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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0002-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-02-04

Wednesday. 4th.

Morning at the Office. Occupied much of the time in drawing up a Paper upon the Middlesex Canal. I intend showing this to my Father, though I am induced to do this from two motives separate from him, my own improvement and information. He would hardly repay me my trouble if I trusted to him. It may be wrong to feel as I do about him, { 342 } but his course hardly makes any other sentiment possible. I trust I feel duly attached to him, but my pride and independence have received a blow which he can never heal. I expected more than he was willing to comply with; I expected an active kindness equal to my own. Not in deeds, if he was unable to assist me, but in words and in manner. I do not desire to exalt myself or depress my brother. But I had sacrificed much for him, and I had done much to put that brother in a way to please him. Much of his condition was owing to my vigilance and care. And when that brother received even extraordinary kindness and I, extraordinary harshness, is it to be wondered at that I cannot root out the remembrance from my mind? I have never written so fully my mind in my Journal, time has taken off much of the bitterness which prevented my doing so, circumstances will probably prevent any positively unfavourable effect upon my prospects, but the memory of coldness from a parent still has force in itself to prompt these lines. In the performance of duty, I console myself.
Read a little Law. In the afternoon, with Abby, pleasantly as usual. Went to pay a visit to Mrs. Saml. Dexter in the evening. She is a pleasant and rather a witty old lady. Abby is a kind of protegé of her’s and I am well pleased that it should be so. Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham were there also.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0002-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-02-05

Thursday. 5th.

Morning at the Office. Received a pleasant letter from John, asking my assistance in a plan of his respecting the French Claims. He wants to get business before them if a Board should be constituted as is expected shortly. I wrote a reply immediately and told him that I would do what I could.1 I was occupied in my Middlesex Canal paper nearly all day. After dinner, went to see Abby at Mrs. Frothingham’s and passed the afternoon there. I went also in the evening, in order to escort her to see Miss Carter who has just lost her brother,2 passing the evening with Mrs. Frothingham, myself.
1. Both of the letters are missing. American citizens had claims of more than $12,000,000 against the French government, dating from the Napoleonic wars. “They included cases of appropriations and condemnations of property in violation of the Convention of 1800, irregular condemnations or confiscations, retroactive condemnations, condemnations under the ‘retaliatory’ Berlin and Milan decrees, . . . and other arbitrary procedures.” For years the American government had vainly sought a settlement, but the newly elected President Jackson was pledged to take a more forceful line (Bemis, Diplomatic Hist. U.S. , p. 287–288).
2. William P. Carter, Anne Carter’s brother, died “in a state of insanity” in Elizabeth City, N.J., on 23 January (Columbian Centinel, 7 Feb. 1829).
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