Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Monday. 15th. CFA Monday. 15th. CFA
Monday. 15th.

I took my plan into town with me and returned it to Mr. Sparrel the Architect with the proposed amendments, and a request that he would 71get it done for me by the next Thursday to which he agreed. Joseph H. Adams went in and returned with me. I was engaged in Accounts and in some few Commissions for my father and various other members of the family. This took up much of the time. I also went to the House and found there some more volumes of the MS papers of my grandfather which are now taking something like shape. I have now fifteen of them bound, embracing much of the valuable part of his life.1 I returned to Quincy and spent the afternoon in writing. I will terminate this business of my Diary before I do any thing else. Evening quietly at home.

1.

Beginning in 1833, CFA had embarked upon the formidable task of arranging, indexing, and having bound the loose letters of JA and AA. The project had been carried forward in the intervening period; see vol. 5:160.

Tuesday 16th. CFA Tuesday 16th. CFA
Tuesday 16th.

Morning quiet at home. Day fair and time passed partly in reading and partly in writing. I have at last accomplished all the notable part of this record, being the Diary and now have quicker sailing. Our morning was a very short one, dinner being ordered for an earlier hour. This was to accommodate my father. He had received notice of the death of a distant connexion at Hingham, and of the wish that he would attend the funeral. It seemed to be my father’s wish that I should go too, so I got into the Carriage and Mrs. T. B. Adams whom we took up at her own house made the third.

We reached Hingham an hour before the hour appointed. So we called upon Mr. Brooks, the minister.1 His wife came in soon after. I a little wondered at her appearance at first, no one having told me she was seriously ill, but a few minutes observation satisfied me that her fate was sealed. I have never before seen consumption so visibly stamped upon a human being. Some visitors came in, among others Miss Anna Thaxter whom I recognized as an acquaintance of long standing. I accompanied her to her father’s where I found him with the other two old maid daughters.

It seemed as if the world had comparatively stood still here the last fifty years. Here was an old house and old people and old manners. They received me kindly but very evidently looked at me as at a curiosity. It was Mr. Quincy Thaxter’s sister, Mrs. Loring who was to be buried today. They were both children of a Mr. Thaxter who married a sister of my great grandmother Smith, hence the relationship.2 I have never been at Hingham much or known these people who are some-72what numerous. The funeral was very properly conducted in the simple old fashioned way of the Country. The prayer was made by Mr. Brooks very well. And we followed the body to the tomb. The deceased had nearly completed fourscore years and of course excited no unreasonable lamentation. We returned home to tea, I with a singular mixture of painful and melancholy feelings. Evening quietly at home. Elizabeth C. Adams was here and spent the evening.

1.

On Rev. Charles Brooks, see vol. 3:318.

2.

Quincy Thaxter (1762–1837) was the son of John Thaxter (1721–1802) and his wife, Anna Quincy (1719–1799). It was this Anna Quincy who was a sister of Elizabeth Quincy, who became the wife of Rev. William Smith and was the mother of AA. In addition to the children referred to in the present passage, John and Anna Quincy Thaxter were the parents of John Thaxter (1755–1791), who served as JA’s private secretary in Europe. Quincy Thaxter’s daughter Anna remained unmarried and died in 1878 (Adams Papers Editorial Files).