Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

192 Thursday 21st. CFA Thursday 21st. CFA
Thursday 21st.

Mild and clear day. Time as usual. Evening a family party at home.

My time at the Office a little wasted. J. Kirk from Quincy came in and bothered me. He had not much to say but country people idle. Walk and home where I made great progress in reading Antigone which becomes much easier as we go on. The lyric poetry is not so difficult and perhaps a little more common place than in the other pieces. Went on with the currency.

The family met this evening at my house together with a few of the more remote branches of the connexion. The party was much as they all are, and they separated as usual about eleven o’clock. The accounts from the State of Maine portend some spark of War in that quarter. Our boundary questions are becoming very troublesome.

Friday. 22d. CFA Friday. 22d. CFA
Friday. 22d.

Clouds and rain. Distribution regular.

The profound quiet of my life is interrupted only by tenants from Weston. I this morning managed to settle the question, and was occupied in writing instructions to an attorney at Concord to recover damages from Conant.1 Also writing to New Orleans and to Florida with a view of finishing the long standing accounts of T. B. Adams at those places.2 Went on with Antigone which I read fast. The rest of the day was taken up with my essay which after all makes no great headway.


Letter missing.


CFA to Charles Harrod; same to Lt. J. C. Casey; both LbCs, Adams Papers.

Saturday 23d. CFA Saturday 23d. CFA
Saturday 23d.

Clouds and fog. Division made as usual.

At the Office today I concerned myself with Accounts, but got into an examination of Mr. Woodbury’s last report where I found some things which require notice in my proposed publication. The public here is now in great excitement from the accounts of a collision likely to take place between our people and those of Great Britain.1 What a strange jumble of elements in our political world and what very ordinary persons are those who have the management of it in their hands.

Home, where I finished Antigone. I have read this play in thirteen days, one hour of each day, which is encouraging although I do not mean to pique myself upon fast reading. I shall now review, and be more thorough. After all, this hour’s occupation though perhaps the 193least profitable in a mere worldly estimate of my time, gives me the most unmixed pleasure. My labour upon the Currency still going on, but rather hesitatingly for I have to write over much. Evening, Miss Mary Hall who had been staying here is gone.


The simmering dispute between the United States and Great Britain over ownership of a substantial portion of Maine lands, usually called the northeast boundary dispute, would appear to reach a boil on several occasions before the alarms would give way to serious diplomatic attention in 1841–1842. In the new administration, with Webster as secretary of state and JQA as chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, conditions prevailed which permitted the negotiation and ratification of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.