Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 18th. CFA Tuesday. 18th. CFA
Tuesday. 18th.

I am this day twenty eight years old. The year has passed which I have regarded as the turning point of most men’s lives. It has not however gone without adding to me a little reputation. It surely is no small compliment to me that my style should first have been taken for Alexander H. Everett’s and then for my father’s, the two best political writers in the State if not in the Country. It surely cannot be said that this my life has been wasted when at twenty seven I am even momentarily compared to the most ancient and best established reputations for ability in the Country.

In other respects I have been also blessed far beyond my deserts during the last year. I have another and a fine child, and my property 199has much increased. How many things I have to be thankful for. How many which ought to remind me to preserve a feeling of humility, to be perpetually conscious of my utter dependence upon the Supreme being and my duty to return him the praise. Let me keep in mind my humble state and not be elated by any foolish selfsufficiency.

Rode to town and engaged very much all day. Nothing of any particular consequence. Called at the Advocate Office and left my Paper, at the Athenaeum and house. Returned to dine. Afternoon quietly at home. Read a little and assorted my Grandfather’s Papers. What a discouraging mass. I do not know that I am not doing mischief, by partial and insufficient efforts. Evening quietly at home. Time passes rapidly in my present mode of life but I do not know that I am devoting it in such a manner as would be most for my advantage.

Wednesday. 19th. CFA Wednesday. 19th. CFA
Wednesday. 19th.

Morning bright and pleasant. Mr. W. Spear according to agreement called upon me and we went together to view the premises owned by my father at Penn’s hill. The houses are old and the barns decayed. The difficulty is to know how and where to begin. After examining them I gave Mr. Spear authority to have a certain amount done, and we returned. There was pleasure however in the air and the verdure which the frequent rains have suffered to continue almost as it was in Spring.

I got home and read Juvenal, sixth satire. There is too much coarseness in his satire. His view of women is horrible—The sketch of Messalina too disgusting to think of.

The morning Mail brought my last Article,1 but most horribly mangled by the Printers. This is the most provoking of all things. I was busy assorting Papers of my Grandfather. Afternoon somewhat wasted. Got into a train of investigation about the Russian Coinage2 which ended in nothing but taking up time. Evening at home.


See entry for 13 Aug., above.


In pursuance of his father’s gift; see p. 151–152, 174, above.

Thursday. 20th. CFA Thursday. 20th. CFA
Thursday. 20th.

I went into town again today. The morning pleasant and cool. To the Athenaeum where I found no notice of my Papers. Dignified silence. This is certainly the most effective reply. To the House and thence to various places where I proposed to execute Commissions. I 200have so many things on hand as to make my time very valuable. Called at Russell and Odiorne’s about publishing my pamphlet. He said he would send to the Printers and get estimates. Thus passed the time and I returned to dine.

The town is full of the Abolition projects and the Meeting to be held to counteract them. This takes place tomorrow night at Faneuil Hall; the application is signed by most of our respectable citizens. I am glad I have nothing to do with it.1

Afternoon passed at home. Mr. and Mrs. Cruft with their son and a Dr. Breck of Alabama called. Assorting old files, five out of six papers of no value and yet I am afraid to throw them away, or destroy. Evening, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Greenleaf with their Niece Miss Mary Ann Greenleaf called and spent a few minutes. The sky was clear enough but before long in the night clouds came up with heavy rain. I this day dispatched a second bundle for Mrs. Smith.


Among those at the head of the movement for the anti-abolitionist meeting was Peter C. Brooks (JQA, Diary, 18 Aug.).