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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-13

Saturday 13th.

Nearly all the morning taken up in writing my usual letter to my Mother this morning. I was in better humour though the excitement of last evening reacted so much today as to make me a little unfit for law. I wrote also a short Note to John1 congratulating him upon { 322 } the birth of his child. The afternoon was passed as usual in reading a portion of American History. In the evening, I went to a meeting of the Debating Society and heard discussed the subject of a University in Boston. There was a tolerably spirited debate and I returned home quite pleased.
1. Missing.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-14

Sunday. 14th.

It rained during the night but cleared off this morning, the wind being Southerly and warm. This has certainly been a surprising Season. I went to Meeting in the Morning and heard Dr. Channing preach a Sermon on the same subject with that of last Sunday, on moral energy. I thought it inferior to the former. It was in some measure the repetition of a favorite idea by a diffuse writer, the principal defect which I discover in all of this gentleman’s productions. I also read some of the Sermons of Sterne. After dinner, rode to Medford, and passed the afternoon and evening in company with Abby. This day there was a fire in the Massachusetts Hospital which did much injury.1
1. A defective flue caused the fire in the Massachusetts General Hospital, damages from which were estimated at $2,000 (Columbian Centinel, 17 Dec. 1828).

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).