Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

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.

Thursday. 13th. CFA Thursday. 13th. CFA
Thursday. 13th.

As I had failed in going up to Mr. Dudley’s Ledge yesterday on account of the rain and as it was clear weather today, Mr. Spear called soon after breakfast and took me in his Waggon up to the Quarries. We waited some time for him and he finally arrived in season to show all he wanted. His first object is to compound for the damage he has done. His second to procure more land to cover with the refuse stone not saleable at the distance he is from navigation, and to widen and straiten his road down. There are difficulties about allowing to Dudley any more favours as he is so situated as to require our aid only in prosecuting work upon the land of others. I nevertheless consented to submit the whole question to an arbitration.

Called at Winkley’s Quarry to see him about some work to be done for me. I did not see him, but I saw one of the Lessees who seemed to be glad of the application. I rather incline to the opinion that these poor fellows have had very hard lines upon our Quarry. I saw the course of the new road which is already made in part and then returned home.

Went up the hill to my house where they are going on slowly. The cellar however begins to make an appearance and answers my expectation. Afternoon, called at the canal wharf to see about the delivery of some of the lumber which took place today. I think it was by misunderstanding but I could find no one at the wharf to explain. Home. In the evening, my Mother was suddenly taken sick so that we had a comfortless time.

Friday. 14th. CFA Friday. 14th. CFA
Friday. 14th.

A mild, southerly wind with a warm day. The family is in much disorder from the illness of my Mother and two of the servants at the same time. My first interruption was from two of the men, Hezekiah Martin and Emery, Lessees of the ledge near the railway who wished to know about my work. I had a long conversation with them and fi-113nally agreed with them for all the hammered work. Thus I have nearly completed all my contracts, and nothing remains this season but to attend to the delivery of the lumber and the execution of the remainder of the contemplated work. This will however take up with the remainder of the month.

Having finished with them, I returned to the study and read a portion of Livy’s thirtieth book down to the supposed conference between Hannibal and Scipio previous to the battle of Zama. I say supposed because the language put into Hannibal’s mouth does not reconcile itself at all to my idea of his character. I then walked round as usual to see the Quarries and compared the several products. I find Colburn’s is not so deep a color as either Bass’s or the Railway. But the shade is of secondary importance compared with the clearness.

Afternoon, assorting letters, a work which I do at intervals and slowly but it goes on and furnishes me with much valuable minute information. Evening went to our neighbour, G. Beale’s, a Quincy party of the usual character. Whist and a light supper and then home.