A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close

Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 8


Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0009-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-09-24

Tuesday 24th.

Fine day. To town. Return to dinner. Evening at the Mansion.
It was a lovely day like all the days since Miss Hall’s visit who today returned to town with me, to our great regret, who have been pleased to have her with us.1
My time much occupied in town with visiting my house where all the workmen are in full operation, and with matters of business, so that I was a little later at home than usual. When I got there, I found our town usually so quiet, in a perfect turmoil with a general muster { 299 } which was held in the Hancock Lot. As usual, worthless people of all kinds were upon the spot and made one or two rows, the first of which was too near my father’s house not to disturb the females. The day however passed off without much difficulty and before sunset the spot was clear.
Evening, we paid our usual visit to the Mansion. Nothing of material consequence. Finished the History of Tacitus.
1. Mary Brooks Hall, daughter of Peter C. Brooks’ sister, Mrs. Nathaniel Hall of Medford, had been a guest for four days or more. A special bond between Mary and ABA had been created by Mary’s assuming the household responsibilities at the Brooks home in Medford for a period after the death of Mrs. Brooks. See vols. 2:155; 3:123, 181; 5:122; and JQA, Diary, 20 Sept. 1839.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0009-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-09-25

Wednesday 25th.

Clear morning. At home. Visitors. Evening at the Mansion, where we dined.
The morning was lovely but it clouded before night in such a manner as to signify the last of the summer weather. I have enjoyed it much. Continued my labour in making copies which will now be soon at an end, so far as this collection is concerned. I also read some of Menzel which makes up the usual course of my mornings.
Dined at the house below, after which I read twenty sections of the Essay of Tacitus De Moribus Germanorum, a very curious relic of antiquity respecting a part of the world not much known at that date. Yet the seed of all the great nations of modern times. Tea and evening below. Thunder storm in the night.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0009-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-09-26

Thursday 26th.

Morning cloudy but cleared with high wind. At home. Evening at the Mansion.
I remained all the morning pretty constantly devoted to the business of copying which I brought very nearly to a conclusion as to the letters to Mrs. Cranch. On the whole the labour has not been so great as was anticipated. But it is only as the beginning of labour with me.
Read Menzel upon Philosophy who in this department is thoroughly German with the best of them. After dinner Tacitus de Moribus Germanorum, section 20 to 40. This was all my work as the evening takes largely of the hours formerly devoted to study. This is usually spent at the house below in not very useful conversation.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0009-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-09-27

Friday 27th.

Fine morning but heavy wind and rain in the Evening. Boston and Hingham.
I went to town this morning and was much occupied with calls at my house to watch the progress of the painters and thence to see some of the Tenants about repairs. After the period of business was over, I called in to see the Mechanic’s fair which was held in Quincy Hall over the market. There were many curious things exhibited, and many useful ones. I was most pleased with the agricultural machinery and the cutlery and some pieces of furniture. But I had not time to examine with minuteness as I had engaged to dine with Mrs. Frothingham at two o’clock prior to meeting my father in order to go down to the Boat.
A certain Mr. Greenough had invited a number of persons to go down into the harbour to see the effect of a certain new kind of Oil which he thinks burns brighter in a light house than whale oil or sperm oil. We being of the number went down and found many persons of the party but a great doubt of the propriety of trying the experiment on so windy a night. After some dispute as to the prospect of it’s continuing to blow or of it’s becoming calm, it was finally decided to go as far as Hingham and there act according to the event. The boat had a rough time and the evening set in dark and gloomy. I found on board A. H. Everett, O. W. B. Peabody, B. T. Reed, and a few others of my acquaintance with whom I had a pleasant conversation.
When we reached the landing Mr. Greenough invited us to the Old Colony House whither by the officious interference of Captain Sturgis of the Revenue Cutter we were marched up to the music of his band with a form which I thought made us only ridiculous. After taking tea, as the trip out to the Light house proved impracticable, Mr. Greenough proceeded to execute experiments in the hall. He showed two lights, one of which was supplied with his preparation, the other with common oil. And the result of all the different trials was undoubtedly in favor of the former as giving a whiter and better light. But we were not able to judge of the quality of the oil or of his preparation nor of the expense of the different substances. He showed us that his mixture was more inflammable than oil or even Spirits of the ordinary strength.1
These experiments lasted until nine when the boat returned with the gentlemen to town, but we preferred hiring a vehicle to take us { 301 } directly home, so that we reached our houses at about half past ten in a pretty heavy rain.
1. To this account the journal entry in JQA’s Diary adds only the names of those who marched in the procession behind the band and crew and a somewhat more precise description of Benjamin Franklin Greenough’s “preparation” or “mixture.” JQA named it a “chemical oil” and “chemical compound.” The demonstration seems to have evoked no conclusive judgments and to have been without immediate significance.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0009-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-09-28

Saturday 28th.

Clear day but cool. To town, early return and afternoon at home. Evening at the Mansion.
As by the summary proceeding of last evening I had left my horse in town, the next thing seemed to me to be to regain the control of him, so I went to town in the Omnibus and after reading the Morning Newspapers I returned without attending to any business. But as the day seemed fair I thought I should like to ride through Roxbury and Milton over what is called the old road. Modern processes cut short the distances between places but they do not come attended with the beauty of the ancient. This is all along it’s whole length a highly improved road and every foot of it’s pretty and interesting.
I got home precisely at noon and immediately sat down to work as usual. Finished the copying of Mrs. Cranch’s MS of my grandmother. After dinner Tacitus, Life of Agricola. Evening at the Mansion. Miss Cutts returned there this evening.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0009-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-09-29

Sunday 29th.

Clear day though cold. Exercises as usual. Visit to Mrs. Quincy. Evening at the Mansion.
After my regular lesson with Louisa, I attended divine service as usual but upon rather an uncommon occasion. This was selected as the day of Anniversary of the second century since the gathering of the Church, and Mr. Lunt seized the occasion to deliver in his two discourses an interesting account of our church experiences.
His text in the morning was from 8 Deuteronomy 7.9.10. 11.12.14.17. Rather too long to insert. In the Afternoon John 4. 20 “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain.” The subject was somewhat dry but he enlivened it by eloquent passages thrown in here and there very neatly and very adroitly. His notice of my grandfather af• { 302 } fected me to tears. I am unable to give any satisfactory abstract of the discourses and hope to see them printed in order to keep me in the recollection.1 The house was full all day and the attention was flattering. Mr. Lunt is one of that class of men who are not appreciated by their generation. He has done more than many who have twice his reputation.
I dined at my father’s with I. P. Davis who was there. After service went down with the ladies to see Mrs. Quincy the elder and her daughters who were at her son’s for the day. Evening at the Mansion.
1. Mr. Lunt’s sermons were printed as Two Discourses, delivered September 29, 1839, on Occasion of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Gathering of the First Congregational Church, Quincy, Boston, 1840. The events of 1636–1639, centering upon the theological controversy involving Rev. John Wheelwright at Mount Wollaston, are the subject of the first sermon. The second undertakes the history from 17 Sept. 1639 (O.S.), the date of the gathering of a distinct and independent church at Mount Wollaston under pastors William Tompson and Henry Flynt. The journal entry in JQA’s Diary provides a somewhat fuller account of the occasion than does CFA’s.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0009-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-09-30

Monday 30th.

Fog and rain. At home. Evening at the house below. Visiters.
I passed all my morning in copying or comparing the copies already made with my Wife who gave me her assistance today. This made me omit German, and I was interrupted also by visiters, Mrs. Quincy with Mrs. Edmund and Miss Susan being here before dinner, Mrs. H. and G. Dawes for a short time and Sidney Brooks with his Wife to tea. I therefore finished only a few sections of the Life of Agricola.
As Mrs. Adams had just gone to ride when her brother came, I was obliged to entertain them alone for some time. Sidney left with me a letter to C. A. Davis from Mr. Horsley Palmer which is a curious manifestation of the course of human affairs.1 They left us shortly after six and we spent the evening at the Mansion.
1. The allusion escapes the editors.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-01

Tuesday 1st. October.

To town. At home Afternoon. Evening at the Mansion.
I have accidentally made a wrong entry of what happened this Afternoon as being of yesterday, instead of recording that I followed up steadily the collation of the manuscripts and passed an hour alone visiting the house below. My morning was spent in town in active occupation, visiting my house twice, and in various duties so that I found { 303 } myself shortened in time. Home however before three and then the record follows as it ought.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-02

Wednesday 2d.

Fine day. At home, dine and tea at the Mansion. Evening at Mr. Beale’s and Mrs. A’s.
The morning was so fine that I passed an hour or two of it at work and thus shortened the term of time for my writing. I also went down earlier than usual to the house below in order to make up the record of the Temple and School fund.1 This with some seeking after letters consumed the hour I usually devote to German.
After dinner, Tacitus, a few more sections of the Life of Agricola, but I cannot now accomplish what I could. A little of Grimm. Evening after tea at my father’s, call in to see Mr. Beale and from thence to Mrs. T. B. Adams’ where our younger ladies were. Return at ten.
1. CFA was the clerk of the Adams Temple and School Fund; see vol. 4:x, 386, 391–392.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-03

Thursday 3d.

Mild day. At home. Visit from Dr. and Mrs. Frothingham. Evening ladies at home.
I spent about an hour in copying this morning, when Dr. Frothingham with his Wife and children drove up in fulfilment of their long promised visit. The day was very favorable and I carried the Dr. quite a walk to see some of our various quarries to which I had myself scarcely ever before been. In the mean time his conversation was pleasant as it generally is with me and instructive. He has a way of thinking quite his own which however seems to me as he grows older to mark itself very forcibly upon the mind and principally by it’s clear separation from the fancies of the activity of the age. They did not leave us until sunset.
The ladies from the house below took tea and spent the evening with us. So that on the whole I have made no great progress in reading this day.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-04

Friday 4th.

Fine day. To town. Mechanic’s fair. Home. Evening, two visiters.
I went to town this morning, but the greater part of my time was taken up in accompanying the ladies who went in the carriage, to the { 304 } Mechanic’s Fair. For my own part I saw little or nothing more than I did before. The crowd was greater and there was the same inability to fix the wandering attention upon any single object. Yet the general effect is undoubtedly indicative of the progress the country makes in industry, and the vigour with which the wits of the New England people push their enterprise. I did not get away until nearly one when I had to pay a visit to my house and do some commissions before I could return home so that it was later than usual.
Afternoon, finished the life of Agricola which after all is rather a tribute of affection than a remarkable history. In the evening, a visit from Mr. F. A. Whitney and Mr. Cranch detained us at home until too late to go to the other house.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-05

Saturday. 5th.

Clear but cool. At home. Evening, visiter. At the Mansion.
I spent the first part of my morning with the boys trying to catch fish but was disappointed. I find this like most of my boyish fancies declining. Then upon my return home, finished copying the letters to Mr. Jefferson, after which I began upon those to my father, a couple of files of which I have been able to find in the chaos of my father’s MSS.1 Read also Menzel finishing the first volume of his work. His sketch of German Philosophy seems to regard Kant as the wonder of the world. Some time or other I must take up Kant.
In the Afternoon, Tacitus, Dialogue of Orators. There is much dispute respecting the authorship of this—and the argument for or against Tacitus appears to me equally strong. The style is certainly not that of the other works, but it is very forcible and now and then betrays glimpses of it. It looks like a youthful effort bearing only certain marks of identity with maturer ones. Perhaps these are fallacious.2
Edmund Quincy took tea with us and spent the evening. For the first time he came out with some of his notions to me and made me regret that so amiable a disposition had allowed itself to be loaded with so much of the extravagance of life. I spent only half an hour at the house below.
1. Eight letters to JQA would appear in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840, but none of the letters to Jefferson was included.
2. Present-day critical opinion supports the view that while the Dialogus de Oratoribus is an early, stylistically atypical work of Tacitus, it has a legitimate place in the canon.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-06

Sunday 6th.

Very clear but cool. Usual exercises. Evening at the Mansion.
After the usual time passed with my daughter, I attended divine worship and heard Mr. Lunt preach from 2 Samuel 24. 24. “And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing.” A discourse upon the connexion between religious feeling and self sacrifice. A principle which has it’s origin in the action of the mind to explain which would require a philosophical treatise. The discourse was however very good. Afternoon Proverbs 17. 17 “A friend loveth at all times.” Upon friendship, it’s value and utility.
Read a discourse of the English Preacher by the Revd. Jeremiah Seed decidedly more to my taste than any I have yet seen in the collection. Text Proverbs 15. 17. “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” It is preceptive but full of good sense and sound judgment, upon the modes of cherishing the domestic affections.
I forgot last Sunday to notice the discourse of Dr. Rogers Psalm 119. 63, upon virtuous connections which I read without recording. Visits from Mr. and Mrs. Harrod, and evening at the Mansion.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-07

Monday 7th.

Fine day. Work as usual. Afternoon ride. Evening visit to Mr. Harrod.
I passed the greater part of my morning in copying some of the letters out of my father’s correspondence. These are striking and characteristic. Also Menzel, but my attention taken off by a desire to get through with collating the letters to Mrs. Cranch.
Afternoon, went to ride through Milton taking Miss Cutts with me. Evening, called at Mrs. T. B. Adams to see Mr. Harrod. Found him there with his whole family. Quite a spectacle. He seems an amiable, pleasant man. Return by way of the Mansion home. Nothing particularly new.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-08

Tuesday 8th.

Fine day. To town. Afternoon and evening at home, family and visiters.
{ 306 }
The weather has been uncommonly fine thus far in the Autumn and the frosts set in quite late. This is much pleasanter for us who found last season very uncomfortable owing to the quantity of rainy weather we experienced during this month.
I went to town and was incessantly occupied with the accounts of the quarter and various duties. I am pressing the settlement of T. B. A’s affairs which have already been hanging too long. Home.
Afternoon, Tacitus, Dialogue of Orators. I begin to incline against his being the Author. We had in the evening, the family and Mr. and Mrs. Lunt with her sister Mrs. Robbins. The news is only of some very remarkable and extensive fires in New York. Otherwise, the public is in a state of calm.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-09

Wednesday 9th.

Fine day. At home. Evening at the Mansion.
I was occupied most of my morning rather idly, in working upon my grounds and in finishing off several letters which I proposed to dispatch. This with Menzel took up my morning time without going at all upon the letters of A. A.
Menzel has now got upon Education and his observations are exceedingly acute and true as well of this country as of Germany. There is some similarity in the mind of the nations. Activity and fondness for novelty, Omne ignotum pro magnifico.1
Read a few more sections of Tacitus or rather the Dialogue ascribed to him, but I cannot think he could ever have written so. There is merit in the composition nevertheless. What a fascinating subject Oratory is and how the Ancients handle it. We are feeble in the comparison for the reason that we do not make it a business. Evening at the Mansion.
1. That is, everything unknown is taken to be great.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-10

Thursday 10th.

Pleasant day. At home. Dine and evening at the Mansion.
I was quietly engaged all the morning in pursuing my usual occupations. Copied several letters and read Menzel. After dinner finished the Dialogue on Oratory and with it all that is supposed to have come down to us of Tacitus. This perusal is the first thorough one I have ever given to this Author and has been exceedingly useful. Tacitus is a thinker and he makes you feel what the value of history is, as a mingled record of good and evil.
{ 307 }
We dined and spent an evening at my father’s. The ladies brought home from their ride a rumour of the failure of the United States Bank and a general suspension of all the rest. As we could get no definite information about it, we were obliged to rest content and wait until tomorrow. But it is a result which we cannot have avoided to foresee when we reflect upon the immense amount of foreign indebtedness we have run into and the injudicious expansion of the Philadelphia Banks. What the effect upon the future will be, we must wait and see.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-11

Friday. 11th.

Clear and pleasant. Morning to town. Home. Afternoon. Evening, visit to Mrs. T. B. Adams and below.
I went to town accompanied by Mrs. Adams’ maid, Catherine. Time taken up in business and the settlement of the accounts of T. B. A.
The people in State Street in a state of much excitement from the combination of foreign and domestic news which arrived today. It seems that while the United States Bank found itself unable on yesterday to pay a large amount say $300,000 of Post Notes which then came due, the Steamer Liverpool brings intelligence of the protest of its drafts in France by Hottinguer to the amount of a million and a half, which though they were subsequently covered by the interference of Rothschild, had the immediate effect of shaking all American credit in Europe. It seems however that the New York Banks have not yet stopped, and that the Boston Banks will go with New York. But I fear that the causes for pressure lie too deep for easy remedy and the accounts of the state of the crops in England and the condition of the Bank of England are not encouraging. On the whole, things look gloomy enough. The Country is under no guidance worth having, and there is no present appearance that it will procure any or even be disposed to call for it. It is of no use to groan. We must trust in a higher power who brings out his great ends by his own means the uses of which are known only to him.
Afternoon at home reading Herschel’s Essay on Astronomy. Evening at the Mansion partly and at Mrs. T. B. Adams’ where I was paying away money, which I do not as things now are propose to keep. Rather unwell with a head ach.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-12

Saturday. 12th.

Wet, foggy day. At home all day.
I awoke early this morning at the sound of an alarm bell for fire but { 308 } found myself suffering far too severely with head ach to go out. This continued when I got up and for two hours was equal in severity to any thing I have experienced but it then went off. I afterwards employed myself, partly in copying and partly in superintending Kirk who was setting trees. This business must be followed up now with some steadiness. It was wet and disagreeable to do it today.
Afternoon, read Herschel’s Astronomy which interests me much. Evening I went alone to the house below and spent an hour. Nothing materially new beyond what I heard yesterday. The Baltimore Banks it is said have determined to go on paying specie. If they can sustain themselves, what a position for Philadelphia! But that is next to impossible.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-13

Sunday 13th.

Foggy and damp though warm. Exercises as usual. Dine and evening at the Mansion.
I read Herschel’s Astronomy pretty steadily during all the leisure time I had from the usual course of things on this day.
After the period given to my daughter I attended divine service and heard Dr. Parkman preach in the morning from Philippians 2. 3. “In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Upon humility and from 1 Corinthians 15. 33. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” Upon the danger of accidental intercourse with ill principled men. Dr. Parkman has much good sense often wrapped in strange covers. I dined at my fathers with him, although suffering from a cold and hoarseness which I have acquired I scarce know how.
Read another sermon of Seed’s from Proverbs 18. 1. “Through desire, a man having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with wisdom.” Upon the early pursuit of wisdom, a discourse not merely marked with strong direct sense but also with extraordinary beauty of images and diction. I must be allowed here to express my opinion that these two sermons of Seed’s which I have read are far superior to all the rest of those combined in the English Preacher so far as I have yet gone. I wonder I have not heard more of them. Evening, Mr. Beale and his son here for an hour after which we were at the Mansion.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-14

Monday 14th.

