Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

353 Saturday. 2d. CFA Saturday. 2d. CFA
Saturday. 2d.

The day was cloudy and damp as has been the case for the most part with the weather we have had. I went to the Office where besides some little business matters, I sat down to write a letter to my Mother inclosing my little sketch.1

My feelings much acted upon by the extraordinary decision of the Mayor and Aldermen upon a late application of Dr. Channing and others for the use of Faneuil Hall.2 The craven spirit has got about as far in Boston as it can well go. I wrote an article to the Morning Post approving of his editorial remarks of this morning,3 and had a warm argument in Mr. Brooks’ room with two or three of my connexions there. They are always of the conservative order, and I can not often be.

Home. Herodotus. T. K. Davis dined with me. Conversation of various sorts, political and critical. He staid all the afternoon. It is agreeable to have such variety. Evening, Mr. Brooks was here for a couple of hours. Writing afterwards.

1.

To LCA, 2 Dec., Adams Papers. The letter contained a request that various dates be supplied. On the biographical sketch, see entry of 11 Nov., above.

2.

The Daily Advertiser, 2 Dec., p. 2, cols. 5–6, carried a communication from Rev. William Ellery Channing protesting the action of the mayor and aldermen in denying the use of Faneuil Hall for a meeting to express the public outrage at the murder of Elijah P. Lovejoy in Illinois. To the letter was appended editorial comment approving the official action.

3.

The editorial in the Boston Morning Post, 2 Dec., p. 2, cols. 1–2, strongly opposed the action of the mayor and aldermen. CFA’s communication endorsing the stand must be that signed “One of the Many” in the 4 Dec. issue, p. 2, col. 2: “Words cannot express the deep loathing which I feel for doctrines which sap the very foundations of our free republican institutions.... [I]f ever I, knowingly, vote for one of the persons who could consent to lay Boston under the burning disgrace of this proceeding, may I suffer the fate which poor Lovejoy met in resisting the same tyrranical spirit!”

Sunday. 3d. CFA Sunday. 3d. CFA
Sunday. 3d.

A very mild day. I went to Meeting after devoting an hour to coins nearly all of which I have arranged. The knowledge to be acquired by them is very considerable. I begin to define more accurately the succession of the Roman Empire than I ever could through Gibbon.

Mr. Frothingham preached in the morning from Revelation 21. 23. “And the lamb is the light thereof.” The true purpose of the Christian dispensation to furnish a refuge from the stormy passions of the world, through which position a glance at the present excited state of the public mind and the attempt to work upon through the pulpit in the 354case of this Lovejoy. The view is undoubtedly just, but Mr. Frothingham like all others of that school wears the collar of public opinion and becomes the instrument of it to ungenerous and illiberal purposes of which he is not himself conscious.

Walk with my boy John, met Edward Brooks who tells me my opinions of the Mayor’s reasoning are held by many. We are not all broken into the cotton interest then. Afternoon, Matthew 25. 29. “For unto every one that hath, shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” An explanation of this singular text and illustration of it in life. Another walk with my little girl after which read a Sermon of Sterne on Religious Enthusiasm. St. John 15. 5. “For without me, ye can do nothing.” The influences of the spirit erroneously construed to work too much by some sects and too little by others, but the Sermon appears to me a feeble one.

Evening, I went down with my Wife to pay a visit to Edward and his Wife. Mrs. Lyman was there. Conversation with him upon various matters. He is always quite liberal in his tone with me and would be so generally, if it was not for the surroundings. Home at ten.