Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

48 Monday 21st. CFA Monday 21st. CFA
Monday 21st.

Warm, cloudy morning. After writing my Diary, I went up to the House of Representatives, calling on my way at Judge Cranch’s.1 There being nothing of interest in that body, I went to the Senate where upon the presentation of petitions Mr. Clay took occasion to bring forward his views of a National Bank.

He read them from a paper, an unusual course with him and showing the meditation with which it had been concerted. The points were important and well calculated as I thought for his object. Buchanan in reply attempted to turn his flank by assuming that the place was New York for the sake of rallying Pennsylvania jealousy, but he did not succeed. After a lively conversation, the matter dropped and I returned home.

Early dinner for the sake of going with the ladies to a regatta held at the Navy yard. Great numbers of persons there including almost all the official personages. We did not leave the Carriage, but procured a situation very favorable for seeing. There were five or six boats entered, five of which started, and moved to a flag boat stationed at a distant point round which they went and returned. The rounding was the act of trial and in that a white boat succeeded in gaining the advantage. After it was over, we concluded not to remain for the festivities but returned home. Evening at home. Retired early.


William Cranch, judge of the federal Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, was a nephew of AA and a Harvard classmate of JQA; see vol. 5:107.

Tuesday 22d. CFA Tuesday 22d. CFA
Tuesday 22d.

A very hot, windy morning. I felt so much fatigued as to be very unwilling to undertake any long walk in the sun, so that I decided upon remaining in the house. This detention is in this place quite disagreeable as all the places of resort are at a distance from each other, and thus make motion to them laborious and fatiguing. I begin to be very impatient and wish to return. My own occupations on the whole cannot be long supplied by any dissipation.

Wrote Diary, and a letter to Boston,1 also reading the Bank Reports of the State of Alabama. Made a call upon Mrs. Smith and sat an hour conversing in a very easy way. She would have been well calculated for a much higher situation in society.

Evening, accompanied the ladies to a party at Miss Tayloe’s given to the bride, Mrs. Kane. The party was small and composed entirely of strangers. Washington is certainly much changed from what it was.49 There is an absence of the haut ton which it used to have, and a prevalence of half genteel which makes the difference. This is no doubt owing to the bachelor style of the late President and the absence of any presiding female character in the higher departments of Office. We returned at twelve. A thunder shower and rain following.


No letter of this date has been located; it was probably written to Peter C. Brooks in reply to his second report on the Adams children (to CFA, 14 May, Adams Papers).