Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

312 Monday 21st. CFA Monday 21st. CFA
Monday 21st.

Cold morning. At home writing. Evening at the Mansion.

This was a sharp morning and indeed continued quite cold throughout the day. I devoted myself pretty steadily to writing the articles I had proposed. In the course of the day I had finished two out of three of the papers and from a hasty resurvey of them I was better pleased than usual. But it is not possible to judge of articles of this kind without the intervention of time from the warmth of composition which I cannot well give. Luckily imperfection is the character of our press, so that I am only in good company when I make errors in style. I have not had occasion or rather have not allowed myself time to rewrite.

The men began to work over the field to prepare it for ploughing and I walked for a short time down to the Bank. This with the exception of our usual trip to the house below for the evening was all the exercise out of doors which I took. The only news of importance is that the Banks in New York did actually rub through Saturday and the departure of the Liverpool.

Tuesday 22d. CFA Tuesday 22d. CFA
Tuesday 22d.

Cold morning. To town with my father. Afternoon writing. Evening at the Mansion.

A sharp frost this morning reminding us of the rapid approach of winter, but a clear and pleasant day. My father accompanied me to town where I was engaged as usual in a great variety of occupations, all incident to the particular season of the year, when we make our usual migrations from country to town.

The town as usual in agitation about the currency matter which will not probably be settled shortly. Sent my two articles to the Courier and received an answer from Hunt to my letter.1 Home early. After dinner continued writing. Evening at the Mansion.


Freeman Hunt in his reply (19 Oct., Adams Papers) assented readily to CFA’s proposal for an article and suggested publication in November. The essay, entitled “The State of the Currency,” would appear over CFA’s signature in Hunt’s Merchants’ Mag. for December (vol. 1, p. 505–517). It is an amplified version of the three papers CFA was currently writing for publication in the Courier. They appeared in the issues of 24, 26, and 29 Oct., p. 2, cols. 1–2, with the title, “The Philadelphia Manifesto,” and were signed “A.” In form they were a review of what purported to be “an exposition of the causes which have led to the renewal of the suspension of specie payments on the part of the banks in Philadelphia.” Denying the validity of the banks’ position, as he had in his letters to Biddle, CFA maintained that both the action of the government in refusing to recharter the Bank of the United States and the subsequent policy of Biddle in winding up its affairs resulted in stretching the credit system far beyond its health and brought on extravagant speculation.