Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 26th. CFA Saturday. 26th. CFA
Saturday. 26th.

I was at home all day and occupied in working a great part of the time in assistance to Kirk in making the Bank and shaping out the walks as I want them. The men are removing very rapidly all the in-303cumbrances and I am preparing to make the last finishing round the house. This is a work of time and of expense. I am almost discouraged by the extent to which I have had to go and even now see little harbour.

At noon, T. K. Davis came out as he had promised and as he wished to go to the house, I accompanied him and we sat there for some time looking at the prospect with which he was much struck. Few people expect much and that is perhaps one of the reasons of their gratification. He dined with us, and left at about five. Thus my time was pretty much engrossed, and again I did nothing upon my work. These long interruptions discourage me.

Evening at home. Read Dr. Channing’s pamphlet upon Texas.1 A production which does him much credit in my estimation.

1.

In A Letter to the Hon. Henry Clay, Boston, 1837, William Ellery Channing had strongly opposed the annexation of Texas to the United States. JQA’s copy is at MQA.

Sunday. 27th. CFA Sunday. 27th. CFA
Sunday. 27th.

The morning was very sultry with clouds but it cleared with a brief shower and became very hot. I amused myself writing an article upon Texas for the next Quincy Patriot1 and then attended divine service.

Heard Mr. Whitney preach in the morning from Deuteronomy 32. 47. “For it is not a vain thing for you: because it is your life; and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.” Afternoon Mr. Lunt from I Corinthians 12. 21. “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.” I was not so attentive to either of these discourses as I should have been.

Mr. DeWint from Fishkill who is here, dined with us. Read a Sermon of Sterne upon Pride. Luke 14. 10.11. “But thou, when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room, that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say to thee Friend, go up higher; then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them who sit at meat with thee; for whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shalt be exalted.” A good subject—the more a man moralizes the less likely he is to find pride a virtue, although in conduct it often prevents the commission of vicious actions. We had much company in the evening. Mr. Degrand came from town to take leave of my father. Elizabeth C. Adams with two or three cousins Fosters &c.

1.

The single article, “The Annexation of Texas,” signed “One of the People,” became four. They appeared in the Quincy Patriot on 2 Sept., p. 2, cols. 3–3044; 16 Sept., p. 2, cols. 1–2; 23 Sept., p. 2, cols. 3–4; 7 Oct., p. 2, cols. 3–4. The articles undertook an analysis of and a systematic attack upon resolutions recently adopted by the Mississippi legislature urging the annexation of Texas to the United States. These resolutions, according to CFA, had been reported only in the abolitionist press (2 Sept., p. 2, col. 3). Their terms, as he recorded them, were: “Resolved, That it is expedient, in a national point of view, to comply with the desire of Texas to become an integral part of this confederacy without delay. Resolved, That the annexation of Texas to this republic is essential to the future safety and repose of the southern States of this confederacy. Resolved, That our Senators in Congress be instructed and our Representatives be requested to use their best exertions to procure the annexation of Texas to the United States as early as practicable” (same). CFA’s analysis of the full report and of the resolutions held that the whole was but an ill-disguised effort to achieve an extension of slavery. With the issue thus clarified, he began his long and arduous efforts to prevent annexation. On the resolutions, see also, Mississippi Historical Society, Publications, 14 (1914): 13–14.