Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Monday 11th. CFA Monday 11th. CFA
Monday 11th.

Cloudy and more mild. Day spent in attending corporation meetings. Evening Assembly.

I was entirely unable to be at my Office this morning as I was first called to attend a meeting of the Directors of the Middlesex Canal to organize, then to the Suffolk Insurance Company where the struggle between the Stockholders about the continuance of the charter was at length brought to a close, those who favored a continuation having the majority by a small number of votes. I was of the minority but am satisfied with the result if by it I am any better protected from loss. But my confidence in joint stock companies grows less every day so that having now nearly got myself out of Banks I propose to begin the same operation with Insurance companies, which are now at so low an ebb as to make it a more slow and dangerous process.

After the meeting I got into a conversation with Mr. H Cabot upon the subject of joint stock and expressed opinions which find very little currency here. I might have saved my labour.


Afternoon to the Annual Meeting of the South Cove Corporation. No subject of much interest agitated. Directors elected, but I found the feeling much firmer as to the success of the undertaking. I hope it is well founded for I have now too great a stake to be trifled with in that corporation, which I hope will not try it’s vitality as others do but die gently and gradually. Evening to the Assembly, thinner than usual, but very pleasant. We remained until after midnight.

Tuesday 12th. CFA Tuesday 12th. CFA
Tuesday 12th.

Clear and mild. Time as usual. Evening, friends at home.

At the Office I continued Burr, as steadily as applicants for the farm at Weston would let me. A walk to the South End about tenants and money and then home.

Felt exceedingly fatigued from the exercise and late hours of last night. Antigone as usual. I did not remit the study of Burr throughout the Afternoon.

Evening a few friends. Dr. and Mrs. Frothingham, Governor and Mrs. Everett. Eliz. C. Adams and J. H. Foster with his young sister. Nothing material.

Wednesday 13th. CFA Wednesday 13th. CFA
Wednesday 13th.

Lovely day. Division as usual. Quiet evening.

More applications for the farm at Weston. Time at the Office spent in Accounts reviewing the state of the last two years, and especially six months back. Tried to find the Report of Burr’s trial at Richmond but without success. What difficulty always about books. I ought to go to the Athenaeum and study, Wood’s book, and Jefferson and many others.

Home. Antigone in which I make progress. Finished in the afternoon the review of Burr’s Life. And now I must positively go on to write. Inconceivable how sluggish I am. My ambition is almost dead within me. Evening, trying again upon the currency, and better.

Thursday. 14th. CFA Thursday. 14th. CFA
Thursday. 14th.

Cloudy and wet. Time as usual. Quiet evening.

Not long at the Office today as I felt obliged to go down to the Athenaeum and make an effort to procure the volumes of the trial of Burr.1 I am so languid about this that it is eminently doubtful whether I shall make any thing at all of it. Procured the necessary volumes, and 189also one of General Wilkinson’s life2 with which I went home after looking over Wood’s Administration of John Adams3 and Jefferson’s letters about the period of the election.4 I want also the report upon John Smith5 and the Ana in Jefferson6 which were not in.

Antigone after which the report of the trial. It seems to be a contest of technicalities and an extremely vehement one. Quietly at home. I continued upon currency and begin to see my path.


At the Athenaeum were Thomas Carpenter, Report of the Trial of Aaron Burr for Treason, 3 vols., Washington, 1807–1808; David Robertson, Reports of the Trials of Burr for Treason and Misdemeanor, 2 vols., Phila., 1808; Trial of Burr including the Arguments during the Examination and Trial if Gen. Wilkinson, 3 vols., Washington, 1807.


Gen. James Wilkinson, Memoirs of my own Times, 4 vols., Phila., 1816.


John Wood, The History of the Administration of John Adams, N.Y., 1802.


Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Thomas Jefferson Randolph, 4 vols., Boston, 1829. The letters of 1789–1803 are in vol. 3.


Testimony in Connection with the Investigation of Senator John Smith [of Ohio] ... Queries Addressed by the Committee, Dec. 9, 1807, to Mr. Smith, ordered printed Dec. 31, 1807, Washington, 1808.


Vol. 4 of the edition of Jefferson, above, contained the Ana.