Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Monday. 10th. CFA Monday. 10th. CFA
Monday. 10th.

A clear, cold day. Immediately after breakfast, Mr. William Spear called to take my father and myself in a Waggon up to the Wood lot purchased of Mr. Turner. The object today was to procure a survey by Mr. Humphrey, without which my father very justly refuses to purchase. We spent all the morning from nine until half past two going along the borders of the lot and in many cases experienced the pleasures of scrubbing through the thicket and knocking against rough stones. This is a business I do not much admire. We returned home just in time for dinner but for my part, pretty well scratched and battered.

After dinner I went up the hill to see how the men went on. They are laying the cellar wall, and Mr. Ayer was to have been out here but failed me. I am afraid his Boston residence will be a disadvantage. My well has ten feet of water and promises me abundance. The Stones showing signs of moisture to within a few feet of the coping where they left off. I did not go any further, being fatigued.

Home. Evening, the ladies out at Mrs. E. Miller’s, whither we went, my father, Mr. Price Greenleaf who called on his way and myself. We 111found there the usual Quincy people, with the addition of Mrs. DeWint who had just come from Fishkill and Mrs. Angier who accompanied her from Medford. Cards, dancing by the Piano and music with a light supper passed off the evening, but I was too much fatigued to enjoy it. Glad to get home in the Carriage.

Tuesday. 11th. CFA Tuesday. 11th. CFA
Tuesday. 11th.

Morning cold with clouds. An easterly wind which has prevailed nearly all the year. I went to town and was as usual in the midst of occupation. Called at the House to superintend the painting, then to see Mrs. Fuller for rent, which she did not get me, then to the Office to Accounts and collecting the remaining Dividends.

Saw Mr. A. H. Everett and read to him the Address I had prepared, with which he appeared well satisfied and took it for the purpose of publication immediately. Politics look in an extremely doubtful state at present. Both parties waiting with great anxiety to see the result of this day’s voting in Pennsylvania, which will go very far to settle the question either way.1 For my part, I look on with more indifference than my precise position politically speaking justifies. It is from the little hope of advantage to the Country, and the want of personal inducement to exertion that I find myself standing as I do. Called to see Mr. Brooks and then home.

Afternoon out. Mrs. DeWint and Mrs. Angier dined here. I was out to see Ayer the carpenter who was here today but who did nothing of the duty I directed. He does not catch ideas quickly. It was a day of general muster at Braintree and the roads were full though the Quarries and working places were deserted. Home. Evening, walk with my father to Mrs. T. B. Adams’ where the ladies had gone. Only the family and the Millers. Cards. Home early, though not too early.

1.

The result of the election in Pennsylvania to choose representatives in Congress and to the state legislature was regarded as indicative of national political trends (Daily Advertiser, 11 Oct., p. 2, col. 2).

Wednesday 12th. CFA Wednesday 12th. CFA
Wednesday 12th.

A very heavy rain with a violent Easterly wind and on the whole the greatest storm this season. I therefore remained at home very quietly and occupied myself in doing a variety of things which required my attention. I finished the drafts of all the papers now on hand. I read a portion of the thirtieth book of Livy containing the account of Scipio’s African victories and Hannibal’s departure from Italy. Made out some 112diagrams which I wanted and assorted some of Mrs. Adams’ papers. I go on with these not so fast as I wish and yet with some rapidity. Two of the Servants were taken ill today and the house was somewhat out of order. I have no other account to give of the day and yet when I look back and reflect how little I read and produce, I feel somewhat ashamed of the result. Evening. Whist with the ladies. Thus the day went.