Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday 7th. CFA Thursday 7th. CFA
Thursday 7th.

The weather we now have is remarkably fine. I remained at home all day engaged in pretty constant superintendence of the men who were at work upon the hill, they harrowed the ground over with very little apparent effect. I was occupied in staking out the lines of the road and walk this morning and they then began clearing them out. A little more finishing was also done to the banks which will now be sodded directly. I had time to read one hundred lines of the Iliad and this was pretty nearly the sum of my studies.

Read attentively the message of President Van Buren to Congress. This got to Boston yesterday in the short space of a day and a half.1 It 311does not appear to me a paper which would do any credit to a statesman, but it is well calculated as an appeal to the democratic principle which works wider and wider in our high places. He recommends a separation of the Government from all banking Institutions and an entire withdrawal of its agency in the matter of currency. This is coming back to the confederation. There is no knowing whether the people will or will not sustain these opinions, but I very much misunderstand them if they do one moment after they understand their practical effect.


President Van Buren’s Message to the Congress delivered on the 4th appeared in the Daily Advertiser on 7 Sept., p. 1, cols. 1–6, p. 4, cols. 1–2.

Friday 8th. CFA Friday 8th. CFA
Friday 8th.

My time was very much engrossed in directing the work upon my grounds which went on today pretty rapidly. The sodding was carried on which is now important to preserve the banks it has taken so much labour to form.

Received a letter at last from Mr. Johnson1 upon the subject of his affairs in answer to mine of the 13th of May. He has got rid of the concern of Welles & Co and is in good spirits.

The political accounts from Washington are that Mr. Polk is chosen Speaker by a majority of eight, but there are appearances of disorganisation which threaten the permanency of the Administration. We must now wait and see the result. Evening Loto with the children. Mr. Price Greenleaf and his sister called and spent an hour.


Not found.

Saturday. 9th. CFA Saturday. 9th. CFA
Saturday. 9th.

Day clear and warm. I went to town. Engaged in accounts and commissions, interrupted only by a short visit from Mr. Walsh. Nothing of peculiar interest from Washington today: the election of printers not having been decided by the house. But the secession of the third or conservative party from the Administration begins to show itself here, numbering twenty three votes in favor of the editor of the paper lately set up and called the Madisonian.1 When I look round now and think of myself, how encouraging is my prospect for fulfilling the injunction of the epigraph to this volume. Is this my fault? If so, and I am not prepared confidently to deny it, I must only work the harder.

I felt unwell and rambled down to the Athenaeum to look at the 312Advocate which I have entirely lost sight of since my subscription stopped and to find a new book or two. The Advocate exhibits signs to my mind of mortal decay. As to the books, I could not find them. Home.

Afternoon, the ladies went to Boston to see Mr. and Mrs. E. Everett. I remained to see to my work but I found only one man at my house and felt myself so unwell that I soon came down and after reading a few pages of Humboldt laid down. This quieted me at first and I got up to tea and played Loto with the children, and then tried to write my Diary. I accomplished this but could do nothing more and went to bed. These headaches are a singular infliction in regular health.


See entry of 11 Sept., below.