Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Tuesday. 24th. CFA Tuesday. 24th. CFA
Tuesday. 24th.

Mild and cloudy. Office. Evening at Dr. Frothingham’s.

After my usual course of occupation in medals I went to the Office and spent my time in making up Arrears of Diary and finishing the drawing out of some Leases which I have had some time on my hands. The streets were wet and I did not walk. Home where I read the Oedipus . I find I can read about eighty lines in an hour so as fully to understand them.


Afternoon I began upon the work of the MS again but the time is so short as to make my progress not very rapid. I did not even get through a single letter. Read a little of Pinkerton who has some learning but a little Scotch captiousness.

Evening, went down to see Dr. and Mrs. Frothingham found there Mr. Brooks, and W. G. Brooks, and Mr. Foster. Pleasant conversation and then home. Continued the Lecture which is now drawing to a conclusion for the fourth time and is again much varied from what it was.

Wednesday 25th. CFA Wednesday 25th. CFA
Wednesday 25th.

Clear, lovely day. Office. Museum with the boys. Evening, children at the house.

This is Christmas Day. A day of great festivity in many parts of the world but one which is not much celebrated here. I went to the Office and passed an hour, but returned home early in order to take my boys with me to the New England Museum, a place which hardly deserves it’s character. Yet it is much better than it used to be when I went there many years ago. There is not so much that is positively offensive. The boys were much delighted but I noticed with pleasure that they rather sought the exhibitions of stuffed animals than the wax figures and trash. The whole thing is however very much dilapidated.1 We returned home and I read a hundred lines of Oedipus. Received today from my mother a present of a tea set of old china which will I hope gratify my Wife. Wrote on my Manuscripts and finished Pinkerton’s first volume. Evening, the children of Mrs. Frothingham and Mrs. Everett had a little Christmas party at our house. Dr. and Mrs. F. with us. Lecture nearly done.


The New England Museum, located on Court Street between Brattle Street and Cornhill, had been established in 1825 as successor to the Columbian Museum, which had been founded in 1795 and had been at Tremont and Bromfield streets since 1806. In 1839 the Museum was acquired by a new owner, Moses Kimball, and this perhaps occasioned the present visit (Samuel G. Drake, History and Antiquities of Boston, Boston, 1856, p. 806, 814). An account of the wax figures in the museum as they were in an earlier day is in Winsor, Memorial History of Boston , 4:10.

Thursday 26th. CFA Thursday 26th. CFA
Thursday 26th.

A lovely day. Division of time as usual. Evening at home.

After my usual time passed in coins, about four or six of which I succeed in investigating daily, I go to the Office, and what little spare 348time I get from the Newspapers and business I devote to Storch whose book I am trying to read. At the Athenaeum and from thence home where I go on with Oedipus. Miss Smith dined and spent the evening with us. On with the MS and with the Notes on Storch. Nothing very new. Evening, Walpole and the Lecture. Time monotonous enough.