A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-07

7. IX.

Arise, go to School. Greek grammar and Minora, return, evening, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.1
1. William Steuben Smith (1787–1850) was a nephew of JQA (being the son of Abigail [Adams] Smith) as well as the brother-in-law of LCA, having married Catherine Maria Frances Johnson in 1813 at St. Petersburg. He had been serving as private secretary to JQA, then minister to Russia, while Catherine had accompanied her sister to that distant land. To distinguish this couple from numerous other Smiths, CFA often called them “Uncle Smith” and “Aunt Smith.” See Adams Genealogy; Bemis, JQA, 1:154–155, 238.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-08

8. VIII:30.

Arise. No School. Dine at my Uncle Smith’s, evening, Mrs. de Neuville’s ball.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-09

9. IX:15.

Arise, go to Church. Mr. Henry,1 late, did not hear the text, return, remainder of day at home.
1. Sims Henry, a preacher from New Jersey (JQA, Diary, 9 Jan. 1820; LCA’s Journal, 9 Jan. 1820, enclosed in LCA to JA, Jan. 1820, Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-10

10. VIII:30.

Arise. Snow storm, go to School. Greek grammar, return, dinner.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-11

11. IX:5.

Arise, weather fair, go to School. Greek grammar, Minora, return. Evening, usual party.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-12

12. VIII.

Arise, walk to Capitol Hill, dancing master, not to School, Captain Reid,1 evening, Cardelli.
1. Presumably George C. Read, captain of the Hornet (Callahan, Navy List).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-13

13. VIII:20.

Arise, go to School. Greek grammar and Minora, return, dine, evening, John Boyd.1
1. John Quincy Adams Boyd, the son of Harriet (Johnson) Boyd (b. 1781), LCA’s sister, and George Boyd (1779–1846). See Adams Genealogy and entry for 1 Aug. 1826, and note, below.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-14

14. VII:40.

Arise, go to School. Greek grammar and Minora, return, evening, Cardelli.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-15

15. VII:30.

Arise, no School. Shooting all day, return, evening, letters, cards.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-16

16. IX.

Not at Church all day, letter, day spent in conversation.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-17

17. IX.

Arise, no School. Tooth ache, letters, Shakespear, conversation.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-18

18. VIII:30.

Arise, go to School. Virgil, Minora, return, evening, great ball, danced with much pleasure.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-19

19. VIII:30.

Arise, go to School. Virgil, Minora, return. John Boyd, evening drawing lesson, Cardelli.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-20

20. VIII:50.

Arise, go to School. Virgil, Minora, return, letter.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-21

21. IX.

Arise, no School. Senate, Mr. Pinckney, Missouri question, too crowded,1 Aunt Frye’s,2 shooting.
1. JQA insisted that his sons attend the Congressional debates in order to further their education (JQA, Diary, 6 Feb. 1820). Under consideration in the Senate was the admission of Missouri to the Union. Many Northerners desired to restrict slavery in the area. Senator William Pinckney of Maryland (1764–1822) spoke against such restriction on 21 January, in an unrecorded speech, and again on 15 February, arguing that Congress had no power to limit the sovereignty of a future state because all states in the confederated Union must be equal. See Annals of Congress, 16 Cong., 1 sess., 1:233–234, 389–417, and George Dangerfield, The Era of Good Feelings, N.Y., 1952, p. 217–245.
2. LCA’s sister, Carolina Virginia Marylanda (Johnson) Buchanan Frye (b. 1776). Her late husband had been Andrew Buchanan (1766–1811), and their son was Robert Christie Buchanan (1811–1878); she was now married to Nathaniel Frye Jr. (d. 1855). See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-22

22. IX.

Arise, no School, go shooting, return without sport.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-23

23. IX.

Arise, not at Church, at home all day, letter from Thomas B. Adams.1
1. This (missing) letter was presumably from Thomas Boylston Adams Jr. (1809–1837), CFA’s first cousin. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-24

24. IX:10.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, Xenophon, return, evening, Cardelli.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-25

25. IX:30.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, finished Xenophon, return, evening, usual party.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-26

26. IX.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, commenced Cebes, return, evening, Cardelli.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-27

27. IX.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, Cebes, return, great dinner, not present.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-28

28. IX:20.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, Cebes, return, evening, Cardelli.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-29

29. IX:5.

Arise, no School, at home all day writing Journal1 and letters, evening, Cardelli.
1. CFA’s journal for these months (of which the present “Index” is an epitome) is lost. See Introduction.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-30

30. VIII:30.

Arise. Snow, go to Church, Dr. Morse,1 Ezekiel, Chap. 18th, verse 13th, return, letters.
1. Presumably Asahel Morse (1771–1838), minister of the Baptist church in Suffield, Conn. (Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 6:386–389).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0002-0031

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-01-31

31. IX.

Arise, weather fair, go to School. Virgil, Minora, return, evening at Mrs. Pleasonton’s.1
1. Mrs. Stephen Pleasanton, whose husband was Fifth Auditor of the Treasury Department from 1817 to 1855 (Lanman, Biographical Annals, p. 509).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-01

February. 1820. Tuesday. 1. VIII:30.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, Cebes, return, dinner party.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-02

2. VIII:30.

Arise, no School, House of Representatives, Mr. Randolph, Missouri question,1 Senate, return home, evening party at Mrs. Ramsay’s.2
1. The speech of John Randolph (1773–1833), Congressman from Virginia, is unrecorded in the Annals of Congress.
2. Possibly Mrs. George Ramsay, wife of the General and mother of Francis M. Ramsay, the future rear-admiral (Gouverneur, As I Remember, p. 214, 282).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-03

3. IX.

Arise, go to School, weather rainy, Virgil, Minora, return, evening at home.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-04

4. IX.

Arise, no School, hurt my head, Senate, closed, return, go shooting, evening, Cardelli.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-05

5. IX.

Arise, go to School instead of Wednesday, Virgil, Minora, home, Johnson Hellen.1
1. Three children of LCA’s deceased sister, Nancy (Johnson) Hellen (1773–1810), and Walter Hellen Jr. (d. 1815), lived with the Adams family: Johnson Hellen (1800–18661867), Mary Catherine Hellen (1807–1870), who later married JA2, and Thomas Johnson Hellen (b. 1809). Johnson Hellen had attended Princeton and was later admitted to the bar (JQA, Diary, 3 Nov. 1818; LCA to GWA, 14 May 1826, Adams Papers). See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-06

6. IX.

George and John departed,1 arise, go to Church, Mr. Rice,2 Luke 8. 1 and 2, return, remainder of day at home.
1. CFA’s brothers, George Washington Adams (1801–1829) and John Adams 2d (1803–1834), referred to in this edition as GWA and JA2, respectively, { 7 } were returning to Harvard College after six weeks of vacation (JQA, Diary, 6 Feb. 1820). See Adams Genealogy.
2. Luther Rice (1783–1836), a Baptist preacher in Washington who later helped establish Columbian College (Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 6:602–603).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-07

7. VIII:30.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, Cebes, home, return of John, unexpected, loss of his trunk.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-08

8. VIII:55.

Arise, go to School, Virgil. John left us again. Minora, Cebes, home, party in the evening.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-09

9. IX.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, Cebes, return home, my Mother, Drawing room.1
1. President Monroe frequently held open house in the drawing room of the White House, and the Adamses often attended. See JQA, Diary, 9 Feb. 1820.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-10

10. VIII.

Arise, go to School, Virgil, Minora, Cebes, home, dine, evening, play Chess with my Mother.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-11

11. IX.

Arise, no School, to the Senate, Missouri Question, Mr. King of New York,1 crowd, home, evening, Cardelli.
1. Federalist Senator Rufus King (1775–1827) supported the right and the expediency of restricting slavery in Missouri as a condition for statehood (Annals of Congress, 16 Cong., 1 sess., 1:372–373). Slaveholders who listened to him “gnawed their lips and clenched their fists” in anger (JQA, Diary, 11 Feb. 1820). In “Rufus King, Slavery, and the Missouri Crisis,” Robert Ernst has recently explained King’s not always well understood position on the “Missouri Question” (NYHS, Quart., 46:357–382 [Oct. 1962]).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-12

12. IX.

Arise, no School, to the House of Representatives, Mr. Pindall of Virginia,1 return, evening at home.
1. James Pindall (1765–1825), a Federalist Congressman from what is now West Virginia, argued that Missouri ought to be admitted to the Union without any restriction on slavery (Annals of Congress, 16 Cong., 1 sess., 1:1265–1279; 2:1282–1290).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-13

13. VIII:30.

Arise, go to Church, Mr. Everett,1 1st Corinthians, 7. 29. Return, evening, Aunt Frye’s.
1. Edward Everett (1794–1865), who was later to play such an important role in CFA’s Diary as Massachusetts Representative and Senator, as President of Harvard College, and, more personally, as brother-in-law of CFA’s future wife, was at this time a clergyman and a professor of Greek at Harvard, regarded as “a young man of shining talents and of illustrious promise” (JQA, Diary, 13 Feb. 1820; DAB).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-14

14. VIII:30.

Arise, go to School, Cicero, Minora, review, home, dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, evening, Whist.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0001-0003-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1820-02-15

15. VIII:40.

Arise, go to School, Cicero, Minora, review, home, dinner party, very agreeable.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0001-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03


Journal of a Vacation spent in Washington
in the Winter of my Junior Year,
from December 22d. 1823 to February 20th. 1824.
Volume First.
In two volumes.
March. 1824.1
1. Titlepage for D/CFA/2, commenced in Cambridge during the writer’s junior year at Harvard. (For a full description of the Diaries see the Introduction.) The brief “Index” entries in D/CFA/1 that overlap those in this “Journal of a Vacation” have not been included in the present text, though they have been used in verifying names and the like. They add little more to the fuller record except the hour of CFA’s rising while in Washington (commonly 9 a.m., though often later).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12

Journal. December. 1823.

It is my intention in commencing this book to improve my style of writing by means of it as well as to record one of the most interesting periods of my life, for my amusement. In visiting all the places in which the nation itself is interested, I could not help thinking that in case I should live for any space of time, it would be a pleasant thing to me to recollect, by means of this as a refresher of the memory, those scenes which so early in life I witnessed, and which are about to have a material influence upon this country.
This plan will also be advantageous to me as it will exercise my own memory with respect to the sentiments of the different individuals to be noted down, as I intend to call in no help from newspaper accounts. The observations made at that time were clearly impressed upon my mind and although it is sometime since, I see no reason to think that I have now forgotten them.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-18

December 18th.

Arose considerably fatigued by the exertions last evening and the late hour at which I retired, as the intimate friends of the Junior { 10 } Members of the Lyceum1 had been invited to spend the evening here on the breaking up of the term. Social feeling does much for men in this world, consequently it always has been my plan to promote it as far as compatible with my own wishes and my duty. I relish society here but I always wish it select and although I may have to accuse myself of aristocracy, (a hydra in this country) I cannot help confessing to myself that there is a distinction in the education of men which precludes some from the enjoyment of the society of others with whom they can share no common feeling and whose conduct is always matter of disgust to each other. Men are born free and equal but it is nonsense and worse than nonsense to say that they are so educated.
After breakfasting at Mrs. Gilman’s as usual Lothrop of my class2 and myself appointed ten o’clock to start for Quincy, previously to which I went to the President’s study to obtain leave of absence for the rest of the term, which being granted I then fell into conversation with him on the subject of my rank as a scholar here at College.3 My father has always requested me to make inquiries every winter in consequence of the low standing which I held on my arrival here, a thing unexpected by him and on that account the greater blow. For my own part, I have been long convinced that rank in itself is nothing as we have abundant evidence here of the position that a College scholar is seldom any thing else. The President informed me of what I knew before, that I was a good scholar in Latin, and that in Metaphysics and Composition tolerable.
Now in the former of these I should have been much higher I will venture to say had knowledge of the subject been put into the scale, but in mere verbal recitation without hesitation I allow all the palm. I do not wish to emulate fools in follies of their own. In the latter branch I was surprized as I had never expected rank where no exertions had been made. If I ever write well, the power of doing it, will not have been acquired by writing themes. But if there is a man who exercises himself actually more in this important branch than I do, it would then excite my emulation to know him. In Declamation I was justly ranked and few are superior to me. In Greek I was not astonished at what I was told and in Mathematics, expected worse. Paley and Theology had not been returned but I know full well I am no zealous disciple of that school. It is not a subject which interests me.4
On the whole I retired well pleased as I had not a bad account to carry home to my father. Knowing as I did the manner in which { 11 } he is affected I was considerably elated. My time has never been misspent here for I have gone on acquiring knowledge but it has been in my own way and in one which makes no noise, neither blazes up in parts nor excites that expectation which is the great obstacle to the progress of a young man who like me is already thrown too much before the world. But enough of this subject. It has agitated my own bosom too long to be born without murmur, and it would be egotism in the greatest degree to trouble any body but myself with a minute account of myself. In this book made for the amusement of I, alone, it is but fair that I should have that share in its pages to which it is justly entitled.
Immediately after this Lothrop and I went to Boston. The snow was just beaten down so that the ride was very pleasant. Here we stopped for a short time on account of a little business to be done by both of us. I was anxious respecting the receipt of a letter from my father to George5 as it contained the order for the provision of my journey. After hunting a considerable time, the letter was found but as George was not in Town, could not be opened. Relieved however by the certainty that it had arrived, I met Lothrop again and we rode to Quincy. Little things had conduced to provoke and irritate me so that I was not so pleasant a companion as I might have been. On arriving, Servants had all been sent into the woods so that I was reduced to the necessity of asking his assistance to take care of the horse, a thing still farther mortifying to my pride.
Had I been in better humour, I might have diverted myself considerably with the odd appearance of a character who came out to visit my grandfather on that day and who took dinner with us. His name was Pedrick and he was from Salem. It appeared that he had a plan in his head of going to establish a distillery in Saint Petersburgh and he had come here to take advice as well as to obtain a letter of introduction to my father, so that I ascertained that I should have the felicity of meeting him at Washington which accordingly happened as I shall hereafter describe.6 My spirits however were too low even to be raised by wine and I went up into my Grandfather’s7 room remarkably gloomy. Here however I had some quite interesting conversation with the old gentleman concerning olden time which gave me some light as to points the correctness of which I had doubted in a late perusal of Marshal.8
Thus passed the time till tea. My Uncle9 had been out all day and arrived just then, in a situation likely to do any thing but please me or improve my humour. This was too bad, and I began to feel { 12 } | view a blush of the bitterest sort covering my face when Lothrop was entering the tea room. I could not suffer it any longer — therefore putting myself in his way I pressed him out and shut the door then led the way back to my grandfather’s room where I ordered tea to be brought up. My feelings never were more intense than now. And as I was determined to save this disgrace if possible I ordered my horse immediately. And after taking leave of all (he had gone) I with no little joy jumped into the sleighs after having spent the most uncomfortable day for many years. In fact Quincy is not a very agreable place for me in my situation.
The air was delightfully mild and we returned to town so comfortably that I became better. We stopped but a few minutes at my brother’s room, to see him and obtain the money for my travelling expenses, after which we came back to Cambridge. The weather threatened for my journey but I was fixed so that upon my return I employed myself in packing my trunk and conversation with some of the students. My room looked cold and dreary as the table had been moved for last night’s affair and no books or papers on it, in fact my thoughts had so exhausted me and my nerves had been so much affected that I went to bed as soon as I had made all the arrangements necessary for tomorrow.
Such was this day, a most melancholy one for the Commencement of a Journal but a true account of the effect of a late debauch.
1. An informal group composed of members of Mr. Saunders’ boarding house. Seniors included Henry Samuel Tudor and George Wheatland; juniors in the club were Allyne Otis, John Hancock Richardson, George Sheafe, and, of course, CFA. See entries for 12 and 13 May, below, and Harvard Annual Cat., 1823.
2. Samuel Kirkland Lothrop, of Utica, N.Y. (same).
3. The President of Harvard College from 1810 to 1828 was John Thornton Kirkland. At the end of his first college term CFA had stood fifty-first in a class of fifty-nine (Duberman, CFA, p. 20). He later improved his status but was never an outstanding student.
4. Juniors read two volumes of Locke’s essays, Homer’s Iliad, Juvenal, and Persius or Tacitus, Paley’s Evidences of Christianity, Willard’s Hebrew Grammar, Whiting and Watson’s Hebrew Bible or Psalter, Griesbach’s Greek Testament, Enfield’s Natural Philosophy, Stewart’s Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind, and Paley’s Moral Philosophy. They also studied analytic geometry and topography. Once a month they participated in public declamations and forensic disputes, and they wrote themes every fortnight.
The Harvard Annual Catalogue for 1820 lists the following table of private exercises for Juniors:
Morning, Monday—Saturday   Metaphysics   1st term.  
  Natural Philosophy   2nd and 3rd terms.  
Forenoon, Monday—Wednesday   Theology   1st term.  
  Hebrew or substitute   2nd term.  
  Mathematics   3rd term.  
  Forensics or Themes   Through the year.  
{ 13 }
Afternoon, Monday—Thursday   Greek and Latin   1st and 2nd terms.  
  Moral Philosophy   last 7 weeks of 3rd term.  
  Greek Testament   first 5 weeks of 3rd term.  
5. GWA was reading law in Daniel Webster’s Boston law office; he had graduated from Harvard in 1821. See Adams Genealogy.
6. Pedrick secured letters of introduction from TBA in Quincy and from Peter Paul Francis Degrand in Boston, but JQA dismissed his business scheme as impractical (JQA, Diary, 24 Jan. 1824). See also entry of 1 Feb. 1824, below.
7. John Adams, now eighty-eight years of age, had retired to Quincy after serving as second President and lived in the “Old House,” now the Adams National Historical Site, 135 Adams Street, Quincy. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:74–75, note, and Adams Genealogy.
8. Two sets of John Marshall’s Life of George Washington, published in Philadelphia and in London, 1804–1807, each in 5 vols., are in the Stone Library. Marshall gave an 1805 edition of his work to JA, and it is among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 160).
9. Thomas Boylston Adams (1772–1832) was the other surviving child of JA. A lawyer and a judge, he was married to Ann Harrod (1774?–1845) and lived with his large family in JA’s house in Quincy. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-19


Arose this morning considerably refreshed and walked over to Mrs. Gilman’s to breakfast. As I did not intend to board there any longer, I took my leave of her and also of some of the students. Bartlett shook my hand but not so cordially as formerly on account of some late prejudice as to my conduct I presume, instilled into him by Greenough1 and probably in some measure because he was left out in the invitation of the 17th. Having taken leave of the Lyceum also, I got into the Stage for Boston with pleasure. My feelings however were not so extatic as on the same occasion last Winter.
Smith and Wickham were in the Stage, the former going to Philadelphia, the latter on his return home.2 Having left his class he finds the study of the law too dull for him and on that account he goes. Mr. Shaw was in the Stage also, appeared to be in low spirits and did not talk much. I am sorry for this man as it appears to me had his fate been kept a little more in his own power by himself, he might have been if not a distinguished man, at least a very respectable one. We left each other at the office and I have not seen him since.3
I went immediately to George’s room where I found him reading as usual. We had some conversation but on the whole the time passed heavily. The rain began to pour in torrents and I felt dull. After packages from all the Welshes4 &c. &c. had been given to me and some bustle about the town, I got into the stage and in a few minutes { 14 } we were off. Myself in a bad humour as I was apprehensive that the roads would be horrible, the rain continuing. Also on account of a bundle which had just been put under my care and which I, fearing or foreseeing, had long and vehemently resisted. I was also troubled with a package for the United States Bank of Philadelphia which I would gladly have been rid of, had it been possible to avoid taking it. The rain continued violent for four hours and then ceased but the snow had all been washed away except a few drifts. This however did not retard our course in the least for I seldom recollect having travelled faster.
It is the greatest amusement to a person who is fond of observing others, to ride in a stage coach, for in it he sees so much variation in character that he can easily form his contrasts. A corner seat in front is good for an observer as he has more command of faces and can gratify himself with all those little incidents which a want of employment occasions him here to notice. It is not time wasted to move thus for one obtains as much insight into the human character in this way as he could by reading books for a great length of time. In this our first stage we had a young man by the name of Sheaff from Philadelphia, who not long since took a degree at Yale and had not got over the love of that sort of fun so prevalent in Colleges.5 Wild and fearless, he amused me much in giving some account of New Haven frolics which I returned by talking of Cambridge. Besides him were a gentleman and lady who appeared to belong to that sect of Christians called pious who delight in nothing but the length of their pastors’ discourses. Here we had a contrast at once, and I am afraid that their ears were not a little shocked at the freedom of our conversation. In my opinion it is better to appear worse than I really am besides a sort of malicious delight in provoking such persons. These affected my conduct. But they left us soon and we went on through the night between sleeping and waking without any material incidents happening. We were considerably amused by a hog who took it into his head to keep up with us for about half an hour grunting with such vehemence that I thought of the story of the little gray man which had been told us with the appearance of so much seriousness, when we were congregated together at twelve o’clock on a very stormy night last term.
1. George Barrlett and Horatio Greenough, both juniors, of Roxbury, Mass. (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
2. Calvin Stephen Smith, of Natchez, Miss., a senior, and John H. Wickham, a law student (same).
3. William Smith Shaw (1778–1826), son of AA’s sister, Elizabeth (Smith) Shaw Peabody, had been private secretary to President John Adams and later { 15 } was clerk of the Massachusetts District Court in Salem. He was the principal founder and benefactor of the Boston Athenaeum. CFA probably felt that Shaw’s lameness from birth prevented his advancement in life. See Adams Genealogy.
4. Dr. Thomas Welsh (1752–1831) and his family of Boston, who were kinsmen of the Adamses (the doctor’s wife was AA’s first cousin). Both JA2 and CFA had boarded with them while attending the Boston Latin School from 1817 to 1819 (JQA, Diary, 6 Sept. 1817; see Adams Genealogy).
5. Either George [D.] or William John Sheaffe (Dexter, Yale Graduates Later than 1815, p. 96–97).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-20


For the last twelve miles to Hartford we travelled over the ground which was some obstacle to our course otherwise we should have come in uncommonly early. We walked over Hartford bridge to ease the horses but very much to my own inconvenience. We breakfasted at Hartford and remained an hour for the preparation of the Mail. After which we again went on, Sheaff being still with us. Our present company was not so amusing as usual. A man by the name, (as I afterwards ascertained) of Lewis sat on the middle seat, who appeared to have been a sea officer, and on the back seat a land surveyer with another man to whom the former appeared to be pointing out fine country seats on the river. He appeared also to be somewhat interested in the canalling volume between Hartford and New Haven. At Midd[l]ebury a Lady and a Sea Captain got in. The characters were not remarkable and we proceeded, a sleeping community.
At New Haven we dined and left a number of our passengers. Among others, Sheaff. He pressed me much to stay and offered to show me every thing and make my time pass agreably but as I was in a great hurry to get home to Christmas, I declined. So, on I went. Lewis continued and a Midshipman got in. The Captain remained also, with some others. And to fill the stage we took in a Calvinist Minister.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-21


The journey was slow and we did not get to New York till after six in the next morning, owing to the frequent stops which we made on the road. My friend Lewis and the Calvinist in the course of the night fell into a discussion which became exceedingly warm and not the less entertaining on that account. The former possessed to the full that positive manner which men in his profession so generally acquire and evidently was conscious of the superiority which he possessed over his antagonist by his voyages and travels. The parson was pious, { 16 } bigoted and intolerant. I will say however for him that he did not pretend to conceal his ignorance and in the true spirit which he ought always to possess, appeared really glad to become enlightened by this conversation. Though the Lieutenant took seaman’s privilege and extended sundry accounts of his to a most unwarrantable length. But it does disgust me to the full to see a man of this kind turning the very best feelings of the human heart to gall, merely for the sake of acquiring undue influence with the people. There is nothing so wicked to me as to make religion a cover for exciting the passions of the people as there is nothing which can more easily be done and which done, has more pernicious effects. The parson however found no one to support [him] and therefore sullenly retired from the field. He would not give up his point he said though the gentleman had brought numerous authorities which he had only heard of indistinctly before but of which he was glad he now had an opportunity of gaining a certainty. The argument was the use of Missionary societies, a favourite hobby with that sect of Christians.
Arrived at New York, we parted, and as the Citizen’s Coach had gone I was obliged to wait till the Mail went out, at one o’clock. Consequently I went to the City Hotel1 to spend the Morning and dress myself afresh. There is nothing in the world so dull as to be at a Hotel on Sunday. The hours few as they were hung heavily. And after all my exertions to kill time in dressing and looking out of the window to see the people go to Meeting, I was at last forced to sit down in the bar room to the newspapers with a cigar to comfort me. Luckily a book was laying on the table open, which at first however I was afraid to touch, imagining it might be somebody else’s amusement, but finding no claimant I sat down to it and in this way managed to pass the time. It was called, “Wine and Walnuts” and appeared to be nothing but disconnected stories concerning the principal painters of former times in England.2 By disconnected I mean that there was no regular plan although the same persons were brought on as actors throughout this volume. A Composition in itself rather flat, but interesting from the characters it attempts to describe.
At last the time came for starting and much to my joy, I found myself starting from the wharf in the ferry boat across the river. We lost dinner by mistake and went on. The mail is allowed to carry but six inside which were all gentlemen. Consequently when a lady wished to come in she forced one of us to give up his seat. Who that one should be was for a time doubtful. No one would go until a man who appeared French or Spanish volunteered which immediately { 17 } brought to my mind the truth of the proverbs concerning nations. I was about to offer myself, God knows how unwillingly, and felt glad to be anticipated in spite of the reflection on our nation. It was but for one stage however and it was soon over. We had with us a man who called himself a great proprietor but excessively drunk, and insisted upon having seen me two years ago travelling upon that road in a waggon and complaining at that time of having suffered from a jolting received in it. I was perfectly willing to prove the contrary and as he insisted I had no objection to let him believe all he wished. Suddenly he turned solemn and informed us that his wife lay dying in New York and then gave us an account of her doctor, so that we presumed him to have taken a cup extraordinary to “drown dull care.” There was a young quaker with us who insisted that I belonged to a counting room in Philadelphia so much that I really began to doubt my own identity. Some amusing conversation took place respecting the late robbery of Rufus G. Amory3 on this road. It appears that they treated him very civilly and requested his money merely as a loan until they should become able to return it.
1. Located at 115 Broadway (Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 6:611).
2. Wine and Walnuts; or, After Dinner Chat, by Ephraim Hardcastle, Citizen and Dry-Salter (pseud, of William Henry Pyne), 2 vols., London, 1823.
3. Rufus Greene Amory, Harvard 1778, had his law office at 90 Court Street, Boston (Boston Directory, 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-22


Thus we travelled on, rapidly and comfortably throughout the night and at six o’clock on the next morning we arrived at the city of Philadelphia, and were set down at the Mansion House. Much to my astonishment I found that Washington Hall had been burnt down since I had been here last winter, that Renshaw had moved away and that a man by name Bayley had just taken his place.1 The waiters were raw and troubled me. I staid here however only to breakfast and dress after which I took my course to the Steam Boat which went at ten o’clock. It had been some years since I had been in a regular steamboat before and I was the more pleased with this method of conveyance by contrasting it with the rough motion of a stage. The great objection to them is that when men travel alone they are apt to make them feel alone among a multitude. Society is not sufficiently thrown together to force conversation between men ignorant of each other as in a stage. Consequently, unless one obtains a book, it will be an amazingly dull voyage to him. For my part, I purchased Moore’s Collection of Anecdotes for want of something better. The { 18 } bookstore was a miserable one and there was nothing else but religion in it. This book I read during the day although I never saw a more stupid collection of anecdotes in all my life.
After dinner I recognized Mr. Tyler, a Man who claims relationship in some way with us, I believe, and who sells lottery tickets in Washington.2 He is at present deeply interested in the politics of the day particularly the Presidential question the changes on which he was perpetually ringing. It is the fashion in the boats of this kind to electioneer all the passengers and it is usual on the Mississipi to make nominations of some one of the candidates. There was no agreement here however there being some supporters to each of the men. From Newcastle to Frenchtown we have to ride across in stages into one of which I happened to be thrown with him and he forced me into conversation which troubled me as it required a great share of prudence to get through it properly. Perhaps I said more than I ought.
Here I made acquaintance with a man who appeared to have been a Scotchman and Sea captain but was now settled in Charleston. We had considerable conversation respecting a number of the bright young men there and on the whole managed to get over the longest sixteen miles and the slowest horses in the world, with some pleasure. It was evening before we got on board the other boat and very dark, and as I was considerably fatigued I retired to bed immediately after supper, and soon got to sleep, being serenaded into a doze by a most unhallowed, unearthly sound of fiddling.
1. The Mansion House Hotel was the old Bingham mansion, No. 122, on the west side of Third Street, between Walnut and Spruce, which was built about 1790. It was leased by William Renshaw, who opened a hotel in 1807. Renshaw opened the New Mansion House Hotel at Eleventh and Market streets in 1812, but two years later, returned to keep his old place which he renamed the Washington Hall Hotel. The latter was destroyed by fire on 17 March 1823. (PMHB, 49 [1925]:190.)
2. Benjamin Owen Tyler was a kinsman of the Adams family through the Owens and the Tylers of Uxbridge, Mass. (JQA, Diary, 1 July 1818).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-23


At about one in the morning, we were roused by the announcement of our arrival at Baltimore, whereupon I dressed myself and walked up to Barnum’s1 on one of the most rainy mornings in the year. After taking some time to dress myself I found myself at fault for two hours, and after all the examination of the papers possible finding that the envious minutes would not fly I took a nap in the news room, which brought it to the time of departure. It rained all { 19 } day and the country looked melancholy so that I performed this part of my journey not half so much elated this time as I was last, but I was tranquil and happy, as if there was nothing in the world which I could wish and no one to envy. A young man by name Jacobs was with us who had also been in the boats yesterday. He appeared to be what I call a high fellow and although he informed me that he had but just recovered from a consumption, it did not appear to me that he dieted in the least.
At last the Capitol came in sight and with silent satisfaction I watched all the improvements which had taken place since last winter. I found not much alteration except in the levelling of the hills and the widening and gravelling [of] the streets which has improved the appearance of the city very much. But the day was so bad that nothing could be seen to advantage. Being determined not to alarm the family I got out at Strother’s2 and left my trunk there, so that I walked home and walked into the parlour like an every day acquaintance. After the usual salutations upon such occasions I set myself down in a chair perfectly satisfied with myself and every thing around me. Madame was well.3 Johnson, John, Mary and Abby were well.4 Monsieur was out to dine, consequently he was well. John’s horse was sick but as he was no old acquaintance I felt not much. Poor Booth5 appeared rejoiced as much as myself.
After conversation and dinner as there was a party here this evening, I was reduced to the disagreable necessity of appearing, fatigued as I was. I found no opportunity to meet my father until late in the Evening and our salutations passed in the middle of the company. It was very cordial on his part and not less so on mine. He has been so indulgent to me that I feel more and more in his debt every day. The evening was very so-so to me as I saw some of my old acquaintances here, and I was otherwise dull. After it was over and I had had a little conversation with my father I retired having (with the exception of five hours last night) been up dressed for ninety-six hours in succession, and more. Johnson appears to be in bad health. He arrived here on Sunday, from Rockville.6 John retired also with me. He appears to be in the highest spirits.
1. Barnum’s Hotel, on the southwest corner of Fayette and Calvert streets (J. Thomas Scharf, History of Baltimore City and County, Phila., 1881, p. 551).
2. Strother’s Hotel, on the northwest corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Street (Bryan, Hist. of the National Capital, 2:14, and note).
3. Louisa Catherine (Johnson) Adams, CFA’s mother. “Monsieur,” mentioned below, is, of course, John Quincy Adams, CFA’s father. These lingering French designations for his parents resulted from CFA’s early life and education on the Continent. As a boy he preferred speaking French to English { 20 } (JQA, Diary, 30 June 1812). “Madame” remained the customary name for LCA in the next generation as well; see a famous passage in the first chapter of HA’s Education describing her in old age at the Adams homestead in Quincy.
4. Abigail Smith Adams (1806–1845), a daughter of TBA, lived much of the time with her uncle JQA in Washington. See Adams Genealogy.
5. The family dog.
6. Johnson Hellen had just entered law practice in Rockville, Md. (JA2 to Caleb Stark, Jr., 23 Dec. 1823, MBU). Why he removed from the Adams household and why he chose that country town are not known.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-24


Arose this morning very much refreshed and scarcely feeling any effects from the rapidity of my journey. The roads had been so good all through and I had been spared the beautiful piece of road between Baltimore and Philadelphia, which last year had bruised my bones to such a degree. But I determined to keep quiet for a day or two so as to become entirely renovated for the winter. Johnson appears to be perfectly, head and ears, sunk in the great political question now pending, consequently he determined to make me talk. As this is the vortex of politics, there was not much hesitation on my part and the different attitudes of the Eastern States were argued with all the vehemence imaginable. Mr. Calhoun1 appeared to be the great bugbear to him at present. John takes it coolly, says but little and that generally to the purpose. My father appears to be in very high spirits indeed and the Family all talk much about the great ball to be given by him to General Jackson on the eighth of next month, invitations to which are out already.2 Madame does not seem quite so well as formerly although at present considerably excited by this idea.
After Dinner, Mr. Petry came in much as usual, as I understand. He has been French Consul General and resided in this country a great many years to which he is considerably attached.3 But he has [been] ordered to Spain by the King to which although very much against his will, he is forced to give way, a circumstance which powerfully brought to my mind the advantages of our republican institutions. One example like this is worth fifty thousand theories to support them. He stayed till twelve o’clock rather to John’s annoyance although it appeared to amuse Monsieur.
1. John Caldwell Calhoun, Secretary of War.
2. See entry for 8 Jan. 1824, below, for JQA’s party in honor of Andrew Jackson.
3. A Jean Baptiste Petry came to America as early as 1784 to serve as French vice-consul at Wilmington, N.C., later at Charleston, S.C., and in the 1790’s at Philadelphia. Either he or another Petry was consul at New Orleans in 1815 and was named consul general, to reside at Washington, in 1819. (Information from Howard C. Rice Jr., Princeton University Library, who has compiled extensive data on the service of French consuls in the United States to 1850.)

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-25


Arose this morning in high spirits and caught Johnson and John in the first salutation as I roared it out from one room to the other, before I was up. After breakfast I walked with Madame and Abby to see Aunt Smith. She looks very well and appears as comfortably settled as could be expected. She as usual in the highest [word omitted] although “bless me she had suffered so severe an attack from the rheumatism.” After some hesitation, she accepted an invitation to our Christmas dinner and upon that we returned. He1 came in latterly—he does not look well. We were not long before the proper time to dress for dinner which being done, we assembled in the parlour to receive the guests. The company consisted of a Mr. Blunt of New York, Mr. Carter the editor of a New York paper, Mr. Cook, Member from Illinois, Mr. Dwight from Massachusetts, Edwards, Senator from Connecticut, Mr. Fuller of Massachusetts, Dr. Huntt, Mr. Newton from Virginia, Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan2 with two young sons, and Uncle and Aunt Smith. Some of these I knew long since, others were new and unexpected. Mr. Sullivan by chance had the left corner at the bottom of the dinner table which was the seat next my usual one, and amused me very much indeed by his discursive powers. He would talk, heaven how he would talk, of soup, of bread, of College, of every thing in short, and although I thought him something of an amusing man, I could not help assenting to the common proverb that you can do more business with a taciturn character. Some sharp cuts passed between Dwight, Fuller and Sullivan and I saw plainly that the latter was no favourite. Mr. Newton was very agreably excited and spouted to some purpose on the subject of the Greeks. He appears to be a pleasant man. Blunt exhibited himself as I shall have occasion to mention hereafter, for he was a man thrown very much into our society during my stay. After some lively conversation in the latter part of the evening, the company retired and then we set down to a game of Whist, so that it was twelve o’clock before we separated. Of all persons whom I have ever seen, to prepossess against, I think Mrs. Sullivan the most likely to have that effect. But I had not much opportunity to judge this evening. The subject of Greece appears to have created some conversation as Mr. Webster is about to come out in his most powerful manner, and to be supported by Mr. Clay. Their side of the question is as I hear to be warmly attacked by men equally powerful.3 Mr. Sullivan in the course of his conversation after deciding this question, carried through a most tremendously severe philippic upon Harvard College which I should have thought more of, had it come from a weightier man.
{ 22 }
1. Uncle William Steuben Smith.
2. Most of the guests were Congressmen: Daniel Pope Cook (1794–1827), of Illinois; Henry Williams Dwight (1788–1845), of Massachusetts; Henry Waggaman Edwards (1779–1847), of Connecticut; Thomas Newton Jr. (1768–1847), of Virginia; and Timothy Fuller (1778–1835), of Massachusetts (Biog. Dir. Cong.). Joseph Blunt was a rising New York City politician who was organizing support to make JQA President (Bemis, JQA, 2:23), and Nathaniel H. Carter was editor of the New York Statesman (Frank Luther Mott, American Journalism, N.Y., 1941, p. 198). Dr. Henry Huntt was the Adams family physician (Bemis, JQA, 2:119). George Sullivan (1783–1866), another Adams supporter, was in Washington to lobby for payment of Massachusetts claims stemming from the War of 1812; his father was the late governor James Sullivan of Massachusetts; his wife was the former Sarah Bowdoin Winthrop of Boston (same, 2:35, 56–57, 74; Gouverneur, As I Remember, p. 282; Mayo, Winthrop Family, p. 217–218).
3. Sympathetic toward the Greek struggles for independence against their Turkish overlords, Daniel Webster on 8 December had moved the sending of an American commissioner to Greece, and his oration in support of his proposal was announced long before it was actually delivered, on 19 January 1824 (Fuess, Webster, 1:312). Speaker Henry Clay also supported the proposal “in a ringing speech” (Van Deusen, Clay, p. 161). On the “Greek Fever” which swept America at this time see Stephen A. Larrabee, Hellas Observed: The American Experience of Greece, 1775–1865, N.Y., 1957, ch. 3.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-26

Friday 26th.

Up late as usual to make up for the deficiencies in the evening. After breakfast went out with John to leave cards at the places to which we used to go so often last winter. Miss Cottringers and Miss Selden.1 The eldest of the former, Harriet is to be married to Mr. Brent next week—and on the whole I think it time for she has passed the grand climacteric and is now going down hill. But the Man has not misjudged in his selection as she I have no doubt will make a most excellent wife. It is said that women of “a certain age” always make the best wives and there is reason in the conclusion, but it does appear to me that if I am to marry, I shall have leave to consult my own taste on the score, and receive something like pleasure for so disagreable a step. Excellence is good but it is not much without beauty.
Miss Selden I understand is as pretty and lively as ever; we merely left cards and then returned home. Nothing remarkable happened. Visitors pouring in, in quantities which it is agreable to Madame to refuse, as she is “not at home,” a custom without which it would be impossible to move. We were very quiet all day. Johnson talked a little of politics and thought more. He is in evident pain all the time and appears in very bad health. His residence in Rockville is very much disapproved by all his friends. It was a singular step when taken and done for nothing but the necessity of the moment. His success has been remarkable and on that account he is unwilling to { 23 } give up the idea of remaining there, but I expect his health will force him away either to Fredericktown or here where he always appears to improve whenever he comes up to make a stay.
1. Anne, Cornelia, and Harriet Cottringer, all of whom attended the Washington parties that season, were daughters of Garrett C. Cottringer, of Philadelphia. Harriet was to be married to Robert Young Brent, son of Robert Brent, the first mayor of Washington (Columbia Hist. Soc., Records, 2 [1899]: 237). Sarah E. E. Selden later married Lt. John Graham, of the Navy (CFA to LCA, 11 April 1829, Adams Papers: Columbian Centinel, 11 April 1829).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-27

Saturday 27th.

Arose this morning rather late, and after breakfast set myself looking around to obtain some book to read in order to avoid ennui which at this time might otherwise have come upon me—and also that I might not waste my time. Lord Bacon attracted my attention and I formed the resolution of reading a few of his essays every day for this winter.1 I also made the same determination as to an atlas, which it had been long my purpose to examine. In consequence I appropriated an hour and a half succeeding breakfast for the study of two of the maps, every day except Sundays and great days. The house was very quiet today, No one being busy except Madame who has just begun making artificial flowers for the “fete” of the 8th. We all trust to her taste in matters of this kind knowing that to be an infallible guide to beauty and effect.
1. The Stone Library contains two sets of The Works of Francis Bacon belonging to JQA, published in London in 1765 and in 1807.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-28


Did not attend Church to day but staid at home and took Medicine in order to start fair for the Winter. Hitherto it appears to me that they have been exceedingly dull and dismal as far as the want of parties can make it so, although there are more strangers in the city than there have ever been so at least it is said. For here we go altogether by hearsay. It is supposed that the gayety will commence next week although it is believed that the Winter generally will not be as much so as usual owing to the absence of almost all the foreign ministers who are usually great entertainers. Madame will decide most probably two thirds of the pleasure of Washington to visitors, at her own will. Her Tuesdays are determined upon however but they are to be in every other week instead of every week as they used to be last year. We all retired early.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-29

Monday 29th.

I spent this day at home also and repeated my Medicine. The Morning was employed in my usual studies and the Afternoon in the parlour talking politics with Johnson. I also took a short walk with him. A person cannot help having his attention drawn to politics if he comes here, there is so much conversation and rumour of intrigue afloat. Now one man gains the ascendancy now another and some men are glad that Mr. Crawford is sick.1 This is not generally the case however. My father appears to bear all this with a good deal of equanimity although ambition will sometimes have it’s way.
John after dinner, became as usual very dull and petitioned for tea and to go to bed. Which was granted to him, and he retired very much as usual. Johnson and myself sat up somewhat later talking and then departed also.
1. William Harris Crawford (1772–1834), of Georgia, Secretary of the Treasury in President Monroe’s cabinet, was a leading candidate for the Presidency. He had suffered a paralytic stroke in September 1823 which reduced his chances but did not cut off his hopes for the office (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-30


After studying my Geography and reading my number of essays, I went in the carriage to Georgetown with Madame and Aunt Frye whom I saw to day for the first time. We first went to Mrs. Peter’s where they paid a visit but I did not get out. On returning they observed that America looked exceedingly well this Winter.1 After traversing the most crooked streets that were ever formed and the most narrow excepting only those in Boston, we got home. Uncle and Aunt Frye dined and spent the evening here. She looks surprizingly well.
In the evening Madame continued her “bouquets” and Judge Cranch came in with Mr. James Greenleaf whereupon I retreated till late in the evening. The Judge is a good sort of man but there is something associated with the name of the other which disgusts me with him.2 They went away at half past ten when we separated.
1. Martha Parke (Custis) Peter, daughter of John Parke Custis and granddaughter of Martha Washington, and her daughter, America (Columbia Hist. Soc., Records, 18 [1915]:80–81).
2. The visitors were William Cranch (1769–1855), Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of the United States in the District of Columbia and son of AA’s sister, Mary (Smith) Cranch (DAB; see also Adams Genealogy), and James Greenleaf, the Judge’s brother-in-law, who, a generation before, had served a short term in a debtors’ prison in consequence of his overspeculation in District of Columbia real estate (Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 101, 217; Allen C. Clark, Greenleaf and Law in the Federal City, Washington, 1901, passim).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0002-0002-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1823-12-31

Wednesday. 31st.

Performed my usual duties this morning, after which I took a walk with Johnson and John to Mr. Force’s in order to subscribe to a paper for George. It has been set up here for political purposes and as he is pleased to come out strongly in favour of Monsieur, it is as well as not that the family should patronize him. He has accordingly obtained at least two dozen subscribers from persons who are connected with us alone, and he says that he has no reason to complain of want of encouragement. It appears to have had considerable effect on the popular feeling and has taken a pretty high rank as a paper already. It is said that some of Congress have it’s direction.1
After dinner, Mr. Petry came in and played Boston2 with my father. John ran away and I took his place, although it is some years since I practised the game. Consequently I lost.
1. Peter Force (1790–1868), best remembered as editor of the American Archives, in 1823 established the National Journal as a semi-weekly to support JQA’s candidacy. In 1824 he bought the Washington Republican and turned his paper into a daily in order to compete with the National Intelligencer. See DAB and entry for 17 July 1824, below.
2. A card game for four players, requiring two decks of cards, in which the terms used refer to the siege of Boston, 1775–1776.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-01

Journal. January. 1824. Thursday. 1st.

It was a very rainy day and very discouraging to the good people of Washington and vicinity in their usual visit to the President. We went, however and found the rooms crowded to overflowing. And I had the pleasure of seeing almost all my old acquaintance at present in town. The change in society however is so great here that one will hardly find any number of persons in one winter whom he saw in the preceding. Attached as I became to the society last year the revulsion was not the most pleasant to my feelings. The young men were different and what is of more importance the young ladies were different—some great clumsy ugly looking girls had succeeded the charmers of the former winter. These thoughts made me melancholy in the midst of gaiety and to keep myself from the appearance of moping kept near the family.
The house was full and the crowd much enlivened by the music of the band. All the great characters were present except Mr. Crawford who is very ill. General Jackson was bowing away very low and appeared to excite admiration and attention. He is a very mild man in his manners, possessed of none of that ferocity which his enemies { 26 } have been so eager to ascribe to him. Our good eastern people, some of them have a notion that he is a perfect tiger but good souls, in this as well as in many other things they are mistaken. Mr. Calhoun was evidently exerting himself to the utmost to be agreable and pleasant. His purposes appeared to me however to shine through too clearly to be mistaken by any one. Mr. Clay I did not see although I understood that he was there. Mrs. Monroe did not appear. He, good old gentleman, looked very much as usual, though to tell my humble opinion I do not think him a very dignified man. Mrs. Hay presided over the ladies, and looked very much as usual.1 Senators, Members and Gentry made up the rest of the company. Of these I shall not speak except to notice a very few of my acquaintance. Mrs. Peter was there with America and Sons. The first does not look so well, and is evidently going. America is prettier than she was but I got no opportunity to speak to her. Or at least I sought none. This was the case also as to Miss Selden, for after a very little conversation we separated and I only said a few words en passant afterwards. The Cottringers were none of them there owing to the weather, I presume, and to Harriet’s about to be marriage, a circumstance for which I was sorry.
After waiting sometime for the carriage and then witnessing an almost [word omitted] scene in which I was tempted to do what I should afterwards have repented, we returned home, having been there two hours and a half, and seen “all the world.” After a little conversation customary upon such a meeting, and all the little talk about this person and that and the other, we were reminded that it was time to dress for dinner, as Monsieur had company. So we retired and I did not return to the parlour till the company had assembled. It consisted of Senators and Members entirely. The most awkward situation that a young man can be put into in my mind, is to enter a room full of persons much older than yourself, and set down among them without the slightest acquaintance with any one. This is my fate generally, but custom has made it easy and with the help of darkness at the first shock my modesty has time to pass off. The fact is that one will soon find these members to be no better than any one else, after which he will get along very well.
The company consisted of Mr. Rufus King of New York, Mr. Talbot of Kentucky and Mr. Williams of Mississipi, Senators, Mr. J. S. Barbour of Virginia, Mr. Cuthbert of Georgia, Mr. Hobart of Massachusetts, “Our fair and loving Cousin,” Mr. Holcombe of New Jersey, Judge Isaacs of Tennessee, Messrs. Jennings of Indiana, Kidder { 27 } of Maine, Letcher of Kentucky, Mangum of North Carolina, Marvin, Sharpe and Wood of New York.2 The dinner was rather an agreable one, I was much struck with the appearance and manners of Mr. King. He has always been in my mind one of the first men in this country, and seems to me now, to possess that sort of dignity which would make him my choice as President before ten Monroes.3 As to abilities there can be no possible comparison but unfortunately he is one of the victims to the vehement outcry raised against Federalists of late years and has now nothing to do but to retire soon from his seat in the Senate with the proud satisfaction of having spent the best part of his life in the service of his country. A lot enviable as it is, but not equal to the sum of his deserts.
I had the pleasure of the company of two western country gentlemen at my corner, Mr. Letcher and Judge Isaacs. New Members both who edified me with an account of “how they got into Congress,” evaded their constituents in certain points and so forth. He [Letcher] also gave me some account of Mr. Pope and his family which was far more amusing to me. I care not how the gentleman got into Congress except that I know if he carried his election against Mr. Pope which it is said is the case, I am sorry.4 We had some conversation too as to the Greek question and others, in the course of which he informed me that Mr. Clay would take probably no part in the debate. A circumstance which astonished me considerably. But as he lives with Clay I took him for good authority. Judge Isaacs diverted me very much and gave a good specimen of western manners. As the champagne glasses were set on the table he was asked to drink wine. He, supposing these to be [ . . . ] measure only, filled his glass and drank it almost all. Finding out his mistake in the mean time, he stops and pours the rest directly into his wine glass and drinks it off so. After which he took care to get a taste of the Champagne to make up. Mr. Barbour is a new member, and appears to be a real Virginian with all their narrow prejudice, but at the same time somewhat of a good fellow. We arose immediately after the ladies retired, and taking the dinner into consideration generally it was rather pleasanter than usual. After drinking Coffee they went off. The usual conversation took place and story after story was told concerning almost nothing. It has often amused me to think of how little will serve to entertain a number. Some little peculiarities picked up from almost any individual, things which are so common that it is impossible to avoid noticing them, will be matter of laughter to a great many when put into an extravagant light. This is a place peculiarly fitted for sport { 28 } of this kind, as one has mere report at command in sufficient quantities to bear him out. We separated at about eleven o’clock after having spent a busy and in spite of my reflections rather a pleasant day.
1. The President’s wife was the former Elizabeth Kortright, of New York. Mrs. George Hay, the former Eliza Monroe, was their daughter (Cresson, Monroe, p. 92, 93, 360).
2. In addition to Rufus King, who has been previously identified, the guests were: Isham Talbot (1773–1837); Thomas Hill Williams (1780–1840); John Strode Barbour (1790–1855); Albert Cuthbert (1785–1856); Aaron Hobart (1787–1858), a grandson of CFA’s great-uncle Elihu (brother of JA); George Holcombe (1786–1828); Jacob Isacks (d. 1832); Jonathan Jennings (1784–1834); David Kidder (1787–1860); Robert Perkins Letcher (1788–1861); Willie Person Mangum (1792–1861); Dudley Marvin (1786–1856), of New York; Peter Sharpe, of New York; and Silas Wood (1769–1847) (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
3. Rufus King had been the unsuccessful Federalist candidate for President in 1816 (DAB).
4. John Pope (1770–1845), who had a long and distinguished career in Kentucky politics, was the brother-in-law of LCA, having married Eliza Johnson (d. 1818) (Biog. Dir. Cong.; Bemis, JQA, 1:79–80, and note). See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-02


Spent the morning reading,1 which I was obliged to omit yesterday on account of the Drawing Room. Continued the Essays with which I am very much pleased as containing a great deal of observation although I do not think highly of it’s morality. But this last was not a preeminent quality in the author.
In the evening, we all went to Mrs. Wirt’s, to a ball.2 The rooms before the dancing begun were crowded to excess, and I do not think that I ever saw so many ladies in one room in my life. The ball room was opened and appeared to advantage at first but afterwards the lamps went out or faded so much as to give an ugly tinge to the room and the women. The room was also intolerably hot. There were but three cotillions in the whole room, which number could employ but just one third or less of the dancers in the room, and these pressed on so that dancing was not very pleasant. For my own part, I danced with Miss Vail,3 Miss Selden, Miss McKnight4 and America Peter, besides a very short dance with Miss Crowninshield as Papa forced her away before it was over.5
Miss Selden was as pleasant as she used to be and I enjoyed myself with her as much as formerly. Miss McKnight has rather improved and become very conversible, she was always remarkably ladylike. America Peter is just as she was and the very circumstance united with her character makes her rather insipid. She probably never will be very different. Miss Vail has been here so many Winters that she is now taken more because she can make up a cotillion than { 29 } on account of any attraction. She is however rather an agreable woman, although for a French woman which she professes to be, it appears to me, that she is “excessivement stupide.”
Young Vail appeared very attentive to Miss Crowninshield all the evening and appeared very unwilling to give up her hand to me when it was due. And to get it back he made applications to Miss Wirt for a Spanish dance which he knew I never danced. This put me in such a passion that had not he given way I expect we should have had a scene. I succeeded but after all it was not worth the trouble. Spanish dances have come very much into fashion here through the influence of Miss Wirt and other young ladies. They are very pretty but require so much grace that it is impossible for me to risk any attitudes. So I do not practise them.
Miss Macomb6 is a very pretty young lady but owing to some mistake I lost an opportunity of being introduced to her this evening which I never since obtained. She is however so much engrossed by her lover that I do not much care for the loss.
Among others I met Dugan,7 and had some conversation. He informed me that the passage in the steam boat had been very rough, and that they did not get to New York till Sunday night, which made me glad that I had taken the other course. He appeared here with great modesty and if it was not for a little, simpering, lurking vanity in his composition I should like him well enough. As it is he is far preferable to the man he adores the worthy Mr. Nicolson.8 But of this man, my journal was not formed to treat. Young Vail I met again. There are so many of these that I must distinguish them. The eldest, I (if ever I have again occasion to speak of him) shall call broad face, the next, narrow face, and the youngest of whom I am now speaking, the midshipman. He received orders tonight to go off, and was making great lamentations about the matter.
But it became time to retire, and as our carriage was full we (John and myself) had to beg carriage seats of Blunt and accordingly we went home with him, or at least as far as our house. The great trouble attending the parties here in Washington is that the carriages always have difficulty in passing to the door. It is but seldom some unfortunate accident does not happen. We had an instance yesterday, and this evening another. Coachmen have a habit here of driving contrary ways to the same door which brings the carriage poles tilting with each other. This came very near injuring Mr. Crowninshield’s horses which caused him to swear most vociferously. And on our return, we were crossed by a pair of horses with the front wheels of { 30 } a carriage only, on a full gallop. After a cup of tea at home we separated for the night.
1. He studied geography (D/CFA/1).
2. Mrs. William Wirt, the former Elizabeth Gamble, the wife of the Attorney General, who lived on G Street between 18th and 19th streets (Columbia Hist. Soc., Records, 19 [1916]:24).
3. Presumably a sister of Eugene and Aaron Vail, government clerks who were protégés of Senator Crawford, and Midshipman Edward M. Vail (Force, National Calendar, 1824, p. 66, 72, 153; Gouverneur, As I Remember, p. 282).
4. Ann McKnight, the orphaned niece of Commodore Stephen Decatur, was a good friend of Mary C. Hellen and later asked JQA to stand as father at her wedding (JQA, Diary, 13 April 1831).
5. Either Elizabeth or Mary Crowninshield, one of the daughters of Benjamin Williams Crowninshield (1772–1851), Secretary of the Navy under Presidents Madison and Monroe.
6. Daughter of General Alexander Macomb, who became commander in chief of the army in 1828.
7. Presumably Frederick J. Dugan, of Baltimore, a freshman at Harvard who appears to have been dismissed in March 1824 (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823; Records of the College Faculty, 10:63, Harvard Archives).
8. Possibly Joseph H. Nicholson, of Baltimore, another Harvard freshman who appears to have been dismissed in March 1824 (same).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-03

Saturday 3d.

I did not go out of the house all day. After spending my morning in reading Bacon and the Atlas, I spent the rest of the day in the Drawing room with Madame and the Ladies who are busily employed in the preparations for the eighth. The carriage broken last night was Mr. Calhoun’s, and the horses started as she was going to get in, a very providential escape particularly as she is in a critical situation.1
It amuses me much to observe the sports going on always at this time of the year among the people. The guns, squibs and crackers going all the time appear to exhibit so much happiness and content among the common people and the various little tricks which they play are the relics of the old Christmas gambols. They appear to have taken it into their heads to trick us, but it was only by tying a dead pig to the door. They treated poor Mr. Lewis Johnson the tobacco man worse, for they took a fancy to the figure of a little squab Dutchman smoking his pipe, which was his sign, and they carried it off with them. This man is the successor of Duport a man known to us of old. He could not bear this with any sort of patience, consequently posted an advertisement with a reward together with a most lamentable complaint on the subject, and numerous threats of vengeance. Rather imprudently, as I thought, for the population here are not to be checked with impunity at this time. The good people of the North are far too steady for my blood and although I may be saying what I should not I cannot help preferring the traits of the Southern { 31 } character with all the faulty ones to the eternal purity of the Northern hypocrites.
1. A daughter was born to the Calhouns in April 1824 (Wiltse, Calhoun, 1:270).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-04

Sunday 4th.

