Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Friday. 30th. CFA Friday. 30th. CFA
Friday. 30th.

Clear day, with the leaves shining under the effect of a sharp white frost. Immediately after breakfast I accompanied my father, Mr. Spear and Mr. Turner to a woodlot which the last mentioned person is desirous the first should buy. I have no acquaintance with the backlands of Quincy and therefore took this opportunity to get a little knowledge of locations. We went up the road which leads by the Houses of the Stone cutters and came to a gorge in which it is easy to see the great 104convenience which would result from a road along the back of the settled parts of the town. We got out and examined the position of the lot in question of seven acres and more. The wood was very young but good of it’s kind. It was too wet to go much into the thicket so after a slight examination we returned. My father purchased the land for fifty dollars an acre. These Turners are relations of his, being descended from a common stock in my great Grandfather1 and this land having been his was the moving cause to the purchase. This is an amiable weakness in my father which is well understood in Quincy.

We returned home by noon and upon my going to see the well diggers I found that at the depth of fifty four and a half feet they had struck a ledge of slate rock which I recognized to be the one we see on the path to the pasture, then going into the hill. Of course they were stopped. I should have been glad at the moment of the presence of Mr. Higgins. His men have been surly and impatient ever since reaching thirty five feet, and they urged me to decide. I took the opinion of Carr who himself went down and examined the bottom and that of Spear, and they both advised walling up. I then directed the men to do so, regretting my want of experience in these matters and the absence of the proper adviser. If I am wrong, I shall only have to try over again.

In the afternoon, I went over to the Quarry to see Dutton and get from him his prices. He furnished them to me and they prove altogether higher than I can tolerate. My resource must be to cut down very much the quantity to be furnished. Home.

Evening walk with the ladies to Mrs. T. B. Adams. Found there a great deal of company of Quincy. Mr. and Mrs. Miller and their daughter, Mr. Beale and his, Mrs. Baxter and her family, Mr. Whitney, Mr. and Mrs. T. and D. Greenleaf, and Mrs. J. Greenleaf and her family. This was entirely unexpected to me and I took refuge in cards for the evening. Home before ten.

1.

Elisha Turner (1763?–1806), bootmaker of Braintree, in 1790 married Mary Adams, daughter of JA’s brother Peter Boylston Adams. They had four sons and two daughters, Whether Elisha Turner was related to the E. Turner JA wrote of in his account of the launching at the Iron Works Landing is not known (JA, Diary and autobiography, 1:173). The deed from Peter Turner to JQA for the seven-acre woodlot, dated 13 Oct. 1836, is in the Adams Papers.