Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Tuesday 25th. CFA Tuesday 25th. CFA
Tuesday 25th.

Fine day. I went to town accompanied by my father. Afternoon at home. Evening at Mr. Miller’s.

My morning was much given up to business. Various persons call-116ing, to see me. A. H. Everett to notify me of his departure from my Office, a circumstance which I by no means regret.1 Mr. Higgins to procure a job in deepening my well, and two or three applicants for my house in Acorn Street. Thus the time was very fully consumed excepting an hour spent in waiting for my father who after all did not come and join me, and I returned home without him.

Lucretius. b. 4. 530–709. Rather more corrupted in text and less interesting in substance. The evening at Mr. Miller’s was very dull. Only a few of the neighbours and they seemed to have nothing to say.


A. H. Everett had rented an office since 1830 in the 23 Court Street building managed by CFA (vol. 3:372).

Wednesday 26th. CFA Wednesday 26th. CFA
Wednesday 26th.

Cloudy day with mist and rain. Morning to town. Dinner and afternoon at the Mansion.

My morning was almost entirely taken up by the various duties incident to the preparation of my house in Acorn Street for rent. So that I have not much to record. We dined as usual at my fathers, and it being rainy I did not return home until night. But spent some time in examining Col. Stone’s Life of Brant the Indian.

Dr. Palfrey has sent me a letter requesting a Review of this book,1 and in order to give an answer I looked into it. He takes nineteen pages to discuss who his hero’s father was and that is enough for me. If Dr. Palfrey wishes an article he must select something less tedious.


John G. Palfrey to CFA, 20 Sept. 1838; CFA dispatched a reply on the 27th; both in Adams Papers. A presentation copy to JQA of William L. Stone’s Life of Joseph Brant, 2 vols., N.Y., 1838, is in MQA.

Thursday 27th. CFA Thursday 27th. CFA
Thursday 27th.

Drizzly morning. Study. Afternoon, spent an hour at the Wharf of Mr. Greenleaf, attempting to catch smelts. A Concert in the Evening.

Continued Locke’s Essay p. 427–462. Upon Words and language. A fruitful subject and worthy of profound reflection, but it may reasonably be doubted if the ablest writers are among the greatest students of words. They come to attach too much importance to them and thus invest them with a meaning which not being exactly the popular or common one does not go home to the minds of the many. Lucretius 709–914. What is his theory good for, and yet his verses will remain for many of them are not excelled in Latin literature.

I took in the Afternoon an hour’s recreation in catching or rather 117trying for smelts without success. On my return a few pages of Grimm. Both families attended a Concert at Mr. French’s hotel given by Mrs. Valentine a woman who has instructed some of the girls here in singing. There was much bad and some good, showing however in general much progress in cultivation among our townspeople.