I did not attend Church or go out of the house all day. I read some of Lord Bacon contrary to custom as I take Sunday to be a holiday. But the principal part of the day was employed in discussing politics and the Presidential question with Johnson Hellen. I have become very much interested in it for want of something better to do, and talk about probabilities and possibilities much more than I ever did before. There are so many people one sees here playing so deep a game and staking almost all upon the result that it is impossible not to feel as if one wished to crush them. General Jackson is rising here considerably as it is understood that he has made up almost all the old quarrels, and by sweetness of manner and piety of disposition is winning his way with success.1 I do not think him to be an intriguer however.
Mr. Calhoun, of whom Johnson entertained so many fears, is now on the descending scale and will probably quit the field. There are flying rumours about Mr. Crawford and his health, but no confidence can be placed in what is said concerning him. Mr. Clay says he is confident of his election, as he is backed by his eight Western states and will trust to Providence for five others. And last of all my father appears to take the matter with most amazing coolness and upon any question being asked him returns it with the diplomatic answer, We shall see. He does sometimes explain himself more fully and we have pleasant conversation on this subject. Johnson’s whole heart and soul appears to be fixed on the catastrophe, which interests us all more or less. We spent the Evening “en Famille.”
1. After Andrew Jackson was elected United States Senator from Tennessee in 1823, his friends brought him and Clay together at a dinner in order to ease relations between the two powerful men which had been strained by Clay’s bitter attacks on Jackson’s military activities in Florida. Jackson himself then played host at a large dinner attended by Clay, JQA, and Crawford, all presidential aspirants. JQA, who had been Jackson’s champion in the military controversies between the General and certain members of Monroe’s cabinet, returned the invitation by arranging a great ball in Jackson’s honor for 8 January, the anniversary of the battle of New Orleans. See James, Andrew Jackson, p. 298 ff., 378, 381–384.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-05

Monday 5th.

This morning I read my Geography and Bacon for the last time { 32 } for a week or ten days, as the house is about to be turned topsy turvy for that time. Monsieur was moved from his Library and Study up into John’s sitting room. For his room was converted into a ball room. The pillars were put up to day as it was thought necessary to prop the house. Twelve of them were put up. And Madame set us all busily to work making wreaths. I also went to Georgetown in the carriage to day with Mary, myself to get some Money, a draft for which had been given me by Mrs. Clark1 when I set out. Mary went on some business for Madame. We stopped also at the Flower Warehouse where I gave some directions for John.2 We returned very soon after quite a pleasant ride although I am obliged to be amazingly cautious in my conduct towards her. The relatives I perceive watch me so closely now that I am always forced to keep a certain level. If in either too high or too low spirits for any time in her presence, it is set down immediately as a relapse. She has some alluring ways which are apt to make every man forget myself, but she is not what she was, and I have had too hard a trial to think of ever wishing to endure the same. George too, but fortunately (for indeed I cannot help thinking so) he is not with us, would be in a perfect fever and sickness if he was to imagine that she had encouraged me in the least as he would certainly.3 Our connection however was long since thoroughly broken off and we have been mutually guarded ever since.4 Mr. Fuller came, and talked to me about invitations and the Lord knows what, all which I referred to Madame. Thus went the day.
1. Susanna Boylston (Adams) Clark (1796–1884), the widowed daughter of Charles Adams (1770–1800), the younger brother of JQA. She lived at the Old House in Quincy as a companion to her grandfather, JA. See Adams Genealogy.
2. CFA doubtless meant “the Flour Warehouse,” i.e. the Columbia Mills on Rock Creek, which were currently (and badly) managed by relatives of LCA with financial help from JQA. JA2 later took over the management of this enterprise and it became known as the Adams Mill. An Adams Mill Road remains in the National Zoological Gardens, but the buildings have completely disappeared. See Bemis, JQA, 2:197–200; Columbia Hist. Soc., Records, 31–32 (1930):100–101.
3. CFA hastily (and confusedly) corrected this sentence in the MS and undoubtedly wished it to read: “George, too, but fortunately (for indeed I cannot help thinking so) he is not with us, would be in a perfect fever and sickness if he was to imagine, as he would certainly, that she had encouraged me in the least.”
4. Mary Catherine Hellen, LCA’s niece who lived with the Adams family, was the object of affection of all three of the Adams boys. She had become engaged to GWA in 1823, but when JA2 returned home after having been expelled from Harvard, she transferred her interest to him. Early in 1824 the observant and tolerant LCA noticed that Mary was “playing a game which no one ever comprehend[s] but the initiated,” meaning probably that her niece was flirting with CFA. See LCA to GWA, 7 Dec. 1823, and 1 Jan. 1824, Adams Papers; entries for 19 and 20 May, below; Bemis, JQA, 2:116, 118.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-06

Tuesday 6th.

The house all in disorder today and every body employed in fixing the lower rooms. Wreaths were making and hanging as fast as possible. We dined in Madame’s dressing Room. It was the intention to have the three rooms open on each floor. But the crowd is to be so great that the four will be open. Accordingly Madame moved to the room above hers, and the pantry was taken down. It was the regular evening for the party1 but as we expected nobody we did not dress, the house was full however, and John went down at about nine o’clock. Johnson and myself staid upstairs, it being too much trouble for the pleasure which I was to derive from it. After a comfortable cup of tea and glass of punch in John’s room now turned into Monsieur’s study, we went to rest, and I was lulled to sleep by the soporiferous sounds of the piano downstairs.
1. LCA’s fortnightly tea party, not the coming ball for Jackson.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-07


Employed to day, much in the same way with the whole of the last week. The wreaths were hung round the large room to day and the glasses prepared, the other rooms were also brought in a state of forwardness, but not completed because the wreaths expected from the Navy Yard did not arrive. Aunt Frye spent the afternoon and evening here, who was also enlisted in the service and we all worked very vehemently. There is one thing which I am very sorry for, that is that upon such occasions, Madame gets so excited by her plans, that it makes her most exceedingly susceptible. Consequently it is hardly possible to avoid offence. This evening I was very much grieved by the effect of a few words from Johnson which were soon remedied however as she knows well, he could have no other feelings to her than affectionate ones. Separated at about eleven.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-08

Thursday. 8th.

We were busily employed during the whole course of the day in arranging the supper table and the rooms below. It does not appear to me that I had one minute’s rest during the day. A Supper table was laid with seventy covers, but as the crowd was to be so great the people were to eat standing. The rooms were all to be opened except Madame’s, which was to be used as a punch room, as it opened into the Supper room. The chalking below, took the whole { 34 } day, and had a pretty effect. We took an early dinner at a little after four, and were prepared at six all except the lighting up. Company flocked in so early, that they could hardly get through with this in season. And it was not till the upper rooms (only two were opened at first) were crowded to suffocation almost, that the lower ones were thrown open.1
Now the ladies must be carried down, so I meeting Miss Vail first, immediately offered my arm and down we went among the first. The effect was very beautiful. The rooms all round were hung with wreaths stuck with roses, and in each festoon a small illumination lamp was fixed, and at the angles, large bouquets. The pillars also, were wreathed all up in order to match. At the extreme, Monsieur’s book case was stationed it being thought too heavy for removal but it was covered with green, and on the top were placed a whole forest of flower pots with pretty flowers, and between them were illumination lamps. The lustre was woven with green and from the top there hung a festoon which attached itself to the top of each pillar. This was the appearance of three rooms. The floors were chalked with eagles, flowers etc.
The general, to whom all this was given, appeared and won his way through every thing, the hero of the evening. Every body wanted to see him, every body to speak to him. He is tall and rather thin with an exceedingly wrinkled and narrow face a little stern but not commonly expressing the quality he is so noted for. For myself after dancing rather a stupid set with Miss Vail I was very glad to get off and begin to look about me. So I went upstairs for a little conversation, found up there, Mary and Miss McKnight together talking so I just stood and talked with them for a little while. And walking about as well as I could through the crowd I happened to meet Mrs. Thornton2 puffing and blowing at the heat who upon seeing me, immediately tacked me to Miss Calvert whom I never had the pleasure of seeing before, and begged me to go down which I accordingly did. After a great deal of trouble to find a place I got one in the second room. In the mean time to divert her I carried her around the rooms and excited my talkative powers to the utmost but if ever stupidity existed I think it must be here. She is young and new, which may be some reason, but I should scarcely imagine this to be enough for such a lack of power. She knew no body and therefore stood silent when I did not speak to her. This was very tiresome to me and I cursed Mrs. Thornton. Finally though she happened to meet a boarding school acquaintance and then had tongue enough to talk, but from the { 35 } sample of their conversation which I was obliged to overhear, I did not think much of it. The dance appeared long to me and I was very heartily glad when the end of it put a stop to so hard a task upon my civility.
I was impatient also on another account. Mr. and Mrs. Brent, the new married couple, whose wedding on Tuesday night I forgot to mention, had just come in, with Anne and Cornelia “en attendance.” One of them, Anne, I immediately seized upon, and after some exertion obtained a place for her in the dance. This cottillion was as much too short as the other was too long, for I was so happy in seeing one of my “favoris”3 again that I did not mind the minutes as they passed. She is rather a silent girl than otherwise, but there is a sort of feeling of voluptuousness around her that always makes me delighted to dance with her. She is one of those women whose very looks and eye cannot help discovering to a man that her passions are always making strange work within. I promised myself another dance with her, which owing to the crowd I did not obtain. After a short interval, I met Cornelia and had a great deal of very pleasant conversation with her. She talks more than her sister and is more beautiful but so young yet that she has not attained to that power over my feelings which Anne has. I asked her many questions as to the billet of ladies sent me to dream on with the wedding cake and had almost said she would have come nearer to my dreams if she had sent her own name, but I thought it would have been too much of a compliment and perhaps, a truth. With perseverance, we managed to obtain a place in a cottillion, and danced a long dance which appeared so short to me that every set, I swore we had danced one less than before, until I found people out becoming offended, (justly perhaps) when I gave way. She did look uncommonly beautiful this evening.
It became now almost supper time and as I had not spoken to Miss Selden the whole evening I went up to her, and had a pleasant conversation with her. The ladies and gentlemen were most of them unaware at least downstairs that the supper room was open. Consequently I took the advantage, and when her dance was over, slipped her arm in mine and carried her upstairs. Although the room was very crowded I managed to push through all opposition and we walked all round the supper observing every thing and every body. She is very pleasant and full of fire and life. She introduced me to Mrs. Miller the half sister of Mr. Crawford as [if] I was to see a curiosity. The old lady was rather amusing and overpowered us by the profusion { 36 } of her “honey.” Professor Everett was here but as I was not honoured with a bow, I gave none.
We returned downstairs and then had a very pleasant dance, for by this time the room had become very thin on account of the news of Supper. This continual exercise had fatigued me exceedingly, and had I not been enlivened by music and wine, I do not think I could have got through it. Being now somewhat excited by these causes I danced with Miss McKnight, a young lady whom I had the pleasure of dancing with at Mrs. Wirt’s and who is an old acquaintance. The fact is that I take no pleasure in any except the old acquaintance and have been introduced to but two new ladies this Winter Miss Calvert and Miss Crowninshield, neither of whom have given me any wish or desire to become acquainted with more. This was the last cottillion which I danced as I found the fatigue fast growing upon me. So I went back to the tables to talk with Johnson in a corner.
Thus passed the evening and the company by this time were going off in crowds, so that the dances were changed to reels. As I felt as if I had not finished the evening, I again selected Miss Selden and we danced or at least I walked a reel, for I was perfectly done up, and in consequence ordered the music to stop long before it was wished. After making my excuses to her I went upstairs and threw myself on the sofa perfectly exhausted. Miss Cranch4 staid here according to invitation. I had been hunting for her all the evening, without success. The tables exhibited a picture of devastation, for I never saw a place in my life in which there is more eating at balls than here. Even some ladies have a marvellous faculty of destroying good things. I dragged myself to bed, complaining even of the trouble of undressing myself.
1. JQA handsomely returned Andrew Jackson’s invitation (see entry for 4 Jan., above) by giving an elaborate ball in his honor on the anniversary of the victory at New Orleans. One thousand guests were invited, including all members of both houses of Congress but two (Alexander Smyth and John Floyd, who had offended the Secretary of State). Speaker Clay and Secretary of War Calhoun attended, but President Monroe excused himself to avoid giving an impression of favoring anyone for the succession.
Women were brilliantly gowned, and all the men except JQA wore full-dress attire—blue coats, gilt buttons, white or buff waistcoats, white neckties, high chokers, white trousers, silk stockings, and pumps. House decorations were made of tissue paper and evergreens, and the floors were chalked with eagles, flags, and a motto, “Welcome to the Hero of New Orleans.” See JQA, Diary, 6 and 8 Jan. 1824; Mary S. Lockwood, Historic Homes in Washington, N.Y., 1889, p. 72; Gouverneur, As I Remember, p. 279–282; James, Andrew Jackson, p. 384.
2. Mrs. William Thornton, the former Anna Maria Brodeau, wife of the noted doctor and architect (DAB).
3. CFA repeatedly uses this expression, which in French is the masculine form (feminine: “favorites”), for the girls he liked best as social companions.
4. Elizabeth Eliot Cranch (1805– { 37 } 1860), daughter of Judge William Cranch (JQA, Diary, 6 Feb. 1824); she later married Rufus Dawes. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-09


Arose this morning very late owing to the lateness of the hour last evening when we retired. As I had not been to the House of Representatives I determined to go to day. John and Johnson went with me. Met Wyer1 who appeared to be in an extasy with the party last night. Blunt also appeared much pleased. Inquired as to Madame’s misfortune. In the latter part of the evening one of the illumination lamps cracked and dropped its contents directly upon her dress. It was very late though and of no importance. The number of people I imagine to have been there, amounted to between nine and eleven hundred.
We came to the House in time, for we witnessed a most interesting discussion arising out of a motion for the appropriation of a sum of money to the widowed mother of Commodore Perry. Mr. Hamilton who brought in the bill, supported it in a short and it appeared to me rather laboured speech. He attempted to be eloquent but failed. There was no argument in the discussion as it was rather an appeal to the feelings of the House than reasoning in it’s favour. I have read his speech since and am inclined to think much better of it in writing than I did when he delivered it. He appeared to have laboured it too much and although in the subsequent part of the debate it was lauded to the skies I knew too well the system of alternate puffing which exists here to mind their words. Mr. Henry of Kentucky followed him on the same side in an appeal of the same sort.
Mr. Wickliffe made some remarks on the impolicy of the measure as it was forming a larger class of pensioners than the country was able or willing to support and consequently to try the strength of the House on the subject he moved to strike out the enacting clause of the bill. Mr. Fuller made some remarks which I could not hear. Mr. Stevenson then rose and delivered a speech which he intended to be a great one but which appeared to me to be nothing but fustian rant from it’s commencement to the close. He has in great perfection the raving stamping manner of the Southern Orators, a manner which to me is every thing disagreable. Mr. Cobb made some observations in answer, in which I thought I discovered his malignant spirit with great ease. He is a radical however.
Mr. Clay then rose and made some remarks, many of which were very forcible. He argued that it was forming a dangerous precedent, { 38 } which at some time or other would involve the nation in a debt as deep as that of England. That if we made an appropriation in this case we ought to make an appropriation for the mother or widow of every Officer or private soldier whenever one should happen to die. He said that whatever his feelings might urge him to do, he must restrain himself within the sober and strict limits of prudence. That we cannot be governed by generosity in states for we should be led to ruin. This is a good argument but we shall see how consistent he is very soon. He also showed some spite to General Jackson in his speech by some very severe remarks crying out, heroes, God knows we had heroes enough already for nowadays every man was a hero. These observations offended a great many here and with reason for it showed that he was galled by the increasing popularity of this gentleman.
Mr. McDuffie supported the bill and opposed the amendment, arguing that it was politic and generous at the same time. And in answer to Mr. Clay said that Officers ought to have this money appropriated before soldiers as they could be the only ones supposed to be excited by any noble feelings, the soldiers being only mercenaries. An argument which appeared a marvellous flimsy one to me. Mr. Hamilton retorted severely upon Mr. Clay. But I was so displeased with his first speech I did not attend much to the second. Mr. Randolph asked Clay a question. Did he not [word omitted] for an appropriation for the same purpose two years ago, to which he replied that he had, but that one fault committed was no reason for his committing another, that he had been carried away, a reason which excused him, but did not say much for his firmness or consistency. But this is only a slight matter. The amendment was carried by a large majority and to “save appearances” as Randolph said the bill was recommitted.2 We came home very much gratified by what we had the pleasure of hearing. We spent the evening quietly at home, and then retired, at a very early hour.
1. Edward Wyer, who had served as American consul at Riga during JQA’s mission to Russia, was now stationed in Hamburg. An occasional dispatch bearer in the State Department, he became a confidential legman for JQA and a go-between in the later negotiations to throw Clay’s presidential support to JQA (U.S. Official Register, 1825, p. 13; Bemis, JQA, 2:24, 37, 42).
2. CFA confused the order of the debates on the bill for the relief of Sarah Perry, but his memory of the content of the speeches was generally good. Briefly, Fuller of Massachusetts, James Hamilton Jr. (1786–1857), of South Carolina, and Robert Pryor Henry (1788–1826), of Kentucky, asked that Mrs. Perry be pensioned in gratitude for the deeds of her son, Oliver Hazard Perry (see DAB), and in consideration of her need. Charles Anderson Wickliffe (1788–1869), of Kentucky, moved to strike out the enacting clause of the bill, and { 39 } Thomas Willis Cobb (1784–1830), of Georgia, supported him, arguing that the pension system ought to be severely limited and adding, gratuitously, that unchecked impulses might eventuate in pensioning families even of common soldiers. George McDuffie (1790–1851), of South Carolina, dismissed Cobb’s inference with the observation that officers added luster to a nation through military renown and deserved our gratitude, while soldiers were only mercenaries and did not. At this point Andrew Stevenson (1784–1857), of Virginia, made his emotional appeal in support of the nation’s heroes, and Clay retorted, “Every man now is a hero.” John Randolph, of Virginia, then asked Clay why he had voted for an earlier bill to relieve Perry’s family; Clay replied; and Hamilton made his second plea. See Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 965–984.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-10

Saturday 10th.

My fatigue has not yet gone off entirely and as this was a day of no interest out I determined to remain at home and recruit a little. Miss Cranch is still here. She is one of the most silent young ladies I have ever met with and as none of us unluckily have had the formality of an introduction to her, she does not appear to think herself acquainted. I have not heard her say four words since she has been in the house.1 Judge Cranch, her father, paid a morning visit here. He is a man of perfectly old fashioned New England manners which are so affectionate that they cannot be unpleasant. Poor man, he has been severely chastened in this world.2 The evening was spent in looking over my father’s budget of newspapers and discussing politics with Johnson who at the present time is exceedingly apprehensive concerning the state of New York. No occurrences or remarkable news consequently we retired early.
1. In his short-entry Diary (D/CFA/1) for this date, CFA summed up his feelings about his mother’s house guest: “Miss Cranch flat.”
2. Judge Cranch had lost five of his thirteen children, two dying in 1822. One more was to die later in 1824 (Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family, p. 222–223).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-11


Again this day was spent without going near to a Church making the fourth Sunday since I have been to divine service a matter which I am beginning to be quite ashamed of. I took a walk with Johnson up to the Capitol and back1 and spent the rest of my day in something of a lounge. Ennui came very near seizing upon me, as I am totally unable to prosecute my inquiries with any sort of diligence. Monsieur is in possession of John’s room, and although Madame has again moved into her own by which means we have a temporary possession of that room it is so cold and uncomfortable that I can do nothing. We still eat in Madame’s dressing room as the lower rooms have not yet been touched. We spent the Evening in a very dull manner, as { 40 } Miss Cranch sat mum and we had all long ago exhausted our stories, so John asked for tea and went to bed.
1. The boys discussed the “usual topic,” undoubtedly politics (D/CFA/1).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-12

Monday. 12th.

As it had now become pretty late and the debates will soon become interesting, I fixed it as a general rule to walk up to the House of Representatives every day. So I commenced to day. Mr. Hemphill delivered a speech today upon a bill lately brought in by himself to authorize the President to employ surveyers for an estimate of the expense of any canal which may be proposed. He is not a pleasant speaker, and so low in his voice that I was unable to hear him.1 So I gave it up with some ill will as he is said to be a man of some worth, and returned home. Johnson having staid here as long as he thought he was able, determined to go back to Rockville today. Much to the sorrow of us all. He appeared considerably affected himself but more by the “news from New York” which has been unfavourable for some days back.2 At four he got into the stage and was off.
John was employed all day in overlooking the room below, as he was fixed in dining there today. The pillars were taken down from two rooms, but were left standing in Monsieur’s. He succeeded in his project and we again obtained an appearance of comfort. The news from New York today was such as would very much have affected Johnson had he been here and as it is will probably make him very sick at Rockville. The family all went to Mrs. Wirt’s except John and myself who understanding it to be nothing but a musical party remained at home. Miss Mary Roberdeau3 called this morning to invite Madame, and to pay her first visit. She is understood now to be a February belle and only comes to see Madame and the 1st of January.4 John and I after examining the papers, and taking tea, went to bed.
1. Joseph Hemphill (1770–1842), of Pennsylvania, an early Federalist and chairman of the Committee on Roads and Canals, argued for “An Act to procure the necessary surveys, plans, and estimates, upon the subject of Roads and Canals,” specifically urging a grant of $30,000 to underwrite the bill (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 242, 990–999).
2. The New York legislature, in what appeared to be an alliance with Virginia, declared in favor of a caucus nomination for President, which inevitably would go to William H. Crawford. Though states favoring other candidates had rejected congressional dictation, JQA knew he needed New York’s votes to win the Presidency, and the Empire State’s decision was a serious setback to his ambition. See JQA, Diary, 12 Jan. 1824; Bemis, JQA, 2:15.
3. Daughter of Lt. Col. Isaac Roberdeau.
4. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-13

Tuesday 13th.

Owing to the uninteresting speaker yesterday I omitted going to the Capitol today, but took a walk round the city, which appears to be considerably improving. Monsieur returned to his room to day much to my pleasure as we shall immediately begin to look natural. We took possession of John’s room again and I am in hopes very soon to get about my usual occupations.
In the evening, we were invited to Mrs. Calhoun’s and accordingly went. As the carriage was only able to hold four Mrs. Sullivan was asked to call and give us two seats and Mrs. Chancey1 one. So that Abby and myself went with the first and Mary with the last. Hardly had we arisen from dinner however before Mr. Sullivan called. None of us dressed as it was a most unseasonable hour; I had to hurry on my things however, and jump in, with the most disagreable haste imaginable. Abby was just ready and we went off. Not more than a dozen or so had collected and I had the most stupid half hour that mortal ever knew. At length the house being pretty full the back room was opened and I danced the first dance with Miss McKnight. Then with Miss Sperry, a young lady from Philadelphia, to whom I was introduced by Mr. Sullivan for the sake of acquaintance. She was rather a lively and pleasant girl, affording me considerable entertainment as it is only to the disagreable usually that such introductions are necessary. Sometimes though a case of this kind happens. She has no striking beauty but rather a pleasant countenance than otherwise, expressed herself delighted with Washington and sorry to leave it so soon Tomorrow. From her, I went to Miss Selden, for it was impossible to delay any longer, and after some very pleasant conversation in a room where a little air might be obtained, we took a place in the dance. She certainly is the most entertaining girl as an acquaintance that I meet with. She has also a number of attractions which it is hard for a common person to withstand. I found dancing generally however a pretty dull business tonight so I left it off. I asked Miss Cranch in compliment. Three great Indians were there, very handsome men, at least one is and the other[s] had been. There was also a young squaw, who was matter of great diversion to Miss McKnight for whom she appeared to have taken a great fondness.
I returned early with Madame having no wish to go with Mr. Sullivan as it is his plan to go as late as he comes early. We laughed considerably at the meanness of the entertainment and that he had spread part of it under his bed curtains. (The bed being taken away.) John and Mary did not get home till quite late.
{ 42 }
1. Presumably Mrs. Isaac Chauncey, the former Catharine Sickles, wife of the well-known naval officer (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-14


This day, as we heard Mr. Clay was going to speak and answer Mr. Barbour who spoke yesterday, we, (all the family) went to hear him. He had commenced before we got there so that it was hardly possible to obtain a seat even for the ladies. John had something of a task and so had I, for there were four ladies to attend to, in a great crowd. After settling them, by dint of perseverance we obtained something a little like a place to hear but not to see. From what I was able to gather it was a fine speech, and put up with more argument than he generally condescends to use. He supported Mr. Hemphill’s bill and opposed Mr. Barbour’s motion of yesterday to strike out the enacting clause. He gave Mr. Barbour a number of slight dashes but nothing of the bitter sarcasm which he is so fond of using on these occasions. He argued the words of the constitution thus: “Congress shall have power to establish post offices and post roads.” In this he argued the word established meant to create and Congress had the power to make roads in any state or territory which it should think fit. This is about the whole subject of discussion as the other part insists that Congress has no right to do any thing but select the road on which the mail is to be run and assign post offices.
It is a question in which there is a show of reason on each side. And I am rather inclined to think myself that the words were intended as the Virginians construed them, but if so I think the constitution should be amended for at the time of the formation of the constitution we had no inland states to demand assistance in the way of roads or canals. Mr. Clay stated this argument and exposed the condition of the West, in a very handsome manner, and was commencing a very handsome appeal to the feelings when Mr. Barbour got up for the purpose of explaining away ostensibly, but really to break it up which he did. After speaking for about two hours and a half he sat down and the question was taken as to Mr. Barbour’s amendment and lost ayes 116. Noes about 80. Immediately after which the House adjourned and we went home. On the whole very much pleased indeed. Mr. C. is one of the first speakers in this country, in manner, voice, gesture and simplicity of language. The flexibility and variety of his tones is astonishing.1
In the evening, we did intend having an oyster supper, but were { 43 } interrupted by Messieurs Connell2 and Blunt who came and spent the evening. So we were obliged to delay it.
1. Clay’s speech on Hemphill’s bill to provide surveys and plans for a system of roads and canals was one of his great efforts to promote internal improvements. In closing he argued eloquently that “the bill on your table is no Western bill. It is emphatically a national bill, comprehending all, looking to the interests of the whole” (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1040). This was also the view of JQA, who would not have agreed with his son’s view that the Constitution needed amending in order to launch such a program.
The vote on Barbour’s motion to strike the enacting clause was 74–109; the amendment for $30,000 won with 105 yeas, while the vote of the Committee of the Whole House to report on engrossing the bill for a third reading was 114–82 (same, p. 1041).
2. John Connell, a messenger in the Treasury Department (JQA, Diary, 18 Jan. 1824; U.S. Official Register, 1825, p. 17).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-15

Thursday. 15th.

I resumed today the usual course of studies at least in part by reading two maps of America—and should have read Bacon, had I been able to find the book, but as I could not ’twas not possible. After this I went to the House and heard the last part of the speech of Mr. Wood of New York1 against the bill. Although it was decided pretty well yesterday it appears that it’s opponents are determined not to give up the ground without fighting. His arguments were close as far as I heard them and very argumentative but as his manner is unpleasant, I did not pay great attention to him. I have heard all the arguments which he used before, and it appears to me it can only be a quibble upon a word, for there are few who will not allow the expediency of the measures. He finished with a severe speech, saying that the gentleman from New Jersey, (Dr. Holcombe) the other day had spoken of a new Era. A new Era, if the gentleman meant that a new era was to rise on the ruins of the constitution; he must allow that he was very far from wishing any such thing.2 Mr. Mallary arose after him and commenced a long and dull speech against the bill. As he has the character here of being long and dull among the members I was not sorry that I was obliged to leave him. He was doing nothing but repeating the old strain.3 It appears to me hardly worthwhile to oppose this bill any longer for there is a decided majority in the House in it’s favour and now it will be hardly possible to put the bill to sleep by delay. So I left the House and walked home in order to dress time enough for the company to dinner.
Those consisted of Messrs. Brown of Ohio, De Wolfe of Rhode Island, Johnson of Kentucky and Thomas of Illinois, Members of the Senate. Messrs. Burleigh and Sibley of Maine, Call, delegate from { 44 } Florida, Hamilton of South Carolina, Johnson of Kentucky, Lee of Maryland, Livingston of Louisiana, Martindale and Van Rensselaer of New York, Owen of Alabama, Rich of Vermont, and Rogers of Pennsylvania.4 I had the extreme honour of sitting at the corner with Mr. Jesse B. Thomas and Col. Richard M. Johnson. The former honours our house for the first time, as he has learned hypocrisy in addition to villainy which he knew long ago or if I may not call it so harsh a name, dishonourable and ungentlemanly conduct.5 Col. Richard M. is a really good natured sort of a rough Kentucky man, who got the reputation of having killed Tecumseh in the last War, without any foundation, it is said. He gave us an account of what he is more fond of probably than War, an electioneering campaign. He told us the number of years he had been in Congress, House and Senate, and how he managed to get in. How he used to play the stump orator to the admiration and with the applause of thousands, and moreover how he knocked out the heads of the whiskey barrels which was the strongest reason probably for his election. He supported this system against Mr. Rich and Mr. Van Rensselaer, opposite, who took it all coolly. This was all the diversion at dinner. John got into an awkward situation with Mr. Rich in drinking wine which made me laugh heartily. The party soon broke up and we retired.
I forgot entirely to mention here that we went to a party afterwards at Mrs. Ringgold’s,6 where we spent the evening very pleasantly. It was a singular oversight and caused by hurry, when I wrote the day. I went with the girls and John. I danced with Miss Clapham7 for the first time, a very voluptuous looking girl, with a lively black eye, and Miss Crowninshield. I also had some conversation with Dr. May, a graduate of Harvard.8 Principally concerning the Porcellian Club.9 The evening was soon over as we came late and we retired and arrived at home safe.
1. For Silas Wood’s speech see Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1053–1057.
2. The “new era,” Dr. George Holcombe announced, would be ushered in by millions of Western voters who were interested in internal improvements. Holcombe further argued that internal improvements were constitutionally warranted (same, p. 1013–1021).
3. Rollin Carolas Mallary (1784–1831), of Vermont, maintained that Congress could build roads only under an original or exclusive grant of power by the Constitution (same, p. 1057–1063).
4. JQA’s guests not previously identified were: Ethan Allen Brown (1776–1852); James De Wolf (1764–1837); Richard Mentor Johnson (1781–1850); Jesse Burgess Thomas (1777–1853); William Burleigh (1785–1827); Jonas Sibley (1762–1834); Richard Keith Call (1792–1862); either Francis Johnson (1776–1842) or John Telemachus Johnson (1788–1856), of Kentucky; John { 45 } Lee (1788–1871); Edward Livingston (1764–1836); Henry Clinton Martindale (1780–1860); Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764–1839); George Washington Owen (1796–1837); Charles Rich (1771–1824); and Thomas Jones Rogers (1781–1851) (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
5. Senator Thomas led an Illinois faction hostile to JQA. An ally of Crawford, he sought to embarrass and divide the Adams men by having the impending caucus offer JQA the vice-presidential nomination. That he could be linked with Crawford, chosen as second best, and, without consultation, made party to a deal infuriated the Secretary of State. See Pease, Frontier State, ch. 5, and JQA, Diary, 17, 20 Jan., 4 Feb. 1824.
6. This paragraph was added at the end of D/CFA/3, where CFA noted that it was to be added to the present entry. Mrs. Tench Ringgold was the wife of the marshal of the District of Columbia (Cresson, Monroe, p. 472).
7. Presumably the daughter of Josias Clapham, one of the directors of the Potomac Company.
8. Dr. Frederick May, graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard, a businessman as well as an eminent Washington physician (Columbia Hist. Soc., Records, 31–32 [1930]:307–310).
9. The “Porcellian” or “Pig Club” dated from 1791 and included the “bloods of Harvard,” the “most lively and convivial lads in the College.” By 1800 it had become the most aristocratic club on campus and membership in it was the capstone of undergraduate social ambition. The Porcellian motto, “Dum vivimus vivamus,” summed up the club’s purpose. See Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 181–182.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-16

Friday. 16th.

After reading my maps and having a pleasant morning conversation after breakfast on the state of parties I went to the Capitol and heard Mr. McDuffie of South Carolina deliver an argument in favour of his amendment to the Constitution respecting the election of President and Vice President of the United States.1 This man has been famous to this day only for possessing talents to be shown in future and for a most ridiculous affair of a duel with a man by the name of Cumming, in which they reviled each other for cowards for some time, met four times, twice without coming to any conclusion and twice seriously in which Mr. McDuffie was wounded both times.2 He is supposed to be an able man and is now coming out. His delivery is not popular however as I perceived the galleries thinning off as he proceeded until there was hardly a person left. I do not think him a catching orator by any means.
He commenced by telling them that he disclaimed any thing like personal or interested observations, and this might be known by the fact that this could not be passed time enough to bear upon the next election. He then tried to prove the necessity of the measure and traced to the time when complaints had first been made against this part of the constitution. He argued against the final decision in the House of Representatives as it is now laid down from three reasons. First that it was destroying the expression of the will of the majority as the smallest states had a voice equal to the largest, and by this { 46 } means, a number of small states connected together might force a president upon far the greater number of the nation. Sectional feeling might influence these states to act together on any great interest, by which means the expression of the popular voice would be entirely disowned. Secondly, he argued that Members might be influenced by bribery which once getting a hold in this House would ruin the independence of the nation. He meant nothing disrespectful to the House, but he must describe nature not as we wish it to be, but as it is. Men would be influenced by prospects and while this was the case it could not but be an unfair mode of decision. Thirdly. If they were not bribed, almost every man was influenced in some degree, by feelings of friendship to individuals, the most just man on earth could not restrain them, his feelings would blind him to the faults of his candidate and the virtues of the opposing ones, so that he would not give a fair vote on the subject. He concluded by saying that whatever fame other men might wish, he would rest satisfied with the portion of fame allotted to him if this bill was sanctioned and became a law.
On the whole it was a sound speech but not a very interesting one, he used no figures or dashes but simply stated a course of argument which must convince every one of one point, that a change is necessary. But whether Mr. McDuffie’s amendment is the best, is a question which admits of much more doubt. It is to divide the population of the United States into a certain number of districts each of which is to choose an elector and a certain number of these will elect a president and vice president. He supported this not as perfect but as the best to be got. The former arguments though will apply with equal force against this, consequently, it would be better if any change be made to refer it without any mediation to the people directly, and in this way the people which is the important matter, will have the decision of the question in their own hands where it belongs. He sat down and the House adjourned immediately so I returned home very well satisfied with Mr. McDuffie although I do not think him the great genius he is said to be.
After dinner we went to Aunt Frye’s, that is to say four of us, John and Monsieur at home, and Miss Cranch gone yesterday which I forgot to mention in it’s proper place. Major General Brown and three daughters or two I forget which with Mrs. B.3 and Major Kirby4 were there, also Mrs. Thomson5 and her daughter Mrs. Hersant,6 who really is almost too far advanced in her pregnancy to go out at all but she buffets it through our most crowded parties. The younger part { 47 } of us sat down and played loto, a most amazingly stupid game, so we got away as soon as possible. I could not have the conscience to speak to Mrs. Hersant consequently avoided the room. We went home early after having spent a very “mediocre” evening.
1. On 5 December 1823 George McDuffie, a Calhounite, had asked for the appointment of a special committee to consider amending the Constitution. The plan, presented on 22 December, proposed that: (1) each state should be divided into as many districts as would equal the number of Representatives to which the state was entitled, and each district would choose one elector to vote for the President and the Vice President, and that the electors thus appointed in each state would choose the two additional electors to which the state was entitled; (2) if no candidate won a majority on the first ballot, the electors should meet immediately in their respective states and vote for one of the two persons having the highest number of votes; (3) only in the unusual event that no candidate was then able to obtain a majority of votes (McDuffie explained in a supporting speech) would Congress, voting as one body with one vote for each member, choose a President.
Calhoun’s political prospects inspired McDuffie’s amendments. Calhoun’s friends knew that he was not likely to receive the votes of the large states (committed that year to JQA or to Crawford) or of a caucus (dominated by Crawfordites that session), so they planned for the future. The votes of the people, unobstructed by political mechanisms, could elect Calhoun, they hoped. Although discussed in Congress until 1827, the proposed amendment was never approved. See Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 801, 1067–1082; U.S., House of Representatives, Report [of the Select Committee on Amending the Constitution], 18 Cong., 1 sess., Vol. I, No. 8; Herbert V. Ames, The Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of the United States (Amer. Hist. Assoc., Annual Report for 1896, Vol. II), p. 84, 89, 108, 338, 340, 342, which, however, does not accurately report McDuffie’s intentions as outlined in his speech of 16 Jan. 1824; and Bemis, JQA, 2:11–30.
2. McDuffie’s duel with William Cumming, of Georgia, grew out of the rivalry between Calhoun and Crawford for the Presidency in 1821–1822. Injured in the spine, McDuffie was never again a well man (DAB).
3. Jacob Jennings Brown (1775–1828) and his wife, the former Pamelia Williams (DAB).
4. Major Edmund Kirby (Heitman, Register U.S. Army).
5. Possibly Mrs. Smith Thompson, whose husband was appointed a judge after his service in Monroe’s cabinet as Secretary of the Navy (JQA, Diary, 21 Jan. 1824; Bemis, JQA, 2:390).
6. Mrs. Hersant’s husband was a member of the French legation in Washington (JQA, Diary, 11 Feb. 1820).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-17

Saturday. 17th.

Spent this morning at home, and read my maps. As there was no House of Representatives, I was obliged to amuse myself as I could. I agreed to accompany Madame and the Girls to Mr. King’s painting rooms1 after their return from Georgetown whither they went in the Carriage with John. They did not return till late and Mr. Cheves2 was introduced and received, but this was so good an opportunity that I did not wish it lost so we went. The pictures, some of them are excellent, others only moderate and others bad. That of Cyr. King of Maine3 is said to be good, Mr. Wirt’s is good, General Brown’s { 48 } and a number of others are remarkably fine. I think my father’s a good one, but by no means so good as I think one could be made.4 His eyes are placed in such a way that one appears directly over his nose. He has some very sweet fruit pieces, which would adorn a summer house or even a dinner parlour very much. Some voluptuous pieces also which it would not do to notice before ladies. One in particular which appeared to be Joseph and the wife of Potiphar although we could not see for a veil which John and myself attempted to raise, when we discovered the deception. It was very accurate.
We went down into his painting room, he was copying his portrait of Mr. Webster, which is one of his best likenesses as it appears to me. The eyebrows and expression of the eyes is very admirably copied. There was also a portrait of John Mason, not finished but nearly so, which was a remarkable likeness. One of Mrs. Mason also.5 As Mr. King appeared to be very busy with his picture we left him soon and Madame returned home with John and I, the girls set off to go and take a walk for the first time this winter.
On reaching the steps of our house, we met Ned Wyer who insisted upon it, Madame should fulfil her promise of going to see his house and his mineral collection. As this was a good opportunity and nothing to do we went over. He has hired a house of one story in height opposite to our house and lives in glorious independence nobody knows how. His rooms are neat and well kept. He showed us every thing, his shells and minerals, some of which are certainly very handsome. He wants to sell them but rates them so high he never will be able to part with them. To day he manifested the love of giving away for which he is so noted—and made me think that in a little while he would have no collection to sell. After an Examination of all things we retired home, dined and on the return of Madame and ladies from Mrs. Thornton’s had an oyster supper.
1. Charles Bird King (1785–1862), a native of Rhode Island, had a studio and gallery on the east side of 12th Street between E and F streets, N.W. Besides the portrait of JQA mentioned below in this entry, King later executed portraits of CFA and Abigail Brooks, both of which are reproduced as illustrations in this diary. He is best known, however, for the long and historically valuable series of portraits of Indian chiefs that he painted in the 1820’s and 1830’s by commission from the War Department. See Groce and Wallace, Dict. Amer. Artists; John C. Ewers, “Charles Bird King, Painter of Indian Visitors to the National Capital,” Smithsonian Institution, Annual Report for 1953, Washington, 1954, p. 463–473.
2. Langdon Cheves (1776–1857), a former South Carolina Congressman, was serving on an arbitration commission set up in 1822 to settle claims of American citizens for slaves carried off by the British soldiers in the War of 1812 (Lanman, Biographical Annals, p. 625).
3. Cyrus King (1772–1817), the half-brother of Rufus King, was a former Federalist Congressman (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
{ 49 }
4. This portrait was the second of two attempts by King to get a satisfactory likeness of JQA in 1819. It had been commissioned by Joseph Delaplaine for his National Portrait Gallery in Philadelphia and was sent there in 1821 or 1822. It is now in the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Newport, R.I. See JQA, Diary, June-Aug. 1819; correspondence between Delaplaine and JA and between Delaplaine and JQA, Adams Papers.
5. Gen. John Mason, the son of George Mason of Revolutionary fame, and his wife, the former Anna Maria Murray (Mason, Life and Correspondence, p. 7–9).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-18

Sunday 18th.

This day, for the first time since I have been here I went to the Capitol to hear Dr. Staugten who has acquired some reputation for preaching good sermons, which has made him a Chaplain. He is President of the College near here and is the head of the sect of the Baptists in this place.1 His delivery is extemporaneous and at first strange and disagreable. Entirely contrary to the notions we have usually formed of pulpit eloquence he is exceedingly theatrical and varies the tone of his voice from high to low with great rapidity. This I have observed is somewhat the fashion here among certain sects who judge less of propriety than of policy, for by the one method they imagine that they can strike the passions of the ignorant whereas by the other they would remain a sect without numbers and with no probability of increase which is their great aim. I came home rather disgusted I must confess. He has nothing of the power of [ . . . ]2 although he tries the same style and greatly exceeds it.
As I had nothing to do in the afternoon, I set off on a stroll with dog Booth. I wished again to see some spots very dear to me by the associations they call up and by the time which has passed since I saw them. I did not go last winter. My course was over the Tiber to the Potomac bridge, where I had been so often shooting, where I had spent perhaps the most delightful of my days, where I had sometimes sat down and thought and thought till I had wrapt myself in an elysium of delight. The feelings are all over, but even now it is sweet to recollect it as a dream which passed over but too soon, and never to be equalled again. The recollection is more sweet, because it is more gentle and not exposed to the same high storms of passion.
From the bridge I turned and came round by the old house of Ironside, whither I had so often gone to recite in my young days. Poor man, he was then in affliction and he had my good wishes for his relief which he has always construed into exertions I could make, none [of] which would avail him. But he was relieved. I have not seen him this winter more than once and he was then in agony, his child { 50 } had died on that morning. I perceived his grief and was quiet. Passing by the house now deserted and wild, I reached the little canal where I had so often fished and had spent some of my most delightful [word omitted]. It was here where the intimacies began, it was here where I could create obligations only to return with more pleasure to myself. The bridge is now broken down, and the planks are off and every thing to which I was attached appears to be going to wreck, even to the great causes of my pleasure. But so be it. Now I am but an indifferent spectator, without interest and without affection.
My walk was a long one and return late, so that I had but just time to dress for dinner. Monsieur had invited one or two gentlemen to dine, Mr. Amory of Boston, Mr. Connell of Philadelphia, Mr. Dodge, the Marseilles Consul,3 and Blunt. The dinner was a so so pleasant one, but Mr. Amory did not appear in good spirits probably owing to his robbery which has made great talk and concerning which he has been much questioned. He laughed and gave us some account of it, in which it appears the thieves were amazingly polite. Connell is a monstrous talker about nothing at all and after the first half hour that you are acquainted with him will talk you almost to death half of which conversation you cannot hear and the other half having so little subject you cannot understand. Dodge is a simpering whimpering sort of an innocently conceited fop, somewhat elated on account of his late marriage with Miss DWolfe, without much meaning in any thing except a great idea of wealth.4 As to Blunt he is a young man with considerable abilities but with twice the vanity and four times the arrogance. Placed here as a political machine to look after matters as they respect the election he claims an intimacy in our family which we have no objection to allow him. Had he not become too conspicuous in the city of New York from his politics, he would have formed a lower opinion of himself and then would have been a very agreable man.
After dinner, Mr. William Lee, Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan and Dr. Watkins with his son5 dropped in at different times so that we looked quite a party. I spent an hour upstairs, reading, and the rest of the evening in the drawing room. Mr. Amory’s spirits were raised considerably latterly by the news of the capture of the robbers brought in by Mr. Lee, and went away repeating to himself his joy. John and Young Watkins talked together almost all the evening. I had some conversation with Sullivan and begin to think him as shallow as he is reputed to be. Lee has grown larger than ever and puffs away with more importance than ever. Thus did the evening pass away, rather { 51 } pleasantly than otherwise. Mrs. Sullivan appears to be much delighted here as she will have an opportunity, she knows, of being more noticed than at home. This has now gone over even here and now she wishes an intimacy here to keep her up in the great world.
1. William Staughton, D.D. (1770–1829), chaplain to the United States Senate and president from 1822 to 1829 of Columbian College (later, George Washington University), established to train ministers for the Baptist Church (Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 6:334–339; Columbia Hist. Soc., Records, 29–30 [1928]: 211–268; U.S. Official Register, 1825, p. 143 of addenda).
2. Illegible name. Possibly “McKraine” or “Mr. Kraine.”
3. Joshua Dodge (U.S. Official Register, 1825, p. 13).
4. Possibly a daughter of the wealthy Senator James De Wolf, of Bristol, R.I.
5. Lee, the Second Auditor of the Treasury, was an old friend of JQA from their days in the foreign service. Tobias Watkins was a literary physician, formerly secretary to the Florida Claims Commission, who was now writing articles for Peter Force’s National Journal booming JQA for the Presidency. His son was Thomas L. C. Watkins (Bemis, JQA, 2:24, and note; 2:23).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-19

Monday 19th.

After going over my maps rather hastily to day, I got into the Carriage with Madame, Abby and John to go to the Capitol in order to hear Mr. Webster in support of his Greek resolution the expectations for which are raised to the highest pitch.1 Mrs. Sullivan called amazingly early as usual for Mary. We ourselves were very early indeed, to obtain seats. A young man stands but little chance for ladies have the right of turning him out. I was lucky this time however, for by getting between two ladies, I was not encroached upon. The Crowninshields were there before us and Madame and John sat with them. America Peter came also, and John was routed to a place behind a pillar, to give her his seat. But he told me that in the most important point he was well enough, he could hear, and as for the rest he was compensated by the pleasure of teazing the younger Crowninshield, making her confess that she was very tired although it was Mr. Webster.
His speech was a good one, it could not have been bad, but in a consideration of the subject it appears to me that it could not have been any thing but a failure. He made the most of his subject and employed a digression or two to assist him but all would not do. He commenced by saying that he was sorry that he should be unable to reach the height formed for him by public opinion, then entered into a discussion of the principles of the holy Alliance, from the time in which it was first formed. He argued that to stop their plans we ought to support this nation, but at the same time disclaimed all idea of positive interference. He said that this measure { 52 } was an innocent one, it would be of no injury to us and might be of considerable service to them, as an expression of approbation, and of sympathy in their sufferings.
The President was enabled by this resolution to decide at what time it should be carried into effect so that he might delay it if he thought fit, but he for his own part would strongly recommend that it should be done immediately. He then entered into an account of the massacres and barbarities committed by the Turks and mentioned the circumstance of the copper utensils of the Greeks in the island of Scio lying about on the wharves of Boston with great effect and finished off with a vehement and eloquent appeal to the feelings of the audience in favour of a people persecuted by the Turks and by the world, who had been looking this way for a ray of cheering comfort and supplicating us only to hold out our hand to grasp theirs and assure them that we felt for them and approved their cause.
He finished and the House adjourned soon after. On the whole I consider his speech as good a one as could be delivered on his subject. The arguments of policy are all against him in fact and consequently he musters up the holy alliance as a show to frighten us. But when with this very holy alliance we have taken the ground that they must not come here to meddle with the concerns of this continent it is somewhat singular that we should in the next minute go directly into their mouths and talk to them about the propriety of our assisting Greece.2 Had some conversation with John and Monsieur on the subject, who does not appear to think Mr. Webster prudent in more than one respect.3
We spent the evening very quietly at home, the young ladies do not say much about the speech, I imagine they agreed with Miss Crowninshield. John applied for tea and we retired.
1. See entry for 25 Dec. 1823, and note, above. For Webster’s speech see Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1085–1099.
2. CFA is referring to the Monroe Doctrine, promulgated on 2 December 1823 by the President as part of his Annual Message. Shaped in large part by JQA, the Monroe Doctrine warned Europe against any new colonization in the Americas and reaffirmed United States policy “not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of ... [Europe’s] powers.” For a full discussion of the several parts of the Monroe Doctrine, see Bemis, JQA, 1:382–393.
3. JQA opposed Webster’s resolution because it meddled with the duties of the Executive department and used public opinion to embarrass the administration (JQA, Diary, 17 Jan. 1824).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-20

Tuesday 20th.

After the usual morning exercise I went to the Capitol and found { 53 } Mr. Poinsett speaking against Mr. Webster’s resolution. His voice is weak and it appears to be exertion for him to speak, his action is so monotonous also that he soon lost all the interest of the hearers. I came so late that it was not possible to obtain the course of his argument consequently I did not attend to him.1 When he sat down Mr. Randolph rose, a thing altogether unexpected although very much wished. He has abstained from speaking for two years and has again awakened curiosity very much. He rose he said altogether unprepared but he could not help raising his voice against a step, which he believed to be ruinous to this country in every respect. He adverted to a resolution offered by Mr. Clay this morning pledging the House to support the President in any steps which he should think proper to take in order to secure the independence of the South American States,2 in terms of great severity towards the mover, as being as dangerous to the peace of this country as any steps across the Atlantic. We should not look out of our own home and not waste our strength in affairs with foreign nations. The exertion however appeared to exhaust him considerably and after stating that the mental power could not go on with its usual activity when any physical exertion was necessary, so that he found himself obliged to sit down.3 In the course of his speech he exhibited a good deal of testiness and irritation. But on the whole it was one of the most striking, simple and affecting addresses that I have ever heard. The idea of fallen greatness brought pity into action and when he said, “Sir I feel I am not what I was,” it was only exhibiting some thing still of his former powers.4
Mr. Clay rose and answered Mr. Randolph so far as it concerned him as being mover of the resolution to which that gentleman had alluded, why he could not tell, for he imagined that subject to have nothing whatever to do with the one before the House. He assured the gentleman that the resolution should be called up at a fitting time, and when it was he would be glad to hear whatever the honourable gentleman might urge against it but until then he saw no reason why it should be disturbed. Being up he made some observations in defence of the resolution,5 saying that it was nonsense to talk about consequences, that it was an innocent resolution, and it was comforting the Greeks. He was no advocate for a cold and pence calculating policy but it was his belief that government was conducted best in which the feelings of generosity were consulted. A strong contrast to this same gentleman’s speech on Mrs. Perry’s bill, which I gave some description of. It was a hasty speech but a very fine one. { 54 } He is a remarkable speaker, and in this sort of desultory debate shows himself to very great advantage.
Mr. Cuthbert of Georgia rose and observed that he wished for delay to make up his mind. The Speaker had assured us that there was no danger but he was confident that he with his gallant and enterprising spirit would not desire to defend so warmly a proposition which in this case would be of so little importance. He thought that if this could be certainly proved there was no use of debate. But it had not been proved so he moved to adjourn.6 Mr. Foote of Connecticut moved that the subject be referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations as he thought that it was a proper subject for their consideration to let them report on. Both motions were decided in the negative.7 Col. Dwight then made a speech in defence of the resolution. This man is one of the most conceited, foolish fops that I have ever met with. He had prepared this long ago for I heard his argument on Christmas day in the discussion at the dinner, only with much more effect than here afterwards. He is what I may call a pretty speaker and learnt it when he was at school, he makes neat gestures and varies his voice very prettily but with no more effect than a child. “Fifty churches and a hundred villages reared their heads in this lovely spot consecrated to the Muses”—such was his style throughout with so much force that it made me laugh. He finished, put on his coat, and went off as if he had done something which had weighed upon his mind considerably. The House satisfied by this time no longer refused their assent to the motion to adjourn.8 I then returned home having been very much amused all day.
In the Evening Madame had one of her parties. I danced but little as it was at home. As John was anxious to have me make up a set I danced with Cornelia Cottringer, and as usual could not help having a pleasant half hour with her. I saw more of Anne too than I have done since I have been here, danced with her, she looked pale and unwell but was in better spirits than usual and talked more. She is very satirical and inclined to laugh at every body. I also danced with Miss Crowninshield who diverted me much by her expressions of admiration and astonishment at a man next to her by the name of Webster. Which made me laugh so that he was going to take it for an insult. This was the pleasantest party I attended in the whole course of the winter.
1. Congressman Joel Roberts Poinsett (1788–1851), of South Carolina, opposed Webster’s proposal to send an American agent to Greece, because if he were mistreated by the Turks war could result. Instead he favored a resolution { 55 } expressing “deep interest” and “sympathy” for the Greek cause (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1104–1111).
2. Clay’s resolution read: “That the people of these States would not see, without serious inquietude, any forcible interposition by the Allied Powers of Europe in behalf of Spain, to reduce to their former subjection those parts of the continent of America which have proclaimed and established for themselves, respectively, independent Governments, and which have been solemnly recognized by the United States” (same, p. 1004, 1114–1115).
3. Thus in MS.
4. For Randolph’s speech see Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1111–1113, 1114.
5. Of Daniel Webster.
6. Congressman Albert Cuthbert (1785–1856), of Georgia, spoke twice during the debate, but his motion to delay action lost by a vote of 84–89 (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1115–1116).
7. Samuel Augustus Foote (1780–1846) appears not to have made a motion but merely expressed a wish that the resolutions should be referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations (same, p. 1115).
8. For Dwight’s speech see same, p. 1116–1126. CFA invented the quotation he attributed to Dwight.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-21

Wednesday 21st.

After the usual morning exercises I went to the Capitol with John who felt considerably disappointed when he heard that Randolph had come out and he had refused to go. But he was as much disappointed to day for Mr. Baylies of Massachusetts was making a speech, a most dull one surely. He ranted, declaimed and raved about Turkish cruelty, was for having a crusade for recovering the holy land, and was for doing every thing in a hurry. He then for the amusement of the audience took out of his pocket an account of the cruelties at Scio and read out about ten pages of what had been printed by the Committee at Boston for the purpose of being generally read. It appears he did not think that it’s circulation had been sufficient.1 The House were satisfied again to day and adjourned without opposition.
We had come very late and had not heard the best part of the discussion. Mr. Wood of New York spoke against the resolution with a great deal of very close reasoning and had a material influence on the opinion of the House. I regretted my absence much, for I have since read it and like it quite as well as common report had prepared me to. Mr. Cook of Illinois made some observations in the beginning which were nothing but “a most lame and impotent conclusion.” I was sorry for it for I wish the man well. He spoke in favour of the resolution, and borrowed my father’s oration to make an extract in his favour; my father sent it and at the same time marked a passage directly contrary to the opinion he was desiring to sustain.2 He has, I have heard since, been sorry for this speech, but I do not believe it will affect him.
{ 56 }
After dinner we dressed ourselves and went to the Drawing Room at the President’s. The first Evening given this winter, as Mrs. Monroe has been very sick all the time. She is better now and appeared for a little while this evening retiring at nine o’clock. Mrs. Hay then took her place. I was much struck with an observation of John’s at Mrs. Calhoun’s when this lady was passing us in her usual way lolling on the gentlemen and speaking loud. Says he, “Would you wish a better representative of Billingsgate?” It is true enough for her coarseness warrants it.
The evening was a dull one and made me feel solitary in the middle of a crowd. None of my acquaintance there except Miss Mary Roberdeau who came out once in January. There was a Miss Irving too who is very pretty and from Ohio. Returned early. John did not go. Had a comfortable cup of tea and retired.
End of Volume First.
1. For the speech of Francis Baylies (1784–1852) see Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1139–1144.
2. According to the Annals of Congress, Cook made his speech on 22 January, not on 21 January as CFA reported it. Since the report of his remarks contains only a mention that he quoted “an oration” by JQA, it is impossible to determine which of JQA’s speeches he used (same, p. 1145–1150).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04


Journal of a Vacation spent in Washington
in the Winter of my Junior Year,
from December 22d. 18241 to February 20th. 1824.
Volume Second.
In two volumes.
April. 1824.2
1. That is, 1823.
2. Titlepage for D/CFA/3, continuing D/CFA/2 without a break. For a full description of the Diaries see the Introduction. The brief “Index” entries in D/CFA/1 that overlap those in this “Journal of a Vacation” have not been included in the present text, though they have been used in verifying names and events.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-22

Journal. January. 1824. Thursday 22d.

