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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2

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.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-03-0002


Charles Francis Adams’ Life, 1807–1829

1807   Aug. 18   Born in Boston in the family house which stood across from the Common on the southeast corner of the present Tremont and Boylston streets, occupying part of the site of the present Hotel Touraine.  
1809   Aug.—Oct.   Travels with his parents aboard the Horace to St. Petersburg, where his father serves as Minister to Russia until May 1814. His brothers, GWA and JA2, remain in Boston.  
1813   July   Begins attending Mr. Fishwick’s school in St. Petersburg.  
1815   Feb.—March   Travels overland from St. Petersburg to Paris with his mother to join his father after completion of the latter’s work at Ghent as an American commissioner to negotiate peace with England. In Paris during part of “the Hundred Days,” where he sees Napoleon shortly before Waterloo.  
1815   May   Travels with his parents from Paris to London, where his father serves as American Minister to England. His brothers rejoin the family.  
1815   Aug.   Moves with his family from Cavendish Square to a country house in the suburb of Ealing. CFA and JA2 are placed in Dr. Nicholas’ boarding school in Ealing.  
1817   June—Aug.   Upon the appointment of his father by President Monroe as Secretary of State, returns with his family to New York aboard { 438 } the Washington. They sail on the packet Fame from New York to Providence and proceed by stage to Quincy, arriving on CFA’s tenth birthday, 18 August.  
1817   Sept.   Enrolled in Benjamin A. Gould’s Boston Public Latin School with his brother JA2; they live with Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Welsh.  
1818   Oct. 28   His grandmother, Abigail Adams, dies at the Old House in Quincy.  
1819   Sept.   Moves to Washington to live with his family.  
1819   Oct.   Enrolled in George E. Ironside’s school.  
1820   Jan. 1   His surviving “Index” Diary begins.  
1821   Feb.   Matriculates in Harvard College.  
1824   April   Records his membership in the Society of the Knights of the Order of the Square Table, a Harvard club which later merged with the Porcellian Club.  
1824   June   Elected president of the Lyceum Club, an informal organization of Harvard students who boarded together. Appointed second commandant in the Harvard Washington Corps.  
1825   Feb.   Failing to win a majority of electoral votes in the November election, JQA is elected President by a bare majority in the House of Representatives.  
1825   March   Attends the inauguration of his father as President.  
1825   April   Takes part in a Harvard Exhibition.  
1825   July   Returns to Washington to read law under his father’s tutelage.  
1825   Aug.   Receives his A.B. degree in absentia.  
1826   Feb. 11   Records his first meeting, at a Washington ball, with Abigail Brown Brooks, daughter of Peter Chardon Brooks of Medford, Mass.  
{ 439 }
1825   July 4   His grandfather, John Adams, dies at the Old House in Quincy during the jubilee celebration of national independence.  
1827   Feb. 10   In Washington, proposes marriage to Abigail Brooks.  
1827   March   Becomes engaged to Abigail Brooks. Their courtship correspondence begins.  
1827   Aug.   Returns to Boston to read law in Daniel Webster’s office.  
1827   Oct.   His father consents to correspond with him to guide his career. Becomes a member of a Moot Court in Boston, established by a “Society of Students at Law.”  
1828   Feb. 25   His brother JA2 marries Mary Catherine Hellen in Washington, and they make their permanent home there.  
1828   Aug.   Attends Harvard commencement and receives his M.A. degree.  
1828   Nov.   His father is defeated for reelection to the Presidency by Andrew Jackson. CFA is admitted a member of the Boston Debating Society, a private group. His first newspaper contribution, signed “A Lover of Justice,” is published in the (Boston) Massachusetts Journal.  
1829   Jan.   Admitted to the Suffolk County Bar, and begins to practice in the Court of Common Pleas.  
1829   Feb.   Earns his first fee as a lawyer.  
1829   April 30   His brother GWA is drowned by falling or jumping overboard from the steamship Benjamin Franklin in Long Island Sound.  
1829   June   JQA returns to Quincy; LCA remains in Washington. CFA succeeds GWA as JQA’s business agent.  
1829   Sept. 3   Marries Abigail Brown Brooks at Medford and occupies with her a house provided by her father at 3 Hancock Avenue, “under the shadow of the State House,” on Beacon Hill in Boston.  
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, 2018.