Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Monday. 6th. CFA Monday. 6th. CFA
Monday. 6th.

Morning fine. At the office, then to attend a Meeting of Stockholders of the Suffolk Insurance Company for the purpose of diminishing their capital. This is under a proposition of Mr. Perkins the President, who was not there to sustain it, being confined by sickness at home. It was advocated by Mr. Savage and opposed by Mr. W. Sturgis and myself. In conclusion, voted to postpone for a fortnight in order to hear the opinions of the President.

Diary and Accounts as usual. Home. Livy, finished the forty second book. Afternoon, Burnet and looked into Chateaubriand’s Itineraire.1 Finished the first volume of Forster’s Travels. His account of Brussels is quite interesting.

In the evening I went up to the Boylston Market Association to the annual Meeting of the Proprietors. I was the only Stockholder present out of the direction. The accounts were submitted and appeared quite 180favourable. Nothing material was done and after the usual organization I retired. Home where I began the biography of Lucien Bonaparte.2 Was struck with one anecdote of Napoleon’s refusing to go to Paris under Robespierre. Writing.


François Auguste René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand, Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem, 2 vols., Paris, 1812.


Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte, Memoirs, N.Y., 1836.

Tuesday 7th. CFA Tuesday 7th. CFA
Tuesday 7th.

Morning mild. I went to the Office. Time passed in Accounts, Diary &ca. Had a call from Mr. Everett who informed me that he was going to Washington tomorrow. I was surprised at the suddenness of this determination but made no remark having been prepared for it by accidentally hearing something of it at the Advocate Office where I called to leave one of my numbers. I talked with him about the late attacks upon my father in the Administration presses on the Abolition ground.1 I said that I regretted them because of the probable injury the Government might sustain from any decisive course against the strong positions made by my father. He said, he thought so too and had written to many of the Administration party in remonstrance. I then detailed very carefully the whole of the course of my father and showed the reasons why Mr. Van Buren had entirely lost his confidence. He may now go to Washington and remark upon it. Mr. Walsh came in and talked.

Home. Livy. Afternoon, Burnet, and Chateaubriand’s Itineraire. Evening Lamartine in continuation which I had procured today at the Athenaeum. And afterwards, writing.


JQA was embroiled in bitter battle against the rule adopted in Congress in May 1836 prohibiting debate on petitions dealing with slavery, the Gag Rule. Currently anger mounted against him because of his efforts to present petitions from women and from slaves. The tempest would subside for a while after all efforts to censure or expel JQA failed of passage. The episode is recounted in full in Bemis, JQA , 2:340–351; see also entries for 10 and 24 Feb., below.

Wednesday. 8th. CFA Wednesday. 8th. CFA
Wednesday. 8th.

Morning cloudy and cool. I went to the Office and passed my time very quietly. Mr. Walsh came in and had a talk and I wrote up Diary which is constantly falling into arrears. Nothing new. Walk and Home.

Met Mr. Wm. Thomas of Plymouth who spoke to me of my papers and appeared pleased with them. I think he is the first person who has 181paid me any notice. I am nearly through with them. This day produced in print the 6th number and there will be two more at most.1

Livy—began the forty fourth book, the blunders of the Roman General and of Perseus. This reminds me of Marlborough’s remark that his victory was owing only to his committing one blunder less than his adversary. Afternoon, Burnet—Charles and James. Insufferable tyrants. Chateaubriand. His visit to the ruins of Sparta which I recollect very well reading before. Evening at home. T. B. Frothingham came in for a little while. Afterwards, Lamartine and then writing.


No indication has been found that further numbers of “Mr. Webster and the Currency” did appear.