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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0007-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-07-25

Saturday. 25th.

Morning to town but very late. My father first entering into conversation with me upon the subject of my prospects and his own in consequence of my a little disliking the tenor of a certain paragraph in the letter to my Mother which I copied for him this morning.1 He went over much that was said before and without much difference in the facts, excepting that now his determination to build a house is weakened. I told him that with regard to his future intentions, all I desired was to be thought not to have any opinion upon the subject but to leave him to the exercise of his own judgment and discretion. I was in Boston a very short time and did little though I seemed engaged. At one o’clock I rode to Medford. Found there, Mr. and Mrs. Chardon Brooks, Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and Mrs. Story of Salem.2 Dinner was pleasant enough. Mrs. Brooks quite ill and Abby very low spirited about her. Evening pleasant and quite happy.
1. LCA had objected to her husband’s plan to build a pretentious stone house in Quincy and had urged instead that he construct two frame houses, so that he could leave one to each son and thus root them both in Massachusetts soil. In view of his heavy debts and expenditures, JQA replied, “I shall . . . suspend my purpose of building at all, and instead of dreaming of greatness past or future . . . shall confine my contemplations to the reduction of my expenditures, and the payment of my debts, hoping that my children by their industry and their frugality may be enabled to build frame houses for themselves” (JQA to LCA, 25 July 1829, Adams Papers). When CFA made a copy of the letter for JQA’s letterbooks, he took the quoted passage as a personal affront.
2. Presumably Mrs. Joseph Story, the former Sarah Waldo Wetmore ( DAB ).