Heavy rain. At home all day and evening. Hoarseness and cold.
I found myself somewhat incommoded by my cold, how I caught { 309 } which is far beyond my comprehension, but as the weather was very bad with a decided prospect of a North Easterly storm of some continuance I felt content to remain in the house and devote myself to my usual train of occupations.
Read a part of an article on the Bank of England in McCulloch’s Dictionary,1 and continued my work on the letters. After dinner I took up Menzel seriously and made great progress in his second volume. He writes well at times but evidently under strong prejudices and has all the national characteristics. Moreover his book makes me estimate the German mind rather below what I had done before. It wants practical basis, the thing which makes the English literature so useful as well as attractive.
Evening with my Wife at home. Read over several numbers in the last North American Review, very sensible. My father made a call to see how we did. We hear today by the Newspapers of the suspension of specie payments by the Baltimore Banks. This was no more than I expected.
1. John Ramsay McCulloch, A Dictionary ... of Commerce and Commercial Navigation, 2 vols., London, 1832. CFA’s copy, now in MQA, is of the 1840 edition.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-15

Tuesday 15th.

Heavy rain. At home all day.
The rain continued to fall so heavily all day that I felt no inclination to go to town nor to try my cold by any movement out of doors. My time passed rapidly enough at home in reading some of McCulloch’s Article commenced yesterday, and in copying some farther articles as usual. I also looked over a file of letters with a view to selection. They are however of a later date and very few of them will bear publication yet. On the whole I have already obtained a pretty good stock of letters to begin with.
Afternoon continued Menzel with some assiduity. His account of history is interesting. Decidedly averse to the literary reputation of Muller whom he appears to me to treat too roughly. He is evidently full of prejudices—and political zeal.
My father came in for a moment in the evening to inquire how I did. My cold is better. Nothing new excepting that the Rhode Island Banks have all decided to suspend specie payments, and those of the District of Columbia.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-16

Wednesday 16th.

Fine day. To town. Return at noon. Dine and evening at my father’s. Afternoon, Penn’s hill.
The clearing of the weather gave us a most lovely day today. I went to town and my time entirely taken up in business affairs. Found the money market in great agitation from the progress of a movement in favour of suspension of specie payments which has been made. This is backed by the Manufacturing interest, whose business is hazarded as well as by many of the solid and all of the doubtful Merchants. There is however great resistance and the issue of the struggle is uncertain. I have very little hope of a favorable end in Boston.
Return to dine at the house below. After dinner, my father and I accompanied Deacon Spear to see the Wood on the lot opposite to the Penn’s hill houses. It is very pretty wood but the neighbors who live round there cut off so much that the question reduces itself down to this, that they or the owner will get it. Evening at the Mansion.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-17

Thursday 17th.

Lovely day. At home.
This was a most remarkable day for the season. Soft as the month of June. I was occupied most of my morning in superintending the transplanting of trees which I am doing to a great extent in consequence of my father’s being about to clear his garden of all his seedlings. I shall fill my border and then have no where else to put them.
Afternoon, Menzel but pursued without much vigour. Evening at the Mansion. I felt a little depressed this evening I know not exactly for what reason. But I have not felt entirely well myself and the children are now and then ailing which at this season makes me anxious.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-18

Friday. 18th.

Lovely day. To town. Afternoon, planting. Evening at the Mansion.
Another extraordinary day. I rode to town. Found myself much occupied as usual in the details of business.
Had some talk with Harry Cabot however about the present state of pecuniary affairs. He wants me to explain to the public the causes of the difficulties in our paper system. But of what use is it to me when he admitted today he had never heard of my letters to Mr. Biddle? I do not however know that I might not be of service, and so I have sent to Mr. Hunt today a proposal to write an article for his December num• { 311 } ber.1 I think also of putting in one or two very brief ones in the Courier.
Home. After dinner out with Kirk to superintend transplanting, in which I have thus far been much favoured. Evening my Wife was so fatigued by going to town that she did not accompany me to the Mansion.
1. The letter to Freeman Hunt is missing.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-19

Saturday 19th.

Rain and clouds. At home all day. Evening at the Mansion.
The rain fell heavily in the morning with warm weather which cooled off at night with a northeaster. I was pretty steadily engaged all day upon the papers which I proposed to draw up for the Courier in answer to the Philadelphia exposition. They contain a very brief statement which I will expand for Mr. Hunt in case he wants it. But the labour of the thing is not trifling, particularly when taken in connexion with my other work. Evening for an hour at my father’s. Nothing new.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-20

Sunday 20th.

Cloudy and cold. Exercises as usual. Evening at the Mansion.
I spent an hour in my usual course of reading with my daughter and spent all of my superfluous time during the day in writing the articles I am projecting.
Attended divine service and heard Mr. Lunt preach from Isaiah 28. 15 “We have made a covenant with death.” A serious and perhaps rather gloomy train of thought connected with the subject of Death and occasioned by the decease within a week of two young members of the parish. But I was thinking so much of other matters that I could not very well fix my attention. Afternoon Proverbs 4. 7. “Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom.” An admirable discourse upon the distinction between wisdom and learning.
I afterwards read a sermon in the English Preacher from Dr. Doddridge upon persecution. Luke 9. 55.56. “But he turned and rebuked them; and said, ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; for the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Very sensible and rational. The Evening was passed at the Mansion. It set in quite cool in the night which was clear.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-21

Monday 21st.

Cold morning. At home writing. Evening at the Mansion.
This was a sharp morning and indeed continued quite cold throughout the day. I devoted myself pretty steadily to writing the articles I had proposed. In the course of the day I had finished two out of three of the papers and from a hasty resurvey of them I was better pleased than usual. But it is not possible to judge of articles of this kind without the intervention of time from the warmth of composition which I cannot well give. Luckily imperfection is the character of our press, so that I am only in good company when I make errors in style. I have not had occasion or rather have not allowed myself time to rewrite.
The men began to work over the field to prepare it for ploughing and I walked for a short time down to the Bank. This with the exception of our usual trip to the house below for the evening was all the exercise out of doors which I took. The only news of importance is that the Banks in New York did actually rub through Saturday and the departure of the Liverpool.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-22

Tuesday 22d.

Cold morning. To town with my father. Afternoon writing. Evening at the Mansion.
A sharp frost this morning reminding us of the rapid approach of winter, but a clear and pleasant day. My father accompanied me to town where I was engaged as usual in a great variety of occupations, all incident to the particular season of the year, when we make our usual migrations from country to town.
The town as usual in agitation about the currency matter which will not probably be settled shortly. Sent my two articles to the Courier and received an answer from Hunt to my letter.1 Home early. After dinner continued writing. Evening at the Mansion.
1. Freeman Hunt in his reply (19 Oct., Adams Papers) assented readily to CFA’s proposal for an article and suggested publication in November. The essay, entitled “The State of the Currency,” would appear over CFA’s signature in Hunt’s Merchants’ Mag. for December (vol. 1, p. 505–517). It is an amplified version of the three papers CFA was currently writing for publication in the Courier. They appeared in the issues of 24, 26, and 29 Oct., p. 2, cols. 1–2, with the title, “The Philadelphia Manifesto,” and were signed “A.” In form they were a review of what purported to be “an exposition of the causes which have led to the renewal of the suspension of specie payments on the part of the banks in Philadelphia.” Denying the validity of the banks’ position, as he had in his letters to Biddle, CFA maintained that both the action of the government in refusing to recharter the Bank of the United States and the subsequent policy of Biddle in winding up its affairs resulted in stretching the credit system far beyond its health and brought on extravagant speculation.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-23

Wednesday 23d.

Lovely day. At home. Dine at the house below and Evening at Lyceum.
The day was extraordinarily fine. We have been as much favored in the season this year as last year we were otherwise. I was at work most of the day with Kirk in making the necessary preparations for the Winter, protecting my plants and shrubs. We were much favored in having this fine opportunity. But I snatched only the intervals for writing, and made slow progress.
We dined at my father’s as usual. In the evening Mr. A. H. Everett and L. Jarvis were there and took tea after which we attended his [Everett’s] Lecture at the Lyceum upon the subject of the Literature of the Bible, taking the distribution of philosophy, poetry and History. He very lightly skimmed over each interspersing fine passages of poetry or prose extracted from a great variety of authors. There was no great expenditure of original thought but much address in the selection of good points and taste in the adaptation of his extracts. On the whole he was extremely successful. And this is the secret of Lyceum lectures, flashy and popular. Remainder of the evening at the house below.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-24

Thursday 24th.

Fine day though hazy and warm. To Braintree. Lecture. Evening at the Mansion.
I worked very steadily upon my third paper and finished it. The Courier published the first today, and it reads to suit my taste. At noon I went to the house below to join my father in going to Col. Minot Thayer’s at Braintree. This being the day fixed upon for the delivery by him [JQA] of the Lecture promised by him to the Braintree people. Col. Thayer had invited him and through him me to dine with him. When we got there at one o’clock we found a considerable assembly of persons, some from Boston and others from Braintree itself. Among the rest were Mr. John Welles, Edward Brooks, J. P. Bigelow, T. W. Phillips and the Revd. Mr. Blagden. Of the Braintree people I knew none although I was introduced to them all. Our dinner was a plentiful one as our host said entirely the produce of his farm. Nothing but water or lemonade on the high temperance plan. Of course it was a mere satisfaction of hunger,1 and after it was over we proceeded to the meeting house of Dr. Storrs where after many ceremonies the Lecture was delivered.
It was a Lecture professing to be upon Education but rather without general plan, and the most remarkable position of which was that the { 314 } Reformation was a question of Education. This is no doubt true in one sense but it is false in another. Reading and writing no doubt were necessary to the full exercise of private judgment, but it has been generally found that a high state of intellectual education leads to indifference to religious belief in cultivated society if not to positive scepticism. There were passages of great force and brilliancy and owing to a hint of mine the Lecture was shortened so as to be within very tolerable limits of time. It appeared to be highly successful and we returned home before sunset after a short visit to Dr. Storrs. Evening at the Mansion. Little Fanny has been quite sick there for a week.
1. The dinner is further described in JQA’s Diary: “Instead of two or three friends as I had expected there was a company of about 30 persons, and a dinner for at least 60. He said it was all the produce of his own farm; but there was Turkey, Mongrel [Mongol?] Goose, Ducks, Ham, Squab pie, a large variety of vegetables. Apple and cranberry sauce, and lemonade to drink but neither wine nor cyder.”

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-25

Friday 25th.

Pleasant day. To town with my Wife. Home to dine. Evening at the Mansion.
I went to town and was pretty constantly engaged in running about upon different errands. The town as usual under much uneasiness as the accounts from New York look rather more discouraging. I do not know how we shall come out but this I think is pretty clear that the storm will be a fearful one before it is over.
Called to see Judge Southard but he was not in. He delivered a Lecture before the Lyceum last night sent for to do so. How this lecturing flourishes. Home. After dinner, reading in McCulloch’s Dictionary of Commerce. Evening at the house below.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-26

Saturday 26th.

A lovely day. At home. Transplanting trees. Evening at the Mansion.
This was a very remarkable day. I spent two or three hours of the morning in commencing my promised article for Mr. Hunt, but the beauty of the weather was such that I sallied out to avail of it in setting a few more trees, but I have nearly made up the complement for my piece of ground. The mode of making a plantation is undoubtedly perseverance only, and I have now carried it on very steadily autumn and spring for three years without as yet any very visible result. This would at first seem discouraging but it is the nature of all plantation not to realize soon. Afternoon so tired of writing that I went on with Menzel { 315 } whose book has dragged for some days. The Courier published my second paper this morning which reads pretty well. Evening at my father’s where were Miss Harrod and E. C. Adams.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-27

Sunday. 27th.

Beautiful day. Exercises as usual. Evening at the Mansion.
I devoted the hour before service to my daughter Louisa and then attended the regular exercises. Mr. F. Cunningham preached in the morning from Matthew 22. 12. “And he saith unto him, Friend how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?” An idea of Swedenborg that spirits seek after death a situation for which they are suited in order to enjoy happiness seems to have led the preacher into a train of thoughts about fitness which he left exactly as he found them. Afternoon Ecclesiastes 3. 1. “To every thing there is a season.” Trite and commonplace in the extreme.
Cunningham dined at my father’s where I joined him. Fourteen years have passed since we graduated together at Cambridge. He the prominent and the promising, I, the indolent and the dissipated. Time has been cold to him since and placed him very far below me in the world’s estimation. He has moreover been unfortunate in his domestic relations by marrying a woman marked for early but lingering death, and without children, whereas I have been fortunate. There is a moral in this which I hope I may take to heart. I trust I am not ungrateful for all my blessings, and it is not in a spirit of improper pride that I read this lesson of human vicissitude. But the greatest disappointment in Cunningham is in the extreme mediocrity of his performances, which show a want of something more than the gifts of external fortune.1
Read a Sermon by the Revd. J. Holland upon charity. 1 Corinthians 13. 1. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.” A judicious discourse upon this ancient subject. Mr. Price Greenleaf called for half an hour after which we went to the Mansion.
1. CFA had, on several earlier occasions, been led to moralize on the course of Rev. Francis Cunningham’s career and on his own since their student years at Harvard; see vols. 3:394; 4:421; 6:367.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-28

Monday. 28th.

Fine. To town. Afternoon at home. Evening at the Mansion.
I went to town this morning out of time because I wished to take { 316 } with me Catherine, who is about to begin to put our house in order, which looks as if it needed it enough. My time was accordingly very much engrossed by the different calls upon me in order to get going.
The public seems to continue in agitation about the suspension of specie payments but the resistance to it appears to gain ground which surprises me. Talked with S. C. Gray today who seems in good courage.
Return to dine, where my father joined me in place of my Wife who had gone with my mother to Boston. Continued Menzel afterwards. Evening visit to the Mansion.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-29

Tuesday 29th.

Fine. At home. Nothing material. Evening at the Mansion.
I did not make as much out of the morning as I should have done. Kirk occupied me part of the time in planting trees, and I was engaged in other necessary arrangements in advance of winter about the place, a little more. And to confess the truth in addition to all this I did not take to my work kindly. My thoughts lagged heavily.
This morning completed the publication of my three papers upon the Philadelphia Manifesto. If I can judge at all of my productions, I should say they were about as good as any thing I have done with the exception of an occasional error or two of haste, and one of reasoning. But error is always liable to creep into such judgments.
Afternoon, felt so indolent that I read Menzel lazily. The long evenings now create a great waste of time. Evening at the Mansion. Fanny continues an invalid there.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-30

Wednesday 30th.

Fine. To town. Return to dine at the Mansion, where also Evening.
I went to town this morning and was taken up as usual with matters pertaining to the removal of my family to town which I now think we will delay until the middle of next week. Mr. Curtis called in about business of Mrs. Boylston’s Agency and Mr. W. T. Andrews on behalf of the nominating Committee of the Whig party to notify me of the selection of me as one of their candidates for the House of Representatives this year, and to inquire if I would accept. I was so situated as not to be able to give many minutes to reflection but the possibility of such an event had been in my mind within three or four years past and circumstances have rather conduced to strengthen me in the inclination long existing to decline the nomination.
{ 317 }
The place is of little consequence, surrounded as it is with a host of colleagues, the year is one in which a multitude of little harrassing local questions will come up, to take sides about which is unavoidable and yet is throwing away a portion of influence that might be used to better purpose, and above all the Whig party now on it’s last legs in the State is endeavouring to enlist me as a soldier after I have fought my own way to reputation of some sort against it’s pressure when it was strong. I therefore declined verbally to Mr. Andrews, and as I was so situated as not to be able to explain the reasons I wrote him a short letter before leaving town.1 This is not done without deliberation. But inasmuch as it may have the effect of putting me out of political life forever I consider it of importance. Political life is not of itself at this time and in this country an object of reasonable desire so far as happiness is concerned. Nothing but a sense of duty to the public can conquer my sense of this truth, and inasmuch as that can be more effectively performed in my belief by my remaining a perfectly independent citizen than by taking such a situation I know of no principle in the way of pursuing my inclination. Thus much for this business but having so decided, it is incumbent upon me not to vacillate nor to fall into temptation. The whisperings of vanity or ambition should not be allowed to overbear the injunctions of wisdom and prudence. But I ought not to conceal my gratification at the nomination, for it very far removes from my mind an impression long entertained that injustice was done me by my fellow citizens in Boston against none of whom have I ever to my knowledge done any hostile act.
Return to dine but at my father’s, where I found that little Fanny was not so well. This is a distressing case enough.2 Evening there also, only reading a little of Menzel in the interval. Mrs. T. B. Adams came down on a business also of a distressing kind,3 so that my spirits were under something of a weight.
1. To William T. Andrews, LbC, Adams Papers.
2. See entry for 2 Nov., below.
3. She had that day been advised to undergo surgery for cancer (JQA, Diary).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0010-0031

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-10-31

Thursday 31st.

Chilly with clouds. At home. Evening at the Mansion.
I was at home all day but was unable to make the progress in writing which I expected because of some little transplanting left to do. As the season is now nearly over, I thought it as well to finish off with the remaining trees which have been taken up, although I had no place { 318 } left very favorable to put them in. This over which took nearly all day I had no time left for any thing else so that my article for Hunt’s Magazine appears not likely to be ready.
Evening at my father’s. He had been to town and dined at Lieutt. Govr. Winthrop’s. He had learned there the fact of my refusal of yesterday and as he says of the appointment of a Committee to wait upon me and urge my acceptance. I. P. Davis and R. C. Winthrop had both spoken to him of it with regret and had requested of him to use his influence with me to withdraw it, which he seemed a little inclined to do. I stated my reasons very simply to which he made no reply. This is rather a flattering circumstance to me who have not been heretofore used to any complimentary excesses, and perhaps this little will turn my head. I however see no reason to shake my confidence in the justice of my determination.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-01

Friday November 1st.

Chilly with clouds. At home. Evening at the Mansion.
As it was on the whole more convenient for me to go into town tomorrow, and as my father was in a way to need my vehicle today I thought I would remain at home, and having no temptation to go out, I really did make better progress than usual in my article, but I have wholly remoulded the former draft so that the progress is rather crab-like, and I am not sure that I shall be satisfied with it even in it’s present form. The day was cold and cheerless and gave me many symptoms of inclination for my town house.
Evening at the Mansion where my father was, having returned from the dinner at Dr. Parkman’s. He mentioned to me that he had seen Mr. Brooks at dinner who had expressed to him his regret at the course I had taken about the representative business, that Governor Everett had written to him about it that he might use his influence with me to procure the withdrawal of my letter, and that I. P. Davis had urged him to withdraw it upon his own responsibility, but this he could not undertake.
Of course all this is quite gratifying to my vanity. But my importance in Governor Everett’s eyes springs quite as much from the weakness of the Whig party as from kindness to me. Yet I would not be considered as in so small a matter as this disposed to disregard the wishes or opinion of those who are older and discreet friends too. I hope by this time the matter is settled for me so that there need be { 319 } neither appearance of retreat nor of slight to those whom I feel every disposition to respect.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-02

Saturday 2d.

