Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Thursday 24th. CFA Thursday 24th. CFA
Thursday 24th.

Fine day though hazy and warm. To Braintree. Lecture. Evening at the Mansion.

I worked very steadily upon my third paper and finished it. The Courier published the first today, and it reads to suit my taste. At noon I went to the house below to join my father in going to Col. Minot Thayer’s at Braintree. This being the day fixed upon for the delivery by him JQA of the Lecture promised by him to the Braintree people. Col. Thayer had invited him and through him me to dine with him. When we got there at one o’clock we found a considerable assembly of persons, some from Boston and others from Braintree itself. Among the rest were Mr. John Welles, Edward Brooks, J. P. Bigelow, T. W. Phillips and the Revd. Mr. Blagden. Of the Braintree people I knew none although I was introduced to them all. Our dinner was a plentiful one as our host said entirely the produce of his farm. Nothing but water or lemonade on the high temperance plan. Of course it was a mere satisfaction of hunger,1 and after it was over we proceeded to the meeting house of Dr. Storrs where after many ceremonies the Lecture was delivered.

It was a Lecture professing to be upon Education but rather without general plan, and the most remarkable position of which was that the 314Reformation was a question of Education. This is no doubt true in one sense but it is false in another. Reading and writing no doubt were necessary to the full exercise of private judgment, but it has been generally found that a high state of intellectual education leads to indifference to religious belief in cultivated society if not to positive scepticism. There were passages of great force and brilliancy and owing to a hint of mine the Lecture was shortened so as to be within very tolerable limits of time. It appeared to be highly successful and we returned home before sunset after a short visit to Dr. Storrs. Evening at the Mansion. Little Fanny has been quite sick there for a week.


The dinner is further described in JQA’s Diary: “Instead of two or three friends as I had expected there was a company of about 30 persons, and a dinner for at least 60. He said it was all the produce of his own farm; but there was Turkey, Mongrel Mongol Goose, Ducks, Ham, Squab pie, a large variety of vegetables. Apple and cranberry sauce, and lemonade to drink but neither wine nor cyder.”

Friday 25th. CFA Friday 25th. CFA
Friday 25th.

Pleasant day. To town with my Wife. Home to dine. Evening at the Mansion.

I went to town and was pretty constantly engaged in running about upon different errands. The town as usual under much uneasiness as the accounts from New York look rather more discouraging. I do not know how we shall come out but this I think is pretty clear that the storm will be a fearful one before it is over.

Called to see Judge Southard but he was not in. He delivered a Lecture before the Lyceum last night sent for to do so. How this lecturing flourishes. Home. After dinner, reading in McCulloch’s Dictionary of Commerce. Evening at the house below.

Saturday 26th. CFA Saturday 26th. CFA
Saturday 26th.

A lovely day. At home. Transplanting trees. Evening at the Mansion.

This was a very remarkable day. I spent two or three hours of the morning in commencing my promised article for Mr. Hunt, but the beauty of the weather was such that I sallied out to avail of it in setting a few more trees, but I have nearly made up the complement for my piece of ground. The mode of making a plantation is undoubtedly perseverance only, and I have now carried it on very steadily autumn and spring for three years without as yet any very visible result. This would at first seem discouraging but it is the nature of all plantation not to realize soon. Afternoon so tired of writing that I went on with Menzel 315whose book has dragged for some days. The Courier published my second paper this morning which reads pretty well. Evening at my father’s where were Miss Harrod and E. C. Adams.