Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

328 Tuesday. 9th. CFA Tuesday. 9th. CFA
Tuesday. 9th.

I went to the Office and occupied myself there with making a new draught of a letter inasmuch as it was of great importance. And having finished only half of it before the hour for leaving, adjourned it to Afternoon when I finished what I deem infinitely better.

The Advocate of this morning contains my father’s Speech with my hints enlarged and commented upon in the Editorial.1 He makes strange work with my style but as it is in no way of being known, I am indifferent. The Speech itself continues to be the theme of Whig vituperation—On many accounts I very much regret it. The Speech was a hasty one and hazarded his position between the contending powers far too much. The Jackson party do not thank him and the Whigs hate him worse than ever. Walk and read Livy.

Sent my paper to Mr. Hallett directly as he appeared desirous to have it. It seems to me one of the best I have written. Learning also that my Mother had been somewhat ill, I wrote to my father a remonstrance against the mode of leaving us in such a State of ignorance.2 Evening, I was at home, reading the Duchesse d’Abrantés, and afterwards German, but as usual I feel the fatigue of reading a book over twice.


The Daily Advocate, along with the full text of JQA’s speech in the House on 22 Jan. “on his Resolution for the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the causes of the failure of the Fortification Bill, at the last session of Congress” (9 Feb., p. 2, cols. 1–6), carried a long editorial comment upon it: “The Whigs have taken great offence ... and have burst out upon Mr. Adams ... because in simple self-defence, he has commented with merited severity upon the charges ... brought by Mr. Webster against Mr. Adams and every member of the House who voted for the three millions defence....

“Mr. Adams seeks to conciliate nobody. He has, in turn, attacked almost every party, without stopping to consider the consequences.... He now stands entirely alone.... He goes in quest of the truth, let it touch where it may” (p. 3, col. 1).


The letter to JQA has not been found. JQA, in a letter to CFA, 28 Jan. (Adams Papers), receipt of which CFA nowhere mentions, had written, however, that LCA was then suffering “a severe attack of the Erisypelas.”

Wednesday. 10th. CFA Wednesday. 10th. CFA
Wednesday. 10th.

Morning very fine. I went to the Office, but from defect in the quality of my fuel I make my stay at the Office even more brief than usual. My Diary gets into almost inevitable arrears, and I am at present so interested in observing the course of the political affairs of the Country that it takes me an hour of every morning to look over the 329Newspapers. Then a walk with the various little trifles that are to be attended to and Livy consume the rest of my time.

Called at the Office of the Advocate. Conversation with the Editor about the state of the present question. He is satisfied with my number and only objects to one passage which he has taken the liberty to change the wording of. These are liberties I do not like when I am in any degree responsible for my writing. I therefore altered the principal point over again. Mr. Hallett is rather over sensitive as it respects the degree of merit the Antimasons are to claim from their course. I am for making it tolerably small by putting it on the ground of negative preference. He is for going still further and making it positive. Perhaps there is a real difference of feeling at bottom. His main ground of objection was however that the words might be turned so as to have a construction that the party had been dragooned by its leaders into its present course without itself being consulted. As this was plausible, I altered the phraseology which might bear that forced construction, all the time saving my own.

I cannot get it out of my head that Mr. Hallett is not sincere towards me, and is embarrassed by my increasing influence in his own ranks. But I must take care how I show him that. My course is one which nothing but my undeviating pursuance of one track marked out for me can execute.

Home. Afternoon, began arranging the papers of Dr. Rush, which I propose to have bound although I do not regard the substance in them as very valuable. Dr. Rush was a man of singular opinions. He had no confidence in General Washington and thought Greek and Latin an evil in Education. Evening out with my Wife. We called upon Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Quincy Jr. and found them not at home. Then went in to see Mr. and Mrs. E. Miller. Cards and a little champagne consumed the time. Home at ten.