Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 28th. CFA Tuesday. 28th. CFA
Tuesday. 28th.

Morning clear and cool but it clouded in the course of the day. I went out early for the purpose of calling at Sharpe’s to see how my case came on. The man was just smoothing out the boards for the frame.

My No. 6 appeared in the Advocate and Centinel this morning, and I carried down No. 8 together with the copy of Mr. Webster’s Speeches which had been lent, to give them to Mr. Hallett. Conversation with him upon various topics, especially Mr. Everett’s situation as candidate for Governor and Mr. Webster’s. He read me an article upon the first subject which I thought very good. The thing must come to a crisis and my only fear is that this crisis will be the retirement of Mr. Webster. A. H. Everett called upon me this morning and we had some conversation upon this very topic. I think the great effort must be to nail the party down to it’s course, and with that end suggested a paragraph for Hallet’s consideration.

I went to Quincy. Found my little girl well and the family generally. Dinner and conversation. I was occupied a short time only in reading Madame Deffand and assorting some Pamphlets. My father talked a good deal about the French business, which he considers as very far from definitively settled. He criticized Mr. Livingston’s Speech at the Philadelphia dinner as well as his letter.1


In April, Edward Livingston, American minister to France, had been able, despite Jackson’s bellicose statements which the French understood as an ultimatum, to secure from the Chamber of Deputies an appropriation to pay the spoliation claims recognized in the Treaty of 4 July 1831 but remaining a casus belli between the nations thereafter (see notes 1 and 1, respectively, to entries for 11 Feb. and 6 March 1835, above). However, when actual payment was deferred pending satisfactory explanation of the terms offensive to them in the President’s Message, Livingston delivered a comprehensive exposition of the American position and 187returned to America forthwith. After his arrival in Philadelphia he was tendered a public dinner on 18 July. There, in a toast, it was proposed that his April letter to the French “embodies the sentiments of his countrymen, and stands a text book for American Diplomatists.” Excerpts from Livingston’s speech in response appeared in the National Intelligencer, 21 July, p. 3, col. 3; 25 July, p. 3, col. 2.

Wednesday. 29th. CFA Wednesday. 29th. CFA
Wednesday. 29th.

Morning clouds and rain. How often this has happened to me at Quincy, this season. I remained here until after dinner as I was desirous of taking in my child whenever I went. My time was very much wasted. Read a little of Mad. Deffand and some odes of Peter Pindar which are amusing even after the passage of time. There is much point in them.

The Advocate of this morning contains Mr. Everett’s second paper which is an exceedingly good one and must be wormwood to Mr. Webster. And the editorial relating to E. Everett which will contribute to hasten a crisis. It also has an article based upon my suggestion of yesterday.1 This is carrying on the war vigorously. The state of parties is now somewhat changing. The defenceless state my father has been in for year past is going over. Would that he by a final step would suffer it to vanish from sight altogether.

After dinner I talked a little with my Mother and then concluded to return home with Louisa. We arrived at about sunset and found my Wife had not come in. The little girl appeared notwithstanding pleased at getting home. I enjoyed a quiet and luxurious evening. Oh! the comfort of one’s own home.


The article would seem to be that titled, “What Ought Antimasons to do in the Choice of Governor?” in which support of Edward Everett’s candidacy is given, but with reservations: “It is an objection to Mr. Everett as a politician, that he is so much of a modern whig, but it is not a paramount objection to him as an Antimason” (Daily Advocate, 29 July, p. 2, col. 3).

Thursday. 30th. CFA Thursday. 30th. CFA
Thursday. 30th.

Morning at home drawing out the remainder of my coins. I find that I shall have a great deal of room to spare and therefore design to extend my collection through the means of my wife’s brothers who are abroad in various parts of the globe.

Office. Nothing of consequence. I was occupied in writing Diary and as usual, Accounts. Mr. Walsh came in and prevented me from continuing an Article I was preparing for the Advocate of next week. We 188must follow up the War, although I think from the silence of the Atlas that we have already done too much in driving Mr. Webster from the field. There is something perfectly unaccountable in the course of the whole party. They are now being crippled under a heavy fire and they say not a word. Even Mr. Everett’s cutting style does not move them a hair. Mr. Walsh talked about my argument and the subject in general. He is a sceptic. Indeed it is very astonishing to find how much principles once acknowledged by every body become unsettled in the progress of time, in this country.

Home where I found my Wife and other children, returned from Medford. Juvenal. Afternoon. Theirs, coup d’etat of the Majority of the Directory, justified by Theirs. Manifestly, he is wholly ignorant of the true principle of Government. This step was to remedy the deficiency to be created by a legitimate accession of power to the other side through the voice of the Majority, at the ballot boxes. Mad. Deffand. Evening quiet. German resumed.