Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Sunday. 11th. CFA Sunday. 11th. CFA
Sunday. 11th.

Fine clear day. Morning passed upon coins excepting a portion spent with my Wife who appears now gradually on the recovery. Attended divine Service and heard N. Hall Jr. preach in the morning from Acts 3. 6. “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee.” A good sermon upon the cultivation of the kindly affections as 6superior to the possession of wealth. Afternoon. 2 Peter 3. 18. “Grow in grace.” Moral culture. Mr. Hall is evidently a sincere and an earnest preacher and thus he gives to his words additional force.1

Walk after both services with one or the other of my children. Read a Sermon of Buckminster’s, John 6. 12. “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” A Sermon upon the profits of economy or frugality being a charity lecture written about at the time of the commercial restrictions here. Very good though not so remarkable as some of the others. Copied part of the letter to my father and went in the evening to see Mr. Brooks. Nobody there. Home at ten.


On Rev. Nathaniel Hall Jr., a kinsman of ABA, see vol. 6:32.

Monday. 12th. CFA Monday. 12th. CFA
Monday. 12th.

Fine day. Our weather now begins to have a touch of spring, and the snow is disappearing pretty rapidly. I went to the Office. Nothing very new. Received from England advices of the arrival of some of my remittances but none of the power of Attorney respecting which I had written and indeed no letter at all from Mr. Johnson. Mr. Beebe called about it this day.1 Home. Sophocles. Afternoon coins as usual. Evening wasted some time in drawing a sketch of an article for the Courier without success. Wife better but wet nurse fails.


A power of attorney from T. B. Johnson was needed to complete the mortgage transaction which had been pending.

Tuesday. 13th. CFA Tuesday. 13th. CFA
Tuesday. 13th.

A very fine morning, but the weather soon came round to the Eastward wind feeling which is the sign of our spring. I went to the Office. Received today a letter from Mr. T. B. Johnson inclosing a power of Attorney as I had desired. I immediately wrote to the various persons concerned to that effect.1 Letter from Washington also,2 but nothing new. My Wife is becoming better, but the first nurse will not do and we are to have another.

Sophocles and coins in the afternoon. Evening I went to a party at Mrs. Lawrence’s, given to Lord Gosford3 whose presence here seems to have turned the heads of half the Bostonians. This is a peculiarity of our national tastes singularly at variance with our professed principles. The number invited was large and the party very dull.


Although the letter from T. B. Johnson and those written by CFA upon its receipt are missing, CFA, in a letter to LCA, 15 March (Adams Papers), gives 7“the sum and substance of [Johnson’s] remarkable letter”:

“He complains of the physicians upon whom he expends most of his substance in vain, and of his health. He says living in England and France is detestable, and he must come to America, but not to seek the crowded haunts of men. His wish is a retired spot in the vicinity of Washington or Baltimore, to which he desires his friends to direct their attention for him. He has tried to get Shepherd to do so without success, that he and his relations have tried to frighten him out of this plan by bug-a-boo terrors of the blacks, but that he is not convinced, inasmuch as he finds the whites in Europe to be not a whit more honest and a great deal more impudent. Finally he has conceived a violent dislike of the absurd vanities of rank &c. in the old countries and wishes to return home soon, for after all he concludes ‘America is the only country, where man is seen to advantage.’ ... I know what allowances are to be made for the unfortunate position he occupies in life and therefore I will not allow myself even a smile at the extraordinary revulsion of feeling here betrayed.”


LCA to CFA, 8 March, Adams Papers.


Archibald Acheson, 2d earl of Gosford, lord lieutenant of Armagh and governor-general of Canada. His visit is the occasion of extended comment in the letter from CFA to LCA referred to in note 1, above.