Weather much the same. To town. Afternoon at home. Evening at the Mansion.
I went to town this morning instead of yesterday. Occupied much of the day in the various little duties which must be performed in order to get transferred to town. Just as I was starting my father stepped out and strongly advised me if my place had not been filled up to retrace my steps. I of course felt very willing to defer to such authority although my own judgment did not second it, and agreed to do so if an opening remained. But as nobody came near me about it while in town, I inferred that the matter was settled and in such a way that I escape all disregard of my friends’ wishes. This is as it should be. I believe the matter is settled right. Some talk with Mr. Brooks about it who was brought round to my way of thinking, from his general dislike of political life. I also received from Govr. Everett a kind letter which came too late.1 He urged the probable strength of the vote for me as a test of public opinion. He knows how to flatter.
After working for Mr. Curtis I returned, and spent the afternoon at home in writing. In the evening to the Mansion where Miss Cutts had arrived from Boston. Poor little Fanny continues suffering from her illness to so great a degree as to render it doubtful whether the family will be able to move for some time to the southward.
1. Edward Everett to CFA, 31 Oct., Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-03

Sunday. 3d.

Weather much the same. Usual exercises. Evening, visitors and to the Mansion. Ride.
After the hour devoted to Louisa, I attended divine Worship as usual and heard Mr. Lunt preach although without paying him so much attention as I should. His text was from 2 Corinthians 7. 1. “Having therefore these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Afternoon from Luke 17. 21 “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” I recollect hearing this discourse before. But my thoughts were going upon the subject I am writing upon for Mr. Hunt. This is wrong I know but sometimes it is not possible for me to help myself.
{ 320 }
Immediately after service was over I went in the Carriage with my Wife to see Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Gray who are still at Dorchester. We were cordially received and made a brief but agreeable visit, returning home to tea.
In the evening we had a visit from Mr. Beale and his son and daughter so long that I could only go a short time to the Mansion. The family are very dull there on account of the long and alarming illness of Fanny, who suffers much.
After returning to my house I read a sermon by the Revd. J. Foster D. D. from Isaiah 40. 6. “All flesh is grass and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.” A sermon upon death.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-04

Monday 4th.

Clear and cold. To town. Afternoon at home. Evening, visitors and to the Mansion.
I went to town to day taking my man Albert with me to work at the house for the day and return in the carriage in the afternoon. My time taken up in performing the endless number of little preparations essential to the commencement of housekeeping.
Met I. P. Davis and conversed with him about the Representative business. The ticket is out today and is neither bad nor good. Happening to go to my grocer’s to purchase articles for the house, the first thing he did was to accost me about the opinions I held respecting the license law. He thought I was still on the ticket. He told me that the grocers meant to get the sentiments of each side and to select indiscriminately from among those friendly to their object of a repeal of the law. Of course, here would have been the first rock for me and Governor Everett’s great vote would have vanished into thin air. I congratulated myself therefore upon my good fortune in having avoided a great whirlpool of vexation about very small things.
If I am to go into political life at all, which is by no means an object that any man of good sense should desire, it shall be when my services will be wanted and when I can do the country some effective <good> service. That time may indeed never arrive. And my ambition may have no scope for it’s exercise. Well, I shall have avoided great trials of my impetuous temper, some exposition of human weakness and perhaps disgrace. My confidence is great that I shall be enabled by the guidance of divine mercy to walk the path which may be allotted me, whether that path be high or low. I have at least jumped over this difficulty, and it has not been a small one.
{ 321 }
Home to dine. My father dined with me alone as my Wife instead of going to town as she had arranged went to the other house to stay with Fanny. She, poor child instead of growing better grows worse and my father tells me he despairs of her recovery. I had hoped it is not yet quite so bad as that.
Short afternoon, spent out of doors in the useful business of attempting to burn my corn stalks, in which after much effort I failed. Mr. and Mrs. Lunt called in the evening and sat an hour after which they joined us in a visit to the other house for a short time.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-05

Tuesday 5th.

At home. Fine day. Evening at the Mansion.
We are all in a state of great depression of spirits from the declining condition of Little Fanny. Even my Wife who has heretofore retained her cheerfulness about it appears now to despair. This makes our stay here quite melancholy.
I was occupied a greater part of the morning upon my article for Mr. Hunt which I brought well forward to completion. It is not what I intended but the time prevents my doing more. And indeed my disposition also which is a little fatigued by the long service I have now been in. Since the early part of last November my pen has been running almost without cessation.
The afternoon was passed in making all the preparations for removal. The day had been very fine but it clouded towards sunset and appeared very threatening. After a visit from Mr. I. J. Carr1 I called as usual at the Mansion and sat with the family.
1. In the MS, Mr. Carr’s initials appear to be I or J. However, the likelihood is that the visitor was John G. Carr, an Adams tenant and the only Carr referred to earlier in the Diary.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-06

Wednesday 6th.

[Boston]
Clouds in the morning but it cleared. To town. Evening, Lecture.
The night was a very stormy one and the morning opened so unpromisingly I had great doubt whether we should be able to go. After some wavering, we finally concluded to go and our decision was confirmed by the result for it cleared away.
The morning was very much consumed in the various duties which removal makes necessary, sending off the small stock of luggage and { 322 } putting the house in order. At last I left about 11 o’clock accompanied by Albert and reached town in time to give the necessary orders before my Wife came in. She remained in order to shut the house up. I went to the Office and devoted some time to business. Home at a little after one, where I found all the family at length arrived and the removal accomplished with far less of trouble than I have ever experienced before. Yet we were necessarily in confusion again replacing clothes &ca.
In the evening I was engaged to deliver to the Franklin Association my Lecture. This is a Society which assemble at a Chapel in Pitts Street the situation of which I had never before been acquainted with.1 It is a nice place and the assembly was just about respectably full. I knew very few of the faces however and could not help thinking how strange it was that in the same town so many human beings should pass through life without ever being conscious of meeting each other. The Lecture appeared to tell as well as usual. This is the fifth time of it’s delivery. Returned home at nine and retired rather earlier than usual.
1. The Franklin Literary Association was a community self-education effort of the sort that sprang up from time to time, sometimes connected with a church or a fraternal group. In the present instance, support came from wealthy individuals of whom Peter C. Brooks was one (subscription paper, [1840?], C. E. French Papers, MHi). It was not among the formally constituted educational and literary organizations listed in the Massachusetts Register or the Boston Directory. Apparently it had no connection with the Franklin Lectures, so listed, which conducted a series of public lectures in Masonic Hall, and before which in December CFA would repeat once again the popular lecture on AA (below, entries for 21 and 23 Dec.).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-07

Thursday 7th.

Fine day. Office. Afternoon at home and Evening.
I began today upon my town life. The regular series of occupations not very interesting to record, but sufficiently so to keep me contented and happy.
I forgot to mention that yesterday I found an article in the Courier criticizing my review of the Philadelphia Manifesto. The temper in which it was written betrayed to me for the first time the shape which malevolence will assume towards me. A pretty broad stroke at my situation with some hints about aristocracy in order to destroy the force of my argument.1 Well, this must be the consequence of distinction. I perceive now for the first time the force of my labours in gaining me reputation. Nevertheless I thought it prudent to turn the edge of this article by a mild reply swallowing the honey and rejecting the gall in { 323 } the composition.2 Office, did work and by night I finished the article for Hunt.
1. The first two papers had elicited comment in a letter signed “Monitor” in the Boston Courier on 28 Oct. (p. 3, col. 4). The letter published there on the 6th (p. 2, col. 5), over the signature “Mercator,” was somewhat more critical but not unfriendly except in objecting that CFA’s statement, “The weak never gain much of the sympathy of the community, nor command their respect ...” sounds like the utterance of “a high-toned aristocrat” and is “uncalled for” and “unkind.”
2. In his reply, signed “A,” CFA asserts that “Mercator” had totally misunderstood his meaning, that in speaking of the “weak” he referred to the “morally weak” (Courier, 8 Nov., p. 2, col. 3).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-08

Friday 8th.

Fine day. Office. To Quincy to dine. Return to tea. Evening at work.
I devoted some time to labour in my Office in finishing off various little matters of account that have been troublesome and drafted a Will for Louisa C. Smith agreeably to a wish expressed by herself to me the evening before I left Quincy.
At noon I returned and my Wife accompanied me to Quincy. We found Fanny better and the family much encouraged. I went to see her and found her lively but with a burning spot in her cheek that told of internal disease. Her mother appeared today in a state of extraordinary exultation, which carries it’s moral with it. What mere puppets we are, the sport of every touch.
I returned to town alone leaving my Wife to spend the night. Intended to have done much work but found my study cold and cheerless and so I only brought up arrears of Diary.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-09

Saturday 9th.

Cold but clear. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.
I went to the Office as usual. My time not entirely at my own disposal as my father and Mr. Curtis both came in and spent a little while, but nevertheless I accomplished a draft of my Quarterly account to my father and the giving in of my Account on T. B. Adams’ Estate to the Judge. This I shall be glad to get off of my mind.
Home where I found my Wife returned from Quincy and not at all encouraged about Fanny’s condition. I fear we are to see grief in this direction. My father and Mother have suffered in abundance of this kind already and they are getting older and less able to bear it. I grieve for all and for myself. A melancholy thing it is to see the young de• { 324 } cline. May God have mercy upon us all and upon me who am not worthy of the many blessings he has heaped upon me.
I began to review Storch and the materials for my Lecture which looks flat to me now that I read it over.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-10

Sunday 10th.

Cold and cloudy. Exercises as usual. Evening, Degrand, H. G. Gorham.
I devoted the morning hour to my daughter Louisa as usual. Attended Divine service at Dr. Frothingham’s in Chauncy place and heard there Mr. Fox of Newburyport preach in the morning from Philippians 3. 14. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” and in the afternoon from Luke 10. 29. “And who is my neighbor.” These were both of them good and sensible discourses without attracting my attention as much as they should have done. Indeed I am beginning to fear that I shall never be able to correct this unfortunate tendency of mine to wander in my thoughts during the delivery of any oral discourse.
After a brief visit to Mrs. S. A. Otis’ to see the copy which Osgood is making of the Picture of my Grandfather,1 I read a Sermon on Self-government by the Revd. Benjamin Ibbot, Proverbs 16. 32 “He that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.” Dr. Ibbot did not appear to me remarkable.
At tea time Mr. Degrand came, just from Quincy, giving us a distressing note from my mother about the state of little Fanny.2 She has had two bad days and Dr. Holbrook is at his wit’s end, so that the object of the note was to induce Dr. Bigelow to go to Quincy and see her tomorrow. I immediately went down for the purpose and after a conference with him made an appointment to go to Quincy in the morning.
H. Gardiner Gorham came in afterwards and spent an hour in small conversation of indifferent matters, after which I set about making up arrears in Diary.
1. Samuel S. Osgood had been commissioned by Andrew Jackson Downing to paint a copy of Stuart’s 1823 portrait of JA; see above, entry for 22 January. The copy is unlocated (Oliver, Portraits of JA and AA, p. 259).
2. The note from LCA is missing.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-11

Monday 11th.

Fine day. To Quincy. Return Afternoon. Evening at home.
A cool but clear and bright November day. As soon as practicable { 325 } after breakfast I started to go to Quincy accompanied by my Wife. We came round by Milton hill in order to stop at Dr. Holbrook’s and notify him to meet Bigelow at the time agreed upon. But he had gone to Boston. We found the family in a state of distress such as may be conceived, which was however relieved by the result of Bigelow’s examination so far as that hope which had been almost extinct revived.
I had but a dull and unprofitable day of it as my father was busy and the other members of the family were much taken up of course. It was the day of general election but I lost my vote which would otherwise have been what it never was before, regularly Whig. Returned to town by sunset leaving my Wife. Devoted the evening to new modelling a page or two of the article for Hunt which I positively folded up to send.
My boy Charles I sent this day upon a visit to his old Nurse at Portsmouth Mrs. Fields, through her sons who were going. So unused am I to part with my children that I feel a dislike to have them out of my sight. And yet it is not man’s vocation to be confined and I ought to repress a weakness which will cost me even more serious pain in advanced life. My trust in all cases is in a higher power.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-12

Tuesday 12th.

Lovely day. Day divided as usual. Evening at home.
At the Office where I finished up all the remaining business which I had on hand. Made the draft of my Quarterly Account and sent it. Then to the Athenaeum to get books for my proposed Lecture. I want to read myself full upon the subject. For I have some doubt as yet of the issue.
The Election Returns come in badly for the Whigs so that it is exceedingly doubtful whether the Governor is elected again. Under these circumstances it is matter of greater congratulation to me that I have not to take up their battles.
Began today the first drama in the collection by Euripides of Hecuba, which I propose to make my winter’s work. Read part of Mr. Gallatin’s Pamphlet upon the currency deserving of perpetual study.1 And in the evening Ganilh, Political Economy.2 My Wife returned to dinner, accompanied by Miss Cutts who went back in the afternoon. The child remained much in the same state.
1. Almost an annual occurrence; see above, entries for 28 Dec. 1836, 18 Nov. 1837.
2. Charles Ganilh, Des systèmes d’économie politique, 2 vols., Paris, 1809, or Le théorie de l’économie politique, 2 vols., Paris, 1815.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-13

Wednesday 13th.

Fine day. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.
I have little or nothing new to record this morning. My town life is now so very regular that a Diary suffers much from the monotony. At the Office I have now finished all that I had to do and today sat down to read the Chapter upon currency in Sismondi’s valuable work upon Political Economy. He leans much against credit. Read a hundred and twenty lines of Hecuba during the hour before dinner.
Afternoon, resumed Menzel who does not increase in my esteem as I go on. Evening at home. Mr. Brooks came in and passed a short time. He returns to his town residence today. Finish Gallatin and Ganilh.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-14

Thursday 14th.

Clouds and light rain. Division as usual. Evening, my father’s Lecture.
I was at the Office reading No. 105 of the North American Review. The accounts this morning seem to favour the opinion that the State has chosen Morton for Governor and Everett will retire. This is rather new and unexpected but I cannot say surprising. On the whole it is even more of a punishment than I had desired for the threefold combination against my father which originally brought him in.1 I care but little as between the two parties generally for the one seems to have as little of steady principle as the other.2
At home. Hecuba. Menzel. In the evening I accompanied my father to the Masonic Temple where he was to deliver a Lecture upon the Smithsonian fund. The room was full of Mechanic Apprentices and their friends with a very small sprinkling of other persons whom I knew. The Lecture was interesting and more successful in the delivery than usual with him.3 It bore rather hard upon the Administration and upon Mr. Woodbury.4 After he had finished what he had for this evening he accompanied me home and after that, I began upon my redraught of the Lecture.
1. The early returns indicating the defeat of Edward Everett for reelection by the Democrat Marcus Morton were later confirmed (Boston Courier, 18 Nov., p. 3, cols. 2, 4). Everett had originally come to the governorship when Gov. John Davis was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the unexpired term of Nathaniel Silsbee. That result had been brought about by the alliance of Everett with Daniel Webster and Davis in the prolonged and ultimately successful effort by the whigs, masons, and federalists in the Massachusetts legislature in Jan. – Feb. 1835 to deny the senate seat to JQA (vol. 6:63, 68, 74–75, 78–81). CFA had also entertained substantial reservations about Everett over many years despite the familial connection (see entry for 6 Aug. 1836, above, and vol. 3:9–10).
{ 327 }
2. The National Republican and Democratic parties.
3. The lecture on the Smithson bequest was the first of two that JQA had prepared for delivery before the Mechanic Apprentices’ Library Association in Boston. The second would, as it turned out, be read for him by the Rev. Lunt before both the Apprentices’ Association and at the Quincy Lyceum. The texts of the two lectures, an account of their composition, delivery, and contemporary publication, are contained in The Great Design, Two Lectures on the Smithson Bequest by John Quincy Adams, ed. Wilcomb E. Washburn, Washington, The Smithsonian Institution, 1965.
4. Levi Woodbury, secretary of the treasury.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-15

Friday 15th.

Rainy but mild. Division as usual. Evening visit to Governor Everett.
My morning was not very well employed as my Office hours now need some special occupation. Read an article in Hunt’s Magazine by Judge Hopkinson which is very sensible1 and tried another upon Stone’s Life of Brant but failed. This is the work which Dr. Palfrey sent to me to review.2 Hecuba.
My father dined with me and returned to Quincy taking my Wife with him afterwards. After dinner, Menzel. In the evening, I went down to see Governor and Mrs. Everett. Had much conversation with him upon the present condition of affairs and the Election. He seems entirely disgusted with politics and now that it is over rather desirous of having it decided against him, for the present aspect is that the choice must devolve on the House. Continued my Lecture.
1. Judge Joseph Hopkinson’s article on “Commercial Integrity” appeared in Hunt’s Merchants’ Mag., 1:377–390.
2. See the entry for 26 Sept. 1838, above. The review article read is probably that by James Handasyd Perkins in the Oct. 1839 issue of North Amer. Rev., 49:277–316.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-16

Saturday 16th.

Mild and pleasant. Office. To Quincy to dine. Evening return, head ach.
I awoke this morning with a dull feeling the precursor of head ach which did not fail to take it’s usual course through the day until it sent me helpless to bed. At the Office I was occupied in the usual way. Deacon Spear came from Quincy and I was busy in accounts. The political news is not varied at all by the last returns. Either Morton or nobody is elected.
I went to Quincy at one o’clock and found the family in great distress. Little Fanny had passed a bad night and this day was speechless. The apprehension of course was that she was near her end. But the { 328 } physician called in, Dr. Woodward, and Dr. Holbrook ascribed it to the effect of a violent anodyne given last evening which had operated otherwise than he had expected. This relieved the present apprehension although as it seemed to me not entirely with reason. I fear the poor child will not survive many days and that her end has been rather hastened than retarded by the mode of treatment adopted by Dr. Holbrook. This is altogether melancholy. I dined at Quincy and in the afternoon early we returned home.
Little Charles returned today from Portsmouth safe and well. I hardly know how much I prize my children until they are absent. My evening was utterly useless to me from my head ach.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-17

Sunday 17th.

