Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

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.).

Friday. 7th. CFA Friday. 7th. CFA
Friday. 7th.

A most beautiful day. Could we but have such weather for our Journey! I went into town with Mr. Brooks, and was very much occupied in my various duties. At this moment when I have little time and yet no remarkable incidents, my Diary suffers. I cannot speculate because I must act.

Wilson came in with my horse and we were both engaged in a variety of little things until one o’clock when I went to Quincy. Found my Mother as usual. In the Afternoon I was entirely occupied in settling Accounts of the household. This is a tedious business, and an unpleasant one where the means are not ample. Conversation with my Mother upon affairs at Washington. These are never pleasant. Finished Quintus von Flaming and glad to get through with him.

In the midst of such occupations as mine have been for the last three weeks, how little do we care for political events. Yet the world is with us unusually heated. The New York Election has resulted in a defeat of the opposition and the probabilities seem to be that the President will have a perfect triumph. For myself I see too little in political life at the present moment to tempt me even if I had not now things of stronger personal interest in view. Quiet evening. Retired earlier than usual.

Saturday. 8th. CFA Saturday. 8th. CFA
Saturday. 8th.

The morning was bright but it clouded with a few drops of rain in the course of the day. I made every preparation that I could think 5of, and my Mother seemed in very good spirits about her departure. It being necessary for me to make some final settlements in Boston, I was with regret compelled to leave Quincy before they actually started. My mind was in a state of great anxiety about her, more particularly as the Coachman Wilson informed me in the morning of his fear that the horse who has been so sick would die on the road. I do not know what to do but risk him at least to Providence. He cannot be left without great inconvenience and gentle exercise may help him.

I was very busy in Boston in my final arrangements, drawing money, settling Accounts and so forth. Went to Medford to dine. Afternoon devoted to the children and to my Wife. Amused my time by reading some Articles in two or three of the latest English periodicals. In the evening Mrs. Gray and Miss Henrietta passed a couple of hours rather languidly for me.