. 13th. CFA Saturday. 13th. CFA
Saturday. 13th.

The day was excessively warm. I read over and corrected No. 9 of Political Speculation and carried it down to the Advocate Office for publication. Then to my own Office to write up a little of Diary and to bring up Accounts in which I have for the most part lost my interest. I did not remain long but returned home and continued work upon my Appeal which must now be begun and prosecuted without intermission. The examination of old authorities is perhaps the most laborious part of the whole business. I wrote steadily until one o’clock when my father came in and shortly after my Mother with little Fanny. They were to go for a sitting to Durand.

I shortly after dressed myself and proceeded with my father to Medford to dine according to invitation. His Peter C. Brooks’ annual dinner to the Trustees of the Agricultural Society. T. L. Winthrop, Josiah Quincy and his son, E. H. Derby, B. Guild, John Welles and a son in law elect by name Hunnewell, Mr. Stetson, B. Gorham, E. Everett, Commodore Downes of the Navy, Mr. Frothingham, Edward Brooks, my father and myself. The dinner was quite pleasant and the atmosphere much aided by a purifying thunder storm. Mr. Gorham was peculiarly pleasant and as it seemed to me a little pointed in his attention to my father and myself. But this might be mere imagination. We returned to town and reached home by tea time after which my father returned to Quincy with the family. I worked a little.

Sunday. 14th. CFA Sunday. 14th. CFA
Sunday. 14th.

My ground opens to me very rich. I am exceedingly busy in exploring it. The authorities are numerous and imposing and if I fail it must be from my own incapacity to execute.

I attended Divine service all day and heard in the morning a Mr. 158Damon of West Cambridge1 from Philippians 4. 8. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” This was a discourse upon the value of virtue to man in itself alone, and the inducements to man to pursue it from the effects it operates upon his own character. He discussed the ordinary maxim “Honesty is the best policy” and laid down in familiar but strong language the prevailing maxims of ordinary life. In some passages particularly towards the close I thought his flight was quite extraordinary. On the whole I was pleased. Afternoon Mr. J. D. Green,2 John 19. 30. “It is finished.” The moral of closing life with nothing new or remarkable to compensate for a bad manner.

Afterwards a Sermon of Dr. Barrow. Hebrews 10. 24. “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good work.” A continuation of the discourse of last Sunday upon Charity, its acts and objects, and very good. I worked hard “scribbling” the rest of the day.

No news but of the death at the Springs of Dr. J. G. Stevenson. He has been my family physician ever since my marriage and in him my Wife had great confidence. I felt shocked at this sudden notice of the close of his career which seemed to be just beginning, but there was nothing extraordinary in it, the lot of all mortality.


Rev. David Damon, Harvard 1811 ( Quinquennial Cat. ).


James D. Green was a Congregational minister in Cambridge; see vol. 4:248.