Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday 3d. CFA Wednesday 3d. CFA
Wednesday 3d.

I went into town this morning in the Quincy Stage—A number of passengers not one of whom I knew. My business in Boston principally related to money affairs. I saw Degrand and completed my sale of the State Bank Stock which is withdrawing very clear. I then made some propositions with respect to the investment of a sum of money which he closed with. It was necessary for me to go round to collect this sum which was due partly on my own Account, partly on account of T. B. Johnson, and partly on account of my father who wishes to release himself from his engagements to Elizabeth C. Adams.1 I effected the whole business before going out of town, much to my satisfaction. But I did not get home until rather late.

I drove my horse out although his leg is not in a fit condition to use. The afternoon was taken up partly with my Diary and partly in walking over the hill and marking out the capabilities of the ground. I find myself obliged to go higher up on the ground than I had expected and I feel quite alarmed at the idea of the expense. But this must be met and after all there may perhaps be as much gained in the increase of value in the surrounding land. This is one of the considerations. There can be nothing superior in its way to the site and I know of no dis-64qualification excepting perhaps it’s distance from the old house.2 Evening at home.

1.

Quarterly payments were owing to Elizabeth Coombs Adams, a daughter of TBA, under the terms of JA’s will; see vol. 3:31.

2.

The Old House is the name given by Adamses to AA’s and JA’s house, now the Adams National Historic Site in Quincy; see vol. 1:x–xi.

Thursday. 4th. CFA Thursday. 4th. CFA
Thursday. 4th.

Spent the day quietly at home, occupied in writing up these heavy arrears of Diary. I have not made so much progress in this work as I ought. The numerous little duties which have intervened prevented me and the unsettled feeling which I have not hitherto been able to get over. Here it seems as if I could not fix myself at all. The time runs away without any useful purpose accomplished or even an idea that it passes.

In the afternoon Mr. W. Spear called here, and my father, he and I went up together to see the ground in front of the house and examine the places where a survey might be made. It is agreed between us that the Surveyor shall be here on Wednesday morning for the purpose of marking out the ground. This appears like making slight progress. The report that I am about to build a house has gone about very much among the people in Quincy and a degree of importance has been attached to it far beyond what it really merits. The great increase of their business has gone far to turn their heads and no limits now appear to the extent of their visions of future prosperity. I hope it is tolerably well founded, but as yet I cannot at all realize it. Evening, call with my father at Mr. Daniel Greenleaf’s, Mr. T. Greenleaf and his wife there.1 Nothing of consequence.

1.

On Daniel and Thomas Greenleaf, see vol. 5:76.

Friday. 5th. CFA Friday. 5th. CFA
Friday. 5th.

My horse not being in very good condition to use, I procured one at a livery stable and went into town with him. Joseph H. Adams went in with me but I returned alone. I called at Mr. Sparrell’s to see how he got on with my plan. He showed me the main points in which I had directed alterations to be made but I was utterly dissatisfied with his portico which was by no means what I had proposed to myself. Mr. Sparrell is a very clever and an industrious man but he does not appear to me to possess any invention at all. He follows directions and preserves proportion but further than that he seems to me not to venture. 65I asked him to send up the plan to my Office that I might consider of it further. Collected the Certificates for the investment made the other day and then entered the charges in my books.

This over, I was ready to return home. Afternoon divided, partly in writing, partly in a visit to the hill. I marked out today the limits of the lot and also those which I presumed might do for the House. I observed particularly the bearings by Compass which do not exactly answer my purpose. But I hope to get along with them without any serious derangement of the plan. Evening quiet at home.