Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Saturday August 18th. 1827. CFA Saturday August 18th. 1827. CFA
Saturday August 18th. 1827.

On this day I enter upon my twenty first year. Moments are now passing which are to give the direction which my fate will take. My own mind is full of doubts and fears and troubles; these give me anxiety and pain in the midst of prospects as brilliant as have fallen to the share of any individual. The result is in the hands of the almighty, and to him I look believing and hoping and confiding all things.


The morning had been allotted to a fishing excursion with a party consisting of the Quincy gentlemen and ladies. Mr. Quincy, his wife, son and two of his daughters. Mr. Miller and his wife, Messrs. Thomas and Daniel Greenleaf and the two daughters of the first,1 together with the Parson’s family2 and some others. We were long in getting out and caught no fish. The party afforded me but little pleasure, and that little was received from Edmund Quincy, but I dislike his family. We reached home in good season, fatigued and burnt. My father was quite unwell.


Thomas Greenleaf was a Quincy justice of the peace; his daughters were Eliza and Mary Ann ( Mass. Register, 1826, p. 36; JQA, Diary, 18 Aug. 1827). Daniel Greenleaf owned the wharf on Quincy Bay where JQA went to swim (JQA, Memoirs , 8:373; 9:246, 257).


Rev. and Mrs. Peter Whitney, and their children, George and Carolina (JQA, Diary, 18 Aug. 1827).

Sunday August 19th. 1827. CFA Sunday August 19th. 1827. CFA
Sunday August 19th. 1827.

Morning at home engaged in conversation with George upon family affairs. Our feelings are as dissimilar now as possible and George has changed most immeasureably for the worse. This may also be the case with me but it would be only the more to be deplored. In the afternoon I went to hear Dr. Fiske of West Camb. and in the evening strolled with Tom Adams to the top of the Hill before the House where I had many thoughts.

Monday. August 20th. 1827. CFA Monday. August 20th. 1827. CFA
Monday. August 20th. 1827.

Took the Stage to Boston and from there I went directly to Medford where I found Abby and passed a pleasant day with her. Henry, her brother, had arrived from New York. She was as usual the pleasing attraction. My affection for her increases as I more clearly perceive the finer shades of character, and as my feelings become interested in drawing out fairly the attractive qualities, keeping in check the exuberances which unlimited indulgence has produced. I often think what a fool a man is to suffer himself to become entangled by his noble feelings, for if they do chance to be crushed, where is the limit to the bitterness of his Fate? But I have thrown aside the selfish philosophy and must abide the consequences.

Tuesday August 21st. 1827. CFA Tuesday August 21st. 1827. CFA
Tuesday August 21st. 1827.

I returned to Boston with Abby, and after bathing, went according to appointment to see Mrs. P. C. Brooks Junr. the sister in law of Abby.1 She seems a delicate tender plant hardly likely to bear up 154very long against this climate. After leaving Mrs. Frothingham and Abby whom I had met at that place, I returned to my boarding house where I passed the afternoon, and the evening was spent at Mrs. Frothingham’s in company with Abby, Mrs. P. C. Brooks, Henry and Chardon.


Mrs. P. C. Brooks Jr. was the former Susan Oliver Heard. See Adams Genealogy.