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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-27

Thursday. 27th.

Morning to town, Conversation with my father upon his property. Many very heavy calls upon it just at present. Then upon my Marriage. He made me a present this morning of three portraits. One of my Grandfather painted by Stuart and exceedingly valuable, and those of my father and Mother by the same artist but not so good.1 I was surprised and pleased. They are now in the possession of Mr. Cruft and I must attend to their being shortly transferred.
Then I rode to town. At the Office. Found there Mr. Conant from { 427 } the farm at Weston, who came to tell me that he was apprehensive he should be unable to keep it on his lease.2 I regretted this very much and conversed with him much. He appeared discouraged and said the farm would be likely to run him in debt. It was always a matter of apprehension to me that I should find it so with my father. But I tried to encourage him by telling him that he now saw the worst side and that it would improve. He left me doubtful as to what he intended to do. I feel as if this was going to be a trouble to us.
Then came Mr. Farmer, who went over a long and disgusting detail of old affairs in attempting to clear himself which I did not believe he could do. What the purpose of it was I cannot say but having found that I was not likely to give way to extortion, he changed his ground and tried apology. I told him I wished to be rid of the business as soon as possible. My poor brother had involved himself beyond redemption among a parcel of very indifferent characters. Thus my morning was wholly taken up, and after seeing Mr. Degrand upon some investment my father wished to make, I went to see Mr. Brooks, and decided upon going out to see Abby at any rate to day. I therefore went before dinner with him. Found Abby as usual and passed a very pleasant afternoon and evening with her as usual. Conversation about the future and our prospects.
1. Gilbert Stuart’s celebrated portrait of JA in old age, 1823 (now owned by C. F. Adams of Dover, Mass.), and his matching portraits of JQA and LCA painted in 1818 (now owned by Mrs. Arthur Adams of Charles River Village, Mass.).
2. Amory and Silas Conant leased the farm at Weston for $125 a year (JQA, Diary, 28 July 1829; CFA, Accounts as Manager of John Quincy Adams’ Finances, 1828–1846, p. 31, M/CFA/3, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 297).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0008-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-08-28

Friday. 28th.

Returned to town with Mr. Brooks after writing Mr. Stetson a Note1 to ask him to officiate as the Clergyman. This is not very agreeable to me but I am unwilling to cause any kind of trouble and have therefore consented to be married by a Man for whom I have but little respect. My morning was taken up without my being at the Office much as I was obliged to be in search of the remaining Articles of Furniture for my little Library. I did not succeed however in getting any thing but some Chairs. I then went to see Mr. Cruft about the pictures but could not find him at home. This was a walk for nothing, then to the House where I found that my Carpenter had succeeded in getting the case up, at last, but I regret to think it will not be quite enough. I have however already exceeded my means in this business and must therefore stop.
{ 428 }
Miss Harriet Welsh called to see me and to ask after my mother. I could tell her nothing. She goes tomorrow to Wiscasset and leaves this City no doubt in grief and with regret. I am sorry for her. Change is the spirit of the world. To many it comes in agreeable shapes, to others again it wears a more cloudy aspect. So it is now with her and with me, but the future may pay us both. Returning to the Office, I found that if I wished to get to Quincy I must hurry to reach their dinner. I again went down to see Mr. Sharpe for my Furniture,2 again failed and then started for Quincy. My horse pushed on and I arrived there.
Found that my father had received letters last night from my Mother and John at Philadelphia.3 She was better, and about as well as when I first saw her. May she be better, but futurity presents to me no further interest in her such as the past has been. I have been to her a devoted son and in every thing where I could have attempted to gratify her. She takes but little interest in the connexion which I am forming and which is going to take the place of her own former dues. I regret it, and still more that it has been necessary to take away from me a graceful parting.
The afternoon was rather wasted in looking over my wardrobe and preparing it for removal, and in assorting the Newspapers which have been accumulating ever since I came to Quincy. Evening, Conversation with my father. His expedition to Braintree.
1. Missing.
2. James Sharp, who lived at 426 Washington Street, manufactured ornamental furniture (Boston Directory, 1829–1830).
3. The letter from JA2 is missing.
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/