After the usual exercises in the morning I went to the House of Representatives to hear the continuation of the discussion of this question. Mr. Bartlett of New Hampshire was speaking, and as he had no reputation I must freely confess that at first I paid but little attention. He soon attracted my notice, by his clear argument and by his wit.1 Indeed I have not heard such a speech in the House, yet. He argued it on two grounds—either it was dangerous to the United States or it was not. If it was, no person would be willing to vote for the measure—if it was not, it was hardly worthwhile to honour the Greeks with “words, mere words.” His ridicule was apt and piercing—particularly in his allusion to the conduct of the mover of this, in the late war.2 He said he could boast of no “new lights” on this subject. That he had been ready to defend his country at all times but he could not go upon this Quixotic expedition. He concluded with saying that if we wished really to patronize schemes, we had better turn to our countryman John Cleves Symmes3 or to the inventor of the “flying machine” and wing our way to glory and immortality. The House appeared very much struck with the speech and collected around him although a new member, very eagerly. I was so pleased that I hastened over to the other side to hear him more distinctly, but he soon finished.
{ 58 }
I have read the speech frequently since and seldom recollect a finer hit. A few remarks made upon our system of wordy valour to support his argument that the resolution taken merely as an expression of kindness was unnecessary, were admirable. “We were already too much celebrated for our wordy valour,” he said. “When we wish to take a town or capture a province we send a proclamation, when we defend our own borders, we send a proclamation, when the enemy attacks our capitol we run for our lives, but we send a proclamation.” This was the more amusing as one of our most famous generals in that line, Alexander Smyth,4 has a seat in the House, from Virginia. Mr. Rankin5 arose after he finished and made some remarks which as they did not appear over and above entertaining, I spent the time in conversing with Weed, a young marine officer, and a remarkably agreable young man.6 I have seen something of him of late and have been very much pleased with him. Mr. Farrelly from Pennsylvania then made some observations in so voluble a manner that I did not pretend to keep up with him.7
The debate had now got into such hands, that John and Weed left the House to go and pay Mrs. Livingston8 a visit while I remained to hear General Houston of Tennessee9 make his maiden speech. It was in the Western style, full of rant, fustian and declamation. I had not formed a favourable opinion of the man as I understood that he despised books and thought himself above them. So one would judge from the specimen of his grammar and language given today. But as he is a great Western man and the leader of the delegation, I suppose it is fit that nothing should be said. I admired his gestures and white top boots, laughed at his flowers, wondered at his power of varying his accents from regular dictionaries and retired at the close wonderfully edified. The House also adjourned immediately.
Returning home, I was just in time to dress and be ready for dinner. Madame not being well did not come in nor did the young ladies. The party consisted of Mr. Findlay of Pennsylvania, the only Senator, Messrs. Allison of Pennsylvania, Brent of the department of State, Cobb of Georgia, Crafts of Vermont, Gatlin of North Carolina, Locke of Massachusetts, Neale of Maryland, O’Brien of Maine, Ten Eyck of New York, Whitman of Connecticut and Wickliffe of Kentucky, Members, besides Mr. Richards, delegate from Michigan, and Mr. Gallatin who is at present here.10 A member had declined consequently Father asked Messrs. Brent and Gallatin extraordinary. Had it not been for the latter gentleman, the dinner would have passed off in the most stupid manner to be imagined, and as it was, { 59 } a stranger would have supposed that if these were fair samples of our House of Representatives, we had not much to boast.
Among those who declined was Mr. Bartlett, with whom they in general expressed themselves very much pleased, Mr. Cobb particularly was quite enthusiastic. He is a very rough but rather an original and pleasant man. Mr. Neale was the only gentleman among the members. Findlay was disgusting beyond all example, but being nothing but a Pennsylvania tavern keeper, it is not astonishing. The matter of surprize is that any candidate for office at all should not have the liberty of selecting his own society and not depend upon the broad vulgarities of the coarsest man. I am not much of a democrat, but I do say that education forms a limit which it is impossible for the most zealous republican to oppose or attempt to break down. Mr. Gatlin who was my neighbour appeared no better than he should be, and the man who was next to him, God knows who, had never seen a grape before, and consequently made suitable enquiries and exclamations. Mr. Richards is a very gentlemanly man in appearance but cannot talk English fluently. I hope he did not understand it sufficiently to feel the repeated allusions of the worthy Pennsylvanian Senator, to Spanish priests, as he happens to be a priest himself.
These men disgusted us all, even my father was out of patience. Mr. Gallatin’s wit was thrown away upon hogs and I should scarcely have blamed him had he taken his invitation to meet such company as an insult to his character. For my part, I felt ashamed the whole evening and was very happy when I heard the hint to rise given by my father. They soon went away, some of them not knowing the custom of coffee took French leave. John and I immediately stepped into the Carriage and drove off to Miss Brent’s, a party being given to the bride, this evening.
The rooms are quite small, but the dancing as far as it went, was lively. I danced with Miss Selden and Cornelia Cottringer. The former appeared in high spirits, and talked and laughed very fast. I danced the Spanish dance with Anne Cottringer, this being my first appearance in it, as I had quite a prejudice to it, but it was too tempting to refuse being so near her, and the voluptuous manner in which she waltzes amply paid me for the trial. America Peter fails very much in this, but I should wish no partners here except Anne and Miss Selden perhaps Fanny Monroe11 although I have a mortal aversion to her appearance and therefore never would suffer an introduction to her. Weed was very amusing this evening.
A cold supper was laid downstairs in the solid fashion of the { 60 } ancients. To which I observed Mrs. Miller making very great devotion. She insisted on having some ham from the Virginia side. Miss Selden being from that state is her particular protegé, and so it is throughout. John and this young lady made a very ridiculous figure walking together the last part of this evening and gave rise to some observations one or two of which I heard. For myself, we being but two, I offered a seat to one of the Cottringers but got politely cut by the “matron” of the party. She thought she smelt a rat I presume but I was innocent as a lamb—at any rate we transported Mr. and Miss Selden and after dropping them we arrived safe at home.
1. CFA’s report of the speech by “Anti-Democratic” Congressman Ichabod Bartlett (1786–1853) is generally good, though he recorded the Representative’s actual words with only approximate accuracy and changed the order in which his arguments were made (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1150–1155).
2. Bartlett’s allusion to Webster’s alleged opposition to the War of 1812 was omitted in the printed version of his speech.
3. John Cleves Symmes advocated the theory “that the earth is a hollow sphere, open at the Poles” (JQA, Memoirs, 7:168).
4. Alexander Smyth (1765–1830), who represented Virginia in Congress from 1817 to 1825, had been inspector general of the army in 1812–1813. After boastfully claiming he could conquer Canada, he was forced to abandon the projected invasion because the army was so poorly trained and so ill-equipped, and he was much ridiculed for his bombast (DAB).
5. Christopher Rankin (1788–1826), of Mississippi, opposed Webster’s resolution (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1158–1160).
6. Presumably Elijah J. Weed, first lieutenant in the quartermaster department of the Marine Corps, who was stationed in Washington (Force, National Calendar, 1824, p. 157).
7. In fact Patrick Farrelly (1770–1826) preceded Rankin and approved the Greek resolution (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1155–1158).
8. Possibly Mrs. Edward Livingston, the former Louise Moreau de Lassy (DAB, under her husband’s name).
9. Samuel Houston (1793–1863), most famous for his later exploits in the Texas revolution, supported Webster’s resolution (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1160–1163).
10. The guests not previously identified were: William Findlay (1768–1846); James Allison Jr. (1772–1854); Daniel Brent, chief clerk in the State Department from 1817 to 1833; Samuel Chandler Crafts (1768–1853); Alfred Moore Gatlin (1790–1824); John Locke (1764–1855); Raphael Neal (d. 1833); Jeremiah O’Brien (1778–1858); Egbert Ten Eyck (1779–1844); Lemuel Whitman (1780–1841); Gabriel Richard (1767–1832); and the famous Albert Gallatin (1761–1849). For the Congressmen, see Biog. Dir. Cong.; for Brent, see Bemis, JQA, 2:158, and note.
11. A niece of the President (Anne Hollingsworth Wharton, Social Life in the Early Republic, Phila., 1902, p. 215, note).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-23

Friday. 23d.

This morning I performed my duties very soon and hastened to the House to hear the discussion continued. Mr. Cuthbert delivered a most violent speech against the resolution. He has a very bad voice but I thought pretty well of his argument except in his attributing { 61 } so much hostility to this country from England, which he exaggerated greatly in this case, as it is evident that it will be matter of necessity for England to join us in opposition to the holy alliance instead of sacrificing itself to it only from malice to us. It was preposterous ground.1 His manner is in the Southern style much contortion and a high pitch of a bad voice. I will not deny however that I was considerably interested by the heat of the man himself and his great desire to be felt in what he himself expressed.
Mr. Clay then rose to make some observations in support of the resolution. He argued that we should consult the general good feelings of the House and not the cold dictates of interest, that we could easily afford to sacrifice a beggarly invoice of figs and opium for the extension of the cause of liberty. This much in the strain with his argument on Mrs. Perry’s bill. He then said that no consequences would arise from our resolution which had been so much feared by gentlemen for he questioned very much whether the Grand Signior or the Emperor of Russia had ever heard or ever would hear of such a man as the mover of the resolution although he was a very distinguished man, much less would they notice this resolution. Here he agrees for this is to do the Greeks a great deal of good and the Turks are to be blind to the cause. He then went on in a more threatening tone, saying that some objections had been made to this on account of the source from which it came. He deprecated this as extremely ungenerous and cautioned them against pursuing such illiberal conduct, for if to assist the cause of suffering humanity was to be a Federalist then was he a Federalist.2 He then ascended still, finishing with a sweeping challenge of the whole House, daring them to go back to their constituents and to show a vote on this question against the resolution. He alluded to Mr. Bartlett in a very haughty manner expressing himself pleased with the speech of the “young member” and hoping next time to see more of an argumentative spree, that being a branch in which Mr. Clay himself is remarkable.
This was most unquestionably the most arrogant speech I ever heard delivered in the House, and at the same time one which he supposed would have the greatest effect there. Accustomed as he has been to rule the roost there, he supposed that nothing was wanting to effect a change but his voice. It was used too loud for [once?] and struck harshly upon every member of the House. He made Webster a federalist in his speech to show that he was a liberal minded man and well inclined to that party and he stormed at what he supposed the weak headed path in order that he should use his wonted influ• { 62 } ence. Mr. Cuthbert rose to repel the charge from himself and to find the speaker guilty of three inconsistencies at the same time demanding an explanation of him as to what he meant in a part of his remarks which appeared to be particularly intended for him. I shall not soon forget the attitude in which he demanded it and the tremendous ferocity with which he collected himself as he perceived none about to be given. Clay saw this and merely stated that he meant nothing personal to the gentleman although he should take back nothing of what had been said—a very lame conclusion. But he afterwards entered more largely into the subject,3 just as he was doing which I was forced to leave him, it being now considerably after the time which I had set to be at my Aunt Frye’s to dinner today. John remained. I ran home, and from thence to Mrs. Frye’s, my feelings having been excited to a most uncommon degree in the course of the debate. Mr. Randolph after several ineffectual attempts succeeded in obtaining the floor tomorrow.
We were all assembled except Monsieur and Madame who promised to come in the evening. They were all before me, even John who had come directly from the Capitol in a hack. Dinner was not ready and consequently I made nobody wait. He4 appears in very good spirits and she looks as well or better than I ever saw her. A remarkably affectionate woman I should think. Uncle and Aunt Smith were there also, the former with all his usual sententious generalities, the latter with loquacity sufficient to make up all deficiencies. She is a very amusing woman but one of your dangerous persons who are apt to talk of what they know not and in this way make mischief. Poor soul, she has been unfortunate and her story is a pitiful one,5 but she is still a delightful person for a companion and sport of an hour.
Dinner being over Monsieur and Madame soon came in, although she was very unwell indeed. I felt very anxious for the step which she had taken this evening as she really evidently suffered. Aunt Frye provided us with an ample oyster supper according to promise which was very much enjoyed by the real oyster eaters, that is Aunt Smith, Mary and myself. Poor Abby cannot see the pleasure which we take in this, and looks like a fish out of water. In fact that is almost always the case with her now as Johnson has fully characterized her by her “fire-side manners” a strong contrast with Mary’s—the former is the most affectionate disposition by far. It was a remarkable circumstance that Mr. S[mith] retired soon after dinner, on plea of sickness. After being well stuffed, I gave my seat to Aunt Smith and walked home with Monsieur and John.
{ 63 }
1. Cuthbert claimed that Great Britain was too wise to enter a Greek or Spanish war but would wait for the United States to weaken herself by such distant contests and would then “seize upon the crisis to attack” her (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1165–1170).
2. Clay’s actual words were: “If all Republicans must oppose this doctrine [of supporting Greek independence] and all Federalists advocate it, I for one, should cease to be a Republican, and would become a Federalist” (same, p. 1171).
3. The outcome of the short verbal altercation was that Clay stated he favored Webster’s original resolution but would not object to the incorporation of Poinsett’s proposal as an amendment (same, p. 1177–1178). For Poinsett’s proposal, see entry for 20 Jan., above.
4. CFA’s uncle Nathaniel Frye Jr.
5. Probably the reference is to Mrs. Frye, who had lost twin boys in 1818 in a premature birth and a baby girl the following year. Her surviving son, Thomas Baker Johnson Frye (1820–1889), became a physician (JQA, Diary, 20 Feb., 10 Mar. 1818, 1, 2 Aug. 1819; General Alumni Catalogue of George Washington University, Washington, 1917). See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-24

Saturday. 24th.

My usual numbers of maps being finished this morning as well as Bacon who has been found and resumed. Madame was also much better this morning although her health does not appear so good as it has been. I then went to the House expecting much entertainment today. Mr. Randolph had commenced, and I never knew the House so much crowded in my life. Ladies were admitted in the floor of the hall and it was impossible to get in at the side doors of the gallery. After a long trial I succeeded in obtaining a moderately good place and heard the latter part of his remarks. There is so little connection in his arguments that it is impossible to condense them or make a summary. He has still the power of ridicule and exerted it today with a good deal of force. He is too apt to talk of his past services and what he was

“Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen

Fallen from his high estate”

which excites pity and finally ridicule in the minds of his hearers for he is not old enough to carry proof of what he says with him, and therefore raises the idea of that mental malady with which he is already known to have been attacked. But we look at him as a crumbled pillar, mourning over the loss of it’s own beauty and jealous of the more modern and perhaps less pure ones. He again attacked the South American resolution1 and made some pretty pointed remarks at Mr. Webster. Perhaps said he, some learned Theban is waiting without the walls for the appointment to the agency, clearly referring to Professor Everett who is here, it is supposed, for the purpose of obtaining this mission in case it is determined upon.
{ 64 }
He continued speaking for about an hour and a half with his usual power and fluency occasionally reverting to former times. His age has come upon him early and he will soon do nothing but “fight all his battles o’er again.” Mr. Webster followed him and answered all the gentlemen who had spoken on the other side. He retorted playfully and severely upon Bartlett, sharply upon Wood and noticed occasionally all the rest.
I think myself that it was a better speech than the former. He ridicules the idea of danger, supposes it an unmeaning resolution or nearly so, and says that it does not force the President to any measure which he would not approve. He laughs at the declamation about war, assures them that there is no danger, but with all this it appeared to me that he felt as if he had got into a scrape which he might as well be out of.
Webster made a severe allusion to Bartlett by quoting Don Quixote in his tilt with the Wind mill—and some remarks upon Mr. Wood and his late examination of Grotius.2 Mr. Fuller then took the other side and quoted out of the same romance, by making an analogy between the boy who was whipped by his master, and relieved by the knight, while present but as soon as gone whipped doubly—and the state of Greece and Turkey with respect to this country. He argued also that the President had not yet even recommended a step of this kind, and it was not worthwhile to do any thing until he did. It was evident that he supposed it not worthwhile or dangerous. In fact the argument on this side is so conclusive in every point of view that even the supporters of the cause do not pretend to argue but to feel. Not exactly a correct guide in government.
But now we had the pleasure of a little warmer work. Mr. Bartlett made some remarks in answer to Clay’s observations yesterday with most tremendous force. Mr. Webster’s attack he turned off admirably by referring to the pride he felt in having to boast him a fellow townsman, and that although he had been <unhappily> the cause of some bitter remarks, yet he could scarcely deem it unfortunate or disagreable to himself as it had afforded the opportunity of displaying such bright corruscations of his3 wit as to seize even his admiration. For Mr. Clay, he prepared another dose, informed him that his advise was altogether gratuitous and unasked for, that he was of an age to select his own instructors in political integrity, however young he might be, whenever he felt that he had occasion for any. He repelled the charge of opposing Mr. Webster because he was a Federalist, saying that it was just as unfounded as if he was in his turn { 65 } to charge the Speaker with making speeches to collect golden opinions, outside of the walls of that House. As to the Speaker’s charge, if it was meant for him, he threw it back upon him as “unjust, ungenerous, untrue.” He then adverted to the Speaker’s threat, assuring him that he dare go back to his constituents as boldly as any gentleman in that House, let his vote be what it would. That he would make as poor a slave to the Grand [Seignior] as any man, and then made some severe remarks upon Clay in reference to his conduct in wishing to obtain a certain high situation. The remarks were cutting to the extreme and all proper except insofar as they did not [dash?] too much when he struck upon the last thing. Had he not forced it a little higher than proper, his strictures otherwise were most admirably just and well applied.
They stung Clay to the quick, and he answered in the most furiously passionate manner. In his former remarks he said he had treated the young member with more moderation than at the time he deserved. Nay he had even praised him, and lavished compliments for which he had been thus repaid. He had never heard of the gentleman before; he doubted whether the House had; he was altogether a new Member he believed to every one. He then replied with great violence to the charge of catching golden opinions for a certain office.4 He said it was ungenerous to advert to it; he was placed where he could not help himself and it was improper for any one to take advantage of it. Here he was twice stopped by the chair, which decided him out of order as he was answering what had not been said, on the contrary that he5 had expressly disavowed such an attack. This capped the climax and made him rave like a mad bull. “Yes Sir,” said he, “I know he has disavowed it,” stamping his foot, “but how has he done it, if a person should tell me black is white am I to believe it though he should swear, contrary to the evidence of my own senses.”6 He closed by saying that he had some private words for the gentleman, as he could not condescend to trouble the House with the terms which he felt himself obliged to use towards him, and that as far as referred to the accusations upon him personally he cast them back on the shoulders of him whence they came with indignation and contempt. The House finding it burning too hot then adjourned.
I came home with my feelings very much excited. I must confess, I thought Clay by his violence had exposed himself and that Bartlett had nobly shown himself perfectly independent of all the personal influence and weight which Clay possesses. The latter inflicted a { 66 } severe blow upon himself and gave the former an opportunity to rise. We were employed all the afternoon and evening talking about it, and conjecturing the probability of a challenge as Blunt, who spent the evening here, said that some difficulty was likely to arise, and that the quarrel was evidently embracing sectional prejudices and that the East supported Bartlett against the West and Clay. This [is] a queer young man and a little of a bore here, but being a New York intriguer he is here a good deal. We all separated quite early, my feelings having been strongly worked upon today.7
1. See entry for 20 Jan., and note, above.
2. “No one pretends,” Webster said, “that there is any just cause of war contained in it [his resolution]. Even the gentleman from New York [George Wood], who has read Grotius so recently, has not shown any cause for war” (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1195).
3. Webster’s.
4. Bartlett had said that it might be insinuated—however “unjustly”—that Clay had “a great personal and political object in view ... to ‘buy golden opinions from all sorts of men’" (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1200–1201).
5. Bartlett.
6. Clay’s actual words were: “If a man says a thing is black, and then tells me he meant by that to say that it was white, I know how to understand him” (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1202).
7. The Adams boys then attended a party at the home of the Washington postmaster, Thomas J. Munroe (JQA, Diary, 24 Jan. 1824).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-25

Sunday 25th.

It was very rainy indeed this morning, but as my father was going to the Capitol, I thought that it would be better for me to accompany him. We went in the Carriage and found Dr. Staughton performing the services. There was hardly any body present. This did not appear to be the most pleasing circumstance of all, and he made his sermon or rather homily what he called short, that is to say about ten minutes, the proper length in my mind, to have an effect. He told us that on account of the inclemency of the weather the service must be short, indeed he appeared in a great hurry to get out of the pulpit. Mr. Fuller appeared to think when I met him coming out, it was scarcely worth the trouble of coming up. It certainly was not worth the trouble of walking home in the heavy rain which was my lot as the Coachman had taken French leave as soon as we got out.1 Monsieur went visiting, he had an Umbrella, but I had to make the best of my Cloak and Cap which served me well, indeed I did not get wet except in my feet which were exposed, the water washing through my boots very soon.
This was a writing day at home. John, Mary, Madame and others employed. So that I was somewhat ennuyé, not being able to talk { 67 } so much politics on account of Johnson’s absence. This was remedied in the afternoon by his appearance. Finding Rockville a very poor place for bad weather, he thought he would again come up to try the air of the city and the conversation of friends to the cause of his favourite candidate. I was very glad to see him, as I know he enjoys himself more here and he is a very pleasant young man.
After some conversation concerning politics and a laugh at the fears about New York,2 we went up to dress for dinner. Monsieur had invited two or three. Blunt was invited to fill up the table. Professor Everett, and Dr. Sewall. They came early and we had to sit considerable time before dinner. Johnson got talking with Dr. Sewall3 about sickness and varioloid and every thing medical which must have been amusing to his nerves who can hardly hear the mention of blood. This man is a very unpleasant looking man as he has all the dark appearance of a rogue. Dwight of my class4 would say immediately that he was a most tremendous villain.
Blunt had his invariable self conceit and impudence and Everett looked every way except the right way, talked as if he was hammering steel, and excited the great displeasure of the ladies. But the circumstance which amused me most was that after dinner Monsieur got upon his favourite theory concerning comets and argued with a man of undoubtedly a great deal of learning without coming to much of a point. But Blunt undertook to talk upon the subject and informed us of the sundry great things he had done in his youth in the astronomical way. Monsieur treated him very much like an infant and manifested to him, if such a thing was possible, that he knew precious little about the matter upon which he was so fluent.
There was some discussion as to the character of the French Mathematicians, Monsieur attacking them as not being original geniuses, which the Professor did not seem to relish. This diverted me as the Cambridge course is entirely French. In fact I have often been led to question the propriety of using them so exclusively. Everett appears to be considerably down—as he finds no success in this measure of Webster’s, he packs up to go back to Cambridge and resume his lectures. He did not say much against the opposers of the resolution but his friend the Dr. supplied his place and poured his philipic pretty severely on the heads of the foolish men. Everett has an unpleasant way about him, arising from too deep seclusion and attention to himself. They retired early and Blunt went off not in the least troubled.
1. JQA had sent the coachman home (JQA, Diary, 25 Jan. 1824).
2. The latest report from New York was that the legislature might give Craw• { 68 } ford the state’s entire electoral vote. To forestall such massive support, the other presidential candidates were beginning to think of uniting forces to check Crawford. Their initial objective was to prevent a congressional caucus, proposed for April, from nominating the Georgian.
3. Dr. Thomas Sewall, Harvard Medical School 1821, was professor of anatomy and physiology at the Columbian College from 1821 to 1845 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
4. William Dwight, of Springfield, Mass. (Harvard Annual Cat., 1824).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-26

Monday. 26th.

Continued my studies in Geography and read Lord Bacon, also one or two numbers in the North American Review, which in my opinion is not exactly equal to it’s predecessor. Having nothing to do, I walked with Johnson to the Capitol, but we were not very well rewarded for our pains, Mr. Alexander Smyth being up, making remarks and observations without end. We saw his papers before him and were always expecting the present one to be the last but he always had one more so that we were entirely disappointed for the day. Finding this to be the case, I went into the Senate. Mr. Barton speaking very coolly on a case of land claims.1 This was the first time I had been here for three years, as last Winter although often at the House, there never had been even curiosity enough to draw me here.
The speech here was as uninteresting as the other so that I soon returned to the House. As Johnson was patiently sitting here, I joined him and we made observations on the Members generally. Alexander Smyth is only famous for his proclamations, and foolish conduct in the last war and for having excited the wrath of my father who gave him a most complete overthrow.2 This is no boasting as it has been allowed on all sides. He finished logicizing and Mr. Rich then rose, and moved that the committee rise without asking leave to sit again—which was carried without counting the division, Webster voting for it. So this bill is laid asleep after having made some disturbance and ill blood. We returned home very much amused on the whole and spent the rest of the day in conversation.
1. David Barton (1783–1837), Senator from Missouri, spoke in favor of a bill to adjust land claims in Missouri and the Territory of Arkansas (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 142).
2. For Smyth’s conduct in the War of 1812, see entry for 22 Jan., and note, above. Smyth and JQA had been carrying on a running battle for months. In January 1823 the Congressman charged JQA with falsifying the Journal of the Federal Convention, published in 1819 on congressional order by the State Department, but he was obliged to drop his accusation of what JQA called a “conspiracy of the colons and capital letters” when the Secretary proved that no errors were intended when some unusual punctuation appeared in the official printing of the document. In January 1824 Smyth made the preposterous charge that JQA favored the African slave trade. See JQA, Memoirs, 6:120–122, 124–127; 7:242, 308, 431; and JQA’s Letter [of 22 Dec. 1822], in Reply to a Letter of the Hon. Alexander { 69 } Smyth, to His Constituents . . . [Washington?], 1823, first published in the Richmond Enquirer, 4 Jan. 1823, then in the pamphlet cited here, and reprinted in JQA, Writings, 7:335–354.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-27

Tuesday. 27th.

This morning after having gone through the customary portion, I went to the House of Representatives not with the expectation however, of meeting with any thing remarkable. Mr. McLane was delivering his reasons for the passage of the old affair concerning the roads and canals which I believed had been settled long ago.1 He is a sound man, and has some influence or had when the Congress was less brilliant. Not pleasant in his manner, a person will find matter but nothing to amuse in the process of acquiring it. He was not “metal so attractive” though as to keep me long here. Monsieur was at the House today, which is a very uncommon thing. There being a meeting of the sinking fund2 he always devotes a portion of his hours at the House which can be spent in no other way.
We came home and after dinner dressed ourselves for the ball, at Mr. Livingston’s.3 Madame being unwell did not go, the rest departed together. The ball was given to the bride who was there with Cornelia, Anne sick at home. Cornelia was the only girl I knew in the room and consequently my evening was not perfectly pleasant. I was much diverted with some sly remarks of Mrs. Brent concerning John, whom she appeared to consider a gone case; she also informed me that as she knew the symptoms, she certainly must be the best judge. This I allowed her. She is a very pleasant and ladylike woman, in my mind far superior to the common run here, but there is a little repelling stiffness which is disagreable. She deports herself very matronly.
Mr. Livingston’s good supper and Champagne Wine compensated fully for all my want of dancing, and after the ladies retired we formed a retired table very pleasantly. Blunt, Watkins, John and myself. Blunt, I have often mentioned and shall only say, I was better pleased with him than usual. Watkins is a very pleasant fellow indeed and full of life. After drinking a sufficit of what Blunt was pleased to call “Cider” and eating Canvass Backs we again went upstairs, and as I felt very much like dancing I was introduced to and danced with Miss Hamm of Alexandria. My head was turning very rapidly and I felt in extravagantly high spirits. I did nothing however which could in the least compromise my character. The only difficulty was that I could not plainly distinguish her questions, so that I had to answer at random, but it was with general success. She asked me my opinion { 70 } of Miss Crowninshield and here I got into a difficulty for I did not speak in the highest terms of them and afterwards understood they [are] intimates from a boarding school. This one was a pleasant girl, with considerable vivacity—and probably made allowances for Cider. Watkins in dancing the reel was thrown down in elegant style and in attempting to recover himself drew up Miss Orr’s gown to a considerable height. On the whole, I had a delightful time and taking another glass of cider with Blunt we three got in to the Carriage and dropping him arrived safe at home. The family had gone long before.
1. Louis McLane (1786–1857), of Delaware, favored the bill to procure surveys and estimates of necessary roads and canals (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1217–1232).
2. The Commissioners of the Sinking Fund, who dealt with the funding of the national debt, were Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins, Attorney General William Wirt, JQA, Registrar of the Treasury Joseph Nourse, and one Marshall (JQA, Diary, 6 Feb. 1824). As a member of the commission JQA signed a resolution recommending the purchase of 7-percent stock according to law (same, 26, 27 Jan. 1824).
3. Robert LeRoy Livingston’s wedding party for Robert Brent and his wife (JQA, Diary, 27 Jan. 1824).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-28

Wednesday 28th.

Coming down after the usual time spent upstairs in the morning, I heard the death of Mrs. de Bresson1 announced, a circumstance very shocking indeed. This lady was married at about this time last year, I attended her parties upon the occasion and officiated in a little ceremony to do her honour. She was then in all the pride of youth and beauty with hopes held out to her of all happiness. But her year had been one of misery, she had suffered by the ague and fever, by discouragement and bad treatment, finally had died in child birth. It is a melancholy case and exhibits to us in full force the mortality of the world. It affects us much more to see a person cut off in the midst of youth and life when she can enjoy it most than when the person is so old it is not more than to be expected. But I could not submit to feel much as it is only putting oneself out of order for nothing. Feelings and thoughts of this kind arise too often even in the usual run of life, so we must endeavour to repel them with vehemence. Accordingly John and myself took a walk with Mary and Abby to see Miss Selden, as I did not think it worthwhile to attend the House this morning. The lady was in full bloom, and looked as pretty as I ever saw her. There was considerable company there, all the Gales’s2 and others. As I did not know them I did not say a word. They soon retired, we took the usual formal set and then went ourselves.
{ 71 }
From here, John and I went to Street’s3 painting rooms, to see the pictures he has up here for Exhibition. There were four of them, a Maniac, which was pretty well, the figure a little too much swollen, but generally the expression was good. This was decidedly the best of the pictures. Two others were so poor and struck me so little that I do not recollect their names. The fourth was from Thomson’s Summer, Musidora on the brink of the stream represented perfectly naked—a fine description but the painting unequal to it. So I retired quite displeased. The face was terribly ugly but the limbs were quite well shaped and might have had an impression had a very little more been exposed. He is pretty true to the description however.4 The third picture I recollect now, to have been Celadon and Amelia, struck by lightning, in Thomson, but the picture very faulty indeed. The dog which accompanies appeared the only natural part of the painting.5
In the evening we went to Mrs. Tayloe’s6 according to invitation, the rooms not remarkably well filled, all the corps diplomatique absent, and many others on account of the occurrence this morning. For myself I did not feel in very high spirits and had I, there was nobody here I wished to see. The Cottringers were not here. Miss McKnight was and I danced with her. Miss Clapham, of whom I should have given a description long since, for I was introduced to her on the fifteenth of the month at Mrs. Ringgold’s but as I forgot to make any mention of this party at that time I must insert it in a note to this volume.7 Watkins was here and lively enough, also Edward Kerr, whom I had not seen before to speak to since my return. He is a singular young man but one not much to my liking as I believe him to harbour in his breast, envy, malice, and all uncharitableness. I drank a good deal of punch with Watkins to try him, but he was steady as possible. Kerr was inclining, but the materials were exhausted. In short, such mean entertainment I do not think I ever saw before in any house in Washington. I did not dance much and enjoyed myself very moderately indeed. Dancing is not so agreable to me as it used to be, more on account of the difference in the society I presume than any other. These [confounded balls?] are very disgusting objects. Madame and Mary did not go on account of this morning’s affair, Monsieur, Abby and we two filling the carriage, as he is always ready and Abby, obedient. We soon went off, I did wish to dance a Spanish dance but Colonel’s black fiddlers could not play one.
1. Mrs. Charles de Bresson, the daughter of Judge Smith Thompson, was the wife of a secretary of the French legation in Washington (JQA, Diary, 28 Jan. 1824).
2. Presumably the family of Joseph { 72 } Gales (1786–1860), the co-editor of the National Intelligencer (DAB).
3. Robert Street (1796–1865), an American painter, who held an exhibition in Washington in 1824 and painted a portrait of Andrew Jackson (Groce and Wallace, Dict. Amer. Artists).
4. The painting depicted a famous scene in James Thomson’s Summer (first published London, 1727), lines 1269–1370. See entry for 3 May, and note, below.
5. See Thomson, Summer, lines 1169–1222.
6. Probably the wife of Col. John Tayloe, owner of the splendid country seat of Mount Airy, Virginia, and the famous Octagon House in Washington (Wharton, Social Life in the Early Republic, p. 65–66).
7. See concluding passage in entry for 15 Jan., above.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-29

Thursday 29th.

Morning spent upstairs, then to the Capitol. Mr. Stevenson of Virginia delivering his sentiments against the passage of the bill on roads and canals. He argued in his usual furious, rantipole,1 manner much to my entertainment. He made an attack upon Mr. Clay, charging him with inconsistencies in his conduct, comparing his two speeches, one on the question concerning the United States Bank, delivered some years ago in the Senate, and the late one. He was very vehement, used the old Virginia argument of the unconstitutional point of it. On the whole there was some blinding sophistry and two or three ridiculous stories—to cast reflection on Mr. Clay.2 But I observed that it was received without the least difficulty, and that although once or twice he coloured a little it was not like his last foam.
Mr. Storrs followed him, on the opposite side, his argument was a very good one, although at present I do not recollect the course of it at this distance of time. It is quite difficult to do so, unless the person is so distinguished that I not only heard him with attention but read his speech afterwards. All these sketches are taken from memory. The manner of this gentleman is rather good than otherwise although there is something harsh in his voice. He argued “establish” meant to create and in this way, that in the context it was that Congress have power to establish post offices and post Roads. What does establish post offices mean? It means to make offices or create them where they were not before. If so the argument is clear, for the same word applies to both.3 He finished the sitting of the House today.
Returning home, I was obliged to dress in haste to be prepared for the company to dine to day. They consisted of Mr. Mills of Massachusetts, Senator. Messrs. Carter of South Carolina, Eddy of Rhode Island, Foot of Connecticut, Henry of Kentucky, Houston of Tennessee, Mallary of Vermont, Morgan of New York, Plumer of New Hampshire, Tucker of Virginia and Williams of North Carolina.4 The { 73 } dinner was a very lively and agreable one. Mr. Williams was next to me; he is a violent enemy of the house and consequently I felt on my guard to him. Mr. Foot was opposite and Tucker next. It was remarkable what a number of the opposing parties there were making up this dinner. It is supposed that the three above mentioned are all enemies and that but four decided friends were at table.
There was a great deal of life in the conversation at our end of the table, particularly when the subject of roads and canals came up, all the members there being in direct opposition to the passage of the bill. Mr. Tucker would not argue upon the subject as he informed us that he reserved his reasons for the House. Mr. Williams called it absolute destruction to the constitution. In fact by talking and laughing they became so severe that the only two supporters of the bill sprung from table immediately after the ladies retired under pretence of an engagement, but really if one could judge from the colour of Houston’s face, it was from rage. They all then went upstairs, and after some lively conversation, went away. Blunt was here in the evening after they had gone and staid till eleven o’clock.
1. Wild or disorderly.
2. Congressman Stevenson argued that in 1811 Clay, then a Senator, had believed in strict construction, holding that the incorporation of the United States Bank was an unconstitutional assumption of powers not specifically delegated to the federal government. Now Clay and his followers maintained that the federal government had the necessary power to assist the building of canals and roads under the constitutional provision giving it the right to establish post offices and post roads and to regulate commerce (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1264–1282).
3. Congressman Henry Randolph Storrs (1787–1837), of New York, argued that the general government was created to promote grand national interests and that any grant of political power necessarily included the right of using all necessary means for accomplishing the object of that power. Consequently Congress had only to seek authority for supporting internal improvements in the general welfare clause of the Preamble and in the commerce clause (same, p. 1282–1291).
4. Congressmen not previously identified were: Elijah Hunt Mills (1776–1829); John Carter (1792–1850); Samuel Eddy (1769–1839); John Jordan Morgan (1770–1849); William Plumer Jr. (1789–1854); George Tucker (1775–1861); and Lewis Williams (1786–1842) (Biog. Dir. Cong.).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0031

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-30

Friday 30th.

After having spent the morning as usual I went to the House to hear Mr. Randolph in this bill of roads and canals. I went early to get a good seat, but was routed by ladies. I managed, however, to obtain a pretty good one, and heard him clearly deliver his sentiments on the bill. He makes beautiful speeches, there is more of real parliamentary eloquence in him than in any one in the House. He is be• { 74 } sides more of a classical man than I had any idea, as he made several very beautiful and very apt quotations in his remarks. He was very severe upon Mr. Madison, and from here turned on his old theme, Mr. Clay. He is a man with no argument, but a great deal of shrewd observation and cutting satire. He destroyed the effect of Mr. Storrs argument very much by observing that he could [not] listen to arguments founded on the word municipal;1 he had been sick of the word ever since the time &c. and then he told a story which turned all the point of the arguments, for Storrs’ was a strong one, into a joke. He repeated his complaints as to himself again, indeed commenced with an apology for having taken up the time of the House so often of late and made assurances that it should not happen so much hereafter. I am obliged to consider him a great man although he has been a violent opponent to my race.2
Mr. Clay followed him in answer to the attack yesterday and the one today. He argued but little analogy in the cases yesterday and the gentleman might make the most of what there was, as he would candidly inform him that he had changed his opinion, a right which Mr. Clay often has occasion to claim. He had grown old, he said and accompanied this with the motion of putting on a pair of spectacles, and was not so well able to perform these duties as he had been, he was out of health and could not speak well, all this in ridicule of Randolph’s manner. He said the gentleman had talked of his ancestors. He had no ancestors to boast; he had worked through the world as he could and was not prepared to lay any claim to merit but what he himself might advance. He continued in this course for considerable time and then came to a support of his argument. He said that Congress had the power if they pleased to tax America to the last cent, a proposition to which I could not agree as in that case where is the check upon the power of a few corrupted and influential men in that House.
He made some observations also upon the course of some few members in the House, who, he regretted to say, had not treated [him] with that fairness which he ought to expect. That he was placed before the nation in a situation which he could not avoid, and therefore he would confess that he felt angry at the baseness of those members, but he allowed that the House generally had treated him very handsomely in this respect. The speech was a violent one, a pleasant one for an auditor and as usual, an inconsistent one.3 At the close Mr. Hamilton announced to the House, that the late unhappy difference between two distinguished members, had been { 75 } amicably settled. Something remarkable as coming from the chairman of the committee on Military Affairs.
Returned home. Evening, Abby at Mrs. Forrest’s.4 Rest at home.
1. Randolph claimed that the current difficulty stemmed from “a fatal admission” of Madison, “which gave a sanction to the principle that the Government had the power to charter the present collossal Bank of the United States . . . and one other which I will not name [probably Madison’s recommendation of a constitutional amendment to permit internal improvements].” Fearing that the federal government had already given away one of its two great powers, the power of the purse, Randolph warned that broadening its war-making power by allowing the construction of roads under the guise of military necessity could lead to further extensions, even to the freeing of the slaves (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1296–1311).
Storrs had argued that the central government not only had national powers but “municipal” ones as well—that is, that it could operate directly on its citizens. Randolph retorted: “I shall say nothing about that word municipal ... it has been like ratsbane in my mouth, ever since the late Ruler of France took shelter under that word, to pocket our money, and incarcerate our persons, with the most profound respect for our neutral rights” (same, p. 1302).
2. The Adams family.
3. Clay’s answer is an excellent example of his pragmatic approach in politics. He had, indeed, changed his mind on certain issues, but he explained that the necessity of developing the West and at the same time enhancing the prosperity of the whole nation demanded such a change (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1311). The Kentuckian did not, in fact, argue that Congress could tax away the last dollar from every man; rather, he was unmasking the arguments of his opponents, who claimed that his very limited internal improvements proposals could lead to some vast, calamitous, future extension of federal power. By the same reasoning, Clay showed, the power to tax could hypothetically lead to the confiscation of every man’s property (same, p. 1316).
4. Presumably the wife of General Uriah Forrest, owner of Rosedale, a thousand-acre estate north of Georgetown (Wharton, Social Life in the Early Republic, p. 88).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0001-0032

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-01-31

Saturday 31st.

Exercises performed as usual. Madame and Mary went with Monsieur to Mrs. de Bresson’s funeral which took place today. To me at a distance it appeared a very long one. When they came home they had such long faces that they almost infected the house so that I was obliged to tell ridiculous stories about Cambridge to turn the feeling. Women are made of very irregular feelings for these laughed almost hysterically at my stories and although in very low spirits could not avoid paying attention to me. A man, had he been grieved, would have rejected all folly until the next day when his spirits return but a woman will grieve the next day and laugh if diverted. Their want of occupation gives them time and when they think of nothing else they lament.
However, I had been considerably shocked myself, and therefore went out and took a walk to the [Columbian] College, near which I { 76 } had not been for years. It appears to be a flourishing establishment and may at some future time be quite worthwhile but at present it is only a secondary affair. The afternoon was a pleasant one, but I could not help looking toward the eastern branch and thinking how low she was layed. So young. It might have been a blessing to her for it was said that her mind had been severely affected once or twice before. But still the shock was a severe one. And when I thought of all the heartless scandal that I had heard repeated over concerning her and the family I could not help loathing the common forms and the inhabitants of this mortal world.
I came home, more settled; the family appeared very chilly though. Madame has not been so well of late, which has damped us all, besides this occurrence. I do not think she is in such good spirits this winter as usual. Not so fond of society, she has become less ambitious of keeping the lead, probably because all her rivals have fallen before her. Mrs. Brown being the last one having disappeared. Johnson being sick too serves to depress the house. In fact Washington is not so delightful this winter from these causes, and because society is no novelty now, and my favoris never present.
After dinner, Monsieur and John went to hear Mr. Goodacre’s introduction to his astronomical lectures,1 while the rest of us stayed at home moping considerably.
1. Robert Goodacre published an Outline of Eight Lectures on Astronomy and of an Introductory Lecture Which Will Be Delivered in the Assembly Hall near the Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, Washington, 1824.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-01

Journal. February. 1824. Sunday 1st.

For the first time this Winter, we had a cold day, in truth, hitherto it has been most remarkable in this respect. I went to Mr. Baker’s Church1 however, with my father, and heard him deliver a Sermon in his own style. That is to say, a sort of familiar conversation with his people. It appears to me that this sort of preaching might be made a great deal of by an eloquent and a powerful man. And even without if a person possessed only tact and talent enough he might act with a great deal of force. It is a method which so easily takes hold of the multitude and shows so much of the native simplicity of the religion that it is surprizing able men have not oftener resorted to it. For my own part however I am much more affected I must confess with the regular service of the English Church.
Returning, I spent the rest of the day lounging about the house, { 77 } reading one or two French books and for the most part not doing much. Perhaps it would not be improper for me here to mention what I have read this winter, as my list has not hitherto been very extensive. I have in the first place, read a novel by Benjamin Constant which appears to me very beautifully written and interesting; the moral too I very much approve for it gives us an animated description of the waste of youth, through the indulgence of a careless passion and the feelings which attend on an extravagance in love. A full argument, it appears to me to the question of difference of age in marriage and has shown me the folly of my conduct and my wishes two or three years since. I have forgotten the name.2
It having become time to dress for dinner, Monsieur having made up a company for a Sunday dinner, we went upstairs, and after a long conversation on politics &c., New York &c., we prepared to go down. The gentlemen asked were Mr. Coolidge of Boston,3 Captain Pedrick formerly mentioned who has at last arrived, and Mr. Van Wyck of New York who is staying here at present with purpose not known but supposed.4 After a very long and tedious sitting upstairs dinner was announced and I by fate was thrown between the girls, as the gentlemen neither of them could endure the fire. Mr. Coolidge had his usual smooth insinuating New England way, which showed the man of wealth which Bostonians know so well how to do, and not the finished man which in such a station he might be. Mr. Van Wyck appeared to me the only really any thing like agreable man of the three and what he possessed appeared more of the homely and simple manners of a New York inlander than the polished ones of the city. But Captain Pedrick, alas! was doomed to be laughed at by the table in a most unmannerly way. Johnson, John, Madame, Mary and myself were on the full soar for half an hour, trying to make subjects for conversation and failing. For my part, I endeavoured to lay it all on the fire which affected me, but it made it more ridiculous and we were doomed to be unmannerly, for this day. The Captain looked very blue, and Abby appeared to be out of her element not being quick at such things. We soon rose, and then were doomed to a bore, as the visitors did not appear to know the rules.
1. Daniel Baker, minister of the Second Presbyterian Church in Washington (Bryan, Hist. of the National Capital, 2:181).
2. The novel was Constant’s Adolphe, Phila., 1817.
3. Presumably Joseph Coolidge, of the Boston mercantile family (Crawford, Mass. Families, 2:213 ff.).
4. Samuel Van Wyck, brother of Congressman William William Van Wyck, of New York, was eager to go to Europe as a diplomatic agent or messenger (JQA, Diary, 1 and 11 Feb. 1824).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-02

Monday. 2d.

This day was spent at home, in finishing my lord Bacon and in reading miscellanies. To continue the review of past books, the next one that I took up was the Confessions of an Opium Eater1 a book sent here for Madame by Mr. Addington.2 It is a very odd thing and a very amusing one, but the language is dressed up so bombastically that I am always in doubt whether he is ludicrously disposed or utters this with intention and in earnest. Such an incoherent mass it is hardly possible to meet with any where, and at the same time the portions of it are beautiful at others ridiculous and at others solemnly in earnest. It is a compound, and we are led to think that if he has not suffered what he represents, he describes correctly, and if he has that he is unfortunate.
One thing in it I was obliged to criticize although against the opinion of my Mother. I thought the language inflated, and although it was argued against me that this was the fashionable tongue in England now, I had only to lament the corruptions of the age. I have now to recur very naturally to the review of this work which is in the North American,3 and appears to me rather a disgrace to it than otherwise. It is a patched up thing with neither wit, spirit or sense. In fact considering this number of the publication as the standard of what it is to be, I cannot help thinking there is a little depreciation from what it used to be. Mr. Everett gave a success to that publication and a brilliancy which deserved it, not to be equalled I think, by a man, whom I am inclined to think has rather too good an opinion of himself. For the present editor to be brilliant he should have been formed of more fiery materials.
In the Evening as Monsieur was engaged to dine at Mr. Mosher’s4 and consequently was unable to go to Mr. Goodacre’s lecture, he gave me his ticket and I availed myself of it to hear him. Indeed my knowledge of Astronomy was very much improved by it. I obtained a clear view of the relative disposition of the planets and by means of his large orrery was enabled to obtain quite a good impression. It is my opinion that more might be learned by boys in this way than in the dull theories which they are forever and ever drilling and drilling into them. Mr. Goodacre appeared to be a very religious and enthusiastic man for he interspersed all his observations with allusions to the supreme Creator. This course on all accounts appears to be well fitted for instruction. Men of this kind however are but little encouraged in this country. We are too new a race ever to be performing any thing like extensive improvement, and perhaps it is well { 79 } for our resources are not wasted. Boston which professes to give such encouragement to talent, pays an extravagant price for admission to see a buffoon while it neglects the provision of a good standing company of actors to amuse us for a season.
I returned home well pleased, and having ordered some oysters this evening we were not so unfortunately disappointed, but sat down and paid great devotion to them, particularly Mary and myself, Abby as usual not knowing what to make of it. After a pleasant supper and a cigar with John, I went to bed.
1. Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, London, 1822.
2. Henry Unwin Addington, British chargé in Washington from 1823 to 1825. Bradford Perkins has edited Youthful America: Selections from Henry Unwin Addington’s Residence in the United States of America, 1822, 23, 24, 25, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1960, which contains colorful glimpses of JQA.
3. Willard Phillips, “Confessions of an Opium-Eater,” North American Review, 42:90–98 (Jan. 1824). The editor of the Review was Jared Sparks (1789–1866); his predecessor had been Edward Everett.
4. JQA’s Diary records under this date that he “Dined with Mr. Mosher, at Georgetown,” and lists the company.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-03

Tuesday 3d.

The Weather continued remarkably cold and for the first time this season the Potomac exhibited a thick covering of ice over it’s surface. For my part I stayed at home all day and read some numbers in the Enuite de la Sainte Pelagie, a very well written thing but severely reflecting on the conduct of the French government.
Madame was sufficiently well today to go out and pay visits, and Miss Mary was sent to Kalorama1 with the Carriage to bring Miss McKnight down to stay here a few days. Miss Cranch also came which fills up the house pretty well as there are nine of us now in the family. I am not sorry as the old proverb of “the more the merrier” is one which I am at present inclined to think well of, as the family has not yet got out of the dumps.
As it was the last evening at which I was to be present, Madame had the kindness to order the band, at the usual Tuesday Evening. But I did not avail myself much of the invitation as I always prefer to walk about and see the people. For my own part, I danced with Miss McKnight in the regular dances and nobody else. She is a young lady of that description that one observation is enough. There is one thing remarkable about her though, that she is extremely ladylike in her manners and although a little too precise has more of the “ton de la bonne compagnie société” than girls here usual have. I cannot { 80 } help making an exception of the Miss Cottringers who are more praiseworthy as they are more ardent tempers. I have never seen any thing gauche or improper in them. They are not so much out this winter and I have paid them nothing but a card visit as yet and it is so late now I do not intend it. I again asked Miss Peter. It has been a singular circumstance throughout the winter that at almost every party at which I have been present I have asked her, and she has always been preengaged, not that this has been matter of sorrow for I think that she is not the woman which I was formerly inclined to think her. Too much sameness is apt to cloy and at the same time her stiff behaviour. She holds her neck too stiffly and dances badly.
Miss Selden was very cool to me all the evening and it was the same with me as I had found observations had been made upon John. I did not wish to have him continue in the track so set the example against it. John did dance with her and excite remark as much as usual. He intends nothing but is singularly unfortunate in his situations. I asked her myself not to appear too abrupt about knowing her to be engaged.2 Mrs. Sullivan was gracious to me this evening, something very uncommon, and unexpected. I think but poorly of her. She is sister to Winthrop of our class.3 A Mrs. Rieves was here the wife of a new Virginia Member, herself a bride.4 She was not handsome, but lively enough. John danced with her, so took the trouble from me.
After the company had all retreated except Miss dWolf’s and Mrs. Dodge, we had a Cottillion, I dancing with Miss Cranch. A very good sort of mouse. Johnson was hooked into an acquaintance with Miss D’Wolf but could not go to dance. After which we departed to rest.
1. Kalorama, the old estate of Joel Barlow, owned in 1824 by Col. George Bomford of the ordnance bureau, lay just west of the bounds of the city, between Florida Avenue and Rock Creek (Bryan, Hist. of the National Capital, 1:240, 582; 2:8).
2. CFA probably meant: “I asked her myself not to appear too abrupt, knowing her about to be engaged.”
3. George Edward Winthrop, Harvard 1825.
4. Mrs. William Cabell Rives, the former Judith Page Walker (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-04

Wednesday 4th.

Spent the day at home, again, although the family all went except Madame to the Supreme Court which opened this week, to hear Mr. Webster argue on the Steam boat Case. A very interesting contention between the proprietors of an extensive grant over the waters of New York, given by the legislature and the owner of a boat which { [fol. 80] } { [fol. 80] } { [fol. 80] } { [fol. 80] } { 81 } they had seized and condemned. It is a case of great importance involving a question of state rights which has some bearing on the method of reading our constitution. Mr. Webster and Mr. Wirt are in support of the owner who is the plaintiff and Messrs. Emmett and Oakley of New York are in defence of the proprietors, consequently it is expected that there will be great specimens of argument on both sides.1
Mrs. Sullivan, who is a great lady on occasions of this kind, volunteered to take up two of our ladies to hear the debate, which they accepted. Consequently she came for them, according to her usual custom immediately after breakfast, which was quite teasing to our poor girls. Mary and Miss McKnight went with her. It is highly amusing to observe the parties in which the girls form themselves, Mary and Miss McKnight forming the representatives of the South in life and perhaps in temper while Abby and Miss Cranch, who possessing perhaps more feeling, have none of those alluring fascinating ways which so much grace a woman but the mumpish,2 sentimental, homely silence of New England. In my choice I think I could give up some of the affection for a little more of the vivacity. Perhaps a blending of the two characters would make the most perfect one imaginable. Johnson and John walked up.
The latter now came down saying his boot hurt him which it did. The ladies also came in, but not in the best spirits imaginable as they had been constrained to sit and hear the dry arguments of the law detailed off to them, Mrs. Sullivan having no mercy. She is or apes to be a “bas bleu” and makes herself appear very foolish. In fact she must be a very weak woman, or she would not attempt to gain so much notice. Mr. Webster closed and Mr. Oakley commenced in reply. The girls made a great many lamentations and John I thought was not altogether sorry that his boot pinched him insupportably. Mr. Webster’s speech was however very highly thought of.
In the Evening, all the girls went with John and Monsieur to the Drawing Room, which was held to night for the second time this season, Johnson, Madame and I remaining at home. For my part having been once I did not think it worthwhile to go again as there is but little pleasure in the visits. In fact I do not think they could well be made more stiff than they are at present. Mr. J. W. Taylor of New York came this evening to see Monsieur and as he was not at home, he walked upstairs and took tea with us. He is rather a pleasant man and with considerable abilities of a certain sort. His influence in the House is pretty extensive having been chosen Speaker { 82 } once and talked of often. His visit tonight appeared to be to Monsieur particularly as he went down for private conversation when he returned.3
1. In the celebrated case of Gibbons v. Ogden (9 Wheaton 1), Thomas Addis Emmet and Thomas J. Oakley appeared against Daniel Webster and William Wirt. The case, rising from a monopoly granted by the New York legislature for the operation of steamboats in state waters, resulted in a Supreme Court decision which gave a broad construction of congressional power under the commerce clause.
2. Sullenly angry or depressed.
3. Speaker John W. Taylor (1784–1854) reported that Senator Jesse B. Thomas was again proposing that the caucus nominate Crawford for President and JQA for Vice President. Because of Crawford’s ill health, Thomas argued, the duties of the Presidency might fall to the Vice President, and doubtless Crawford’s friends would support JQA in the next election. JQA declined to place the North below the South or to countenance any caucus nomination. See JQA, Diary, 4 Feb. 1824, and entry for 15 Jan., and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-05

Thursday. 5th.

My Geography having been finished yesterday, the few remaining days of this vacation will be spent very much without method or desire of study, as I think that I have done a good deal considering the situation in which I was placed and the many inclinations to divert me from my purpose.
I went this morning to the Supreme Court to hear this case [and] Mr. Oakley’s way of representing the matter. But he was so close in his arguments and so much attached to the law that I could not follow him. He is a very dry speaker and only remarkable for his power of logical reasoning, and insinuating sophistry which he displays here remarkably as he appears to me to be undoubtedly on the wrong side of the subject. He closed today and Mr. Emmett continued his argument. He is old, and looks as if he would soon be obliged to relinquish his business. His teeth have fallen out and it is evident that he speaks with great exertion, although he can endure a great while. He commenced with a severe and tremendous philipic upon the states bordering upon New York, saying that she had endured long without complaining, that she had never put her laws in execution, and that it was only in consequence of the irritating conduct of the neighbouring states that she felt herself obliged to rise in her might. He got himself into a real passion by chafing, and being an Irishman, it was very natural and easy for him to do. His power of language however is great and his manner when a younger man must have been very impressive.
As soon as he fell upon the law I left him and returned home where I was shortly obliged to dress for dinner. The company con• { 83 } sisted of Messrs. Holmes of Mississipi, Knight of Rhode Island and Ruggles of Ohio, Senators. Messrs. Archer of Virginia, Cassedy of New Jersey, Foote and Van Wyck of New York, Ingham and Stewart of Pennsylvania, Livermore and White of Vermont, Warfield of Maryland, and Wayne and Whittlesey of Ohio.1 Mr. Stewart was on my left today. He is quite a pleasant man, and has more power of conversation than I thought was in any Member from that State. It is singular that the representation from that state, which is the second in importance in this union, should be so very badly represented. But the common people of the state are generally so ignorant that perhaps it is not so surprizing. Mr. Sergeant2 was formerly quite an honour to the State.
It is remarkable, that if the last dinner party was unanimous or nearly so against the bill of Roads and Canals this one was as strongly in favour of it and Mr. Whittlesey was very bitter about it, showing very plainly the feelings which actuate the Western people generally. They are considerably exasperated at the illiberality of the people on the sea board with a little reason I think. Mr. Foote of New York exposed himself considerably as he arrived here considerably intoxicated and declined eating any thing saying he had just dined. On the whole he appeared to possess the qualities of a gentleman to a great degree of perfection. Monsieur took it however in very good part, and laughed a good deal about him. Johnson says Warfield is a wag but I saw nothing like a sample of it today.
This dinner was quite a pleasant one considering the general character of things of this kind. They are not pleasant to me as I have for the most part to break the ice myself with the person who sits near me. A circumstance which in a young man may appear rather presuming and which is sometimes repulsed and sometimes politely received. I know my motive to be good, and as I imagine myself generally conferring a favour, I persist. It is however a pretty hard task. After dinner we went upstairs and immediately some ladies and gentlemen came in, as Madame had wished to form a musical party this evening. Foote finding himself not likely to support himself even by his name retired. As did all the others of the party except Stewart who appeared pleased and stayed here the evening.
The musical party, consisted of a Mrs. Bushby and her husband, with her two sisters the Miss Stedmans, ladies from the West Indies but not remarkable for beauty, Mr. Talbot and his wife, a very attractive and pleasant woman. He is a Senator but a most amusing character. And according to the stories about, not the most agreable { 84 } in his person. Mrs. Beaumarchais with a son and niece, not the prettiest. She is hear for a claim which she has come from France to obtain but it is said, not with any probability of success.3 Our good friends Dr. and Mrs. Thornton were here also, whom I would not for the world forget. These formed the party with much pleasure. Mr. Bushby is quite a genteel man, very English in his appearance, a certain class of whom always look genteel—it must be confessed.
But my great diversion this evening consisted of an innocent quiz of mine upon my good friend Dr. Thornton, who got me deeper into the system of courts than I intended to have gone, but by perpetually winding round the subject, he got extravagantly enthusiastic when I turned him over to father in order that he might attend and profit by his theory. The West Indian ladies in the mean time sung a great while without much effect; they have singular voices in tone similar to frogs. Madame also sung and pretty well although not half so clearly as I have known her to. Mr. Addington was here also and stayed till last. Two awkward circumstances occurred. Antonio4 came to extinguish the candles before he had gone and his carriage was announced to be ready two or three times. Retired in good season.
1. A fuller, and in three cases more correct, identification of the guests is as follows: David Holmes (1769–1832); Nehemiah Rice Knight (1780–1854); Benjamin Ruggles (1783–1857); William Segar Archer (1789–1855); George Cassedy (1783–1842); Charles Augustus Foote (1785–1828); William William Van Wyck (1777–1840); Samuel Delucenna Ingham (1779–1860); Andrew Stewart (1791–1872); Arthur Livermore (1766–1853), from New Hampshire; David White (1785–1834), from Kentucky; Henry Ridgely Warfield (1774–1825); Isaac Wayne (1772–1852), from Pennsylvania; and Elisha Whittlesey (1783–1863) (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
2. John Sergeant (1779–1852), a Princeton-educated lawyer who was a Federalist Congressman from 1815 to 1823 (same).
3. Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732–1799), the dramatist and the ill-fated financial agent of the French monarchy, had furnished arms to the United States during the Revolution through a fake company in return for tobacco and other American commodities. The Congress, however, never fulfilled its part of the barter arrangement, and Beaumarchais’ widow was not recompensed until 1835. See Elizabeth S. Kite, Beaumarchais and the War of American Independence, 2 vols., Boston, 1918.
4. Antonio Giusta, JQA’s butler and valet. He was an Italian, an ex-Napoleonic soldier, and had served JQA since 1814. Often called Antoine, his full name as given by JQA in a character reference when his old servant had to leave his employ in 1829 was Michael Anthony Giusta (MS dated 22 Feb. 1829 in MBU). See also Bemis, JQA, 2:159.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-06

Friday 6th.

