Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Friday. April 1st. CFA Friday. April 1st. CFA
Friday. April 1st.

Morning pleasant. The first day that has given us any notion of the approach of Spring. I went to the Office as usual and was occupied 362in various matters of account, drawing out my usual Quarterly statement &ca. &ca.

Money matters have for a few weeks past engrossed my attention so entirely that I have paid little attention to politics, but the scenes in Congress are fearfully violent. My father as usual takes a lead. But now his lead is against the friends of Mr. Van Buren.1 And the other party, although taking great advantage of it, are yet by no means willing to say a good word for him. This is the course which all parties will finally adopt against him, and it will in the end drive him out of public life.

Walk to the Athenaeum but no farther. Home Livy. Afternoon, began again upon my work of assorting papers. Took up those of Henry Laurens, and Francis Dana. But the business is fatiguing. The Letters relating to all the foreign negotiations I wish to get together, and those which were written during the Presidency, for these are the two essential periods in his Life.

I read a little of Fouqué but not much. Evening a few ladies—E. C. Adams who dined here, Mrs. and Miss Miller, and he came in for them, Miss Anne Carter. These little kinds of converse are not very entertaining. I went home with Miss Carter. Bright moonlight night.


The House had for some days been embattled in debate on a contested congressional election in North Carolina. The matter had assumed importance because of the widespread feeling that the coming Presidential election would be decided in the House. Under such conditions the gain or loss of any seat by the rival forces was regarded as crucial. The Van Buren forces, feeling that they had the votes in hand to replace a sitting member with one favorable to them, sought to press for a vote before adjournment on Saturday evening, 26 March. Debate was extended, however, beyond midnight. At that point JQA took the lead in a procedural battle to force adjournment, a battle which lasted until 4:30 A.M. on the Sabbath, at which time the motion to adjourn prevailed. (JQA, Diary, 26-27 March; National Intelligencer, 28 March, p. 2, col. 4; Columbian Centinel, 1 April, p. 2, cols. 3–4.)

Saturday. 2d. CFA Saturday. 2d. CFA
Saturday. 2d.

We have for a few days pleasant weather although the East winds prevent our enjoying it much. I went to the Office and completed my quarterly statement, which however I do not propose at present to send on. My father is so completely immersed in politics as to have no eye for any thing else, much less mere matters of money.

Called at the Advocate Office but could not find Mr. Hallett. Mr. Paine spoke to me of printing the third number of my Address to Slade. I knew nothing about it. Athenaeum. Home to read Livy. But I had two or three gentlemen to dine—Governor Everett, Mr. Brooks 363and Mr. Frothingham. Tolerably pleasant. The rest of the afternoon passed in reading Sismondi.

Evening at home. Read to my Wife from Japhet in search of his father. One of the curious series which Capt. Marryatt publishes in his periodical, the Metropolitan. I have been over it in detached parts before. Continued Swifts Journal to Stella—But felt a little drowsy and retired early.