Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Friday 19th. CFA Friday 19th. CFA
Friday 19th.

Beautiful day. Morning to Quincy. Afternoon at home. Pamphlets. Evening, Dr. Gorham.

I expected Kirk with my horse early this morning so that I could make a long day of it but by a curious error, he did not notify me until I had given him up. I improved the time however to do some business, and more particularly to make use of a balance accumulated upon hand to pay off another Mortgage of the number upon the South Cove lots. This is the last but one. The money to be sure is not mine but my fathers and in doing this I only save myself the interest until July which is however of importance. If the time shall come when I can convert my Market Bank Stock without loss I may then free myself 220from this load and patiently bide the time when the land will realize something in compensation. Perhaps my children may benefit from it.

At eleven o’clock, Kirk came in and we went to Quincy. Found every thing only half done and looking very discouraging. I feel worried whenever I go out and see how my place looks compared with other places. Worked for the short time left in setting plants and then home which I barely reached by dinner time.

Afternoon finished one of the Pamphlets upon coinage, and looked over a publication made in Philadelphia last year and containing many important statistics for the year of the suspension. Evening, Dr. J. W. Gorham spent an hour. Finished the 1st vol. of Tucker.

Saturday 20th. CFA Saturday 20th. CFA
Saturday 20th.

Clear but cool. Office. Afternoon at Quincy. Evening, visits.

The day was fine though windy and cold. At the Office I continued my labours with great steadiness considering every thing, made some progress but not enough. Mr. Hunt again here and anxious to know if I had read Tucker which I have not. Promised him I would look at it tomorrow.

Ajax. After dinner, to Quincy with my boy John. Found nobody at work. But I set about my part of the labour vigorously and succeeded before night in setting all the trees that I had procured excepting one bundle which was put away until Monday.

Home at sunset after calling at Mrs. Adams for a moment. Although fatigued I called with my Wife upon Mrs. Ritchie and not finding her at home we went to Edward Brooks where we spent the evening. Home to read Tucker.

Sunday. 21st. CFA Sunday. 21st. CFA
Sunday. 21st.

Cold east wind but clear. Services as usual. Evening visit to Mrs. Everett.

I passed an hour this morning in my usual exercises with Louisa. Tried to teach her the ten commandments. But she learnt three only imperfectly.

Attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from that beautiful text in Ecclesiastes 12. 7. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” I was disappointed in the sermon which is natural. I incline to think that the most beautiful and pithy sentences in the Bible are not those 221best calculated to amplify into discourses. The starting post is too lofty. There were allusions to the late melancholy accidents here and at Lowell which destroyed two useful men.

After dinner Dr. Palfrey from James 4. 14. “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life.” The strain of reflection upon the nature of life and the predominance of it’s good over it’s evil is encouraging.

Read a Sermon of Dr. Clark in the English Preacher. Job. 23. 15. “Therefore am I troubled at his presence when I consider I am afraid of him.” The difference between Religion and superstition.

In the evening Mrs. Adams and I went to Governor Everett’s to pay an evening visit. I had much talk with the Governor about the MS in my possession which he wishes to see for the sake of some information respecting the North Eastern boundary.1 Home to read Tucker.


Perhaps the allusion is to JQA’s message to the Congress in 1828, referred to in the entry of 4 March, above. However, CFA may be speaking in a more general way of JQA’s papers of the same period.