Attended the Supreme Court this morning and heard Mr. Emmett in continuation, but he was so much in the law that I could not go { 85 } on with him. The case in it’s simple form is this, that a man in the state of New York having invented or highly improved a method of propelling boats by steam, and it being very expensive, he got a company formed, which applied to the New York legislature for an exclusive right to navigate the river and waters in [and] about the State, which was granted to them. By virtue of this they seized a steam boat coming in from New Jersey and refused all intercourse with other states which refused them in their turn. The question now is whether the state of New York have a right to make an exclusive grant to an individual or a set of individuals, of the waters which may well be styled common highways. Although this is the subject, Mr. Emmett was very extravagant in his language and talked so high about some future separation of the States that he drove my father out of the room. He had been sitting here as the commissioners of the sinking fund met today.
Having remained here a sufficient time, I went into the House where I heard Alexander Smyth prosing away to empty walls. He appeared to be arguing upon this old Internal improvement bill, and consequently I left him to prove the case very much by himself.1 From here I went to the Senate, where they were discussing the subject of increase of the navy, Mr. Lloyd having brought a bill for the appropriation of a sum of 480,000 dollars, to build ten sloops of war. Governor Barbour of Virginia was speaking in his magnanimous way when I first went in but I heard only his close.2
Colonel Hayne of South Carolina then made a short speech in favour of the bill with which I was much pleased. He answered the objections of the gentlemen who had been speaking before.3 He first made a brief objection to the argument used by some radical I presume, who speaking of the superfluous money in the treasury which this is intended to expend, said that it would be much better to pay off the national debt.4 He said that the debt was not yet made due and it was not worthwhile to anticipate as there was no expectation of a deficit. He then retorted to the argument of a navy’s (in peace) being useless. He went on in a clear and logical and at the same time in a handsome strain. I am compelled by my limits to be more brief than was my intention. He is not a handsome man; his voice is quite poor, I think, and his manner is nothing very uncommon. It is too much the habit with the Charleston people to puff their great men to such a height that it is hardly possible to avoid being disappointed with them. It has been the case to me, in Hamilton, M’Duffie and this Hayne. This man however I think much more of than of the { 86 } others. His speech was short and animated and as General S. Smith began to drawl I went away and came home.
Miss Cranch went away today and has left Abby alone to stand the shock of the other party. The two girls have not been on the best terms with each other this winter. Madame was very unwell all day, in her room. Her health is quite delicate. Miss McKnight was quite agreable and we spent the evening very pleasantly in the drawing room, and retired early. Mrs. Mc Lane5 had a party but we did not go.
1. Finishing an argument begun on the previous day, Smyth again argued the lack of constitutional authority for federal sponsorship of internal improvements (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1399–1414).
2. Actually the bill which James Lloyd (1769–1831) sponsored for the Committee on Naval Affairs called for two annual appropriations of $425,000 each (same, p. 139, 149, 210, 229–230). Barbour supported the bill as a measure necessary to protect the nation (same, p. 210–214, and 214–216).
3. Robert Young Hayne (1791–1839) answered the argument made by Walter Lowrie (1784–1868), of Pennsylvania, that the country’s finances did not permit the construction of so many ships (same, p. 214).
4. The “radical” Hayne answered was Samuel Smith (1752–1839), of Maryland. For Hayne’s full speech, see same, p. 216–224.
5. Presumably Mrs. Louis McLane, the former Catherine Mary Mulligan (DAB, under her husband’s name).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-07

Saturday. 7th.

Nothing to do today, and my feelings not the most agreable on account of the close of the vacation, so soon to happen. Spent the day in the house, Madame unwell all day. One circumstance very highly provoked me today, which was Mary’s taunting manner to Abby which made me so angry that I gave her a severe lecture even in Miss McKnight’s presence. It has been but seldom that I have assumed any authority over her of late but her manner was too insolent today to be borne, particularly since Abby has made some observations to me, which could not but make me feel she was unpleasantly situated here. Mary made battle and was sulky supposing this to be the beginning of the old courses but I afterwards treated her with so much equability that she came over to be quite easy and smooth again—such is the temper of woman.
In the evening Blunt was here again much to the annoyance of us all. Monsieur and John went to Mr. Goodacre’s lecture, Madame was sick and Miss McKnight went home in the afternoon so that his entertainment was to be provided by Mary, Johnson, Abby and myself out of what we best could obtain. This was poor enough and the man must have had a dreadfully dull time. He stayed however till after ten o’clock, pretending himself on important business with my { 87 } father. He is the most monstrous puff about man that I have yet met with, declaring himself at one time engaged as junior counsel under Mr. Webster and about to argue a case in the Supreme Court—at another, made reporter in Mr. Wheaton’s1 absence and so on. I suspect the importance of his politics to be the same, or at least that he is but a tool.
1. Henry Wheaton (1785–1848) was reporter of the United States Supreme Court from 1816 to 1827 and edited twelve volumes of the Court’s opinions (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-08

Sunday 8th.

Did not attend Church today, but on account of the loveliness of the day I was obliged to go and take a walk, so Johnson and myself went as far as the College. The air was delightful, being mild as spring and made me feel more sensibly what I was about to lose. In fact the winter generally has been the pleasantest, in respect to weather that I have ever had the fortune to enjoy, as heat to me is second life. It appears to me from my nature and temper that I was made for the South, and people never made such a mistake in the world as when they judge me cold or naturally grave. At home we were extremely dull, Madame being still in her room although better, John writing letters and Johnson’s politics not sufficiently good looking to make him in a better humour than he commonly is. He is also somewhat depressed by his sickness.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-09

Monday 9th.

Arose today and went to the House of Representatives for the last time this year. I also went into the Supreme Court. Mr. Wirt was finishing the case in reply to Emmett. It is said very able. Mr. Emmett’s close was said to have been remarkably beautiful, therefore I was sorry I did not hear it. Mr. Wirt was in the law so I did not stay long but went again to the House. Mr. Livingston was speaking on the subject of Internal Improvements trying to place the subject in a new light.1 But he selected the time for his remarks, far too late in the discussion of the bill. Every body is tired of hearing the mention of Roads and Canals, so that he was but little attended to. I not feeling at all like interesting myself particularly as my mind was otherwise occupied, went away and left perhaps for many years the stately building which holds the directing power of the nation.
Miss Selden was at the Supreme Court and John went and sat with her, but I was shy and went off even without speaking to her. She sent by John to inform me the house would be open till evening { 88 } but I did not wish to avail myself of the advantage. In fact I felt so indifferent about going or staying that I was unwilling to excite a regret at departure. On this account also, I refused to go any where and left without paying a single take leave visit, a circumstance which, I have since heard astonished some of the favoris very much.
In the evening by my father’s request, I went to Mr. Sullivan’s to inquire if he had any command, a mere piece of politeness. Which being done, I spent the rest of the evening over the newspapers with Johnson, Monsieur and John having gone as usual to hear Mr. Goodacre.
1. Edward Livingston first narrowly construed the proposed measure, trying to show that its objects were all within the powers specifically granted the Congress under the Constitution, and then also reaffirmed the power of the federal government to legislate for the general welfare (Annals of Congress, 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1430–1459).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-10

Tuesday 10th.

Arose this morning at an early hour, and dressed myself again in my travelling clothes. My preparations having all been made yesterday, I was very early. Monsieur sent for me after breakfast, and entered into conversation with me on the subject of my College studies. The President had written to him, and so favourably that I was quite well received. He still has a little too much penchant to my taking a high College rank for me while here to satisfy him. My feelings were considerably soothed, however, as I have been in the habit of thinking of him only as silently grieved at what he supposes my negligence. And so I shall consider him till I have an opportunity to show by my study and attention that he has entirely mistaken what I am. I mentioned to him my method of studying my College lessons, that I studied only those which I believed to benefit myself. That some branches I was unable and unwilling to study, mentioning particularly the deep parts of mathematics.
I rather think that he does not understand me and that he underrates me, although by this I do not mean to put myself very much up. To myself, I can speak with freedom, and as it is useless for me to try to persuade myself that I am destitute of abilities, so I have no desire to make them more than they really are. My conversation was of such a nature however as to make my spirits very light and buoyant all day. So that I was little affected by the Good bye ceremony. John had intended to go to Baltimore with me but changed his mind. His eyes however looked twice as small as usual, and Monsieur and Johnson looked as if they were sorry for my departure.
{ 89 }
Off drove the stage and I bid Goodbye to all the scenes of Washington, perhaps for ever, who knows. Monsieur next winter may be driving about in the wind, scarcely knowing his future home. Massachusetts may be his station, in which case, I lose sight of Washington for years and perhaps for life. I may never see more that place in which I have spent the very happiest passages of my youthful years. In my mind the associations will ever be pleasant ones, for it appears more like the fairy land to me, or that region in which so many of our pleasant dreams are situated. I had a dream there, for it could have been nothing else, and such as it was, I never expect similar happiness again.1
But this is dreaming and although I thought of it in the coach, it all passed through my mind with such rapidity as soon to give place to other and more immediate images, for now I was forced to consider who were my fellow passengers. They were but three and two of these I shall have occasion to mention more than once. Their names I understood to be Shubrick2 and O’sullivan. The former is a Carolinian in the Navy who came to apply for a station, but in vain. He was a short, fat, figure, with a sort of snap me down face as if impatient of all reply, an under lip very much curled and little fiery twinkling eyes which gave him an expression of good nature as well as of decision. The other was a less pleasing and less striking figure, only having the instinctive features of the Irishman. We went for the most part in silence and dining at Merril’s on the road,3 we arrived at Baltimore at about seven o’clock, the rain pouring in torrents. After taking tea I went directly to bed.
1. A reference, again, to his youthful passion for his cousin, Mary C. Hellen.
2. Presumably Lt. Edward R. Shubrick, commissioned in 1813 and stationed at Philadelphia (Force, National Calendar, 1824, p. 138).
3. John A. Merrill ran a tavern at Waterloo, Md. (J. D. Warfield, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland, Baltimore, 1905, p. 342).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-11

Wednesday 11th.

I do not recollect ever passing a more uncomfortable night than the one I am now writing of. From eight o’clock until half past two, I was obliged to lay without a wink of sleep or comfort, my blood being in a pretty feverish state. The sound of a fiddle disturbed me until eleven and then the alarm of fire which roused me, as the bell in the house rang with great violence. At last, the man came to inform me that it was time to get up which I heard for once with pleasure. This being done immediately I went down, but had the exquisite { 90 } pleasure of remaining an hour without any thing to do, a long day’s ride before me and a very rainy morning. The roads bad, and the carriages worse so that I had a sweet day’s work in contemplation, particularly after the quiet night and rest which I had so lately enjoyed.
As the roads were very bad on the direct road I had determined to go on the Lancaster route. My companions of yesterday also went, together with an old acquaintance of mine, made at Washington, whom I entirely forgot to mention, although he deserved it. This was a man we were at home accustomed to call “Uncle Bowdoin” as he was in that relation to Mrs. Sullivan who used to call him so.1 He is a great fat old buck just come from Europe. And appears the more ridiculously as his age and form correspond but poorly to the state he wishes to assume. He withal is a terrible puff. With him he carried a valet de chambre, Nicole, who, poor man had to sit in the rain, there being eight inside already, one of them a thorough Pennsylvania native, being six feet and a half high, correspondently gawky, and his mouth from ear to ear. His legs were a terrible inconvenience.
By fate, Uncle, Shubrick and I obtained the back seat, but we had not been there long before the officer began to give signs of his impatient spirit, moving about and puffing most tremendously. This touched my other friend who also set about doing the same here and although it was very dark they appeared to know each other’s size pretty well. At last Shubrick burst forth, in frequent exclamations it is very hot, it is very crowded, ’tis damn’d hot, &c. and Uncle swore they must be carrying “[ . . . ]2 in the stage.” At last the Lieutenant gave up the point and made a bold push for the front seat, in the middle of our course, which discomposed the rest marvellously but he swore that he could stand it back no longer and that it ought to be a law in the stage, that no large men should be allowed to be conveyed in a stage, or at least they should count more than one. The vehicle was an astonishingly hard one and afflicted us sore, so that nothing was heard except plaints and lamentations. The breakfast was intolerably bad, so that we had great right to be vapourish. But the puffing made me such diversion that I was in great good humour, though I was frequently told it was no laughing matter.
Thus we went and at last reached York, where we dined, having travelled forty miles in the most uncomfortable style possible. From here after a pretty good dinner, we went in a two horse carriage to Lancaster, six of us being inside it and one out. The innkeeper showed { 91 } a specimen of his craft, promising us if we would go, with two horses, to which we had long demurred, that we should go it in three hours, but one mile out of town, the driver became snappish, and such a gentleman as with scorn to refuse a bribe. We were four hours and a half, so that we did not get into Lancaster until near nine o’clock, the space being twenty two miles and more. The weather in the afternoon was oppressively hot, accompanied with most tremendous showers of rain, in fact I should have been much more inclined to call it a July evening than one in February. The carriage was a delightfully easy one however and recompensed us for the duresse in which we had been held. Uncle B. however confessed himself so fatigued that he should be unable to pursue his journey tomorrow, and consequently when the long wished for house was entered, he rolled into bed immediately, declaring, “he should not recover for a week.” I considered the worst part of my journey over, so after supper went to bed, although somewhat dissatisfied being crammed in a room with O’sullivan and Shubrick.
1. CFA’s eccentric traveling companion was evidently a maternal uncle of Mrs. George Sullivan, the former Sarah Bowdoin Winthrop (on whom see entry for 25 Dec. 1823, and note, above), and therefore probably James Temple (1776–1842), a son of Sir John Temple, late British consul general at New York. James Temple had assumed the name Bowdoin under the terms of his paternal uncle James Bowdoin Jr.’s will (NEHGR, 10 [1856]:76, 78).
2. CFA wrote this word twice, but it is still illegible: “feds,” “peds,” “beds”?

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-12

Thursday. 12th.

Roused this morning at half past three o’clock, after a very uncomfortable night indeed, dressed immediately and prepared myself for my journey. The weather had become fair and turned cold. After some delay from the number of passengers we mounted and went on—the two gentlemen being still with me. The stage in which we travelled was of most enormous size, being able to carry fourteen passengers without inconvenience. It looked more like a moving house, than any thing else. I obtained a seat in front and enjoyed a nap until breakfast time. The springs and road being so good as not to move me in the least. At breakfast, I became thoroughly awake and began to look about me to see the phizes of my companions, my first care almost always when I am travelling about in large stages.
Mr. O’sullivan, I have understood to be a man not of the very fairest character in the world, as it was not known how he acquired as much money as he did when in the Pacific Ocean. Shubrick gave me this information although he did not have time to state the reasons why { 92 } they suspected him. He is not a pleasant man. With this last named man I was pleased, as he had considerable plainness in his manner and seemed to be warm hearted. There was a woman in the stage, who in voice and face bore a remarkable resemblance to Mrs. Henry the Boston actress,1 and put me into a love reverie for a few minutes. My heart was opened and I admired her and her child painting to myself images of maternal love, from which I easily came to pure affection and which dream might have lasted longer, had it not been interrupted by the harsh squalls of the fretted child. So I was put to flight. A young man was in the stage also, who appeared to be acquainted with her and in some measure to protect her from accidents. He had evidently just come from College,2 as he displayed an astonishing quantity of knowledge to the astonished ears of our country friends. One man there was not remarkable for any thing except a pair of eyes which inclined most terriffically toward each other—an unpleasant sight to look on. The rest were common every day people with the exception of a little Dutch looking, squab girl, who was very talkative indeed and a good subject for the quib3 which was played on her. She offered us some snuff, told us the story of her runaway husband without emotion, and complained of being horribly sick. I never saw any thing in my life more ugly. Good natured though to to a great degree.
Thus we travelled on, very comfortably indeed. It was fortunate for me that I obtained so much rest today otherwise it is a question if I should have been able to have sustained such a severe course as yesterday might have been the commencement of. We arrived in Philadelphia at half past three o’clock and went immediately to the Mansion House. I instantly went up to wash and dress myself for it was much needed, as I had not changed my clothes since my departure from Washington, and I had the comfort of feeling cleanly, a great refreshment for travellers. Some horrible accounts of the roads, so that I was almost tempted to stay here a day, but it being late, I determined to go on. And to keep myself in order, I retired to bed very early.
1. Mrs. Anne Jane Henry had made her Boston debut as a dancer in 1813; her second husband was the gifted George H. Barrett (Joseph N. Ireland, Records of the New York Stage, N.Y., 1867, 1:444–446).
2. Yale (D/CFA/1).
3. A taunt or gibe (OED).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-13

Friday. 13Th.

Roused this morning at half past three o’clock and started for New York after waiting a convenient hour. The road for the first { 93 } fifteen miles very good and spent by me as usual in sleep. After breakfast, which was made at a place called Andalusia,1 renowned for it’s good buck wheat cakes, I felt myself alive and prepared to take a good jolting. Shubrick got to the end of his peregrination yesterday and O’sullivan went in the Union line this morning whereas I went in the Citizen’s coach. One of my yesterday’s companions was with me though, being the young man. The lady was to have gone but was left to go in the ten o’clock line. My fellow passengers today were a curious set, every man almost having some peculiar characteristic which could afford matter of diversion to me sitting a disinterested spectator and observer.
The first that I shall mention, was an old man, who sat on the back seat, who appeared to be about sixty years of age, with as stern and bloody a countenance as I ever saw upon mortal man, which was considerably increased by a large patch placed upon a scratch over the left eye. His arm was also in bandages, which gave me a strong suspicion of his having been a bruiser. He had come from the inner parts of Pennsylvania, and did not invite conversation although he talked pretty mildly. I did not like his looks and was glad when he made his exit at Princeton. Next came a young man who soon informed us that he was a Connecticut boy but was returning home from his second campaign to the State of Ohio where he thinks of settling. He was good natured and well behaved, being much more modest than men in his class are generally. The others, two of them were Irishmen—one of whom I shall again have occasion to speak. The other was a good sort of soul very much given to philosophy and moralizing. I was for sometime quite astonished at his frequent bursts, exclaiming perpetually, whether it was apt to the conversation or not, that “it was interest governed all, faith it was,” which he accompanied with so many sage commentaries that I was in a maze. But I discovered presently that he had learnt the truth of his proposition by his experience, for on that morning he had lost his good coat and gloves before he got into the coach so that at every shiver he was forcibly reminded of the theft. The poor man trembled so that I gave him a small piece of the upper part of my cloak for which he appeared grateful. I could not refuse for I pitied him although I could not avoid laughing heartily at his philosophy.
The road was horrible and although I was not so much frightened as usual from some unknown cause, I still felt very qualmish. A student at Princeton rode one stage with us and we then were able to converse about the three universities very pleasantly. My friend { 94 } (alumnus) of Yale, (for so he was) who appears to be marked for the ministry amused me by his observations, some of which however were pretty sensible, and Nassau Hall talked of the late rebellion there.2 Thus wore the day. These men both stopped at Princeton. And the rest of the journey was ridiculous on account of these Irishmen and the jolting. We arrived so late that I determined it best not to cross the river tonight.3
1. A village near the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Trenton, named for the Greek Revival mansion and estate of Nicholas Biddle, which fronted on the river (Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, N.Y., 1940).
2. In December 1823 a Princeton student was suspended without a hearing and despite his protestations of innocence for his part in firing off a large cracker. The undergraduates remonstrated in his favor, but the faculty refused to entertain their petition. A subsequent indignation meeting led to the suspending of two more students, and many more then withdrew “out of honor.” Most were “promptly returned by their parents” (T. J. Wertenbaker, Princeton, 1746–1896, Princeton, 1946, p. 176–177).
3. CFA spent the night at Jersey City (D/CFA/1).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-14

Saturday 14Th.

Up this morning soon after six, and crossed the North river in the ferry boat. The Irishmen stayed here all night also and the philosopher crossed when I did. He remained at New York, so that I was in hopes both had taken leave. I met the other again at Morse’s where I breakfasted, who informed me to my sorrow that he was going on, being the most disagreable by far of the two. I stayed in New York but about an hour and a half and had some conversation with Jaques the stagebook keeper, who soon smoked me and talked about the Presidential election, to fish, I suppose. Another man came to me and wanted me to take charge of some silver, to Boston as a great favour, but I treated the man with amazing harshness, as it does trouble me most exceedingly to have a person come importuning me to become responsible for any thing merely out of politeness. The poor fellow looked dumpish finding I persevered so I left him in statu quo.
There were about eight in the stage one of whom I had formerly met at Cambridge though I was not acquainted with him. He had been studying for admission to the Freshman Class. His name was Savage, from Philadelphia, a very wild fellow as I soon had experience.1 Up to all manner of mischief, he just sat down to quib a man sitting next to him then, a young city shop buck, who had, as it appeared, come out to some town in Connecticut, on a visit and to dash about, among his rustic friends. With him was another who appeared not much more or less than an ass. But very smart sharp { 95 } fellows who evidently had considerable ideas of themselves. But they repelled Savage so he finally fixed on our friend the Irishman as the proper person to make extremely ridiculous.
Now it is impossible to conceive an uglier figure than this same man. Dirty to a great degree, he looked as if he had not undressed himself for three weeks, his face not washed for a month back. He wore a dirty blue dress, under a large red plaid cloak, his hair was a rusty black, and long uncombed, his beard full out, his face very red and very halting in his walk. With a remarkably shrill voice he told us, many ridiculous pedlar stories, using his brogue to great advantage. As he had been in that sort of business he was able to divert us by his experiences. Withal he was very shrewd indeed and could resist with success all the attacks of the student. In fact he retorted with such force as to put him [word omitted] rather to my joy than otherwise because I dislike to see a person condescend to press down a poor or an ignorant man by his wit, or in default of that by brass. The laugh being so often turned upon him, galled Savage to such a degree that at the approach of night he began a quarrel with him about seats, of the end of which I was doubtful. But the Irishman got somewhat the upper hand of him by his cool and collected behaviour. A young man is sure to disgrace himself by entering into quarrels with his inferiors particularly when he is in the wrong. To be a quib, No temper should be admitted. We were left alone one stage and Savage took the back seat. He however retracted so much of his first position as to allow the Irishman the seat every other stage.
We arrived at New Haven about eleven o’clock, and took supper there, the agreement of seats was broken up however by the entrance of two characters, whom I was not able to judge of until the morning. Sufficient to say that I took the whole of the middle seat and slept well.
1. There is no record of any student named Savage at Harvard in this period.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-15

Sunday 15th.

The weather in the course of night became very bad and it was with great ill will that once I was forced to get out to hold the horses for the driver. We went on however pretty comfortably and arrived at Hartford in very good season for breakfast. The rivers were all very much overflowed and I was somewhat alarmed as the bridges on this road have occasioned a great many accidents. I breakfasted at Hartford, and when I came out to look for my trunk to have it put { 96 } on, it was not to be found and I was put into a most tremendous alarm about it. No one had seen it and I was obliged to conclude it lost. After a moment’s hesitation, I nevertheless determined to go on as I could only be sure that in case it came I should get it and if it was stolen it would do me no good to stay. I was seized with the vapours though, as nothing of the kind had ever happened to me before and I had become quite negligent respecting it. Nothing was in the trunk of any value to any one but me. My journal was what I most mourned for, as I had lost an account which never could be repaired.1
My spirits were amazingly depressed and I felt like knocking down every body in the stage, this would have been a difficult task as there were eight besides myself. The light now enabled me to judge of the countenances and appearance of the newcomers. One who got in last night at New Haven was a rough old sailor who had met with a more severe misfortune than mine and still by his conduct gave me a lesson of patience. He had lost his ship, it being seized by the custom house, and was returning to Boston in the stage for the first time he said, in his life. Consequently at first he did not well understand the motion or the crowding. He became in good humour finally and laughed very heartily.
The remaining person who was remarkable in any degree was a man by the name of Gist, from Baltimore, a middling sized man with a round fat countenance appearing what he really was, a jolly loquacious animal. Indeed he was talkative to a most extravagant degree as he did not cease while I was in the stage. The day was rainy and stormy, and I was horribly blue, made more so by this man, who the more jolly he was the more I became angry. This could not last forever though, and I gradually felt my vexation worn away by the incessant attacks of the old crone. Story succeeded story and laugh succeeded laugh, he roaring himself to supply any deficiency in wit of his own. He was withal, a man who of all people was philanthropic to a great degree. He gave us his plans to benefit mankind, how he was to make them carriages and pairs and the Lord knows what besides. In fact he was a “facheux” to a most extravagant degree. Talking, talking, talking, and being good natured he endured rebuffs and continued talking if it was only to please himself. He told his stories and delighted in the witty turn which he was enabled to give his excuses in referring always to the Irishman or the sailor when a joke was related of either character. He gave me advice concerning my trunk most gratuitously, and said it had always been his plan { 97 } to mind his own concerns, then argued religion with a universalist and so he went.
In the mean time the storm had increased with snow and hail. My nerves having been in a state of agitation, I felt unwell and stopped at Worcester, lucidly for I was quite sick in the evening. After which I immediately went to bed being much in need of rest.
1. This "journal," only temporarily lost at the time, has since been permanently lost; see the account of CFA’s MS Diaries in the Introduction.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-16

Monday 16th.

Arose this morning very much refreshed although in very low spirits on account of the loss of my trunk, for I had been thinking over all my journal and the destruction of my future plans, of which this book was one. But I was obliged to be patient. The weather had turned into rain. On coming to breakfast I was again thrown into the society of my friend Captain Pedrick, and had a better opportunity of knowing the man than before. The morning was spent at Worcester until the Springfield stage arrived when the Captain and myself got in to come on. He had come yesterday in the mail waggon from Hartford and had arrived very tired and having passed through many dangers of flood and field. He had been tumbled into the water, in the mud and met with various other accidents which he related in an amusing manner.
He is a good natured, good hearted man and had born quizzing from my yesterday’s acquaintance without murmuring. I came near getting into quite a poor business with him, as I began to be severe upon Mr. Gist’s doctrine of steam boats or carriages and laughed at his enthusiasm when he checked me suddenly by a serious belief in his doctrines only that the machinery was not known to Mr. G. as he was not versed in mechanics. He informed me that there was no difficulty in the affair at all leaving me to wonder out why it was not put in practice. The former man said that there was but one difficulty. It would not go, but this man denies that, and although he says it is of immense advantage to mankind, gives us no reason why it is not instantly put in use.
This Pedrick is a very odd and amusing character. Enthusiastic in his ideas, he made himself appear singular. His dress, travelling baggage corresponded. He had three cloaks in the stage, and mineral specimens in great numbers. He was collecting a cabinet, for his son or the lord knows who. He said nothing concerning the establishment of the distillery in St. Petersburgh as I expect he got discouraged.1 { 98 } But appeared very much rejoiced at having recovered an old debt sufficient to pay all his expenses in his journey, which was also unexpected. Mr. Edson of my Senior Class2 renowned for his piety at College was with us also. I was in fine humour or at least affected to be.
At length we arrived in Boston and I got out at Earle’s3 with a heart not so light as it might be but still rather rejoiced at the end of the journey. Took Supper and retired immediately.
1. See entry for 18 Dec. 1823, and note, above.
2. This can only be Theodore Edson, who graduated from Harvard in 1822. There is no record of an Edson in CFA’s class.
3. Presumably Hezekiah Earl’s Coffee House at 24 Hanover Street (Boston Directory, 1820).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0017

Author: CFA
DateRange: 1824-02-17 - 1824-02-19

Tuesday 17th. [—Thursday 19th.]

Arose this morning [17th] after having spent a very moderately comfortable night, and made a determination not to come here again. On coming downstairs, and walking into the bar room I had the exquisite satisfaction of finding my trunk safely lodged in the corner having come on this morning. This took off a very great weight from my mind as I had been trying to think of a way to become a little more clean, not having changed my dress since Philadelphia. Had it not come I should certainly have been in a quandary for my only plan was to borrow of George. He was not in town however, therefore I should have been obliged dirty as I was to go to Quincy. I immediately ordered the trunk to my room and had the exquisite satisfaction of finding everything in statu quo. I praised the people of Connecticut up to the skies, being fully conscious that at the South I should not have been so fortunate.
I came to breakfast and fell in with a Connecticut man to be sure, being no more or less than Tudor1 who was staying here for a day or two previous to reappearance at Cambridge. We had some pleasant conversation together on the old subjects, and affairs last term. He went to College at twelve o’clock. I went to Dr. Welsh’s and walked about the town. Not much pleased at seeing it again. Indeed it is one of the most melancholy looking and feeling places that I was ever in. Dined at Dr. Welsh’s and had a great deal of conversation with Miss Harriet2 on the subject of George and of Washington in general. In the afternoon I went to Quincy in the Stage. My Uncle had been in town and went out also. This was the first time I had seen him, many others were in the stage who were old acquaintances, but I was not very well delighted at seeing any of them.
{ 99 }
At length we arrived and I had to go through the ceremony of saluting all the family, Mrs. Adams, and all who appeared mighty glad to see me. Grandfather does not look so well as formerly and keeps his room almost altogether. Cousin Louisa in deep mourning on account of the death of her mother—which happened about ten days ago.3 Mrs. Clark very well, and George appearing in very good spirits. I affronted Elizabeth4 very much or her mother, by refusing to open my trunk to night. And made Mrs. C. angry because I had no “little box of the size of a half dollar” with me which no body had heard of. In fact they were all of poor humour except George with whom I had a great deal of conversation. Indeed we kept each other awake until very late at night, talking of the different characters and things I had seen on my journey.
For the rest, There is but little more to be said. I spent Wednesday [18th] at Quincy in conversation with my Grandfather and George principally.
And on Thursday [19th], I came back to town, whence, I went to Cambridge and had the pleasure of meeting all my old companions and occupants of Lyceum, collected together in the dining room of our house. After the first salutations, we ventured into conversation, both lively and interesting, inquiring as usual, how we had spent our vacations and telling stories of our adventures. Richardson was returned after a sickness which had made every body believe he would be gone from this world but much to our joy we were disappointed. After dinner I entered my room, to take possession of it again for a long turn—after a pleasant, instructive and interesting vacation of about nine weeks.
1. Henry Samuel Tudor, a senior, of Hartford, Conn. (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
2. Harriet Welsh (d. 1857), daughter of Dr. Thomas Welsh. See Adams Genealogy.
3. Louisa Catherine Smith (1773?–1857), niece of JA and AA, lived at the Old House. Her mother, Catherine Louisa (Salmon) Smith (1749–1824), had died on 22 January. See Adams Genealogy.
4. Elizabeth Coombs Adams (1808–1903), daughter of TBA, hereafter referred to as ECA. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-01

March 1824.1 Monday. 1. VIII.

Missed Prayers and recitations all day, quiet at home, Dr. Johnson, Life of Pope,2 evening at home.
{ 100 }
1. This and the following entries through 15 April are from D/CFA/1, which the diarist called an “Index.” For a description of CFA’s MS Diaries see the Introduction.
2. CFA’s set of Samuel Johnson’s Works, 12 vols., London, 1823, is in the Stone Library, but he apparently did not own it at this time. See entry for 17 July, below. Perhaps he read JA’s copy of Samuel Johnson, The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, London, 1783, which is among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 131).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-02

2. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield.1 Lectures, Mr. Willard,2 Mr. Farrar,3 Tacitus, evening, Lyceum Club, admission of members, Dwight.
1. JQA’s copy of William Enfield, Institutes of Natural Philosophy, Theoretical and Experimental, London, 1785, is in the Stone Library and has CFA’s signature on the flyleaf.
2. Sidney Willard, Harvard 1798, was Hancock professor of Hebrew and other oriental languages at Harvard from 1807 to 1831 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
3. John Farrar, Harvard 1803, was Hollis professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Harvard from 1807 to 1836 (same).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-03

3. VI:2

Missed Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Tacitus, lecture, Mr. Willard, Mr. Farrar, evening to Boston, Tudor, Theatre, Romeo and Juliet, Mr. Conway.1
1. William A. Conway, the English tragedian who made his debut in New York in January 1824 (Hornblow, Theater, 1:316–318).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-04

4. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, a Forensic, Tacitus, Mr. Otis,1 evening at home.
1. Rev. George Otis, Harvard 1815, was tutor at Harvard from 1820 to 1826 and later became professor of Latin (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-05

5. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Lectures, Mr. Willard, Mr. Farrar, Declamation, evening at Wheatland’s, Blackstrap.1
1. Blackstrap was a mixture of liquor (usually rum) and molasses.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-06

6. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Lecture, Mr. Willard, day quiet at home, Belknap’s Biography,1 evening at Sheafe’s, Champagne.
1. JQA’s copy of Jeremy Belknap, American Biography, 2 vols., Boston, 1794–1798, is in the Stone Library; another copy, published in 1798, is among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 23).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-07

7. VI.

Missed Prayers, Chapel, Dr. Ware,1 Dr. Kirkland, very dull, evening at my room, visitors, Bartlett, Tudor.
1. Henry Ware, Harvard 1785, was minister of the Old North Church in Boston and Hollis professor of divinity at Harvard from 1805 to 1840 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-08

8. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Homer, Lectures, Mr. Willard, Mr. Farrar, evening at home, Belknap’s Biography.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-09

9. VI:5.

Missed Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Homer,1 Lectures, Mr. Willard, Mr. Farrar, evening at home, Richardson.
1. CFA’s copy of the Odyssey, in the original Greek, Glasgow, 1819, is in the Stone Library, along with numerous other editions and translations of Homer belonging to JQA. For other editions owned by the family see Catalogue of JQA’s Books, p. 99, and Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 122–123.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-10

10. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Homer. Lectures, Mr. Willard, Mr. Farrar, purchased Plutarch’s Lives.1
1. CFA’s copy of Plutarch’s Lives, in Latin, published in 1620, 2 vols., is in the Stone Library, along with JQA’s three sets of the work in Latin, French, and English. For JA’s copies in Greek, French, and Latin, see Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 197–198.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-11

11. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, a Theme, Homer, Lectures, Mr. Willard, Mr. Farrar. Evening at Tudor’s, Silsbee.1
1. Nathaniel Silsbee Jr., of Salem, a senior at Harvard (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-12

12. VI:5.

Missed Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Lectures, Mr. Willard, Mr. Farrar. Declamation, evening, Lyceum Club, Admission of Members, Chapman.1
1. Jonathan Chapman Jr., of Boston, a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-13

13. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, feel very uncomfortable, lounge at { 102 } the Bookstore,1 decision of bets, distribution of Exhibition parts,2 Tudor’s evening, Champagne and Cards.
1. See entry for 11 May, note, below.
2. Since 1756 the two upper classes at Harvard had given public exhibitions twice a year, in the spring and fall, of debates, dialogues, and orations, mostly in English. CFA received no part in the April 1824 performance (Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 90; Overseers Records, 10:60–61, Harvard Archives).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-14

14. VIII.

Missed Prayers, Chapel, Dr. Ware, Dr. Kirkland, sleepy, quiet at home, evening visiters, Otis, Brennan.1
1. Richard Brenan, of Charleston, S.C., a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0003-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-03-15

15. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Tacitus,1 Lectures, Mr. Willard, Mr. Farrar, Electricity, evening at my room, Cards and Wine.
1. CFA’s two Latin copies of the Opera of Tacitus, published in Antwerp in 1668 and in London in 1817, 3 vols., are in the Stone Library, along with his copy of an English translation of the Annals and History, London, 1698. JQA’s many editions of Tacitus are in the Stone Library and in the Boston Athenseum. See Catalogue of JQA’s Books, p. 126–127. For JA’s copies of Tacitus in the Boston Public Library, see Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 240–241.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-01

April 1824. Thursday. 1. VII:10.

Missed Prayers, Fast day, Chapel, Dr. Kirkland, Dr. Ware, very interesting. Evening at home, Roscoe, Lorenzo de Medici.1
1. JQA’s copy of William Roscoe, Life of Lorenzo de Medici, 3 vols., Basel, 1799, is in the Stone Library.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-02

2. V:40.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Lecture, Mr. Farrar, Declamation, evening, walk, Lorenzo de Medici.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-03

3. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, lounge at the Book store, purchase, at home all day, finish the life of Lorenzo de Medici.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-04

4. VI:10.

Missed Prayers, Chapel, Dr. Kirkland, Dr. Ware, afternoon walk, evening at Tudor’s, conversation.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-05

5. V:45.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, no afternoon exercise, pleasant day, ride to Waltham with Tudor, evening at Sheafe’s, Cards and Claret.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-06

6. V:30.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Homer, Lecture, Mr. Farrar, evening quiet at home.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-07

7. V:30.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Homer, Lecture, Mr. Farrar, evening visitors, Rundlet,1 Richardson.
1. Edward Rundlet, of Portsmouth, N.H., a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-08

8. V:30.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, A Forensic, Homer, evening at home, noise at Sheafe’s.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-09

9. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Declamation, Lecture, Mr. Farrar, evening, company drill,1 Lyceum Club.
1. Harvard’s famous Washington Corps. See entry for 17 June, and note, below.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-10

10. VII.

Missed Prayers and recitation, morning occupied at home, afternoon to Boston with Tudor, evening at his room.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-11

11. VII.

Missed Prayers, Chapel, Mr. Frothingham.1 Quiet at home, Roscoe’s life of Leo the Tenth.2 Evening at Wheatland’s.
1. Rev. Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham, Harvard 1811, was minister of the First Church on Chauncey Place, Boston, and an overseer of the college from 1819 to 1850. His wife was the former Ann Gorham Brooks (1797–1863), who was the sister of CFA’s future wife. See Adams Genealogy.
2. JQA’s copy of William Roscoe, The Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth, 4 vols., Phila., 1805, is in the Stone Library.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-12

12. VI:15.

Missed Prayers, recitation, felt unwell, omitted Spanish exercise, { 104 } Tacitus, Lecture, Mr. Farrar, evening, club meeting, Knights Square Table.1
1. The Society of the Knights of the Order of the Square Table was the first Northern festive club at Harvard. (For sectional rivalry within the clubs, see 13 June, below.) Its predecessor was probably the Knights of the Order of the Pudding Stick, whose history is lost to us, there being only a fragmentary record remaining in the Harvard Archives. Little is known of the Knights of the Square Table during CFA’s stay at Harvard, for its own records are missing (see entry for 22 Oct., below) and mention of the club in the faculty records appears mostly earlier or later than CFA’s time, chiefly because the faculty took cognizance of a club only when its members presented disciplinary problems. For scattered references to the Knights’ activities, see Records of the College Faculty, volumes 10–11 (1814–1840), Harvard Archives, and also some pamphlets under the club titles, housed in the Archives. Subsequently the Knights of the Square Table merged with the more famous Porcellian Club.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-13

13. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Tacitus, Lecture, Mr. Farrar, evening at home, Roscoe’s Leo 10th.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-14

14. VI.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, Spanish, Tacitus, Lecture, Mr. Farrar, evening walk, at Otis’s.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0004-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-04-15

15. V:45.

Prayers, recitation, Enfield, A Theme, Tacitus, evening at my room, visits, Lothrop, Rundlet, Cards.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0005-0001

Author: CFA
DateRange: 1824-05-01 - 1824-10-31


Dairy of Events
of Sentimets.
Commencing May 1st. 1824.
Ending October 31st. 1824.
1. Titlepage for D/CFA/4. For a physical description of CFA’s MS Diaries, see Introduction.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0005-0002

Author: CFA
DateRange: 1824-05-01 - 1825-10-31


As with this book, I commence a new plan, it will not be inapropriate to my purpose, to lay down to myself the rules by which I am to be guided, and to define distinctly my intentions. To this end it will be necessary to notice some of my present habits, the continuation of which, it was one of the influencing causes with me to ensure, by this Diary. I have been in the habit for years past of writing a small Index of events, but as I grow older, I find it by far too narrow to contain those Ideas, many of which would be valuable to me recorded, as they might serve to prop, in case of necessity, my virtuous or good intentions. On this account, I shall prescribe to myself rules for general conduct whenever any occur, which in my mind will be of any service, although I shall not feel mortified if I do not rigidly adhere to them. My intention is only to ensure the right bent. A review of my course for a month will enable me at its end to judge better of myself. This therefore shall be as carefully and impartially done as possible. It is a custom with me to read portions of some books methodically every day, but to have one work constantly in hand for study. This last is generally History of some kind, the others, Poetry, Essays, and light reading in general. The portions of these that I read, it is intended to review every day and write down any ideas which may pass my mind in their perusal. As it would be much more trouble and no more advantage to keep a separate account of the Lectures which I attend, the idea is given up and every thing which strikes me shall be inserted here, a plan which appears to me the best I can pursue as it will be well suited to my general desire of self improvement brought as much as practicable into the same form.
{ 106 }
One thing more I have in view, which will appear probably the hardest task of all. This is, to delineate characters according to the impressions which I receive and the best of my judgment. Among these will be drawn more particularly, the pictures of those who are my best friends, and though at times I may be influenced by momentary feeling, I hope to arrive at a pretty correct conclusion in general.
These four objects are to be pursued which together with the common occurrences of life will form this book. I am conscious to myself that this plan is of such a kind that I shall unavoidably be disappointed but at any rate it will serve as amusement in my leisure hours and what is the great end, Improvement.
From the golden verses of Pythagoras1

Let not thine eyelids close at parting day

Till, with thyself communing, thou shalt say,

“What deed of good or evil have I done

Since Morning last restored the radiant Sun”?

In strict review the day before thee pass,

And see thyself in Truth’s unerring glass.

If scorning self delusion’s fraudful ways,

Her solemn voice, reproving conscience raise,

With keen contrition, aid divine implore,

Each error to redeem, and wrong no more.

Or should that faithful guardian witness bear

That all thy actions have been just and fair,

Rejoice, and Heaven intreat with soul sincere,

In virtue’s perfect path to persevere.

1. JA, JQA, and CFA all read and copied into their Diaries extracts from the Golden Verses of Pythagoras, a collection of maxims actually written by disciples of the Greek philosopher. The Stone Library contains La vie de Pythagore, ses symboles, ses vers dorez, la vie d’Hierocles, ed. André Dacier (Bibliothèque des anciens philosophes, volumes 1–2), Paris, 1771.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-01

1824. Saturday. May 1st. V:30.

Arose, attended Prayers and morning recitation half an hour afterwards. The interval was spent in looking over my lesson, in Enfield’s Natural Philosophy. We commence the study of Astronomy this { 107 } morning, which as it is interesting and instructive, it is my intention to study attentively. I was taken up and recited the commencement of the lesson. After recitation Mr. Heyward1 called me up to give me a private admonition from the Government for levity at Prayers on Friday night. This was deserved but scarcely is sufficient to correct me. I can feel no seriousness at Prayers and am condemned to stand there fifteen minutes with nothing whatever to do. In case I am farther noticed, I shall be compelled to apply for leave of absence altogether. It is a mockery.
After breakfast, I went to the Post Office and had the exquisite pleasure of finding a letter for me from John.2 From here I went to the Reading room to see the News. Nothing remarkable. The A.B. plot in which Mr. Edwards the Minister to Mexico appears deeply concerned, is making a very great noise at Washington as it will have considerable influence on the present question.3 This is all the matter of interest at present, the excitement being very great. I returned and after reading John’s letter set myself down to answer it.4 He is in very good spirits and writes as if he enjoyed himself in all the gaiety, speaks of the A.B. plot and of all the affairs agitated at present particularly his whispered attachment to Miss Selden. According to his account the world are determined upon the match and make him know it and her too. The answer being long employed me about an hour, and I scribbled a letter very much in the usual way without much in it which could be amusing. Cambridge is not a place to collect variety for letters.
My next business was to read a play of Moliere’s according to my usual custom.5 The one which came to day was Amphitryon. A sort of a play taken from the ancient fables and on a subject not the most modest for the Theatre. The moral is not remarkably good nor does the work recompense us for there is not much more than a few silly speeches on both sides. And Sosia the servant6 is made the butt of all kicks and jokes of all sorts. Occasionally a fine sentiment or just observation appears but taking it all in all, I think it is the worst of his productions which I have yet read. My portion of Poetry came next and I read some of the short productions of Swift.7 The powers of this man were remarkable for imagery, and variety. His words appear to come so naturally and yet never out of place. His application of figures is striking also. He was a singular character. Devoted to a certain unhappy degree to his eccentricities, he made himself and all around him unhappy. His conduct to Stella and Vanessa was very shameful. Formerly I was delighted with the character of a { 108 } misanthrope and used to think it the greatest of pleasures to rail and complain. But my character in this respect is changed with the causes that produced it. My unfortunate affair8 and the lonely way in which I used to live brought on this sort of temper of which I was not cured until the hard study which I imposed upon myself and the society of some few friends I had made destroyed all my power of complaint. Character at College changes with circumstances and generally becomes materially affected if it does not obtain opportunity for developement. Thus I was employed this morning although the Weather was very fine and I was more than once tempted to walk or ride. But it changed for the worse after dinner so that I had no inducement to move out.
Dwight came in and sat with me for an hour conversing on various subjects. Sheafe was here also. Stackpole9 came in but did not stay very long. Dwight has been a friend of mine of some standing now and it appears to me unlikely that we shall have any occasion to divide. His temper is high and feelings are warm, he excites at almost every thing, and speaks almost always with remarkable earnestness. His sentiments are just as to himself and more conscious of his faults than the generality. When convinced he makes endeavours to rectify them. A hard student because he imagines it his duty, he pursues surely what his object is; I have been in doubt whether he is ambitious, (by this I mean more than school boy desire), and am not perfectly decided yet although I am inclined to think he is. For he has spoken of times of public danger as desirable, an opinion seldom held by a young man. He is obstinate and prejudiced but in proportion as he advances in life, this will wear away. He is violent and this will always remain. I like him for his feelings, ardent as my own. We conversed on the characters of students in general and after passing sentence on some in particular we went to the Book Store to lounge a half hour.
When I returned I set down to read a part of Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History10 which I commenced a short time since. My ideas upon the subject of the Christian Religion are very vague and have compelled me to this. The perusal thus far however has not been any more satisfactory and on the contrary has troubled me more. I read to day a portion commencing with the Second Chapter of the Second Part of the Thirteenth Century. The corruption of the Clergy had arrived by this time at a most astonishing height and was vehemently complained of long before the reformation. It is wonderful to observe the increase of power in the Popes. The institution appears { 109 } to me the most decidedly politic which I have ever seen. Men of boldness and of talents, were hereby secured and, as they all had the same object in view, they all acted in the same way, by this means avoiding a fault inherent in a monarchical form as there is no continuity ensured in the succession, that is, princes come to the throne with opposite views and tempers by which they defeat each other. The power of the Popes increased very much in this century by fortunate contests with weak princes. John of England and the Emperor Frederic were compelled to bow to the superior power of the church. But the succession of Pontiffs is singularly quick and gives reason to suppose that more than natural causes hastened their deaths. Of this however there appears little probability as I have never seen the charge made. The Mendicant Friars arose in this century, and seem to have been good engines to confirm the Ecclesiastical authority. Their quarrels, arrogance, and intestine divisions appear among the causes of the reformation. Literature was at it’s lowest ebb and Roger Bacon appears to be the only person of real merit in the age.
The doctrines taught in this age show fully the degree of ignorance then prevalent. Transubstantiation became a leading tenet and auricular confession was approved. Not without opposition however, unavailing as it might be. Metaphysics were the delight of all and Words became the fashion of the Universe. More injury was done in these times to future ages than will probably ever be repaired. Questions have arisen to rack the brain which are of no use to man and of great disadvantage. Confusion was made in terms which put fixed ideas to flight and opinion took the place of fixed truth.
The Greek Church which had long been at variance came to a pretty decided variance in this age. Superstition which had become so extravagant to support itself was obliged to have resort to a multiplication of ceremonies among which may be reckoned those accompanying the sacrament, which were some of the secret springs of the reformation. The world however was not always quiet and some portion would resist. The arms of power though had now taken [the] place of those of persuasion and the Albigenses fell under the stroke. The inquisition was established and preserved the true faith by fire and the rack. The Christian religion was in it’s infancy unfortunately exposed to changes which have rendered it impure to a degree which we cannot tell. Doctrine came upon doctrine and all belief was swallowed up in an incomprehensible chaos. Religion was made the cloak of the deepest hypocrisy as it ever will be { 110 }

’Tis too much prov’d—that with devotion’s visage

And pious action, we do sugar o’er

The devil himself.11

This closes the Century. I did read a little more but as it is a good division I shall stop here. I was thus employed in the afternoon and evening. I also wrote a letter to my Mother in answer to one received some days ago,12 and attended Prayers.
It being early and my duties finished I diverted myself with reading the two first cantos of Childe Harold.13 The poetry is exquisitely beautiful and I was delighted. Retiring to bed with feelings perfectly poetical I only wished that I had been gifted. My feelings sometimes prompt me but then I think of a poor attempt and am discouraged. X.14
1. James Hayward, Harvard 1819, who served as tutor from 1820 to 1826, was appointed professor of mathematics and natural philosophy in 1826 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
2. Missing.
3. Ninian Edwards (1775–1833) resigned as Senator from Illinois in 1824 in order to accept Monroe’s appointment as minister to Mexico. Before he could take up his diplomatic post, however, it was revealed that he had been the author of “the A.B. papers,” letters which made reckless charges against Secretary of the Treasury Crawford. Unable to substantiate his accusations, Edwards was obliged to resign (DAB; JQA, Memoirs, 6:296). The “present question,” of course, was the presidential succession.
4. Letter missing.
5. CFA’s set of Molière’s OEuvres complètes, 8 vols., Paris, 1821, containing an inscription from George Sheafe, is in the Stone Library, which also contains several other editions of Molière’s works. JA’s books in the Boston Public Library contain two copies of Molière’s OEuvres, 1760 and 1784 (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 170).
6. Sosie, the valet.
7. CFA probably read some of Jonathan Swift’s poems in John Aikin’s Select Works of the British Poets, London, 1820.
8. Possibly a reference to his infatuation with his cousin, Mary C. Hellen. See entry for 5 Jan., and note, above.
9. Joseph Lewis Stackpole, Harvard 1824, LL.B. 1828.
10. A copy of John Lawrence Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, 4 vols., N.Y., 1824, is in the Stone Library.
11. Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1, lines 47–49.
12. Both letters are missing.
13. A copy of Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, 2 vols., London, 1819, is in the Stone Library.
14. In this volume of his Diary CFA began to indicate the time of his retiring with a roman numeral. Thus he went to bed at 10 P.M. this day.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-02

Sunday. May. 2d. VI.

Missed Prayers, but I arose notwithstanding and immediately sat down to my journal for yesterday which I did not complete until it was time to go to Chapel. We had a thunder shower this morning which made me averse from going, but on the whole I determined that I would. Sheafe asked me to go to Mr. Heyward to excuse him which { 111 } I did, and was much amused with his manner. He asked me to sit down but as it was time to go and I wished to drop in to Bartlett’s for a minute I would not stop. I came to inquire the Dr.’s health after his fatigue and debauch of Tuesday.1
We went to Chapel and heard as usual Dr. Ware in the Morning and the President in the afternoon. It is not my intention here to make critiques upon Sermons, as I will frankly confess I never attend to them. After many trials without success I have given up the attempt and although I may occasionally make a remark, it is only “en passant.” I was amused this afternoon with a part of the President’s discourse which was much in character, for it seemed somewhat disjointed from the rest.
I read today Moliere’s Comedy of "George Dandin." It does not appear to me a good attempt. In the first place I have the same objection to this that I had to the one yesterday, it is on a subject altogether improper for the stage. But what is worse, it takes the immoral side by justifying a faithless woman. The poor man is a fellow of no spirit but still had nothing in him to deserve this sort of treatment. Family Pride is well exposed in the Sotenvilles, and perhaps it is good advice to men, not to marry above their degree. Although this scarcely justifies a woman, even the want of generosity which he shows and which is awkwardly put in does not suffice. I read to day Thomson’s Spring, A beautiful poem.2 I have always been pleased with this, partly from the associations which are connected with the first perusal, as it was for the first time, that my romantic feelings were excited at all by reading Poetry. I was not naturally formed a lover of it and it was only by a concurrence of circumstances that I have become attached to it. My reading it every day of late has increased this feeling, so that now I could almost give up every other pursuit. The pleasure of man’s life is increased greatly by it and he will never repent of his choice.
I continued reading Mosheim this afternoon and Evening and read the history of the Church during the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries. The crusades which had excited such immense zeal at first were now finished, as the expense was found to exceed the good efforts produced. The increase of the Church does not appear to have been very considerable and was caused not by the original method of persuasion but by force. The spirit had departed and human nature was left. It is worthwhile to read this book if it is only to discover the excesses which man will run into. There is nothing too extravagant for him and nothing too ridiculous. It is not wonderful therefore to { 112 } find that this religion lost ground in Asia. A more dazzling one had taken it’s place, a more voluptuous one, and now a more simple one. Letters had now come to their lowest point of declension and began to rise with some rapidity at the close of the fifteenth. Aristotle gave way to Plato although it might have been better had neither ever existed. Disputation was the reigning power, took the place of reason. Judicial Astrology was now in fashion and ignorance commanded. The Quarrel between Philip the Fair of France and Boniface which caused the residence of the the Popes at Avignon was a proof that some kings still had spirit to resist. These may be considered however as causes of the reformation. Complaints were breathed forth loudly, and Wickliffe in England raised his voice against this usurpation. Huss and Jerome of Prague excited the flame by their death. Indulgences and corruption could be born no farther. Three supreme heads of the Church at the same time exposed themselves to ridicule and Alexander the Sixth finished the Climax. The council of Constance and afterwards that of Basil attempted a reformation but were frustrated by the ambition of the Popes. And the Greek Church separated for ever from the Latin. Roscoe speaks differently of Alexander and Savonarola but I am inclined to think him prejudiced in favour of one and against the other. This finishes the third volume.
Brenan came in, in the Evening and we had some Conversation. He is a pleasant young man, injured much by circumstances; of a social temper he suffered himself to become gloomy and suspicious. But he is most to be praised for having subdued his vicious or dissipated habits and become a studious sensible young man. He is a strong friend of mine and one <of> whom I shall always think with pleasure.
I read today the third Canto of Childe Harold. Remarks I shall make tomorrow. Looked over Enfield. IX:30.
1. George Bartlett received a medical degree in 1830 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
2. JQA’s copy of James Thomson’s Works, 3 vols., London, 1788, is in the Stone Library, as is a set of Thomson’s Poetical Works, London, 1786. But CFA probably read the selections printed in Aikin’s British Poets; see entry for 6 May, below.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-03

Monday. May. 3d. V:40.

