Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

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.

Wednesday 19th. CFA Wednesday 19th. CFA
Wednesday 19th.

Morning warm with a southerly wind which was extremely high. I went to town for the purpose of giving directions with respect to returning home but found my Office so uncomfortable from the man’s presence, setting a grate there that I could not very conveniently stay. At the Insurance Office and thence to make several calls, particularly one at Mr. Hallett’s but I did not find him in. Then on various calls, one in particular to see Mr. Brooks. We had some conversation upon my Wife’s state of health and he recommended the expediency of going with her to Washington. I have had thoughts of this all along.

Called to see Mr. Sparrell about some of his plan for the Stone which had been omitted, and Mr. Ayer called to see me about the timber. I gave him the explanations that had been given to me and he said he would make his arrangements as well as he could accordingly. Thus passed the morning.

The political accounts from Pennsylvania are very decided in favour of Mr. Van Buren. On the other hand the indications from Ohio are clearly against him and the return from Georgia looks as if Southern feelings predominated.1 All this goes to make the decision more doubtful than I yesterday thought it. I am not sorry for any thing which diminishes the power of dictation. Home.

Afternoon to the Quarries. Hardwick is actively at work on his quarry and so is Colburn who showed me today a specimen of a post. I was not sure that I should be satisfied. Colburn was a little half seas over which made him talkative and kept me until late. I then went round by the Canal and left word as Mr. Ayer directed. Then home. Evening cards.


Returns from the elections held in Georgia on 4 Oct. and in Ohio on the 11th were still incomplete. Early indications of anti-Van Buren victories in Georgia were not confirmed by the later returns which showed that Van Buren or Union party candidates would control the legislature. On the other hand, the whig leads in the early returns from Ohio were confirmed by the final vote which showed a whig elected governor, eleven whigs elected to Congress as against eight Van Buren supporters (Daily Advertiser, 19 Oct., p. 2, col. 1; 22 Oct., p. 2, col. 3; 29 Oct., p. 2, col. 4).