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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-20

Thursday 20th.

I slept or rather remained in my berth until we reached New York not being willing to trust my feelings through the scene of the disaster. We arrived at six and landed soon after. I walked to the City Hotel and found that my Mother had arrived last evening in the boat from N. Brunswick. Soon after she came down to see me. She looked altered, more than I expected and unwell, but I tried to reflect that I had hoped too much and that she was not more unwell than I ought to have expected. Her alteration of dress ought to be taken into account, from having been fond of show and ornament, she now rejects her hair and all appearance not consistent with the utmost plainness of the deepest mourning. She was affected by my coming in the Franklin and I found to my regret that that boat would return tomorrow when we ought to go. It was therefore evident to me that this accident would be a trial. I conversed a good deal with her upon many subjects before I saw the rest of the family. She was accompanied here by John and his wife and child, very unexpectedly to me. I was however glad to see them, as I thought it would be pleasant to them and to my Mother. Mary looks tolerably well but they all seem harrassed by their Journey. John told me that my Mother’s spirit had given way excessively on the Journey and he was apprehensive of the result.
{ 422 }
The morning was passed in going round New York after sundry objects which I intended to perform while here. I called upon Mr. Frothingham, and went to Miss Thompson’s, the Milliner’s,1 to order a hat for Abby. I also walked round with John and we visited several places, among others a Furniture Warehouse where we saw all the dash of New York. There was much that was beautiful certainly. Returning, we found Baron Stackelberg had called and he sat with us for half an hour. He is much as usual. A Gentleman with all his vices. The afternoon was lounged away, partly at the Battery and partly at home, so that we found ourselves much fatigued. The family all retired early but myself who sat until ten. Mr. Charles King calling in to amuse me.
1. Phebe Thompson, a milliner, lived at 46 John Street (Longworth’s N.Y. Directory, 1828–1829).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-21

Friday 21st.

Morning passed in doing little or nothing. John and I took a stroll up Broadway, very far up, to look into a New York imitation of Tattersal’s in London. John has a fondness for Carriages and Horses which I do not partake in. I drive horses to get from place to place and I prefer a fast horse to a slow one, but I have no great pride in the business. Nor should I feel distressed if I never had further connection with them. On our return we called in at Mr. Stout’s, the Engraver’s,1 and I ordered a Card for Abby as Mrs. C. F. Adams anticipating a little and not without a silent qualm, but I got over this weakness, for these presentiments are always follies and only the more so when accident makes them sometimes turn out true. Afternoon, took a lounge into the Arcade and made a purchase of a little dress to make a present to the Baby. I have never as yet given her anything. This was a trifling present but even that more than my present exhausted means will allow.
Conversation with my Mother who seemed very dull and out of spirits, about George and his affairs. I tried to direct attention from the subject as much as possible, talking mildly and favourably. But she seemed constantly recurring to it. John and his Wife stayed out long so that we did not drink tea until very late after which my Mother again conversed with me, but not upon George. She principally talked of Johnson Hellen’s affairs, his marriage and treatment of the family, which affected her but not too much. She then talked of my marriage, which seemed to give her some pleasure. Thus the time passed until we separated at ten o’clock and I retired to bed. It was so evident to { 423 } me that my Mother could not go in the Franklin, that I did not even mention it, and suffered the day to pass without taking any notice of our departure.
1. James D. Stout, the engraver, at 153 and 172 Broadway (Longworth’s N.Y. Directory, 1828–1829).
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/