Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Sunday. 20th. CFA Sunday. 20th. CFA
Sunday. 20th.

The morning looked stormy as our friend Captain Myrick had predicted. But it rained for a very short time only. Our parlour at this house was exceedingly dark and rather gloomy and for the first time upon our trip my spirits left me a little. I found that I had accidentally torn my only coat on this excursion and this gave an anxiety to my general manner which consciously to myself made me appear stiff and awkward to others.

Notwithstanding all this I attended divine service with our party at the Unitarian Church and heard Mr. Edes, a young man,1 from Leviticus 19. 18. “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” and the Clergyman himself who is settled there Mr. Joseph Angier from Luke 10. 27. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind.” A singular similarity in the topics of all these. Love, discussed by one as the tie of earthly relations, by the other spiritualized into a heavenly existence.

Angier’s mind like Mr. Frothinghams is a very delicately refining one, not over well adapted to the taste of the multitude but producing still and beautiful results.2 Angier has more imagination, Mr. Frothingham more polish. I am glad the former has secured so favorable a position and hope he will be able to maintain it. But the trials of a Clergyman in these days pass belief, and I much fear that he is destined to encounter them.

We remained at home all day and for want of better books I amused myself with Peter Pindar’s Lousiad. The world has much changed in half a Century, for were Pindar to write again the chances would be 225strongly against his making any headway at all. He would now be voted out of Society as coarse and vulgar.

We had some visitors occasionally through the day and evening. Mr. Morton Davis and Judge Davis, Mr. Russell, Mr. S. Rodman and in the evening Mr. Tallman an old Quaker who came in and sat with his hat on and thou’d and thee’d his friend Adams in regular form and after the most approved manner. There is something not unpleasant in all this. So much depends upon the spirit in which a thing is done. Perhaps upon the principle of the thing the Quakers are right. But the world is not to be ruled by an infallible standard. Mr. Arnold spent the remainder of the evening with us. He rather prosed until ten.


Probably Henry Francis Edes, Congregational minister of Nantucket ( Mass. Register, 1835), but see also vol. 4:139–140.


Thus in MS.

Monday. 21st. CFA Monday. 21st. CFA
Monday. 21st.

The morning again looked threatening and again cleared away giving us a bright day. After breakfast we were visited by numbers of people—Mr. William Rotch among others. An old Quaker gentleman of 76 but fine looking and very solid. He is the father of Mrs. Arnold and all the present family. His grandfather moved from Nantucket in 1769 and founded the fortunes of the town. I like this. There is something respectable in it.

The Stage called for us at nine and soon put New Bedford behind us. Circumstances conspired to make my stay there the least agreeable portion of my excursion, but I cannot help thinking that a little more ostentation in the Citizens than we have met elsewhere contributed also. Be this as it may, our Route today lay through the flourishing places of Fairhaven, Rochester, Middleborough, Bridgewater where we had a very good dinner, West Bridgewater, Stoughton and Randolph to Milton bridge where we stopped. A most flourishing series of villages built up by industry. The State of Massachusetts is made up of the enterprise of it’s inhabitants which brings it forward faster than the richer natural productions of her neighbours do them.

The Stage did not upon this day pass through Quincy so that I hired a little carryall which took my father and myself to his house in a few minutes. Thus ended a little pleasure party of a week carried through as few such ever can be in this world without a single failure by accident or one disagreeable incident of any sort or kind. It seemed as if 226nature and man had conspired to make the whole thing one of the happiest periods man can experience and the most delightful he can remember.

We found the family well. My Wife was on my arrival out riding horseback but the children were thank Heaven in full apparent health to receive me. Evening passed in conversation.1


The present entry and the foregoing entries of 9, 11, 14–20 Sept., together with the entries for 14–21 Sept. 1835 in JQA’s Diary, are printed, with some omissions (but without indication of them), in [William W. Crapo,] “Extracts from Diaries of John Quincy Adams and Charles Francis Adams, Relating to Visits to Nantucket and New Bedford,” Old Dartmouth Historical Society, Historical Sketches, No. 47, 1919, p. 12–21. The diary extracts were provided Mr. Crapo by CFA2 in 1904, as evidenced by his letter to Crapo, which is printed in same, p. 12.