Arose and after looking over the lesson in Astronomy, attended Prayers and recitation immediately afterwards. Mr. Heyward shows himself to some advantage in this study. He certainly appears to know much more of the branch than usual. It is said he is writing a book. I was employed an hour in writing my Journal and some time in { 113 } studying a Spanish lesson to recite to Mr. Sales1 at half past nine o’clock. This is generally made a farce but I am inclined to learn it and although the disposition of the hours is not good and my application is not excessive, I hope in time to acquire an understanding. He is a good instructor and a pleasant man, hardly fitted for his situation here as he is too mild. And Students, boys as they are, take advantage of it. The fact is, I think that this institution is not a University yet. Children are admitted here and make fools of themselves, are ruined by the love of dissipation which they acquire and dazzled by the glare which accompanies it.
I returned home and read the Summer of Thomson. This abounds in beautiful imagery, and a diversity of description which is extremely pleasing. Some very soft and touching parts and one voluptuous description, that of Musidora.2 But a characteristic of this poet is that he is chaste in his language and ideas to a degree not equalled by scarcely any of our other authors. This not being their forte by any means. It was my desire to obtain this book3 a month ago in order that I might notice some of the poetry which I have read in that time and give some account of the lectures I attended, but as it was not ready, I was disappointed.
I attended a lecture at eleven o’clock from Professor Farrar in Natural Philosophy, on the subject of Opticks and Vision. The weather being cloudy he could give us no experiements and confined himself to the account of the theories of light and colour. The ancients appear to have had a very indistinct conception of the cause of colour and remained in a state of ignorance until Newton discovered the real cause of the rainbow. The Lecturer has an easy manner and is quite agreable as there appears to be no effort. Newton made his most important discovery at the age of 23, and had the moderation or as Farrar called it, the continence to keep it to himself for six years. But the principal part of today’s lecture was a description of the eye and it’s properties. Most of which was very simple and not entertaining as we have so lately been over the very same account in Enfield.
After dinner I went to the College library to return my books and spent an hour there in looking over a volume of plates showing the eruptions of volcanic mountains and the sorts of lava which are sent forth. Farrar in treating of Earthquakes the other day showed them to us but at such a distance that I was unable to see them and therefore determined to see them today. The collection is a very valuable one. I returned home and read Moliere’s Comedy of the “Avare.” Some parts of which are admirable but I think it liable to the objection { 114 } of a plot too intricate. The connection depends upon two marriages and thereby requires some attention. The mistake of the fille and cassette is carried too far as he being naturally suspicious could not misinterpret his language so far. He has also dropped his character in some places for it would be hardly expected that a man so amazingly parsimonious would keep such a multitude of servants, or would talk of engraving in letters of gold or would keep horses however he might starve them. This certainly would not be the character of the English Miser. The last scene is quite happy and shows him very much in character. On the whole I was very much pleased by the perusal.
As this afternoon’s lesson was the last in Greek I determined not to attend it and read the fourth and last Canto of Childe Harold. Byron is truely a great poet. His power lays in greatness of thought and masterly expression. He has that remarkable gift of compressing an immensity of feeling in a very few words. Laying character full in our view by a striking turn of expression and condensing passion in a breath. While you read him, you feel exalted and arise with a melancholy but delightful pleasure. I have not felt so strongly before since the time of my melancholy days. I also read an article in the last number of the Edinburgh review on the Lyrical Poetry of Spain, but was not much interested by it.4 There are one or two happy things in it but generally not much to my taste. I think the Spanish language sweet and not enough appreciated but ballads and canzonettas which are sweet in their language can seldom bear even the best translation.
I could not read any of Mosheim today as I had no volumes out. So having nothing to do I spent the Evening at Otis’s room. We had a great deal of conversation on Washington manners, the Presidency and so forth. I continued here till late so that I could but just examine Dr. Reid’s opinion on our next forensic question5 and read over Astronomy before I retired. IX:30.
1. Francis Sales was instructor in Spanish and French at Harvard from 1816 to 1854 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
2. See entry for 28 Jan., and note, above.
3. His Diary.
4. “Lyric Poetry of Spain,” Edinburgh Review, 80:443–476 (July 1824).
5. There is a copy of Thomas Reid’s Works, 3 vols., N.Y., 1822, in the Stone Library.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-04

Tuesday. May 4th. V:15.

Arose and after reexamining my lesson in Astronomy, attended Prayers and recitation. Mr. H. came up to me and the bell rung so I was saved. Returning home I found a letter for me from my Mother. She appears to be in bad health and writes as if under the influence { 115 } of irritated feelings. There was some excellent advice concerning style which I intend to pursue as it agrees with my ideas and intentions. Translation is an excellent plan to increase one’s acquaintance with language; I had selected the life of Agricola as an exercise for next Vacation, being very much pleased when I lately read it. I was employed one hour writing my Journal. Went to the Library for my books, from thence to the Reading room. No News consequently came home and read Thomson’s Autumn. A pleasing Poem. But in reading it, I could not help smiling at it’s romantic visions and at the close I thought his plan of unambitious retirement an admirable one if Man was formed of a different mould. The author himself was seeking fame and obtained it by his Poems, but it would be a difficult matter for the world to see it exclusive here. No, there is a feeling in the breast of every man which destroys this happiness, it is very well to dream of and no more. Life would not be supportable at it’s commencement if so many of these images did not present themselves and Youth is unmindful, persevering in that Search after happiness, the great end of human life although Ages before have done the same without success. I read also, Moliere’s Comedy of Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. The great fault with all his plays seems to be that he is not careful enough of the moral introducing cheats and scoundrels succeeding in plans hardly faulty in themselves. Not that I am attached to the English fashion of ranting about virtue and every thing of that sort, but as I like to see vice discouraged without puffing virtue. Sentimentalism is ridiculous, Cant much worse but immoral freedoms are far the most dangerous. The immoral tendency of books is often urged and to the most fascinating books the most frequently; those which draw Nature are generally the most objected to, which to a sensible mind must bring an irresistible conclusion that we act viciously. Purity of motive certainly is not universal. This will have no effect on the actions of the enlightened but it discovers truth to the ignorant and that of a kind to deprave them, consequently it is injurious. These who have acquired a little tincture of knowledge are the most dangerous to themselves and to society.
At eleven o’clock, I went to Lecture. Mr. Farrar intended to have given us some experiments on light and colour but the rays of the sun were not powerful enough today. He therefore confined himself to an explanation of the different instruments used for increasing the appearance of small objects. We are more indebted to light for our happiness whatever it is than to any other natural production. It is the origin of all the beautiful colours which are so delightful to the { 116 } eye and of heat which is life. He explained to us the various forms of the microscope in which objects are magnified to different degrees. Also the Camera Obscura and the Magic Lanthorn. Of the former he gave us a specimen by fixing a glass on a hole in a window shutter and reflecting the images on a white screen. They appeared inverted and indistinct on account of the want of the Sun. I saw the Church however and the Lyceum very well. The weather was so cloudy that the experiments on the colours of the rainbow could not be performed. They were therefore delayed.
After dinner, the weather being delightful I shut my blinds and began Mosheim very nobly again. With the fourth volume he begins the history of the reformation, and makes a new division in his plan. He still continues his system of centuries, and now writes the sixteenth. The restoration of learning which was fast increasing, had a bad effect on the church. It opened men’s eyes to the superstitions and scandalous corruptions which were carried on by the monks and exposed the actors to ridicule. Mosheim is as severe upon the Popes as Roscoe is lenient, he charges Julius with being the fury of the age as he was continually exciting animosities and delighted in war. He would have been a great man had Fortune made him a General instead of a Pope. The avarice and extortion of the clergy had reached an intolerable height, the Catholics themselves wished for a council to reform the Church and many of them were inclined to change upon seeing the ineffectual attempts of the various councils rendered abortive by the influence of the Popes who feared the destruction of their power and preferred the division of the Christian Church. An anecdote is here related concerning the Dominican Friars far surpassing in wickedness any thing I have yet seen and proves satisfactorily that such a state of depression cannot have been endured any longer. Luther, Melancthon and Zwinglius rose at the same time to oppose this and succeeded. Mosheim is evidently partial to Luther, although he gives a very fair account generally speaking of the reformation. Violence appears to have been Luther’s character which was well qualified by the mildness of his colleague. This was fortunate as the one could resist with boldness while the other could persuade. Many fortunate circumstances assisted this great change. The state of Europe, the rivalry of Charles and Francis and the character of Henry destroyed any idea which could have been at another time acted upon, that of a crusade. This step had a good effect even upon the Catholic religion for to preserve the remainder of their power they were obliged to form good institutions and to drop all the extravagant demands { 117 } which they formerly supported. The sect or order of the Jesuits was founded by Ignatius Loyola to support the Pope and have been one of the greatest bulwarks which could have been formed for him. The talent, the order, and the obedience of these men has been astonishing, their perseverance and success. But Men will overreach themselves and so did these.
There being a Greek review this afternoon I did not have a lesson, was therefore enabled to make considerable progress. Though I did not make much of an appearance to Dr. Popkin.1 After recitation I went to Howard’s2 room and spent half an hour with him as I understand that he is offended with my neglect. It galls me much to see young men so formal as this. I have no objection to a certain degree of it but farther is foolish. This young man is a very weak head so I pardon him and as he is of an excellent nature I continue his acquaintance. After some uninteresting conversation on Anatomy which he is studying or attempting I left him thankful that my acquaintance was not of a more intimate kind.
A lounge at the bookstore until Prayers passed off the time and talk with Brenan. Prayers being over, I returned home, finished my portion of Mosheim and at eight o’clock attended Farrar’s Lecture on the Magic Lanthorn. The first part was quite a Juvenile Exhibition but the latter illustrated the constellations and the different phases of the Moon very simply and well. After Lecture which detained us until nine almost, Numbers of Visiters at the house. I went to Sheafe’s and spent an hour but could not drink any of the Wine offered me. I think the late satiety has had a good effect upon me as it has very much destroyed my taste for these things. We sung some songs and made some noise which was [ . . . ]3 however by the room upstairs where there was an entertainment. Rundlet and Lothrop were at Sheafe’s and I was kept till ten and just looked over Astronomy. X:15.
1. John Snelling Popkin, Harvard 1792, was professor of Greek from 1815 to 1826 and Eliot professor of Greek literature from 1826 to 1833 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
2. John Clark Howard, of Boston, a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
3. Word written over and illegible; possibly “drowned.”

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-05

Wednesday May 5th. V:45.

Arose and after a very slight review of my lesson attended Prayers and recitation. Fortunately I was not called upon. After recitation I was employed till ten o’clock writing my journal, therefore was unable to attend Mr. Sales’ Spanish recitation. I then read Thomson’s Winter thereby concluding the Seasons. This last I think the finest of the { 118 } whole, as it excels from the superiority of sentiment and a nearer approach to sublimity. He shows himself a man of taste and makes many very just observations concerning study which are only liable to the objection mentioned yesterday. I then read Moliere’s Play of the “Amants Magnifiques” finishing the fifth volume of his works. There is not much plot or incident in it and appears to have been made merely as a “divertissement” for the king who condescended to take the part of a God and speak very highly of himself. There is considerable wit displayed in the character of Clitidas who in fact is the spring of the whole action. I was thus employed all the morning attending also a lecture from Mr. Farrar. The sun still denied his beams consequently no experiments could be performed. The students have become so tired of the course that they stay away when there are no experiments. For my part I always attend not only for the acquisition of knowledge but because I make no difference between voluntary and involuntary exercises. I have gained a great deal also by my attendance. Young men are very apt to assume a great deal as known which they have only a very superficial acquaintance with. And I should always distrust him when he said “he knew every thing before.” This however is common language with these lectures. He treated today of the construction of telescopes explaining to us the Newtonian, Galilean, Gregorian, and others. He has an admirable manner of telling an anecdote so that he renders parts even of a dry subject quite amusing. His history of this machine’s discovery was very well managed for effect. It is a wonderful machine and has been of very great utility to the world. By it we have gained the knowledge of the system by which we go and which is doubtless the true one, we have assisted navigation and enlightened the mind. Perhaps Astronomy has done more for this than any Science which has yet been pursued, and to me the knowledge of mathematics appears desirable only as it is subservient to this pursuit. After dinner although the weather was quite cold and unpleasant I took a warm bath. The regulations are only to admit on Wednesdays and Saturdays, consequently I was obliged to go today or else delay until Saturday at the risk of not having any better weather even then.
I did not progress as much as I expected in Mosheim owing to interruptions by Tudor and Richardson but nevertheless read somewhat over one hundred pages, principally on the state of the different churches, the Roman, the Greek and the Lutheran. The friars multiplied very much to form a stronger barrier against the reformers. There could not have been formed in the comprehension of man a { 119 } better system for the obtainment of power. Using the most tremendous engine over men’s minds and working for the same end at the same time over all the world it is not surprizing that the power they obtained was so great. Even now the church of Rome would be nothing were it not for it’s emissaries who keep so sharp a look out, confirm the wavering by threats, and continue the faithful firm by promises. The state of learning was rapidly improving by reason of this reformation. The study which was made necessary to become a disputant, increased knowledge and the emulation caused inquiries which in the ancient state of things would not have been thought necessary. The council of Trent was rendered a mere form by the activity of the popes, whom the Author takes care to call bishops always. The catholics finding themselves likely to be abandoned formed the famous index of heretical books and suppressed the translations of the bible which is too much of a tacit confession of the weakness of their faith. One remark there is so striking concerning mankind that I shall insert it in my Common Place Book1 as very remarkable and very true. Mosheim is not perfectly standard however in his account of the Lutherans as we are frequently warned in the notes by his translator. Divisions will exist among all men as no two ever thought perfectly alike on a subject at least I believe this. No sooner had the protestants become a sect than they divided into inferior ones which now have independent governments. The state of ignorance of the Greek Church was excessive at this period, their licentiousness still greater. Subject to a foreign prince they have suffered and still continue to suffer the most harsh treatment.
I spent the evening partly in writing my forensic for tomorrow on the subject of predestination and partly in arguing on this subject at Sheafe’s where Brenan and Fay2 were visiting. Otis argued against me but with so little of reasoning and so much positive assertion without attempt at proof that I was disgusted. At some future time when I have leisure I shall give a character of this young man. I have written one on separate paper already but it does not satisfy me. Looked over the Astronomy lesson. IX:20.
1. On 12 March 1822 CFA had begun making entries in his literary commonplace book, a bound, blank notebook containing 382 pages, with a printed titlepage, A Common Place Book, upon the Plan Recommended and Practised by John Locke, Esq., Boston: Published by Cummings and Hilliard, 1821 (M/CFA/18, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 312). On the flyleaf, along with his name, he inscribed a quotation from Montesquieu: “Il ne s’agit de faire lire, mais de faire penser.” The first forty-five pages of the book form a rather skimpy subject index to the quotations which follow. The extracts themselves are chiefly from books which CFA mentions in his Diary. Perhaps one might { 120 } take as the theme of CFA’s anthology his quotation from Disraeli (p. 36): “What is youth but a sketch—a brief hour of principles unsettled, passions unrestrained, powers undeveloped, and purposes unexecuted.” With equal justice, however, one might see in it an attempt to live up to JQA’s definition of genius (p. 56): “If there is one faculty of Genius more prominent than another, it is the persevering endurance of intellectual labour.” For, though haphazard and miscellaneous, the commonplace book entries do indicate how much CFA read and how seriously he took his reading. For further information on Locke’s commonplace book, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:47, note.
2. Richard Sullivan Fay, of Cambridge, a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-06

Thursday. May 6th. V.

Spent an hour this morning studying my Astronomy lesson, then attended Prayers and recitation, had the happiness of being called upon first which is a very great relief, after which I employed myself writing my Journal which takes me some time. I read for my portion of Poetry for today Thomson’s Castle of Indolence. A very sweet thing. I have become almost altogether attached to that sort of stanza. There is something so smooth in it. It is peculiarly well adapted to his subject and the tone of his style is such as to convey almost the very feeling which he is describing. His sentiments are just and his description of the evil consequences attending indolence, is such as would destroy the effect of the commencement. His description is exquisitely simple although I have not perceived the ludicrous appearance which Dr. Aikin mentions in the preface. In fact I do not know whether I should not hesitate to which of his productions I should give the palm. Blank verse although good for sublime subjects, does not on the whole convey so much feeling to me as rhyme. On examining Dr. Johnson’s life of Milton I find my opinion supported by him who says that where the subject is not able to support itself blank verse can never be used with advantage, and that though we may [be] astonished at the power we shall only be pleased with rhyme. Thomson supports his subject well, but it requires more exertion to read that sort of versification and admits of fewer rests not having the advantage of stanzas. I have been very much pleased however by the whole of this author which I have yet read. At a little after ten o’clock, I attended the forensic disputation, “Whether prescience be consistent with human liberty” of which I had the negative to support, which agreed with my opinion. The arguments were very similar throughout, the other side however did not make as much of the case as in my opinion could have been done. We were here as usual two hours. Mr. Hedge1 decided the case as far as it is worded in our favour although he did not deny human liberty altogether. It is an incomprehensible and irreconciliable ques• { 121 } tion so that I intend never to consider it again, if possible to avoid it. My mind has been made up, as I believe it to be the only course for a man to pursue in argument that when he becomes too inquisitive he should check himself and retire. His next subject is a philological one as it treats of languages. I went and paid a visit to Fisher’s2 room of a few minutes where we had some conversation concerning our old Carolina classmates, but the Dinner bell ringing I was called home.
I was not able to read as much of Mosheim today as I intended owing to a visit from Tudor and Wheatland, of almost two hours after dinner and one from Howard of half an hour after the Greek review. I have not appeared very well in these and find I know less of Homer than I thought. Howard was stupid and sleepy, threw all the labour of amusing him upon me which was more than I could do. Indeed I wished him many times any where else. He is one of those men with whom I can have no common subjects of conversation. I cannot talk to him of women for I know none, nor of men for they do not interest him nor of College affairs for he considers himself above them, nor of books for he knows nothing of them, at least of any of those with which I have any acquaintance. I was thankful when the bell called us to Prayers. From these causes it was not till very late that I read Moliere. The play today was the “Bourgeois Gentilhomme.” An admirable production although I can imagine how much more pleasant it would be in representation. The folly of Monsieur Jourdain so natural to a weak head and large fortune, and the violence of his wife are very well contrasted. He resorts however to his old system of cheating a marriage, being extremely unwilling to use any other means. Servants are the acting class and they are the very persons who would most willingly receive these impressions.
I read over one hundred pages of Mosheim principally concerning the differences between Luther, Melancthon, Zwinglius and Calvin, the leaders of the reformed churches. The author does not perform the part of an impartial historian in this account. Nature is such that it can bear no contradiction in this most important part. We all wish to believe our doctrine the most acceptable and consequently wish that others would embrace yours [i.e. ours] or at least not arrogate to theirs the same. What seems reasonable in us appears very much the contrary in others. This I think is the origin of all the persecutions which have been continued ever since the origin of our religion. The account of these differences although they explain the doctrines of the separate parties are only of importance to the Minister or Theological student as I have no interest in learning the shades of distinction. { 122 } My end being only to obtain and facts and learn their causes in human nature.3 “The study of mankind is man.” Thus did the Evening pass and after studying or rather merely reading over Astronomy I retired to bed. IX:30.
1. Levi Hedge, Harvard 1792, who served as professor of logic and metaphysics from 1810 to 1827, later became Alford professor of natural religion, moral philosophy, and civil polity (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
2. Joshua Francis Fisher, of Philadelphia, a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
3. CFA undoubtedly meant: “My end being only to obtain the facts and learn their causes in human nature.”

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-07

Friday. May 7th. V:20.

Arose and after reading over Astronomy, attended Prayers and recitation after which I wrote my Journal and attended a recitation to Mr. Sales the study of which employed me nearly all the morning. Having but just time to read three parts of Thomson’s Liberty. This is a dull heavy poem, written in that sort of measure which is the worst adapted to common use for although we sometimes unconsciously speak in it, still this makes the attempt more difficult, for we are only prompted to it by highly exalted feelings. There is nevertheless some evidence of talent and some of those expressions which I spoke of formerly as the peculiarity of Byron. His reflections are sometimes just but we cannot entirely approve a poem with no action unless as is the case with Childe Harold the ideas are supported uniformly in the same strain. It was not without pain that I got through. Perhaps on a second reading I shall relish it more.
It being a very rainy day I did not expect that we should have a lecture; this was the case however. Mr. Farrar treated today of several phenomena in Opticks the names of which I did not distinctly hear. The first was concerning an appearance which often is seen in the Eastern countries by which an image of an object is formed inverted over the object, itself.1 Also that in the deserts of Arabia and Africa, the appearance of a lake always obstructs the passage of travellers who imagine it to lie between them and their journey’s end, the same behind. This accounted for by the excessive heat which forms a stratum of excessively rarified air which is close to the earth and performs the part of a speculum. So that rays which strike under a certain angle are reflected and form an image on the opposite side. Two or three phenomena of less importance such as the formation of images of places on water at some distance and the story of the man in the isle of Bourbon. Lastly he came to the Aurora Borealis of { 123 } which he gave a very interesting account. Its appearance, attending noise, and uniform attachment to the poles. No satisfactory explanation has yet been given, although one as near as possible has been proposed by a Mr. Dalton2 I believe, that at the pole the earth is bound with ice in such a way as to contain the electric fluid and stop its passage into the earth, and that occasionally it is drawn out and passes off through the air by the influence of particles of iron in the air. I see no use of this latter as air is a Conductor to take off all the surplus which may be contained in this ice. Ice is a conductor until it is exposed to a certain degree of cold when it is used for electrical purposes almost as well as glass.
I attended Declamation, the last Division of the Senior Class made their last appearance, and I carried a piece for approval. A very singular affair took place which has caused some noise. The expulsion of two students, Potter and Barry, Sophomores.3 The cause was just enough. It appears he had brought a lady out of town and was found by Hayward sleeping with her. Barry was expelled for being in the room. The government could act in no other way. Such an affair had not happened before for many years. It is a great scandal to the College. Hening,4 another of the same class, was dismissed yesterday, cause not known. Supposed to be general conduct. The rest of the afternoon was spent in reading Mosheim and finishing the fourth volume, besides reading the “Fourberies de Scapin” of Moliere. This is an extremely amusing play as it shows the ways of an accomplished cheat. But it lays the most open to the usual objection, of all his plays. While we admire his ingenuity and his wit it is impossible not to damn the moral. I am not a very moral man but I do not think that these things should dazzle the eyes of the common people.
Not much is to be said of Mosheim as I am in the middle of very dull accounts of doctrine. Calvin with all his good qualities had counterbalancing faults and has left sentiments among his partisans which do him no honour. The weaknesses of Nature are fully portrayed in this account of the various sects as we find no opinion too absurd not to be embraced by some—the most extravagant obtaining most extensively. The horrible lengths of the Anabaptists were not disgusting to the sect although it became more wise by persecution from the others. There is an interesting account of Socinianism which I wished to read in order to know the sentiments of that sect which is now very extensively embraced around here and of which this Institution is the source. They seem to be more innocent in their intentions than any of the others. These divided much as they do now showing the { 124 } inclination of men to go from one doctrine of a mild sort to a bolder until they come to no belief at all.
I attended Prayers was afterwards caught in a thunder shower so that I was obliged to stay from home and neglect my lesson. Being engaged all the Evening at a meeting of the Knights of the Square Table at Chapman’s room. It is a festive club and quite a large Meeting. After staying there till ten we followed the Pierian Sodality5 who were serenading all round, the night being a fine one. Returning home late I found it impossible to study so I went directly to bed having enjoyed myself very much. XI:45.
1. CFA, probably at a later period, penciled the word “Mirage” in the margin.
2. Possibly John Dalton (1766–1844), the English scientist.
3. Thomas P. Potter, of Charlestown, Mass., and Edward Barry, of Norfolk, Va. (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
4. Edward W. Hening, of Richmond, Va. (same).
5. Little is known of this singing club except that it was begun in 1808, combined with the equally obscure “Anacreontics” in 1819, and later spawned a glee club. GWA was president of the group in 1820, but CFA never joined. See Catalogue . . . of the Pierian Sodality of Harvard University, Cambridge, 1832, Harvard Archives, and Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 201.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-08

Saturday. May. 8th. VII:30.

Owing to my being up so late last night I did not arise quite so early this morning and therefore missed Prayers and recitation in Enfield. I immediately sat down to write my Journal for the preceding day. There being no Exercises after the Morning, I had it for leisure time and read in it the fourth part of “Liberty” and Moliere’s tragicomedy of Psyche. Of the first I can say but little more than I did yesterday except that I like it a little better. Some fine sentiments and just observations and occasionally quite a bright passage. This is too severely criticised by a very few words in Dr. Johnson’s life of him, saying that when it came out he had not been able to get through it and he never should. It is not a subject or a title to please him very much. Psyche is rather a representation drama than a reading comedy. There is great room for scenery and beautiful women. The Gods being the principal actors, the whole goes by machinery. I could imagine the effect of it on the stage but I should not incline to read it again. La Fontaine has written a beautiful little story on this subject which although considered by Roscoe as a failure, I beg leave to differ, and think well of. I am not a judge but I recollect being very much pleased in reading it.
I received also a very good letter from John1 in which he tells me his disappointment in a party to Mount Vernon in a very amusing { 125 } way. Thus was I occupied all the morning, so constantly that I could but just steal ten minutes before dinner to go to the reading room. Not much news. The memorial of Mr. Edwards is printed and makes considerable noise.2 I think Monsieur’s chance is gradually improving. This affair may assist Crawford materially however. Each man to his turn however to clear up these accusations. My father has been through the ordeal with success. Let others go on also. The Boston party of republicans are very rash and headstrong, attacking the federalists, like fools. Had they been more moderate, they would have had much less opposition to their measures.
The members of the house were all absent today except Tudor and myself, so we dined alone. After dinner my time was most egregiously wasted but not voluntarily, for Tudor was here one hour and a half and after him Brenan for another hour so that at four o’clock I had accomplished very little. Tudor then insisted upon a walk to the bookstore which I had promised, so that I went and lounged there sometime. We had intended to ride but changed our minds when the wind rose—the roads also were not sufficiently good. I returned home at a quarter past five but could do nothing owing to Tudor and Wheatland and Sheafe until we attended Prayers.
I read only about one hundred pages of Mosheim all day. It treated of the commencement of the seventeenth Century, and has become less interesting to me as it comes to more known ages. The system of Missions was commenced and carried on in this century. The Catholics adopting the measure. The Jesuits acting a conspicuous part in these scenes. This sect became terrible as it obtained power and as it was under the influence of no moral restraint could affect even the Pope himself. They became hated and persecuted in some kingdoms and it has now become so proverbial that Jesuitical signifies to the world generally, every thing that is bad. I am not inclined to be so quick in condemning them in America, as historians speak of the Paraguay missions as models for the peaceful civilization of the Indians. I have never been able to make up my mind concerning the efficacy of proselytism, and less concerning the expediency of talking so arrogantly about our religion—“the light of the divine ray,” “benighted regions,” are the expressions of almost all Christians. They believe themselves to be right and are so without doubt to us. But if there was no doubt in the minds of pagans they would all embrace our religion upon perceiving its truth that is to say immediately. And it would be unnecessary to make converts by fraudulent means or to make any exertion by missionaries. Let this divine truth act for itself. { 126 } Perhaps if we inquire rigidly into the matter we shall find that these rays were not introduced so as to convince, for even the most pious allow that had not the religion been a remarkably good political system it would not have obtained so general an acceptation. If the religion is one so convincing why make so violent exertions in its favour, if not it is not worthwhile to spread it. I have nothing more to notice except the great spread of philosophy. This being the age of Gassendi, Descartes, Bacon, Galileo and Newton.
I have to blame myself this afternoon for becoming too angry in a conversation with Tudor. My position was right for he was exercising most intolerable arrogance over Sheafe but I was wrong in becoming angry. My passions are not things I know to be trifled for if excited to a very high degree it might cost my antagonist and myself our life. I have not been in a passion since my unfortunate affair with Fessenden.3 I governed myself very well finally and walked to Prayers with Tudor in very good terms. In the Evening I walked with Dwight with some delightful conversation. On returning I wrote a letter to Mother in rather a plaintive tone being somewhat affected by an expression in hers.4 This detained me awake until late. XI:20.
1. Missing.
2. See entry for 1 May, and note, above.
3. Benjamin Buekman Fessenden, of Boston, a former schoolmate of CFA’s at the Boston Latin School and a junior at Harvard, was expelled on the 15th. See Boston Latin School Catalogue, p. 154; Harvard Annual Cat., 1823; and entry for 15 May, below.
4. Letter missing.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-09

Sunday. May. 9th. VII:20.

Arose very late this morning after having missed Prayers. The late hour at which I retired last night and the only time we have for indulgence had their effect in detaining me. This circumstance however put me woefully back in my day’s business. My Journal not being finished until it was time to attend Chapel. Indeed I find that the duties I have set upon myself too difficult as they give me not a moment of leisure time during the day. Unavoidable circumstances and occurrences delay my progress and make me unsatisfied with myself. Indeed this accumulation of duties has happened by accident as I commenced two long works before I received this Journal1 for which I had made no allowance. Things being so however I shall persevere, as but little more is left. I can not bear to give way in a plan as it diminishes my self esteem and injures future resolutions. The precedent is the thing to be feared and not the step.
I concluded the poem of Liberty and with a few other small poems, { 127 } finished the Sixth Volume of the Poets. Whatever I may intend to read over, certainly this is not one as I imagine there is not enough temptation. Of his small poems I noticed some very remarkable. “Les Femmes Savantes” came to my assistance and amused me very much. A severe caricature upon the Blue stockings but perhaps not altogether so incorrect as might be supposed. A learned lady is a suspicious personage for it naturally makes a person suppose that wanting the employment which is the lot of the sex in general, she is obliged to resort to books as a relief from ennui. This is all well enough if no noise be made about it. Pity, respect and esteem, would arise in case such a matter were but suspected and one had no room to go further. They are a talking set though and cannot conceal the pride of superiority in any respect.
I attended Chapel and heard Dr. Ware in the morning and Mr. Colman2 in the afternoon. The former was uncommonly long this morning, creating a smile throughout the Student seats upon his sixthly and lastly. This is not the fault of the old gentleman generally however. The latter person preaches here but seldom and is generally considered fearfully having dosed us at times. He was short however today, and although I did not think his Sermon extraordinary, I was quite pleased with the variety of his imagery and the strength of his expression. The seats are no places however to attend to a Preacher with Patience. I sometimes think it would be the worst penance a Student could be put to, if he were set there for any length of time. An anthem was sung but not very much to my taste as it appears to me that they howl more than formerly, having lost the good way of singing, they formerly possessed. I came away rejoiced as probably it is the last Sunday, I attend this Term.
I could not touch Mosheim until late in the Evening owing partly to my being obliged to answer the letter received yesterday from John which took some time; as he writes full letters I consider myself compelled to answer in the same style whether I possess material or not.3 I principally amused him today with an account of the late expulsion. The other cause which detained me was a visit from Tudor and Richardson in the Evening. I must confess that finding myself so much interrupted by the visits and parties of the Students, I have been seriously considering the expediency of obtaining some other room next year. Were it not that it would be inconvenient to me on account of my books, the great superiority of accommodations, I think I should be decided in favour of this step. Whatever the pleasure may be, I am conscious of a higher end in coming here than amusement. My temper { 128 } is naturally jovial and is liable therefore to be exposed to temptations which would make me extravagant and dissipated. My conversation with Richardson was not of a nature to soften these feelings in the least. He is the most irritating young man in his manners that I ever met with and that so unconsciously that one becomes the more provoked because he can blame him less. A perfect facheux with as good a disposition as I have seen. Weak however as possible he seldom knows when he is straining most the feelings of his companions. He bears me astonishingly. I am conscious of my arrogance towards him and wish I could correct him or me, but it is no affair of mine and talking with him always makes me feel humbled.
They stayed until eight o’clock so that I could read but fifty pages of Mosheim this day. The Catholic religion gained ground in this Century by a reaction and many princes were reconverted perhaps more from policy than belief. These princes also commenced their system of persecution. The Moors, the Huguenots and the Germans suffered from the effects of this bigotry which returned upon themselves with tenfold injury. Spain has never recovered the step taken at that time for the industrious portion of the people were expelled. The power of the popes and their direction of temporal affairs was no longer tolerated, it became what was first intended, merely acting over spiritual matters and even those in a moderate degree. They could no more pretend to the supreme dominion over the world.
Having copied an extract into my Common Place Book, I went up and spent some time at Wheatland’s room, all the Lyceum were collected there. Payne and Lunt,4 Seniors, and Day a Yale Student5 were also there. After being amused at some stories some of which were excessively blasphemous I came away. I was rather ashamed so having read Enfield, retired. X:15.
1. See entry for 3 May, above.
2. Henry Colman, the Congregational minister in Salem (Mass. Register, 1825, p. 86).
3. Both letters are missing.
4. William Edward Payne, of Boston, and George Lunt, of Newburyport (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
5. Edgar Burr Day, Yale 1824 (Dexter, Yale Graduates Later than 1815).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-10

Monday. May. 10th. V:15.

Arose and after again looking over my Astronomy attended Prayers. Did the same between Prayers and recitation it being our turn to go in last. My Journal being thus delayed could scarcely command enough time to day. I spent all the leisure part of the morning upon it which to be sure is not much as I was employed learning and reciting my Spanish lesson. Mr. Farrar’s Lecture takes up more than an hour a { 129 } day. Today he exhibited to us a solar microscope and tried some experiments with it. The day was not a good one for although it was clear, the wind was high and shook the mirror very much. The magnifying power though was astonishing exhibiting the finest fibres of a small portion of the finest of animals that is to say the most delicate. The lecture was a beautiful one and drew a much larger audience than usual although the students could not avoid showing their boyish propensities. The darkness of the room made a return of light very painful and I walked home with my eyes shut.
Entering my room, I found to my no small surprise, my brother George sitting here. He had come with my Uncle from Quincy and was going to Boston. As it was the second time I had seen him only, I fell immediately to talking of every subject which I had been asking him in my mind for some time. I have been to town to see him but it is impossible to find him there. Having talked of Washington and Quincy for some time, My Uncle came in and arranged accounts between himself and me, treating me very generously. I like very much some of this man’s qualities and am sorry that I have been at times so violent but my patience has been so severely tasked at times when my character for credit was less established that I could not help bursting out. They left me at dinner time.
The afternoon was spent in reading some pieces of Ambrose Phillips particularly his translation of Sappho which is quite good and all the poems of Collins in this collection. Of these I prefer three which in my mind are equal to any thing of the kind in the language. The Ode to the Passions I need only mention as it’s character is too high to need remark. His dirge in Cymbeline and the ode to Thomson are really beautiful.1 There is a tinge of deep melancholy spread over these which gives them great richness and a tender, plaintive tone which goes to the heart instantly. He wrote with feeling and he wrote with force. His life is a melancholy story like that of many of his equals, he died miserably. I was very much pleased with these productions today. But from some cause or other I had not accomplished any thing today except what I have mentioned at three o’clock when it was necessary to study my lesson in Tacitus. We commenced the dialogue on Orators today but I did not read over the whole of the day’s lesson before the bell rung. As it has been usual for Mr. Otis to call upon me first on Mondays I determined to make up my lost time by carrying Moliere into recitation. This was amusement for recitation as my expectation was answered. I read “la Comtesse d’Escarbagnas.” It is but a small work and nevertheless rather diverting. Not { 130 } much point to the Play but as usual some severe satire. The women had reason to abuse Moliere for he was continually ridiculing them. His plays turn generally on their foibles. The countess is an aping fine lady taken off pretty well, but with not much exertion, as it seems as if it was thrown together for an afterpiece.
After recitation I paid a visit to Cunningham’s2 room with Otis, for the first time this term. My negligence has been great towards him. But circumstances have affected our intercourse. He has not been here so often since his quarrel with Dwight and I have felt less interested in him since I have seen him less. This difference is a very unpleasant affair to me and as it has been very silly I had hoped to be able to decide it but they are such tempers that I despair. Nothing could be done while Otis was with me so I made a formal visit and returned home. From thence went to the Book store where I lounged until Prayers. After attending these I returned home with the hope of having a good reading evening to myself but I had hardly got myself comfortably seated before J. Otis3 and Rundlet walked in to pay me a visit. This broke up my evening entirely so that I did not read a word. Allyne Otis came in also and we talked all over the old affairs of our Freshman year. I recollected my dissipation, melancholy and waste of time and had more to reproach myself of than usually agrees with me to recollect. The worst of this world is that in times past we recollect only the bad actions as the most striking and the good ones being a mere matter of course are suffered to run on unnoticed. My Journal had I kept one would have told me all, but I think the negligence of that is the very worst sign of all. I recollect billiards, drinking parties and riding as the principal concerns of that year. With my sickness, my ideas fortunately changed and I came back a new man. Perhaps I am too free now but at least there is not this fear that I shall go to lengths which will be destructive to me hereafter. I trust not. J. Otis is one of the most remarkable instances of resolution I have seen, his health though has contributed as much if not more than his inclinations to the destruction of his applications. They left me at nine and after a little talk with Mr. Saunder’s I went to Wheatland’s where as usual I met a pack of Seniors who kept me there till after ten o’clock when I came down and could give but a superficial look at “Twilight” this evening. X:15.
1. Several selections from Ambrose Philips (1675?-1749) and William Collins (1721–1759) are included in Aikin’s British Poets.
2. Francis Cunningham, of Boston, a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
3. Joseph Russell Otis, of Boston, a junior (same).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-11

Tuesday. May. 11th. V:15.

Studied my Astronomy before Prayers and spent the interval in writing my Journal. After recitation as I had the Morning before me, I determined to make the best of it, therefore directly sat down to read Dyer’s1 Grongar Hill and Ruins of Rome. I also read Shenstone’s2 School Mistress. I do not admire feeble Poetry which however pretty it may be leaves a sort of vacant unpleasant feeling not to be made up by descriptions. The first author has some good ideas and commences them well but he fails by making too long a winding in its close and not wording this with effect. He is not concise and striking enough—indeed I imagine he is not one of the Poets whom I have marked for a reperusal. I will not say this of Shenstone for there is some very pretty poetry in the first piece in this collection although I am conscious, I shall have the same objection to him which I gave to Dyer’s. They both want force. I also read Moliere’s last and very possibly his best Play, that of the “Malade Imaginaire,” at least it is a very amusing one. He loved to satirize the learned Medical Faculty and throughout all his Plays omits no opportunity of dashing at them. He also pays no compliment to College Education in the person of Mr. Thomas Diafoirus who is made to cut a very ridiculous figure. Here he is right for College pedants are the most unpleasant animals in the world. I was very much amused in reading over this though I will confess I was not sorry it was the last of Moliere’s Plays.
We attended a lecture of Mr. Farrar’s at eleven o’clock. The day being windy and the sun not bright, the lectures on Opticks were postponed and he gave us one on Electricity which had formerly been postponed on account of the weather. The lecture was entirely experimental, as the theory had been explained before. He charged part of a battery and showed us how the fluid passed through paper, melted gold leaf, fired ether and cotton, and ignited hydrogen gas. The lecture was the most amusing I have yet been to. He also explained many of the instruments which he used. He was quite short so that I had time to go to the Athenaeum3 and Bookstore before dinner. My satisfaction was great today in having performed all my duties in season. I can but seldom do this now from the great number of tasks imposed upon me and the duties which I owe to civility in receiving and returning visits. This latter as the least important I am compelled to neglect but it has already excited some dissatisfaction among my friends. Such is the feeling among some in this institution who take offense because I, their humble servant, do not wait upon them the very next day after the honour has been conferred upon me. Even { 132 } Brenan undertook once to become offended at what he was pleased to call my slight.
Having the day entirely to myself without interruption, I progressed rapidly in Mosheim reading two hundred pages. My observations on this part of the work are not so numerous as they have been because the accounts are less interesting, doctrinal points are explained which have no bearing on my purpose in reading the book. The Pope was in continual strife with the powers of Europe it being their last attempt to recover that supremacy which was inevitably and irrecoverably gone. All had discovered the important secret that the Pope was not infallible and that the Catholic religion was not the only religion. I am not surprised that the Jesuits obtained the degree of authority which they did. Their policy was most admirably adapted to sooth men’s minds and obtain authority over them. Their principles were made subservient to their end. Their effect however on the morality of the age was material. Jansenism which was opposed to it however, I consider full as extravagant if not as criminal. The Greek Church is only mentioned to be stated as going to ruin, indeed though considerably revived in Russia it is still in a most barbarous state. But the most provoking account is that of the Lutheran Church of this Century. Their obstinacy, their intolerance and bigotry is disgusting. It has descended to their posterity and is one of the harshest features in their Church. I was diverted by the history of the conferences which he gives. Plans which were commenced with the best intentions and closed with the least success. Argument is the most foolish way of wishing to end a dispute in the world. Defeat irritates the conquered and victory exalts the successful, both however are acted upon by ill feeling and conviction never takes place. In this church two sects were formed—the Syncretists and Pietists. The latter in attempting to reform the world went to the other extreme and have been the cause of all the bigoted notions of the present day. In fact I should imagine that this is the least Christian of all the numerous religious sects.
Mr. Farrar gave a lecture this Evening, that is, he gave us some experiments which could not be so well done in the day time. Owing to the great crowd of Freshmen and Sophomores who took advantage of the darkness, the room became very hot and the moisture arising from the breath prevented the success of these. Much to my regret. The quickness of lightning or the fluid was well exhibited and this was the only one. I returned home disappointed and having finished Mosheim early, I went up to Wheatland’s and had an hour’s conversation with him. He is sometimes quite pleasant, and as I remark that he { 133 } is remarkably polite to me I take care that he shall not become too intimate to lose it. Read over Enfield. X.
1. John Dyer (1700?–1758).
2. William Shenstone (1714–1763).
3. From the context and from frequent similar references to “the Athenaeum” in the following months, this appears to have been a news shop and periodical reading room in the area of what is now Harvard Square. Since CFA often visited it between morning classes and between afternoon classes and prayers (and could hear the Harvard chapel bell as he read), it could not have been the famous Boston Athenaeum, incorporated in 1807 and located at this time in the James Perkins house, 13 Pearl Street, Boston. CFA was later to frequent that institution, both before and after it moved, in 1849, to its present building at 10 1/2 Beacon Street; see Whitehill, Boston: A Topographical History, p. 117–118. Nor could it have been the Cambridge Athenaeum, which was not founded until 1849 and was eventually absorbed by the Cambridge Public Library; see Arthur Gilman, ed., The Cambridge of Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-Six, Cambridge, 1896, p. 228. CFA’s “Athenaeum” is probably the same as “the reading room” he so often mentions passing a little time in to see the latest news and magazines. It was clearly not the same as “the Bookstore,” evidently William Hilliard’s (see entry for 14 Sept., and note, below), also in Cambridge but at a little distance from the Yard and the Athenaeum.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-12

Wednesday. May. 12th. V:25.

Looked over my Astronomy with more care than usual, attended Prayers and having spent the half hour in writing my journal, went to recitation but was not called upon. The Morning being the busy one, I did not accomplish my Journal till late, my Spanish lesson employing me until late. Mr. Sales was not well attended today, this was not the case however with the Lecture from Farrar. For that was very full. He gave us the theory of Thunder and Lightning today. The great fault with this man is that there is no originality in him, his experiments are precisely those we read in Enfield not varied in the least and illustrated almost in his words. He gives us also much repetition of the simple steps which tires one very much. He has a great deal of recapitulation. He closed his lecture by showing us a few experiments in Opticks exhibiting by the power of the solar microscope, a number of flies magnified and some crystallizations which were very beautiful indeed. He is not generally successful in his experiments however.
Returning home I finished Shenstone and Churchill1 in this collection. I also read “la Gloire du Val de Grace,”2 the concluding poem in the works of Moliere. I passed quickly over the softness of the first poet and read with great delight the Rosciad. It is admirable satire—piquant, just and well directed. The lines have remarkable force in them and the sentiments on the subject are correct. It is forcible and this is the great end of Poetry. The lines are strong and come together { 134 } uniting meaning with sound. Indeed I have not relished any of this kind of writing remarkably until I came to this, and have marked it for frequent reconsideration. As to Moliere’s Poem, I do not see much meaning to it, it appears to be a panegyric upon the work of some carver and may be said perhaps to be prettily turned. It has a great deal of Boileau’s “clinquant” in it though. At least such was my impression, which may be unjust as I will confess I read it superficially. This finishes his Works. I have been very well pleased in reading them. He ridiculed the foibles of the age with a great deal of happiness and introduced some improvements of consequence in the public taste. For his wit and comic effect he will deservedly remain a favourite with the French and a standard in their language. I have read all his plays in exactly one month. My daily portion has been missed but once and that was on a day which I had allowed myself a holiday. It was on last Exhibition.3 This has been beneficial to me as it has proved my method and resolution and also it has opened to my examination the beauties of one of the first authors in the French or in any language. I speak now in my own person and therefore drop the objection of moral tendency.
I had intended to have spent the afternoon in reading but Tudor came in and staid here. We conversed for a considerable time. This is a singular man, I have attempted once or twice to draw a correct character but find myself unable. His fine feelings, his variableness, his love of contradiction and his obstinacy when engaged on a side make up a chaos which it is impossible to arrange in a continual and regular series. The fine points of his nature far out-balance the bad ones. He is generous, he is affectionate, and openhearted. Positive and this arises from youth, obstinate and this comes from feeling. The truth is that he has lived without obtaining or endeavouring to obtain any command over his passions, he gratifies all his desires without hesitations. Still he has some principle, for though dissipated he never drinks to excess and ardent he indulges but little in women. Of this latter quality one might be led to doubt his possession. But on the whole I incline to think from his complexion and temper it is but want of temptation which makes him appear the contrary. This principle if I will speak correctly, I must allow is not from a sentiment of moral wrong but from the dislike of the consequences as affecting himself. Thus have I been as fair and impartial as possible in this account. He is my friend.
I read ninety pages of Mosheim today—to become disgusted by his partiality, and the contentions which he describes. Had I not gone so { 135 } far in this work, I should throw it up in disgust, and that would injure my perseverance. We attended the Dudleian Lecture this afternoon in the place of a recitation. It was delivered this year by Mr. Flint of Salem.4 The subject, the force of revealed religion. This makes the fourth we have heard since entering College. There was not a great deal of argument in it as his proofs were simple, reducing himself to two or three plain but pretty powerful dilemmas. His close was eloquent however, in his address to the students he spoke with much feeling and his unaffected manner had considerable effect. It was on the whole quite an agreable disappointment. The rest of the day was spent in finishing my portion of Mosheim, writing a sketch for my tomorrow’s theme and studying my lesson. At nine o’clock, Richardson and Tudor came down and we drank a bottle of Champagne Wine together. We (the Lyceum Club of whom I shall speak hereafter) had bought a hamper and therefore to try its quality we three took one of the Society.5 It was very delicious and after some conversation we all retired, I being moderately exhilarated, very slightly however. The Wine was very fine. XI.
1. Charles Churchill (1731–1764).
2. “La gloire du dôme du Val-de-Grâce.”
3. By college rule this would have been the last Tuesday of April (or 27 April).
4. The Dudleian Lecture was an annual rotating theological discourse. The Rev. James Flint’s sermon was later published in A Present from a Pastor to His Young Parishioners, Boston, 1844; the manuscript is in the Harvard Archives.
5. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-13

Thursday. May 13th. V:30.

Arose and studied my lesson, both before Prayers and in the Interval. Mr. Hayward would not call upon me however, much to my regret. I accomplished my theme this Morning on the subject of “Money answereth all things.” The discussion of it is very easy so that I was quite early in carrying mine up. Mr. Channing1 made but few remarks on my old one, he complains principally of my obscurity, which is owing to my indolence and disinclination to develop an idea. It is too much trouble and not much variety. I did nothing besides except read a paraphrase of the book of Job by Young2 and the two first parts of his Night Thoughts. Of the first production I thought but very little, the latter is a gloomy, wretched picture of life. It diffused its mournful strain over my feelings and made me melancholy indeed. The Wine which I had drunk last night had a great effect upon me today, causing some languor, this together with the weather had such effect upon me. At dinner I made a great exertion to obtain my usual spirits which succeeded at the time but only threw me into { 136 } worse vapours in the afternoon. I took up Mosheim and closed the fifth volume before Prayers. I did not make many observations upon what I read as I have got displeased with the work. The author so evidently manifests his feelings and the translator in his notes sometimes shows a little malignity particularly to the Quakers. Whatever their tenets may be they are now a very regular and moral sect consequently no just cause of complaint can be given. The argument concerning their leader or founder has nothing to do with it’s present organization. Perhaps they are wrong in opposing a law firmly established but this should be treated in a way by which obstinacy, the great point in man’s weaknesses, is taken off. In short, the milk of human kindness is quite deficient in this Man. After some agitation I determined to attend the lesson in Tacitus, and was called upon second in a section which I had overlooked by some accident as it fell through between the lessons. I however got through with it, and reconciled myself without much difficulty to the idea of having recited for the last time in Latin at Harvard University. That this task which has been on me incessantly for nine years almost is now taken off and that in future my reading will be voluntary. There is something in this feeling certainly very comfortable for I am tired of working like a mill horse. After tea I read over my lesson and then took a considerable walk with Richardson. I had some conversation with him but it was of the provoking sort. Indeed now, there is not much which does not jar my nerves in him.
Thus the Evening went, and at nine o’clock, I attended a Meeting of the Lyceum Club at Sheafe’s. This is an Institution of our own, formed at the commencement of this term. Composed of the Members of the House,3 Otis, Richardson, Sheafe, Tudor, Wheatland and myself, together with Chapman, Dwight and Lothrop. Its purpose is entirely festive and consequently immediately upon organizing we went into Committee of the Whole which is the form, and sat down to Whist, at two Tables, Wheatland being out of the game. We had all of us been in terrible spirits during the day, Tudor was sick, Dwight was in bad temper so was Wheatland and so was I. Our different tempers were considerably developed in the course of the night. The great length of the term also had soured us much, so that I can easily account for the feelings of the company. The fact is that we were set in for a debauch and one long expected. After the first rubber had been played, the Champagne Wine which was the provision, was produced and one bottle placed before each man. It was unfortunate however that one table finished Whist so much before the other, as they soon { 137 } became noisy and boisterous. Richardson also, acting under the influence of the wine lost all the good qualities he does possess and became to us, most disagreable. This noise on the one side and silence on the other, excited a spirit of discontent between the tables which was still more brought into action by a vote which we five, (inviting the President, Wheatland) carried against them concerning the breaking of the Glasses which we decided should be paid for by the breakers. I voted for this, because I thought it would be a guard upon some of the weak men in the society. This vote irritated Dwight to a high degree which increased by the liquor he had taken, he flew into a violent passion and refused to have any connection with us until we retracted. His obstinacy was astonishing and very unpleasant. At last after finding relief from his bursting feelings by tears by which he affected Richardson in the same way they came over and we formed a circle around the large table where we sung many songs, and finished the Wine. The rest of the scene was all riot, Sheafe employed two to hold him down. Tables, Chairs and some glasses were tumbled down. The excitement was general with the exception of Wheatland. Dwight made up his differences with the closest hugs. We then went to walk, and returned in a rolling walk. For myself I was sick before the close as this agitation affected me. Upon my return I found every body retiring so I went myself. Our friends all staid over here, Chapman sleeping with me. I morning.4
1. Edward Tyrrel Channing was Boylston professor of rhetoric and oratory from 1819 to 1851 (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
2. Edward Young (1683–1765).
3. Mrs. Saunders’ house, where most of the members roomed.
4. 1:00 A.M.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-14

Friday May. 14th. VII:40.

Missed Morning Prayers and recitations all day. My feelings to day were not of a sort to feel proud of. My mouth felt very much parched and I felt myself considerably under the influence of fever. As Chapman and Lothrop could not boast much we tried a walk this morning, but I returned still having some of last evenings dizziness. In fact I never was so much affected by an affair of this kind in my life. I was not intoxicated for I went to bed perfectly conscious of my actions and with a perfect command over myself. But I had drunk nearly a bottle and a half of this Champagne Wine and felt quite loaded in consequence. Not being inclined to remain alone and the house appearing much like myself I paid visits at Greenough’s room and Brenan’s. J. Otis was at the former. Greenough looked suspicious and Otis con• { 138 } gratulated me on my appearance. After some very insipid conversation on subjects of no importance I returned home, spent half an hour at Wheatland’s and then attended Mr. Farrar’s lecture on Galvanism. He gave us some account of the instrument called the Voltaic battery and exhibited the effects of different metals on frogs. I should like to have attended more to this lecture, but I was so exhausted, I dropped asleep, although I made exertions to the contrary. My feelings were not of a nature to be envied. This volume is intended to portray my actions and passions to myself candidly so that I will conceal nothing. This has given me a lesson in this respect which I shall take care to notice. I accomplished nothing this morning. It was wasted in an attempt to introduce comfort again to my room. I could eat no dinner, trying a little soup—my stomach refused it and I was compelled to arise from table to throw it up. This had an excellent effect, had I taken warm water this morning I should have been saved all this. Although it was my turn to declaim this afternoon I felt myself entirely unable so I gave up the idea of attending and immediately went to bed. My exhaustion carried me to sleep in five minutes and I again awoke at four o’clock having derived much benefit from this. The rest of the afternoon was spent in a gradual recovery and by tea time I had very nearly recovered from my indisposition. My lips being now the only difficulty as they felt very dry still. This has been the case always after drinking wine of late which evidently proves my blood to be in a heated state. Indeed if I do not feel better I have made up my mind to ask leave of absence from the President for the rest of the term.
To amuse myself as much as possible, I took up the Sentimental Journey1 and read some pages in it but found myself entirely dead to all it’s sweetest passages and could not laugh at it’s nonsense. So I threw it up and tried the fourth Canto of Don Juan but this had as little power over me, the beautiful description of the death of Haidee sounded like lame Poetry to me. I fell into a passion with the stanza and was disgusted with the levity of my friend the singer. Satisfied that this was doing me no good I read a few letters in the first volume of Voltaire’s General Correspondence.2 They were written in youth and therefore of not much use or beauty. Now and then a striking remark but nothing to show a future Voltaire. I read two Chapters of the Bible today also, for the first time for a great while. I do not recollect having read one before for three or four years. By this variety I managed to pass through a bleak and cold afternoon. My appetite was considerably restored for tea.
Dwight went this morning. I had no time to see him and find what { 139 } was the state of his temper. Although I should be sorry to have him recollect the circumstances of last night’s affair to make a difference today, yet I should not be surprised knowing his character as I do, if he did take this course. Indeed I think it a happy thing that he departs for in the vacation he will have time to reconsider his conduct on this Evening and repent his violence. I am not conscious of being an ungenerous man nor of grudging any thing when there is any satisfaction to be obtained on either side but I feared much the taking off a feeling of caution from one or two as I had heard of a similar case a few days back where one of a party destroyed every glass in the room for amusement. This could not be agreable to any of the rest. In such a scene as last night’s there was much to make each man sorry. Richardson for his unpleasant noise, Dwight for his obstinacy, Chapman and I for anger and so on. Perhaps we shall not be on such pleasant terms in future. I know nothing of this however, and if I have a trial, shall endeavour to suppress my injured feelings as much as possible.
In the Evening I was at Wheatlands with a number of Seniors who, it seems have smelt a rat and gave us strong intimations that they knew what we had been doing. After some conversation about craniology3 and nonsense I went down and spent the rest of the Evening writing my Journal. I did not read Young to night, because he was too gloomy for evening and the state of my nerves so I postponed until tomorrow. X:15.
1. JQA’s copy of Laurence Sterne’s Works, 10 vols., London, 1780, is in the Stone Library, as are two other editions which CFA acquired subsequent to this entry—one published in London, 1823, in 4 vols., but containing an inscription from John H. Richardson dated 1825; the other published in London, 1802, in 7 vols., containing the signature of P. C. Brooks, whom CFA did not know at this point.
2. The Stone Library contains two copies of Voltaire’s OEuvres complètes, one published at Deux-Ponts in 1791–1792, in 100 vols., the other, no place indicated, in 1785, 16 vols. A set of Voltaire’s OEuvres, 37 vols., Genève, 1775, is among JA’s books in tine Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 258).
3. Phrenology.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-15

Saturday. May 15th. VII:30.

Arose considerably refreshed although feeling still quite feverish in consequence of which I determined to absent myself from the College Exercises until I should be able to get my name out. In order to preserve myself from a severe attack I took some Medicine, we making quite a party of it, for Tudor and Sheafe accompanied me. The morning I spent in a very desultory way. I read two parts more of Night Thoughts. This is a remarkable poem. Perfectly original and perfectly { 140 } gloomy, it gives us a picture of human life which could very easily influence every man in a state of misfortune to destroy himself. For me it is very much against the present state of my feelings to read it, they are sufficiently affected at present without wishing to make them worse. I have also got so well satisfied with the world that I am inclined to think this man’s representations of it are very much strained nor am I desirous to believe that we must guide all our life in the course which should lead to a good death, the sole end of our existence. Death is but a moment and although a painful one it does not require much more preparation than that which sickness gives. As to deathbed repentances which men make so much noise about I do not estimate them of any value for it is the most convenient way of going when there is no choice left. And although when a man is suddenly killed, he is said to be hurried into eternity I doubt not but he has as fair a chance of getting a good decision as if he lamented his sins when he could perform them nomore. In my opinion a man who dies at something over sixty and very suddenly is perfectly to be envied. The anticipation of it is much worse than the thing itself. I also wrote one page of my Journal and copied two or three short extracts into my Common Place Book.
The rest of the Morning was wasted in conversation with Tudor, Richardson, Wheatland and Sheafe. Our tempers are all very much soured by the extreme length of the term and by the disagreable temper of Richardson—who is perpetually quarrelling with Wheatland, put up to it by the foolish representations of the rest of the Members of the house. Independence is not in the nature of this young man, he therefore at this time only makes a disturbance which puts all out of temper without giving them a higher opinion of him. Tudor has been until today in this week more unpleasant than I ever saw him before. Sheafe is dreadfully affected by the affair of the other night. Otis has gone to town. I was obliged to keep myself on a diet all day today for which I expect presently to feel much better. Though I cannot but allow that I purchase it [at] a considerable rate.
In the afternoon I read two more parts of Young’s Night Thoughts and took a walk to the Bookstore with Tudor in order to assist my Medicine in its Operation. We met Lothrop who appears to be quite well. Young managed to extend his ideas to a most unreasonable length. In fact with all his sublimity he makes every one wish he could be more concise. I could not help remarking the great degree of study which prevails. Almost every line is a period which tires much, a man merely reading Poetry for his pleasure.
{ 141 }
At supper we were informed of the expulsion of three of our classmates. Allen 2d., Dewey1 and Fessenden. The course of this last has been remarkable. And as I have had something to do with him in my life I shall mention it. I knew him first at the Latin School in Boston in 1817. A boy then of pretty good parts, excellent nature and very studious. I knew him for two years during which he was very diligent indeed. The next time he came under my notice was just before we entered College when I thought, I perceived a relaxation, he having become too easily the first at that School. From associating with Langdon and Loring2 he obtained dissipated tastes and was envious of me because I had command of Money and of dash. This I too plainly perceived and was the first mark by which I thought ill of him. He entered College and lived with Loring. This was his ruin. Loring in fifteen months by a terrible course of dissipation ruined himself for this world. Fessenden by falling into this society was not possessed of sufficient energy to withdraw and fell. The most notable example, I have ever met of blasted hopes and merit destroyed by a concurrence of ill fated circumstances. Although I long since quarrelled violently with him, I am sorry to think of his fate. He deserved his punishment for he had been guilty of many vicious deeds and had lost all sense of shame. He had been seen riding between two women of the town on Sunday afternoon before the Colleges.3 Allen and Dewey are not worthy of so much notice. They are the remains of a gang which has long infested our class and which has of late bid fair to corrupt half the class.
In the evening, not having any thing to do I paid Tudor a long visit and talked on the subject of religion for some time. Perhaps I disclosed my opinions rather too freely before Wheatland, for he might take an estimate of my character which would injure me as he is unrestrained in his temper and malevolent in his disposition. X:15.
1. James Allen, of Boston, and Edward Dewey, of Williamstown (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
2. Elijah J. Loring, of Boston, who is not listed among CFA’s classmates after this academic year (same).
3. The three Harvard dormitories were called “College Houses” or “Colleges.” See Harvard Annual Cat., 1823.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-16

Sunday. May. 16th. VII:30.

