Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Wednesday. 12th. CFA Wednesday. 12th. CFA
Wednesday. 12th.

Morning pleasant. I remained at home very quietly and read the first half of the fifth satire of Juvenal. It is the reference to manners that makes this Author inexplicable even to the most learned, in some 195of his passages. Yet there is a bold manly vigour in his style that makes him worth studying.

The Mail brought a Morning Advocate with the Article alluded to by Mr. Everett in reply to the Atlas. It is a thorough stinger. This war is one of tolerable activity but the power is all on one side. The Atlas fires feebly and very slow. Mr. Webster is retiring from the scene of action. His retreat is heavy because he does not know whither to take refuge. The State assuredly gives him the slip if he advocates any Southern candidate.

Afternoon reading Pinkerton upon Medals. My father went to town to dine with Mr. Gorham. My Wife and I were invited down to a party at Squantum of Quincy people. But we did not go, as I dislike taking care of my own horse. Evening, we went and made a call upon Mr. Lunt and his Wife—Our new Clergyman whom I knew in College.

Thursday. 13th. CFA Thursday. 13th. CFA
Thursday. 13th.

My little girl is four years old this morning, and she received little presents from all her friends at home. How much I have to be grateful to God for. The day was excessively warm. I was principally engaged in assorting the whole Pamphlet Department of my father and selecting such as the Athenaeum had not probably got. This is a business very much needed. Read the remainder of the fifth Satire of Juvenal, which has some touches. The Mail brought this morning my answer to the Telegraph with only two misprints in it.1 Quite wonderful. Thus it is we carry on the war.

I went with my father and took a bath at the usual place. Evening, took up a German book, Theodore, one of the novels of Auguste Lafontaine with whom I was so much pleased last year, but I found it wanted interest. I have finished Madame du Deffand’s letters to Horace Walpole and do not intend to read those to Voltaire which finish the work until I get home. Nothing of consequence. The Newspapers give a fearful account of the effects of a mob at Baltimore. What are we coming to, in this Country of laws?2

1.

The United States Telegraph, a Calhoun organ in Washington, on 24 July, p. 2, cols. 4–5, in commenting on No. 5 of “An Appeal,” agreed with CFA’s judgment that Webster in supporting the Executive Patronage Bill had abandoned his anti-states-rights position and principles, although, quite contrary to CFA, it applauded Webster for doing so (the article is reprinted in the Daily Advocate, 19 Aug., p. 2, col. 2). On 29 July, the Telegraph, p. 2, col. 4, reprinted the comment of the Columbian Centinel which had accompanied its printing of the same part of “An Appeal” and welcomed the Centinel’s support of Webster’s position as further evidence of a Whig shift to states-rightism: “This 196argues favorably for the preservation of the Union.” CFA’s reply to the Telegraph was in two parts, in both of which under the signature “A Whig of the Old School” he reasserted that Webster had earned for himself the praise of the states-righters, offering the views of the Telegraph as proof, and at the same time CFA sought to make clear that his own views were far from those of Webster and the “nullifying” Telegraph. (Daily Advocate, 13 Aug., p. 2, col. 1; 19 Aug., p. 2, cols. 3–4)

2.

In Baltimore the Bank of Maryland had failed under circumstances that provoked widespread public anger, particularly directed against Reverdy Johnson and other officers of the bank. Beginning on 5 August, continuing after a public meeting on the 8th, and renewed on the 9th, there were bloody riots in which the homes of the principals were destroyed, the jail broken open, and a number of lives lost (Columbian Centinel, 11 Aug., p. 2, col. 1; 12 Aug., p. 2, col. 3; 13 Aug., p. 2, col. 2).