Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Saturday 26th. CFA Saturday 26th. CFA
Saturday 26th.

Clear and cool. On the whole, a very fine day. After breakfast, I called to see Dr. Huntt who is now confined to his house.1 He is a mere skeleton, and the most wretched looking one I ever saw, but he keeps up his spirits and talks as rapidly as ever. Indeed far more so than he used to do. He takes great interest in politics, curses the present dynasty and looks to a revolution which he is not likely to witness. While he is under no sense of religion to prepare him for his change, I feel friendly to Huntt for his attention to myself as well as to my Mother and am sorry to think I see him for the last time.

52

Home. Diary. At noon, we that is the ladies and Hull with myself went by agreement to see some curiosities of Major Hook’s arranged in his bachelor establishment.2 They consist mainly of Indian relics and pictures representing their habits. The ornaments of Oseola were perhaps the most interesting. But there is much sameness in Indian dresses when unassociated with persons. From thence to the Capitol where the Senate was sitting in debate upon the resolution of Mr. Clay. Mr. Sevier of Arkansaw spoke mainly against that part of the Report of the Finance Committee which touches the Specie Circular. He was followed briefly by Mr. Clay, Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Niles, Mr. Rives and Mr. Wright. The debate was interesting, particularly Mr. Rives’ examination of the Report. He was strong in attack but feeble in explaining his own position, which is not tenable. Home to dinner. Evening passed quietly. My father dined out at Mr. Pontois to meet the Prince de Joinville, a youth of 18, the son of Louis Philippe of France who is travelling for his pleasure. He was in the Senate. An olive complexoned young man with marked features, but not handsome, nor distinguished in any way. He excited much curiosity. Mr. and Mrs. Smith here for an hour.

1.

Dr. Henry Huntt had, for many years, been the Adams family physician in Washington (vol. 2, index).

2.

Maj. James Harvey Hook of Maryland (Heitman, Register U.S. Army , vol. 1).

Sunday 27th. CFA Sunday 27th. CFA
Sunday 27th.

The weather is very certainly far from favorable. Wind and cold and heat each in undue proportion. Attended divine service at St. John’s Church, where Mr. Hawley preached from Hebrews 8. 13. “In that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old”. My attention was not fixed and Mr. Hawley is not interesting. The Church was not so full as last Sunday.1

Visits from Govr. Dickerson, Mrs. Frye and others. Read a sermon of Buckminster’s. 1. Corinthians 11. 31. “If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” A singular text for a discourse upon self knowledge, the difficulties and the advantages of it. Mr. Campbell dined with us. Evening, the ladies with my father and I went to Mrs. Frye’s where we spent a couple of hours. Nothing of interest.

On this day, my little boy, Charles is three years old. May heaven preserve him for utility and honor. I feel the burden of absence from my children increasing.

53 1.

JQA found a broader meaning in the sparse attendance: “The neglect of public worship in this city is an increasing evil; and the indifference to all religion throughout the whole country portends no good. There is in the Clergy of all the Christian denominations, a time serving, cringing subservient morality as wide from the Spirit of the Gospel as it is from the intrepid assertion and vindication of truth. The counterfeit character ... is disclosed in the dissensions growing up in all the protestant Churches, on the subject of Slavery” (Diary, 27 May).