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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0011-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-11-12

Wednesday. 12th.

Morning extremely rainy, wet and uncomfortable. I remained at { 307 } home until ten o’clock waiting for George, who promised to come and take me to Quincy. He arrived at last and we started in the midst of a disagreeable storm. Our ride was about as unpleasant as it possibly could be. The object I had in view was to attend the dedication of the New Church in Quincy, to plant the acorns my father gave to my charge, and to obtain the things which I had left in my Summer’s residence here. The day cleared off bitterly cold before the services were finished. They were not at all of an impressive character to my mind, but I differ so much from others in these feelings that my tastes are to me troubles.1
My Uncle Adams had a dinner provided for many and it was as uncomfortable as they usually are. Unfortunately for me my ideas of this place are never associated with comfort or pleasure. And inasmuch as the News of today2 confirms us in the belief that it must shortly become the residence of my father, these reflections are hardly of an agreeable character. On the whole, however, I feel grateful that this information should have been delayed until the defeat gives me no great trial. The very evening that finds me safely housed with a private family brings news which among crowds would be productive of much pain. My Journey has been accomplished and the whole is over. George and I rode into town in a bleak north west wind and I was glad to find a comfortable fire.
1. A printed program of the dedication services at the New Stone Congregational Church in Quincy, 12 Nov. 1828, is in the Adams Papers. Rev. Peter Whitney preached the sermon.
2. Martin Van Buren was elected governor of New York by a large majority, and even the districts which Adams men had confidently claimed supported the Jacksonian ticket (Daily National Intelligencer, 13 Nov. 1828).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0011-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-11-13

Thursday 13th.

I walked down this morning to obtain some wood for my office as tomorrow I propose to put it in operation. I am not yet admitted to the Bar but shall be at the opening of the next Term so as to be able to transact any business given to me which I do not expect however to be much. I walked to Mrs. Frothingham’s to pay her a visit and met Abby on the road. I went with her to see Miss Anne Carter who though an Invalid is not in a consumption as I had supposed a year since.
Thus the morning passed and the time came for me to go out to Medford with Mr. Brooks. He took the opportunity of answering my application some time since.1 He was short, merely saying that he wished it deferred for a year until he might build another House for his daughter, that I was young and next Autumn would be time { 308 } enough. This was an unexpected blow, and prostrated my spirits at once. To have this thing delayed for a year longer after my patience and hope seems like removing all prospect of happiness beyond the limits of human sight. I submitted on two grounds. One including my peculiar subject of trouble which forbids my insisting upon what I cannot foretel certainly the result of, the other, that I may relieve my father just now. But the disappointment is still severe, and my feelings will be long sore upon the subject. My own feelings are strong. They will probably lead me to despise the miserably timid policy which hedges me in; they will certainly create regret in after times if I should find a year of happiness lost. But as it is, I submit and commit my soul to God. I had some conversation with Abby in which I explained to her the course I should think it necessary to take in consequence.2 This brought tears and bitterness. But conscious of being actuated by the most excellent motives, I was obliged to bear all in sorrow and in hope. How different from the feelings of Saturday! These are the constant vicissitudes of life, sunshine and clouds.
1. See entry for 26 Oct., and note, above.
2. The details of CFA’s proposed new course are unclear. Apparently he planned to spend much more of his time in his office and to see Abigail only infrequently. See undated, incomplete letter of CFA to Abigail B. Brooks [22 Nov. 1828], Adams Papers.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/