Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday 24th. CFA Wednesday 24th. CFA
Wednesday 24th.

Fine morning. I went into town and was much occupied during the time. First to the House to get a book for my father, then to the Office for further business. Engaged in Accounts which I left unfinished on Monday. One or two calls from Tenants and persons who desire to become so. Conversation with Mr. Everett for a few minutes. He and I differ upon the effect which the present tendency of politics is likely to 78have upon the prospect of Mr. Van Buren. I think any active and capable Whig could make that bell ring1 in a manner to startle the Advocate. But luckily for us there is no probability of such a one starting up. Nothing further.

I returned home. After dinner Mr. W. Spear came down and I went with him over the hill and pointed out my situation and what I desired to have done. I also showed him where I thought the Stone could be drawn that would answer for part of the foundation and well work. We then went over to the Quarry which Colburn2 hired of my father and which this day fortnight when we visited we found entirely deserted. He has men now very actively at work and appears very well satisfied with the Stone. The facility with which this business is now carried on is wonderful. The Stone is got out almost as fast as if it had not the quality of tenacity and great weight. I see no obstacle to this man’s pursuing his track here unless it is in the lowness of the site which renders a system of drainage necesssary, and this is as yet but little understood. I spoke to the foreman about supplying me with what stone I might want, and he appeared glad to have the opportunity. Then home having consumed the afternoon.

I saw Mr. Carr the Tenant of the place and agreed with him upon the terms of the Lease. Such a property as this which my father owns in Quincy calls for the constant attention of the master. He is the last man who can hold it to advantage. But if the extraordinary prosperity attending the Country generally and this town in particular should continue even he must be much benefitted. Evening quiet at home.

1.

Perhaps “threaten that interest” by extension from bell-ringer, “a bill introduced in a legislative body to extort money from those whose interest it threatens” (H. L. Mencken, The American Language, suppl. 1, N.Y., 1962, p. 294–295).

2.

This would seem to be the same lessee of JQA’s granite quarry CFA had earlier called “Colman” and “Collum”; see vol 6:238, 305.

Thursday 25th. CFA Thursday 25th. CFA
Thursday 25th.

Morning clear and weather much warmer than it has been. I divided my time in part devoting it to Livy and in part to writing. At eleven o’clock, there was by appointment a meeting held of the Supervisors of the Adams Temple and School Fund. Mr. T. Greenleaf, Mr. Miller, Mr. G. W. Beale and my father present. Principal subject, the disposal of the lots on the Hancock lot as it is called. A valuation was put upon them but so high as to render further improvement not immediately probable. It was however agreed to have the plan marked off upon the 79lot and also to open the road upon a corresponding opening being made of the cross road on my father’s land. This is very well. I can now proceed in my plan with more system and energy. After some other slight details were executed the meeting was dissolved, and my father, with my Wife, Elizabeth C. Adams and myself went into town, all of us but Elizabeth on invitation to dine with Mrs. Frothingham. I seized an extra moment to go to the Office before dinner, and returned. There were only Mr. Brooks, Edward and Gorham besides ourselves. Tolerably pleasant, and home, by seven. But from some cause or other we were extraordinarily fatigued, and after a few minutes of writing I was glad to get to bed.