Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

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

A beautiful day. Office. After dinner to Quincy. Tea at Mrs. Adams’ and delivered a Lecture. Sleep at Quincy.


I passed the morning at the Office in the usual course of things. My time flies with even greater rapidity than ever and to as little purpose.

After dinner my father accompanied me to Quincy in as fine a day as I ever knew at this season of the year. We reached there at five and went to Mrs. Adams’ to take tea. They had sent me word in the morning that the Lyceum expected a Lecture from me although there had never been a distinct assent on my part. Still as I was anxious that my father should hear me I agreed to take the summons and accordingly we went to the hall where I read the Lecture delivered before the Historical Society last winter.1 Returned home to my father’s where we slept.


“The Hall was crowded and more than half the auditory were women. The most perfect silence was observed and the deepest attention paid throughout the reading, which occupied an hour and a quarter” (JQA, Diary, 14 Nov.). The lecture was that delivered on 23 January.

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

Heavy rain. To town. Office. Afternoon at home. Nothing new.

My father concluded to remain at Quincy today so that after transacting a little business of Administration I returned alone to town. At the Office.

I find the Courier has this day commenced the publication of my papers.1 The point has been gained of my admission to the press on my own terms. And hence I feel encouraged in the hope of establishing a reputation which will sustain me. Afternoon I finished and despatched two more papers which make five. Evening at home.


“Political Speculation upon the Carolina Policy,” unsigned, would appear in the Boston Courier in seven installments on 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 24 Nov. and 1 December. In each issue it was given position as leader, p. 2, cols. 1–2, except on the 19th, when it was placed on p. 3, cols. 1–2. Drafts, incomplete, in CFA’s hand are in the Adams Papers (M/CFA/24.17, Microfilms, Reel No. 320). The thrust of the articles, directed against both Van Buren and Calhoun, is reported in Duberman, CFA , p. 64–65.

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

Cloudy. Office as usual. Home. Afternoon reading and evening visit to Mr. Frothingham’s.

Mr. Buckingham published my second number today which I like much better than the first. At the Office occupied in the making up of

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arrears of Diary and of Accounts which my way of passing time while my father is here has a tendency to accumulate.

On my return found my father who had been met and complimented by the Committee of his friends who had had his picture painted by Mr. Page.1 The feeling in the City is much more favourable to him than it has been for many years.

Afternoon, I began the life of Aaron Burr by Matthew L. Davis. Evening, called to see Dr. Frothingham who has been confined to his house unwell. Conversation with him upon various subjects metaphysical and moral quite edifying. He spoke of my papers with commendation.


The Boston Courier (17 Nov., p. 2, col. 2) carried an account of the ceremony of presentation and listed those who had contributed. The painting is reproduced and the attending circumstances recounted in Oliver, Portraits of JQA and His Wife , p. 197–200.