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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 4


Docno: ADMS-13-04-02-0002-0004-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1832-03-14

Wednesday. 14th.

After going to the Office for a few minutes, and calling upon Miss [Louisa C.] Smith to accompany me, I went to Quincy in a Carriage according to request. The day was so cold that I felt comfortless all the way out. I got out at the House of my Father for the sake of obtaining from among his Papers two or three which I found necessary. These I succeeded after considerable search in getting. I then went up to the House now occupied by the Widow. I sat very quietly alone for some time as I was early. But before three, persons began to come and the House was soon quite full.
Mr. Whitney made a very good Prayer, and the whole thing was conducted with the greatest propriety. We followed the body to it’s long home. I went into the place as I came down and it gave me the least unpleasant idea of the grave that I ever had. The Coffins six in number were arranged on each side, and the place was clean and airy. There repose Mr. & Mrs. Cranch, Mrs. Smith the Mother of Louisa C. Smith and Mrs. Smith the sister of my Father, poor George and an infant child of the late deceased who today was added to the number.1 My Grandfather and Grandmother have been removed to a spot beneath the Church. Such places are generally gloomy but this was less so than I expected. After every thing was over, we went back to the House and from thence to town. I was quite glad to get to my warm fire at home.
1. JQA had instructed CFA that upon TBA’s death CFA should pay the expenses of the funeral and interment from JQA’s funds, and that TBA’s remains should be placed in the Adams family vault in the First Church burying ground (in what is now Quincy Square) “by the side of my Sister and my Son and of his own [TBA’s] infant child” (JQA to CFA, 5 March, Adams Papers; see also, above, vol. 3:85). The three others named by CFA as reposing in the vault were AA’s sister, Mary (Smith) Cranch (1741–1811); her husband, Richard Cranch (1726–1811); and Catharine Louisa (Salmon) Smith (1749–1824), the wife of AA’s brother, William Smith. On all these, see Adams Genealogy. It would appear from the present passage that the floor of the vault at that time was at or near ground level and that entrance to the vault was through a door or grille, though now (1967) only the topmost part of the vault, above the line of any door or aperture, is exposed.

Docno: ADMS-13-04-02-0002-0004-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1832-03-15

Thursday. 15th.

Fine morning but still cold. I went to the Office and was occupied most of my time in writing up my Diary which has been unusually interrupted, and also in drawing up lists of the Stockholders of the Boylston Market for the Treasurer. There was a transfer this day. It is a long while now since I have been able to open a book in the morning.
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Returned home and passed the Afternoon in reading Spanish. I found it easy and quite pleasant. On the whole I believe I shall make it a regular pursuit and perhaps begin Italian thus dividing the Afternoon.
A quiet evening at home. I concluded the life of Barry to my Wife and began that of a man by name Bird of whom I have not heard. Which probably only argues my own ignorance.1 Mr. Brooks came in for half an hour and interrupted us. We talked pleasantly. After he went I continued Scott’s Life of Napoleon and began to obtain a much clearer idea of the horrors of the revolution than I had ever had. The triumvirate of Robespierre, Danton and Marat, and the blood in streams I had indistinct notions about, but fully supported by the reality.
1. Edward Bird (1772–1819), member of the Royal Academy (DNB). His life appears in Cunningham, British Painters, 2:208–222.
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, 2017.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/