Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Friday 22d. CFA Friday 22d. CFA
Friday 22d.
NorthamptonBoston

We were called up at half past three and started at four o’clock on this our last day’s Journey. The morning was foggy but it cleared away after breakfast. We reached Belchertown to breakfast where I thought my Wife would have to stop. This was extremely distressing to me and I felt in great trouble when she asked me to give her laudanum to carry her on. If there is any thing I particularly dislike, it is the use of this and yet I am aware of it’s efficacy in some cases. I gave her twenty drops. We went on through Brookfield, Ware, Spencer, and Leicester to Worcester, a series of very pretty and flourishing towns. But the end of a long Journey is a bad time to observe scenery. Every mile less increases the desire for home, in a very much greater ratio than the distance.

At Worcester, we stopped to dine but Abby went up to lie down for the purpose of saving strength for the rest of the trip. Worcester is altogether changed since I was here. The place has assumed quite a business like air and the hotel is second only to the Tremont House. I do not know how far these experiments will succeed, but they will have the effect, if they do, of still increasing the travelling propensities of our people. The difficulties of domestic establishments are so great and the larger number of persons live so much better abroad than they can possibly do at home on the same means, that in time we may expect the democratic character of the Nation will develope itself as much through the system of public tables and living together in masses as it now does in Steamboats and Railways and popular elections.

After dinner, we got into the Car on the Worcester Railway for Boston and were soon going as fast as we could desire home. No accident detained us and we were gratified by the ease and regular management of the train. At six we reached town and at home before seven.

We found the children, I thank God, quite well, and delighted to see us, and I was particularly relieved by having got my Wife safely home where she could cure herself at leisure. Of all things, on a journey sickness is the most distressing, and among other things for which I have to be grateful is that we have been in health not to be detained a moment on that account for a distance of two thousand miles during a period of more than five weeks, and that all of our’s have been also well. My tastes are not migratory and I expect this one experiment will last me long. I am the more glad that it has resulted so well. In the 56evening, Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham came in for an hour, after which we retired.

Saturday. 23d. CFA Saturday. 23d. CFA
Saturday. 23d.
Boston

Hardly am I at home before the cares of business press upon me in a manner to make me wish I was again away. I received letters and papers respecting different matters which worried me. A tenant whom I had secured for one of my houses took the opportunity to escape from his engagement while I was gone and thus I have lost my rent.1 Other matters relating to my Agency have also become pressing. I went to the Office with a view to do as much as I could toward clearing away rubbish, and as a first step, I set to work upon my accounts, which I had left from want of time to trace wherein they did not agree. A few minutes attention effected a discovery of the error and this contributed materially to relieve me. I opened my books anew and collected some of the debts outstanding for this Quarter. This was enough—then home as much as I could do.

Found my Wife still unwell and directed her to send for Bigelow.2 This was after my return from Quincy whither I went with Mr. Brooks and his son Edward3 who stopped at my Office for me. They had by accident learnt our arrival and had been to my House to ask Abby to go, but she not being able they had called for me. We went over the Neck and lost our way, so that we went round upon the road back of Milton Hill and were two hours in the process. I found my father and mother tolerably well and in pretty good spirits. We of course had much to say of our various adventures in our absence so that the time passed rapidly to the moment of our return.

I got home to dinner. Afternoon devoted to things at home. My Diary is a great subject of occupation for me at present. I wrote most of my time. T. K. Davis came in.

1.

A letter to the tenant protesting his action is in Adams Papers: CFA to D. R. Chapman, 23 July, LbC.

2.

Dr. Jacob Bigelow.

3.

On Edward Brooks, ABA’s eldest brother, see vol. 3:22.

Sunday. 24th. CFA Sunday. 24th. CFA
Sunday. 24th.

The weather was fine. After some time passed in writing, I attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham preach morning and after-57noon. His discourses were good but my travelling has unsettled me so that I am entirely unable to give any account of them. It is so long since I have been out of regular habits that the variation in this instance has been productive of far more than the usual consequences. It will take me weeks to get into any thing like train again. Especially as there seems every probability of our having again to change places, my parents being anxious we should go to Quincy.

In the afternoon I read a discourse of Dr. Barrow being the second in the series upon the Apostles creed which I commenced before I went away. This was upon the virtue and reasonableness of faith and from the text “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us.” 2 Peter 1. 1. Faith he says is a virtue of the first magnitude, and he attempts to show why it is so through an account of it’s nature, its rise and causes and it’s consequences. Part of his argument struck me as very forcible and as justifying the whole of his assumption. At the same time I saw much to approve in the definition which he gives of faith itself.

In the evening Mr. and Mrs. I. Sargent came in for the first time.1 There appears a disposition on their part to cultivate our society which I would not reject, and yet to me he is not interesting.

1.

Mrs. Ignatius O. Sargent was the former Henrietta Gray, a cousin of ABA; see vol. 6:128.