Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Saturday 11th. CFA Saturday 11th. CFA
Saturday 11th.

Cloudy. Office. Division as usual. Evening at home.

I went through the usual course of occupation today. Wrote two letters, one to Mr. Johnson requesting of him to draw upon me,1 and one to Mr. Ward to know exactly what the terms are upon which I am to go to New York.2 I do not care for this going out to warfare at my own charges. Nothing new excepting that as I was returning home I stopped in for a moment to see Warren the virtuoso and he told me that he had just arrived from Washington and that Louisa was sick when he left.


Home to read Oedipus Coloneus. The rest of the day passed in luxurious desultory reading. Evening as Louisa had two or three of her School friends, I took the opportunity to continue my copying of MS which goes on rather sluggishly. Charles rather unwell.


CFA to T. B. Johnson, LbC, Adams Papers.


CFA to Elijah Ward, LbC, Adams Papers.

Sunday 12th. CFA Sunday 12th. CFA
Sunday 12th.

Clouds and snow. Exercises as usual. Evening at home.

My regular lesson with my children, for John is now coming in to read the Bible with his sister. After which attended divine service and heard in the morning Dr. Frothingham from Psalms 100. 5. “And not we ourselves.” I am ashamed to say what a slight impression it made upon me. Afternoon Mr. Bartol from 1. Thessalonians 5. 16.17. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.” The union of the two as forming cheerful religion was the theme of his discourse. It had good and bad points in it.

The day was so uncomfortable that I did not walk. Miss Welsh brought in quite an alarming account of the condition of Louisa at Washington, which was procured through Mrs. Lawrence. I am deeply concerned for it. For I know not what the result would be to my father, and mother, whose relaxation is all now in that child. My own children were all more or less ailing today. This with the state of my private concerns makes me gloomy. Yet my trust is ever in the Deity that he will not deal with us entirely according to our sins.

Read another discourse by Mr. Leechman upon prayer in continuation of the last. Job 21. 15. “What profit would we have if we pray unto him.” Upon the advantages of prayer and a general answer to the common objections. We spent the evening at home dull enough. Read some imaginary conversations by Walter S. Landor, conceited dogmatical and unsound.1


CFA’s earlier reading of Imaginary Conversations produced a similar reaction (vol. 6:131).

Monday 13th. CFA Monday 13th. CFA
Monday 13th.

Snow and clouds. Distribution as usual. Evening to Edward Brooks.

The day was dark and gloomy and I felt somewhat with the weather. After my usual time in coins I went to the Office and devoted my time to filling up the arrears of Diary which last week had created. Received a letter from my mother giving encouraging accounts. Her letter is 357short but it gives me reason to believe that Louisa’s illness has been exceedingly serious.1 Thence to the Athenaeum.

Home to read Oedipus Coloneus, but what with my own children, my affairs and the accounts from Washington I was very much depressed. After dinner, The Townley Gallery in the publications of the Society for diffusing knowledge.2

Evening, went to Edward Brooks’. Mr. and Mrs. Dutton Russel there but nothing new. Talk of T. K. Davis who from all accounts is I am afraid decidedly deranged. Home and read Landor.


To the family in Washington, still distraught over the death of Georgeanna Frances, the illness of her sister Louisa had overwhelmed them by the “apparent similarity of the cases.” Louisa had suffered from “inflamation of the bowels and bladder,” severe pain, and high fever. However, “the doctor says the two cases differ and that at the present time all is favorable” (LCA to ABA, 9 Jan., Adams Papers). Later letters report convalescence and recovery (same to CFA, 21 Jan.; to ABA, 26 Jan., 20 Feb., all in Adams Papers).


The volumes on the Townley Gallery in the British Museum are in the Library of Entertaining Knowledge of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.