Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Thursday 28th. CFA Thursday 28th. CFA
Thursday 28th.

Cloudy with showers which continued with increasing force until sunset. I remained at home and occupied myself in copying a portion of the Fragmentary Journal which appears to have been omitted in the former experiment. The hand writing is so close that I make no very rapid way with even so small leaves. There is not much however of the omitted portion. An entry of the 26 February 1770 four or five days 70before the massacre giving an Account of the funeral of the child killed by Richardson,1 but none on the day. Wrote a letter to Mr. Johnson,2 and in the afternoon read Pliny and Grahame. Thus passed a day very quietly, more remarkable for the amount of my own occupation, than for incident.


What CFA calls the “fragmentary journal” must be “Paper book No. 15”; see JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:338; the copy which CFA undertook to make of the entries in the paper book is missing. For the entry of 26 Feb. 1770, see same, 1:349–350.


To T. B. Johnson, 27 June, LbC, Adams Papers.

Friday 29th. CFA Friday 29th. CFA
Friday 29th.

Morning fine. I went to town. Engaged all day in Accounts at the Office so that I remained steadily occupied at the Office and in one duty. As usual at the end of the year I am balancing my books and as usual there is a slight error of a few cents which embarrasses me. This keeping of Accounts by double entry is a vexatious affair.

Home to dinner. Afternoon reading Pliny. Much fine sentiment in his letters but a little too stiff and apprêté for epistolary style. Grahame. Evening at home. Very quiet. The town today all agog with the news from Washington of the defeat of the subtreasury bill. It seems the Administration party broke down by a most decisive vote, for which I for one cannot say I am sorry.

Saturday 30th. CFA Saturday 30th. CFA
Saturday 30th.

Cool day with an easterly breeze and fog clouds. I remained at home with the exception of a call at the old house to select more books, and was steadily occupied in copying the little Fragment of a Diary. In these little paper books it appears to have been my Grandfather’s practice to insert almost any thing in his way at the time. Hence copies of several Newspaper articles for the time, also of a letter to Mrs. McCauley about his dissertation on the canon and feudal law,1 good material.

Afternoon, Pliny and Grahame. J. H. Adams dined with us and I spent half an hour in digging my ground, a piece of pretty hard labour. Evening at home but I did very little. My plan is to retire early for the sake of early rising. Mr. Beale and youngest daughter here in the evening.


The letter to Mrs. Catharine (Sawbridge) Macaulay, 9 Aug. 1770, is printed in JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:360–361.