Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 8th. CFA Tuesday. 8th. CFA
Tuesday. 8th.

Morning pleasant. There is a regular thaw every day now, but the amount of snow is so great and it is frozen down so solid as to make hardly any impression. I went to the Office where I was busy in writing Diary and in Accounts as usual. Nothing of importance.

I called to see Mr. Hallett and found him in—Conversation about the present state of political affairs. There is a meeting called to night of the Antimasonic members of the Legislature to act upon the Electoral ticket selected by the democratic party. This ticket was pushed through in somewhat of a hurry in order to save the charge that it had been dictated by the Antimasons. But this very act has irritated the leading members of the Committee and rendered them indisposed to taking up the ticket. And at the same time, Dr. Phelps with the Faneuil Hall Committee protest against the whole subject being mooted at this time. I talked with Mr. Hallett, and pressed him very earnestly to go on at the present crisis. He seemed so disposed, but I resolved to attend the Meeting myself, which he asked of me. I passed the afternoon in methodizing my thoughts although I did not strive to fix them definitely to words. Read a little German.

Evening, I went to the Meeting. There were present, I should think about sixty persons. J. B. Turner Senator of Plymouth co. was made Chairman. Henry Williams and B. F. Hallett, Secretaries. Mr. Hallett, at the request of Mr. Thomas who was perfectly neutralized, explained the state of the case and moved, in order to test the sense of the meeting, that it is expedient to nominate Electors at the present Session of the General Court. Dr. Phelps then came out in opposition. He is no speaker, but with the aid of the printed protest I thought he did well enough. G. Gibson, a man of no weight though somewhat of a 348busy body answered him, and was of essential service in unmasking the whole of the loco-foco intrigue which hardly any one else could have done so safely. Then came a pause in which Mr. Hallett suggested to me that it was advisable for me to speak. I made the attempt and got through on the whole very well. My speech bore evidence of want of care which perhaps did not hurt it. I was applauded once or twice, and sat down glad to get through at all. Mr. Hallett then concluded with much address and moderation. Mr. Pope a Senator from Middlesex then moved to adopt the Ticket proposed, at once. And it was carried, only two in the negative. Mr. Thomas said he was not pleased with the manner of doing this thing but should waive his objection in action. Mr. Whitney dissented from the particular nomination in his District S. C. Allen and therefore voted against the Ticket not choosing to pledge himself to it. Mr. Wakefield a representative from Reading had got stuck upon Col. Johnson and could not vote for the ticket although if adopted he would try to support it.

Dr. Phelps left the meeting in anger. He has been made the cat’s paw of this miserable faction here in Boston who have attempted to control all the operations of our party for the sake of using us as an Engine against the other faction in the Custom House. His secession as well as that of the whole party will be no loss to the cause, although it will not come to that. He is an obnoxious person.

The meeting then broke up and thus is completed for good or for evil the whole of this business. That we have got so far, is to me very astonishing—For the difficulties have been truly great. Home where I passed an hour in idle reflection.

Wednesday. 9th. CFA Wednesday. 9th. CFA
Wednesday. 9th.

Morning pleasant. Office, received a long letter from A. H. Everett at Washington,1 complains of not hearing from here and wishes me to write. He intimates that an undercurrent exists between here and Washington which produces the correspondence in statement between the Globe and the Morning Post. I am fully aware of this, and it is for that reason that I have no disposition to run a tilt with them for the sake of the reformers. I think the Custom House party has no better principles but it has more means of doing mischief. I accordingly sat down and wrote a long reply detailing the whole matter from beginning to end,2 bringing the date up to last night. The writing and copying of this took me the whole day until tea-time—And I condensed more than I should have done.

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Walk which is becoming daily more absolutely necessary. I missed reading Livy to do it. Mrs. Kirk called also and gave me some money.

Evening, went again to the Opera and heard the Somnambula for the sixth time. The house was much thinner than usual and manifested a failing in the Interest. As a very natural consequence the performers and more especially the chorus were more languid. I relished the piece less and began to think it best that I should not see it again very soon. Mr. Brough sung his song well but not so well as he did the last time of my hearing, and Mrs. Wood did not bring me up until the very close when her singing is admirable. On the whole, I shall remember this play with delight.

1.

3 March (Adams Papers).

2.

To A. H. Everett (LbC, Adams Papers).