Arose feeling considerably better, but not clear of the burning feeling which has been affecting me of late. I did not attend any exercises all day. In the morning, I read the seventh part of the Night Thoughts. This is an interminable work. And the books grow longer { 142 } as we get to the end. I am in no humour to read gloomy books at present and do not relish this man’s morbid state of temper. He does make some good reflections and when he condescends to get out of the vapours becomes quite agreable. My negligence in not getting the sixth volume of Mosheim from the Library has deprived me of the power of finishing it now, and it being too late to commence any thing of importance I sat down to read the last Novel of the Author of Waverley called St. Ronan’s Well.1 I finished it in the course of the day and evening. It is remarkably interesting having a great variety of incident and character. Etherington is a representation of one of your fashionable scoundrels so often described in Novels. He takes rather a queer step in marrying Clara Mowbray who is represented as a wild woodgirl with an amazing quantity of sensibility about a marriage which could easily and lawfully be got over as she married Francis Tyrrel and not Francis Valentine Bulwer Tyrrel, which appears to be the name of the counterfeit. This part of the incident I can not exactly suppose to be according to full probability. Indeed this novel is much more interesting while one is reading it than it seems to have been on recollection. Touchwood is almost too odd not to be strained. The scenes at the St. Ronan’s ordinary are the most natural. It is just the bustle of a small watering place. Lady Penfeather is quite well, so is Mr. Winterblossom and although I must confess I never met with any quite so desirous of arranging matters amicably as Captain McTurk, Lady Brinks is seen enough to compensate. The author always manages to throw a gloom over his pictures by selecting the remnants of a fallen house for his story to turn upon. He leaves a mystery also over the conduct of Clara in her last meeting with her brother which would have been better cleared up as if she must die, it is not necessary that her innocence should be doubted. The novel closes as if there was some deficiency. The reader feels as if there was some female wanted to close up with satisfaction for it must be allowed that he has given us prudes, sullens and mad women but no novel heroine for a young man at least to observe of. I retired immediately after finishing it. X:15.
1. Sir Walter Scott, St. Ronan’s Well, 3 vols., Edinburgh, 1824.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-17

Monday. May 17th. VII:30.

Arose, feeling perfectly well, but having fixed my mind upon going away I went to the President’s immediately after breakfast and obtained leave of absence for the rest of the term. As he appeared to be { 143 } in good humour, I made some inquiries on two points which have long been matter of agitation in my mind. They are whether I could exchange the study of Mathematics for some more interesting and more profitable study to myself and the other whether, in case I had a claim by my rank to a part, the Government would not take an excuse. On the first point the President was not explicit. He said that there had been some similar cases, and that he would speak to the Professor of Mathematics and see what could be done. My reasons are pretty [word omitted]—a dislike to the study, ill grounding, and loss of time. On the second he was not inclined to give me much hope. He said the Government imposed these things as a duty and an honor. If it was not considered the latter it must be taken in the former light. This shut my mouth and I was obliged to depart not so well satisfied with the conversation as I might be. I do hope still that by gaining the one I may obtain the other petition as I see no way in which I can be brought into even competition with any of my class.
I returned home and spent the rest of the Morning in wading through the terribly long night of Young. The poor man must have racked his brain considerably to write such a one as the eighth. I did not attend Mr. Farrar’s Lecture today owing to the want of time to accomplish my Journal and so forth. I also went to the Bookstore to read the new Plan to be adopted for this Institution. After examining the sketch, I have come to the opinion that something must be done, and that a great deal here is good but that somewhat of this must be corrected for I cannot think that a common place of boarding can be of any advantage to College as this does not appear to raise any obstacle to the old fault of the Institution, rebellion. To be sure the censure will be taken off the College in general but it will only come with greater force upon individuals. Dr. Ware and Mr. Hedge might come more into odium among the Students. I am too far advanced to have this materially affect me and I am thankful for it. For although I am perfectly willing to confess a change necessary, I am not inclined to be a sufferer by it. The system of fines is to be abolished and tasks imposed—a change under which I should suffer considerably.1
My affairs being arranged here, I stepped into the Stage and bid Goodbye to Cambridge and the Lyceum with a heart far from sorrowful. I have relished this term remarkably but nevertheless it has been of uncommon length and I have taken no recess to ease it off. My studies have been pretty close. My College exercises generally speaking pretty well performed and I have derived great benefit from my notes. Indeed I have but little reason to repent of my conduct. Per• { 144 } haps I wasted some time in dissipation in the first part of the term but this was pretty fully made up latterly.
My ride to town was dull and uninteresting. I went immediately to my brother’s room2 where I sat with him for an hour. Our conversation was so agreable that the time passed off astonishingly. I had much to say to him concerning the present state of our politics and he to me on the attack upon our family lately made by Mr. Timothy Pickering of Salem in the shape of a review of the Cunningham correspondence in which he is so severely handled.3 It seems that there is no limit to the abuse which he pours upon the Adams’s. This might make my blood boil, but when I think it comes from the man who was kicked out of office by my Grandfather, and who now tries his last strength to overturn the power which has ruled over him so completely, I am more desirous of looking at this with pity. He has now little influence, what little he has had, has been used to the injury of his country and native state. For he was the counsellor of the violent measures of the last war. Now he feels himself deserted and only able to show his teeth and bark to such effect however that we shall presently believe him mad. Conversing on this subject and others of equal importance, the Quincy stage arrived in the midst of our discourse and I hurried away. Receiving two or three slight cuts from Miss Harriet Welsh “en passant.”
My stage companions were two young girls and one old man. The latter was an amusing old crone who informed us all that he was happier than the richest man in the world. He had nothing, to be sure but then he cared for nothing. He passed along easily and contentedly without making any stir. Indeed I have seldom seen a man who seemed more pleased and contented with his wretched state. If he was poor as a church mouse he knew how to bear it. One of the girls appeared to be really a piety of the first degree and warmed quite enchantingly while singing the praises of good Mr. Cutler.4 The other was not so enthusiastic but would have been quite pretty had she squinted less.
The observation of human nature is one of my most favourite amusements and one which is most assisted by the freedom of a stage coach. We are always in search for variety of character and are delighted when we find it. The pretty prude who was at the corner is a common character in young women and always appears the most laughable. They are such a yielding sex that while you hear them talking in their prettiest manner, you cannot help thinking that their muscles are not always so rigid nor their principles so stern. A pretty { 145 } enthusiast is the sweetest and at the same time the weakest person in the world. I had some converse with the other girl whom I found more easy and perhaps more bold. These people know how to flatter for they talked of my grandfather as if they did not know me. At least the man did and perhaps he was really ignorant of my name but this was not the case with the other although she was very warm in his praises. More so perhaps than might have been necessary. Thus passed the time and I alighted at the bottom of the hill quite diverted with my afternoon’s entertainment. I walked leisurely up the hill leading to my Grandfather’s house and admired very much the beauty of the country, the vividness of the grass and the number of blossoms. Indeed I have never seen the summer open more beautifully than it does this year. The rains have made the Spring very unpleasant indeed but they have preserved the verdure of the grass. Cambridge being situated so low does not show itself so much to advantage and my room being upon a barren common.
I was soon saluted by a dozen voices and had soon the pleasure of going through the usual form of salutation all round. After finding out what all knew before that we were some of us sick except myself I went up to see my grandfather and talk with him. He was full of Pickering’s book, the preface to which he made me read and part of the review. It is a scandalous publication and serves to make the plot of this election thicken. Mr. P. writes like a mad bull and gores every person who is thrown in his way. At tea, I met my Uncle who appears to relish this the least of all. In fact I find the family grind their teeth not that they feel anxious concerning the book but because they long to see him prostrated which desire will soon be gratified. For he has attacked three men who have powerful men to avenge them. The old gentleman appears exceedingly feeble and evidently will soon be laid up in his death bed. He converses cheerfully.
After a very little nonsense with the ladies, retired. XI:15.
1. After the great student riot of 1823 (see entry for 28 May, below), the various governing boards of Harvard and the public became convinced that something was wrong with the college. An investigating committee, headed by Joseph Story, set to work, and its first recommendations were made public in May 1824. They included: (1) the strengthening of the power of the President, making him the “real, and effective Head of the University,” with wide powers over the departments; (2) the establishment of departments, each directed by a professor charged with recommending appointments and removals; (3) the organization of faculty boards to run the college more economically and to discipline students more effectively. Later the committee made another report, and the two sets of recommendations, considerably modified and amended, became the basis of the new set of college statutes adopted in June 1825. See Overseers Records, 7:9, 16, 32, 52, 62–63, 66–71, 76–78, 83–85, { 146 } 92, 212, 220–227, Harvard Archives; and Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 231–233.
Of the other reforms recommended, CFA objected to the imposition of tasks, instead of fines, as penalties for misconduct, but he approved permitting students to board out instead of eating in commons.
2. GWA roomed with Dr. Thomas Welsh, at 20 Hancock Street.
3. In 1823, in an obvious attempt to injure JQA’s chances for the Presidency, there was published in Boston a volume entitled Correspondence between the Hon. John Adams . . . and the Late William Cunningham, Esq..... The letters from JA, written between 1803 and 1810 to his first cousin once removed, William Cunningham Jr. (1767–1823), were strongly anti-Jeffersonian in the early years but gradually became vigorously anti-Federalist. Cunningham wanted JA to soften his criticism of the old Federalists, especially since JA was contributing anti-Federalist letters to the Boston Patriot, and threatened to make public JA’s earlier, anti-Jeffersonian letters to embarrass JA with the Madison administration, which JA and JQA were supporting.
Cunningham committed suicide in 1823, but his son, Ephraim May Cunningham (1792–1852), published the now famous correspondence, which Timothy Pickering, an old Federalist whom JA had dismissed from his office as Secretary of State in 1800, reviewed in May 1824. In a 200-page pamphlet entitled A Review of the Correspondence between the Hon. John Adams and the Late William Cunningham, Esq. . . . , Salem, Pickering violently attacked both JA and Jefferson.
For a fuller account of this affair see CFA’s comment in JA, Works, 1:628–629; Columbian Centinel, 15 May 1824; and Jefferson’s thoughtful letter to JA, 12 Oct. 1823, Adams Papers. On the Cunninghams’ connection with JA, see Adams Genealogy.
4. Presumably Benjamin C. Cutler, the Episcopal minister in Quincy (Mass. Register, 1825, p. 92).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-18

Tuesday. May 18th. VIII:30.

Although not extraordinarily late, I found my breakfast laid by and the room cleaned up. I was therefore reminded that the indulgence of former days was over, that the departure of my brother John who used to make this sort of indulgence more valuable, had broken all my plans. This is the first vacation that I have spent at Quincy without him. And here it is that I feel his absence most. All our parties and diversions are broken up for want of somebody to carry them on with and I find myself doomed to the variety of books. It is happy for me that I can bear this without complaining, but I must acknowledge, I cannot see how John could have lived here through four months in the same train. He paid me two compliments by requesting my society which I was willing enough to give him as the College studies were difficult and tedious. Since his departure from here, Quincy has become less attractive and has seen less of me. So that I now feel precisely as if in a strange family. Abby looks better than she used to, probably for discontinuing her loads of medicine. She is not very communicative about Washington. I think she has much improved by showing less of her fretting temper and by having acquired more of { 147 } the manners of a lady. This is much more striking when we see the comparison.
I spent the morning partly in writing my Journal, partly in reading the first half of Young’s Ninth and last Night. This man was a singular character. His temper in his youth at least does not seem to have been the most gloomy. I imagine that he made himself so to write as I have sometimes made myself melancholy to enjoy the luxury. Lorenzo appears to be not the finest character in the world. The life vehemently denies that he intended his son to be represented. But this is written as if the son himself was the author. Dr. Johnson says but little. I took a ride also with Grandfather who appears remarkably feeble. He requires support now which I have never known before. We did not take a long ride for he could not bear it and merely stopped at Mr. Marston’s1 to hear what he had to say. He looked very busy, and important as usual. The day was a remarkably fine one, and he came home considerably refreshed. The rest of the morning was spent in lounging and keeping the old gentleman company, which is something of a task. My spirits are cheerful, but there is always something chilling to me here which I do not believe it will ever be possible for me to get over.
After dinner, feeling in singular state of humour, I took a walk up Montezillo as my Grandfather has called it2—and seated myself down on a rock where I had a view of all the harbour and of Boston. I had indulged myself in a remarkable train of musing on “auld lang syne.” My situation in this life, and the many pleasant hours I have spent here with John. For my pleasurable associations here will always turn upon him as we saw none else. I thought of our future course, that we should never see so much of each other again, that soon he would have a part to take in this world and would be engaged in a heavy responsibility. I ran over our future prospects, George with his marked distinctly for he will have much to struggle with, he has taken his course.3 John with his which is yet at his own disposal.4 And I, who am doomed to live an independent and a single life. I have not enjoyed pleasure of this sort for a long time, as it paralizes exertion and only makes me feel that I have neglected my duty. Thus I spent two hours after which I returned home and finding no other employment, took down Tacitus and commenced my destined task of translating the life of Agricola. In looking over a copy which was in my g[rand]father’s library5 I came to a mark of my father’s in which he put down his progress forty years ago. I determined to pursue the same course and for today I translated three sections. It is my intention if I have { 148 } time to reduce it all to writing in order to improve my style which is said to be barren.
Tea was announced as I finished—and I went, after which I went up to the old gentleman’s sitting room where I amused him by reading aloud part of a book which he has just received called “The constitution of England explained.” It is the production of a man by the name of Cartwright6 who appears to be one of the extravagant advocates of radical reform in England. He writes as if he was not perfectly sound, certainly not perfectly correct. The book was very dull also, so I shut it up as soon as I obtained convenient opportunity. I then read over John’s letters7 to my Grandfather, and three of others to him, after which I went down stairs to hear the ladies talk of dress as Mrs. Clark and Elizabeth had just come out of town. This was not my forte so I laid down quietly on the sopha. Afterwards I had a little conversation with Mrs. Adams upon Shaw whose place of retirement I had not before known, and then retired. XI:45.
1. Presumably John Marston, JA’s old friend.
2. After JA and Jefferson resumed their correspondence in 1812, JA fancied his Quincy estate as “Montezillo," or little hill, as contrasted to “Monticello," or Jefferson’s lofty mountain. This was one of several names JA gave his Quincy home. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:248.
3. GWA was admitted to the Suffolk County bar in 1824 and in 1826 was chosen to the Massachusetts legislature.
4. Expelled from Harvard after the 1823 “rebellion,” JA2 was studying law in Washington under his father’s guidance.
5. For editions of Tacitus among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library, see Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 240–241.
6. JQA’s copy of John Cartwright, The English Constitution Produced and Illustrated, London, 1823, is in the Stone Library. Among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library are two copies of the work (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 45).
7. Missing.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-19

Wednesday. May. 19th. VII:30.

I this Morning changed the time of rising according to admonition, and appeared downstairs before breakfast was over. The day was so disagreable that it would not allow of any body’s going out. So I spent the morning partly in reading the remainder of Young’s ninth Night and partly in writing my Journal. I am exceedingly glad that I have at last got through these Thoughts, as it is well to say that I have read them, but I doubt very much whether I shall be tempted to take them up in any great hurry, again. Parts I have been pleased with, parts I have considered sublime although I could not relish their sentiments or tendency and parts I have thought rather dull. The tendency of this book is much more dangerous than that of lighter books as it gives us too gloomy notions of our existence and of our Creator. Man was { 149 } not made to mourn unless he chose to do it himself. And it is too bad that any one should pretend to cry before they are hurt. I spent an hour in writing a letter to John1 also, the most quizzical affair, that I have seen for some time. Being in a state of terrible ennui I determined to dispense some of it upon him and therefore wrote upon nothing. Having made three pages out of this, I became perfectly satisfied and in the afternoon employed myself in translating five sections of the life of Agricola and in reading the sixth volume of Mosheim which I did not finish last term. There were but about forty pages which contained a short sketch of the Church during the eighteenth century. It is short and unsatisfactory and merely connected as an Appendix to the rest of the History. There are some Appendixes to the book which I did not read, as they treated more of theological than historical points and were written not by Dr. Mosheim but by his translator, Dr. Maclaine,2 on disputed tracts.
Mr. Quincy3 was here this afternoon from Boston and amused my Grandfather for some time, with a story of somebody in Boston and Mr. Pickering’s book. I think people tell him too plainly for his spirit that he is dying for however philosophically he may bear it, it is not possible for human nature to think upon such a subject and not feel depressed. Anxious as he is also, concerning the result of these attacks upon his reputation. He did not take his ride today. So I entertained him with a little more of Major Cartwright’s prospects of the English Constitution. As I am not over anxious to learn such a piece of nonsense I skip over much which he knows nothing about. For he does not appear to miss any connection in the sense. I had just finished a dialogue when I was luckily interrupted.
This was occasioned by the announcement of the arrival of Thomas Hellen from Portsmouth through Boston. He has been at School at Exeter for some time past, fitting for admission to College. He has grown considerably and begins to acquire the appearance of a man. I was glad to see him as I had just begun to feel the want of Society. He is the most agreable fellow that I could have of all I know. There is something remarkable in all these Hellens that I never could understand, particularly their views towards each other and their peculiarities for all have them. I never could account for it. They suspect or disagree with each other and still have considerable [word omitted]. I had reason to know Mary well, I have been intimate with Johnson, and I have seen this one from a boy of ten years, still there is something in them which puzzles me. Accordingly my address is not the most cordial and Thomas made something of a complaint of it at first. { 150 } I like the young men and have too deeply loved the woman but this has been their reward. I am determined to break myself of this and, conscious that this is a good time, I will endeavour. At Quincy, surrounded by people whom I am obliged to consider hypocrites towards me, my conduct cannot be such as elsewhere, but this must be got over. I have lost the good will of this people because I made no exertion to gain it but have on the contrary expressed my disgust pretty freely. They are too unpleasant to me, being all hypocrites themselves and I not swallowing it down quite as well. Mrs. Clark with her piety puts me in a passion, knowing that had her husband lived, she would have had other fish to fry. Her playing the doll with her child4 and her terrible habits of affectation have displeased me while what she is pleased to call my impiety has disgusted her. Of the rest I will speak at another time.
After tea I made an exertion to be lively and succeeded for the evening amusing the ladies with nothing at all until late. Thomas and I were the last to go to bed as we talked of Washington, my father, the election which he appears as all the Hellens do, to be very deeply interested in, and his prospects. He has better views of nature and the world than I expected, on the whole was much pleased. We staid up in this way, talking and smoking until I found that we were encroaching upon the family rest and the morning. XII.
1. Missing.
2. Archibald Maclaine.
3. Josiah Quincy (1772–1864), Harvard 1790, whose life encompassed several distinguished careers: Federalist Congressman, 1804–1813; Mayor of Boston, 1823–1828; and President of Harvard, 1829–1845. His wife was the former Eliza Susan Morton. See DAB and Adams Genealogy.
4. Susan Maria Clark (1818–1853). See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-20

Thursday. May. 20th. VII:30.

Arose this Morning and immediately after breakfast took a long walk with Thomas Hellen to my father’s Estate at Mount Wollaston1 as well to see it myself as to show it to him. It is a pretty place and desirable enough in Summer, but a Winter’s residence would be very disagreable. I was led into a train of thought remarkable enough concerning our future destinies. This is the spot which George has fixed upon for a residence and here he is to exist with Mary Hellen, one of the most capricious women that were ever formed in a capricious race. He is to live as long as possible here and then which will not be a great while, go to Boston. Thinking of this, I have been wishing to obtain some knowledge concerning my own future probabilities but it is impossible. My next years will depend very much on my father’s and his, { 151 } Heaven knows, are doubtful enough. Thomas has been thrown so many years further back in life that when he talks of prospects, I begin to think mine pressing. The estate is a remarkably fine one for it’s situation is directly on one of the most beautiful spots in the bay. For me it would be a beautiful retreat where I should not be plagued by the disgust of company and where I might with more ease pursue those studies which would profit me. All this however is but the effect of imagination and I will leave the train of circumstances to themselves, conscious that neither wishes nor prayers can change them. We returned home somewhat fatigued.
Owing to the presence of this young man I shall not be able to continue my Tacitus. I therefore shall labour on the five sections already translated to give them an elegant translation. I read none of Young today either.
The Evening was in the Parlour with the ladies. There is magic in a Petticoat to a young man. I cannot tell, but my passions and feelings are all so affected that I want their society. Of the tendency of this passion I am so well aware, that I make great attempts to keep it on guard. I have been hitherto successful and hope to be. With the exception of one difficulty which perhaps was the very thing which gave me prudence, I have felt no attachment and intend to feel none until it is as consistent with interest as with desire.2 A man can soon make himself love any woman, in the proper sense of the term, for in my opinion there is no Platonism in it. At least there never has been with me. I know the acting force and as I know it is impossible to gratify it without ruin, I know how to prevent it.
My Evening was pleasantly spent. They are the most agreable parts of the time here. The girls are agreable enough, not at all pretty. Indeed it is not the forte of our family to talk of handsome persons of either sex. For my own part, I see3 none of the present generation except Thomas Adams. XII:15.
1. Mount Wollaston farm, on that part of Quincy Bay still known as Adams Shore, was the estate of AA’s maternal grandfather, Col. John Quincy. In 1767 it passed into the hands of Norton Quincy, the Colonel’s son, and, after Norton’s death in 1801, the property was acquired by the Adamses partly by bequest and partly by purchase. At various times later on, CFA planned to build a home here, but it was his eldest son, John Quincy Adams 2d (1833–1894), designated as JQA2 in the present edition (see Adams Genealogy), who eventually did so, soon after the Civil War, and gave it the name “Merrymount” because the property included the site of the maypole erected at “Mare Mount” on Mount Wollaston by the 17th-century adventurer Thomas Morton. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:x, 141, and an illustration of Mount Wollaston about the time of the present diary entry, same, facing p. 256; also Adams Family Correspondence, 2:388–389.
2. CFA’s manuscript at this point con• { 152 } tains a heavily penciled marginal line, with the number “174” (possibly “175”) beside it in an unidentified hand, presumably a page reference. Neither page 174 nor page 175 of the present MS Diary (D/CFA/4), containing part of the entry for 6 August and all of the entry for 7 August, below, throws any light on this passage.
3. Using a colloquialism (Dict. of Americanisms), CFA means that he recognizes none of the generation as handsome except Thomas B. Adams Jr.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-21

Friday. May. 21st. VIII:45.

Very late this Morning, Every body having done breakfast some time since. Although the weather in the morning was very disagreable, I determined to go to Cambridge and accordingly went, carrying Thomas in a Chaise. We went the longest road, through Dorchester, Roxbury and Brookline in order to show him the country. The weather cleared off and became fine. Arriving we went to my room and found it in great disorder, as they had just taken up the carpet and had carried away all the materials for making a good fire which as the wind had chilled us, we very much desired. College looks very barren indeed. No students to be seen, some of the dismissed Sophomores together with one or two others of the same class made up all. I walked all over Cambridge with Thomas, talking of the different places and showing him the professors houses. Met Morgan,1 who has come back here to enter the Sophomore Class after having belonged to the Senior and then came back last Summer to enter a Junior. I did not envy him at all as now the sooner out I say, the better.
Thus I spent the time until dinner time when we went to Willard’s2 and ate a good dinner in a very comfortable room which I had never seen before. Thomas is the most singular character I have yet met with and I can make less and less of him every day. A little while more being spent in my room we again sat forward for Quincy, I having obtained all the clothes I wished. We went to Boston over the Mill Dam3 and just cutting one corner of the city we rode back making the ride as long as possible by the turnings and variety of windings to different places.
At length we arrived and I finished the afternoon’s employment by reading four Satires of Young.4 I have got a prejudice against this author which will not allow me to give a fair criticism of his works. I therefore shall only say that he is in all things too elaborate for me. He stings too much as if he intended to sting at first with all the fury imaginable. My meaning is that he appears as if he was cool when he sat down to write violently. I have seen John do it and have disliked it in him. Mr. Edmund and Miss Susan Quincy5 stepped in for one { 153 } minute and then departed, much to my joy. They are amazingly unpleasant people to me.
The evening was spent much in the usual way, except that I finished Mr. Cartwrights book to my Grandfather and read some of Mr. Quincy’s message6 which I thought was very bombastical—this is my own opinion however and much in opposition to that of the family. The ladies had been at Mr. Beal’s7 but returned early and we were all very much as usual. XI:35.
1. Possibly William H. Morgan, of New Orleans, who became a junior at Harvard next year, but never seems to have graduated (Harvard Annual Cat., 1824).
2. Willard’s Tavern, in Harvard Square on the corner of what is now Dunster Street.
3. The Mill Dam or causeway, opened in 1821, ran along the line of the present Beacon Street from Charles Street to Sewall’s Point in Brookline. Fifty feet wide, one and a half miles long, and carrying a toll road, the Dam was to provide water power for mill sites. Yet, by enclosing (and creating) about six hundred acres of land, the Dam “was to change the shape of Boston more completely than any other single undertaking in its history.” See Whitehill, Boston: A Topographical History, p. 88, 90, 92–94, 141.
4. From Edward Young, “Seven Characteristical Satires,” in Aikin’s British Poets.
5. Edmund Quincy (1808–1877), the future abolitionist, was the son of Josiah Quincy (currently Mayor of Boston and later President of Harvard) and a freshman at Harvard. Eliza Susan Quincy (1798–1884), artist, diarist, and family annalist, was Edmund’s sister. See Adams Genealogy.
6. Josiah Quincy’s inaugural address to the City Council of Boston on entering his second term as mayor, 1 May. It was published in pamphlet form and was reprinted in Quincy’s Municipal History of the Town and City of Boston, Boston, 1852, p. 379–388.
7. The Beale family lived next door to the Old House, beyond the Adamses’ garden, on present Adams Street in Quincy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-22

Saturday. May 22d. VIII:30.

The ladies having become exceedingly scandalized at our late hours of rising sent up breakfast to us before we were up, thinking probably this might be a punishment whereas it was a great convenience. We were up nevertheless in very good season, and spent the morning as usual, I doing nothing but writing my Journal and reading Mr. Young. The former of which was not completed however until late as I had two days to write up. Much of my time was spent where I presume it will be generally, in the ladies parlour. Quincy to me is generally a very disgusting place until I get domesticated to it when it becomes sufficiently pleasant. Thomas being here is some assistance also. My Journal however will go on but slowly as my indolence is all which I can record.
This being Saturday was the proper time for Mr. Marston’s visit which was accordingly paid. He dines here regularly on this day in the { 154 } week. Such a pompous, trifling, little-minded man I have seldom had the honor to meet. Winding himself into the graces of the old gentleman he has the power of twisting him round his finger by his opportunities of obtaining disclosures without (thank God) the ability to make use of them. As it is, he only swells himself into an idea of great importance and although by his nonsensical loquacity he has at times made a little mischief, I am satisfied with the idea that he has not made any more. There [are] a number of these men, the hangers on of our family as I call them who are exceedingly disagreable to me and who consequently do not get very good treatment from me. I am compelled to be amazingly cold to them for I cannot be otherwise or if I can, I will not. He is the pink of courtesy and most amazingly disagreable polite man I ever met with. Withal I pity him for he has seen far better days and bears his adversity quite well. Perhaps had I known him wealthy I should have observed his faults less.
I walked with the ladies to Mount Ararat alias Rock Common formerly my Grandfather’s, now belonging to the town.1 The view from it is beautiful. Extending to a distance of twelve or fifteen miles on all sides. The walk is a pretty one also, though rough and wild. On our return I closed my Journal and received a letter by my Uncle (who had been to town and brought George out) from my Mother. She speaks of nothing but the book.2 Mr. Quincy was here also with Josiah,3 who went soon after tea. George in the dumps this evening, which was passed as usual except that immediately after Supper I retired. Not from fatigue but peculiar causes which at some future time I shall describe. X:15.
1. Mount Ararat was part of the Old Braintree North Common (now West Quincy), which was divided and sold as lots after 1765. JA bought at least forty acres of the tract, which, along with certain other lands that proved profitable as granite quarries, he deeded to the town in 1822 for the purpose of founding a classical school of high quality. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:xxxvii; 3:247; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 341–343; George Whitney, Some Account of the Early History and Present State of the Town of Quincy, Quincy, 1827?, p. 44.
2. The “book” discussed in LCA’s missing letter was presumably Pickering’s pamphlet. See entry for 17 May, and note, above.
3. Josiah Quincy (1802–1882), son of Mayor Josiah Quincy, had graduated from Harvard in 1821 and was now an attorney in Boston. Later (1845–1849) he became Mayor of Boston. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-23

Sunday. May. 23d. VIII.

Arose early, comparatively speaking with yesterday. Owing to the state of my dress, I did not choose to attend Meeting today, so that instead of it, I accompanied my Grandfather in his morning ride. It { 155 } was rather long than otherwise, exhausting him more than I should have supposed fit. He has become exceedingly infirm of late and makes me suppose that he is not one much longer for this world. It consequently affects me considerably to be with him. Our company at dinner today was quite large consisting of Mr. Deane1 who according to ancient custom was invited, being the Minister for the day, and of Monsieur Degrand who came out on a visit. Two Fosters2 were here, but only one dined here. The old gentleman was somewhat excited and told over some stories with life. They are all the same with those I have often heard. Mr. Degrand is one of those same gentlemen mentioned yesterday whom I cannot notice even with common politeness, but wear a tremendously stiff neck. I believe him to be a well meaning man but I cannot relish his manners or his mind. Doing all he could do for my Father, he has injured him materially.3 Mr. Deane is a pleasant man for a Country Parson without much of the civility of the refined world but with good intentions and some mind.
In the afternoon I finished Young’s Universal Passion and read one part of Akenside’s Pleasures of Imagination.4 It is very pretty, flowing smoothly and illustrating very beautifully an untried subject hitherto. I also wrote my Journal. Mr. D.G. went before tea, the Fosters immediately after. We walked in the garden where I quizzed Elizabeth concerning George Whitney5 till the poor girl could bear it no longer. It is some amusement to me to press this as I do suspect attachment here at least on one side. She perhaps does not look that way. But I am sorry to say that I can see no better prospects. These girls appear to me to have improved astonishingly of late, Abby by her residence at Washington and Elizabeth by emulation. They are sufficiently pleasant, and serve to pass away our time very well.
After an hour’s sitting with Grandfather until he went to bed, we went down to supper which we enjoyed “en famille” more than any I have had in the house. Uncle and George in good spirits, myself so-so, and the ladies inclined to be agreable. Some thoughts sometimes mix into these scenes. The future is ominous here, for this house will soon see us no more. The flock which have nestled here for so long will be spread to the four winds of Heaven, and we shall never look upon each other with the same eyes. This evening however was spent as if nothing was in my mind but pleasure. XII:10.
1. Presumably Samuel Deane, Congregational minister in Scituate (Mass. Register, 1824, p. 87).
2. Mrs. James H. Foster, the former Elizabeth Smith, the wife of a Boston merchant, was a niece of AA’s. See Adams Genealogy.
3. Degrand, a republican émigré from the French Revolution, who was serving in the Massachusetts legislature, zeal• { 156 } ously worked with a few others to promote JQA’s political prospects. In February he had helped organize a mass meeting in Faneuil Hall to nominate JQA for the Presidency, and the Republicans in the legislature confirmed the choice on 10 June. On the national scene, however, Degrand was less deft, for he proposed offering Calhoun the Vice-Presidency on the Adams ticket. JQA demurred, preferring Jackson, but his friends reminded him that the General had threatened to hang the leaders of the Hartford Convention and was consequently unpopular with the old Federalists. See Bemis, JQA, 2:27–28.
4. Edward Young’s “Love of Fame, the Universal Passion,” and Mark Akenside, “The Pleasures of Imagination,” both in Aikin’s British Poets.
5. Harvard 1824. ECA never did marry.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-24

Monday. May. 24th. VIII.

This Morning was employed as usual, I doing nothing except reading the second part of Akenside’s Pleasures of the Imagination. My judgment upon the beauties of this Poem is not yet made up, as a first reading will not suffice to discover them. My thoughts here also are not under sufficient command. The rest of the morning was spent in taking a walk with Thomas round Quincy near Mr. Miller’s1 new house. The day was warm and I felt quite tired consequently took some luncheon for refreshment which I seldom otherwise do. In the afternoon I wrote my Journal and accompanied my Grandfather in a short walk round his garden which appeared to fatigue him very much indeed. He was still in good spirits and gave me two new stories. He is less inclined to talk on serious subjects than he used to be and more on trivial ones. I cannot strike his chord right at all. So fatigued he was that he could hardly reach a chair.
I then wrote my Journal, and laughed heartily all the rest of the day. I was in remarkably high spirits and made the girls laugh at my nonsense all the time. The stage arrived and dropped an expected person—Mr. Thomas B. Adams junior. He has just arrived from Norwich having taken up his connections from there, he now goes to West Point where I am in hopes he will do well. It is now almost eighteen months since I have seen him in which time he has grown considerably and is now to all appearance becoming a young man. I have been much struck of late with the progress of time which makes me think that in no long time I shall myself become one of the world, when I see my youngers coming on so. He brought out a letter from Miss Foster2 to the girls in the reading of which consisted the rest of our amusement, it being one of the most ridiculous things I have yet seen. Thomas purloined it and I edified the company by reading it. The correspondence of girls, if it is of this kind, is not to be considered of such amazing importance as young ladies make it, for more ridiculous trash is nowhere to be found. Elizabeth became quite hysterical in hearing it. { 157 } I intended by ridiculing this to the utmost to correct this in these girls as I could conceive no better opportunity of lashing what they themselves are prone to. I think it will serve my purpose.
After tea we walked into town in cavalcade and made a formal visit at Parson Whitney’s.3 The first one I almost ever made voluntarily in Quincy. After sitting ten minutes we returned in the same order. Mr. Marston being at home saved me the usual task of reading to Grandfather and I was downstairs all the evening, although my exhilaration had passed and I was rather in the dumps as well as sick. XI:15.
1. Presumably Edward Miller, Harvard 1813, a member of one of Quincy’s most distinguished families (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 106, 249–252).
2. Presumably Elizabeth Anne Foster (d. 1875), daughter of James H. Foster and a grandniece of AA. See Adams Genealogy.
3. Peter Whitney (1770–1843), Harvard 1791, minister of the First Church in Quincy from 1800 to 1843 (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 594–595).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-25

Tuesday. May 25th. VIII:30.

Employed this morning as usual. We are so monotonous here at present that it is hardly possible to obtain material enough for amusement, in my journal. I finished the Pleasures of Imagination and wrote my Journal as usual. The family moved into the large room today as the rest of the house is entirely unoccupied. It is the Pleasantest part of the house so I rejoice at the circumstance. But my day was not spent in the most agreable manner so I sat down and amused myself as well as I could for want of my usual society in reading one of Mrs. Opie’s New Tales.1 It was the first called Mrs. Arlington’s. These are written very pleasantly, containing a great deal of vivacity, some nature and some good observation. Still they hold considerably to the romance of life and are too apt to take hold foolishly of the wild ideas of youth. Novels I think are generally injurious as they serve to increase the tendency to build castles in the air, which is naturally strong enough. The sudden blight of these prospects is frequently the cause of the destruction of their holders. Sheer elegance and magnificence however wished for, it is the lot of but few to possess.
In the afternoon I wrote a letter to my mother2—it was a wretched scrawl and I was much ashamed of it but as this is no place to do any thing either elegantly or methodically I determined to let it go as I had made it. I am afraid my Journal will not appear to the best advantage when I look over it at Cambridge but rather than let it run down to wind up at Cambridge which would be difficult, I continue it badly. After tea I took a long walk to Milton with Thomas in which we had { 158 } some interesting conversation concerning the family about which I have not been able to sound his knowledge hitherto. We returned and remained until nine o’clock in my Grandfather’s, reading the newspapers to him which my Uncle had brought out for he had been there, and brought out with him, a young man or boy rather a nephew of his by the name of Foster,3 a sufficiently modest young man.
I was at the table with the ladies until eleven when they retired when I had the comfortable task of sitting up with my Uncle when he was in one of his usual situations. It has often made me grieve to think this man should make himself a ruin to others and to himself, possessing as he does all those qualities requisite to make an excellent member of Society. But I fear the evil is irremediable for his own efforts to break the vice have not been successful and consequently no one else’s will be. XII:15.
1. Mrs. Amelia Opie, New Tales, 4 vols., London, 1818.
2. Missing.
3. Charles Phineas Foster (1806–1879), of Boston, son of Phineas and Frances (Harrod) Foster and a member of CFA’s class at Harvard (Harvard Archives).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-26

Wednesday. May 26th. IX.

Arose very late this morning owing to the late hour at which we retired, Thomas and I having considerable conversation concerning the scene of last evening. We also took a long walk and I read the remainder of Akenside’s Poems in this collection, of which I shall not at present think of judging. This is the day in which the State Officers for the next year are installed in Boston, consequently it is a holiday, it being also the birth day of one of my Aunts children we had a remarkably comfortable dinner of which I partook in very good spirits.
In the afternoon I wrote my Journal and finished the first volume of Miss Opie’s Tales. “White Lies” is very good indeed although it is a story intended to injure the very moral which she lightly inculcates in a former. The last story is too much worked up for effect. The interest is attempted to be wound up too far. It may do in plays because we are willing to feel excited but not so well in novels.
In the afternoon I again took a walk, and strolled over the burying ground of the church. Here I saw the tombs of my ancestors. Four of them descending in a direct line from the first of the name who came to this country. Mine making the seventh generation since we have been in the new world. In the old we have no traces. Here I felt inclined to muse but as Thomas Hellen was with me who is no musing character I was quickly interrupted and we soon returned.1
{ 159 }
After tea, I as usual sat with my grandfather until almost nine o’clock, he retiring much earlier than usual this evening. His curiosity and interest is lost in almost every thing now, few subjects will keep his mind many minutes and it requires a person much more skilled in giving amusement or fluency than I am to amuse him. He will not talk on old matters now and that is almost the only thing which I am commonly interested in with him. We came downstairs again and sat with the ladies until they retired, they remained rather later than usual on account of it’s being the last evening of Thomas’s stay. For my part I sat down to a good supper on bread and cheese, I having surprizingly recovered my appetite since my regular exercise. After this, I talked and smoked more than usual with Thomas—principally concerning our prospects of which subject he is as fond as myself, and we thought that probably this was the last election night as well as the first in which he and I should sit in the old family house spending such a pleasant evening with so large though inharmonious and still agreable family. I.
1. These tombs, furnished by JA and inscribed under his supervision, may still be seen in the burying ground across the street from the First Church in busy Quincy Square. They are those of Henry Adams (ca. 1583–1646), the immigrant; Joseph (1626–1694), 7th son of Henry; Joseph (1654–1737), eldest son of the first Joseph; and John (1692–1761), often called Deacon John, 2d son of the 2d Joseph and father of JA. See JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:254-2553:254-255, and Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-27

Thursday. May. 27th. VIII:30.

Thomas Hellen took his leave this morning for Exeter, evidently much against his will. He is quite agreable and when he shall have lost a little of his confidence, obtained I know not how, he will do very well. Great assurance in a young man is very disagreable and I would rather see him err on the side of modesty or timidity. The latter is by far the most easily corrected.
After breakfast I took a walk to see the canal which is digging, by whom no person knows.1 I also read all the poems of Gray, which are in this collection.2 This is an author who has always been a great favourite of mine although so severely lashed by Dr. Johnson. His elegy and Bard are very beautiful specimens of the pathetic and sublime. His other odes are sweet but require keener observation than I can at present afford. His poems, I have reserved for frequent examination. I employed the rest of the day in reading Mrs. Opie’s second volume of the New Tales. They are extremely interesting but still more subject to the observation made yesterday. In the “Confes• { 160 } sions of an Odd tempered Man” I find a character very much resembling my own although rather strained, for dramatic effect.3 Caprice is a prevailing passion with me in the light world, and I am very unconscionable in my dislikes of women and take prejudices immediately. My own character has been matter of some contemplation to myself and although I will not pretend to come to any decision concerning it, I think that I have some hints. At any rate, I know that by some singular idea, I am ever desirous to conceal the best traits of my character.
In the evening a young lady by the name of Cooper came out to pay a visit to the girls. Who she is, I know not. She is not pretty nor interesting. My Uncle also returned from Boston where he went in the morning. I spent an hour in the evening with my Grandfather in conversation concerning books and some time in the parlour although I see no family group half so pleasing now and I have again retired within my shell, after an uncommon exertion and satisfactory proof to the women that “I can be agreable when I am inclined to be so.” Now this is not much matter of importance to me. I had this evening the pleasure of sitting with my Uncle alone, in one of his usual fits, and I thought it somewhat singular that young girls should be invited by our ladies to this house only to see the disgrace of their father and to feel—if they at all in the proportion as I do, I pity them.4 I pleaded being very sleepy owing to my last night’s vigil and got away early. XI:25.
1. A private citizen of Quincy, Joshua Torrey, projected a canal in 1824 that would run from the head of the creek, east of the old almshouse, almost to the meeting house. The town was unable to assist him, and he discontinued the work. A year later other Quincy residents began a new canal, which was to follow a stream called Town River from the Tidemill up as far as the Stone Bridge on the Hingham and Quincy turnpike. The work was completed in 1826, but the canal proved unprofitable and was finally abandoned. See Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 104–105.
2. Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard” and “The Bard” are included in Aikin’s British Poets.
3. CFA identified himself with the narrator of the story, Henry Aubrey, a man of affections and sensibility who consciously retreated behind an “impenetrable coldness” in order to protect his independence and ego. Aubrey’s unnatural behavior cost him his wife, child, and future happiness.
4. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-28

Friday May 28th. IX:10.

Up very late this morning, so that the morning passed rapidly. I finished Mrs. Opie and read the small and short productions of Smollett1 in Aikin’s Collection. The commencement of the Ode to { 161 } Independence is beautiful and the whole is not moderate poetry by any means.
The young lady who came here yesterday expected her brother to carry her back to Boston. He accordingly came and spent all the afternoon. Having accidentally fallen into his company, I was detained by him all the afternoon. After some conversation concerning our College institutions in which he made many inquiries and I had to tell him all the old story of the last year’s rebellion2 he compelled me in civility to walk with him to the top of the hill opposite to the house—this was a task not the most relishing to me but I did it and he talked very wisely for some time concerning the view while the day was as misty as it conveniently might be with a little sprinkling of rain. It was most excessively hot withal so that I had given up walking after attempting it in the morning but civility conquers all things.
Returning I accompanied him to the library where he professed to show a great deal of knowledge, and made some of the most awkward blunders I ever heard. He wanted to know if the Koran was not a religious book of the Jews, and if it was not very rare; who was the author of the Federalist and if that was not very uncommon; he talked of Lytteltons3 Essays instead of his Henry 2d. and made many similar mistakes in about ten minutes, making comments upon all these withal. By this I soon set him down for a shallow fellow with some assurance. I was not displeased with him as he was not impertinent and was only desirous to conceal ignorance and expose all the knowledge which he possessed. This certainly was but small whether by his own fault or that of others, [and] decides his character. I then walked in the garden with him and so got rid of him. I then went to the Office4 to write my Journal but was unable as my Uncle was in a talking humour being under the influence of this fire which he perpetually takes. We talked Politics until tea was announced when I was unexpectedly announced into a large tea room, full of company. Dressed as I was, I began to feel foolishly, but immediately recollecting it was Quincy, I put on my usual brass. Mr. Marston and family were here but went off at nine. So did Cooper and sister. I forgot to mention that Thomas went to Boston and brought his aunt and cousin Mrs. and Miss Harrod5 to spend a few days. Some other invited young ladies had a little dance on the carpet. I went to bed early. XI.
1. Tobias George Smollett (1721–1771).
2. Intermittently there had heen student riots at Harvard, but the “Great Rebellion” of 1823 revealed both instructional and disciplinary inadequacies. The immediate cause of the riot—an “obedient black” informed on one of the “high fellows”—was unimportant; the significant fact was that the “uncom• { 162 } monly rowdy” class of 1823 was so little inspired by the curriculum that it chose to leave college rather than see its hero dismissed and the informant rewarded. Forty-three of the rebels were expelled (including JA2, whose father pleaded with the faculty for leniency), and only generations later were twenty-five of them granted A.B. degrees as of 1823. See Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 230–231. For the later story of reform at Harvard, see entry for 17 May, and note, above.
3. George, 1st Baron Lyttelton (1709–1773).
4. The “Office” at the Adams homestead meant the rambling frame structure close behind the family residence. This building is partly visible in some of the early views of the Old House and was used for many purposes. It was the farm office; it was at times occupied by tenants and caretakers; and for nearly a century one or more of its upper rooms held most of the immense accumulations of the Adamses’ books. At length in 1869 CFA had it torn down to make room for an extension of the kitchen of the main house and to improve the site of the Stone Library that he built soon afterward.
5. Mrs. TBA’s sister-in-law, Mrs. Charles Harrod, and her daughter, Susan D. Harrod.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-29

Saturday. May. 29th. VIII:20.

After a breakfast a la Solitaire, I sat with the family all the Morning neglecting my usual walk which I find has been of such advantage to me since my stay here. Mrs. Harrod the sister in law of Mrs. Adams appears to be a woman perfectly versed in the really “bon ton” of society. She has more ease than I expected and appears a lady of very good breeding. The contrast is always striking between natural and artificial manners and makes me a convert to one great point of aristocracy, that is, the real difference which does exist between men bred naturally and those who have formed themselves. The latter are always over civil but not half so agreable. The little girl has come here to be put to School at Miss Marston’s which is now quite a flourishing academy.1 Deservedly I think for I believe the women to be really worthy although they breathe a little too much of the spirit of methodistical piety.
I read a short poem of Lyttelton’s which is in the rural style consequently is not remarkably apt for criticism. Thus I passed the day, about as slothfully take it altogether as any this vacation. I did not notice that I was in a passion at Mrs. A. last night, she disclosing herself for once and speaking of the Adams family in such a way as to put me in a violent passion. I subdued it however and so I thought it necessary only to mention the circumstance without particulars.
In the afternoon George came out in the stage as usual and after a walk in the garden we went in, I immediately to my Grandfather where I read a part of an article in the last North American Review. It was on a History of Philosophy.2 I did not see enough to judge as I stopped at nine o’clock. From here I came to supper and was doomed { 163 } to a severe trial of my temper. My Uncle sitting next to me took occasion to be affronted at me for what I do not know, but he tried to provoke me into a quarrel with him. Many bitter things he said which stirred my blood but conscious of the extreme folly of making a difficulty with him I remained silent. This being perceived, he sprang up and went off declaring that there was no congeniality among us. This took off the chill which had been thrown upon the company but my blood was running fast all the evening. And I was fearful my absence would be noticed. After the family had retired, he came in cooled down, and we spent half an hour with him before going upstairs. I could not sleep until long after I laid down but spent the time in conversation with George on the subject of the whole of that family and our own. XI: 30.
1. The Misses Marston (two sisters) conducted a school for girls which attracted the elite of Quincy and Boston. It was located on the site where St. John’s Cathedral was later built (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy, p. 341).
2. Alexander H. Everett, “History of Philosophy,” North American Review, 43:234–266 (April 1824).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-30

Sunday. May. 30th. IX:15.

Owing to the heat of the night, the jarring of the [ . . . ]1 last evening it was long before I became sufficiently composed to sleep and when I did nothing could rouse me until very late. I determined to go to Meeting this Morning where I heard Mr. Gray deliver a sensible sermon as far as I could judge, for I was still very sleepy. He also dined here. I am quite inclined to like him although I disapproved of his conduct in the old rebellion as I thought he meddled very much in matters which concerned him little. I nonetheless am pleased with his manners and conversation. He was a classmate of my Uncle’s at College.2 I made some inquiries concerning the new system to be introduced at Cambridge.3 It appears pretty evidently that my own class will not be materially affected by this change. In the afternoon, I did not attend but after writing my Journal I laid down on the Sofa and slept until nearly tea time. I do not know what was the reason but I presume these late nights have caused my weariness.
After tea I took exercise in the garden for two hours and had a great deal of conversation with George on the subject of Mary and Uncle and our family. I foresee a good deal of trouble to himself from this intended match and he poor fellow has some bitter moments of thought on the subject. It is an affair which will cause me some trouble as I am in a situation to give him under the slightest pretexts, { 164 } ideas which he too freely indulges even now—but involuntarily. We talked of the affairs of my Uncle and I tried to sound him on the subject of a change but he has heard nothing on the matter from my Father.4 It is singular since my urgent representations that nothing has been done by him.
It was not till quite late that we returned to the house and when we did, we found a large collection of company. The Marston family, a Mr. and Mrs. D’Wolf, Miss Caroline and George Whitney. I addressed myself to none except the last, with whom I had a few minutes nonsensical conversation. He has turned quite a fop of late as he is about to pur[sue] his studies in the ministry immediately after graduating. I teaze Miss Elizabeth somewhat concerning him. They went off at nine o’clock. Afterwards we were gratified by a little public singing. For my part I was more amused. My Uncle was in his usual way and got into a course of conversation which illustrated his private feelings. His wife writhed under the lash to my satisfaction. We soon retired however and before I slept I had some further discourse with George. XI:15.
1. One word overwritten and illegible; perhaps “veins.”
2. Rev. Thomas Gray, Harvard 1790, was an Overseer at the time of the 1823 Harvard rebellion (Harvard Annual Cat., 1822).
3. See entries for 17 and 28 May, and notes, above.
4. JQA had authorized TBA to control and to pay out CFA’s college allowance, and CFA wanted to manage the money himself. See entries for 4 June and 24 Sept., below.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0031

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05-31

Monday. May 31st. IX.

George went this morning before I was up and Mrs. Harrod still remained one day more with us. It is somewhat to my surprise as it must be as uncomfortable to strangers to be here as it is to the family. I am most surprised by the willingness with which invitations are given. My Uncle did not appear until very late at dinner and when he did, in such a humour that he made himself extremely disgusting. He is one of the most unpleasant characters in this world, in his present degradation, being a brute in his manners and a bully in his family. No one addressed a syllable to him and he went off in a rage. The younger part of the family appear considerably affected by it. His wife suffers also and could one think of her with good feelings it would be well. But her temper in my opinion has been his ruin.
I read some of Percival’s poems,1 two or three of which were very pretty. I do not generally speaking admire them as they are imitations of powerful poets such as Byron with but half his force and withal { 165 } they are too dreadfully lovesick. Poor Elizabeth indulges deeply in day dreams and will before long suffer all the disappointments attending their results. I found in examining the book which was here, many of the most romantic passages marked. I pity her. I also finished Lyttelton’s Poems today and the eighth volume of Aikin’s Poets. I found on reading that addressed to Dr. Ayscough, the lines which my Grandfather supposed his own and which he had written of himself in a letter to Cunningham.2 They were originally of the Conde. I read them to him and he appeared pleased at my having found them. They are very good lines. I have not examined critically this poetry—there are a few songs but none of them very pretty.
In the evening I took a long walk with Thomas and had some conversation with him but all of a frivolous kind. I am afraid he is destined to make one more of the Army Fops and not be an honourable exception to the rule. I do not find much thought in his conversation but all that family have learned to be such accomplished dissemblers, that I will not make an immediate decision.
After this I spent half an hour with my Grandfather reading to him part of a Review in the North American besides a little conversation. I then came to Supper, the Family retired instantly and I was left as usual with my Uncle. He was however in very good humour and amused me as much as I ever am amused by a scene in which I am forced to feel so much sorrow and to make such painful reflections. XI.
1. A selection of the four volumes that James Gates Percival had so far published appeared as Poems, N.Y., 1823; reprinted London, 1824 (DAB).
2. Lyttelton’s lines read:

“With more delight those pleasing shades I view,

Where Condé from an envious court withdrew;

Where, sick of glory, faction, power, and pride,

(Sure judge how empty all, who all had tried!)

Beneath his palms the weary chief repos’d,

And life’s great scene in quiet virtue clos’d.”

In his letter to William Cunningham Jr., dated 25 November 1808, JA quoted the lines, substituting “Adams” for “Condé.” See Correspondence between the Hon. John Adams . . . and the Late William Cunningham, Esq., p. 55. For a discussion of these letters, see entry for 17 May, and note, above.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0006-0032

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-05

Review of the Month of May. 1824.

On reexamining attentively and impartially my Journal for the preceding Month and comparing it with the plans with which I had started, I have come to the decision that the perusal is honourable to myself, for that every duty was performed strictly and critically { 166 } according to my promise. I have still somewhat to answer for. On the subject of reading, I have finished Mosheim, Moliere and have regularly continued the English Poets. My remarks have generally been such as I presumed they would except that there is a slight falling off in the latter criticisms on the Poets. I have not done much in the vacation but this may be attributed to my feelings of exhaustion and the actual want of relaxation on my part. My delineation of character has been carried on as intended except that my intention is to develop it rather incidentally than elaborately. This plan will ensure more correctness in my inferences or at least will better allow me to correct mistakes on revision as I shall know the motives which influenced me in drawing them. Hitherto I can only say I have done pretty well. My own conduct has been moderately correct. I have been angry once for which I was sorry. I have been unduly exhilarated once which I have bitterly suffered for—further I am conscious of no guilt. My lectures have been regularly attended and my notes to them are entirely satisfactory to my recollection. On the whole, I have done as well as could be expected, and while I am the more strongly incited to persevere in my present plan and hereafter mend my former faults, I shall not regret a frequent reperusal of the past.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-01

Tuesday. June. 1st. IX.

Arose much as usual. Mrs. Harrod went to Boston this Morning with Mrs. Adams and Thomas. Her little daughter who is really a beautiful girl went to Miss Marston’s to remain for the future. Thus the house was quite deserted. I laid down it being a remarkably warm day and it being the first day of June I read according to my decision the Summer of Thomson. And as usual was much pleased with it. The description is good for a hot day. Indeed I should suppose my plan of reading them in the appropriate Seasons would always be the proper way most to relish them.
My Grandfather deciding a ride, I accompanied him. He is amazingly weak and overcome by the present degree of heat. His ride today was rather longer than usual as he first went the usual route, to the foot of Penn’s Hill and then to the new Canal, calling on Mr. Marston in the mean time. He was impertinent indeed upon the subject of that letter.1 His general character of a meddlar with the affairs of an old man is very disagreable to our family.
Returning, I found the family in a flutter because my Uncle had decided to go off. I went over to talk with him but only received { 167 } insults as he was raving. He refused any thing farther to do with me. Consequently I immediately went in and wrote a letter2 home to my father stating the case in respectful but decided terms. I cannot bear a life like this even with extraordinary indulgence. My Uncle could not be persuaded and therefore after many unsuccessful attempts he went in the Stage to Boston. Our dinner was a melancholy one. It was warm and we ate nothing. Elizabeth too much affected to come down. The trial for these poor children is great. Mrs. Adams and Thomas returned early. I wandered over the house like a ghost for none were in a humour to speak a word. Indeed at times like these it is impossible to conceive how uncomfortable the house is. There are times when these materials thrown fortunately together will form an agreable company and will amuse but when they come together at odds and ends there is no more disagreable situation than being with them. I walked in the garden some time, alone, musing as is my fashion. I was so weakened by the heat however that I became soon fatigued. The rest of the evening was spent in the parlour, this was short, for the family from obvious reasons were very dull. X.
1. Reference unclear.
2. Missing.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-02

Wednesday. June. 2d. VIII:35.

