Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday. 28th. CFA Thursday. 28th. CFA
Thursday. 28th.

Morning at the office. I had not been there long before my father came in. I did not observe him very closely but he was somewhat agitated, I recollected after he had told me my Wife was unwell and wished to see me. I went directly back to the House and found her in a sort of fainting fit. She was sensible, but her extremities were cold and she looked as if she had no blood in her. I was frightened more from the unusual circumstance and the want of medical assistance, than from the thing itself. Dr. Bigelow was nowhere to be found, nor any other physician excepting a young Dr. Ellis who came to our assistance. He gave her an emetic which gradually relieved her. She has been ever since our return complaining of a sound in her ears, which proceeds doubtless from great weakness. I did not leave her until Bigelow came who relieved us from further uneasiness. He recommended quiet and a few days postponement of our departure to Quincy. He ascribes her condition entirely to her sickness which has been a very 60exhausting one. The incident disabled me from much active occupation.

My father dined at Mr. T. L. Winthrop’s.1 My afternoon was divided between him and my Wife. Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and Mrs. Gorham Brooks came in shortly after he left and sat for a short time with her. After which I went down to Mr. Frothingham’s where they were after leaving here, and tried to forget my anxieties in an hour’s conversation.


On Thomas Lindall Winthrop, see vol. 5:25.

Friday 29th. CFA Friday 29th. CFA
Friday 29th.

Abby got up and came down stairs to breakfast but the effort was too much for her, and she escaped another faint turn only by a rapid retreat, to bed. The Dr. came in and advised to nourishing diet and wine. Her complaint is debility, nothing more positive. I went to the Office late. Occupied with my Diary which does not get on quite as fast as I expected. Mr. Sparrel called in and I discussed with him the objections to his plan which he very goodnaturedly listened to. He has drawn too large and I fear much too expensive one for my means. He took it home to revise according to my suggestions.

At half after twelve, returned home to see how Abby was and to decide whether to execute an engagement to go and dine at Medford. The weather threatened rain but I concluded to go, particularly as I had engaged Mr. Frothingham to go with me. We were fortunate to have no inconvenience. There were at table, Gorham Brooks and his Wife, Horatio, P. C. Jr. and his Wife,1 Mr. Brooks and ourselves. The dinner rather pleasanter than usual but it was too cold to enjoy the Country much. The season has not been a propitious one. We returned home by seven or eight. And I spent the evening in writing Diary. My mother came in to see Abby but returned before I got home.


Horatio Brooks was the youngest of ABA’s brothers; P. C. Jr., or “Chardon,” had married Susan Oliver Heard; see vols. 2:153–154; 3:4.

Saturday. 30th. CFA Saturday. 30th. CFA
Saturday. 30th.

Abby appears to mend a little, but she wants decided nourishment. I seek to find for her what she likes but as yet without success. The season is an unfavorable one for delicacies. I went to the Office and there Mr. Spear soon made his appearance. I settled with him for the loan which he made to me in June to pay for the Quincy Bank Stock and 61took up my Note therefor.1 So much for that. I then devoted some time to my Diary which is still hanging on.

Mr. Hallett called in to see me. He had much to say upon the present state of our politics and seemed quite confident of his success in the Autumn election. He spoke to me of my paper upon Slavery which I had not seen or heard of. He said it had taken remarkably well, and had been very extensively republished in Newspapers in this and other States.2 I was glad to hear so favorable an account of it. It had been, I thought when writing perhaps the best thing I ever did, and it was a little mortifying not to know even that it had been published. He also requested me to write for his Newspaper occasionally during the next month as he was going to pay his usual annual visit to Cape Cod. I told him that I would do what I could, that there seemed to be so much quiet, and there were so few solid subjects to discuss, that I doubted whether I could furnish a great deal. He said that extraordinary measures had been taken to circulate his paper and it was desirable to keep up it’s spirit and interest.

Home. Afternoon occupied in writing my Diary, for I can do little or nothing before I have finished this, and I suspect nearly the whole of next month will pass before this is accomplished. Evening, sitting with my Wife after which a few of the letters of Madame de Sevigné.


CFA was one of the original subscribers for stock in the Quincy Stone Bank; see vol. 6:324, 396, 400.


The article, “The Slavery Question Truly Stated,” had appeared in the Boston Daily Advocate on 24 and 25 June during CFA’s absence; see vol. 6:407–408.