Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday. 5th. CFA Thursday. 5th. CFA
Thursday. 5th.

A very cold week. Office as usual where I was occupied partly in the accounts which now keep me exceedingly engaged in the morning and partly in writing Diary, which has fallen into Arrears. Affairs seem now to go on with very little incident of any kind. Every body appears to be waiting for the commencement of the new Administration.

Received a short letter from my father written on New Year’s day, full of good wishes for me and my children but having no allusion whatsoever to the letter I had myself written.1 And yet it seems to me that it deserved a direct and extended consideration and reply.

Home. Livy. Nothing of consequence. Afternoon, Plutarch and Burnet. I like the style of the latter, incorrect and careless as it is. There is individuality about it. Read Forster in German who seems to be fond of dissertation.2

Evening to Mr. I. Sargent’s. Quite a display. The various members of his family and her’s. Cards and a Supper. We thus managed to kill the evening. Home early.

161 1.

JQA to CFA, 1 Jan., Adams Papers. The letter to which CFA alludes seems to be his of 15 Dec. 1836, in which he wrote at some length of the dilemmas presented to him by the political situation and by the suggestion that he join in the publication of a newspaper.


Perhaps one of the numerous travel books of Georg Forster (1754–1794).

Friday. 6th. CFA Friday. 6th. CFA
Friday. 6th.

Cold continues. Office. Accounts and Diary. T. K. Davis came in to talk about Mr. Walsh. He has been making interest for him with others for a situation as private Tutor in Theodore Lyman’s family. He came to me to talk about it and I very strongly inclined to favour it. But before he had done, Mr. Russel Freeman came in,1 one of the proscribed at the commencement of this Administration who has been living for seven years and three quarters upon the hope of being restored, a thing about as likely to happen as for the moon to fall. I told him I wished him well but that neither I nor my father could aid him much. He said he had promises from Mr. Woodbury and he wished to sound A. H. Everett and Hallett. I told him Mr. Sprague and Mr. Borden with Hallett might aid him effectively.2 Poor fellow, if his diet is to be promises of men in place.

Walk and home. Livy. Afternoon, Plutarch and Burnet. Nothing of note. Forster’s Travels, after which evening reading Mons. von Tietz whose first Volume I finished then the President Goguet.


Russell Freeman, a friend of GWA and a one-time supporter of JQA, was without office during the Jackson administration; see vol. 3:164–165.


Levi Woodbury, Democrat of N.H., was secretary of the treasury in both the Jackson and Van Buren administrations. William Sprague of R.I. had declined reelection to Congress in late 1836 but would become governor in 1838. Nathaniel Briggs Borden of Fall River was serving in Congress as a Van Buren Democrat.

Saturday. 7th. CFA Saturday. 7th. CFA
Saturday. 7th.

Milder. Office as usual. Visits from Colburn of Quincy and T. Adams who wanted money which I could not pay, and from W. Spear who paid a little and returned me my Note to Jos. Adams redeemed. After talking over many things relating to my affairs at Quincy, he left me and I wrote Diary and Accounts.

Mr. Hallett and A. H. Everett came in and talked. Nothing new however. The first goes to Washington next week. He left and Mr. Everett intimated to me a suspicion thrown out by Mr. Foster, that Hallet was sent to Washington to secure the place of Collector for Mr. Simpson. I said I did not believe it, that I had supposed Mr. Simpson 162to have acquired power by playing off Hallett and James against each other, and that thus Mr. Hallett had got a nomination on the ticket of Senators while James had consented to sacrifice the Antimasons for his nomination as Mayor. But that by this process a tacit withdrawal of opposition was all. Everett seemed doubtful what to think. He suggested a nomination of Parmenter and seemed anxious to press the point. I told him that I studiously avoided personal questions and doubted whether Mr. Cushing would favor the plan. I have reason to suspect E’s motive in this to be to make a vacancy in the Middlesex Congressional District with the hope of filling it. A desperate idea. I suggested to him against my former advice a visit to Washington which he seemed to favour. Thus I have released myself from that advice. O! wretched miserable stuff, these petty political jealousies. I will seek to avoid them if I lose by it every prospect of distinction.

Home. Livy. Afternoon, Plutarch and Burnet. Forster. After which finished the first volume of von Tietz, and Goguet.