Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday 12th. CFA Sunday 12th. CFA
Sunday 12th.

Morning cloudy with a little rain, but it cleared away. My Wife seemed very unwell and was confined to her room all day. After wasting some time in looking over some of my Mother’s papers, I attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham in the morning from Matthew 11. 15. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” A curious discourse to which I was not able to attend as much as I should have done.

Home to a solitary dinner after calling at the Post Office. The Whigs are full of the victory obtained in New York. It seems that the revolution there is complete and that hardly enough is left of the Van Buren party to form a nucleus for next year.

Afternoon young Mr. Dwight from 1. Peter 2. 17. “Honour all men.” A discussion of the question of rich and poor and the artificial distinctions of Society, proceeding upon the assumed basis that the man who works for bread is a slave if he works for a particle more than his daily share. This young man is neither solid in truth nor wise to preach to such a congregation.

Walk with Mr. Walsh who was at meeting and he came home with me to tea, after which I walked with him down to Faneuil Hall to witness the proceedings of the democratic caucus. The hall was filled but very manifestly by more than the party. A certain Mr. Thomas a hatter made a bitter speech full of nothing but malice. He was followed by a naturalized Scotchman named Kelly who had all the spirit of the Eng-344lish radical, and by Hallett whom I left speaking. It was manifest that discouragement prevailed.

Home where I kept company with my sick wife. Read a sermon of Sterne upon murder. Exodus 21. 14. “But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile, thou shalt take him from my altar, that he may die.” This is a crime which hardly needs the censure of the pulpit as it is abhorrent from every feeling of civilized Christianity.

Monday. 13th. CFA Monday. 13th. CFA
Monday. 13th.

A fine day. My Wife was not much better this morning and my child Louisa was suffering from a severe cold. A little discouraging upon arriving at Boston. At the Office where I occupied myself some time in accounts until interrupted by T. K. Davis who came in for a talk. His mind is evidently much unsettled. He wishes to take a more active part in life and yet fears the effect upon his own opinions. He has to some extent liberated himself from the restraints of the federal school and now finds that it stands in his way to be liberal. I am afraid I have done a little towards producing this result. I feel the same difficulties standing in my way. And Heaven only knows how either of us can ever get over them. For my part, to heaven am I willing to trust it.

A. H. Everett came in and talked for some time. His position is deplorable. This is the day of general election in Massachusetts, and he is a candidate for the State Senate, but the New York intelligence coming as it does in aid of the strong feeling already existing will probably defeat him. I determined upon this day not to vote, as I had no disposition to swell the tide of Whig triumph and less to stem it’s force in a defence of radicalism.

Home to read Herodotus. Afternoon, took up Malthus again, but I do not find him the very intelligible writer he is maintained to be. Evening passed in part in company with my Wife and the remainder to making a new draft of my Mother’s biography.

Tuesday 14th. CFA Tuesday 14th. CFA
Tuesday 14th.

Cloudy and it began to snow early and continued with little intermission all day. I went to the Office where I passed my time uninterruptedly in making out the long delayed Quarterly Account of my father’s affairs. These I completed with a letter to him which I finished and copied in the afternoon.1

Read Herodotus and this with a lesson to the children constituted 345pretty much all I did. My Wife was better today although still far from well and Louisa also. Evening passed partly downstairs and partly in reading the Correspondance which I must lay aside for severer studies.


To JQA, 14 Nov., LbC, Adams Papers.