Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Friday. 2d. CFA Friday. 2d. CFA
Friday. 2d.

Morning clear and very warm. I went to town, accompanied by my Wife. My time very much taken up in various commissions I was obliged to execute. In the first place, I went down about my glass for most of which I contracted at what I thought was rather an advantageous rate. I then went to the House, to Miss Oliver’s and to see Mr. Storm the Engraver about the pictures of my Grandmother and Mother which he is engraving.1 Thus went much of my morning. The rest was taken up in a disputation about rent with Mr. Ladd. He has held me out of a quarter’s rent for more than three months and now has brought me two or three long bills in way of sett off. I am very tired of having him for a Tenant, so I treat him with less ceremony than I should otherwise do. After finishing with him, I went over to the Office of Mr. Brooks and sat with him sometime, which made me a little later than usual at Quincy.

Afternoon at the House inspecting. They go on better since the dry weather, and I think in the course of five or six weeks they could now get through the main body of the work. Read a little of Plutarch and 254Homer. My Greek is getting to be rather a fancy. And I am gaining through the Port Royal Grammar much more insight into the language. Evening to see Mr. Daniel Greenleaf who is sick. Found him and his Wife alone and the former suffering much from a cough. Home soon. Evening, Tocqueville.


G. F. Storm, English engraver, was engaged to make engravings of C. R. Leslie’s portrait of LCA and Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of AA for Longacre and Herring’s National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans (Oliver, Portraits of JQA and His Wife , p. 64).

Saturday. 3d. CFA Saturday. 3d. CFA
Saturday. 3d.

Another quite warm day with a high Southerly wind ending at night in a thunder storm of uncommon severity. I remained at home very quietly, excepting several visits to my House to superintend the proceedings and one short ride to the Quarries to see the stone the man proposed to furnish for me. I however did a good deal at home. Read Homer and Plutarch. Also a good deal of Wieland and excepting in the exercise of writing satisfied myself. But the truth of the matter is that my mind is not sufficiently composed for writing. I am weighed down a good deal by this undertaking of building. It enlarges upon my hands instead of lessening, and I shall not feel altogether at ease until it is over. After which I hope not again to be engaged very suddenly in the same way. Evening Conversation with my father upon various topics until late, the dangers attending the Government of the United States.

Sunday 4th. CFA Sunday 4th. CFA
Sunday 4th.

Fine day. Read in the morning Tocqueville, many of whose opinions are in a very high degree offensive to our National pride and would be so taken were it not for the air of candor and philosophy pervading it. Yet I think him profound.

Attended divine service and heard Mr. Lunt preach all day. Morning from John 6. 53. “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” A Sermon for communion day. Afternoon from Deuteronomy 6. 6.7. “And these words which I command thee this day Shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way and when thou liest down and when thou risest up.” Mr. Lunt is a very elegant and sensible writer, but my head is not exactly in train to gather what he says.


Mr. Degrand came out after service and sat with my father until evening. I read one of Sterne’s Sermons upon the forgiveness of injuries illustrated by the example of Joseph. Genesis 50. 15. “And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evils which we did unto him.” Perhaps the most distinctive of Christian doctrines and the one most requiring force upon human nature.

After tea, walk with the family up the hill. Many people go there on Sundays to see the prospect and examine the progress. Mr. Beale and his daughter passed the evening.