Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

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.

Wednesday 15th. CFA Wednesday 15th. CFA
Wednesday 15th.

A bright, beautiful day which but for the snow on the ground would have appeared autumnlike. I went to the Office and was setting about my work upon Mr. Johnson’s Accounts when A. H. Everett came in. We had much talk upon the present state of things. One remarkable fact about him appears to be either that he keeps his counsel pretty well, or that he is very little in the secret of the party. Perhaps the truth may be that the party has none but implicitly obeys orders from the head at Washington. On the whole, there is much vexation in politics and no great compensation. Mr. Van Buren will now be put to develope the qualities by which he is known.

Called to see Mr. Appleton and Mr. Dexter about Mr. Johnson’s business which drags very heavily. Afternoon at home. Read the Speeches of Mr. Clay and Mr. Sergeant, both very sensible and in a very good tone.1 It is impossible to resist the conviction that a National Bank is the only remedy.

Evening, my Wife being better, I went to the Theatre to see Miss Tree play in Talfourd’s tragedy of Ion. She takes the boy part. I went not expecting much and was therefore agreeably disappointed but the piece acts coldly. And Miss Tree depends for her effect as an Actress so much upon her proprieties as a woman, that one notices more perhaps the absence of them than any positive merit. Adrastus was much overacted by Mr. Cline. The Afterpiece was the Turnpike Gate a wretched thing. Home by ten. House thin.


The speeches must have been those delivered by Henry Clay in the Senate on 25 Sept. opposing Calhoun’s amendment to separate the Government from the banks (printed in the appendix to the Congressional Globe for the 25th Cong., 1st sess., p. 179–184), and by John Sergeant of Pennsylvania in the House on 26 Sept. opposing the adoption of the resolution of the Committee of Ways and Means that it is inexpedient to charter a national bank (printed in the appendix to the same, p. 196–202).

Thursday. 16th. CFA Thursday. 16th. CFA
Thursday. 16th.

Morning clear and mild. I went to the Office and finished the draft of the accounts of Mr. Johnson as far as I could make it. I am very much worried by his affairs just now. What with the Mortgages on one 346side and the difficulty of remittance on the other I am not very easy.1 This work being over I have now completed all the arrears which were upon hand at my Office and must seek for occupation. Home to read Herodotus.

I went to the Athenaeum to find a book or two. My head is full of plans, but as yet it seems tolerably doubtful which of them if any will be executed. Afternoon at home reading portions of Malthus and Say.2 Evening, Mr. Brooks, Mrs. J. Angier and Mr. J. H. Foster were all here. Conversation general. Afterwards I sat down deliberately to make a draft of the biography of my Mother.


CFA to T. B. Johnson, 16–21 Nov., LbC, Adams Papers.


A copy of Jean Baptiste Say’s A Treatise on Political Economy, Boston, 1824, is at MQA.