Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday. 25th. CFA Thursday. 25th. CFA
Thursday. 25th.

Morning foggy with clouds. I went down first to the Office after Market and a look in at Faneuil hall. A meeting had there been called of all opposed to the annexation of Texas, and I was desirous to attend it but the thing looked so lame and I was so busy that I left it.

Accounts. As things look daily more thick and troubled, I am anx-387ious to get rid of all my liabilities so I pay to the National Office by their consent my debt which has but half expired and take back my Stock. This at any rate gets rid of one difficulty. Nothing new. Home to read Sophocles.

Afternoon being now much at leisure I have resumed Father Jobert with some little mistrust however, that I might not more usefully employ myself. Evening Lockhart to my Wife. After which I turned my attention to finishing off the returned sketch for the biography of my Mother.

Friday. 26th. CFA Friday. 26th. CFA
Friday. 26th.

Morning heavy rain but it cleared away at noon and made one of the fine sunsets which have marked this season. I went to the Office where I was not able to do much from the succession of visitors.

Mr. Hurlbert came in settlement of rent, after which T. K. Davis with an article drawn up noticing my Lecture to consult me. I objected to the quotation of one passage which he promised to strike out, and generally I told him that I had not been anxious the Lecture should get into the papers, but he might do as he pleased. He told me of a long article upon it in one of the evening papers, noticing it favorably.1

His father came in and talked of various things, more especially a letter in MS from Abbott Lawrence to Mr. Fletcher dated in September last upon the subject of the Currency. The views are not new and with proper allowance for party feeling are sound enough. But there are views of things which strike me as both unsound and dangerous to act upon though on Whig grounds they may be justifiable.

Home to read Sophocles. T. K. Davis dropped in after dinner. Said Hale had pleaded to retain the passage struck out and it had been so left. We got into talk on other subjects for an hour. Evening, Mr. Brooks came in and passed some time after which a little of Lockhart, and writing.


The editors have not located the article.

Saturday. 27th. CFA Saturday. 27th. CFA
Saturday. 27th.

Morning mild. Office as usual. Read the article in Mr. Hale’s Paper which is very pretty. It says just enough in commendation of my part without saying too much.1 On the whole I now feel tolerably content with my position and not very anxious to labour more this winter. Having proved my powers to some extent I feel less uneasy, the course of providence will not need my fretting to direct it.


Deacon Spear came in and talked about Quincy matters and after him Mr. Beale. There is more trouble among the Banks—one not much suspected, the American Bank, having stopped yesterday. The public uneasiness is pretty great, and yet I wonder they bear their losses so well.

Accounts after which home, Sophocles. Afternoon, continued father Jobert the main portion of whose book I have now finished. Evening at home, reading Lockhart very quietly and patiently. Scott’s letters to his son are by far the most interesting portion of the book, because they are the most thorough expositions of himself. Continued writing.


The article by T. K. Davis (Daily Advertiser, 27 Jan., p. 2, col. 5) described CFA’s lecture as “singularly interesting and instructive,” and continued, “It consisted mainly of extracts of confidential letters, written by the wife of the late President John Adams to her husband during the early scenes of the American Revolution. The lecturer used these materials with great skill ... in perfect delicacy and fairness. Keeping in view the relationship he bore to her of whom he treated, he spoke not a syllable of eulogy. ... Upon the evidence thus furnished by these precious fragments of a precious spirit, we must say ... that for a combination of great qualities seldom found conjoined, the late Mrs. Adams has a rightful place among the noted women of ancient and of modern story. ... In the finely balanced character of this noble matron, a lofty daring—born of a strong mind—was grafted upon tenderness and even romance of feeling. ...

“From such a correspondence as the lecturer gave us glimpses of, we pluck out the heart of that heroic mystery, the American Revolution. ... We know of no better service than to go back, as did Mr. Adams ... to the invaluable legacy of an age, when self sacrifice and love of country were realities not words, and conduct us, as to a sanctuary, into the innermost feelings of the high souled men, and high souled women who nerved the high souled men of our Revolutionary era.”