Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Wednesday. 7th. CFA Wednesday. 7th. CFA
Wednesday. 7th.

Morning cloudy but it cleared afterwards. I went to the Office and occupied myself with Accounts. Mr. Walsh, Mr. Hurlbert and finally A. H. Everett came in. The first talking generally. The second about the Lease of this building, the last to make some inquiries apparently. He wished to know what my father’s views were about the Convention which was to be held. I could not tell him, but promised to find out. He told me that the Whigs were in division among themselves and an attempt was making to run up Samuel Turrell Armstrong. The arrangement that was contemplated to support Armstrong for the Mayoralty had failed by his refusal to accept it. I then told him of the attack upon my father in the Morning Post of yesterday and the surly criticism of his Article in the North American Review today.1

These political hacks are all alike. The Jackson party here is for keeping its influence and dreads any increase on any side which would be likely to diminish it. The talent and influence now concentrated upon the Advocate is a subject for excessive jealousy which occasionally peeps out as it did at the time of the Worcester Convention. I see very little light any where. The Country is overwhelmed by the multiplicity of selfish and ambitious men.

My path is a quiet one but it must be decided. Shut in as I am on all sides by barriers, of which my father has certainly raised the most formidable against me, I must pick my way upon the rock of general principle and upon that alone. Mr. E. is not so fortunate. He is poor and desperate, and must make compliances nobody shall get from me. I do feel for him and yet can do very little to help him.

Afternoon, busy writing. I am preparing a couple of numbers now which will I think have effect. The necessity of sustaining ourselves at this election edges me on. Evening at home.

1.

An unsigned contribution to the Boston Morning Post on the 6th (p. 2, col. 1) had handled JQA’s letter about Tristram Burges in unfriendly fashion. 238The criticism of A. H. Everett was of his essay on William Ellery Channing in the North Amer. Rev. , 41:366–406 (Oct. 1835).

Thursday. 8th. CFA Thursday. 8th. CFA
Thursday. 8th.

Fine morning. In order to keep my engagement I went down and after transacting business, started for Quincy. Reached there at ten and found the family well. Mr. Spear waiting for me. My father agreed to accompany us to the Quarry where we met Mr. Colman the applicant for the Lease. The Stone lies on the homestead farm and seems in much greater quantities than I had anticipated. It is just on the other side of the hill, in front of the house. After looking it all over, and considering and comparing we agreed upon prices and conditions. Colman is to open the Quarry and remove all the Stone he takes out, which is an improvement upon the other plan. If the Stone should prove good, this will from it’s convenience be an acquisition.

I crossed over to Mrs. T. B. Adams’ whither I went on my usual Quarterly business. Found Miss E. Miller there. Conversation for some time. Nothing remarkable. Home in season for dinner. Elizabeth C. Adams came down and spent the day. The family seem well but dull at their loneliness. This will soon be corrected. They fly off like winter birds. But the last month is always cheerless at Quincy.

My father seemed better. I conversed with him upon politics. He bears up against the tremendous attack his indiscretion has brought upon him as usual. But I think his future prospect a gloomy one. All parties will soon agree to put him out of their pale, and there are not enough independent men in the community to keep him up or even to value his course. Returned home after sunset and it was quite late when I reached my house.

Friday. 9th. CFA Friday. 9th. CFA
Friday. 9th.

Weather pleasant. I went to the Office and occupied myself as usual in accounts, and Diary. My time has been so much taken up in a variety of ways that I do not keep up my arrears as well as I ought.

The Advocate of this morning announces the publication of some Essays from one of the ablest pens in the Country. This is a very flattering compliment to me. I have to struggle with many things in the course I have marked out, but the worst of them all is the endeavour to slight and scorn what I do. Patience, and perseverance.

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Mr. Ladd called to ask me to go and see his house and do more repairs. He is the most unreasonable man I ever knew as a Tenant in my life.

I suffered from a head ache all day which terminated as they always do with me. It is a little remarkable that I have now a recurrence of them on a return to my own house after nearly a year’s perfect health. My afternoon was consequently of very little value to me, and in the evening I was anxious to get to bed which is my only remedy.