Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Saturday 9th. CFA Saturday 9th. CFA
Saturday 9th.

Cold but clear. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.

I went to the Office as usual. My time not entirely at my own disposal as my father and Mr. Curtis both came in and spent a little while, but nevertheless I accomplished a draft of my Quarterly account to my father and the giving in of my Account on T. B. Adams’ Estate to the Judge. This I shall be glad to get off of my mind.

Home where I found my Wife returned from Quincy and not at all encouraged about Fanny’s condition. I fear we are to see grief in this direction. My father and Mother have suffered in abundance of this kind already and they are getting older and less able to bear it. I grieve for all and for myself. A melancholy thing it is to see the young de-324cline. May God have mercy upon us all and upon me who am not worthy of the many blessings he has heaped upon me.

I began to review Storch and the materials for my Lecture which looks flat to me now that I read it over.

Sunday 10th. CFA Sunday 10th. CFA
Sunday 10th.

Cold and cloudy. Exercises as usual. Evening, Degrand, H. G. Gorham.

I devoted the morning hour to my daughter Louisa as usual. Attended Divine service at Dr. Frothingham’s in Chauncy place and heard there Mr. Fox of Newburyport preach in the morning from Philippians 3. 14. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” and in the afternoon from Luke 10. 29. “And who is my neighbor.” These were both of them good and sensible discourses without attracting my attention as much as they should have done. Indeed I am beginning to fear that I shall never be able to correct this unfortunate tendency of mine to wander in my thoughts during the delivery of any oral discourse.

After a brief visit to Mrs. S. A. Otis’ to see the copy which Osgood is making of the Picture of my Grandfather,1 I read a Sermon on Self-government by the Revd. Benjamin Ibbot, Proverbs 16. 32 “He that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.” Dr. Ibbot did not appear to me remarkable.

At tea time Mr. Degrand came, just from Quincy, giving us a distressing note from my mother about the state of little Fanny.2 She has had two bad days and Dr. Holbrook is at his wit’s end, so that the object of the note was to induce Dr. Bigelow to go to Quincy and see her tomorrow. I immediately went down for the purpose and after a conference with him made an appointment to go to Quincy in the morning.

H. Gardiner Gorham came in afterwards and spent an hour in small conversation of indifferent matters, after which I set about making up arrears in Diary.


Samuel S. Osgood had been commissioned by Andrew Jackson Downing to paint a copy of Stuart’s 1823 portrait of JA; see above, entry for 22 January. The copy is unlocated (Oliver, Portraits of JA and AA , p. 259).


The note from LCA is missing.

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

Fine day. To Quincy. Return Afternoon. Evening at home.

A cool but clear and bright November day. As soon as practicable 325after breakfast I started to go to Quincy accompanied by my Wife. We came round by Milton hill in order to stop at Dr. Holbrook’s and notify him to meet Bigelow at the time agreed upon. But he had gone to Boston. We found the family in a state of distress such as may be conceived, which was however relieved by the result of Bigelow’s examination so far as that hope which had been almost extinct revived.

I had but a dull and unprofitable day of it as my father was busy and the other members of the family were much taken up of course. It was the day of general election but I lost my vote which would otherwise have been what it never was before, regularly Whig. Returned to town by sunset leaving my Wife. Devoted the evening to new modelling a page or two of the article for Hunt which I positively folded up to send.

My boy Charles I sent this day upon a visit to his old Nurse at Portsmouth Mrs. Fields, through her sons who were going. So unused am I to part with my children that I feel a dislike to have them out of my sight. And yet it is not man’s vocation to be confined and I ought to repress a weakness which will cost me even more serious pain in advanced life. My trust in all cases is in a higher power.