Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday Septr. 1. CFA Thursday Septr. 1. CFA
Thursday Septr. 1.

Morning to town. An exceedingly unpleasant day, there being a high wind and quantities of dust. Called to see Mrs. Frothingham twice but without success. Spent a part of my day at the Office where I was somewhat occupied. I do not know what there is in this kind of life but it appears to me as if I was always in a hurry. A visit from old Rufus Davis, my Revolutionary Pensioner client who was more unreasonable than ever. I dread to see him come in as he consumes time and gives no pleasure. He is always in trouble about his certificate and never tells a very clear story as to the origin of it.1 I got rid of him and had Mr. Walsh and others.

As Mr. Ayer did not come according to agreement I went out without him, suffering much from the ride. He followed me soon after dinner and we spent the afternoon in arranging the bounds of the lot and the precise location of the house. Having fixed all the points which I deemed necessary previous to my setting out, we walked down to the lumber yard on the Canal and there made the necessary inquiries respecting what they could supply. Upon comparing their prices 84with those furnished to me from Boston, I found them much more reasonable and quite as good in quality. I therefore made up my mind to get nearly all my supply from there. The conferences and the work took up so much of the time that it was quite late in the evening when I got home. Nothing further material.

1.

CFA had taken Rufus Davis as a charge at the request of JQA; see vol. 3:96, 97, 127, 130.

Friday 2d. CFA Friday 2d. CFA
Friday 2d.

Pleasant day. My two numbers written for political effect appeared yesterday and today.1 That of this morning seems to me pretty good. I remained at home and read a part of the twenty seventh book of Livy which continues to interest as at first. I also wrote pretty steadily at a third number. I also devote a short time to my daughter Louisa who makes some little progress in her reading, and to my Wife who has resumed reading French. Thus there is no great leisure for me in my home days and the work upon the MS goes on very slowly.

Afternoon, a visit from the daughters of James H. Foster2 for half an hour and then over the Hills to meet Mr. Dutton, the foreman of Mr. Colburn on his ledge, who has made an application for another on his own account. The whole afternoon was spent in making the agreement, and after talking over the whole matter and looking over the ground we came to terms a little in advance of Colburn’s. He is to go right on and I am to draw up his Lease for five years. I am disposed in all these cases to a pretty liberal policy as I wish to get it first established that there are ledges here which can be worked. This point once gained, their nearness will very much recommend them. I think the tract of land upon which the stone is here to be found is as yet but poorly explored. There are many quarries even upon the single piece now in question.

Returned home, crossing over the fields, and after tea walked to Mrs. Adams’ where my Wife and Mary had taken tea, from thence they went with Elizabeth C. Adams to see Mr. and Mrs. Lunt. I had felt the progress of a headach all day but as it grew later it increased in violence until I was obliged to ask my Wife to cut short her visit and return home. The night was cold and clear. I went very shortly to bed and thus escaped the sickness which is the usual termination of these things with me.

1.

“To the Unpledged Voters, No. 1,” signed “One of the People,” appeared in the Boston Daily Advocate on 1 Sept., p. 2, cols. 1–2; “No. 2,” on 2 Sept., occu-85pied the same space. The articles took a pro-Van Buren stance.

2.

Mrs. James Hiller Foster, the former Elizabeth Smith, was a niece of AA; Mr. Foster assumed the guardianship of TBA’s children after his death; see vol. 6:259. The Foster daughters were Elizabeth, Louisa, and Mary.