Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

115 Monday 17th. CFA Monday 17th. CFA
Monday 17th.

The day was clear and cool. I rode to town. Time as usual very busily taken up, in the various commissions prior to my return. Went to my house where I am making preparations to return on the first of the month, thence to the Office. Mr. Everett came in and we had some talk. Gibson, a man whom I know heretofore as an Antimason, stopped me in the Street and requested a loan of money to carry on the war. He is employed as a runner through the Counties to circulate information and showed me a list of persons who were as he said doomed by him for certain sums. Among others A. H. Everett for twenty five dollars which may account for his call last week. I told him, I would give him ten dollars but I did not wish my name to appear on his paper. My own feelings all revolt at this mode of forcing the expression of the public will, but the habit is general and I can do no good by explaining myself. The returns from Pennsylvania seem to be decisive enough of the election. Home.

Afternoon on the hill and then to the canal lumber yard where my carpenter was occupied in picking out the materials for my house. He had finished the timber and was giving orders for the plank and boards. I remained there until sunset overseeing. Evening partly with my Mother conversing, and partly with the ladies at Mr. Beale’s where were the Millers. Home at ten.

Tuesday 18th. CFA Tuesday 18th. CFA
Tuesday 18th.

Morning clear and pleasant though windy. I passed some time in reading a portion of the thirtieth book of Livy, giving the account of the final battle of Zama which terminated the contest between Rome and Carthage for the government of the world. Then I assorted MS and attempted to draw up a paper which would do as a Lease to the Railway Company but failed in description as well as in terms. There are difficulties in the way beyond what I had imagined. Then to the top of the hill where the workmen are busily at work upon the cellar. They are not however sufficient in number to show much progress. I have some doubt whether they will get through in the time fixed by me. The great difficulty now here seems to be that there are too many undertakings in proportion to the power to execute them.

I called at the Quarries to see their progress and get a plan from Colburn which I left of the bottom of the house or underpinning to the wall. They appear to go on much encouraged. I then went to the 116canal for explanations and directions as to the timber upon which we did not finally decide. Home. Evening, writing Diary and in my Mother’s room playing Whist, after which I read some of President Goguet.