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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-15

Monday 15th.

Returned to town this morning bringing Abby with me. Found at the Office a letter from my father upon the subject of the old federal question which has lately been excited. It was quite interesting and quite full.1 The morning passed without my doing more than reading some Cases in the Massachusetts Reports. I was engaged to dine out so called for Abby and went to Mrs. William Smith’s. Found Mr. and Mrs. Pickman, Mr. Storer, and Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham constituted the Company. The dinner was not unpleasant and passed the afternoon so that the Office was out of the question.
I then called at Mrs. Gorham’s [and] spent a couple of hours with Abby’s friend Julia. Mr. Charles Warren, a brother of Mrs. Gorham’s, came in.2 He is a wild being and subject to fits of a terrible kind. There is some feeling on this subject existing in relation to Abby, growing out of some insult offered to her formerly, which I have been unable to comprehend. This happened when she was very young and she evidently does not now understand what it was, but it created a violent affront which makes the meeting unpleasant to all parties. The family would not introduce him to me and so I was a little awkward. I had { 323 } no desire for his acquaintance. He is not a man to take notice of, and inasmuch as he has now learnt his distance, there is nothing for me to be troubled about. Returned to Mrs. Frothingham’s with Abby, passed half an hour in conversation and then went home. This was a pleasant day to me, though it reminded me that I was paying the price of my engagement as I shall do often in spite of myself.
1. Protesting that his communication to the National Intelligencer had been badly misunderstood (see entry for 18 Nov., and note, above), JQA claimed that his purpose had been to refute the allegation that New England Federalists during the War of 1812 had been in correspondence with British agents; their intrigues with the British had been earlier, before the two nations were at war. He announced that he had “under respectful consideration” a letter of interrogation from “thirteen distinguished members of the old federal party” (JQA to CFA, 8 Dec. 1828, Adams Papers).
2. CFA was in error; Mary (Warren) Gorham’s brothers were named John Collins, Joseph, and Edward (John Collins Warren, Warren Genealogy, Boston, 1854, p. 50–51).