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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-17

Wednesday. 17th.

Morning at the Office, busy in writing my reply to my father’s last letter. It was chiefly confined to the subject which has principally agitated this place for some time, and which is now interesting every body in the trial of Genl. Lyman.1 In the afternoon I finished the { 324 } Secret Journals of Congress and in the evening read Dr. Johnson’s Life. The whole day being passed very busily and not without profit. The Jury could not agree in their verdict.
1. CFA recalled that he had been present during the conversation between Clay and JQA, which immediately preceded the latter’s statement in the National Intelligencer concerning New England Federalists and the embargo (see entry for 19 Oct., and note, above). Old Federalists in Boston, he reiterated, were ready to forget the past and paid no attention to Jefferson’s letter; consequently they regarded JQA’s statement as an unprovoked denunciation of themselves (CFA to JQA, 17 Dec. 1828, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-18

Thursday. 18th.

Morning occupied at the Office in reading Law. The day passed without any thing to render it notable. I was busily engaged in my various avocations and hardly heeded the course of time. It began to be cold again and reminded us that Winter was at last coming. Afternoon, interested in Pitkin’s Sketch of the Convention which framed the Constitution of the United States. This is a subject with which I am anxious to become familiar. In the evening I dropped in to a Meeting of the Citizens in general to nominate a Mayor. Mr. Otis seemed universally the favourite. How strange are the fluctuations of popular feeling. This gentleman is now up, who was down, and in neither case was there any assignable reason for it. And this nomination from an Administration Committee.1 I went to the Office and read Dr. Johnson.
1. After Josiah Quincy withdrew from the mayoralty contest (see entries for 11 and 16 Dec., above), a meeting of citizens was held at the Exchange Coffee House on 18 December to choose his successor on the ballot. A large majority favored Harrison Gray Otis, who consented to be a candidate (Columbian Centinel, 20 Dec. 1828). From CFA’s point of view it was ironical that Otis, one of the principal Federalists attacking JQA, should have been selected by an Administration committee.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0012-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-12-19

Friday. 19th.

Morning in Court and at the Office. Read the Massachusetts Reports as usual and passed a useful morning. The weather was severely cold but clear and pleasant, otherwise. Abby was in town but I missed seeing her. Afternoon reading Mr. Pitkin, the first years of the Federal Constitution. Evening reading Dr. Johnson’s Life of Frederick of Prussia and Mr. Boswell. The day on the whole very profitably employed. I am better satisfied with my present way of life than I have been with any for some years past. It meets more my idea of what is a man’s duty to himself. My reflections are all agreeable, and though few of the more violent gratifications of life come to distract the equa• { 325 } nimity of my spirits, yet I will willingly forego them to be rid of the distressing excess on the other side. My feelings have undergone a decided change for the better ever since I commenced this Volume.