Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Tuesday 19th. CFA Tuesday 19th. CFA
Tuesday 19th.

A cold easterly wind but very clear. I. Hull breakfasted with me and accompanied Mrs. Adams and myself to Boston where we went to get sundry things. At the house, we were surprised by a visit from Miss Harriet Welsh accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Downing, the newly married couple from Fishkill.1 This was not apropos but we got 66through it as well as we might. My principal difficulty was in the delay it occasioned me through which I lost a great part of the time I intended to have spent in objects for which I came to town.

Letter from Mr. Johnson which required attention, and an immediate answer.2 Call from Mr. Beebe not yet quite ready to make a final conveyance but fixed tomorrow so that I come in again. Call from I. H. Adams too with whom I called to see Judge Leland and refer the matter of the will. He seemed to favor it’s validity,3 and gave me a blank to get ready. Then home to Quincy much fatigued. I. H. dined with us. Afternoon, Pliny. Evening quietly at home but fatigued enough to be glad to retire early.

1.

Two weeks earlier, Caroline Elizabeth de Windt, a daughter of the John Peter de Windts, had married Andrew Jackson Downing, who would later have a distinguished career as landscape gardener and architect ( DAB ).

2.

CFA’s letter is in the Adams Papers (LbC); T. B. Johnson’s is missing.

3.

That is, Lt. T. B. Adams’ will.

Wednesday 20th. CFA Wednesday 20th. CFA
Wednesday 20th.

I went to town again this morning to execute the business which I had failed in getting through with yesterday. I was tolerably successful with it and completed the long talked of arrangement with Mr. James M. Beebe and the Mortgage. I also paid off a number of the heaviest bills for the balance of my furniture purchased since my return. Thus the time vanished until my return which I made by the way of the new road lately opened in competition with Neponset. It is a nice road enough but rather laborious for a horse coming this way.

After dinner amused myself with reading Pliny. A great deal of good feeling, honesty beyond the age, a little vanity and some artifice are the characteristics of his style. The letters are rather curiously jumbled but still very interesting. The Roman Empire even in it’s corruption still retained much of the noble appearance of it’s antique form. Evening, Mrs. Adams and I to Mrs. E. Miller’s to see Mr. and Mrs. Downing who were here for the day. Nobody but the Adams family.

Thursday 21st. CFA Thursday 21st. CFA
Thursday 21st.

Morning clear with a cold Easterly wind. I spent more time than I had intended running over the books in the library down at the house and selecting such as I wished. Out of my fathers whole collection there are comparatively few that come within the range of my present wishes. I propose to devote the summer to increasing my acquaintance 67with American history and my general knowledge of the geography of the world. This is a branch of science I always had a fancy for, and my father’s library is pretty well provided with ancient works. The modern ones are more numerous but not so valuable. Afternoon Pliny in whose letters I take much pleasure. Evening, called with Mrs. Adams at Mr. Beale’s and sat an hour.