Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 7th. CFA Tuesday. 7th. CFA
Tuesday. 7th.

Warm morning but the air was brisk enough to make it pleasant. My No. 3 came out today in one paper only. It was sadly disfigured in printing and on the whole disappointed me, but I went down to see 173Mr. Hallett and give him some books. Found him for a wonder and had some little conversation respecting the present condition of things. He encourages me. It seems that at Worcester yesterday A. H. Everett was upon attempting to speak at the dinner given to the proprietors of the Railroad put down in a very insulting manner to him. The cause supposed to be the suspicion of him as the Author of my Articles. This is Worcester spite.1 I will go on and enlarge my operations. I will not be discouraged. Mr. Webster shall feel the stripes in every manner I can make him, and learn wisdom in future.

I went to Quincy taking my little Louisa with me. We got there at noon and I spent much time in talking with my father. The family appeared quite well. Nothing very material. Returned home by sunset.

Evening I went upon the Common to see the Fire works which on Account of the rain had been twice postponed. The night was beautiful. Two bands were stationed at different spots and the dense crowd of quiet faces now looking up at the display and now regarding each other as they walked slowly about was quite interesting. The fireworks themselves were exceedingly beautiful. I have never seen any thing equal to them. The magnificence of the colours and the beauty of the forms gave an appearance of jewelry on a gigantic scale. The idea of combining colour with the brilliancy of fire is among the most ingenious of all man’s originating. On the whole I think this a far more rational and agreeable amusement than the plan of stuffing and guzzling which has heretofore distinguished us. To be sure our climate is, as this very case shows, excessively uncertain, but we must enjoy what we have and let the rest pass.


A few days later Hallett printed the story in the Advocate: “We heard a person near us, say to another ‘he wrote the articles in the Advocate — down with him!!’ ... The articles ... alluded to were, we presume, those on ‘Political Speculation.’ We have since stated the fact ... to the author of these articles, who desires us to say that Mr. A. H. Everett is not the writer of any of these pieces” (10 July, p. 2, col. 2).

Wednesday. 8th. CFA Wednesday. 8th. CFA
Wednesday. 8th.

Weather excessively sultry and damp. I went down to see Mr. Sharp about the medal case and consulted for the usual time without coming to any decision. I concluded however upon having him begin upon it. He said he was so occupied he could do nothing until next week before which time I agreed to see him again.

To the Office where I was engaged in writing an Article for the 174Newspaper at Bridgewater. Mr. Thomas of Plymouth is supposed to be the writer of a short comment upon my Papers under the Editorial head. I have taken advantage of it and written a letter which will I expect secure my introduction into his columns.1 It is not carefully written for the purpose of leaving an opening for reply, upon which I propose to make my vehement assault. I think if well managed this will do for the whole County of Plymouth. I sent it by mail at noon. Home, the afternoon passed in writing my Number 5 which I at last got into shape, and by night nearly completed.


On 26 June in the Bridgewater paper, We, the People, the editor had commented on the papers of “Political Speculation” and, while disagreeing with the outright anti-Webster position taken in them, noted that “They are written in a style quite above the ordinary tone of political newspaper discussion, and exhibit much acuteness as well as plausibility of reasoning” (p. 2, col. 4). CFA’s reply, which he signed “A Whig Antimason” and dated the 4th sic of July, was printed in We, the People on 17 July (p. 2, cols. 4–5) and reprinted in the Advocate on 21 July (p. 2, cols. 3–4) with the editorial comment that it is “excellent and highly judicious,” to be commended “earnestly to all Antimasons, every where.” CFA’s hopes that his letter would lead to other appearances of his work in We, the People proved soundly based; see the note to the entry for 23 June, above.