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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0009-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-09-02

Wednesday 2d.

Morning, early return to Boston calling upon Mr. Bartlett on the way and obtaining the Medford Certificate. The weather was exceedingly warm, and sultry. I wrote my Journal and walked up to the House to see how it looked. But nothing was changed since my visit of yesterday. The workmen not having as yet arrived. I lounged here for some time, Mrs. Frothingham, Mrs. P. Chardon Brooks, and Miss Phillips having come to do their share towards beautifying. Being tired of Indolence I then went down to take a Bath, and enjoyed a great luxury in a warm one. My system seems to be a little out of order by my trip to New York and I thought this might be a benefit to it. I enjoyed it much. Thence I went to my Office feeling very languid. The heat was greater to my feeling than at any other time this season. The air being a hot South wind.
I went to Quincy to dine, it being the last day upon which I shall probably be there in a similar way. In the afternoon I was occupied in packing my things and making the final arrangements here. I regret a little leaving here and this way of life for with many disadvantages it has some pleasures and not a little Independence. But I have views and objects in life other than this loose way allows, and I have affections which are worth cultivating now if ever. My father may miss me a little but my Company has been but little to him this Summer and he has become so attached to his way of life that it has nothing to require in addition. I copied a letter from him to Col. Knapp1 and performed the few last duties which will fall upon me for the present. Evening, rain and lightning after the great heat, the clouds { 432 } passed however, threatening much but performing little. Conversation with my father—Persico and the ornamenting of the Capitol. Few people in this Country are aware of the fact that he is the source of all that is ornamental in the Statuary sculpture about the Capitol. Persico has done well in executing the ideas not his own but how few here know or would give credit if they did to the source from whence the taste really proceeded.2
1. CFA’s copy of JQA’s letter to Samuel Knapp, 2 Sept. 1829, is in JQA’s Letter-books, Adams Papers.
2. For hints of JQA’s contributions toward the sculptured decoration of the United States Capitol, see his Memoirs, 7:20–21; 8:45–46, 81, 123; 9:193.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0005-0009-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1829-09-03

Thursday. 3rd.

Morning passed in separating all my affairs and living at Quincy. I now take a final leave of the place and launch my bark into a New Sea. Had some conversation with my Father upon his projects of building and arranging his way of life. He now intends to make a fireproof room for his Library and the papers of himself and his father. I see objections to this as it entails the old Mansion upon me in case I should live. But this must be the case I think in any event. And so I must calculate. Then I had some general conversation with him, upon the subject of his Affairs which seem to be looking rather better than they have done. After this I went to Boston. The weather which was so warm yesterday changed this morning and we had a violent North Wester which blinded me fully as I rode into town. I do not think for a long time I have had a more unpleasant ride than during this morning. But it was my last. The morning was passed very quietly at the Office. I did little or nothing having formed as yet no systematic occupation through the day. This must now soon be done.
In the afternoon, after a light dinner, I went to the House, took a Bath, spent an hour at Chardon Brooks’ talking with his Wife and then went to the House to dress. My feelings were of a complicated kind, a little dread mixed with much coolness, and determination to go through what was my task. I dressed in the gay and showy style of a bridegroom, and at six o’clock went down to take up Miss Anne Carter one of the bridemaids, and afterwards Mrs. P. C. Brooks, who also accompanied me out. Our ride was rapid, but we reached there1 late and not until many of the Company had assembled and the Minister had been sent for. The Company was exceedingly private consisting only of the immediate members of the family, Mr. Brooks and his Wife, Edward and his Wife, Chardon and Sidney with their { 433 } Wives, Mr. Everett and Mr. Frothingham with their Wives, Edward Blake and Edmund Quincy, Miss Anne Carter and Henrietta Gray. My father, Thomas B. Adams, Lydia Phillips, Mr. Stetson and his Wife. Mr. Stetson performed the Ceremony with much hesitation, and more difficulty than I could easily imagine possible. But I was not very much overcome and Abby had screwed her courage so strongly that she succeeded wonderfully. Indeed I cannot too warmly admire her conduct through the evening. She was spurred by many motives and acquitted herself to my pride and my satisfaction. Indeed she manifested to me qualities which I have always known to be in her, and for which I have married her. Supper followed and I sat next to Mrs. Sidney Brooks and Lydia Phillips, the two least interesting women in the room to me. It went pretty much as such things usually do. And by midnight we were on our road to town, took possession of our house and there consummated the marriage.
The Rubicon is now passed and I enter into a fresh and new mode of life. I shall therefore begin a new Journal. This event to which we have all been so anxiously looking is over and now the results may be seen. Let me pour out my Soul in prayer and devotion to a most high God, that he may guide me in the right path, that he may sustain me in this responsible station in life, that he may continue to shower down his blessings upon me, and receive the thanks of a grateful but humble heart for the many mercies already received, fit me to perform the part assigned me and lead us through this life to a happier in the succeeding World.
1. Medford.
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/