Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Thursday. April 12th. CFA Thursday. April 12th. CFA
Thursday. April 12th.

I barely accomplished my Record without much time to give to Geography this morning. Instead of law, I took a sitting at Mr. King’s at least for two hours. The remainder of the day I employed myself 120pretty closely. No letter again from Abby which had a serious effect upon my spirits. We had a small party to dine, it being George’s birthday: Genl. and Mrs. Wool, Mrs. and Miss Pleasonton, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Frye, Dr. Huntt, Mr. Wyer and Miss Roberdeau: the latter has come to pass a few days here. George and Abby were remembered in the flowing cups. But in all the gaiety I could not get over the feeling of vacancy which the scene produced. My feelings were not there. The evening seemed to pass very pleasantly however.

Friday. April 13th. CFA Friday. April 13th. CFA
Friday. April 13th.

My Record was done in very good time and a portion of Geography read before breakfast. The morning closely devoted to law, until the arrival of the mail which brought me the long expected letter. She had but recently reached Boston after a tedious journey. I was paid on the whole for my trouble, and spent the whole of the afternoon in writing an answer to it, which gave me almost as much pleasure to write as the other did to read. George wrote to the family to day.1 He seems to be very much disposed to fix upon Miss Amory. I do not know that he could do better, and if things correspond as I think they do, on my return to Boston, I will take that affair under my especial direction. Evening with the family.


Letter missing.

Saturday April 14th. CFA Saturday April 14th. CFA
Saturday April 14th.

Performed my morning duties to my satisfaction, and took a short sitting to Mr. King so as to be able to devote an hour to law, on my return home. Employed the afternoon in writing to Richardson.1 On the whole, the day very well employed.


Letter missing.

Sunday. April 15th. CFA Sunday. April 15th. CFA
Sunday. April 15th.

Finished my Record early and read Geography. Received letters which induced me to write fully. Miss Harriet Welsh has requested my opinion upon certain matters relating to my Mother, and what I consider my duty I never hesitate to perform. I also wrote much nonsense to George.1 The quiet of this sort of life is prodigious.


All these letters are missing.

Monday. April 16th. CFA Monday. April 16th. CFA
Monday. April 16th.

I was later than usual at my Record owing to some arrangements 121about taking a bath, and was compelled to omit my Geography, but the remainder of the day was busily employed. Wrote a letter to Abby, and prepared for the reading of Tacitus.

My undertakings for this Summer are to be Grotius and Puffendorf in the Law of Nations,1 Coke Littleton in Law,2 and Tacitus in the Classics. No very small work. God prosper the undertaking.


Three sets of Hugo Grotius’ Droit de la guerre et de la paix, published in La Haye in 1703 and in Basle in 1746 and in 1768, are among JQA’s books in the Stone Library, which also contains two copies of Samuel Pufendorf’s Le droit de la nature et des gens, published in Amsterdam in 1734 and in 1795, once belonging to JQA. Among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library is a copy of Grotius’ The Rights of War and Peace, London, 1738, as well as a London edition, 1729, of Pufendorf’s Of the Law of Nature and Nations ( Catalogue of JA’s Library , p. 111, 204).


Edward Coke’s famous Institutes of the Lawes of England, London, 1628–1644, in four parts, which consisted of Sir Thomas Littleton’s treatise on tenures with an elaborate commentary by Coke, long the standard authority on real property in England and America. For JA’s set of Coke’s Institutes, published in London, 1628–1681, 4 vols., see Catalogue of JA’s Library , p. 54.