Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

171 Saturday. 4th. CFA Saturday. 4th. CFA
Saturday. 4th.

A very warm morning. I started for Quincy shortly after breakfast with Mr. Everett and Mr. Whitney of Deerfield. We took up on the old Road near Dorchester Corner, Mr. Whitcomb, a man I did not know. We reached the town hall in good season and I joined with our party, the Orator of the day &ca. at Mr. Whitney’s. The sun was scorching but we had a short procession and got into the Church in good season. The ceremonies were good and the Oration rather above the ordinary level of such productions.1 This is giving considerable praise for there is no more difficult effort than one of these Addresses. He did not stir any temporary politics.

We dined in a tent covering part of the Hancock Lot and on the whole had a very pleasant dinner. A thunder shower came on to cool the air and the champagne circulated so briskly as to heat the citizens to activity. In this Country it is, I suppose, every man’s duty to take part in such things, but I confess if there is one thing I hate it is just this. A. H. Everett made a silly Speech and a silly Toast. The general toasts which were drawn up by my father were very good.2 I left the table before my turn to be called upon came and so escaped my Quandary.

Passed an hour at my father’s, where the gentlemen called for me. We reached town at seven in good order. The rain prevented the evening festivities. Mr. Whitcomb told us he was a democratic radical.


The orator was Solomon Lincoln of Hingham. A broadside “Order of Performance” is in the Adams Papers and is reproduced in the present volume; see also p. xiv–xv, above.


“Mr. Beale and Mr. Bartlett called on me early this morning for Toasts ... for the celebration of the coming 4th inst. I gave them eleven toasts which I had just written.... I furnished these with reluctance, having no talent at toasting, and being very sure of bitter criticism upon every Toast that I give.... I told them that in composing the Toasts I had excluded every sentiment approaching to party Spirit of any kind. They said this was their own desire; but the consequence is that the Toasts are all flat” (JQA, Diary, 1 July).

Sunday. 5th. CFA Sunday. 5th. CFA
Sunday. 5th.

Another very warm morning with a similar termination in a thunder shower. I passed my leisure time in reading over a part of Mr. Gerry’s correspondence among the MS of J. Adams. I believe I now have too many irons in the fire.

Attended divine service all day and heard Mr. Frothingham. Acts 2. 7.8. “Behold, are not all those which speak, Galileans? And how hear 172we every man in our own tongue wherein we were born?” The idea presented in the Sermon was a general one—Christianity the Mother tongue of the earth, and it was treated ingeniously and beautifully. Afternoon Proverbs 26. 4.5. “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own conceit.” The thunder and lightning drowned the preacher’s voice and distracted the auditor’s attention but I thought the Sermon as far as I heard distinguished very acutely the consistency and unity of these verses. I was however anxious to escape the rain which I did barely.

Read the first half of an immensely long Sermon of Dr. Barrow upon bounty to the poor. Psalms 112. 9. “He hath dispersed; he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.” His division as usual follows the natural course of the words, he speaks first of the act, and then of its reward. This discourse must however have been only partially delivered, for it’s delivery would have taken half a day. Afternoon and evening at home. Tried to write but without success.