Lovely day, clouding however towards night. Usual exercises. Evening to Mr. Brooks’.
This was one of our most charming mornings. After the usual exercises with Louisa I attended as usual divine exercises at Chauncy place and heard Dr. Dewey of New York1 preach in the morning from Job 23. 1 to 5, too long to quote. He began by a general sketch of the book of Job preparatory to his introduction of the particular purpose of quoting the text which was to show a tendency in man perpetually to look upward from the mere business of this world and seek a higher power freed from the struggles of this life. This aspiration was only to be satisfied by Religion. The afternoon was upon a collateral subject. Matthew 4. 4. “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Religion being the desire of man this could only be gratified by the exercise of faith and virtue. Dr. Dewey is a very popular preacher and is to some extent deserving of esteem. But his sermons left me cold as they found me and created rather an idea of excessive pretension than of fulness of wisdom or piety.
I had a very pleasant walk with the children round the Common and after service read a Sermon by Dr. Clark from the English preacher, Proverbs 10. 9. “He that walketh uprightly, walketh surely.” It was a new version of the old maxim, “Honesty is the best policy,” which after all is not at the summit of all moral excellence. Yet it is a safe practical guide for men who will not refine.
Evening, Thomas and Francis Frothingham came in for an hour after which we went to Mr. Brooks’ house but not finding him at home, sat with Mr. and Mrs. P. C. B. Junr. The Account from Quincy { 329 } today by Thomas who brought in Louisa C. Smith is not favorable. She had not entirely recovered her Speech as predicted. My fear is that there was a combination with the medicine of a more powerful kind to bring about the effect.
1. On Rev. Orville Dewey, see vol. 6:388–389.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-18

Monday 18th.

Fine day. Distribution as usual. Evening at home and at E. Brooks’.
I went to the Office as usual this morning and was occupied in accounts and a variety of other little duties but the employment of my hours does not entirely satisfy me. Home at noon to read Hecuba.
The accounts we receive from Quincy are very discouraging. Afternoon Menzel. Evening with the children until eight after which we went to Edward Brooks’, calling for half an hour to see Sidney and his Wife. On my return home went on with my Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-19

Tuesday 19th.

Fine day. Morning at Office. To Quincy to dine. Return to tea. Evening at home.
I went to the Office this morning but was not occupied very usefully. Something or other I must soon do. My carpenter called and I gave him a commission or two as also my man whom I dismissed so unceremoniously last night as to put me to some present inconvenience.
At noon I went home and rode with Mrs. Adams to Quincy. We found the family much as usual, but Fanny in a state of insensibility. She has not recovered from the shock of Saturday whence it is plainly to be inferred that the medicine was not the cause. The disease on that day appears to have reached the brain. And it was an unlucky coincidence for Dr. Holbrook that his remedy was productive of some effects so similar that he ascribed them all to it rather too hastily. I am afraid the disease has gone on in stages with certainty to it’s end.
Home by sunset. Evening with the children and in my study, writing.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-20

Wednesday 20th.

Cold and clear. Office as usual. Regular division. Evening at home.
I went to the Office this morning as usual and was occupied in my ordinary mode. Nothing new. Home in order to attend to details put { 330 } out of order by my man’s departure. Found my Wife who had returned from Quincy where she spent the night, with Dr. Bigelow. Her account is confirmatory of my worst apprehensions. The Dr. now pronounces the case to be dropsy on the brain very decided. The complaint appears then either to have thoroughly baffled their penetration, or it has very suddenly changed it’s character. Mrs. Goods the child’s nurse was at my house just from Washington and went to Quincy in the afternoon’s stage. Evening quietly at home. Continued my Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-21

Thursday 21st.

Office. Thence to Quincy. Cold and snowy. Return. Evening at home.
I went to the Office where Mr. Ladd came and talked and paid rent. Received a notice from Quincy that the poor child Georgiana Frances Adams died last night at a few minutes before six. When I look back and think over this rapid decline, it makes me feel what a brief and uncertain light this mortality is.1 God alone knows the object of our creation and his inscrutable decree recalls in the same manner that he gives. Our province is to live as we may and trust to his mercy not to deal with us according to our deserts.
I hurried home and thence after making some arrangements and notifying the Mechanic Apprentices that my father would not lecture I went to Quincy.2 The family were of course in much distress but my mother’s grief touched me the most deeply. To her who has so few objects of pleasure around her it is grief indeed. The mother is in great distress but she vents it more in words. I dined out there and devoted myself as much as possible to the various members of the household. Came back at sunset in a very cold north wind. Evening at home.
1. The onset of the illness of Georgeanna Frances Adams, age nine, had apparently manifested itself more than a month earlier. However, she had had a serious illness in infancy affecting mouth and lungs (vol. 4:19090) and seems to have been a delicate child in the intervening years.
Although the physicians continued to speak of a “lingering disease and possible recovery” for another fortnight, JQA recorded in his Diary on 4 Nov.: “I have long been afflicted with an apprehension that this poor child was destined to short life. I have watched the symptoms of her disease with a trembling heart and with sinking hope.” On the next day he wrote: “I saw her in one of her paroxysms of pain—the case is remediless.” His daily notes show that from the 16th she became “speechless but not insensible.” On that date the doctors prescribed “strymonium,” a narcotic derived from a poisonous plant or weed usually employed in the treatment of asthma or bronchial conditions to reduce coughing and pain (Pharmacopeia of U.S., 1851). The editors have found no further clue to nor name for her final illness, but see below, entry for 13 Jan. 1840.
2. Unknown to CFA, JQA had asked the Rev. Lunt to deliver the lecture for him (see above, entry for 14 Nov.).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-22

Friday. 22d.

Cold. Morning to Quincy. Home to tea and evening.
As my father wished me to be near him so that he might have somebody to call upon in case of need I went out there and was engaged partly in helping on the necessary arrangements for the funeral and partly in copying letters for him. Affliction has a peculiar operation upon him by exciting his nervous sensibilities over much and rendering him alive to many small evils and inconveniences. I strove to do every thing that I could for him but often he will do them for himself.
Called to see Mr. Wolcott on the part of my father and notified him of Mrs. John Adams’ wish to have the episcopal service read, which he promised to do. This done and others I returned home having a very cold ride. Evening at home.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-23

Saturday 23rd.

Cool. Carriage to Quincy. Funeral. Home. Evening quiet.
After a little business at the Office, I joined my Wife at the house and we went in a Carriage to Quincy with Louisa and John, and Richard G. Greenleaf. Of course little was done there or thought of but the funeral which took place after an early dinner.
There were only the few citizens of our acquaintance. Mr. Wolcott read the Episcopal service in a very hard wooden manner, after which Mr. Lunt made a prayer in a manner peculiarly impressive and of a most affecting character. A short procession followed and we committed the remains of the poor child to the tomb.
Twenty one years ago I followed the same road for the first time after the decease of my grandmother and since then how many changes have taken place. How many of our family have since been gathered in to the same inclosure who were then warm with life and hope in how many cases disappointed. The idea is a melancholy one. This poor little one has no memory to leave behind her but a pleasing one to her friends as she was lovely in her youth and innocence and simplicity beyond most children of her age. May God have mercy upon her and upon the survivors of her race.
We returned home shortly after the ceremony, leaving my Mother ill in her bed from the effects of the exertion she has made.1 Dull and melancholy evening.
1. JQA, in his journal entries, has recorded the sad events of this and the preceding days in great detail.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-24

Sunday 24th.

Clouds and rain. To Quincy. Service as usual. Home with Miss Cutts, Mr. Thornton.
I started for Quincy immediately after breakfast and in order to reach there in time for morning service. My father wished a Note to be read according to the customary form of the Congregational service, and I therefore came here to attend the service.
There was present of the family only Miss Cutts and my father and Louisa. Mr. Lunts prayer was very brief and proper. His Sermon from Ezekiel 2. 9 and 3. 1 and 2. “And when I looked, behold, a hand was sent unto me; and lo, a roll of a book was therein. Moreover, he said unto me, Son of man eat that thou findest; eat this roll and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth and he caused me to eat that roll.” Mr. Whitney preached in the afternoon but what his text was I could not remember, and his sight and enunciation are so bad that it is painful to listen to him.
Immediately after the afternoon service I returned to town accompanied by Miss Cutts who wished to take leave of her friends. Found at home Mr. Thornton an acquaintance of her’s who spent the evening. Read a sermon by Dr. Squire, Matthew 6. 19.20. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt nor do thieves break in and steal.” A very ordinary production as it seems to me. Miss Cutts remained at my house tonight.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-25

Monday. 25th.

Heavy rain. At home. Evening visit at Mr. Crowninshield’s.
The day opened warm with a strong southerly wind and heavy rain, so that I was not able to go to Quincy as I intended. My time was therefore spent in attempting to do up a little of the arrears which my being taken off so much of late have caused in my Diary. Snatched an hour also for Hecuba which is very easy.
Afternoon Menzel in whom I take very little interest. Indeed the time appears to me so much wasted that I must strike into something else.
As it cleared in the evening, we joined Miss Cutts at her friend’s Miss Crowninshields. The old gentleman and his Wife there. He is a singular man but with much ignorance and illiterateness joins a great deal of Yankee acuteness and the economical principle.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-26

Tuesday 26th.

Cold and clear. To Quincy. Evening at home. Mr. Brooks.
After devoting an hour to business, I went to Quincy accompanied by my Wife, meeting my father on the road to town. Found the family much as usual but doubting about their departure. This made me anxious, believing as I did both that they ought to go soon and could go soon without inconvenience. Accordingly I made an effort at persuasion which proved to be successful and tomorrow was fixed for the day. My father returned to dinner, after which I transacted business with the Bank and then returned to town. Our ride was very cold. I hope it is the last of the season. Mr. Brooks spent an hour with us in the evening.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-27

Wednesday 27th.

Weather moderating. To Quincy. Return with the family. Evening at home.
I was much engaged in preparing funds for my father, and securing tickets for the family to New York. This over I went to Quincy and found the preparations actively going on for a general departure. My mother seemed better than I expected to see her.
After an early dinner they got into the Stage and I accompanied them leaving my horse for the Winter. We arrived at the Railroad depot so much earlier than necessary that I walked to my house and brought down the boys John and Charles to see the family off. At last they went and I returned feeling as if a load had been removed from my mind.
Evening spent at home beginning to take some rest from the incessant movement and exertion which has been going on for a week together, following another of great mental distress.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-28

Thursday 28th.

Fine day. Thanksgiving. Service as usual. Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s.
I arose this morning with a sense of relief which I have not had for some time. The State of my father’s family had filled me for some time back with a set of gloomy apprehensions which their very indefiniteness tended to make more painful. Quincy and the old house are rather gloomy places for the winter season and I feared they might be confined there by sickness even after little Fanny’s decease. Thank { 335 } heaven, they have at least started for other scenes and although these may contribute but little to amuse or to cheer them, they yet place them upon an active theatre where some diversion may chance to be favorable. I now hope to hear of their safe arrival. In mere weather they must have been highly favored.
Attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Psalms 107. 8.15 &ca. “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men.” A good discourse but I was rather inattentive.
Walk round the South Cove home. Mr. Brooks dined with us, and I felt grateful to the divine being for his continued care and protection of us through the past year. Evening to Mrs. Frothingham’s where we had a game of whist among the children and a little supper afterwards.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-29

Friday 29th.

Continued fine weather. Time as usual. Evening to the Theatre.
We are now commencing again upon the usual routine of winter life. At the Office where I passed my time in accounts and papers as usual. Nothing materially new. Home to read Hecuba, which goes on well whenever I have any time to follow it. At the Athenaeum where I procured Mr. Bancroft’s book for the purpose of giving it a deliberate examination.1 After dinner gave up Menzel and began Bancroft.
Evening to the Theatre with my Wife. Charles Kean in The Iron Chest razeed2 and a new play of Bulwer’s, The Lady of Lyons. Claude Melnotte.3 It is impossible to be more disappointed than I was. When I saw this young man some years ago in The Hunchback I thought him quite promising. Since then he has fallen into the faults of bad recitation and violent rant so that there are hardly any good points left. The play of The Iron Chest is no great favorite with me but it always tells upon an audience.4 The present version of it is the cream of all it’s stage tricks condensed into three acts. Bulwer’s play is not bad. A little too much of love sickness about it, but on the whole affecting and agreeable. Home by eleven.
1. Probably the first two volumes of George Bancroft’s History of the United States (10 vols., Boston, 1834–1874), published together in 1837 but constituting the 2d edn. of vol. 1 and the first appearance of vol. 2. Both dealt with the period of colonization and reflected a “democratic” or Jacksonian view.
2. That is, abridged (OED).
3. In Bulwer Lytton’s Lady of Lyons, first produced in 1838, Claude Melnotte was the central figure (Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage, 4:206).
4. The Iron Chest, a play with music, by George Colman the younger had been produced in London in 1796. CFA’s earlier view of Charles Kean is at vol. 4:413.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0011-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-11-30

Saturday 30th.

Fine day. Office. Roxbury Probate Court. Evening at home.
The weather at least has been highly favorable to the family, if it is like what we have had here. I went to the Office and transacted business with Deacon Spear from Quincy and others. Then I determined to walk to Roxbury to attend the Probate Court there for the passing of my account as Executor of the Will of T. B. Adams. Met Judge Leland on the way and walked with him talking politics generally. The Account was speedily passed after our arrival at his house and I returned before three o’clock. Thus I hope this business will be off my mind. Continued reading Bancroft. Evening at home, reading Nicholas Nickleby to my Wife, after which I went on with the third and I hope the last draught of my Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-01

Sunday. December 1st.

Chilly and clouds. Exercises as usual. Evening, H. G. Gorham.
A change in the weather but I hope by this time the family are clear of it. Lesson as usual with my daughter until Service when I attended at Chauncy Place and heard Dr. Frothingham in the morning from Matthew 21. 5. “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek.” Upon Advent Sunday and commemorative of the event of which it is the Anniversary.
Afternoon, a young Buckingham son of the Printer just beginning. 1. Peter 2. 22 “Who did no sin neither was guile found in his mouth.” Upon the character of the Saviour whether a divine being, free from all danger of sin, or a mortal agent. He reasoned in favour of the latter, on the ground that he was said to have been tempted which implies the possibility of falling. One phrase struck me as curious. He called Jesus the last of the noble army of Martyrs, both in the sermon and the prayer.
Afternoon, sermon by the Revd. John Balguy “Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.” Nothing very extraordinary. In the evening at home. H. G. Gorham came and paid a visit.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-02

Monday 2d.

Cloudy and cold. Office. Distribution as usual. Evening at home.
The day was cheerless. I was at the Office engaged in making up the arrears of my Diary and in bringing up the small business of the Office { 337 } which has got behind hand. Nothing new of material consequence. Home to read Hecuba.
After dinner, Bancroft. He certainly has taken a great deal of pains in investigating the truth and although I feel some distrust of his conclusions, yet I cannot help admiring his industry. Evening at home, reading Nicholas Nickleby and afterwards on with the Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-03

Tuesday. 3d.

Cloudy and chill. Distribution as usual. Evening at home. Mr. Brooks.
Office as usual. Nothing to record. The days follow each other with great uniformity. I did a little in the way of filling up Leases but rather neglected occupation. The December number of Hunt’s Magazine contains my article on the currency which I think pretty good.1 Home to study Hecuba. After dinner continued Bancroft. I do not like to take the trouble of comparison but it ought to be done by somebody.
Evening, I read a little of Frank2 to the children and after they had gone to bed, Nicholas Nickleby to my Wife. This is very well written and shows much genius in the Author. But what is fame in these days when this great sum of labour is spent for the mere gratification of a few careless readers of a monthly periodical? Afterwards, working on my Lecture which goes on slowly.
1. See above, entry for 22 October.
2. The editors do not know what book is meant.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-04

Wednesday 4th.

Chilly but cleared before evening. At home as usual.
I had nothing material to record today. My time passes monotonously enough. Made a call upon old Warren the coin collector who has picked up a great parcel of stuff, but some very curious things in his travels in Canada. Strange to tell, he got three ancient Roman coins in common circulation, which I bought of him. They are not rare and are somewhat worn.
Received a letter from my father giving me the agreeable intelligence of the safe arrival of the family.1 My Wife went to Medford with her father to attend the dedication of the new Meeting house and did not return until evening. Bancroft, and after tea, Frank to the children and Nickleby to my Wife, after which the Lecture.
1. To CFA, 1 Dec., Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-05

Thursday 5th.

Clear and beautiful day. Office. Division as usual. Evening at home.
My time at the Office is so little improved that I must set about some novel plan of occupation. The accounts from Washington are not very favorable to a plan of general organization. The disputed seats of the Jersey members remain still the great obstacle, aggravated by the refusal of the clerk to move one way or the other. Nothing further. Home to read Hecuba.
Afternoon, Bancroft. I can hardly yet make up my mind as to the merits of this work. I see unquestioned industry and some enthusiasm but no nice discrimination in moral questions, and some self conceit. I should rely upon his facts but distrust his philosophy and his inferences. Evening, Frank to the children, and Nicholas Nickleby to my Wife. After which, working upon my very interminable Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-06

Friday 6th.

Fine day. Office. Division as usual.
I pursue my affairs regularly enough, but the season of the year always affects my spirits a little and some circumstances of the time have a tendency to increase it.
The arrival of the Liverpool today is rather productive of encouragement as to business, but the country is in so unsettled a state as to give little reason for confidence in any thing.
Accounts and then home to Hecuba. After dinner, Bancroft. I commonly devote an hour of the evening to hearing my children’s lessons in reading. Frank and Nickleby.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-07

Saturday. 7th.

Cloudy. Office. Distribution as usual.
At the Office. The accounts from Washington are in the same strain with that of the preceding days. Deacon Spear was here with bills from Quincy most of which I paid. They are pretty heavy. Hecuba which I read a little too fast. I want a good edition. After dinner Bancroft, and in the evening, Nickleby and Frank and the Lecture. I begin to fear that this will not do. I cannot shorten it and there are passages which I fear must be dry.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-08

Sunday 8th.

Rain and clouds all day. Exercises as usual. Evening at home.
After my usual course of lessons with my daughter Louisa, I attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Isaiah 5. 4. “What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done to it.” A moral discourse upon self improvement which I did not attend to as I ought. In the Afternoon Romans 8. 9. “Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Mr. Dwight a young man who has got as much of the mysticism of the new school as will be sufficient to destroy that practical use which is after all a characteristic of the English race and makes it superior to every other. He is feeble.
Read in the English Preacher a Sermon by one John Adams D.D., a singular name in England whose history I know nothing of. Acts 28. 5.6. “He shook off the beast into the fire and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly; but after they had looked a great while and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a God.” A Sermon upon rash judgment remarkable for that very practical judgment and sound sense of which I was just treating. Evening at home reading Nickleby, and Frank, after which continued my terrible labour upon the Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-09

Monday 9th.

