Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Monday 8th. CFA Monday 8th. CFA
Monday 8th.

Morning pleasant. I remained at home. Occupied for the most part in writing Diary. The long entries upon the Journey make this fatiguing and yet I am hardly willing to abridge them because Journies are the only parts of a record like this that are worth remembering. My residence here has as yet so little worthy of record that I do not know what to say. I have hardly opened a book and have done little else than written a little and rambled about a good deal. When this goes over I 67shall try to resume my daily reading of Livy and to work a little upon the papers which remain of my grandfather’s collection. This with the reflecting and superintending my building will be all I can expect. For the season is now pretty well advanced.

Afternoon completed the marking out of my lot. I do not know how much land I have taken, but it looks a little large. My wish is not to encroach upon my father’s kindness, and take a Lease of any further land in case I should have any disposition to improve it. I am perfectly satisfied with the site. Evening at home.

Tuesday 9th. CFA Tuesday 9th. CFA
Tuesday 9th.

Morning tolerably pleasant but cold. I went to town. Found my plan as it had been modified by me and went over it carefully again. The question of the portico is the most embarrassing one. I sent to the Carpenter whom I am inclined to employ Mr. Ayer, to come and see me to converse upon the matter, on Saturday. Saw Mr. Degrand and made an arrangement with him as to the investment of some money which my engagement with Elizabeth C. Adams had left on my hands. Saw Mr. Alexander H. Everett with whom I had some little conversation.1 Nothing further. Returned to Quincy. Afternoon called at Mr. Beale’s for the purpose of making settlement of the balance remaining due to Mrs. Kirk.2 I took this money only for the sake of preservation and of adding to it, and inasmuch as Mr. Beale proposes to pay it into the Bank for her, I am very glad to give it up. I then met Mr. Price Greenleaf who asked me to go down with him to his father’s and see the plan of the land called the Hancock Lot which the Trustees had adopted.3 I had wished to see this and have the use of it in drawing out our own plan. But Mr. T. Greenleaf, his father, who had it was not at home, so I rambled over his garden, saw many of his fruit trees which look to me poorly and then returned home. In the evening he came down, and passed an hour, bringing the plan with him.

1.

On Alexander Hill Everett, see vol. 5:xv–xvi.

2.

Elizabeth Kirk and her husband, John, had been long in the service of LCA and JQA; on their current situation and on CFA’s management of their savings, see vol. 6:32–33, 149, 403.

3.

That is, the trustees of the Adams Temple and School Fund, on which see vols. 3:xi–xii; 4:x.

Wednesday. 10th. CFA Wednesday. 10th. CFA
Wednesday. 10th.

We had barely done breakfast when Mr. Spear and Mr. Humphrey were announced as having come on the surveying expedition. We went 68out accordingly and spent the morning in marking out the courses of the road. Starting from the gate somewhat east of the old mansion on the other side of the Street, we measured out a path twenty seven feet wide along the ridge of the hill to the end of the lot bounding upon land of Isaac Bass, and on the cross roads, meeting a road marked out by Mr. Savil and another upon the Hancock Lot. The first of these was also followed up to the bounds of the land on the South West. I see nothing impracticable in laying out the whole ground although I know of no probability of any very immediate call. The piece I measured turns out with slight alterations, eight rods wide by fifteen rods deep, making about three quarters of an acre. I had this staked accurately and the rest is all to be marked out upon the plan. Having finished here, my father crossed over to Penn’s hill where he wished a piece surveyed for a purchaser. This part of the town is thriving from the extent to which the business of boot making is carried—Another kind of industry quite as profitable as cutting stone. And land is here at the highest price. We were thus taken up until dinner time, and returned to the House not a little fatigued and sunburnt. In the afternoon, I continued my labour upon Diary, but found myself suffering slightly from head ach.