Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday 18th. CFA Thursday 18th. CFA
Thursday 18th.

Wet, rainy day. I went to the Office as usual where I got together my papers to send to Washington. Occupied in Accounts as usual. The Middlesex Bank, a sort of “pendant” to the Commonwealth Bank has failed. The alarm has spread respecting the Hancock, the Commercial 383and the Fulton so that it has become absolutely necessary to adopt some course and I wait to see what it will be.

Home after a call at the Athenaeum to look up one or two historical points. Herodotus which I have not thought it worth while to remit. Afternoon and evening I continued my Lecture and finished it. May the result be prosperous, of which I do not always feel entirely confident. Read some of Lockhart to my Wife.

Friday. 19th. CFA Friday. 19th. CFA
Friday. 19th.

Dull and cloudy with rain until evening when it cleared away cold. I went to the Office. Not much news excepting a change of course on the part of the Banks by which all of our most doubtful paper has been provided for and gone out of circulation. This is a great improvement and will do much to bring us back again. Call from T. K. Davis about his case, and from his father about the Lecture. The latter tells me of a Circular from the Boston Bank of a very decisive character towards the resumption of specie payments at which I am much delighted.

Home. Herodotus, then down to Mr. Brooks’ to dine. Judge Lyman, Mr. Frothingham and myself. Conversation principally of Mr. Bancroft and the Collectorship. It is remarkable how strongly Mr. B. has excited the bitter feelings of all who know him in the vicinity of home. This tells against him because after all a man’s private relations are not often sacrificed to politics.

From thence I returned home to tea and after an hour went by invitation to Edward Blake’s. This is an annual affair of his club. They play cards and have a supper. P. S. Shelton, G. A. Goddard, J. Chapman, H. B. Rogers, C. Amory, F. Shaw, J. H. Gray, J. H. Blake and D. Parkman. I have been unwilling to decline what appears intended as a civility, but after this experience do not hesitate. The smoking is very disagreeable to me and the conversation so little in my line or to my taste that I feel a little amiss in playing so stupid a part. Tonight D. Parkman’s infusion made it worse than usual. Home at midnight.

Saturday 20th. CFA Saturday 20th. CFA
Saturday 20th.

I arose feeling much better than I had anticipated after so dissipated a day as yesterday. Office where I had not much leisure. W. Spear came in and discussed a lease of a new stone Quarry. Then A. H. Everett, then Mr. Walsh, so the time passed. No accounts from Washington for so long I begin to feel very anxious.


Home, finished my review of Herodotus. I believe I must now take up the plays of Sophocles. These will perhaps repay more the trouble and I want to refresh my notions of the Greek dramatists. I have gathered something very useful from my resumption of Greek during the last year.

Afternoon, a call from Mr. Angier and money matters. He talked of Mrs. Adams and of the sons, pretty much in the manner which I had supposed. She is certainly to be pitied. For her troubles are many of them behind. I looked over my Lecture and read it to time about one hour. Evening T. K. Davis came in and we had a long talk.