Heavy rain. Office. Athenaeum. Division as usual. Evening at home.
The rain poured very heavily in parts of today. I was at the Office in business. The news from Washington is that the confusion being daily more striking, Mr. Rhett finally took advantage of a speech of my father’s which had a great momentary effect to put him in the chair as chairman to organize the House. This is a position which I fear he will be unable to avail himself of. The pith of the whole matter is that the Jersey members decide the majority of the house. And the two parties are rabid. I hope the country will not experience so much of disgrace as I believe they will. At any rate, the part my father has thus far acted will be creditable to him.1
Went to the Athenaeum to study Numismatics and was kept there until dinner time. Afternoon, study Bancroft. Evening, finish Nickleby and on with the Lecture. This was City Election day. My classmate J. Chapman was chosen, a good selection and I hope will do him honor.2 Evening, Lecture, which drags.
{ 340 }
1. The House having been unable for three days to complete its membership and thereafter to elect a presiding officer, JQA spoke to the problem and offered a solution on the 5th. R. B. Rhett of South Carolina then moved the election of JQA to preside until organization could be completed. He assumed the chair and continued in it for the next ten days. The events are detailed in JQA’s journal entries for those dates.
2. On Jonathan Chapman Jr., newly chosen mayor of Boston, see vol. 3:127, 380–381.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-10

Tuesday. 10th.

Fine day. Distribution as usual. Evening at home.
It was clear this morning after the heavy blow of last night. Office where I saved half an hour to begin Storch, Economie Politique. I have taken a very great liking to this writer and propose to study his style and thought. Read Hecuba.
Afternoon finish the first volume of Bancroft. I am afraid my dislike of his book springs out of my distrust of the man. Began a number of The London and Westminster Review sent me as particularly good, by Dr. Frothingham. The first article about Carlyle rouses my profound distaste. The style is artificial and the thought is very strained. Modern times do not appear to me to show the results which they pretend.
Evening at home, reading the letters of Horace Walpole,1 and finish the Lecture, which when I look it over gives me some misgivings.
1. It is not clear which of the collections of Walpole’s correspondence CFA refers to. Before 1840, separate volumes of correspondence with George Montegu, William Cole, and Sir Horace Mann had been published.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-11

Wednesday 11th.

Lovely day. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mr. Brooks’.
The weather remains extraordinarily pleasant for the season and today was such a one as we have few at any time of the year. At the office where I was so occupied about arrears of Diary and accounts that I could not read further of Storch.
Then home where I finished Hecuba. This is the easiest of all the greek dramas that I have ever yet read. There are many fine points of pathos in it, and many moral reflections of great beauty. But I feel the want of greek and latin notes, and a critical apparatus. Inasmuch as I cannot afford to purchase one new and I cannot elsewhere procure it, I think I shall postpone the Author and go back to a thorough re-examination of Sophocles with the edition I procured last year that is very complete.
After dinner, read The Review without much increase of pleasure. { 341 } There is nothing flatter than the aspirings of middling minds to appear great by putting themselves on Stilts. Tried to read my Lecture loud to ascertain its length but was interrupted. Evening, to see Mr. Brooks where were several of the family. Miss L. C. Smith was with us to spend the day.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-12

Thursday. 12th.

Rain, but cleared up in the evening. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s.
The morning looked very dark and threatening but it turned out to be only a very short Southerly rain. Office nevertheless where I read a little of Storch and brought up my arrears of Diary. Home where I began Sophocles with the Oedipus Tyrannus and read forty lines very thoroughly.
In the Afternoon I read through my Lecture in one hour and five minutes which in delivery would take an hour and a half. This is too long. And I find deficiencies to be filled up which would add another half hour. I am now disposed once more and for the last time to remodel the whole, and I began upon it today. After all, if this does not suit I can retreat upon my old performance which I know I can make successful.
Evening, to Mrs. Frothingham’s where was a little party of young and old, few of whom I knew. Home at eleven.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-13

Friday 13th.

Pleasant day. Distribution as usual. Evening at home.
I was at the Office this morning with my time much taken up in writing. Began a letter to my Mother but was interrupted by Winch the Tenant of the farm at Weston who came to pay rent. Then home where I read about forty lines more of the Oedipus.
In the afternoon, reading and writing upon my Lecture. I never was in more doubt in my life. I think what I have written is pretty good but I doubt it’s telling well upon an audience. Evening at home, reading.
The accounts from Washington are very bad. The dignity of the country is much implicated in this proceeding. I hope my father will get through with credit in this perhaps the most perillous situation of his life.1
1. JQA’s ordeal as presiding officer would end on Monday, the 16th, when sufficient votes were mustered to elect a Speaker.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-14

Saturday 14th.

Day pleasant. Distribution as usual. Evening Mr. Brooks.
I was at the Office where I again attempted to finish my letter but was interrupted by Deacon Spear who came from Quincy and settled matters of accounts due. This with the reading of the Newspapers consumed my time. I suppose it is important to keep up with the times but it consumes a great deal of valuable time with little apparent result.
The accounts from Washington appear a little more favorable to a settlement today. But there is no knowing. Afternoon, reading a volume on Banking by Mr. Raguet of Philadelphia which Mr. Hunt has sent to me with a pamphlet by Mr. Sullivan.1 Evening, Mr. Brooks came in and passed a couple of hours, after which I went on with my Lecture.
1. Condy Raguet’s Treatise on Currency and Banking, Phila., 1839, is at MQA. Freeman Hunt’s letter of 9 Dec. is in Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-15

Sunday. 15th.

Cloudy with snow, rain and a very heavy gale. Exercises as usual. At home.
This was the first day of real winter and it brought with it all the worst accompaniments of the season. Snow, then heavy rain and finally the severest winds we have had for a great while.
I attended divine service all day notwithstanding and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Acts 18. 17. “And Gallio cared for none of those things.” A sermon upon the tendency of the day to contentious disputations about trifles, I suppose having reference to the controversies now going on between many of the Unitarian clergy. In the afternoon a very brief discussion of the text in Ecclesiastes 1. 2. “Vanity of vanities all is vanity.”
The wind was so furious as to twist my umbrella in a moment, and to bring down signs so that it was hardly safe to walk in the Streets. Read a sermon in the English preacher from Titus 3. 1. “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers to obey magistrates.” A sensible and judicious discourse by a Mr. Osborne upon obedience to the laws and authority of Rulers. Went on with my Lecture. The Storm lulled for a time but recommenced at about eleven o’clock in such a manner that I feared to go to bed, thinking some of the windows might be blown in. I have not within my experience any knowledge of such a tornado.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-16

Monday 16th.

Snow all day with high wind. Office for an hour, day at home.
The Storm lulled at about one o’clock this morning but the snow continued falling all day and evening and the wind though moderated was still high.
I remained at home engaged in my usual occupation for an hour after breakfast, that is, making a thorough classification of my collection of coins and medals. This is of far greater value than I had imagined, and I am constantly occupied in improving it without incurring too heavy expense. My time at the Office is my least profitable time.
Read Sophocles, I find I have still much to do to master the whole force of the text, but it grows easier to me at every trial. Afternoon Mr. Raguet’s book on Banking, and Evening at home reading Walpole’s letters which are very amusing. Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-17

Tuesday 17th.

Fine, distribution as usual. Company at dinner and in the evening.
A beautiful winter’s day. Office where I had but little leisure. My letter to my Mother has now remained in statu quo so long that I must give it up and try again. The accounts from Washington show the same state of disorganization that has existed all along. One thing seems to me very certain that the Administration have not a clear manageable majority of the House, and they must make terms. Read a difficult chorus in the Oedipus tyrannus.
Afternoon I had Mr. Brooks, Edward and Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham to dinner, and expected Mrs. Gray and Mrs. Hall from Medford who however disappointed us. It was as well that they did for just as dinner was served my man was taken ill and we had to get on as well as we could. We did get through better than I expected. Elizabeth C. Adams with us in the evening. After which I was still busy with my Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-18

Wednesday. 18th.

Clear and fine weather. Time as usual. Evening at E. Brooks’.
The Storm appears to have cleared the air and given us fine winter’s weather. I was at the Office but had no opportunity to go on with my letter which must be abandoned. Two Tenants, came and overpowered me with words. Walk to the Athenaeum and thence round home, but I { 344 } neglect my exercise a great deal too much. Read about seventy lines of Oedipus Tyrannus.
After dinner looked over Pinkerton on medals and the first volume of the Memoirs of the Academy of Inscriptions.1 Read with my boy John as usual. Evening paid a visit to Edward Brooks and his Wife. Nothing very new. Then went on with the Lecture.
1. At MQA is CFA’s copy of John Pinkerton, Essay on Medals, 2 vols., London, 1789; also 4 vols. (Amsterdam, 1719–1736) of the Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Histoire, avec les mémoires de littérature, which was ultimately published as 50 vols., Paris, 1701–1793.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-19

Thursday 19th.

Cold and clear. Time divided as usual. Evening at home.
The account from Washington is that a Speaker has been at last chosen, Mr. Hunter of Virginia, a young man never spoken of at the commencement of the session. This has been done by the union of the Nullifying interest of Mr. Calhoun, dissatisfied with the hostility to them of Mr. Benton by which Mr. Pickens and Mr. Lewis were successively rejected as candidates for the situation, with the Whig party which threw it’s whole force with remarkable energy and precision. What the result of this movement may be, it is not possible to foretell, but the blow is a severe one against the Administration and may lead to it’s downfall. I do not know what to think of it in other respects, for Harrison is a poor creature as a leader enough.
At work at Office. Short walk. Oedipus Tyrannus which as usual furnishes me with my pleasantest reading. How much pleasanter than the excitement of political contest.
After dinner finished the articles upon medals in the first volume of the Memoirs of the Academy of Inscriptions as well as something of Pinkerton. My Wife was quite sick with a bad head ach all day so as to be obliged to go to bed, and I wrote all the evening upon my Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-20

Friday. 20th.

Cold but clear. Division as usual. Evening at home.
I do not know whether I have said that my occupation for one hour after breakfast every morning is in making a catalogue of my Cabinet of my Cabinet of coins and medals. This is interesting as connected with the fine set of Roman Silver which I have acquired.
Then to the Office where I received some letters from my mother and felt bound to do my best to answer them. So I sat down and de• { 345 } voted my remaining time and continued at home in the Afternoon until it was a very poor letter finished.1 An hour of Greek as usual. Read some of Pinkerton. Evening Walpole and the Lecture which goes on increasing when too long already.
1. The letters of LCA were of the 13th and 15th; these, with CFA’s to LCA of the 20th, are in the Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-21

Saturday 21st.

Moderating. Distribution as usual. Dine with Mr. Brooks. Evening at home.
I devoted my time to the usual course of morning proceedings. At the Office. Deacon Spear came in, and I had an application to repeat my old Lecture from the Managers of the Franklin Lectures, on Monday Evening at the Masonic Temple. These are now mere common place matters, that excite about as much attention as a Sunday Sermon.
Took a brisk walk round the Common and felt better for it. Then home reading Oedipus. Dined with Mr. Brooks. Nobody there but the family. That is Edward and Chardon and the three sons in law. Pleasant enough. The first dinner in the new house.1 Home to tea and quiet evening. Walpole, after which, on with the Lecture.
1. Peter C. Brooks had purchased the residence of Daniel Webster (above, entry for 4 May), along with the furnishings. Brooks’ former home on Pearl Street would become the residence of his son Gorham. Although Brooks took possession following purchase, he did not begin his occupancy of the house until his return to the city in November from his Medford residence (Brooks, Waste Book, 6, 14 June, 26 Nov., 31 Dec. 1839; above, entry for 13 Nov.).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-22

Sunday 22d.

Cloudy and wind. The usual exercises. Evening to Mrs. S. C. Gray’s.
A very dark day for a short one making it still shorter. I had a brief lesson with my children, for I am now bringing my eldest boy John into train. Then attended divine service.
Heard Dr. Frothingham in the morning from Luke 2. 40. “And the child grew.” A sort of Christmas sermon which did not seize upon my attention as much as I wish. Afternoon, Mr. Ware from the same book 17. 21. “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.” Perhaps it would be a good plan to analyze the grounds for inattention to moral discourses. I cannot command myself at all. Read a sermon in the English preacher being the last of the fifth volume, and by a certain Dr. { 346 } Mackewen from 2 Timothy 4. 7.8. “I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith,” &ca. too long to quote but indicative of a termination of a career of usefulness and piety. Took a good walk between services.
Evening Edmund Quincy came in and took tea. He is so curious that I do not care to have much intimacy with him. So many topics upon which we cannot venture to talk with him, and so few in which we can agree. He talked much about T. K. Davis from whose account of him I rather infer he is insane. We afterwards went over to see Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Gray. Several persons there who settled down to Mr. and Mrs. Pratt and F. Gray. Pleasant evening and then home to continue Lecture.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-23

Monday 23rd.

Clouds and light snow. Office as usual. Evening Lecture.
The weather was dull and gloomy all day. I occupied myself much as usual, in drawing up old Leases and so forth. There is some little news from Europe which does not however very much alter the state of the case in this country. We shall have hard times next year.
I went home and read eighty five lines of Oedipus. I am on the whole well satisfied with the review for it gives me a much more full conception of the force of the play. Afternoon, Pinkerton. I propose now to turn my attention to the MS again which I have remitted for so long.
Evening, Mr. Brigham called at my House and accompanied me to the Masonic Temple where was a middling collection of persons among whom I recognized but few acquaintances. I was favorably received, and delivered my Lecture as successfully as ever. I thought the readings were more effective than I had known them. This is the sixth time I have delivered it, always very successfully and yet with little apparent increase of audiences. Returned home before nine, and went on with my Lecture on credit.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-24

Tuesday. 24th.

Mild and cloudy. Office. Evening at Dr. Frothingham’s.
After my usual course of occupation in medals I went to the Office and spent my time in making up Arrears of Diary and finishing the drawing out of some Leases which I have had some time on my hands. The streets were wet and I did not walk. Home where I read the Oedipus. I find I can read about eighty lines in an hour so as fully to understand them.
{ 347 }
Afternoon I began upon the work of the MS again but the time is so short as to make my progress not very rapid. I did not even get through a single letter. Read a little of Pinkerton who has some learning but a little Scotch captiousness.
Evening, went down to see Dr. and Mrs. Frothingham found there Mr. Brooks, and W. G. Brooks, and Mr. Foster. Pleasant conversation and then home. Continued the Lecture which is now drawing to a conclusion for the fourth time and is again much varied from what it was.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-25

Wednesday 25th.

Clear, lovely day. Office. Museum with the boys. Evening, children at the house.
This is Christmas Day. A day of great festivity in many parts of the world but one which is not much celebrated here. I went to the Office and passed an hour, but returned home early in order to take my boys with me to the New England Museum, a place which hardly deserves it’s character. Yet it is much better than it used to be when I went there many years ago. There is not so much that is positively offensive. The boys were much delighted but I noticed with pleasure that they rather sought the exhibitions of stuffed animals than the wax figures and trash. The whole thing is however very much dilapidated.1 We returned home and I read a hundred lines of Oedipus. Received today from my mother a present of a tea set of old china which will I hope gratify my Wife. Wrote on my Manuscripts and finished Pinkerton’s first volume. Evening, the children of Mrs. Frothingham and Mrs. Everett had a little Christmas party at our house. Dr. and Mrs. F. with us. Lecture nearly done.
1. The New England Museum, located on Court Street between Brattle Street and Cornhill, had been established in 1825 as successor to the Columbian Museum, which had been founded in 1795 and had been at Tremont and Bromfield streets since 1806. In 1839 the Museum was acquired by a new owner, Moses Kimball, and this perhaps occasioned the present visit (Samuel G. Drake, History and Antiquities of Boston, Boston, 1856, p. 806, 814). An account of the wax figures in the museum as they were in an earlier day is in Winsor, Memorial History of Boston, 4:10.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-26

Thursday 26th.

A lovely day. Division of time as usual. Evening at home.
After my usual time passed in coins, about four or six of which I succeed in investigating daily, I go to the Office, and what little spare { 348 } time I get from the Newspapers and business I devote to Storch whose book I am trying to read. At the Athenaeum and from thence home where I go on with Oedipus. Miss Smith dined and spent the evening with us. On with the MS and with the Notes on Storch. Nothing very new. Evening, Walpole and the Lecture. Time monotonous enough.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-27

Friday 27th.

Cloudy. Time distributed as usual. Evening at home.
This season of the year commonly passes with much uniformity, but I think there is more this year even than usual. I work upon coins, then go to the Office and upon my return read Greek with great regularity.
The President’s Message arrived today to enliven us but unluckily it contains nothing but a long and unsatisfactory argument upon credit and banking which results in nothing. I am more and more impressed with the nothingness of his policy.
Afternoon, copying and Pinkerton. Evening, Walpole and Lecture. We had another severe gale all night.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-28

Saturday 28th.

Clear and cloudy. Time as usual. Evening at home. H. G. Gorham.
I went to the Office as usual. Time passed in ordinary way. The storm of last night is thought even more severe than that a fortnight since. It certainly had more effect upon my house as it unloosed all the lead on the ridge causing it to leak badly. The damage in the harbour and bay is very great. Home to read Oedipus. Afternoon as usual. H. G. Gorham came in for an hour in the evening. I finished my Lecture again.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-29

Sunday. 29th.

Windy and cold. Exercises as usual. Evening, visitors. Call to see Mr. Brooks.
The weather is very tempestuous this season. After my usual exercise with my daughter, I attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham from Revelation 4. 1. “And I heard a voice which said come up hither.” Very good but I liked the Afternoon sermon better from 2 Peter 5[3]. 6.7 and 8, too long to extract but bearing upon the notion of a Millenium which has lately been revived by one or two preachers who hold forth among the illiterate about here.1 The notion of a deluge as a fact of early occurrence is universally impressed upon man• { 349 } kind by the concurrence of all races of men, that of a termination of the world by fire at some future time is also an impression which has been general. The thing has been predicted to happen extremely often but has always failed and there is no more reason for believing any special moment than there ever was. The millenium too has been a favorite idea with many great minds, but in this as in all other things the true course is to trust to divine providence.
Read a sermon by Tillotson from Philip[pians] 3. 20. “For our conversation is in heaven.” The preparation for a future state is one of the points most essential for the regulation of this life. I am rather surprised at the reputation which Tillotson has earned for his discourses appear to me in the highest degree common. Thomas and Francis Frothingham came up to tea, after which we made a short visit to see Mr. Brooks.
1. That is, the adventist followers of William Miller, or Millerites, who were currently preaching a second coming in 1843. Among the followers of Miller in Boston, Joshua Vaughan Hines was the most prominent (DAB). The subject is renewed in the entry of 23 Feb., below.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-30

Monday 30th.

