Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday. 14th. CFA Wednesday. 14th. CFA
Wednesday. 14th.

A very warm day for so late in the Season. Immediately after breakfast, instead of going to town, I went down with Mr. Carr to see a place he calls the Coves Meadow, belonging to this farm; It is about thirteen or fourteen acres of Salt Marsh which by lying neglected ever since my grandfather’s day have suffered. He was a good farmer as every thing I see now convinces me, but my father has no vocation that way and is the worst man in the world to own mere farming land. The late rise in value of all this kind of property has had the fortunate effect of rendering the Tenants anxious to themselves improve it. Carr now offers to ditch out the salt marsh where the grass and weeds have filled up the old ditches and pay half the expense. Upon examining the premises I was satisfied the thing was needed and gave Carr the authority to go on and employ men to do it.

Home where I read my usual portion of Livy in the beginning of the twenty eighth book and then went with my father to Mr. Greenleaf’s wharf to bathe. The water was cold but pleasant. After dinner, went with William Spear to the Quarries at the Railway. My object was to see Dudley the tenant of the upper one who has been very remiss in his accounts. I met him accidentally as he was leaving the ground. He seemed aware of impending difficulty for he began in rather an impudent manner. This provoked me a good deal and we had some pretty 94warm words. However I was substantially so much in the right in my complaints of his conduct that I could hazard a little severity and he could only feel the justice of it. It was more remarkable as at the very moment he was assuming this high tone, he had favours to beg. I would not listen to them today at least and shall not at all unless he talks differently. The inconvenience arises from the position of the land and the accidental circumstance that in order to work the Quarry well, he must take the stone from one man’s land while he is himself standing upon that of another and throwing out the valueless material upon this which has not the benefit of the Quarry. Home to tea. Evening quietly. I assorted and put away most of my loose papers which kept me up late.

Thursday 15th. CFA Thursday 15th. CFA
Thursday 15th.

Day pleasant. I went to town accompanied by my father who went in for the purpose of making arrangements for the Eulogy of Mr. Madison, while the ladies went in the Carriage. Time passed at the Office in drawing up the Deeds given to me to be filled up by Mr. Curtis for the Estate of Mr. Boylston. This took much time as one of the papers was rather a long form. I had also some Commissions. Mr. Hartwell, the well digger came and announced his final decision declining to do my well, but he brought with him a man who offered to do it as well and on the same terms, and I closed with him. He is to begin on Monday and I sent to Spear a note to let him be prepared. His name is Higgins and he is to be at the house by nine o’clock. So far so good.

I dined at Mr. Frothingham’s with my father, Mary and my Wife. We made quite a table. And after dinner, we separated, Abby and I to go to Medford on a visit to Mr. Brooks, the rest to return home. We reached Mr. Brooks’s at about six, and found them quiet as usual. The evening passed in conversation and early to bed.

Friday 16th. CFA Friday 16th. CFA
Friday 16th.

Morning clear with a cold north easterly wind. I arose early and accompanied Mr. Brooks to town. He conversed with me upon my building project with the interest and kindness which he always takes in my plans. I explained to him as much as he wished to know and took his advice upon several points of detail.


At the Office where I was engaged in Accounts. Thence to the Athenaeum where I looked up a volume for my father’s use, and to call upon Mr. Hallett whom I could not find. The fourth of my numbers appeared today.1 The famous Convention at Worcester has got through, having done exactly what I expected, nominated a ticket professing to support Mr. Webster and in fact intended to give the vote to Harrison. Such is the result of the famous Webster nomination—vox et praeterea nihil.2 I expected nothing better would come from it. Mr. Everett came in just before I left and I had a few words conversation with him. He works for his place harder than any millhorse ever did and I suspect will hardly get it after all.

Returned to Medford to dine. A family party to Gorham Brooks and his wife who are returning to Baltimore next week. Governor Everett and his Wife, Dr. and Mrs. Frothingham, Gorham Brooks and his wife, Edward, and ourselves. A very merry affair. They all went before tea and left us alone again with the usual inmates. But in the evening, Mrs. Gray, Lydia Phillips and Francis Gray paid a visit.3


“No. 3” of “To the Unpledged Voters” had been printed in the Advocate on 12 Sept. (p. 2, cols. 3–4); “No. 4” appeared on p. 2, col. 2.


The voice and nothing besides.


Mrs. Samuel Gray (Mary Brooks) was Peter C. Brooks’ sister; Francis A. Gray was her son (vol. 3:107, 237). Lydia Phillips of Andover, a frequent visitor to her cousins in Medford and Boston, was a niece of the late Mrs. Brooks vol. (2:364).