Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

339 Thursday. 25th. CFA Thursday. 25th. CFA
Thursday. 25th.

Morning clear but it afterwards snowed a little and then turned to sharp cold. I went to the Office and found that I had my fire to make which was vexatious enough. Received letters from Washington,1 and one from Mr. James H. Shepherd of New Orleans covering two draughts for nearly ten thousand dollars of Mr. T. B. Johnson’s money.2 I had hoped that I should not be called upon to assume this task but it seems that it is to be so. Knowing the peculiarly difficult character of Mr. Johnson this is a business which I cannot say I admire. I called to see Mr. Brooks and converse with him about it. Then down to the Advocate Office but I did not find Mr. Hallett, nor did I gain a sight of Mr. Slade’s Pamphlet.

Home, read Livy. My Wife and the baby both unwell with colds. Afternoon, accomplished the arrangement of the letters of Mr. Gerry making another and a very valuable volume. The progress in this work, although wearisome, affords me great satisfaction. It is a record of family labour which will do to be perpetuated. Read de la Motte Fouque’s Magic Ring and heard my child Louisa who is learning to read. She comes regularly now for half an hour a day. Evening at home, Madame Junot, but as the baby seemed quite unwell, I went myself for Dr. Bigelow. Anxiety. But I have been favored in that respect this winter. Began Bolingbroke’s Letter to Sir William Windham.

1.

The only recorded family letter of appropriate date is from LCA to CFA, 20 Feb. (Adams Papers).

2.

J. H. Shepherd to CFA, 9 Feb. (Adams Papers).

Friday. 26th. CFA Friday. 26th. CFA
Friday. 26th.

Morning very cold again, and cloudy. I went to the Office, received another letter from Mr. Shepherd covering a bill for a further sum, and I went down to see Mr. Titus Welles and get it accepted.1 Nothing very material. Called upon Mr. Brooks and conversed with him about investments, short walk to the Athenaeum. Home to read Livy. Afternoon, wrote and copied letters to Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Johnson.2 Niebuhr and the Magic Ring. Thus vanished the day.

Evening, seeing a call for the Committee to meet I went. Not being at the Advocate Office went to Mr. Hallett’s House. Quite a large assemblage. Mr. Thomas, Chairman and Messrs. Hallett, Wakefield, French, Williams, Whitmarsh, Taylor and myself. Mr. Rantoul and Cushing of the Democrats, and Messrs. Phelps and Caldwell of the 340Faneuil Hall Committee. Discussion upon the propriety of nominating a list of Electors here now or waiting for a Convention in September. Dr. Phelps very stubborn and earnest for a postponement. Mr. Rantoul, Mr. Williams and myself on the other side. Mr. Cushing inclining to Dr. Phelps and the remainder undecided. No conclusion but the appointment of a subcommittee to confer—Messrs. Whitmarsh, Thomas and Caldwell. Much discussion also upon the nomination of R. M. Johnson.

I am fearful that no human means will enable the two parties to act together. The counteracting influences lie in the hands of those members who possess the disposition to use them. I was much struck with the clearness and force of Mr. Rantoul’s remarks, and as much disgusted with the pigheadedness of Dr. Phelps. However, it matters very little to me what the end of it all is. Things can hardly turn so as to be very unfavourable to me who depend upon nothing. I am very fortunately for myself not committed in my feelings any way. My support of Mr. Van Buren is a very measured one and will not be otherwise, I hope. Returned home and spent an hour reading Slade’s Pamphlet in answer to me.3

1.

Shepherd announced the enclosure of an order of Judah Touro on Titus Welles for $20,000 to be placed to the credit of T. B. Johnson (J. H. Shepherd to CFA, 10 Feb., Adams Papers).

2.

LbC’s of the letters to J. H. Shepherd and T. B. Johnson are in the Adams Papers. In his letter to Johnson, CFA reported the bills placed in the bank for acceptance and collection for Johnson’s account, the funds ultimately to be invested for him by CFA.

3.

Letters of Mr. Slade to Mr. Hallett, February, 1836, [Washington?, 1836]. The pamphlet is in the form of seven letters, the genesis of which Slade explains at the outset. Following the meeting of Vermont Antimasons in October at which resolutions presented by a committee of which Slade had been chairman were adopted, he was called upon by Hallett for an exposition of the reasons for the position taken. It was in compliance that Slade wrote the letters he published in pamphlet form (entry for 18 Dec., above). Early in January the Advocate had published his first letter, abridged, and promised a refutation of the argument. This was followed immediately by a series of letters signed “A Massachusetts Antimason”; these Slade takes to be Hallett’s promised answer (entry for 4 Jan., above), and to them Slade now replies. He denies the charges that his opposition to Van Buren’s candidacy is motivated by personal animosity and that he supports the candidacy of Judge White of Tennessee. He professes no particular candidate but seems to be pro-Harrison. In effect, however, his thought is directed against Jackson, against Van Buren, and against any close collaboration between the Antimasons and the Democrats.