Clear and very cold. Office as usual. Nothing new. Evening, W. C. Gorham.
I devoted my time much as usual. Nothing very material of any novelty. Mr. Gilpin sent me an early copy of the President’s Message, which is civil. I feel half inclined to review it which would be much otherwise. Home to read Oedipus which goes on pretty swimmingly. Letter from my Mother in not very good spirits.1
Afternoon, reading Storch in fifth volume of Notes. I find a striking coincidence with my views. Looking over Bank Abstract also. Much change for the better since 1836 but property is all down now and incomes are exceedingly shortened.2
Evening, W. C. Gorham made us a visit which he has not before done for a long while. He is pleasant but much thrown away. Evening, writing MS.
1. 23 Dec., Adams Papers.
2. By Massachusetts law, the governor annually issued a circular requiring returns from each bank in the state showing its condition in some detail. The returns were processed by the secretary of the commonwealth and an abstract printed, primarily for the use of the legislature. Title and format varied somewhat from year to year. That for 1839 read “Abstract Exhibiting the Condition of the Banks in Massachusetts, on the first Saturday of November, 1839; prepared from official returns.” Because the economy had been severely depressed in 1837 and 1838, CFA’s thought was that comparison with 1836 would provide a truer picture of the current situation.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0002-0012-0031

Author: CFA
Date: 1839-12-31

Tuesday 31st.

Clear and continues very cold. Office and Auction. Evening to Edward Brooks’.
The weather seems to be now setting in for winter. After my usual time devoted to coins, I went to the Office but did not remain there long as I was attracted to an auction where were to be sold a great many things suitable for the New Year. Nothing could satisfy one more of the difficulty of the times than the rate at which things go at Auction. If a person happens to have ready money, this is the high season for it. But I am not one of those, though I was much tempted and actually did succumb in many cases. Nothing otherwise remarkable.
Home to read Oedipus. After dinner, Storch with whom I do not much get on. Studying out the President’s Message. I am afraid I cannot give the time to it which it deserves. Evening to see Edward Brooks and his Wife where we had a pleasant hour of conversation. Then home after which I wrote.
Thus finishes the year 1839 and another decimal figure will appear upon the roll of time. When I look back upon it, it presents to me the same gratifying return which has marked its predecessors. I have been happy and fortunate if under divine providence such a term may be used. I have had occasion to remember how suddenly we may be plunged in this life from one condition to another, as well in the wonderful escape from a horrible accident of my own child in May last, as in the melancholy end of my niece Fanny. My family has been unusually blessed with health and my labours such as they have been met with their full deserts. On the whole, I have only to submit myself to God in humble adoration, and in supplication that he will not deal with me according to my Offences, but will accept the tribute of a grateful heart in lieu of my unworthiness.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-01

January 1840.
Wednesday 1st.

The New Year opened with cold. I look upon it and upon myself and when I reflect upon the future, and what it may bring, I recoil as if it could not continue what has been hitherto so bountifully given me. This is not the right feeling for a Christian, but in truth there is { 351 } danger of my being spoiled by prosperity. I strive to remember that life is a path of trouble, vicissitude and danger, and that the most cautious steps in the progress are the safest and yet in them there is no certainty without the guidance of a higher power. To this I trust far more than to myself or the world.
After a little time devoted to coins, I went out and was engaged pretty busily most of my morning in money affairs. I accomplished the payment of my Mortgage to the Mass. Life Ins. Co. although at a moment of all others, perhaps the most inconvenient to myself. In order to effect I was obliged to borrow of Mr. Brooks a portion of the sum he was kind enough to lend on my own terms. Indeed when I called for it today he offered to make me a gift of it, but I declined upon the ground that I might appear to beg it and asked him to treat me exactly upon the footing of an ordinary debtor. This he at last agreed to do. He is very generous to his children, and as I am not one excepting indirectly by marriage I feel myself much bound to take no advantage of my situation.
The morning thus passed off. I returned home and continued reading Oedipus tyrannus. After dinner Storch’s fifth volume, but I do not turn my time to best account. Evening at home very quietly. Nothing further.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-02

Thursday 2d.

Cold quite severe. Time distributed as usual. Evening at home.
I was so much taken up all the morning with the important task of paying bills that I hardly had a moment for any other kind of occupation. They come in so thick and heavy that it is very difficult for me to find the wherewith to meet them, especially as my father’s resources do not yet for some time come in.
Home where I read Oedipus. The rest of the day passed as usual. It is impossible to be more monotonous than we are this year. Not the slightest variety. I read to the children at home in books suitable to them and then read to my Wife from Walpole’s Letters, which are quite amusing and lastly write something or other upon the President’s Message. But whether to publish or not I have as yet great scruples.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-03

Friday 3d.

Cold. Time as usual. Evening at Governor Everett’s.
My record has nothing to vary it from preceding days. I went to the { 352 } Office and although not at all incommoded with duns as I was yesterday yet had so much to do in bringing up accounts that I found it impossible to bring up my Diary which is falling into arrears.
Home after a sharp walk. Finished the Oedipus Tyrannus which has given me much gratification to read. I think it a masterpiece of dramatic construction. Afternoon Storch.
Evening to see Governor and Mrs. Everett. Nobody there but the family, Dr. and Mrs. Palfrey, and Mrs. Hunt a lady known to them with her children, Mrs. Hale and her children and Mr. H. Chapman who plastered me with flattery and talked as fast and as superficially as ever. Return home at ten, pleasant enough.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-04

Saturday 4th.

Cold. The winter appears to be set in. Time as usual. Evening at home.
After my usual time in coins I went to Market and Office. Plenty of calls for money which I answered as fast as I was able. Home after a walk. Began Oedipus Coloneus, a play which I thought the most poetical of those of Sophocles when I read it before. The remainder of the day as usual.
My record will soon decline to a single line. I ought however to have mentioned that I received another application to repeat my Lecture, by the Lyceum through their Secretary Mr. George T. Bigelow. This I consider as somewhat a victory, for two years ago when Mr. Everett, Mr. Bancroft and myself were in succession before the Historical Society and not unequally successful, the former two were immediately called to repeat at the Lyceum and I was left out. I have overcome scruples since. Evening at home. Sent one paper on the Message.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-05

Sunday. 5th.

Moderating. Services as usual. Evening at home.
The day was dark and I was up so late as to be quite unable to finish my usual lesson with my daughter before service. Attended as usual and heard Dr. Frothingham all day from Psalms 90. 5. “As with a flood” and from Acts 26. 27. “I know that thou believest.” Very good both of them but my mind has fallen into so unsettled a state that I do not attend quite as well as I used to do. The passage of time and the new year seemed to me to be described in the former sermon, first by regarding the flood from antiquity and then from the future. In endeavoring to analyze the causes of the defects of interest in most of Dr. { 353 } Frothingham’s discourses, I know none more striking than that his laboured attempt at novelty of thought removes him too much from the reach of most men whose mental path is commonly a very beaten track. The motto from Terence, Homo Sum, is one which no speaker should keep out of his mind.1
Afternoon, read in the English Preacher, a discourse by the Revd. Mr. Leechman upon Prayer, its uses and advantages and the duty of praying, Matthew 26. 41. “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” A very sensible and judicious discourse. Evening at home. Continued Walpole’s Letters which are extremely amusing. After which I went on with my comments upon the President’s Message.
1. For the motto, see above, entry of 13 Aug. 1838.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-06

Monday 6th.

Clear and cold. To Cambridge—Examination, return. Afternoon at home. Evening writing.
We arose much earlier than usual in order that I might be ready to start for Cambridge upon the usual examination. Judge Merril and Mr. Cleaveland in the Carriage with me. The examination was of the Junior Class in the Clouds of Aristophanes and was far better than I had expected. So formidable an idea had I entertained of the difficulty of the text that I had feared to go out, but upon reading the piece following the class, I was not only agreeably disappointed as to the difficulty but moreover very much amused by the piece itself. It has a comic humor in it which I did not fully appreciate in the translation published by Mitchell and made by Cumberland.1 The Class appeared exceedingly well. At dinner we were stupid and I missed the old company on the Committee.2 Home. The remainder of the day and evening passed as usual.
1. A copy of Richard Cumberland’s translation published by Thomas Mitchell (2 vols., Phila., 1822) is at MQA.
2. Judge James Cushing Merrill and George Stillman Hillard had been on the examining committee most frequently with CFA. Others who had served included Rev. Francis Cunningham, CFA’s classmate, and John Chipman Gray.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-07

Tuesday. 7th.

Clear. Office and usual distribution. Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s.
My paper of criticism upon the Message appeared in The Courier of this morning.1 “Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle.”
Office where I am engaged and distressed with accounts. My affairs { 354 } look more discouragingly than I have ever known them since I was a responsible person. This will not do. I must turn over a new leaf respecting them. Circumstances have contributed to bring a great pressure of accounts upon the present Quarter with small means to meet them, and I fear there is not much prospect of their improvement. But on the other hand the necessary expenses of life are much diminished. I think I will rid myself by a positive effort of the amount of debt which presses upon me.
Reading Oedipus Coloneus. Afternoon at home. Evening to Dr. Frothingham’s where were the family. Conversation much as usual.
1. On p. 2, cols. 1–2, and continued in the same space in the issue of the 9th; both unsigned.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-08

Wednesday 8th.

Clear and fine. Office. Time as usual. Evening at home.
After the time usually devoted to the study of coins, I was at the Office and had little time beyond what was necessary for the disposition of accounts. They harrass me considerably and will compel me to sacrifice some stock. The loss of income from Manufacturing property and from one of my small houses is also very inconvenient. But I suppose in these times I must have my share of inconveniences and put up with them.
Home where I read Oedipus Coloneus. My antiquities give me my most agreeable occupations. After dinner continue Storch. Evening at home. Writing without success.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-09

Thursday 9th.

Fine day. To Cambridge. Home. Afternoon reading. Evening, Lecture. Mr. Brooks’.
Early rising to go to Cambridge in company with Judge Merril, for an examination of the Sophomore class in the Iliad of Homer. The result was as bad as that on Monday was satisfactory. I think it a little singular that the recitations in Homer have been uniformly so indifferent. It rather argues a neglect of easy books. I find Parker of whom much was expected appeared badly.1 The College Government have granted the Committees leave to take books from the library which is a great thing and I immediately availed myself of it. Returned home at three. Afternoon, reading.
In the evening I went down to the Odeon and according to my agreement again delivered the Lecture which I have already been { 355 } through so often. The place is a very different one from any which I have heretofore tried. It has more of the appearance of a popular assembly and the Lecturer, of a theatrical performer. I had some doubts about my voice, which excited me to make an unusual effort. I think I succeeded well although the audience was not so quickly moved as it had been at previous times. There was here as on the former occasion at the Masonic Temple one single manifestation of disapprobation, I know not for what. The house was very full and the applause quite considerable. From here I went to Mr. Brooks’ where were Edward and his Wife, and my Wife. Pleasant hour and then return home.
1. Apparently the reference is to Henry Tuke Parker, Harvard 1842, whose later career was distinguished (Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-10

Friday 10th.

Fine day. Time distributed as usual. Evening at home.
We arose early in case of being called to go to Cambridge as I had agreed to fill a vacant place but the contingency did not happen so I devoted the time to medals.
Office as usual. Nothing very new. As the period approaches for going to New York I feel more and more disinclined to go. After all what is popular applause in this country but an ignis fatuus which will mislead us forever from the true point of selfcontent.
Home to read Oedipus Coloneus which I find I did not read very thoroughly before. It is however a fine play and if to be considered as the production of extreme old age is wonderful. For my afternoons I have taken a lazy fit and indulge in miscellanies. I cannot even screw myself up to finishing the commentaries of the Message. Evening Walpole.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-11

Saturday 11th.

Cloudy. Office. Division as usual. Evening at home.
I went through the usual course of occupation today. Wrote two letters, one to Mr. Johnson requesting of him to draw upon me,1 and one to Mr. Ward to know exactly what the terms are upon which I am to go to New York.2 I do not care for this going out to warfare at my own charges. Nothing new excepting that as I was returning home I stopped in for a moment to see Warren the virtuoso and he told me that he had just arrived from Washington and that Louisa was sick when he left.
{ 356 }
Home to read Oedipus Coloneus. The rest of the day passed in luxurious desultory reading. Evening as Louisa had two or three of her School friends, I took the opportunity to continue my copying of MS which goes on rather sluggishly. Charles rather unwell.
1. CFA to T. B. Johnson, LbC, Adams Papers.
2. CFA to Elijah Ward, LbC, Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-12

Sunday 12th.

Clouds and snow. Exercises as usual. Evening at home.
My regular lesson with my children, for John is now coming in to read the Bible with his sister. After which attended divine service and heard in the morning Dr. Frothingham from Psalms 100. 5. “And not we ourselves.” I am ashamed to say what a slight impression it made upon me. Afternoon Mr. Bartol from 1. Thessalonians 5. 16.17. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.” The union of the two as forming cheerful religion was the theme of his discourse. It had good and bad points in it.
The day was so uncomfortable that I did not walk. Miss Welsh brought in quite an alarming account of the condition of Louisa at Washington, which was procured through Mrs. Lawrence. I am deeply concerned for it. For I know not what the result would be to my father, and mother, whose relaxation is all now in that child. My own children were all more or less ailing today. This with the state of my private concerns makes me gloomy. Yet my trust is ever in the Deity that he will not deal with us entirely according to our sins.
Read another discourse by Mr. Leechman upon prayer in continuation of the last. Job 21. 15. “What profit would we have if we pray unto him.” Upon the advantages of prayer and a general answer to the common objections. We spent the evening at home dull enough. Read some imaginary conversations by Walter S. Landor, conceited dogmatical and unsound.1
1. CFA’s earlier reading of Imaginary Conversations produced a similar reaction (vol. 6:131).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-13

Monday 13th.

Snow and clouds. Distribution as usual. Evening to Edward Brooks.
The day was dark and gloomy and I felt somewhat with the weather. After my usual time in coins I went to the Office and devoted my time to filling up the arrears of Diary which last week had created. Received a letter from my mother giving encouraging accounts. Her letter is { 357 } short but it gives me reason to believe that Louisa’s illness has been exceedingly serious.1 Thence to the Athenaeum.
Home to read Oedipus Coloneus, but what with my own children, my affairs and the accounts from Washington I was very much depressed. After dinner, The Townley Gallery in the publications of the Society for diffusing knowledge.2
Evening, went to Edward Brooks’. Mr. and Mrs. Dutton Russel there but nothing new. Talk of T. K. Davis who from all accounts is I am afraid decidedly deranged. Home and read Landor.
1. To the family in Washington, still distraught over the death of Georgeanna Frances, the illness of her sister Louisa had overwhelmed them by the “apparent similarity of the cases.” Louisa had suffered from “inflamation of the bowels and bladder,” severe pain, and high fever. However, “the doctor says the two cases differ and that at the present time all is favorable” (LCA to ABA, 9 Jan., Adams Papers). Later letters report convalescence and recovery (same to CFA, 21 Jan.; to ABA, 26 Jan., 20 Feb., all in Adams Papers).
2. The volumes on the Townley Gallery in the British Museum are in the Library of Entertaining Knowledge of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-14

Tuesday 14th.

Clear. Division as usual. Evening at home.
There is nothing new. Even politics do not appear to furnish any variety. The world wags quietly. Office engaged in accounts and from thence to the Athenaeum where I rather wasted my time. Desultory, miscellaneous reading in a library is among the most fascinating of all pleasures to me although it creates rather superficial knowledge.
Home to read Oedipus Coloneus. I do not get on very fast with it. Afternoon the Townley Gallery, and Law’s Essay on Money and trade.1 My Wife went with Mrs. Story to Medford to spend the evening with Mrs. Gray, and I devoted the time to a thorough revision of my Lecture on credit which I find long. Began Prescott’s Ferdinand and Isabella.2
1. John Law’s Money and Trade Considered, with a Proposal for Supplying the Nation with Money, first published in Edinburgh, 1709, is in vol. 13 of John Somers, Collection of Tracts, London, 1815.
2. A copy of the 3-vol., Boston, 1840, edn. of William Hickling Prescott’s History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella is in MQA.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-15

Wednesday 15th.

Clear. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s.
Time passes fast and brings on with it my projected journey to New York which I face with more and more ill will. Office. Nothing done.
{ 358 }
I forgot to say yesterday that I attended a meeting of The Suffolk Insurance Co. yesterday in which I found that we were called upon to sacrifice above a quarter part of the Stock. This was the very measure which was last year resisted. And a whole year has done little or nothing for the Stock. Well, this is bad like every thing else at present.
Nothing material. Home to read Oedipus after a visit to the Athenaeum. Afternoon, Law upon Money and trade, and the Townley Gallery. Evening, we went down to see Dr. and Mrs. Frothingham. Pleasant conversation. And return, growing very cold. Prescott’s Ferdinand and Isabella.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-16

Thursday 16th.

Severely cold. Distribution as usual. Evening at home. Dr. Palfrey.
The morning was the sharpest we have had. I went to the Office. Distressing intelligence came of the loss of the Steamer Lexington by fire with every one on board but three. As there were many passengers belonging to Boston it came on this cold morning like a chilling blast. There has never been in this vicinity any accident at all to compare with this and the sensation made upon the public was quite equal to it.1 It comes peculiarly to me now at this moment when I am about to make the passage myself. But my trust is in the Deity who if it is his will, is likely to call for my life just as certainly on shore as at sea.
Home after making a call upon Mr. Webster a day after the fair.2 Reading Oedipus which I go through with slowly. After dinner the Townley Gallery and Law. Evening at home, reading a new home [book?]. Dr. Palfrey made us a short but pleasant visit. He wishes me to write again for the Review. I should like to but know not what to take. Continued Prescott.
1. Accounts of the burning of the Lexington on 13 Jan. in Long Island Sound appeared in the Boston Courier, 17 Jan., p. 2, col. 2; 18 Jan., p. 2, cols. 1–2.
2. The editors can throw no light on “the fair” nor on Daniel Webster’s suggested connection with it.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-17

Friday 17th.

Extremely cold. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mr. Lothrop’s.
I this morning finished my catalogue of the collection of silver of ancient Rome which I possess and in making it, my opinion of it’s value has much risen.
Office. Received more details of the extraordinary disaster of the Lexington. It turns out that there were not quite so many on board but { 359 } of these several of Boston, well known and much respected. Dr. Follen, Mr. Abraham Howard, Mrs. Russel Jarvis and others. The incident is among the most distressing.
Received a letter from New York and wrote in answer that I would try to get on.1 But the boats are all deranged and I hardly know how to manage it. Oedipus Coloneus making great progress.
After dinner, the Townley Gallery and finishing John Law. Evening at Mr. S. K. Lothrop’s. Nobody but the family and Dr. and Mrs. Palfrey. Rather dull.
1. The lecture on “Credit” planned for delivery in New York before the Mercantile Library Association had presented problems to CFA almost from its inception (entries for 7, 18 Sept. 1839, above). He had completed in the intervening months no fewer than four versions, none of which entirely satisfied him (above, entries for 30 Nov., 10, 24 Dec.). By the time he had completed a revision of the fourth draft (entry for 14 Jan., above), he had already written to Elijah Ward (11 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers) again expressing his doubts as to the appropriateness of the lecture for the occasion and his concerns about its length. He offered Ward a choice once more. He would, if desired, reserve the paper for publication and deliver the lecture on AA, a proven success. Ward replied on the 15th (Adams Papers) expressing a preference for the lecture on AA. CFA’s present response of the 17th has not been found, but it is clear that he acceded to Ward’s view (below, entry for 23 Jan.). The undelivered lecture, “The Principles of Credit by Charles Francis Adams,” was printed in the March issue of Hunt’s Merchants’ Mag., 2:185–210, with a headnote: “The following lecture was originally prepared for the Mercantile Library Association, but as when finished it appeared too long, and in some portions too abstract, for delivery as a lecture, the author substituted another in its place, reserving it, however, in its original form, for publication in our Magazine.”

