Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

326 Wednesday 13th. CFA Wednesday 13th. CFA
Wednesday 13th.

Fine day. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.

I have little or nothing new to record this morning. My town life is now so very regular that a Diary suffers much from the monotony. At the Office I have now finished all that I had to do and today sat down to read the Chapter upon currency in Sismondi’s valuable work upon Political Economy. He leans much against credit. Read a hundred and twenty lines of Hecuba during the hour before dinner.

Afternoon, resumed Menzel who does not increase in my esteem as I go on. Evening at home. Mr. Brooks came in and passed a short time. He returns to his town residence today. Finish Gallatin and Ganilh.

Thursday 14th. CFA Thursday 14th. CFA
Thursday 14th.

Clouds and light rain. Division as usual. Evening, my father’s Lecture.

I was at the Office reading No. 105 of the North American Review. The accounts this morning seem to favour the opinion that the State has chosen Morton for Governor and Everett will retire. This is rather new and unexpected but I cannot say surprising. On the whole it is even more of a punishment than I had desired for the threefold combination against my father which originally brought him in.1 I care but little as between the two parties generally for the one seems to have as little of steady principle as the other.2

At home. Hecuba. Menzel. In the evening I accompanied my father to the Masonic Temple where he was to deliver a Lecture upon the Smithsonian fund. The room was full of Mechanic Apprentices and their friends with a very small sprinkling of other persons whom I knew. The Lecture was interesting and more successful in the delivery than usual with him.3 It bore rather hard upon the Administration and upon Mr. Woodbury.4 After he had finished what he had for this evening he accompanied me home and after that, I began upon my redraught of the Lecture.


The early returns indicating the defeat of Edward Everett for reelection by the Democrat Marcus Morton were later confirmed (Boston Courier, 18 Nov., p. 3, cols. 2, 4). Everett had originally come to the governorship when Gov. John Davis was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the unexpired term of Nathaniel Silsbee. That result had been brought about by the alliance of Everett with Daniel Webster and Davis in the prolonged and ultimately successful effort by the whigs, masons, and federalists in the Massachusetts legislature in Jan. – Feb. 1835 to deny the senate seat to JQA (vol. 6:63, 68, 74–75, 78–81). CFA had also entertained substantial reservations about Everett over many years despite the familial connection (see entry for 6 Aug. 1836, above, and vol. 3:9–10).

327 2.

The National Republican and Democratic parties.


The lecture on the Smithson bequest was the first of two that JQA had prepared for delivery before the Mechanic Apprentices’ Library Association in Boston. The second would, as it turned out, be read for him by the Rev. Lunt before both the Apprentices’ Association and at the Quincy Lyceum. The texts of the two lectures, an account of their composition, delivery, and contemporary publication, are contained in The Great Design, Two Lectures on the Smithson Bequest by John Quincy Adams, ed. Wilcomb E. Washburn, Washington, The Smithsonian Institution, 1965.


Levi Woodbury, secretary of the treasury.