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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-10

Monday 10th.

Morning to town accompanied by Abby. Called in passing upon Mr. Stetson to inquire of whom it would be necessary to obtain a { 416 } certificate after the publishment of the banns. This thing must be done directly. At the Office, my boy out of the way so much that I turned him off, though with regret. At the house saw Abby but my bookcases not finished yet.
Assorted more of George’s letters and in the afternoon, read his letters to Mary C. Hellen during their engagement, which was the flower of his life. Affectionate enough but rather seldom. Written once a month or so when I wrote twice a week to Abby. This was the mistake he made for he suffered her affection, at all times volatile, to become perfectly cool.
Engaged the remainder of the afternoon in putting up my books in their cases. I doubt whether those yet put up will contain one half of them. Thus it was nearly seven before I left town. Evening at Quincy. Conversation with my father. Family affairs. Old History. I forgot to mention that I took order to have myself published in Boston and wrote to Medford to Mr. Bartlett, town Clerk, to do the same.1 Evening cool after a warm day.
1. CFA’s letter to A. Bartlett, town clerk of Medford, is missing.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-11

Tuesday 11th.

Morning to town, but I find myself so late in reaching it that I am hurried for time very much. My office too already looks as if it wanted a boy. At the house putting my books up, find that I shall need another case which is not an agreeable discovery. I was thus occupied all day until one when I thought I would ride to Quincy to dine. My father had asked several persons to come to dinner, but none came excepting Mr. Curtis. Thomas as usual. The afternoon was passed in a lazy manner. I became so ashamed of it that I caught up a copy of Lady Montagues Letters, and read half the first Volume.1 They are pleasant, though not free from affectation and conceit. Evening, Conversation with my father—General literature, Horace Walpole, Dr. Johnson.
1. Lady Mary Wortley Montague, Letters . . . Written during Her Travels in Europe, Asia and Africa to Persons of Distinction, London, 1763.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-12

Wednesday. 12th.

Morning to town. Having reformed my practice, I got to town quite in reasonable time today. At the Office. Nothing worthy of particular notice. At the house, after having purchased a Carpet for my Study. Discouraged about my books, as I find other cases must be made. The expense frightens me. Found Mrs. P. Chardon Brooks, Miss { 417 } Phillips, Julia Gorham and afterwards Abby. But they did not please me this morning so that I returned to the Office in bad humour. Mr. Orcutt, tenant of tenement No. 3 in Common Street, called to tell me he could not pay any more rent at present.1 This is the general cry. And in the mean time, we must live. The prospect is not agreeable. I did not remain in town long being out of spirits, and returned to Quincy to dine. Found there Dr. Waterhouse of Cambridge who dined with us but was dry. Afternoon, I read a little of Burnet, which I must go over again connectedly, and finished the first Volume of Lady Montague. Mr. Bussy, his grandson in law Francis C. Head,2 and four strangers, citizens of South Carolina, called in the course of the afternoon. Not much conversation in the evening.
1. David Orcutt, a cabinetmaker, rented a house owned by JQA on Tremont (or Common) Street for $150 a year (CFA, Accounts as Manager of John Quincy Adams’ Finances, 1828–1846, p. 16, M/CFA/3, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 297).
2. Benjamin Bussey (1757–1842), who had made a fortune in foreign trade, was famous for his horticultural gardens, which were later bequeathed to Harvard as a school of agriculture (Appletons’ Cyclo. Amer. Biog.; Bacon’s Dict. of Boston, p. 74–75). Francis C. Head, who married Eleanor Bussey Davis, was a member of the Boston auctioneering firm of Coolidge, Poor, & Head (Columbian Centinel, 14 May 1825; Boston Directory, 1825).
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/