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-18

Saturday 18th.

Cold. Distribution as usual. Evening at home.
My morning was very much taken up in making the necessary arrangements prior to leaving town. After the best information I could get upon the subject I find it will be necessary for me to go to New York over land. Accounts &ca.
The affair of the Lexington appears to be making a very deep sensation here. The cold weather which set in immediately after the accident deprives most of the passengers of the little chance they might otherwise have had.
Home where I read Oedipus. Afternoon as Dr. Palfrey sent me the number of the New York Review in which is contained an article which he desired me to notice I took it up and read it. The subject will need some investigation but will I think, do.1 Evening at home.
1. John Gorham Palfrey, editor of the North Amer. Rev., had brought to CFA’s attention the article in the New York Rev. for Jan. 1840 entitled “The Politics of the Puritans.” From his investigation of the subject would come an article; see entries of 28 and 30 Jan., 9 Feb., below.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-19

Sunday 19th.

Moderating. Exercises as usual. Evening H. G. Gorham.
The weather looked a little moderating today though still severe enough. After my exercises with my daughter, I attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from 1. Samuel 20. 3. “There is but a step between me and death.” A very beautiful and touching discourse upon the late conflagration of the Lexington which drew tears from most of the audience. There were several persons on board who had been much connected with this congregation, Mrs. Jarvis and children and Mr. Finn the actor as well as Dr. Follen. I know of nothing which has lately happened here that has brought to the soul of every body such a harrowing sensation. At the Post Office today there were accounts of two more saved.
Afternoon, sermon from Isaiah 44. 16. “I am warm, I have seen the fire.” Upon the cold from a text too remarkable not to recall the fact of it’s being a repetition. Read a sermon by Mr. Tidcombe in the English Preacher from Psalms 73. 3. “For I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Upon the unequal distribution of good and evil as we see it in this life. A fruitful topic for commonplace.
Evening H. G. Gorham spent an hour with us, and I went to bed early as it seemed from the accounts very clear that I must get to New York tomorrow overland.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-20

Monday 20th.

[Hartford]
Mild. Ride to Springfield and thence to Hartford.
Before day break I arose and prepared myself for my Journey. Took breakfast and rode to the depot of the Worcester Railroad, from thence at 7 o’clock I started in one of the cars. The day was cloudy but mild and it cleared before night.
There was nobody there whom I knew excepting Mr. Lemist a person who formerly kept a shop in Washington Street, and who is going to New York to find some traces of the body of his brother, who was one of the sufferers in the Lexington. We arrived at Worcester at about ten and went immediately forward to Springfield. The interior is heavily covered with snow and presents a very wintry appearance. But this is an easy way of travelling such a long distance.
We arrived at Springfield a little after one o’clock and having taken { 361 } a very hasty dinner at a poor house we took stages or rather sleighs to go to Hartford. The road is through a series of pretty turns along the bank of the river and even at this season of the year is a pleasant ride. There were in the sleigh, Mr. N. Thayer, Broker of Boston, brother of J. E. Thayer and the Revd. L. Everett a Universalist minister formerly settled in Charlestown but now in Middletown, Connecticut. They made the ride amusing. We reached Hartford after dark and found very comfortable accommodations at the City Hotel.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-21

Tuesday. 21st.

New York
Cold and clear. Ride to New Haven and thence to New York.
We were roused at four o’clock which to me was no inconvenience as for some reason or other I had heard the clock strike two, three and four without getting to sleep. After dressing we were carried down to the Depot or rather to the terminus of the Railroad to New Haven and got into the cars as they stood in the open air. There was no fire in them and it was in all respects cheerless and uncomfortable enough. We however had the consolation of finding what used to be a tedious journey quite a short process and of arriving at New Haven to breakfast.
But here our troubles began, for we found that the Steamboat did not go nor was it likely to go so we had to make up our minds to go overland. This road is one which for many years I have not passed over, but when I did, it left indelible traces in my memory of discomfort so that I was prepared to expect the same today. I was not disappointed. The sleighs were poor, the delays vexatious and the stops uncomfortable so that it was two o’clock in the morning when we were turned into the street at No. 21 Bowery with not a single soul to look to nor any accommodation to get to a hotel.
After some delay we picked up a black fellow who was straggling about and followed him and our trunks to the Astor House which we reached at ten minutes before two o’clock. In passing along I could not help being struck with the lonely character of the streets. I did not imagine that New York ever was so quiet. And the only sign of life was at Tammany Hall where there was a brilliant illumination and ball. The contrast was striking enough.1
1. The Astor House, five stories of Quincy granite, occupied the block fronting Broadway from Barclay to Vesey street. Begun in 1834, the hotel was opened in 1836 and continued in operation at that site until 1913 (Stokes, Ico• { 362 } nography of Manhattan Island, 5:1727, 1741). Tammany Hall had been built during 1811–1812 on the southeast corner of Nassau and Frankfort streets and would remain as the “Great Wigwam” until 1867 (same, p. 1533–1534, 1543).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-22

Wednesday 22d.

Rain hail and snow. Walking. Evening at Clinton Hall.
The sleep of a few hours was not refreshing to me inasmuch as waking brought with it the consciousness of a sharp head ach. The weather was bad being snowy and on the whole the aspect of things cheerless enough. After a light breakfast I walked out, to see if Sidney Brooks had started, and upon calling at his store found that he left town yesterday.
The snow began to turn into rain and I found no acquaintances and no sign of an inquiry on the part of the Mercantile Library Association if I was there. I do not remember in my life that I ever felt more dolefully. My fear that I should be utterly unable to execute my engagement at all aggravated my uneasiness very much. I starved myself and this probably prevented my being obliged to give up entirely. But finding things so out of joint and myself so poorly I set about inquiring the readiest means of getting away, and finally engaged a seat in the stage going out tomorrow morning.
This done I called to see Hunt the publisher of The Merchants’ Magazine and set him in quest of Mr. Ward who finally called to see me at five o’clock. He notified me of his abdication and that the new President would call with himself at 7 o’clock to take me to Clinton Hall. Accordingly we went at the specified hour, the rain pouring in torrents.
Clinton Hall is a neat building erected for the accommodation of this Society and contains a Lecture Room, Library and Reading Room, besides a small room for the Directors into which I was introduced.1 But I soon found by various whisperings among the young men that there was no audience. They charged this to the weather and finally requested of me to postpone the delivery of my Lecture until tomorrow evening. My own inclination was to go on that I might get away in the morning. But I answered that I had come to please them and not myself and if it was their desire that I should wait I would. This they finally determined upon. So the matter was announced to the few who had the energy to come.
The Directors then carried me round their Library and showed me many new books as well as old ones. They pride themselves as all { 363 } young men do more upon the number than the selection, but this is on the whole creditable. I was not however in good order to think about it so I was glad when the time came for me to be transferred to the Astor House and thence to bed, tired and dull.
1. Clinton Hall, erected for the Society in 1829–1830, was located at the southwest corner of Beekman and Nassau streets (Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 5:1681, 1686).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-23

Thursday 23d.

Clear day. Much exercise. Evening, Lecture.
The weather cleared very mild and for some hours there was a general thaw which however lasted but a few hours and gave way to a very sharp northwester. My head ach was gone and after breakfast having dismissed my Stageman who called for me I sat down to write letters to my Wife and Mother.1 This done I went out to perform some little commissions which I was too much discouraged to execute yesterday and made a visit to Mrs. Davis. Thus the whole morning vanished fast enough.
After dinner I met with a companion in a young Mexican named Cuesta who was a fellow traveller from Boston and a very gentlemanly man. After dinner I passed some time in trying to find if the Steamboat to New Haven would go tomorrow but without success. My walk however and other occupations took up the time so that I was not ennuié.
At seven the gentlemen came again in a Carriage and transported me to Clinton Hall where I found a tolerable but by no means very large collection of people. They apologized and seemed very uneasy for what was a very simple thing. Their second course of which this was the beginning has not taken very well. The Lecturing system is already overdone here and the courses marked out are abandoned. I regretted only my having accepted their invitation as well on my own account as theirs. But it being now too late to change I went on with my Lecture which I delivered now for the eighth time as it appeared to very general acceptation. Then home to bed.
1. Neither letter has been located.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-24

Friday 24th.

Cool. Left by the Stage. Morning out. Dine and evening at Mr. Davis’.
I arose early this morning and put every thing in order to start by { 364 } the Stage which had agreed to call for me as I thought, but after waiting two hours in vain I walked to the Office and found it had left me. This was vexatious as it threatened to make me a delay of Sunday. I tried to persuade the Agent to change me into the Mail but he would not. Throughout the whole business it is impossible to describe the extent to which the unaccommodating spirit is carried on that road. I left in disgust extracting nothing more than a promise that if a passenger in the Mail could be found voluntarily to exchange with me he would let me know by half past three o’clock.
On my return home I found Mr. C. A. Davis who called and asked me to accompany him to his counting room where he kept me some time in conversation upon currency and politics. After this I went down to inquire if the boat would go to New Haven tomorrow, which being answered in the affirmative gave me satisfaction enough to reconcile me to the delay. The remainder of the morning passed rapidly in executing little commissions and in reading at the Reading Room in Clinton Hall. A very pleasant place to resort to.
Mr. Davis called at dinner time to take me to dine with him which I was glad to do having given up my Stage Agent. Nobody at table but Mrs. Howell, Mr. Dekay, Mrs. Davis’s brother, and Miss Julia her daughter who is a pretty girl enough. The dinner was tres mince, but plenty of wine and good conversation so that I remained until late in the evening and thereby failed to make the visit I had intended to the Coldens.
Much talk with Mr. D. about Biddle respecting whose course of policy I expected he would entertain opinions very different from mine, but I found he rather confirmed by positive facts within his experience the truth of the inferences which I had drawn from more general reasoning. Home and to bed but for some reason or other I could not sleep for some hours although perfectly tranquil.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-25

Saturday 25th.

New Haven
Cold and clear. Steamer New Haven to New Haven.
I was up betimes and marched down to the Slip where the Steamer was and went on board. Found plenty of passengers and an abundance of freight. We started at seven and with a hearty goodwill I bid good bye to the City of New York, a place where I find very little disposition to remain for any length of time. But upon this visit, it has seemed to { 365 } me more repulsive than ever for its motley and ragged population and it’s money seeking spirit.
The boat made very good headway for an hour and a half when it got into the ice. The prospect for ten miles a head was all dreary and in the midst of it we got aground. This was not a very good incident and I began to think we were likely to be frozen in. But the tide was coming in and after two hours and a half the boat again moved. The prospect was then better and the boat went bravely to work grinding up the packed ice for many miles until it became very clear that we should get through.
This was the only cheerful intelligence of the day, for as we were going the same track with the unfortunate Lexington, with all the details before us of that disaster and conscious that their bodies were somewhere under our path, I could not resist the feeling of gloom which these ideas created. And when we passed the very spot and I looked round to see what our chance would be under similar circumstances with cotton and spirits on board as full as we could hold and a hundred and fifty passengers with but a single boat, I could not wonder that the mortality turned out so great. The incidents as they are told are too affecting. They harrow the soul.
We reached New Haven safely at eight o’clock and it being too late to send out a train tonight to Hartford we lodged at The Pavilion. Much too crowded for comfort, but thankful to have got so far.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-26

Sunday 26th.

Worcester
Railroad to Hartford and thence to Worcester.
The impatience of some of our company which does not appear to be quite of the best class, caused our getting up nearly two hours before it was necessary or expedient. For the train of cars which the agent had engaged to send through at five o’clock did not start until half past six. The morning was very cold and I suffered much inconvenience from it in my feet. We however went through to Hartford which we reached before ten and stopped to take breakfast at the United States Hotel.
We found conveyances ready to take us on and at eleven the whole company exceeding thirty in number started in three sleighs. The day was cold and I suffered a good deal from it as my India rubber shoes rather stop than promote the circulation. The only pleasant fellow passenger we had was Mr. J. W. Otis with whom I made acquaintance. { 366 } Our route was slow from the deep snow and for two stages not very safe as the track was narrow and leaving it for a moment hazarded an upset. One of these we experienced which hurt nobody excepting one imprudent man who was looking out of the window and who got his face flayed by the crust of ice in the snow. It did not detain us however from our journey which we persevered in to the loss of dinner that we might get to Worcester by night.
We did arrive in fact at a little before twelve o’clock at the Temperance House where after getting something to eat we were ushered into a shocking cold room and got to bed thankful to God that the labours and dangers of this Journey were at an end.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-27

Monday 27th.

Boston
To Boston. At home all day. Evening small party at Miss Jones’.
We were roused at six this morning and after partaking of a good breakfast the first thing of the kind I have seen since Friday afternoon we went to the Depot of the Worcester Railroad and entered a car to Boston. The trip was made briefly and before eleven o’clock I had the happiness and satisfaction of again embracing my Wife and children and sitting by my own fireside. God be praised for the same and the next time I start upon such a wildgoose chase may I be set down for an ass.
The peculiar circumstances attending the outset of the journey, the severity of the season and the inconveniences in travelling all contributed to make me more nervous and gloomy than I should have been. It is over now and I have learnt one lesson by it, not to go from home in the winter season without good reason moving me thereto. A Lecture to a parcel of boys is not such by any means.
I remained at home all the day dressing and refitting myself to my study, as I am determined now to make up for my lost time. In the evening went with my Wife to a small party at Miss Jones’. Her own family and a few of her friends. Pleasant enough but not material.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-28

Tuesday 28th.

Snow. At home, distribution as usual. Evening, small party at Mrs. Ritchie’s.
I went down to the Office and employed myself much in matters of account. Since my departure various companies have made Dividends { 367 } and these I immediately set about collecting and with the proceeds paying off a great number of the accounts that have been hanging on since New Year. My Journey has not even paid it’s way and my affairs scarcely look more encouragingly than they did. Mr. Johnson has not however drawn upon me.
Home to read Oedipus Coloneus. Afternoon commencing work upon my projected article. I find it will require much investigation. I must look up all the authorities and refresh my recollection with the history. If I make an antagonist, it will be necessary to be well armed.1
Evening to Mrs. Ritchie’s by invitation. A small party of about a hundred, one third of whom I knew. Tolerably pleasant. Home at eleven.
1. The author of the New York Review article had advanced the view that the contest in England in the 17th century “between Churchmen and Puritans was merely a political one, and not, as is usually represented, a religious one.” CFA’s article, undertaken to refute this position, would hold that it was mainly a religious conflict, made political only because religion at the time was a matter of political regulation.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-29

Wednesday 29th.

Bad weather, rain and ice. Dine at Mr. Brooks’. Evening at home.
Office making a call upon Mrs. Sidney Brooks on the way. The streets dangerously slippery. Still occupied in travelling through the Accounts which had been laid over. It is a gratification to pay them.
Home where I go on with Oedipus Coloneus. I find this was rather superficially read before. And it is in itself among the most difficult of the plays.
Went to dine with Mr. Brooks. The first dinner of the family I have seen for a long while. Every member in town present and a very pleasant time. We did not stay, but returned home where we had a very quiet evening.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0030

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-30

Thursday 30th.

Clear. Usual routine. At home.
I resumed the medals this morning and thus fell exactly into my old habits as if there had never been any change. At the Office making up the arrears of my Diary from where I went down to the Athenaeum to look up the works necessary for my proposed undertaking. Picked up Sharon Turner and Hallam, and more than all, the little tract called the Planter’s Plea1 which makes the basis for the whole edifice of The { 368 } New York Review. With these and with what I can procure elsewhere I shall be able to get along. Home to read Oedipus.
Afternoon, went to work reading and endeavoring to methodise. But this is a very difficult process. I ordinarily do not commence it until I begin to write but this is far too laborious. I must habituate myself to closer mental exercise as a principle of economy. Evening at home.
1. Of the works of Sharon Turner, the History of the Reigns of Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth (London, 1829) seems most apposite for use in the article on the “Politics of the Puritans” CFA was preparing. The Constitutional History of England, from ... Henry VIII to ... George II (2, vols., London, 1827) seems likeliest of the works of Henry Hallam. John White was the author of Planter’s Plea, or, The Grounds of Plantations Examined, London, 1630.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0001-0031

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-01-31

Friday 31st.

Clouds and snow. Division as usual.
I have very little to remark. My days pass monotonously enough. I am writing up my arrears of Diary, and arranging my accounts which I have nearly accomplished. There is a satisfaction in thinking that one owes nothing although tomorrow the thing may again occur.
Continue my review of Oedipus Coloneus. I wonder much at the writers who so often say of the Greeks that they knew nothing of the higher female affections. It appears to me that the character of Antigone is from first to last an impersonation of the very highest kind of female excellence and one which I do not know to be surpassed in any language.
Afternoon, a chaos of authorities against every thing advanced by the New York Review. The getting clear light out of it will be troublesome. In the evening at home. Walpole. Suffering from a cold.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0001

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-01

Saturday 1st February.

Dull weather. Distribution as usual.
After market, Office. Writing up arrears. Nothing new. The newspapers are dry and dull enough. Home reading Oedipus. After which, reading and reflecting upon my subject. There are several points to be taken care of, first, that I shall not involve myself with the Church by attacking one of it’s champions; second, that I shall not expend my strength upon the defence of commonplace or hackneyed points of controversy. With these exceptions I do not see that I have any other precautions to take. Evening at home. Reading Walpole. After which I tried to make a beginning but only spoiled sheets of paper.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0002

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-02

Sunday. 2d.

Clear and cool. Divine service as usual. Evening to Mr. Brooks’.
After the usual hearing of my children for an hour, having now regularly joined my second child John in the reading of the Scriptures, I attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Joshua 4. 6. “That this may be a sign among you.” A communion sermon discussing the peculiar characteristics of that service. I shall soon reach an age now when it will be advisable for me to reflect more seriously upon the propriety of my partaking of it.
Afternoon Dr. Henry Ware Jr. from Luke 10. 40.41.42. the well known verses addressed to Martha and Mary. Upon the attention to worldly matters, a very beautiful discourse much affected in the delivery by the defect of enunciation caused by the loss of his teeth.
Read a Sermon by the Reverend John Balguy Proverbs 12. 15. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Mr. Balguy has had some reputation in the English reviews without much deserving it. Evening, we paid a visit at Mr. Brooks’. Nobody there but C. Brooks. Home shortly after ten.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0003

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-03

Monday 3d.