Owing to unusual negligence I did not close the month of May until today. I did not enter the office yesterday as I supposed that my Uncle was not in a mood to bear my presence with much coolness as I had also spoken pretty warmly. I was only able to finish the month of May today as I had not good opportunity to read over the Journal for the month in order to write a review. I was very politely turned out of the office and therefore went to sit with the industrious people who are fitting out Thomas for West Point. My stock of regular Poetry is exhausted so I took up a copy of Chesterfield1 and entertained myself with it until dinner. It appears really one of the most valuable books in the language as it contains the true directions to make a man pleasing to the world in general and this certainly is a desirable art.
Mrs. Adams was in a terrible humour all day and has been sour this week. Probably on account of these family difficulties. She is a woman whose equal will seldom be found. I am a prejudiced man as respects her character. I see so much to blame that I can see nothing to praise. Extravagant without the means and knowing that she plunges her husband deeper in his wretchedness, at every step she takes, she does not mind it, cunning and deceitful, hypocritical to { 168 } a degree beyond belief and malicious as a serpent. She has done more to hurt the peace of our family than any one. She is kind to her children and attached to her blood relations however, and has some deep feeling for her husband—at least has had for it is now pretty nearly gone. Her character is decidedly bad as she is ungrateful and unprincipled in revenge. A mass of pride withal which would dignify the most immense lady in the universe. She is too unpleasant a subject for me to dwell upon. All my regret is that she has two young girls to teach hypocrisy by her example—and I am sorry to say that it has been done with effect.
After dinner I walked down with Thomas to Hingham bridge or Ben’s point as they call it, where we fished for some time with not much success. We staid until late, by quick walking, got home to tea. The family went to Mr. Marston’s in the evening, whilst I, after some conversation with Louisa in which she displayed her bitterness sufficiently, went into my Grandfather’s room and read to him a part of the North American Review. I whipped little Joseph2 this evening for naughty behaviour at tea. Spent a little while in the parlour after the familys return. XI.
1. No Adams copy of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield’s famous Letters to His Son, first published London, 1774, has been found. In 1776 JA had proscribed this work as reading for AA; see Adams Family Correspondence, 1:359, 376, 389.
2. Joseph Harrod Adams (1817–1853), TBA’s son. See Adams Genealogy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-03

Thursday. June 3d. IX.

I was compelled to change my determination of returning to Cambridge today partly by the result of the conversation with my Uncle on the other day and partly by the rainy weather and cold wind with which we were affected today. I staid in the house all day. Most of it being spent in my Grandfather’s room reading to him. I went over almost all the articles in the North American Review. Most of which I had read before at Cambridge. They did not interest me, with the exception of that on Wordsworth’s Poems1 which I was happy to read again as my opinion of the poet is still farther confirmed. If his poetry is good then I do not know what poetry is not? This is the course of the words of the reviewer and my settled opinion. A weak poet can be forgiven, a silly one, never. I also read to him a notice of Irving’s Orations2 with some extracts. I like parts. He said it might be good but he did not understand it. I have been of late, surprised to find the method he has of regularly constructing his sentences when he speaks of any thing warmly, arranging his words as he goes on and chang• { 169 } ing them when not perfectly correct. I presume this comes from a habit of public speaking.
My Uncle returned to day from Dedham not having been any further on his intended journey. Somebody came with him in a chaise. I did not see him as he did not make his appearance in the house. In mentioning this to my Grandfather I heard him say more than usual on the unfortunate conduct of his sons—he laments the fate which has thrown so much gloom over our house, something was necessary to check our pride and we have suffered bitterly. We should have been crushed, had the Sons all been distinguished, but now while the World respects us, it at the same [time] pities our misfortune and this pity destroys the envy which would otherwise arise. So we see that some good comes from even the worst evil. Having been with him all day, I spent the Evening in the Parlour with the ladies. Something dull still hangs over them. Mrs. Adams is still angry with me for handling Joseph as I did last night. It was intolerable however and I did what I have often done and what has made many angry with me. I have become quite pleased with the girls, particularly Abby, since my stay. She is so easy and obedient in temper to all appearance, a thing I like in a woman. This is not her character in Quincy. XI.
1. F. W. P. Greenwood, “Wordsworth’s Poems,” North American Review, 43: 356–371 (April 1824).
2. Edward Irving (1792–1834), a Scottish religious enthusiast, published, among other works, For the Oracles of God, Four Orations, London, 1824. A Philadelphia edition of the same year is in the Stone Library.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-04

Friday. June 4th. VIII:15.

Upon rising this Morning, I found the weather bad for my intended departure, but would not suffer that to prevent so I made my preparations. My Uncle much to my surprise and pleasure, gave me a check upon the Bank amply sufficient for all my demands. This is the way he treats me. At one time abusing me with all his might and throwing me off and at another satisfying my farthest wish. I have now got so far in College however that it is impossible now to be in want of Money so that I should prefer some arrangement by which I could look for something stable. This being done and having taken leave of the Family, my Grandfather and all, I got into a chaise with Thomas and drove off for Boston. We did not enjoy our ride much, it being cold and foggy.
Arrived in Boston, I first went to the Bank then to settle an Account for Thomas at a Mr. Marshall’s,1 and then to Dr. Welsh’s where I dined and had some conversation with George who is in very low { 170 } spirits about a most silly trifling affair. Some difficulty with his lover about whom he makes himself most exceedingly ridiculous. He is a singular compound. He has remarkable talents with the weakness of a child; in purpose, he has no government over his own feelings and passions, is easily a dupe and in short as Mrs. Clarke said “has every sense but common sense.” The victim of the most inordinate vanity, he will suffer himself to be gulled by the praises which every artful man chooses to pour into his ear and he has already found too many of those for his own comfort in this world. I am sorry and hope for the best.
The dinner was pleasant. Miss Harriet Welsh being always talkative and the Dr. so so. Politics were the subject and George discussed learnedly many points of human nature which he has just taken occasion to discover. He is positive and warm which makes him unpleasant in argument. Thomas having come, for I separated from him as soon as we got to town, I set off immediately for Cambridge where we arrived at about four o’clock. He staid here a little while and then returned leaving me to think of a new term. I spent part of the afternoon at the reading room meeting no one but Lothrop.2 Wheatland, the only one of our house who had returned. Having the headache I remained up only long enough to read Goldsmith’s poems in Aikin and the two first Chapters in Genesis. IX:15.
1. Possibly Josiah Marshall, a merchant at 2 south side Faneuil Hall (Boston Directory, 1823).
2. Samuel Kirkland Lothrop (1804–1886), Harvard 1825, S.T.D. 1828, became a Unitarian preacher and after 1834 was minister of the Brattle Square Church in Boston (Appletons’ Cyclo. Amer. Biog.).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-05

Saturday. June 5th. VII:30.

I did not attend Prayers this Morning as they were voluntary and it would have been too sudden a change from my late habits. It is my intention however to arise early as it is both pleasant and profitable in the Summer. I have returned in very excellent spirits as this is a short and pleasant term. Our exercises are not very difficult although more so than at any time formerly. We also have an interesting course of lectures from Professor Channing. I spent this Morning in writing a letter to John in answer to an admirable one which I received yesterday from him.1 He writes with uncommon ease and with more real interest and feeling than usual. On the subject of the difference between him and George, I spoke or wrote with a really good intention because I think it may result seriously to both parties. George certainly has treated us with a great deal of caprice. Did I not know { 171 } him so well, I would scarcely compel myself to forgive him so easily. I was charmed with his letter, so much feeling and so much sportiveness that I felt as if another joy had arrived to make me perfectly happy here. Indeed I can scarcely think that at any time I have come nearer to the great object of human life. The beautiful season of the year and the tone of my feelings conduce to it. Perhaps I might feel more so were I in love, but I know the consequences of that by experience.
Dwight made his appearance at breakfast but any ill feelings which I had apprehended did not make their appearance and I welcomed him as he did me, as if nothing in this world had happened. I nevertheless shall not feel certain until we come to an explanation. I was not able to do any thing of importance in the afternoon. I read two Chapters of Genesis in the Morning and all the poems of Johnson2 in Aikin’s Collection. Three of Goldsmith’s yesterday I did not notice for want of room. They are very pretty and have sweetness, richness without that weakness which so often marks Poems of this sort. In this term I propose to read over often many of these poems and on this account make but short Criticisms now. Of Johnson I can only say that his lines are strong and rough but full of sense and must be allowed to laugh when I think of his change in his opinions, political and domestic. For here his praises of the opposition to royalty and of the country are as strong and vehement as the reverse is in many other of his writings in prose. In truth the Dr. did not mind consistency much.
But how rare an article this is in common life and so far from blaming any one for wanting the possession of it, we should praise when it is obtained. Every man is inconsistent for he thinks differently at different times and gives good reasons for each conviction. The difference is that they operate upon him with more force as his situation is. I lounged to the Bookstore and then back again. Brenan was with me and we sat down before the door and smoked all the afternoon. Richardson returned this afternoon and was with us. He does not look so well as he did before he went away. His recovery however has been very remarkable. Our conversation was not of an important kind, Brenan is a pleasant fellow. His character has undergone some changes for the better within nine months. He has become less cynical and suspicious, a temper which only grew upon him by his unfortunate luck of being unpopular upon entering College. It has in one respect been of great advantage to him as he has turned his attention to study and made himself a scholar which he never would { 172 } have been otherwise. By this I do not mean a College scholar but a student and a gainer of knowledge. I have some respect for his character and like the man. Richardson is pleasant now but how long he will continue so to me I know not. I like his temper for it’s easy bent, but his dogged sullenness is very disagreable. In the Evening the rest of our friends and companions came pouring in. Sheafe arrived in a Carriage from Boston just at tea time. Otis a little later in the evening.
In this term, it is hardly possible to do any thing but walk and look at the Moon and Stars in the Cool of the day or Night. I took a walk with Wheatland and did not return until nearly nine. A few minutes were spent at his room talking with Otis who is more agreable than usual. A mere every day acquaintance with him would be more to his advantage than any intimacy. The rest of the time until eleven o’clock was employed in reading over my Journal for the Month of May and writing my Review. It was not so long as I had intended to write but My ideas are always rendered as concisely by me as possible and on that account deceive me very much in their number and magnitude on paper. I thus closed the Evening by reading two Chapters in Genesis a habit which I have laid on myself for the purpose of examining that Bible from which I have long been absent. XI.
1. Both letters are missing.
2. Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709–1784).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-06

Sunday. June 6th. VII:30.

Missed Prayers this Morning, this being the last which it is my intention to allow myself to lay in bed without sufficient reason. I employed the Morning in writing up my Journal and reading two Chapters in the Bible. Then I went to Chapel and heard Dr. Ware. The day was exceedingly warm and the Chapel suffocating in consequence. The sermon was short however and we were relieved.
I read on my return the two first books of Armstrong’s1 “Art of Preserving Health.” A very pretty poem indeed with a great deal of variety in its subject and a great deal of skill displayed in handling so remarkable a subject. It is handled in a way to afford a great deal of amusement and some instruction. In the afternoon after spending my leisure time in writing still more of my Journal I went and heard the President who delivered his Sermon at the commencement of the term much in his usual way. I have had some trouble today in returning the nods of the class. Dwight yesterday said, “when I come back here how few there are whom I am glad to see” and I echo the saying { 173 } with emphasis. Of all the students whom I have yet seen there are but about five who are in the real meaning of the word good friends. These I may call Dwight, Chapman, Brenan, Sheafe—I miscounted, there are but four and to fill the number I must name Tudor who has not yet arrived. I have not the same feeling towards College that I used to have. My class do not interest me, I visit few of them and feel so independent of them that I scarcely should know that they have any connexion were it not for the recitations which we go in together. This is nowadays the feeling of College there being little of that fellowship left which used to actuate all so forcibly in former days. Men are all independent and cold. I may perhaps have to congratulate myself that I have even found so many friends as I am bold enough to set down.
In the Evening All the Lyceum went to walk together. It is fortunate for us perhaps that some of us are soon going to divide for the disgust which is so long contained will at some time express itself if held too long. Five weeks are now remaining for us to have a good friend in the world whom perhaps if he were to stay I for one might turn into a bitter enemy. For these things rankle. The night was beautiful and the walk delightful. After some conversation at Otis I went to my room and read over my Astronomy. X:20.
1. John Armstrong (1709–1779).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-07

Monday. June 7th. V:45.

Arose and attended Prayers, and recitation in Astronomy half an hour afterwards. Very much to my surprise Mr. Heyward called upon me and I did not acquit myself very handsomely. It being Artillery Election day1 in Boston I did not have any exercises and spent the day at home principally; in the Morning I closed the account with my Journal which had been unavoidably neglected. Perhaps this is not a good reason but I was so [conscious?] that my situation and want of accommodations2 made me write it without the care which I was desirous to bestow that I at length determined although it has been quite a labour, in consequence, to write it here. I also finished Armstrong’s Poem on Health. I have never met with it before and am quite surprised that it has been suffered to be neglected. But it is on a subject which is not generally consonant with Poetry. I am very much pleased I must confess as it combines a great deal of utility with good advice—something which is not requisite to good poetry and consequently an additional advantage when given.
{ 174 }
In the afternoon I did little but lounge in Sheafe’s room, at my own and at the bookstore. All our society out of town except Wheatland and Sheafe. I am very fond of the latter fellow, he has such an excellent disposition and at the same time knows so well the rules of good society and manners. Qualities which from some reason or other are not very common here. Otis has them—but he has not one essential quality which the former possesses, generosity. This is an extreme fault in a young man. At the Athenaeum I read a few articles from the last New Monthly Magazine. They are quite interesting and I regretted much my being compelled to break off a pretty story by the bell which announced Prayers.
After tea I went to take a walk as usual with Sheafe and Richardson who had returned from home. I was not gone so long as common because a cloud and some drops warned us to retreat which we did, but it did not rain much. Returning to my room I employed the Evening in making out Accounts for the Members of the Clubs to whom I am treasurer and my own. I settled with my Landlord, Mr. Saunders’, also and arranged my own affairs. To keep these distinct accounts is no inconsiderable trouble. I then solaced myself with two or three of Bacon’s Essays and read two Chapters in Genesis as usual. I did the same in the Morning. X:5.
1. Incorporated in 1628, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company was the oldest military organization in the nation. The first Monday in June was the company’s anniversary and, apparently, the time when new officers were elected. Usually a parade, a sermon, and a dinner over which the governor presided highlighted the day’s events, while a Fall Field Day was the main end-of-year occasion (Bacon’s Dict. of Boston, p. 14).
2. When he was in Quincy.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-08

Tuesday. June 8th. V:15.

Arose and after reading two Chapters in Genesis, attended Prayers, after which I looked over the Review of Enfield which was set us as a preparation for Examination. I was not at Cambridge while it was learnt so that I could make but little of it. I was not called upon however. After breakfast I wrote my Journal and employed the Morning as well as I could. We have news of a call of the Legislature of New York and the probable consequence a change of the Electoral law. I doubt this latter event very much though.1 Politics are assuming more an appearance of action and less of Newspaper controversy than formerly.
We had no lesson for the morning as a miss is always given at the Commencement of a book. We now begin Trigonometry a part of { 175 } Mathematics from which I would willingly be excused as it will be impossible for me to understand an advanced branch not knowing the previous steps. I did not attend today and regret it because I might have had an opportunity of speaking to him which I may not now obtain. I read the poems of the two Wartons2 today and was much pleased with the sprightliness of the verse and its melody. The younger is the finer poet of the two although I think there is not very material difference. I like the short and rapid verse in which they write, very well. The ode to Melancholy is a sweet thing and describes feelings which to me are well known and which certainly are the sweetest or pleasantest that man here enjoys. They destroy him in life but certainly they are the most delicious for an epicure in mind that he can indulge in.
In the afternoon it being very warm I took some Porter and lounged the afternoon most lazily away, Richardson being here also. It was [ . . . ] from the same reason that the morning was [ . . . ] as we went to Dr. Popkin for a lesson in Greek Testament with which we close our Greek studies at Cambridge. I then went to Brenans where I spent an hour conversing concerning the character of different individuals at Cambridge. We were talking principally of Miller3 when the gentleman made his appearance. After some trivial talk, I came away and did nothing at my room until Prayers. After these I walked to Fresh Pond with a number of our house. The New hotel is very prettily situated and would make quite a sweet summer habitation. Returning, I spent an hour at Otis room talking then came down, read two Chapters in the Bible and went to bed after having spent one day in almost utter idleness. I am quite ashamed to insert such a notice here. X:15.
1. The critical New York legislature was almost evenly divided between the supporters of JQA and Crawford, with Clay’s friends holding the balance of power. Admonishing his New York followers not to make any deals, JQA urged them to delay the legislature’s decision as long as possible, so that pro-Adams sentiment could gather, and to work for a new election law, which would allow the people to vote directly for the state’s electors. For an earlier report on the New York political situation, see entry for 25 Jan., above.
2. Joseph Warton (1722–1800) and Thomas Warton (1728–1790).
3. William Miller, of Philadelphia, a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-09

Wednesday. June 9th. VI.

Attended Prayers, but was very late in getting up. My walk of last Evening had fatigued me so much, that I slept more soundly than usual. As I was absent during nearly all the day’s review I excused myself to Mr. Hayward and consequently made up my Chapters in { 176 } the Bible in the interval. At study bell we attended Mr. Channings first Lecture. It was an introductory one detailing the dangers to which students were liable—they were likely to become too proud of their knowledge and therefore sceptical. He adverted to the danger of falling into a way of studying not for the sake of improvement in their own happiness but to show their acquisition, to be actuated by motives of ambition, and not read books for their sake as pleasure and gratification but as a path to become distinguished. In this way he said the heart became callous to the finer feelings of nature and wholly engrossed in the pursuit of fame. The things which were most to be dreaded by persons in pursuit of knowledge in short, he said, were pride which leads to scepticism, and ambition which destroys all good and moral feeling. He was highly moral throughout. The style is easy and pleasing, the manner is not tolerable. He has never been possessed of the graces and has sundry peculiarities which are certainly not pleasing, I might say, disgusting. I had to complain of his want of purpose in this lecture as I saw nothing in the Essay which had a direct reference to the matter in point. In future I propose to take notes at the time and write his sentiments more fully as I propose to compare them with those of my father on the same subject at some future time. I wish to judge as fairly of Mr. Channing as possible. I have no reason to admire the man and therefore shall be cautious.1
I returned home after a few minutes at the reading room, and prepared myself for a recitation to Mr. Farrar in Trigonometry. He is much of a scare crow to students as he has a greater desire to make them learn really and truly, than any other members of the government. I recited to him not very well however. As this is a study which I do not wish to pursue, I am not anxious. I had intended speaking to him today but I was so hurried by the next division that it was not in my power. I am fixed however in doing this soon as this is certainly nothing but lost time. I might as well undertake to study Hebrew without Grammar or Dictionary. It is sufficiently difficult with2 in either case. We do not come again until Monday.
I finished writing my Journal and read the poems of Mason together with some of the first of Cowper’s.3 I did not think the first very remarkable although the lines to his wife are certainly sweet and pretty. I will not pretend to criticize though as I have never read them before. These of Cowper are very pretty, there is something very interesting in them as they refer themselves to our simplest feelings and are sure to touch them with effort. The little piece on Friendship { 177 } which I read today is as true, as striking as any thing could be made yet it is all drawn from what we must know by the every day experience of human life. It is this power which has made this Author so popular with all classes and which makes him seen oftener on the table than any Poet we have. Some there [are] who are looked upon with reverence and respect but he is always read and always admired.
I began my course in Botany this Morning with a Lesson in Mr. Locke4 and commenced Mitford’s History of Greece5 by reading the First Chapter today. This is principally taken up in a geographical description of the country, and an account of the fabulous ages to the time of the Trojan War. He gives the appearance of history to the stories of the Poets and gives Homer high authority as a Historian. He runs over their origin, which he argues from Egypt, their method of life which was according to all account sufficiently piratical, and their gradual civilization particularly in Attica. One chapter bears considerably on politics as it shows us that at least in this age Despotism was not known or thought of. The accounts of Minos and Theseus give us reason to suppose that this was the original contract if there ever was one in society. To ensure order, a head was necessary, but for that head to have absolute power was as far from their ideas as the cutting off their own heads. I also read my Greek Testament and attended recitation after which I paid a visit to Fisher and came home. I next attended Prayers, after tea Otis and myself went round paying visits at least with the intention of doing so but we found no one at home except Howard. I smoked a cigar with him although he did not appear perfectly glad to see us. Why, I know not. We then returned, having heard nonsense enough, and I spent the remainder of the Evening in reading Plutarch’s Life of Theseus and studying the obscure chronology as well as I could. Finishing this I read two Numbers in the Spectator for amusement and my two Chapters as usual. X.
1. JQA was the first Boylston professor of rhetoric and oratory at Harvard, holding the chair from 1806 to 1809. He had opposed the appointment of E. T. Channing, the third occupant of the chair. When Channing failed CFA on his Harvard entrance examination in Sallust, JQA appealed the decision to President Kirkland, reminding him that the professor might have been motivated by resentment. JQA was given permission to attend the second examination, and this time CFA passed (Duberman, CFA, p. 18).
2. Thus in MS.
3. William Mason (1725–1797) and William Cowper (1731–1800).
4. John Locke, Outlines of Botany, Boston, 1819.
5. JQA’s set of William Mitford, History of Greece, 8 vols., Boston, 1823, is in the Stone Library. CFA, however, apparently bought his own copy. See entry for 29 June, below. A first edition of Vol. 1 (published in 1784) is among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 170).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-10

Thursday. June 10th. V:45.

Attended Prayers and having looked over my review in the interval, recitation. I was called upon for the first time in a review and recited moderately well. I received a letter this morning from John1 announcing his intention of departing the next day for the springs at a town called Bedford in Virginia. He is to accompany my Mother and Mary in this affair. He also announces his inability to write me in consequence, a thing which I am exceedingly sorry for as I seldom feel perfectly contented unless I receive letters frequently from home. John’s particularly afford me great amusement.
I read this Morning besides my regular Chapters Cowper’s Poem on Retirement much of which pleased me exceedingly. I have not prized this Author as highly as he deserved although I have always admired him. So much striking observation is collected in this poem, the natural agitations of the mind are so accurately described that one can not help being very much pleased with him. I also studied a lesson in Botany. This is a very pleasant amusement in the Spring and as I wish to prepare myself before the lectures come on, if we are to have any, I am now studying it. I did this also last Spring and now merely refresh my Memory. We had no exercise this Morning as the Theme which should have come today is delayed for Examination. I wrote my Journal and spent an hour at Sheafe’s room talking of the Supper which we have in contemplation.
At dinner we were interrupted by the entrance of Tudor who was hailed by general acclamation. His arrival fills up our accustomed society which certainly felt quite a void while he was not here. I spent an hour at Wheatland’s room talking with Burton,2 a graduate and divinity student who belonged to my brother’s class. I talked a great deal of preaching and ministers to him, a subject which of all others [is] to me the most foolish. It is popular here and Wheatland who is a very good young sample of old narrow mindedness delights in conversation of this kind. I shall not attempt to describe the character of this man until we part never to meet again which will soon be and not to my regret for I know not what is the reason but he appears to me at this time to be more unpleasant than he ever was before; he did not seem to relish Tudor’s popularity among us, and scarcely hailed him half as cordially as any of the rest. Could it have been envy, because he knew he could not have been so received? or what? I will suspect but assert nothing.
I read a portion of Mitford finishing the second Chapter which { 179 } treats of their state of society, of the progress of the Greeks in Religion, Government, Language, Poetry, Agriculture, Masonry, Commerce, Navigation, Astronomy, Physic. Also of their Manners. All this is derived from his great favourite Homer whom he quotes for the establishment of all his facts. The history of these books is singular as it is with good ground supposed that the art of writing was not known until long after these were composed. The general hypothesis is that they were sung by him at the Meetings which have always been held in Greece and that they were handed down in this way from one generation to another, being committed to memory by persons who pursued the same practice which has been common with the Welsh [ . . . ] who were very much acted upon by their bards. But still I am inclined to doubt whether poems of this kind could have come down perfect as we find them, they must have undergone considerable correction in later ages when they were first set in order. It appears even so, hardly possible to suppose that any one man could have kept in his memory two such long Poems, knowing also as we do, or say we do, that there was no regular way of singing them, they were composed in disorder and still form so perfect a whole. There is one thing certainly which we can trust to him, for, knowing their unquestionable antiquity, we can have no doubt that he described the manners which were usual in that age. The author’s illustration of them is very good.
I got a Greek lesson this afternoon and attended a recitation to Dr. Popkin, after which I made a short call upon Brenan to inform him of our decision concerning the Supper and read Mitford until Prayers after which we went to Fresh Pond and spent some time in bowling. Met there J. Otis and Bartlett with the latter of whom I had considerable conversation. I went principally to make arrangements but did not succeed owing to Mr. Wyeth’s3 absence. On returning, our Lyceum party went to Mr. Willard’s and refreshed ourselves with a little Porter. Tudor’s presence has inspired us with life and dissipation and we opened the term pleasantly. The evening was so pleasant that I staid out until ten o’clock in the front of the house, admiring the Moon and the beauty of the Evening. After a few minutes at Wheat-land’s where Stackpole and Silsbee were, I came down and reading my two Chapters as usual, I retired. X:15.
1. Missing.
2. Warren Burton, Harvard 1821, who graduated from the Divinity School in 1826.
3. Jacob Wyeth was owner of the Fresh Pond Inn, since 1796 one of the famous hostelries in the Cambridge area; it was located not far from the present water filtration plant (Chauncey Depew Steele Jr., “A History of Inns and Hotels in Cambridge,” Cambridge Historical Society, Publications, 37 [1959]:33–34).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-11

Friday. June 11th. IV:30.

After a very sleepless night, from what cause I know not, I arose, dressed myself and read my usual number of Chapters and the first book of Cowper’s Task. This is a pleasant poem but as it is a commencement of a subject not the most excellent for a Poet’s pen, we must wait till he obtains room for more excursions. I read this Poem just before I commenced Aikin and recollect the great pleasure which I had in it. I am now very curious to see whether my marks will be the same as formerly. I doubt much the strength of my natural taste and consequently shall see what is the variation. I then attended Prayers and after looking over my lessons, recitation. I then returned home got a lesson in Botany and wrote my Journal.
At ten o’clock I attended Mr. Channing’s second Lecture. His style is certainly quite good, he treated today of Rhetoric as a branch of study. He distinguished from Ethics and Logic by embracing parts of both but giving a more extended surface. The one he said treated of moral obligation of the duty of man to God, to himself and to the world, but Rhetoric was connected with their passions and although it’s effects were caused by touching the sense of rectitude which existed in every man, they acted upon those passions of men which Moral Philosophy is intended to bind. He said it was different from Logic as that was merely a dry search after Truth in methodical formulas whereas this was designed to apply these very rules clothed in the beauty of language and all the richness of imagery which the mind of men can comprehend. He then went on to discuss the subjects in which Eloquence existed. Some people had said that Eloquence arose from the subject and that in Law and Divinity it was impossible to be eloquent but it was his opinion that Eloquence existed every where and that it was in the power of a naturally eloquent man (for it is his opinion that it is natural) to be eloquent on every subject, that he could exert his powers of imagination even on things the most dry. This is all just observation and I saw it powerfully exemplified in the case of Mr. Emmet on the Steam Boat question last Winter.1 I did not hear however what was said to be his very finest part which was the close of his speech. The subject was as dry also as any which could have been agitated.
I read a considerable portion of Mitford’s Greece. He treated of the Oracles, the Games and the council of Amphictyons, the three great links, as he thinks of the Grecian people. These gave them a consistency which otherwise they would not have possessed and made them have the appearance to others at least of being a people. The { 181 } influence obtained by the Oracle was not surprising considering the state of the people. The institution of the Games was very good for them as it gave them a character, it promoted taste and elegance for which they were afterwards so noted. I finished this early and copied a piece in my Common Place Book before dinner. Afterwards, I read Mitford’s Appendix on the subject of the Chronology of these times which to be sure is obscure enough. I shall not attempt to make dates but merely to keep the course of events. These to be sure are doubtful enough but I am inclined to believe them. Mr. Mitford is pretty positive in his style of speaking or writing, nevertheless he is a very pleasant author to read. The last Chapter which I read was on the history of the smaller States of Greece which he gives merely to prepare for his great subject.
I then attended Declamation and spoke myself Byron’s beautiful ode to the Greeks in Don Juan. I tried my best but hardly gave the full force of the sublime production. It was difficult. Mr. Channing criticized my rapidity by which I lost some force, of this I was conscious but I am still in a flurry on the Stage, which it is impossible for me to get over. I am happy to think of my own improvement since I entered College and have no fear of any appearance when warmed by my subject. This was the first time that I have ever felt in the least carried away, I wished to be more so but was afraid of extravagance in action.
After this our Lyceum members made a party and went to Fresh Pond where we spent a very pleasant afternoon in bowling, we returned soon after tea time, missing Prayers. I made arrangements with Mr. Wyeth for Tuesday. The Lyceum Club, the regular Members met and went through the regular business of the term. I was elected President, Richardson Vice P. and Otis, Secretary. The same irregular Members were elected for this term. I then called upon Brenan and a few minutes on Dwight—and after settling some Club Accounts with Mr. Willard, I retired—having read my Chapters. XI:15.
1. See entry for 4 Feb., above.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-12

Saturday. June. 12th. V:45.

Attended Prayers, read two Chapters in the Bible, looked over my lesson and went to recitation. I went to see the Newspapers but found nothing except the declaration of New Hampshire which makes it pretty decisive as to the opinion of the New England States, five of whom have determined the public opinion by a public manifestation.1 No Southern papers or Mail this morning. I then went home and wrote my Journal and read the second book of Cowper’s Task in which he { 182 } writes with that fullness of heart which will always make poetry good and where he inveighs so bitterly against the vices of the clergy. There is a fine tone of piety and feeling which makes this pleasing. This was all that I was able to do today as at eleven o’clock I rode into town with Sheafe. We went in very quick as the mare, Doty, was in good train.
Arrived at the Marlborough2 the first thing was to go to Mr. Rockford and be served there with a little haircutting which is the great reason I believe of the excess of blood in my head with which I am now afflicted. From here after walking about town a little, I went to Dr. Welsh’s and saw George, and for once found him at home. We had considerable conversation on politics and his appointment to deliver a fourth of July Oration at Quincy. For my own part on consideration of the subject, I do not think it will do him any injury and it may do him some good. I am afraid, he will be led to express opinions which may be used against him at some future time as this is now the practice in this country to call up all old opinions in order to convict a man of gross inconsistency in his course. But this will be avoided in considering his youth, and as he can write and speak well he may make a favourable impression upon an audience not most critical. The Quincy people would be all well inclined to him as they perhaps are proud of our family already. Perhaps it is all which would have brought their town’s name peculiarly into notice.
I also had a good deal of conversation with him concerning his misunderstanding with John, which will, I hope, soon be rectified. I dined with him and had some laugh with Miss Harriet about the family and Mrs. Adams &c. &c. I had the pleasure of eating Salmon for the first time this year and drinking some excellent Porter, after which I smoked a very good Cigar with him. We talked of those cousins of ours in whom I feel considerable interest, the one because I believe her no favourite with her own family, the other because she will be in so very unfortunate a situation unless well married which is very doubtful.
It is one of the worst consequences attending an unfortunate match that the family arising from it must partake in some measure of the sentiments of their parents and consequently are in danger of doing the same or worse. Thus it is with these and even worse as they see but little of the best company. Abigail has received a lesson this winter which will save her from a bad step and I hope the other will.
The Quincy Stage arrived and I was obliged to go in [seek?] of amusement. I rambled about until I found myself near Mr. Hilliard’s { 183 } store3 where I went in and looked over the books there, none of which I was in the least tempted to buy. The assortment does not appear to be a good one. Ever since Mr. Hilliard’s purchase the books have been very far inferior to what they have been before. Mr. Hall,4 it is said, has ruined the importation of valuable books because he has made bad ones so cheap. I then went to the Marlborough with Sheafe who had also dropped into the bookstore and after a little walk went to the billiard room to see Tudor whom we had agreed to bring to Cambridge. We found him here playing and as I had nothing else to do I sat myself down and began to read the Extravagant Burletta of Tom and Jerry5 which made so much noise in Boston last Winter. It is a ridiculous thing without wit but so well describing the humours of high and low life that it takes with the people astonishingly. All productions of this sort will run on the stage much longer than those much superior in point of merit for this has nothing to boast.
At half past six or seven we returned to Cambridge bringing out Tudor, we obtained tea however from Mrs. Saunders’. I spent the evening at Tudor’s and we drank a bottle of Porter. But I was so thoroughly worn out that I could not exert myself to quit even old Mclntire the shoe maker who came up on business with Tudor. He is a queer old put, very amusing generally from his attempts at elegance in language and his singular application of great words. I stayed at Tudor’s until ten o’clock which being my usual hour for retiring I went down stairs and read two Chapters according to custom and went to bed.
My day in Boston was spent on the whole in a manner much pleasanter than usual, George’s being visible for once and being quite agreable has afforded me much pleasure. I still had two or three weary hours and am but little tempted to renew my visit. Indeed I do not expect to go in again until late in the term. I refused to day to go and hear George which hurt him severely, I believe, I must change my mind.6 X:15.
1. JQA was the unanimous choice of New England for the Presidency. Calhoun received the section’s almost unanimous vote for Vice President (Bemis, JQA, 2:30).
2. Located at 11 Marlborough Place (Boston Directory, 1823).
3. Cummings & Hilliard & Co., book-sellers, at 1 Cornhill Street (same).
4. Presumably Lorenzo T. Hall, a printer at Second Street (same).
5. William Thomas Moncrieff, Tom and Jerry; or, Life in London.
6. Thus punctuated in MS.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-13

Sunday. June 13th. VII:30.

My excessive fatigue of yesterday made me sleep until the break• { 184 } fast bell had announced the hour which makes the limit. I found scarcely any one at breakfast. Wheatland and Otis were the only ones who had been there. I spent the morning in a very lazy way. Cunningham came to Otis’s room and I dropped in, we talked for some time on general subjects and I liked him again. His manner injures him very much in the estimation of students, he appears so studied in all his movements, that he excites much displeasure and though desirous to have popularity he scarcely knows the way to gain it.
I had a little conversation with Otis on the subject of the Porcellian Club, after his visitor had gone. I have been anxious for some considerations to get into this society as it has long made me feel angry to have a number of men take any superiority over me on a point which they certainly have but little right to. I am conscious however that things change materially in the world and that I for one take a station as soon as I enter it which is equal in advantages to myself if not superior to any in the class. I find myself well supported by my own friends and therefore care but little as to the local prejudices which have kept me out.1
After some private talk, I attended Chapel to hear Dr. Ware as I did in the afternoon to the President, both exactly according to usual way. I was according to custom, very inattentive. I read the third book of Cowper’s Task and wrote my Journal, this employed me all day, rather lazily, to be sure but I am in the habit of spending a great deal too much time in the latter employment so that I make it a task and a loss of time instead of an improving lesson. My last three days it must be confessed have not been spent in the most edifying manner but I have allowed myself some indulgence for the first half of this term. My father has not chosen to give me anything for employment,2 he may crush my ambitious feelings by this but I have nothing to be accused of, warmly as I am acted upon by my desire of distinction and knowing so well that I am called upon particularly to act as becomes a member of a high family. I feel this responsibility and feel myself naturally able to bear it but how it may result I know not. I read my usual Chapters and part of the Introduction to Anacharsis which is a romantic account of the heroic ages of Greece.3 X:15.
1. Southern students, who went to Cambridge in increasing numbers during President Kirkland’s administration, gradually came to dominate the prestigious Porcellian Club. The club elected more Southern than Northern students in 1820, when JA2 became a member; in 1821 it chose half again as many Southerners as Northerners; in 1822 there were almost twice as many Southern initiates as Northern. Though the new members of 1823, who were sophomores in CFA’s class, included one more Northern than Southern student, { 185 } the club was still heavily weighted against the Northerners. In 1824 seven Southern sophomores and only two Northern ones were chosen. Later nine of CFA’s class, all Northerners, and CFA himself were invited to join, but CFA and his friends refused. Other Northern students then asked to resign but were refused permission, and later seven more Northerners were chosen to fill the vacant places. For CFA’s role in creating and leading a Northern party among the students, first to storm the Porcellian citadel and then to build up the Northern-oriented Society of the Order of the Knights of the Square Table, see entries for 24 and 25June, 23 July, and 3 Aug., below. See also Catalogue of the Honorary and Immediate Members of the Porcellian Club of Harvard University, Cambridge, 1831, Harvard Archives; Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 197–199.
2. In this reference and a later one (see entry for 11 Aug., below), CFA bemoaned the fact that his father was not encouraging and enriching his education by guiding his reading. Only after CFA returned home to Washington to read law and, later, was a student at Webster’s law office in Boston, did JQA become his son’s mentor.
3. The work referred to is doubtless the Voyage du jeune Anacharsis en Grèce, first published in Paris, 1779, in 7 volumes and an atlas volume. The anonymous author was Jean Jacques Barthélemy, a spokesman of the Enlightenment; his production, though cast in fictional form, with the sages and heroes of Greece taking speaking parts, contains a mass of geographical and archeological information that made it popular as a manual on Greek antiquities. There are two editions of the Voyage in the Stone Library: one in 9 volumes and an atlas, Deux Ponts, 1791; the other in 7 volumes, Paris, 1810. A 1790 edition of the work, published in Paris, is among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library, but the atlas is missing (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 21).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-14

Monday. June 14th. V:30.

Attended Prayers and recitation this morning, read my two Chapters as usual and the fourth book of Cowper, the feelings upon which I have described in my observations on the first part of the same book. I attended a lecture also from Mr. Channing. He went on to examine the subject of eloquence. He said that it did not consist of perfection in any particular quality but in a union of all in such a way as to produce sensations purely pleasing. I do not know what the reason was but my thoughts wandered here and I did not gather all that I ought to have done, he did not appear however to progress much, as he is very general in his language. The style is a pretty one, he is neat and even elegant at times, but there is not much mind displayed and what I am surprised to see, not much classical feeling. The truth I imagine is that this is a quality he is not in possession of. Dr. Ware had a review of the class in Paley instead of the Greek recitation which is now a morning exercise. I did not attend the evidences though for I intend to trust altogether to Providence in my examination.
In the afternoon I read a little of Mitford containing the history of Lacaedemon, of the Institutions of Lycurgus and of the Messenian War. It gives us an astonishing instance of a government which never has since and probably never will again see its equal. The people be• { 186 } came a remarkable one and is an astonishing record of the most persevering and successful victories over the weaknesses and passions of nature. I attended a recitation also in Mathematics in which I was called upon and much to my surprise, passed off quite successfully. I had a little conversation with Mr. Farrar concerning this subject and made an arrangement to study a plainer treatise in case one was necessary. He is a remarkably obliging man and really appears to be more desirous to do good to the constitution of the College by affording the students real instruction, than any one of the rest. I then went to Cunningham’s and had some conversation with him on the subject of his quarrel with Dwight; it is a disagreable circumstance which really I wished over and have made a half day’s exertion but it is too stubborn.
In the Evening, I had intended to have done something but Brenan, Rundlet and others came in so that it was impossible and I was obliged to entertain my good companions with Northern and Southern [pacts?] and the [numerous?] rebellion.1 After the Bible I retired. X:10.
1. This semilegible passage apparently alludes to the sectional rivalry in the Porcellian Club; see note on preceding entry.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-15

Tuesday. June 15th. VI.

Attended Prayers but as usual had no recitation this Morning. I read my Chapters in the Bible and wrote a Theme this Morning on Spring Vacation, quite a pleasant subject. At nine o’clock we were called in to the usual annual examination. This being our third and last but one.1 Few attended, Dr. Porter and Dr. Fiske2 I believe were the only two. Our examination commenced with Enfield and I was taken up among the first on a part which I had not seen. I managed by keeping the book open to read it off and passed decently. We next came to Tacitus in which I was taken up first and came off moderately well. Next came Metaphysics which I most dreaded, the class recited wretchedly until dinner time which suspended my fate. I was however not so badly off as I expected although I have not much to boast as to the goodness of the recitation. Dr. Ware examined us next in Paley and called upon me first by which I was able to recite very decently well. Still I owe part of it to my class mate Ames3 who was sitting behind. The old mole Allen has not the quickness of a tortoise and though desirous, he is ill timed. I am very sorry for the first of these young men, it is matter of great regret that his finances will not suffer him { 187 } to take the situation in his class which both his feelings and his character require. He is a gentleman and an honourable fellow and is more respected among the upper class of young men than any one I know. He is one of the very few in the class who are not directly in our society, whom I like. Professor Willard then examined his four scholars in Hebrew to the amusement of all the rest of the class after which Dr. Popkin closed with Homer which I passed quite well. On the whole, the examination was a decent one, it was not creditable as it showed that the studies had been very poorly conducted. Our good scholars did not do half as much credit to themselves as usual and our bad ones were in character. For my own part I performed my duty decently and that was all. Comparing it with that of the last year it is rather better as I did not go through without a dead set4 in Blair.5 This was given me by the malignity of Mr. Channing who asked me questions which few could have answered. If this was bad, I recited well in Logic, and in Greek, so that perhaps taking the two I was very much as usual in this one. We had no speech and were dismissed at about half past six o’clock.
After Prayers and tea, we as usual with us on the evening of Examination went to Fresh Pond to a Supper. Our party was composed this time, of Richardson, Rundlet, Sheafe, Brenan, Lothrop and myself. Of these the three first and I went up immediately and spent the Evening, bowling by candlelight. Richardson and I beat the other two. This is quite good amusement, and much more interesting than I used to think. It is not equal to billiards though which I think is the most delightful of all mere amusements. At half past nine o’clock the rest of the party had joined us and we sat down to a supper quite as handsome as I wished. It was much superior in quality to the last one and looked really fit for any person to sit down to. I know not what was the reason however but my appetite was not good and I was not able to eat at all to my satisfaction. As I was fixed upon a sober time, I determined to be prudent, influenced partly by the feelings which I saw excited at home, as our members expected to have a crow over us and partly as I saw Brenan was fixed upon the same. And I was not going to expose myself before him unless it was the same on his part with me. My feelings warned me in time and I refused all drinking after this. The conduct of Rundlet and us two influenced materially the joviality of the table and, although very near intoxication, the other three managed to pass off with only muddled brains. I recollected so well the effects of the excessive debauch of last year that I rejoiced much at the course of this. After many a song and poor toast { 188 } we arose and having paid his bill of thirteen dollars we returned home.
The walk was an exceedingly pleasant one. Lothrop and Rundlet were very amusing and although Brenan was too prudent as he was fearful of a discovery, which I thought was not risked in the least, we came home pleasantly, and all retired in very good humour. Rundlet stayed at Sheafe’s. On the whole I rejoiced very much to find this had been a rational supper, which among young men is but too seldom the case. Although some of our party were considerably exhilarated none of them were in such a state as to be unable to take care of themselves. This evening for the first time, I was compelled to neglect reading my Bible but there being no light in the house I retired without. II:30.
1. By college rule juniors at Harvard were examined on the second Tuesday of the third term (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823, p. 16).
2. Eliphalet Porter, Harvard 1777, a Fellow and Overseer of the college, and Thaddeus Fiske, Harvard 1785, another Overseer (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
3. Seth Ames, of Dedham (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
4. “A complete failure in a recitation” (Dict. of Americanisms).
5. Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. JQA’s two sets of the work, published in London in 1793 and in 1796, each in 3 vols., are in the Stone Library. Another copy, also in 3 vols., published in 1789 in Basel, is among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library (Catalogue of JA’s Library, p. 29).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-16

Wednesday. June 16th. VIII.

Missed Prayers. At study bell I attended a lecture of Mr. Channings. His subject today he divided into three heads, Demonstrative, deliberative and judicial oratory. He treated today of the first of these, he considered it as the least important of the three as it was used only on occasions of meetings for the purpose of hearing, and not on occasions involving the interest of any portion of individuals. Funeral orations, panegyrics, Orations on annual festivals such as the fourth of July and others. This style of speaking was suited therefore only for holiday occasions. He closed this lecture and this part of his subject with a few observations concerning the requisites for this, of which he mentioned the accurate delineation of character as the most important, that it was not sufficient to speak merely of his qualities as general, such as that he was brave or generous, for this he has in common with thousands, and although some people might prefer a bombastic sounding expression of some common qualities, it exhibited bad taste and showed that they only who had no discernment would do this. Other men would give value to the exact description of some remarkable peculiarity, some feeling for which he was remarkable { 189 } only to these immediately.1 On a judicious selection of these he said depended the principal [...,]2 the force of an Oration of the demonstrative kind. This was a pretty good lecture.
I did absolutely nothing this Morning from a sort of listlessness always following a blow, although I had no headache or sick feeling much to my satisfaction and our good companions lost their expected satisfaction. I regret that I saw this for really I do not wish to think ill of more fellows than I can help. These I have a good opinion of at present and wish to continue. Had Otis possessed one quality more I could have liked him. Had Richardson been in good society he would have made a better companion. Wheatland knew no politeness. Thus it is, I am necessarily debarred by a consciousness of their faults from the intimacy of many whom I have wished to respect. I attended Dr. Popkin at eleven o’clock and recited without having looked at the lesson. This Greek Testament is boy’s play. After it I read the two books of Cowper’s Task which finish it. I did not neglect reading it yesterday but it was done in the examination room and so lazily that I thought it proper to go over it again. I have no remarks further to make on this subject.
After dinner I read a very little in Mitford’s Greece which I shall not notice at present. At two o’clock, I attended a lecture from Mr. Nuttall the Curator of the gardens on Botany,3 a course which I wish to attend as by this I shall ensure regularity and order, to my study of it. To accommodate the Senior members he began his course with the more important parts of his flower, in this way making it quite puzzling to those who have not been over the terms. I have studied them and found but little difficulty in understanding him. He treated today of the calyx or flower cup, its different forms and illustrated them by different flowers. He appears to be an agreable man, and quite easy in his manner. He certainly appears desirous of giving some instruction in this branch, and as it is a pleasing one, I am delighted at having this opportunity of cultivating it. This first lecture was sufficiently simple.
I then returned home and wrote my journal for Monday as I had no opportunity for this purpose yesterday. We then went to Mr. Farrar, Otis, Sheafe, Percy4 and I were all the class. He employed all the time in explaining to us the day’s lesson and by dint of perseverance made us or at least Otis and myself understand it. As to Percy he never will understand anything. Sheafe did not take the trouble. We returned home, for me to laze away my time as I have been during this term, but I do not know why, my hope is that a letter from my father will { 190 } encourage me to continue my studies. I went to the Athenaeum and spent half an hour reading there and then went to Prayers. After which I took a walk with Sheafe and Richardson crossing the Cham, the romantic name of a very pretty stream which winds along here.
Returning, I spent the evening at Tudor’s, reading with him the trip to Paris of Mathews5 in ridiculous style. This, to be sure is a very foolish way of spending my time and really I begin to be very much ashamed of myself. My Mitford has for the last few days been deplorably neglected and I altogether reject all time because there appears so little of it.6 Indeed I have decided I think that the two first years are far the best for reading. When I came down, I tried to read Enfield over but could not, it appeared so unusual to get a lesson, I did not know what to make of it. I read my Chapters in the Bible all and finished the book of Genesis. It is a book I will not criticize although perhaps I ought to. X.
1. Thus in MS.
2. Word omitted in MS.
3. Thomas Nuttall (1786–1859), the noted botanist and ornithologist, who in 1822 became curator of the Botanical Garden at Harvard (DAB).
4. Robert Dow Percy, of St. Francisville, La., a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
5. Possibly Henry Matthews, The Diary of an Invalid; being the Journal of a Tour ... in Portugal, Italy, Switzerland and France in the Years 1817–1819, London, 1820.
6. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-17

Thursday. June 17th. VII:30.

I missed Prayers and recitation this morning as I had not got my lesson and was very sleepy. On getting up, found myself afflicted with a very heavy cold which I had caught on Tuesday night by sitting down at the door after our return. I was somewhat troubled this Morning about my Forensic for which I had made no preparation from some cause or other. Just as I was in the middle of my quandary, Cunningham brought the agreable news of there being none this morning. I was rejoiced at this as it gave me an opportunity to write up my journal in the course of the Morning. I also read Cowpers Tirocinium or Review of Schools. It is a very severe satire upon the present system of large Schools but it gives none in return which is not open to greater objection.
In matter of instruction, I think there can be no doubt, but what private life is the best and also that the morals of a child may be injured by a public education but then there can be as little doubt that a bookish man, a mere student, will never pass off in the world. He can not succeed who is not plentifully supplied with that fashion• { 191 } able quality called brass. He also loses the society of people of his own age and class and all that polish of manner which is acquired only in associating with persons of proper rank. I know well from experience that this is injurious to a high degree to a man. He should take care who has children that while students and acquiring knowledge, they should know the ways of the world and be able to meet every man on his own ground. As to the seduction in a common school, a boy of a moderately strong mind with good principles early inculcated and narrowly observed without his knowledge will pass through the ordeal without material injury and with the good of experience. I am now in the midst of my trial and will know the success of my doctrine by my own case. If not a respectable man at least, it will not be owing to education but to a taste naturally perverted. Cowper was an instance of fear of the world carried to a most extreme height, such perhaps as brings no confirmation to his doctrine. Thus my Morning went and I felt somewhat lighter in spirits as this burden was heavy. Chapman and Dwight were driven in by stress of weather and sat with me until dinner time. I have not seen the latter privately for a great while and wish to speak with him on the subject of Cunningham as I really am anxious to make that matter up.
After dinner I went down to Porter’s Hall,1 understanding that they were going to select Officers from my Class for the next year. There has been much talk of a great competition for it but there was none. North,2 his great rival, has left College and Cunningham was elected unanimously. I was much pleased as this gives the decided triumph to the Northern party in our class, which has so long been in a struggling state. We have had many good men from the South and two or three braggarts for whom the whole suffered. Cunningham declined under the present restrictions, and stated, that unless the government changed their vote concerning the music he should decide against having any thing to do with the matter. As no body else would do any more and the company were not inclined to choose any one else, the company was adjourned until Tuesday when the Officers would report the success of a petition to the Government.3
I employed the afternoon in reading one Chapter of Mitford on the History of Athens, Institutions of Solon, the changes of their government—the Colonies from Greece, the institutions of Archons, Medon being the first, the gradual change to an absolute democracy, the characters of Solon and Peisistratus, the nine archons, the chief, the king, the polemarch, and thesmothetae. The Areiopagus. An absolute democracy appears to me to be no better than decided anarchy, and { 192 } Athens from it’s commencement turned to this sort of government. Lacedaemon appears almost always to have been the most powerful as I think it is the most perfect on record. The Athenians by calling them in to their assistance in the time of Hippias which I am now reading. The books of Homer were first collected at this time or in that of Peisistratus immediately preceding and were set in order as they now are.
I went to recitation in Greek Testament to Dr. Popkin at four o’clock, spent half an hour at the Athenaeum, attended Prayers, and after tea, took a walk with Richardson and Tudor. Upon our return, we went to Tudor’s where we spent the evening. Barnwell4 of his class was there and conversed until half past ten o’clock when I came down to look at my lesson. I did not however examine this trusting to an early hour tomorrow morning. I then read over my Chapters of the Bible as usual and retired to bed having spent my day more usefully than common. XI.
1. There appear to have been two Porter’s Taverns in Cambridge at about this period, one on the Cambridge side of the Charles, near the present Anderson Bridge (Batchelder, Bits of Harvard History, p. 67), the other at Porter Square, in North Cambridge (The Harvard Book, Cambridge, 1875, 2:357).
2. John G. North, of Charleston, S.C., a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
3. The sectional rivalry at Harvard which embittered club affairs (see entry for 13 June, and note, above) also affected class politics. The juniors were now electing a captain for one of the companies of the celebrated Harvard Washington Corps. This marching society, organized in 1811 and remodeled in 1822, consisted of four companies, totaling one hundred and twenty men. At its head was a lieutenant colonel. Its grand function was to parade in uniform on the afternoon of Exhibition days (see entry for 29 June, below).
To keep down expenses and to tighten college discipline, a faculty committee, consisting of Professors Otis and Channing, had been appointed on 29 April to consider the future of the military order. On 10 May they recommended that the group be continued, but that in the future it should not hold an encampment, should not be allowed more than six musicians, including fife and drum, and should not be served refreshments after Exhibition day parades. The proposed rules were very distasteful to members of the corps, who enjoyed martial music as well as the traditional gay dinner which capped their public performances. Nevertheless, the faculty approved the new rules on 21 June, with the concession (made, perhaps, as a result of the petition CFA mentioned) that ten musicians, drum and fife included, were to be allowed on great occasions. See Records of the College Faculty, 10:65, 66, 69, Harvard Archives; Batchelder, Bits of Harvard History, p. 65 ff., for a full history of the corps; Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 214–215.
4. William Barnwell, of Beaufort, S.C., a senior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-18

Friday. June 18th. V.

Arose and having read my Enfield over attended Prayers and recitation. I then read Cowper’s Table Talk, which I did not feel at all struck with, some satire in it but he has treated it so much better in { 193 } other parts of his works that this seems to be only the outline of the more perfect picture. He is satirical to a great degree and although more pious than I wish him to be as he inveighs against the theatre, billiards, cards, which I take to be perfectly innocent amusements when not used for any sinister purposes.
I then wrote my journal and at ten o’clock was ready to attend Mr. Channing’s Lecture which was today upon deliberative Oratory or that sort of Eloquence adapted to Assemblies by which he meant a number of Individuals meeting together to consult upon the interests of any number or some national concern. He passed over the Areiopagus and Amphictyonic Council without notice, referred to the Council of Five Hundred and to the favourable opportunity for display of this sort at Athens in the time of Demosthenes. He then spoke of the Romans, their prevailing passion, ambition and this the reason that Eloquence did not flourish till in the decline of the State. He then gave us an account of the opportunity for this kind of speaking in the Senate of Rome and referred to the state of subjection an Orator was in to the people even when he governed them most. He then descanted upon the nature of a popular government and in fact employed half of it in nothing whatsoever to do directly with the subject but a mere essay on government. I was quite dissatisfied with him I must confess.
Coming home I read Mitford’s sixth Chapter in the course of the Morning. It treated of Asia, the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, of Cyrus, Cambyses and Darius and the circumstances which led to the connection between the two people. In fact there is not much in this part which cannot easily be remembered without notes. It is mere history and although the Author sometimes reflects, his observations are always short and simple but almost always somewhat striking. I then finished the first part of the Introduction to Anacharsis. I am not so well pleased reading over this a second time as history because the author deviates into the romantic too often. He intended it probably as a popular work among a large class of the light readers who would like history very well when garnished up with a good deal of imagination and when the fabulous ages particularly can be treated as the author chooses.
I read also almost the whole of the life of Lycurgus in Plutarch and was much pleased with it. I am somewhat of an admirer of his system although he excludes knowledge from his community. He was a remarkable man and performed an astonishing work, he made a very great change by small means and was pure certainly so far as temporal { 194 } desires went. He was ambitious but not of being a sovereign. One of the strongest marks of his sense was I think, not to permit any of his laws to be put down in writing but to take the general sense of the people. As corruption advances, people always become more attached to the letter than to the spirit of the laws and an evasion of the former saves a man even though he shall have done the criminal action. By destroying all opportunity he destroyed all desire.
There are but few actions which can be considered as natural crimes in my mind, perhaps murder is the only one, all others are formed by convention. Theft and adultery were not known as such in Sparta, they were allowed and formed no disgrace to the code. The fact is that we do not think of laws except by the custom of the country and I for my part believe that there are in a savage state no such things as crimes, except murder and rape, which is violating the natural freedom of every individual. That in society other laws are necessary, I grant, and also that they should have the force and consideration of natural laws, I allow also. I was not able to finish this Life before Declamation which I attended and heard Brown1 and Cunningham speak very well.
Immediately after this I attended Mr. Nuttall’s Lecture which was upon the Corrolla of Flowers. He mentioned their different sorts and illustrated them by Examples. He has a very simple and easy way of lecturing which I am much pleased with. I was pretty well acquainted with this part of the subject before.
After his lecture I went and obtained a Chaise and we drove (Sheafe and I) to Lexington. We were caught in a slight shower of rain but luckily it passed off and the weather and scenery were delightful. I went to be patriotic and see the monument of those who fell in the first battle in the revolutionary war in this country. I copied the inscription and shall insert it in my Common Place Book although it does no credit to the Author, I could have done better myself.2 We returned to tea and in the Evening, I attended a meeting of the Knights at Wheelwrights.3 The Porcellians met but decided upon nothing, they all looked blown. XI.
1. William K. Brown, of Boston, a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
2. CFA did insert the long inscription in his Literary Commonplace Book (M/CFA/18), p. 290 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 312).
3. William Wilson Wheelwright, of Boston, a senior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-19

Saturday June 19th. VII.

