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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-17

Monday 17th.

Morning to town accompanied by Mr. Frothingham. Conversation upon the late report of an unfortunate affair between Mr. Webster’s eldest son and his niece. I do not know what to make of it. At the Office. Mr. Ayer the Carpenter called1 and I went up to the House with him to see about the remaining bookcase. Waited for Abby who was there. Mrs. Chardon Brooks came in and I went away. Paid a visit to Mrs. Sidney Brooks at Mrs. Dehon’s. Found there many visitors. Upon going out I met Mrs. Harrison G. Otis. She spoke to me, but the meeting was rather awkward. I hardly knew what to do or say. It was rather fortunate however that I had taken my leave, for the meeting upstairs would have been less pleasant. Returned to the Office. Nothing further occurred, and I left town to dine at Quincy. Found there Miss Welsh and Louisa Smith who worries my life out. It is impossible for a woman to be better constituted to fatigue others than she is. Much of the afternoon was passed in reading and studying the deed which I propose to draw for Mr. Curtis. Evening quiet. General conversation upon Astronomy. My father received letters from { 420 } Washington, announcing their probable departure on Sunday which is earlier than was expected.
1. Thomas Ayers, who lived at 23 Chambers Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-18

Tuesday 18th.

This morning marks my twenty second birth day. Much has passed since the last event of the kind, both for good and for evil. I have suffered and I have enjoyed as is the lot of all mortals in this scene of vicissitudes. Our family has had a year of trouble yet sees much to be thankful for. We have descended into the rank of private citizens without regret and lamentation, but the private troubles have been to us both deep and distressing. There has also been pleasure. My brother John has given my Mother an object of interest in his child and a bond in which all the family are united. We have on the other hand lost a member and the young head of the family. My own feelings have been of a mixed character. The first half of the year brought with it much bitterness, disappointment and ill health but the other half has been rapidly paying me by much happiness unalloyed. To the future I decline looking for as that contains many deep and dark spots, I have no fancy to reflect upon their appearance. Enough of this.
Rode to town, the weather dark, gloomy and threatening. At the Office, where I was occupied most of the morning drawing up the deed which Mr. Curtis had given me, but I had no time to finish it. The rain came down in torrents and after having done every thing which was necessary, I left for Quincy. My ride was rainy and disagreeable. I reached there to dinner. My father kindly remembered the day and wished me happiness. I wish it to myself more on his account than my own, for he has drunk bitterness to the dregs. At four, notwithstanding the rain, I started with the little Carriage for Providence. John, our man servant, only with me. The rain was behind us so we suffered but little excepting during a mistake of the road which John made carrying us out of the way for some distance. This delayed us at Walpole until nine o’clock when we reached Fuller’s1 and I then took supper and retired immediately for the night.
1. The Half-Way House in South Walpole was run by Stephen Fuller Jr. (Willard De Lue, The Story of Walpole, 1724–1924, Norwood, Mass., 1925, p. 225).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-19

Wednesday. 19th.

I left Walpole early this morning. The weather cleared up with a cool wind which made my Coat feel comfortable when buttoned up. { 421 } We rode easily and reached Providence without any difficulty by half past ten o’clock. Having made all the necessary arrangements for keeping the horses during my absence, I went down to the Steamboat and engaged my passage. The Boat happened to be the Benjamin Franklin1 and it was some time before I could become familiarized to the scene. My good sense told me that it was weak to give way to those feelings for that2 the accident was not more than the fate of us all sooner or later and it mattered little as to the place. But a reasoner cannot always succeed. The place had seen his presence and from thence he had gone into eternity without the possibility of assuring us what the circumstances of his fate were. No eye witnessed it, no tongue can tell it. But either conclusion which we come to is horrible enough. I had no acquaintance in the boat, but gradually distracted my mind from these meditations so that it was only at times that I had a qualm. Our trip was favourable enough. There was little or nothing to affect us and so I retired to bed to sleep badly. For in these boats, nothing else can be expected.
1. The ship on which GWA made his last voyage.
2. Thus in MS .