Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday 24th. CFA Wednesday 24th. CFA
Wednesday 24th.

The morning was fine but the elements were visibly gathering for another storm. I felt a little incommoded with my foot but not so much as I had feared and had good reason to suppose it would turn out no worse. Walked up to the House and watched the workmen in their various occupations. A great deal of work is going on at the same 249time and now our only trouble is the weather. After being there long enough for directions I returned and wrote Diary besides studying Homer. It is refreshing to me to be out of the turmoil of the city and to have my mornings, the most valuable part of my day, to myself.

Afternoon, I took my Wife out a little way to ride but she complaining of the cold I left her at Mrs. Adams’ and after going to Quincy point returned to superintend the removal of one or two trees. The rain came on as we were finishing, and Mr. Persico and another gentleman came out to see my father,1 who was not at that moment at home, so I was obliged to entertain them, then to go for my Wife who had already come down in Mr. Miller’s carriage. Evening quietly at home. Conversation and reading Tocqueville.


Luigi Persico, Italian sculptor, had taken a likeness of JQA in plaster in 1829. In 1837 a version in marble had been completed for presentation to the ex-President. JQA, however, feeling it inappropriate for him to accept the gift, suggested that it be presented to the Library of Congress. During the present month Persico had done so. For a full account, see Oliver, Portraits of JQA and His Wife , p. 160–165.

Thursday. 25th. CFA Thursday. 25th. CFA
Thursday. 25th.

The day opened darkly and we had pretty incessant rain until night. Of course I did not attempt to stir out, but this is not the most convenient thing for my house that could be imagined. I however accommodated myself as rapidly as I could to the state of things, sat down and wrote very fluently several pages upon my Essay on the Currency with which I felt pleased, and then read Homer and the Port Royal Greek grammar into which I am digging for knowledge of the language.

Afternoon Wieland, History of Abdera, a kind of satirical quiz, and Monsieur de Tocqueville who is the most philosophical writer upon government that we have at the present day. Evening at home. Copied a letter for my father and then Tocqueville again.

Friday. 26th. CFA Friday. 26th. CFA
Friday. 26th.

A high wind at North East with a heavy mist, but it dried afterwards and cleared at night. I went to town and had about as uncomfortable a ride as I well recollect. When I got there, I found plenty of occupation, first in arranging my little affair with the Bank which was not completed in my last visit, and then in one or two calls upon Tenants &ca. This took most of the morning, then home, the ride being less unpleasant. Afternoon, at the House where I found nobody working 250but the Masons, the carpenter having gone to town with his men in consequence of the rain.

Read a little of Wieland, a very amusing piece of jocosity, also, Tocqueville. The most singular error of whose book appears to be the statement that my father turned many people out of Office, when President. He must have been thinking of Jefferson. Evening, Conversation.