Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 4th. CFA Tuesday. 4th. CFA
Tuesday. 4th.

I went into Boston from Quincy and was occupied the greater part of my time in making the necessary preparations. Went to my House, from thence to the residence of one of the Tenants to make Collections. Wrote to my Wife and to my father1 and on the whole filled up every inch of my time. Returned to dinner. In the Afternoon 3with my Mother. She went out today to ride and bore it exceedingly well.

I have hopes now that weather permitting we shall get off and if favoured to New York we shall get along. The monotony of this life is so great that I am not able to put much into my Journal, and yet my activity and my responsibility were never more heavily drawn upon. Ovid, Metamorphoses Book 7—The Story of Medea, and the account of the plague of Aegina, both very fine morsels. German.


Both letters missing.

Wednesday. 5th. CFA Wednesday. 5th. CFA
Wednesday. 5th.

I thought it likely to rain and therefore would not go into town particularly as I had many little last things to do, and wished to take a few hours of fishing for the last time. I accomplished my objects and caught a few smelts. This brought me to the dinner hour. On my return home found my Wife and the two children with their Nurse from Medford come to see my Mother before her departure. This is always a heavy business, transporting a family.

The Afternoon was spent in much confusion of course. I did nothing but read a little of one of my father’s Manuscript Letter books of old Russian reminiscences. And illegible word 1 chance would have it Mrs. Smith began talking them over in the evening. There were other papers curious also but fearful. When I look back and reflect upon the last sixty years of my family in two generations, I ask myself if distinction has not been dearly purchased. If prosperity and adversity have not been fearfully mixed. Finished the seventh book and third volume of Ovid where I believe I shall stop for the present.


CFA seems to have written my, but the sense demands as.

Thursday. 6th. CFA Thursday. 6th. CFA
Thursday. 6th.

A lovely morning. We were occupied most of the time in making final arrangements of different descriptions. And at ten o’clock I went in the Carriage with my Wife and children to Boston. We reached there at about eleven and I was quite busy from that time in my affairs.

Received a couple of letters from my father in no very amiable mood. He takes my recommendations as I thought he would in no very amiable spirit. He says he shall attend to them, but that in such a way 4that he does not appear as if he thanks me for urging them.1 This must be one of my lessons. I must reflect well upon my course.

Went to Medford with Mr. Brooks and spent my time in reading the last numbers of the Quarterly and Edinburgh Reviews. Some spicy things. Quiet evening.


To CFA, 1 and 2 Nov. (both in Adams Papers). CFA had apparently offered, partly as an economy measure and partly because LCA was averse to returning to the house in Washington which they had shared with JA2 and his family, to have her live with them in Boston for the winter. He had also urged upon JQA a stern retrenchment in their manner of life in Washington, an extension of loans rather than a hasty liquidation of assets to meet debts. To both proposals JQA seemed to give assent without agreement; however, he recorded in his journal that CFA’s letter has “made a deep impression upon my mind; his opinion of my condition corresponds but too closely with my own” (Diary, 2 Nov.).