I missed Prayers and recitations this morning unintentionally how• { 195 } ever as I had intended to have been up at all events, my number of misses not being small already. I have failed egregiously in my intention not to miss another recitation until Quarter day.1 I received a letter this morning from my father on the subject which I have written so peremptorily to him. I felt rather fearful before opening it and let it remain on my table until my last morning duty was performed before opening. It was very mild, but at the same time informing me gently that he had a smaller opinion of my prudence than I held, that he had considered my proposition and had some inclination to agree to it but that he wished me to transmit an account of my debts to him in the first place that he might arrange them before he began upon a thorough agreement. I have the satisfaction now to announce to him my freedom except from that at Hilliard’s which I have no reason to be ashamed. I will pursue this new system if he gives me an opportunity although I shall be compelled to retrench my style of living considerably. The change will be a beneficial one to me as it will teach economy, a quality which I only want because I am allowed to run on. I take no care of the matter for whatever I do creates no responsibility on my part whatever. I read over the letter attentively twice, it was short and simple, and determined to answer it fully tomorrow.2
In the mean time I read Cowper’s Poem on Conversation and two or three occasional ones. I might by him be styled one of the impious but I cannot help thinking that few minds have that happy medium which he speaks of, and that it is but too natural for the world to degenerate into bigotry and fanaticism when once their minds have been acted upon by religion, with most people I might call it superstition. I have had but little experience in religious matters, but I do think that I have seen certainly as bad if not worse feelings cherished under the cloak of sanctity than in the reckless character of vice. Not that I would support either but the base hypocrite is far more disgusting to a young man than the criminal. Herein, old people say, lies the danger but for my part I hope I know it well on both sides.
I engaged some days since to go over with Tudor and spend the day at Savin Hill3 which I accordingly did, we went from here at about half past ten and arrived there in a little less than an hour, the day was exceedingly warm and the billiard room to which we immediately repaired was a perfect oven being built of thin wood without plastering, the sun came directly through and made it quite unpleasant. I have not touched a cue before for a year and a half with the exception of a few moments at Nahant, last fall vacation, so that it was not surprising that I played very poorly before dinner while Tudor played { 196 } as well, after dinner I improved and reduced his difference to me materially. It is a very amusing and fascinating game, when one just commences playing well but perfection in it I should think would soon generate dislike. I felt but little interested today for the cues were very poor and the table is hardly worth much, so little care has been taken of it. It used to be quite good when at Neponset4 where I have often played on it with my brother. We dined here and smoked, drank and played all the afternoon. As I improved I took more interest in the game but I was not on the whole very sorry when it became time to return. I was surprised to see the quantity of company here this afternoon all the bowling allies being full, nobody disturbed us however. As “we had only come for a week” to use Tudor’s expression, we paid no immoderate bill although not a small one and at half past seven o’clock we returned home.
I seldom have felt more fatigued than this evening from the continued and unusual exercise of walking round the table. Although this was the case, at ten o’clock Tudor and I went and took Supper at Mr. Willard’s establishment. I was hungry and partook considerably although I was headachish, dreadfully tired and indeed never felt more generally distressed than to night. Returning home, I read my Chapters and sat down a few moments cogitating upon my father’s letter. I found myself nodding so often however that I determined upon going to bed directly. I paid for this however as I had two hours of feverish dozing and was troubled in the night with a horrible dream. XI.
1. The last Friday in June, the day Harvard students’ bills were due (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823, p. 16).
2. CFA had repeatedly asked his father for a monthly allowance, to be paid to him directly and not through his uncle, TBA. JQA thought the sum he requested was more than he could afford or CFA should require. The proposed allowance was, he said, at least double JQA’s own college expenses and half again as much as GWA or JA2 had been given. But before making a final decision, he asked CFA for an account of his expenses, particularly of his debts (JQA to CFA, 12 June 1824, Adams Papers).
3. In Dorchester, three miles from Boston City Hall (Bacon’s Dict. of Boston, p. 132–133). Savin Hill is still a stop on the Dorchester-Cambridge subway.
4. Present Neponset Circle, near the Boston-Quincy boundary line.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-20

Sunday June 20th. IX.

My excessive fatigue and uncomfortable night made me delay my time of rising until very late which made me miss Prayers, a most remarkable number of which I have neglected this last week. Indeed dissipation of any sort has become exceedingly irksome to me as I always feel more contented staying here and doing what I know to be { 197 } my duty. Was not the time of Tudor’s residence here so short and my amusement to stop immediately upon his going away I certainly would not feel desirous of any thing of the sort. I do not wish any more the society of students. My feelings are in a singular state. I feel alienated from all my friends and in their society my nerves are continually jarred. I am again disgusted with the boorish temper of Richardson, with the meanness of Otis, with the narrow mindedness of Wheatland, the obstinacy of Dwight, the rough pawing of Tudor and the nonentity, to use such an expression. It is well for me that I keep such a book as this to vent my angry feelings and not to show dislike except to one. They all have redeeming qualities to counterbalance their peculiar faults except the infinite foolishness of this one who has not even the good temper which I once gave him credit for. Enough of this subject. It is grating to think that I never could continue esteem to any particular individual after I had seen a certain quantity of him. Tudor, I like most because to me he exhibits none of that which makes him appear badly in his conduct to others. I have repulsed even such advances in intimacy as would make me too familiar with any person. I think it the only way to keep respect from others, and good will to companions. A man will not be so much liked but he is raised by tacit consent and always spoken of in terms of respect in like or dislike. There is a good stanza in Cowper on this subject which is too long to quote however, and I know it sufficiently well without.1
I spent this Morning in writing an answer2 to my father’s letter of yesterday which took me considerable time. I stated to him an accurate list of expenses here and informed him that I could not reduce my demands a bit at present. In case I found that more money was on my hands [than] I expected, I would return the sum whatever it was or count it as in my hands for which my honour was responsible. I wish for this as a trial. I wished for the Knight Accounts3 as one and I thank Heaven I am able here to say that I have acted the part of a good Steward.
Dr. Ware preached in the Morning which was rainy and unpleasant, Mr. Jenks4 in the afternoon, his Sermon was highly metaphysical in it’s Commencement, and rather too demonstrative, by this I mean mathematically so, in its close. It was too much of an attempt ending I am sorry to say in a failure. I regret it because I respect the man as being one of my schoolmasters whom I thought well of and almost the only one. He implanted or strengthened in me an early taste for reading by a simple method which I should always recommend to a good schoolmaster. After having got my lesson, he used { 198 } to permit me to read a Plutarch which he kept on purpose in the school and gave it to me as a mark of distinction and scholarship in this way exciting me by every motive which can act upon a boy to gain instruction. I believe it is to this I owe my clear ideas on the subject of history.
I also finished the tenth and last volume of Aikins British Poets today by reading Beattie5 who closes the collection. I have been now three months and five days in it in which I have taken but two holidays and those unavoidably. Of this regularity I have reason to feel proud [since] it ensures to me that method which is of such great importance in future life. Perhaps I have not adhered to my resolution of noticing critically every author but I found it more than I could do upon a first reading which was the case with many of them, at least to give a good one, so that I thought it much better to give a good one at some future time when I could discover all or most of the beauties which have escaped. My comparison in Cowper has made me ashamed as I find that I have not got so much taste as I thought, and also that I have been somewhat negligent in the second perusal as I found out but half the beauties which I observed the first time.
I spent a little while in the Evening with Otis but my day had been so much employed that it was not until late that I could close my Journal. If I only had a little more of my time at my own disposal and less at that of the governors of the institution I should be more willing to remain here. I am however pretty well satisfied even now. At half past nine I read my Chapters which continued this Evening the song of Moses on the overthrow of Pharaoh. I then spent a little while in looking over my Enfield which has become rather toilsome and disgusting now however and went to bed noting also that I resisted an invitation of Tudor’s. X.
1. Doubtless CFA referred to the lines in William Cowper’s “Friendship”:

“The man that hails you Tom or Jack,

And proves by thumps upon your back

How he esteems your merit,

Is such a friend, that one had need

Be very much his friend indeed

To pardon or to bear it.”

2. Missing.
3. CFA was the self-appointed treasurer of both the Society of the Knights of the Order of the Square Table and the Lyceum Club. See entry for 7 June, above.
4. Francis Jenks, Harvard 1817, a former usher at the Boston Latin School, who was at the Divinity School in 1824 (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823; Materials for a Catalogue of the Masters . . . Who Have Belonged to the Public Latin School . . . , Boston, 1847, p. 4).
5. James Beattie (1735–1803).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-21

Monday. June 21st. VI.

Attended Prayers and recitation in Enfield this Morning reading { 199 } my Chapters in the recess. At study bell, I attended Mr. Channing’s Lecture which was today on the subject of modern deliberative oratory in general. He took a view of the different ages, he compared the advantages of the one with those of the other. The modern deliberative Orator he said did not address himself to any but those few who were members of the same assembly with himself. His duty was to act upon them and no one else, he should mind neither the persons on the floor nor in the gallery but merely the ones immediately interested in the business. And to them he was to speak only with arguments founded on the strongest reasoning, he was to affect their heads and not their hearts. On this account modern eloquence had been styled cold, and perhaps it might be so, but it was the more noble, it was an appeal to the understanding and also to the feelings not merely to excite the violent passions. He said the difference between a lawyer and an Orator was that the former was bound to defend his client to the utmost and never to yield the argument, the latter came to the Assembly prepared to be influenced by the strongest reasoning which he heard whether in support or against a measure.
It had been said he was aware by some that this was all fudge, that in a state agitated by violent party spirit a vote was given always on the principles of the side, that an opposition voted against many measures of the minority even when they had no reason but that they originated so. He was inclined to think however that this was not entirely so, and that there always existed a certain portion who were influenced by the force of argument. The Lecture on the whole, was quite a good one and I was much pleased, at the same time convinced that he knew very little indeed concerning ancient affairs of any sorts and was willing to slide over them as gently as possible.
I from thence went to the Athenaeum where I found no news of any importance. I came home, wrote my Journal and attended a recitation to Dr. Popkin in which I was taken up first and being suddenly called upon when I had not previously read the passage, I made a singular mistake which evidently manifested my neglect of the lesson. They are of a nature however not to profit me in reading over as a Concordance with a Testament will serve when I wish to prosecute the study at some future time when my doubts shall have taken some broader head than they have at present for at this time, this could do me no good.
After dinner I studied Botany and dissected flowers until two o’clock but was not successful in any of my trials. I advanced so far last year that now I see nothing to do although I am very conscious { 200 } that something is wanting, principally a knowledge of the terms and leaves. At two o’clock I attended Mr. Nuttall as usual, he lectured to day upon the stamens, a principal and important part of the flower. He illustrated the various classes by examples beginning with Monandria and going through the whole sexual system of Linnaeus. He is so simple that it is impossible to give any thing of an abstract of his lectures. He is also so illustrative that I could do nothing but write all the flowers which would take too much time.
Returning home, I immediately prepared to visit Mr. Farrar. Otis and myself went from our house today, Sheafe returning into the section. We spent half an hour pleasantly enough and derived at least for my part some instruction. He gave me another system to look over at my leisure. After this recitation, I came home and read the seventh Chapter of Mitford which closes the first volume. It continued the history of the rise of the connection between the Persians and the Greeks, the affairs of Persia, the history of Histiaeus and closed with an account of the failure of the first expedition of Darius under Datis and Artaphernes, the victory of Marathon and the death of Miltiades, a circumstance much to be regretted as it shows that the people can easily be made a tool by the designing even against their greatest benefactors. I am afraid that all history will prove this.
I attended Prayers after which, I took a walk with Otis conversing much as usual. After which I employed my Evening in reading the life of Solon in Plutarch which gives an account of the age and the wise men so famous in it. There appear to be many more than seven aspirants however as I counted over ten in this and in Anacharsis where I read a portion of what the author calls the age of the laws. He divides the history into three ages as he calls them; this is the first, that of Themistocles and Aristides is the second, and that of Pericles the third, these two he calls the ages of glory and of luxury. I finished this evening the account of the laws of Solon which are generally well adapted to the people. The author however makes some observation concerning the laws and government which I would desire to reconsider before assenting to them. Thus the Evening passed away much to my satisfaction and I retired with pleasure at the consideration of every duty fulfilled. X.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-22

Tuesday. June 22d. VI:5.

Missed Prayers as I did not awake early enough by about one { 201 } minute. I read my Bible and looked over my lesson and attended recitation, did not recite very much to my credit however. After breakfast I spent an hour at the reading room, then came up and wrote my Journal, attended recitation in Greek Testament also, doing nothing else.
There was much discussion concerning the election of officers this afternoon as the ticket which would have been carried was questioned today. After dinner it was decided. Cunningham was again elected Captain by a unanimous vote, Cenas1 was elected First Lieutenant, with strong opposition on my part however and those whom I could influence. I suspect the vote was a very close one between him and Lothrop. I have a great hatred to the man as he took it into his head to injure me most unreasonably in a variety of ways. I never saw any cause for this treatment of me, and feeling myself far too independent to be made a butt of, I threw up all acquaintance but have never until since the last Meeting of the Medical Faculty,2 tried to injure him; after that difficulty, I thought no further measures ought to be kept. I expressed myself strongly against him this afternoon and tried but did not succeed. I must allow at the same time that he was not unreasonably exalted. As our class is so little provided with men, it is not whom we will but whom we can get. He was not very cordially received.
The next choice was for Second Lieutenant which was obtained by Chapman, a most singular circumstance as it was unexpected. This vote was also pretty close as Lothrop and Otis were his competitors. I voted for him, as I thought without any prospect of success, but such was the result. He was very well received. The last vote for Ensign was the hardest of all. I voted Howard who obtained it by a very small majority, three votes, I believe. He was strongly opposed by the dependent part of our class on the ground of his being a fool, who on the other side advocated Miller who is said to be a scoundrel. The first was preferred to the last, and the malicious part of the class were disappointed. I went for Howard who was at his room, he appeared singularly affected at the news, frightened and at the same time much pleased. He could even under all his regrets, scarcely conceal his satisfaction. Livermore3 was elected Clerk during my absence. Thus closed the election with a result rather unexpected by almost every one. It was satisfactory generally, the only objection to Chapman being in his size and figure, this is not faulty enough however to excite much difficulty.
We returned home and I sat down and read over my afternoon { 202 } lesson, went in and recited or rather went over it with Mr. Farrar as usual, the time being over we returned, I, for my part, getting off very well. I had expected to have been able to read somewhat this afternoon but it was impossible. Cunningham and Chapman came over to see Otis and press him to the acceptance of the place of second Commandant in the Company which he as positively declined. Chapman then came to my room and we talked some time and drank some of my remaining bottle of wine and smoked. Cunningham then came in and finally Lothrop.
The Captain then disclosed to me his message which was the offer of the same place just offered to Otis. I had supposed something of this kind might happen in one of these Offices and had therefore considered the matter and decided that I would refuse it. My reasons I think were strong. In the first place my figure is not fit for it, it was a second offer, my unpopularity, and the excessive trouble besides the expense. These I stated, all but the last, which was in fact the least consideration. They appeared so woebegone though at this result and were so despairing that I was much influenced, every eligible person had declined, and there was not much expectation of continuing the company unless Otis or I accepted. It was an appeal to my generosity as these Officers would lose their satisfaction and their money which is not inconsiderable in amount. I thought also that soon I should like the exercise and that it would promote the good will to me which is much wanting at present, it would set me at least on the par with Otis, who has very much hurt his popularity by this step, and I should no longer feel this galling superiority of a really inferior fellow (without vanity). I have seldom had so much doubt in a step of this kind. We sat till Prayers and after tea I gave my decision in favour of accepting it and so it is. I think, I have acted right.
In the evening after the Lyceum had dispersed from my room where they had collected to smoke and drink wine, I had just sat down to read Anacharsis comfortably for the rest of the Evening when I was called to a Meeting of the Officers concerning the selection of guides. We came to no decision however. Lothrop, Rundlet and J. Otis fill the places of the other Commandants. After some conversation and a number appointed and declined, we adjourned and I returned to my room where I read my Bible and lesson and retired. X:10.
1. Hilary Breton Cenas, of New Orleans, a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
2. “The Med. Fac., organized about 1818, was a roaring burlesque upon learned bodies in general and the College government in particular. It had regular meetings, at which a pseudo-professor delivered a fake medical lecture; neophytes were given elaborate fake di• { 203 } plomas; and every few years a fake Latin triennial catalogue was issued.” Although suppressed several times, the group survived until 1905. See Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, p. 205–206.
3. Charles Livermore, of Paxton, Mass., a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-23

Wednesday. June 23d. VI.

Attended Prayers, read my lesson over, and my Bible, lastly went to recitation. We this morning had a lecture from Professor Channing on judicial Oratory. He treated of the style of eloquence at the bar and appeared very much to favour this part of his subject. He said that although it was generally thought that law argument was merely confined to the judicious selection of good cases, and the accuracy of the reasoning in the exact case in point, it admitted in fact of eloquence of as high a nature as any although peculiar. He then went into an explanation of the nature of law courts. He said that it had been customary to abuse the profession for the unworthiness of some of it’s members; that people were surprised at so much trouble in collecting the cases apt for a very simple decision. That it was not so much for the giving justice as for establishing a general rule to act upon in all cases in future. In this way, he said the argument merely of the law was sufficiently dry but a person might take advantage of many things, the peculiar situation of his client, the nature of the case, the feelings of the audience. He can dexterously act upon the judges without appearing to, he can prejudice all in his favour, in short he has by far the most extensive field to act upon in the world.
After this exercise, I wrote my journal and attended a recitation to Dr. Popkin in Greek Testament. I read a chapter in Mitford, including the history of the expedition of Xerxes, Leonidas and the battle of Thermopylae, Themistocles, Aristides and the battle of Salamis. This history is the most astonishing of all in the record of mankind, and shows the power and influence of one man over many, how surprising the concentrated exertions of a small people can be even against the greatest force. The character of Themistocles was one exactly adapted to his time, he was one of those lucky spirits who fall in the very situation in which their natural talents can be fully developed. Perhaps at any other time, or had he not been justified by success, he would have been called foolishly rash. But adventurous deeds will only obtain very great fame, when no risk is run little credit can be obtained. The character of Aristides at the same time is remarkable; a person is in doubt which should obtain preference but I am inclined to think that they were both well fitted for their places and would not have succeeded so well in each other’s.
{ 204 }
In the afternoon, I attended recitation to Mr. Farrar and was informed that I knew nothing about Arithmetic which is not far from incorrect, for I have certainly very little knowledge of that part which particularly refers to decimals. Afterwards I returned home, wrote a letter to my father1 concerning my appointment to this Office which I hope will be well received, if not I shall be compelled to borrow the money to support it from my brother. I have not much doubt however as to the success of the application.
After tea, we went down and the First Commandant ranged them in order, they were in considerable numbers, the laws were read as usual, and every thing done in form. Lothrop performed his part very well, although he appeared considerably affected at first. It is singular that a situation of this kind which appears so easy should affect a person so much, but for my own part I could not raise my voice to speak to my section, above the strain of a kitten. The fact is, that there were many critics carping away their spleen at us, and as I feel myself peculiarly situated as I do not think myself fit for it, the place is a trying one. I shall do my best however and make up by my exertions for my natural deficiencies. My section is one which I can easily manage as I know none in it, consequently I hope none will trouble me. Cunningham made a few observations and dismissed the company.
The Officers then went to Cunningham’s room, and we sat there all the evening very coolly doing nothing. I engaged Willard’s hall and Lothrop and Cunningham went to Mr. Porter’s to see about the Supper which is to be given to the last Officers. I had then some conversation with Rundlet, obtained Sherwin2 for my guide and arranged matters regularly, so that we can commence correctly tomorrow night. I then took a short walk with Rundlet, laughing and talking about our probable career and our first debut as Commandants, after which I returned to my room. I spent a little while with Otis laughing and talking about nothing at all and then came down and read my bible and lesson. This day was pretty well employed but I expect my record for this Summer will not be the most creditable to me in the line of study since I am also called absent almost half the time either to reading or practising military. X:10.
1. Missing.
2. Thomas Sherwin, of Groton, Mass., a junior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-24

Thursday. June 24th. VI:5.

Missed Prayers again this Morning through mere negligence, but { 205 } attended recitation. I have got into the habit of sleeping so long that I cannot easily get rid of it. I spent the morning in writing a theme on the subject of the mighty deep and studying my tactics for the Evening. We were all at Lothrop’s the greater part of the day. In the afternoon from some cause or other, I did nothing neglecting even to write my Journal. I do not know what was the reason but I could do nothing all day. The Porcellians met again all day today. I was not able to speak of them last Friday owing to my want of room. It appears that there is a great difference between the two parties as to the election of members from the next class. I am conscious that I am also a great obstacle in this fight between them. They all missed the recitation to Dr. Popkin this afternoon and were so exceedingly warm they could be heard in the College Yard. For my part I am much amused at these proceedings. Dwight looked heated and so did Cunningham this evening. They said, they had been talking very warmly.
After tea, I went for the first time and drilled my section Showing them tonight the position of the body and the direction of the eyes. They are quite an obedient set as yet and appear desirous of progressing pretty rapidly. I was much diverted by their attempts although I kept it all to myself preserving the most solemn appearance. I returned home and had some conversation with Otis this evening not privately however as I wished it because this eternal Richardson was there. It is impossible in this house to keep any thing [in] private communication for any length of time with any single individual. We talked principally about this contest in the Porcellian which has been brewing for a whole year. He is very punctilious in his secrets consequently we can tell nothing as to the actual proceedings. As I am so much in the middle of all this, my curiosity is considerably excited. Thus I was employed until nine o’clock which was the appointed time to meet the other Officers at the Supper given to the Old by the new Officers. I went first to Lothrop’s room where I met Chapman, Cenas, and Otis. We stopped a very few minutes, the Evening was rainy and we hurried to Mr. Porter’s as fast as we could possibly go.
All the Officers of our class were present; of the others, Carter1 and Barnwell, Elliot,2 Blake,3 Emerson,4 and Silsbee. Lunt the Clerk was not at the Supper but came in when the cloth was removed. Livermore was also present. The supper was a very handsome one indeed. I had expected that there would have been some difficulty or at least stiffness, owing to the difference in the feelings of the { 206 } members present of the Porcellian, but all such recollection appeared to be drowned in the cup and these members were as cordial as if nothing had happened. I was placed between Silsbee and Blake, consequently suffered nothing of that stiffness which I should have had almost every where else. I talked some time with the former on the subject of the drill and asked some questions of him which his experience would inform him of. I thus employed the time in the first courses, they passed off handsomely, every one was satisfied to all appearance. When the wine came on, the usual pledging was introduced and I saluted every body round the table. Carter asked me and I drank with him. Mr. Cenas made some advances to an acquaintance but I should like to have his conduct to me explained before I can hail him with any cordiality or even with perfect selfsatisfaction. I should feel myself descending in taking a man by the hand who has to my knowledge deeply injured me at least once, I can say twice. The forms being over, we began toasting, in the course of which many handsome and classical ones were given. Emerson was full of scraps adapted to the occasion, Barnwell delivered a toast after every song which was very frequent, Lunt who is a pleasant fellow joined us and sang right merrily.
The evening waxed extremely sociable, every thing went on right, and we closed the evening with Auld lang syne in perfection. There was a little difficulty in a toast given by Emerson which touched Howard who returned it so handsomely that no one attempted to play upon him afterwards. Indeed I never was so much pleased with his conduct. We broke up pretty late and I returned to my room not having for a long time spent an evening half so pleasant as this. It resembled an old fashioned Supper of many years ago. I did not neglect my bible for I read it in the afternoon. I:20.
1. Charles Henry Carter, of Fauquier co., Va., a senior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
2. Stephen Elliott, of Beaufort, S.C., a senior, who became Episcopal bishop of Georgia and professor of sacred literature at South Carolina College (same; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
3. Edward Blake, of Boston, another senior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
4. Edward Bliss Emerson, of Boston, the first scholar in the senior class and the brother of Ralph Waldo Emerson (same).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-25

Friday June 25th. VIII.

Missed Prayers and recitation in Enfield this morning although I have already taken a very large number, indeed so many that I should not be surprised at receiving a private admonition on Tuesday. I spent the morning in writing up my Journal which I suffered to fall back { 207 } yesterday from a singular feeling of laziness. Indeed, this morning, I scarcely felt in any humour to do more than yesterday, and consequently did not make up more than half what I should have done much to my regret.
At ten o’clock, I attended a lecture from Channing on the same subject with the last. He treated of the difference between judicial and deliberative oratory. He said that it had been usual in this country for the law to be the school of the statesman, but when the country increased and wealth accumulated, young men would study their own profession directly without having any reference to the law, they being influenced by motives of ambition which now can only be considered as secondary, the acquisition of money being the first. To this, I reply, it is true, but when this does come to be the case, the liberties of the country will pass away, for principle is never firm and when money is in hand it is easy to influence by the most unfair means. The method of the lawyer must change very much as he must be open to conviction on the other side of the argument.
What constitutes the difference of effect in two men with equal ability and learning? Their manner. The regular lawyer may rise and give all his arguments thorough clearness, he may state every thing in his favour so as to make a hearer only pity the hopeless task of the other side. But when the opposing person begins, he so throws a covering over the questions of his opponent, he manages his blandishments in such a way that it is impossible to resist him. It is a peculiar power with which some men are gifted which makes the great effect sometimes witnessed in a house of assembly. Thus he took leave of judicial oratory. I went to the reading room and spent some time, came home to dinner and attended Declamation, which was exceedingly short today, and no good speaking. I did not attend Mr. Nuttall’s lecture on Botany this afternoon much to my regret as I wished to hear him through.
I went immediately to take a ride with Sheafe as he was extremely desirous to go and I thought it would relieve a little head ach which I suffered under. We went through Brooklyne on an unknown road which lasted half way to Framingham, then returned, got caught at a toll house and had to pay and stopped at the Punch Bowl for some Strawberries which we obtained in fine order, and enjoyed them very much. On our return however we were caught in a shower which poured down in abundance; the closeness of the chaise prevented our being wet.
We returned to Prayers after which Otis came to me for a con• { 208 } ference in which I was informed of the result of these Porcellian meetings. The affair had come to it’s crisis. Chapman, Cunningham and Dwight had received honourable dismissions, and the rest of the Northern party had asked for them in vain. They are to persist however in their application; he then announced my election as a member and that of Lothrop. In such circumstances, my answer was immediate as the Porcellian Club has no attractions for me, when it would be disgraceful to belong to it. It appears that there had been a terrible uproar which had ended in this way, that the body of the Northern party had left the Club. Lothrop also declined. So that now the Southern party have the rule decisively. The club kept in meeting all the evening and initiated the Sophomores who were admitted now without difficulty, and thus ends an affair which has been brewing this last year. Hunt,1 a Northern Sophomore, has joined.
I drilled my section this afternoon, they performed the facings pretty correctly. In the Evening, my room was full of company. All the Lyceum, Lothrop, Chapman, Otis, filled my room considerably. It is seldom, I am so much honoured, but there is a good deal of talk about this late affair. After my company had gone, I took a sort of an oyster supper with Tudor and Richardson, being the first since I was at home or coming from there last winter. We then returned home and sat down in the entry where we smoked and continued our conversation. I have again become pleased with Tudor but nothing could recover my friendship for the other. Retired without reading my Bible. XI.
1. Charles J. Hunt, of Boston, listed in the 1824 catalogue as a junior, did not graduate (Harvard Annual Cat., 1824).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-26

Saturday. June 26th. VII:30.

Missed Prayers and recitation this Morning although it is among the first in the quarters, and I expect a punishment. I could not help it today and determined not to miss any more this week, not even one prayer until Saturday at least. I spent the morning in reading as much as possible of my Bible and writing my Journal for the day before yesterday which however I did not finish before I was called by Tudor to go to town in a chaise which was at the door. I accordingly prepared myself and went. We soon arrived in Boston and I went immediately to Dr. Welsh’s to see my brother upon the affair of this Company and also upon the subject of the letter which I had received this morning from John1 concerning that very affair upon which I had talked with him at our last meeting. He writes in a { 209 } singular way, speaks of George very affectionately but I know not whether this will last. He also speaks of Mary in a style which I had some reason to expect, but still as I can say nothing, and for the same reason, he cannot, I must leave his fate to Providence. I do think nothing but mutual displeasure will follow that honey moon which is the sole object of his wishes. John writes a little quizzically but generally in a more serious manner than usual. George was at Quincy so after some conversation with Miss Harriet and Mrs. Welsh and a little reading in George’s room besides writing him a note2 I left and went to the Exchange3 to meet Dwight and Tudor in order that we should dine there. I was somewhat sooner than they, but we were all in time. Relf,4 Elliot and Percy were there. The dinner as usual was a fine one and I enjoyed it much. After the cloth was removed I called for some wine and cigars and we sat very comfortably. The other gentlemen not indulging in wine, Dwight sent it over to “those Southerners” to show that although he had quarrelled with them on one point he still kept the politeness which belongs to a member. I could scarcely have expected such a thing ever would have been done by any one of them. Perhaps by the former, by the other two certainly not. I did feel a superiority to the whole of them at that moment which I knew to be natural but when I recollected the state of the College, it galled me.
I was very much amused at dinner time by the conduct of two or three gentlemen at the table. One was a little French buky,5 who he was I know not and care not, his name was Behr, I believe, his silly style diverted me as he appeared about as much of an ape as any man I know. Another was sitting opposite to us who was very inquisitive and talkative, he asked us many questions as to our residence &c. and finally gave his card to Tudor. He appeared to be very much affected by something, for he was calculating in his pocket book almost all the time. He drew out two books, looked over a large number of bank notes and returned them, got up and walked off. This made us believe he was intoxicated but I do not think this warranted by the general conduct of the man and his conversation on the subject of the fire.6 We rose at last, found Chapman waiting for us in the entry according to agreement to go to Savin Hill. We went to the Marlborough Hotel and met them to go off, arrived there we spent part of the afternoon playing billiards, part of it bowling, and the rest eating strawberries and drinking portwine. We played billiards again after the other two had left us to go to Boston and drink tea, I did not play so well as last time, and finally got quite tired, we then returned { 210 } to Cambridge round through Brooklyne as I wished to avoid the town which is always a disagreable place to me.
The evening was a delightfully cool one and the ride was as pleasant as any I ever took. There is something singularly pleasing in these rides from Cambridge, I certainly enjoy them more than those which I get any where else. I shall not forget the pleasant times between John and I. We returned in good time, it being about half past eight o’clock, took a few oysters, and spent half an hour at Wheatland’s. I had a bleeding at the nose this Evening and felt happy that it had not attacked me in the course of the day. I read my Chapters in the Bible making up the deficiency of the last Evening, my regularity does not stand most creditably of late either in my self imposed exercises or in those laid upon us by the Institution. X:15.
1. Missing.
2. Missing.
3. The Exchange Coffee House on Congress Square, built in 1822, four years after the first, elegant structure of Charles Bulfinch burned down (Bacon’s Dict. of Boston, p. 395–396).
4. Daniel Clark Relf, of New Orleans, a senior (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
5. “Buckie,” a perverse or refractory person (OED).
6. On Wednesday, 23 June, a five-story building on Salem Street caught fire, and the roof and two upper floors were badly damaged (Columbian Centinel, 26 June 1824).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-27

Sunday June 27th. VIII.

Missed Prayers, but attended Chapel on one of the warmest days we have had this year. There was no amusement therefore in sitting to hear Dr. Ware and the President prose away the day. To this however we were condemned today, and went through with. For my part I was employed very closely all the rest of the day in writing up my Journal which is no inconsiderable task when it gets in the least behind hand. I had expected to have been able to do a little more, but I was attacked with a considerable visit from Dr. Bartlett as we call him from his size, having a tremendous corporation for a young man. He staid with me about an hour and a half. He came to develop a body of news which he had picked up at different places concerning the late differences in the Porcellian Club. He made out quite a correct story by different pieces of information which he had picked up in the course of his conversation. He used formerly to be more intimate with me than now but I found him dangerous from this very quality of his, that he has a power of making up stories from the different persons he hears them from and retailing them with the authority of one man. As I was his friend, I told him some things which came near injuring me essentially in College. I found out this { 211 } part of his character and although I know he is not guilty of any sinister intention towards me, he might do me more mischief than my most bitter enemy even when he believed he was performing the kindest office, in the world. He is a young man with the best temper in the world, his only fault arising from a wish to be important in the great world, that means the high circle. He therefore makes himself so by carrying news to them and inventing very long stories. He hears something and gives it a relish by stretching it, if he is asked for his authority, you are informed, such a one but that he would not wish to have his name used or that it should be known as coming from him. If however as is sometimes the case he has no authority he says that he is obliged to be secret. After leaving my room he went to Otis and Sheafe’s where he spent the rest of the afternoon. He said there was a report about that I had accepted which I of course told him to deny.
In the evening I took a walk and some strawberries as usual. Spent the Evening as usual in Summer doing nothing at all. X.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-28

Monday. June 28th. VI:5.

Missed Prayers this Morning although very anxious to attend indeed. I had cautioned Sheafe to wake me which he did but my drowsy habits had made me return to sleep, which would have continued until breakfast had I not heard the sound of the last man’s steps on the Lyceum stair case. I might just as well have staid at home for not having prepared myself upon the long propositions, I was obliged to say so when unexpectedly called upon. On this account I was marked absent. I had missed a sufficient number already but this must make me more. I returned home quite sorrowful.
At study bell we attended a lecture in which Mr. Channing gave us an account of that sort of eloquence peculiar to Christian countries, the eloquence of the pulpit; he treated of its nature and history. He commenced as usual with a sort of historical sketch of it’s rise, at first mere exhortations from some particular commandment in the Bible. When however the Jews and civilized Heathen nations came to be converted, the Christians adopted some of their rites to please the one and some of their eloquence of the other. In the mean time he observed that probably the Christian religion owed more of it’s errors and follies to these causes than to any in its whole history. A remark new and much to the purpose. This digressive style is his pleasure. He said that this plan of texts had been adopted for pur• { 212 } poses of advice or consolation, but that now in many cases this had nothing whatever to do with the subject dissected upon. A pretty severe allusion, I thought to some of the Presidents sermons. Mr. Channing amuses himself picking up now and then a straw in his Lectures. With a sweet pretty style he does nothing but go round and round without making any decision as to the real points in question—what Eloquence is, where it is to be found, how cultivated, in whom it flourished in perfection, how gained? The field is wide but never can be thoroughly passed over in such a dawdling way. The man is a man of exceeding small mind. Though judicious in observations of small things, he can embrace no whole, he can take no wide view of the most enlarged issue on the face of the globe. He has improved my speaking, true? but it is only in a few natural observations which my education early in life enabled me to profit by.
Lecture over I returned home and spent my morning doing nothing or next to nothing. I looked over a little testament and attended recitation to the Dr. this noon. After which until dinner time, I was assisting in chalking the squadding rooms. After dinner I attended a Lecture of Mr. Nuttall’s on Botany. It was on the four first classes according to the system of Linnaeus. He continued his system of illustration and gave us a number of examples to examine at our rooms. Returning I read over my Arithmetical lesson, but Mr. Farrar could not hear us as he was very busy indeed. We therefore went and obtained some strawberries and then I chalked my floor which was no inconsiderable toil; as Lothrop had done the same with me I was obliged to assist him in his which was far the most troublesome of the whole. We finished at last but I was obliged to come home and dress myself all over again, the heat had been so powerful, before I could attend Prayers after which I drilled my section as usual, taught them the step forward, which they performed finally pretty well. I am amused at the exercise and begin now to be quite pleased with it. I kept them about half an hour and then dismissed them until tomorrow morning. I then walked up to College with Lothrop who had just dismissed his section and met a number of our class standing near Hollis1 whom we joined and, after arguing sometime concerning the company, separated.
I had a few minutes conversation with Chapman on the subject of Cunningham’s election to our Club here. It is a matter of great satisfaction that if this Porcellian affair has had no other advantageous effect it has had that of uniting Cunningham and Dwight, which would not have been done in any other way. This was what I tried { 213 } to bring about but without success. The two leaders are now united and will proceed I hope with more effect. I walked down to Howard’s with Lothrop, he was not at home however so we returned. After this I spent a half an hour with Brenan in which we had some conversation concerning the disturbance in the Porcellians. He is in a queer plight in this difficulty for he has been well treated by the Northern party and badly by the Southern so that he can take but a singular part in it without inclining either way. After talking some time with him I returned home. X:15.
1. Hollis Hall, built in 1764, and still standing.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-29

Tuesday. June 29th. VI.

Attended Prayers this Morning for the first time for some days, and recitation. After breakfast I drilled my squad for half an hour and taught them marching in double ranks. I then came home and wrote my Journal for a little while, but as I had two days to make up, I only finished one this Morning. I then went to recitation to Dr. Popkin after which I returned home and wrote some of the Lyceum Journal.1
At dinner I was surprised by a visit from my brother George who came out today in consequence of a note on Saturday which I left for him. I had some conversation with him on College matters and also on his difficulty with John which will I hope soon be amended. I did not dare however to communicate to him my opinions received by that letter concerning Mary as I think with John such a notice should come from higher authority than that where any misconstruction can be put even upon the best intention. He appears to solace himself with a belief which I hope is authorized but I cannot say I think so. I then spoke to him of his Oration which as he appears to be anxious, I believe I shall be compelled to hear. I would gladly go if these parts did not interfere but it appears to me to be a great sacrifice to give us this pleasure for so much stiffness as I shall meet here.2 I settled with him concerning the appropriation for the dress of the Commandant,3 deciding that I should be credited for that Dante4 until an order should be received to give me the money for this very purpose.
After a little more desultory conversation he left me in the stage for Boston and I went up to Otis’ to look over Trigonometry which we recited to Farrar as usual. After this I returned and wrote my Journal for yesterday which employed me until Prayers. I have been so ex• { 214 } ceedingly busy of late that I have not been able to look at Mitford, six remaining volumes of which, by the bye, were brought to me to be paid for much to my displeasure as I had calculated upon no such thing. My studies of all kinds appear to be given up for the present only to be resumed with as much vigour as possible in warm weather, as soon as the present Seniors have left College. My expenses are now running very full also which must also be corrected when they leave. Evening spent as usual. X.
1. No such journal has been found in the Harvard Archives or among CFA’s own papers.
2. Thus in MS, but the sense is defective; “us” doubtless should be “up,” and “here” is probably a mistake for “there” (i.e. in Quincy, where GWA was to speak).
3. The uniform of ordinary cadets was an amalgam of required college dress and West Point attire. Students were required to wear a dark gray Oxford mixed, single-breasted coat, with claw-hammer tails. Over this the cadets put white crossbelts and a waist belt. An officer wore the same coat, trimmed with gilt buttons and gold epaulettes, white trousers, black shako with fountain plumes, a scarlet sash, white sword belt, and a straight sword (Batchelder, Bits of Harvard History, p. 68).
4. This allusion is utterly obscure. Though the term comes up again (see entry for 22 July 1825, below), it is not certain whether it refers to a book, is a slang expression, or what.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06-30

Wednesday June 30th. VI.

Attended Prayers and recitation, but very luckily was not called upon in the latter, otherwise I should have been compelled to the same course with the last Monday’s. After breakfast I went to Lecture as usual. The subject today was Pulpit Eloquence in continuation. He began by stating it’s design different from any other sort of speaking as the latter were and merely1 to influence a person’s opinion upon an immediate measure but it was the duty of the first to inculcate principles which were to mould a man for life. He was to act upon their feelings, to produce morality and justice, piety and good conduct to man. He was to teach them their duty to others, and all the important advice for their happiness here and hereafter.
He then entered into a discussion on the nature of God’s temple and the propriety of attending it which did not in my mind have any immediate connection with the subject in question. He then recommended suitable action and propriety in manner. He said it had [been] made an objection here that men did not give sufficient attention to these points, but on the whole he seemed to think they did and appeared to believe the Church would become corrupt as soon as it improved. He said that a gaudy eloquence would be introduced which would destroy all feeling and that the progress of morality would be checked, which was now advancing so fast under the pro• { 215 } tecting care of our clergy. Here I cannot in the least agree with him. That vicious eloquence should be introduced I for my part have not the least desire but that we should not actually suffer under the torment of some of our ministers whilst delivering their Sermons does appear to me to be very much to be wished. That I shall not be more edified by a good Sermon preached by a good deliverer than by our Dr. Ware or President appears to me to be about as incorrect an idea as I can well conceive of. The fact is that this lecture has very nearly made [up] my mind about Channing, for I do think that he knows very little of the real subject which he is treating of and prefers going out of his road somewhat to talk a little metaphysical concerning the pleasures of recollection and to make a pretty quotation concerning Milton than to talk properly on his subject. He might make a moderately good essayist if he chose but he never was meant to be remarkable in any thing. His conducting the North American Review brought but very little character to him.2
I went to try to get a bath but not succeeding, I went to the Bookstore and bought Salmagundi as I saw a pretty copy there which matched the other works of Irving in my possession.3 It is a work of some humour but it is now so long since I have read it, if I ever did, that I should like to go over it again, consequently I commenced it today and was much amused with it’s style. I attended recitation to Dr. Popkin today. He got into very bad humour concerning the lesson as the students laughed at one or two mistakes, which were made. There is more evidence than my simple self to show that there is a habit of neglecting the Testament lessons here.
After dinner I laid down, the weather was so warm it was hardly possible to do any thing else. I looked over the lesson to Mr. Farrar and recited to him very much as usual. He paid us a compliment and dismissed us. I consider him as the only man in the government who appears to know any thing about recitation as an exercise to acquire knowledge, the rest is now all a perfect rote system. Immediately after we got out I went to refresh myself with a bath, in which although a bad one I remained three quarters of an hour. The water was cold and not enough of it. I returned home and employed myself until Prayers in writing my Journal which falls behind hand now that I can read so little. It has now become something of a weight upon a man’s conscience like mine although knowing at the same time that it is unavoidable.
After Prayers, I drilled my section and was honoured by a visit from Cunningham and sundry of my class. They performed very { 216 } well. After squad, I walked up to College, met some of the officers and talked a little with them. As I happened to come across Blake in the mean time, I determined to finish that business concerning my uniform and settle with him which I did and paid him the full value. As I had never been to see him before although I know Blake and Silsbee his chum very well, I spent the evening here and we conversed on the various College subjects which are considered interesting, the company, the Porcellians, not a great deal directly about these last, as these are members and the conduct of the first of them is not much approved in our party. We also talked a good deal about different subjects of little importance, Silsbee having come in, when the bell rung and I returned home. Read my Bible and lesson. X:15.
1. Thus in MS.
2. Edward T. Channing had heen editor of the North American Review from May 1818 to October 1819 (DAB).
3. CFA’s copy of Washington Irving’s Salmagundi, London, 1824, is in the Stone Library.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0007-0031

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-06

Review of the Month of June. 1824.

I have read my Journal over, and find a sad deficiency this Month in my resolutions which were so well formed. I am ashamed of myself and what is more regret to say that this is not a step to amendment. I find a most lamentable want of energy recorded, a great deal of dissipation, my regular habits invaded, and nothing to amend all this but a dry confession of the fact. Money spent without advantage and recitations missed which may bring me before the government. Therefore if my last record was creditable this is by no means so. Commencing, if we take reading, I have finished Aikins Selection, this is creditable as I was regular in that. I have read one volume of Mitford, a little of Plutarch, Anacharsis, and Salmagundi. This has been my occupation for four weeks. I have read all this thoroughly however and the only fault is that it is not half enough. In the description of character, there is no deficiency. I have done to the full what I intended, and my account of Lectures has been generally good. Now I come to the last which is my own conduct: My irregularity in my Bible has been considerable, that in my Journal more than usual, I have neglected College exercises, I have broken every one of my determinations, in short I have but little in this part, to review with any satisfaction.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0008-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-07-01

Thursday. July 1st. VI.

Attended Prayers and recitation in Enfield this morning, after which I read my Chapters in the Bible as usual. I spent the morning { 217 } in writing my Forensic on the subject of language, whether improved by being compounded of other languages. I argued the affirmative and am very much inclined to believe it true, as I think it should be more open to beauties than the other. I attended them and heard as good as any since we have been writing them. Chapman’s was a very good one. Dwight’s I did not hear. We remained here as usual two hours, and I heard some nonsense. Mr. Hedge decided against my position, I did not think correctly for my own part.
After dinner I attended a Lecture of Mr. Nuttall’s, who changed his day, on account of a representation from the government. He treated of the five succeeding orders of Linnaeus and gave us many examples which I noted in my book.1 But which it is impossible to mention here. I then spent a little while at Lothrop’s room reading over the afternoon’s military lesson which does take an amazing deal of time, went home, wrote my Journal, looked over my Greek lesson and attended a recitation to Dr. Popkin as usual. The remaining hour until Prayers was devoted to chalking the right oblique step on my floor at Willard’s and that of Lothrop’s at Porter’s. This is the worst duty of the whole and happy am I that it is all performed. We have now only the manual2 which is the tedious part of our labour, and which calls us out so often.
After Prayers, they received a drill and performed very well; indeed, for new recruits I have seldom seen so much advancement. Silsbee came up to see them, while he was there I was peculiarly anxious that they should do well and was very well satisfied at the result. I gave them some exercise. I went immediately home and read over my lesson before attending a meeting of the Officers which was called at nine o’clock. We went to learn the manoeuvring and had a lesson set to us to read over and understand by eleven o’clock tomorrow morning when we were appointed to meet again. I then went with Rundlet to Mr. Willard’s for some strawberries, he having none we eat some cake and took some wine. Chapman and Lothrop came in and we staid here talking and laughing until late, the party then came to my room, which they soon left and I retired. XI:30.
1. Missing.
2. The Harvard Washington Corps followed “Scott’s drill manual,” as they called the standard War Department Rules and Regulations for the Field Exercise and Manoeuvres of Infantry, which had been prepared by a board of officers headed by Major-General Winfield S. Scott and published in New York in 1815.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0008-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-07-02

Friday. July 2d. VII:30.

I had intended to have gone to recitation but my rest this night was disturbed by horrible dreams and I awoke this morning with a { 218 } bad head ach. I could have done nothing all day, had I gone, for until half past five I had no refreshing sleep whatever. My dreams arising from indigestion were horrible. Such being my feelings in the morning I attended the drill of my section without pleasure and heard Mr. Channing’s lecture this morning without attention. I merely heard him say that there was one peculiarity which distinguished pulpit eloquence which was that no manifestation of pleasure or satisfaction was allowed in the course of an exercise. He then gave a sketch of the history of preaching. After the first preacher it used to be the custom when any sentiment pleased the audience to acknowledge it by loud acclamations and clapping of hands. It had been usual among the earlier divines to address the congregation more familiarly and to receive nods from individuals when they understood the doctrine inculcated; to this he attributes this habit which existed until almost a century ago when it was preached down. He then closed what he had to say with some observations on the popularity of this sort of eloquence. Only very great orators attracted crowds at the bar or in the hall of legislation, but this was always attended and always pleasant. Even the theatre, he said, a place devoted to pleasure, and an amusement which can certainly be obtained at a cheap rate, this was not filled uniformly. This was all which I heard in the gentleman’s closing lecture on sacred oratory. I then went to this meeting of the Company Officers and argued away concerning the propriety of this and that until almost dinner time. We performed every thing which we had been directed to very shortly and the Captain determined we should not do any more until he had learnt the words of command when he could call us together and direct us to proceed regularly in these manoeuvres which he had selected for the year. Thus we adjourned again sine die much to my satisfaction as I doubt not we should have wasted an amazing deal of time, spent some money, and not have done any more than we shall by the present agreement.
After dinner, I attended Declamation. Howard delivered Patrick Henry’s speech, but he could not give the proper force to it. He speaks only pretty well. Dwight delivered Lord Chesterfield’s speech on the Theatre bill. He selects good speeches but not striking ones. Miller delivered one which excited the risible faculties of all [the] College as it was a piece of a man defending himself from murder. The commencement of his piece concerning his own character was so applicable that it struck every one. We were detained very late so that I was obliged to go up immediately to Mr. Nuttall and heard him discuss the nature of the four next classes. I returned home and tried to do { 219 } something but I was exceedingly sleepy and my head ach was still upon me so that I went to sleep and was not roused until Prayers, having had a most refreshing nap. After this exercise I drilled my squad for the last time in the Evening in a room. They did not do as well as I wished them to. Indeed now I am considerably provoked with the section. I then came home again and read my lesson over before attending a meeting of the Knights which was called at eight o’clock.
The Meeting was full this Evening as it was the last time the Seniors were present and we were to proceed to the Election of Officers for the next year and I am forthwith to enjoy in this Club Otium cum dignitate. We proceeded to a choice of them immediately. Cunningham was chosen Grand Master in the place of Barnwell, Crowninshield,1 Deputy Grand Master in the place of Miller, Dwight Secretary succeeding Rundlet, and Perkins2 succeeding to my honour. I was perfectly satisfied with this result, it evidently showed the party feeling which existed in the club as every man elected was a Northerner. We spent the evening very pleasantly indeed. I was diverted with Lowndes3 and Tudor who enjoyed the corner much. Every body appeared in better humour than usual. I staid here at my old room, which was much worse in appearance this evening than it ever was in my hands, until after eleven, when a parcel of us went out and took a walk. Brigham,4 who was with us, being in high humour, sung two or three songs in his best style. After which we returned and went to bed well content. XI:30.
1. Benjamin Varnum Crowninshield, of Salem, a freshman (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
2. William Powell Perkins, of Boston, another freshman (same).
3. Thomas Lowndes, of Charleston, S.C., a senior (same).
4. Benjamin Brigham, of Boston, a junior (same).

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0008-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-07-03

Saturday. July 3d. VIII.

Missed Prayers and recitation again for I could not help it, the lesson was so hard and I had been unwell, which shall be my excuse for I cannot possibly go on in this way, continually missing and continually cautioning myself. The summer is always a bad season for studying as the Evening will never admit of it. After breakfast, I sat down in my room and read over my Journal for the last Month in order to review it which I did this Morning, not with feelings of the greatest satisfaction either. This being done I went to the Bookstore and reading room where I spent the rest of the morning with Tudor. { 220 } I attempted to buy a plate which he had there at somewhat of a bargain but did not succeed. From there I came home and amused myself until dinner with a little of Salmagundi. A most singular assortment of queer ideas and humourous description. More here at dinner than usual, Wheatland, Tudor, Sheafe and Dwight.
I spent the afternoon, employed pretty closely in writing up my Journal which I did and in reading a Chapter in Mitford which I have again resumed. It was an account, today, of the battles of Plataea and Mycale and the final defeat of the Persian forces, very well given indeed. As it is mere description, although very interesting, it has few of the properties of history. I can therefore say but little on the subject. Suffice it that when the prayer bell rang I felt far more satisfied with myself than I have for sometime.
After tea Dwight, Tudor and I took a walk and walking by Mr. Rules’ we went in and took some strawberries. I was much pleased with the walk, indeed my feelings which were so lately affected against my friends are now as much in their favour. The truth is, I have become fastidious and wish to enjoy them alone. Richardson is now such an eternal pest that I can hardly like their society when alloyed by his. It is singular that I should have such feelings towards an individual for whom I was exceeding sorry in the fall but he is a man who pleases better by a distant acquaintance. I do not think any thing but a change in his character could reconcile him to my comfort. Returning as the Evening was a very beautiful one, we remained in front of the house until quite late, and conversed concerning the work of the day. In truth it is long since I have spent a pleasanter evening than this, the more so as I was to incur no consequences in the enjoyment of it. XI:15.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0008-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-07-04

Sunday. July 4th. VIII.

Arose, after having again missed Prayers, but this is as usual for I have not attended one on Sunday morning since the commencement of the Junior year, I might say since the middle of my Sophomore. I wrote my journal in the morning and read a few numbers of Salmagundi which diverted me as usual. I do think however that his sort of wit has too much sameness to delight all the time. I also attended Chapel and heard the President and Dr. Ware deliver consolatory sermons to the widower Professor Willard.
I have omitted to mention, although I have thought of it more than once, the death of Lord Byron in Greece, which is announced in the newspapers. There are but few men in an age of real talent, he was { 221 } one of these few. He had a mind comprehending far more than this earth, there was no subject grand enough for this man’s conception. He strained for more than the lot of man and missed his aim by falling into obscurity. He could not understand the [ . . . ]1 which he himself was desirous to aspire at. His head grew giddy as he ascended and wishing nevertheless to continue distinguished, he plunged into a marsh below. His last productions disgrace him, they do him no honor even for talent; for morality, he never was distinguished.
After dinner it being the fourth of July, we, Sheafe, Tudor, Richardson and myself determined to celebrate it and therefore drank a bottle of Champagne. We toasted the day, the signers of the declaration of Independence and withal I drunk success to my brother John who is on this day, twenty one years old. May he be happy, distinguished, and may he maintain the dignity of the Adams family. I unintentionally almost spent in this way, nearly all the afternoon, and had no power to do any thing but read over my lesson for tomorrow morning and the one for the review. My afternoon went in this way, the Evening was taken up in walking, taking out Mr. Norton’s2 swing post and performing sundry other feats too numerous and too heroic to place in my Journal. I returned home and after some conversation with Richardson which was as usual very troublesome.3 I wonder if I am to be bored with him all my College life. In the Evening I studied my Enfield over again and read my Bible as usual. Went to bed early. X.
1. One word overwritten and illegible in MS.
2. Presumably Andrews Norton (1786–1853), Dexter professor of sacred literature at Harvard from 1819 to 1830 (DAB).
3. Thus in MS.

Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0008-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-07-05

Monday July. 5th. V:45.

Attended Prayers and recitation this morning, being prevented from sleeping by the firing of cannon and ringing of bells by which the celebration of this day was commenced. As the true day came on Sunday, this day was fixed upon as the festival day. Of course we had no exercises after the Morning and I was for once freed from the trouble of squadding my section. After breakfast, we went into the Commons Hall as usual upon such occasions and sung patriotic songs, a custom which has been existing for a long time here but which has been wofully shortened and curtailed of late. Like all the other old habits it is advancing fast to it’s end.
After this we remained in the Piazza of the University until the { 222 } President’s freshman arrived with the parts for next Exhibition, they being our first Majors as we call them. Wilder1 got the first much to the displeasure, I cannot say the surprise of many, who nevertheless hoped Chapman would obtain it. The rest it is hardly worthwhile to mention except where I am directly connected with them. Otis had a part, a Conference with Fisher and Greenough. Brenan and Lothrop had another. I was left out much to my joy as I hope I shall be in every Exhibition for in my mind they are the very smallest things in the world. I cannot relish being stuck in public view, below so many others who will never have an opportunity to come above me again. I am not aristocratic except as to talents and acquirements which I know many better scholars are my inferiors in. I was very glad that Lothrop obtained a part although I must confess it was unexpected altogether. His rank in the estimation of the class would not have entitled him to the fortieth rank in the class.2 Brenan was most excessively discontented because he was put with him, and although he had some right to be, I thought it hardly worthwhile to make so many faces at such a little thing. The members of our society were much gratified at their having parts also, from the reason that they were able to give a treat to them at Fresh Pond as usual. We accordingly went. I drove up there in the chaise which I had engaged to go to Quincy with and we enjoyed ourselves considerably. Many of our class were present together with a few Seniors, meaning Tudor and Wheatland. Otis had gone to town as usual and very much in character.
But I could not remain here long and fulfill my promise or duty to George so although very unwilling I took my departure. In fact I think it was fortunate for me that I went away as I felt the punch which I had taken was beginning to operate. A swift ride cured me of this, though I thought that every thing would be over before I arrived unless I hurried on, which I did amazingly. I passed the meeting house in Dorchester as the Company had formed to enter it, so I thought I should certainly arrive at Quincy when they were coming out. When I got to the house, there was but one person in it and that was “that bright” Miss Samson,3 the antipathy woman. She told me I was too late, which did not deter me from going to the Meeting House and breaking in upon what I supposed Mr. Whitney’s concluding Prayers and I cursed myself over and over for coming at all. The Parson finished what I have often heard before and to my surprise and I will add pleasure George got up and commenced his Oration. It was not in the general tone of pieces of this sort, it was not mere declamation. { 223 } It was a historical account of the causes of the revolution. It was very well written but in my humble opinion appeared to be a little too plain for the learned and a little too obscure for the ignorant. This objection was however overruled. The five closing pages were really quite good, the description of character was quite good for a young man who has studied so little of it in his life. His closing passage was fine. I may risk the imputation of coolness towards him by speaking so qualifiedly, but I cannot talk extremes, I cannot tell him what I did not feel. I will give him my opinion if asked but shall not press it upon any one. The production is not an ordinary one but it is not so extraordinary as many people in Quincy from interested motives would wish him to believe and will succeed in their object I am afraid, if I judge by his usual character.4 I heard his praises sounded far and wide by those very people long before he came home and I know that one sign of them would be to go at him openmouthed. Well did the poet commence his address

“Parent of wicked, bane of honest deeds

Pernicious Flattery.”

He finished and I waited no longer but came directly home, not much pleased with the idea of meeting so much unpleasant company. I first bounced upon Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Cruft,5 who gave me the whole story of their pleasures and displeasures without amusing me much. I then went round saluting my acquaintance, found my Grandfather and was surprised at finding him so well and able to endure the fatigue of the day. It was a proud one for him as he saw his grandson receiving the reward of talent and heard the acclamations with which his name was greeted in spite of Colonel Pickering or whoever else chooses to attack it. It was a proud day at Quincy for the whole Adams family.
After a little conversation we sat down to a collation for about sixty people and I had the pleasure of seeing about ten young ladies on the downward side of life without any beauty to recommend them. I was not so fortunate as to go near them but I was next to one who played more forcibly on my passions, which by the punch in the morning had been roused, nor were they yet settled down. This was no one else than Miss Abby. Something or other, a cap or I know not what, made her appear certainly much handsomer than usual, and I who am just in the heyday of the blood fell most woefully in love with her for two hours, and had I met her alone, should certainly have made an extreme fool of myself. I was too tired however to take the trouble and { 224 } perhaps a very little prudence restrained me. I rather think Miss Harriet saw through me and gave me a cut indirectly. I always suspect something of the kind from her speeches. Suffice it I got through without injury and made myself additionally sensible that I must not play with burning coals. I had some conversation with Miss Thaxter6 of the literary sort as she is a “bas bleu.” I rather imagine I took the right chord there. The Boston company went home and was succeeded by Mr. Marston’s school and the Quincy families who played and danced here sometime. Afterward George came home but I was so exceedingly fatigued that it was out of my power to remain awake. XI.
1. Frederick Wilder, a junior from Lancaster, Penna. (Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).
2. The class consisted of 68 members.