Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Friday. 12th. CFA Friday. 12th. CFA
Friday. 12th.

Clouds and rain in the latter part of the day. Morning to town. Afternoon spent in fishing. Evening at home.

My father accompanied me to town, and I was engaged the greater part of my time in the usual occupations. The news of the result of the 124late general election in Pennsylvania came in today and is hardly favorable to the Whigs. There seems to have been a revival of confidence in the democratic party since the resumption of specie payments which will perhaps extend this struggle for an indefinite period. For myself, I feel great indifference as to the matter, both parties being in my opinion wrongheaded and unprincipled. I have endeavoured to form my political judgments on what appeared to me solid foundations without reference to individual interests or predilections.

After dinner I made an attempt to catch some smelts successfully but was driven away by rain.

Saturday 13th. CFA Saturday 13th. CFA
Saturday 13th.

Day clear and windy, passed at home in occupation of various kinds. I arose this morning an hour before daylight for the sake of catching the tide to fish. The moon was shining bright and every thing was perfectly still. I was there a little too soon and therefore had an opportunity to observe the scene, a new one in some respects to me. The most remarkable portion of it was the opportunity of seeing Venus and Mercury before sunrise, and so near together as they appear. I was tolerably successful and returned to breakfast, having now done what I never did before, fished by a solitary shore by moonlight.

My morning was devoted to superintending the workmen who are still at work upon the rocks in front of the house, and in beginning the work of transplanting trees. I moved today two of my father’s Pennsylvania maples and put them where two English oaks have failed. Also an oak and a buttonwood in the Avenue. Then Lucretius b. 6, 326–533.

In the afternoon Mr. Price Greenleaf made me a short visit and I drove my gig to Braintree to take Miss Sampson home who has been at work this week for the fourth generation of the family.1 Evening at the Mansion but so much fatigued, I was glad to get home.


Possibly the same Miss Sampson who had been used by the Adams family as a seamstress in earlier years (see vol. 1:222, 224) and was now sewing for CFA’s children.

Sunday 14th. CFA Sunday 14th. CFA
Sunday 14th.

Mild, clear day. Time divided in the usual manner on this day. Attended divine service all day. Mr. Lunt preached in the morning from 1 Corinthians 10. 31. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” A discourse which made no 125great impression upon me. Mr. Whitney had no better effect in the afternoon from John 15. 22. “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.” I remarked only in it that it appears to have been written long ago as a qualification of opinions thought to incline over much to Universalism.

Read a Sermon of Revd. John Abernethy upon the causes and danger of self deceit. Matthew 6. 22.23. “The light of the body is the eye, if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body is full of light; but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light, that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” A respectable essay upon the operation of conscience and the common modes of soothing or neglecting or evading it’s reproaches.

Finished the first volume of Milman’s History of the Jews, which ends with the captivity. I am much pleased with this book so far. Also read a little of Grimm. Evening at the Mansion.