Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

167 Sunday. 28th. CFA Sunday. 28th. CFA
Sunday. 28th.

Cloudy but warm. It afterwards cleared away. I finished the seventh Volume of Thiers and the melancholy account of the failure in Quiberon bay. The Royalists in the whole period of the Revolution deserved the title they had of “imbeciles.” This is very much the same thing in all Governments. Our Whigs, the English Whigs and the French Royalists have always been a ruinous party to follow. Their best principles fail in the execution, and their plans are the result of a divided conception. Nothing can ever be brought about advantageous to the country by them.

I attended divine service all day and heard Mr. Convers Francis of Watertown.1 Morning Luke 24. 5.6. “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” A sermon quite good in substance but a little too ambitiously written and painfully delivered. Afternoon 2. Chronicles 18. 33. “And a certain man drew a bow at a venture.” Upon the consequences attending efforts, the direction of the Almighty in cases of apparent small moment, and the importance of not being discouraged by results. This is one of those Sermons which have convinced me of the value of attending Church. It encourages me in my easily despairing efforts. It led me to hope that I am doing a duty and not merely fulfilling a fancy. I went home feeling as if I had done wrong to submit to any depression.

Read a Sermon of Dr. Barrow’s after I had spent an hour in riding with my Wife, who needs air and exercise. Text, the same as last Sunday. Subject the necessity of a peaceable carriage with all men. I thought it not so good as it’s predecessor. Evening very pleasant. I called to see Mrs. De Wint at Mrs. B. T. Pickman’s. She has come with her daughter to spend a few days here. Her manners are just as hard and wooden as ever. Home and reading over the Sermon. To bed early.


The scholarly Convers Francis, one of the earliest American students of German literature, would retain his ministry at Watertown until 1842, when he became a professor in the Divinity School at Harvard. A brother of Lydia Maria (Francis) Child, he was long active in the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS, Procs. 8 [1864–1865]: 233–253; DAB ).

Monday. 29th. CFA Monday. 29th. CFA
Monday. 29th.

Morning cool and pleasant. My number did not appear. It is tolerably clear to me that the plan is to kill their effect by delay, and I am 168not certain that I shall not lose as much by my introduction of my papers as I can expect to gain.

To the Office where I was occupied drawing up the Account for T. B. Adams for three quarters of a year. I regret to perceive in the Newspaper of this morning that Mr. John Bailey is dead of a consumption—A valuable man and a good friend to my father.1 I regret it. Went to see Mr. Durand about Mr. Brooks’ picture. He has finished it and means to send it home tomorrow.

Home where I found my Mother who came in with little Louisa for a sitting.2 As usual there was so much uneasiness that my Wife was not well and the house in confusion. She remained until five o’clock when I went with her to pay a visit at Mrs. Pickman’s to Mrs. De Wint. Found Mrs. J. H. Foster and two daughters with Miss Harriet Welsh there. Short and stiff. Home where I finished Thiers’ Account of the Convention, and the famous day of the sections.

Evening with my Wife, after which I resumed my Papers, and bearing in mind Mr. Francis’ Sermon, sat down to write over and improve No. 3.


JQA’s diary entry for this day is devoted to an affectionate sketch of the life of Bailey and to an account of JQA’s long association with him.


Durand, having completed the portraits of JQA and Georgeanna Frances, was engaged on a portrait of Mary Louisa which LCA planned to give to the children’s mother, Mrs. JA2. See Oliver, Portraits of JQA and His Wife , p. 174.