Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Sunday 26th. CFA Sunday 26th. CFA
Sunday 26th.

Railroad to Hartford and thence to Worcester.

The impatience of some of our company which does not appear to be quite of the best class, caused our getting up nearly two hours before it was necessary or expedient. For the train of cars which the agent had engaged to send through at five o’clock did not start until half past six. The morning was very cold and I suffered much inconvenience from it in my feet. We however went through to Hartford which we reached before ten and stopped to take breakfast at the United States Hotel.

We found conveyances ready to take us on and at eleven the whole company exceeding thirty in number started in three sleighs. The day was cold and I suffered a good deal from it as my India rubber shoes rather stop than promote the circulation. The only pleasant fellow passenger we had was Mr. J. W. Otis with whom I made acquaintance.366 Our route was slow from the deep snow and for two stages not very safe as the track was narrow and leaving it for a moment hazarded an upset. One of these we experienced which hurt nobody excepting one imprudent man who was looking out of the window and who got his face flayed by the crust of ice in the snow. It did not detain us however from our journey which we persevered in to the loss of dinner that we might get to Worcester by night.

We did arrive in fact at a little before twelve o’clock at the Temperance House where after getting something to eat we were ushered into a shocking cold room and got to bed thankful to God that the labours and dangers of this Journey were at an end.

Monday 27th. CFA Monday 27th. CFA
Monday 27th.

To Boston. At home all day. Evening small party at Miss Jones’.

We were roused at six this morning and after partaking of a good breakfast the first thing of the kind I have seen since Friday afternoon we went to the Depot of the Worcester Railroad and entered a car to Boston. The trip was made briefly and before eleven o’clock I had the happiness and satisfaction of again embracing my Wife and children and sitting by my own fireside. God be praised for the same and the next time I start upon such a wildgoose chase may I be set down for an ass.

The peculiar circumstances attending the outset of the journey, the severity of the season and the inconveniences in travelling all contributed to make me more nervous and gloomy than I should have been. It is over now and I have learnt one lesson by it, not to go from home in the winter season without good reason moving me thereto. A Lecture to a parcel of boys is not such by any means.

I remained at home all the day dressing and refitting myself to my study, as I am determined now to make up for my lost time. In the evening went with my Wife to a small party at Miss Jones’. Her own family and a few of her friends. Pleasant enough but not material.

Tuesday 28th. CFA Tuesday 28th. CFA
Tuesday 28th.

Snow. At home, distribution as usual. Evening, small party at Mrs. Ritchie’s.

I went down to the Office and employed myself much in matters of account. Since my departure various companies have made Dividends 367and these I immediately set about collecting and with the proceeds paying off a great number of the accounts that have been hanging on since New Year. My Journey has not even paid it’s way and my affairs scarcely look more encouragingly than they did. Mr. Johnson has not however drawn upon me.

Home to read Oedipus Coloneus. Afternoon commencing work upon my projected article. I find it will require much investigation. I must look up all the authorities and refresh my recollection with the history. If I make an antagonist, it will be necessary to be well armed.1

Evening to Mrs. Ritchie’s by invitation. A small party of about a hundred, one third of whom I knew. Tolerably pleasant. Home at eleven.


The author of the New York Review article had advanced the view that the contest in England in the 17th century “between Churchmen and Puritans was merely a political one, and not, as is usually represented, a religious one.” CFA’s article, undertaken to refute this position, would hold that it was mainly a religious conflict, made political only because religion at the time was a matter of political regulation.