Wet and damp clearing off cold. Division as usual. Evening at Mr. B. Gorham’s.
My time at the Office is taken up principally in the arrangement of my Diary which continues in Arrears. I have little to place upon it of interest and the mere keeping of so monotonous a record is tiresome. My Greek for one hour is also rather vexatious as I have already read it over and want the stimulus of novelty in the pursuit.
Afternoon examining authorities and attempting to methodize but as yet without success. It is a little curious to notice how many sheets of paper I spoil before I begin.
Went to a small party at Mrs. B. Gorham’s. Talk with Miss Jones about coins, and with Dr. Palfrey about my Article. I sounded him today about the severity necessary in the Review. I told him that I feared it would not suit him, but he rather to my surprise professed a preference for that tone. So I shall go on boldly.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0004

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-04

Tuesday 4th.

Excessive cold. Usual division. Evening at home.
After the time spent in coins, I went to the Office and occupied myself in Diary and accounts.
{ 370 }
I propose to give up my Politico-Economical Studies as dry things in which but a very limited number of the Community take an interest and go into more general literature. It is pretty plain to me that the present state of political affairs is such as to forbid me all hope of making any headway in that line. I am too squeamish for the very low standard of morals that is adopted on all sides at present. If circumstances should change, perhaps my principles might be useful.
Oedipus and studying Hazard, and Hallam, and Sharon Turner and The Planter’s Plea. Evening at home. Still groping about after a beginning.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0005

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-05

Wednesday 5th.

Very cold morning, but moderated. Division as usual. E. C. Adams.
These two last mornings are severe enough. I went to the Office as usual. An hour of coins and an hour of newspaper reading at the Insurance Office leaves but very little time for the Diary at the Office. Oedipus Coloneus which Schaeffer thinks the finest of all the plays of Sophocles. I balance between the other and Electra as well as this.
Elizabeth C. Adams came to our house today to spend some time. I studied the New York Review and sat down directly after tea so that I had a good long session before me and thus effected my entrance into the subject.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0006

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-06

Thursday 6th.

Weather moderating. Time as usual. Mrs. R. D. Tucker’s.
Nothing very material to stir up the attention. At the Office where I continue very slowly making up. News not material excepting the symptoms of a struggle in Pennsylvania against the overwhelming effect of their State debt. I received today a proof sheet from Mr. Hunt of my Lecture upon credit. It reads tolerably well. Afternoon after Oedipus, I make it my practice to read authorities and reflect upon the passages I dissect in the evening.
To R. D. Tucker’s with my Wife. A small party apparently to the Grattans. I found it rather dull. A supper also. Met there Mrs. J. W. Paige for the first time since she came from Europe. Her extravagance in the midst of her husband’s embarrassments makes much talk in private circles. Home early.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0007

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-07

Friday 7th.

Rain. Time as usual. Evening at home.
Office where I received another sheet of proof from Mr. Hunt. I should think the Lecture would make twenty five or six pages of his close text. What with one thing and another I bid fair to keep presses enough going at present. But this only pushes back the great work which I have on hand.1 I must go on with that and bring it to a creditable conclusion.
Home. Oedipus. Continue examination of authorities and as Elizabeth is with my Wife, I write all the evening. This advances things so much that I think I shall find my work easier than I expected. It will consist a good deal of extracts.
1. That is, his edition of AA’s letters.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0008

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-08

Saturday. 8th.

Wet and thawing. Time divided as usual. Evening at home.
My market day which consumes the time I ordinarily devote to Medals. Office where I worked a little upon my Quarterly Account. Nothing however that was effective. I soon left to go home where I read Oedipus Coloneus. It comes easier to me now and I have a much more full conception of the beauty of the piece. Afternoon, reading and continuing my work to which I devoted my whole evening in such a manner as to see land.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0009

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-09

Sunday 9th.

Mild but pleasant. Divine service as usual. Evening at home. Edmund Quincy.
I read two chapters in the Old Testament with my two children Louisa and John, and then heard the former go through her other exercises. Attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham preach from Psalms 4. 6. “There be many that say Who will show us any good,” a very beautiful discourse upon this text which I also heard Mr. Greenwood treat once with much effect. But the rest of the verse makes the answer. Afternoon Luke 14. 24. “For I say unto you that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” The meaning of this to be a reproof of negligence, inattention to and rejection of the value of the Gospel.
A walk with my children round the Park. Evening, sermon by Mr. { 372 } Orr in the English Preacher. Matthew 23. 23. “Wo unto you, Scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, for ye pay tithe &ca.” Text too long to quote but the subject the importance of morality above form.
I was at work finishing my review when Edmund Quincy came in who was pleasanter than usual, talking of general literature and indifferent matters. I was glad to get rid of disputed points. He went at eight and we intended to have gone out but it rained. So I finished my Article.1
1. CFA’s essay-review, “The Politics of the Puritans,” would appear in the April issue of the North Amer. Rev., 50:432–461.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0010

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-10

Monday 10th.

Foggy. Division as usual. Evening, Mr. Brooks.
After coins, I went to the Office. Received the last proof sheet of my Lecture in Hunt. I read it over with satisfaction. The close is eloquent, if I may be permitted to judge. But it is not at all possible for any one to make any just estimate of one’s self. I never yet read any thing of mine over twice with any thing like the same impression.
Accounts, then Home to read Oedipus. Afternoon, rather indulging after my stretch of the previous week. Read over the Review too to see if I had omitted any thing. Evening, Mr. Brooks called for an hour very pleasantly.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-11

Tuesday 11th.

Clear and mild. Distribution as usual. Evening at Edward Brooks’.
After coins I went to the Office. Mr. Warren the antiquary called to offer me some coins which he had lately purchased and I was irresistibly tempted to buy up some of them. I find upon looking over my accounts too much goes into coins. Diary.
Walk round the common. Home where I went on with Oedipus. Afternoon reading Sharon Turner’s History of Henry, Edward and Elizabeth. He adopts a rather new method of writing which gives a better general view but his notes though containing a vast deal of information are like all notes serious deductions from the effect of a narrative.
Evening, we went to Edward Brooks’ to spend an hour. Nothing materially new. We have not heard from Washington for some time.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-12

Wednesday 12th.

Mild day. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mrs. Frothingham’s. The regular course of things. I tried to do a little at my accounts but { 373 } was prevented. But I did Something towards bringing up my Diary. Then home. Finished Oedipus Coloneus which I find Potter agrees in opinion with Schaeffer about. It certainly is a beautiful play and I am very glad that I have been over it again pretty thoroughly. Afternoon, Sharon Turner’s Account of the rise of the reformation, and resuming the old MS work which I find rather fatiguing. Evening, a small party at Mrs. Frothingham’s. About forty or fifty, some singing by Mrs. Habicht. Nothing new.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-13

Thursday 13th.

Mild. Office. After dinner Proprietors of South Cove. Evening Mr. J. C. Gray’s.
After coins, went to the Office. Time devoted to making up Diary which I am at last getting through with. Nothing new. Home after walk. Began Antigone and read with great facility a hundred and forty lines.
Afternoon attended a meeting at the Market Bank of the principal Stockholders of the South Cove Company preparatory to the Annual Meeting to be held tomorrow. Mr. B. R. Nichols who seemed the principal manager reported a plan for the ultimate division of the whole filled up property and satisfaction of all the shares. The details were not digested but I was inclined to favour the scheme if I could be sure that there were not individual interests at work against the general interest. There were a few particulars to which I objected, but the movement seemed to be the other way and I was much in the minority.
Home. Evening to Mrs. J. C. Gray’s to a very small party of her family. It was pleasant enough.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-14

Friday 14th.

Cloudy and east wind. Office. Proprietors of South Cove. Evening at home.
After coins, to the Office. Bringing up Diary bravely. Nothing however that is new. The political world at Washington is dull, the commercial world is dull and we are all dull. Home to read Antigone but got caught in the parlour with company so that I barely finished the most difficult chorus in Sophocles, the song of rejoicing over the discomfiture of the Argian host led on by Polynices.
After dinner, to the United States Hotel to the Proprietors meeting of the South Cove. Mr. Nichols’ plan was adopted, nem. con.1 and the { 374 } board of Directors elected to match. I was much provoked at the leaving off of Mr. Nathl. Curtis, whose good judgment I would trust more than almost any body’s whom I know. At any rate the present plan will give us separate property and the control of all our rights.
Home. Evening, read to my Wife my new Article upon the New York Review with which she seemed satisfied. I am nevertheless writing over a part.
1. Nemine contradicente, without opposition.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0015

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-15

Saturday 15th.

Chilly but mild. Office. Division as usual. Evening at home.
After going to Market I went to the Office and at last succeeded in bringing up the long Arrears of Diary occasioned by my week’s absence to New York. Deacon Spear came in from Quincy, and I settled my account with him. Mr. Fuller also spent an hour examining Mr. Boylston’s Accounts.
Home to read Antigone. After dinner, Sharon Turner, and in the evening reading Walpole to my Wife. Then writing over one sheet of my Article which I shall spread one half in the process. This is very fatiguing.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0016

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-16

Sunday 16th.

Pleasant day. Divine Service. Evening at Mr. Brooks’.
After an hour devoted to the instruction of my children I attended divine service and heard Dr. Parkman preach from Ecclesiastes 7. 10. “Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.” Upon the comparative value of ancient and modern habits and morals, and the prevailing tendency to see in the past, merits which are not in the present. The fault of our age is rather in the opposite extreme.
Afternoon 1. Corinthians 9. 22. “I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some.” A very sensible discourse by Dr. Frothingham upon that phrase which taken from Saint Paul’s application to himself is now usually made a word of reproach. There is discrimination to be exercised here as every where. The adaptation of one’s self to others is to be judged of by the impelling motives which are at the bottom of all conduct.
Read a Sermon by Dr. Foster in the English Preacher 1. Peter 2. 21 { 375 } “Leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps.” The example of Christ as a moral and practical lesson to mankind. Walk with the children.
Evening, we went to Mr. Brooks’ and spent an hour very pleasantly. Nobody there but H. G. Gorham. Home where I finished my new sheet and read over the whole being much dissatisfied, feel tempted to write over or throw off.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0017

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-17

Monday 17th.

Charming day. Office, division as usual. Evening at Mrs. Everetts.
After my hour in coins, I went to the Office. Occupied in Accounts. Letter from the Salem Lyceum requesting me to deliver my Lecture Wednesday. I wrote back that I never delivered it excepting upon particular request.1 Home. Read Antigone. Afternoon, Sharon Turner. Reading my Article over very critically.
Evening we went to Mr. Everett’s for the purpose of hearing him read his Lecture on the opening of the Lowell Institute.2 But he had accidentally been unable to recover it from a person who had borrowed it. He read however several letters and part of the Diary of Mr. Lowell. There were several ladies present. Mrs. Henshaw and her daughter, Mrs. Frothingham and Thomas, Miss Welsh and ourselves. Evening pleasant enough and home at ten.
1. Both letters are missing.
2. For an account of the event on 31 Dec. 1839, see Ferris Greenslet, The Lowells and their Seven Worlds, Boston, 1946, p. 210–211, 233–234.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0018

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-18

Tuesday 18th.

Lovely day. Division as usual. Evening company at home.
After coins, at the Office. Received another application from Salem for the delivery of the Lecture tomorrow night, to which I consented. So I must even go. My inducement is only to get some money. Finished drafting account for the Quarter.
Home where I read Antigone, which I find I studied pretty thoroughly before. Afternoon, revised my Article for the last time. Too lazy to write any thing better and yet much dissatisfied with this. Never mind. Do better next time.1 Evening, Sidney Brooks and his Wife to tea and Dr. and Mrs. Frothingham in the evening. Pleasant hour.
1. The article, with a covering letter, was dispatched (CFA to John Gorham Palfrey, 18 Feb., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0019

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-19

Wednesday 19th.

[Salem]
Cloudy but very mild. Division as usual. Evening to Salem. Lecture.
After coins, I went to the Office and was occupied in accounts as usual. Nothing very material. The Country seems to be staggering under the present disorders of the currency. I see no prospect upon any side which can be considered as the least encouraging. We must brace ourselves down by reducing our expenses, and incurring no extravagance. Home to read Antigone.
After dinner I went down to the Depot of the Eastern Railroad and crossing the Ferry started in one of the cars for Salem. There were in the cars Mr. C. W. Upham and his Wife and Sister, who discovering that I was bound there to deliver my Lecture were civil enough to ask me to tea and in the evening.
The audience was a very large one and very attentive although not disposed to applaud. I thought the effect of it was quite as good as I had known it at any time. Great civilities from Mr. Silsbee, Judge White, Mr. Sprague and others. Pleasant conversation afterwards at Mr. Upham’s until ten when I went to the Mansion House to bed.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0020

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-20

Thursday 20th.

Boston
Mild, spring day. To Boston. Division as usual. Evening at home. Mr. Brooks.
I arose early and after a rapid breakfast, made the best of my way to town again in the Railroad train which left at half past eight o’clock. The weather was summerlike and the frost appears to be coming out of the ground in all directions. As I was returning, the facility with which we were borne this distance set me thinking upon the effect which all these various roads converging on Boston must have upon the increase of the place. So that notwithstanding the disadvantages attending the present unsettled condition of the currency and the credit system I incline to think this city will get along. This is encouraging to those who like myself are property holders in these parts. Home by ten and then went on with my usual avocations.
Office where a serious application for my house comforted my doubts much. This winter has been about as discouraging one as I know. I have lost half a years rent and all Dividends upon Factory property besides diminished income upon Insurance Stock. This with { 377 } the increase of cost from the thoughtless expense of last year has made me for the first time in my married life run behind hand in a quarter.
Home to read Antigone. After dinner Sharon Turner. And copying MS. Evening Mr. Brooks at our house.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0021

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-21

Friday 21st.

Clear and mild. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mr. Story’s.
Very extraordinary weather for this season of the year. I went out today without any overcoat, a thing unexampled in this climate. After coins, went to the Office. Time wasted there but I succeeded in renting my house. Did not get home in time to read Antigone. No fire in my study and perfectly comfortable.
Afternoon, Sharon Turner and Manuscripts. I am now going to work in earnest to advance that biography. Evening a small party of the family at Mrs. Story’s. Not very pleasant but I did very well. Home by a clear moon.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0022

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-22

Saturday 22d.

Mild weather. Division as usual. Evening at home. H. G. Gorham.
This is my usual day for going to Market and omitting coins. Office as usual where there was nothing new. Finished my Quarterly Account for the year 1839 to send to my father and received a check from Mr. T. B. Johnson which concludes his business. I am glad nowadays to reduce my liabilities as much as possible.
The late failure of C. R. Lowell makes some noise and furnishes another lesson of the danger of unlimited trust of sons in money affairs.1
Home to read Antigone. Afternoon, Sharon Turner. Evening, a visit from H. G. Gorham. Nothing new. Read the Elgin and Phigaleian Marbles in The Library of Entertaining Knowledge.2
1. On Charles Russell Lowell and his business failure, see Ferris Greenslet, The Lowells and their Seven Worlds, Boston, 1946, p. 239.
2. Sir Henry Ellis, Elgin and Phigaleian Marbles in Library of Entertaining Knowledge, vols. 26, 27, London, 1833.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0023

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-23

Sunday 23d.

Lovely day, but warm. Divine service and duties as usual. Evening to E. Brooks’.
A very uncommon day for this season of the year being very warm, so that I found a surtout oppressive. After my usual lesson with my { 378 } children I attended divine service and heard Dr. Frothingham from Ezekiel 12. 27 “The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off.” Another sermon directed against the doctrines of the Millenium which are now pushed by Miller. The Dr. appeared anxious to press his points farther than he did on the preceding occasion and to discriminate between the sorts of prophecy which are to be found in the Bible, those relating to events then approaching and now long since passed, and those referring to a long distant period which are not likely to have any termination that it is in the power of man to define.
Afternoon a certain Mr. Bakewell from England who has come to this country with a view of settling. Sermon from John 19. 30.33. Too long to quote. But it related to miracles and went over the usual arguments upon the subject with clearness and force. His reading in the Scriptures and the Hymns was remarkably good. A rare excellence.
Walk with the children. Read another sermon in the English Preacher upon the example of Christ in continuation of last Sunday, and from the same text. Evening, my Wife and I went to Edward Brooks’ and spent the evening. Pleasant enough.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0024

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-24

Monday 24th.

Mild. Office. Division as usual. Evening at home.
After coins I went to the Office and finished up the rest of the work I had in arrears so that my further time is at leisure I hope for the remainder of the Quarter. Sent an account and advertised my property.
Home to read Antigone. Afternoon, Sharon Turner and Manuscripts. Evening, the Antiquities in the British Museum. On the whole we were very quiet today, and I was glad to get through so much work. Letter from Washington with favorable accounts.1
1. LCA to ABA, 20 Feb., Adams Papers.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0025

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-25

Tuesday 25th.

Cloudy and chilly. Division as usual. Evening at Mrs. Armstrong’s.
After coins I went to the Office. Nothing there very material, so I determined to go over to East Cambridge and get some deeds which I left six months ago to be recorded. The walk was pleasant enough, and I took the opportunity to look at the Depot of the Lowell Railroad which I never saw before. Found there a Mortgage deed which I had sent over many years ago to be cancelled which has never been executed by my father to this day.
{ 379 }
Home in time to read Antigone. Afternoon MS and Sharon Turner.
Evening, a large party at Mr. Armstrong’s. Many old people and a greater number than I have before seen out this winter. Nothing particularly new. Home late.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0026

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-26

Wednesday. 26th.

Cool and cloudy. Distribution as usual. Evening at Mrs. Crowninshield’s.
After coins I went to the Office where I did not find any thing very material to do. My actual occupation in business lasts about half the quarter. Read today in Hunt’s Merchant’s Magazine a Lecture by Professor Vethake upon the distinctive provinces of the philosopher and the statesman, containing very good sense.1
Intended to have taken a walk but delayed it too long and so returned home and read Antigone. After dinner, MS and Sharon Turner. One Chapter a day which is taking it very easy. My copying does not go on at a much faster rate. On the whole I lead a very lazy life.
Evening I accompanied my Wife to a ball given by Mrs. Crowninshield to her newly married son Edward. There were present much of fashionable society here, and the entertainment was lavish as usual. I enjoyed myself tolerably well. Home late.
1. Henry Vethake, “The Distinctive Provinces of the Political Philosopher and the Statesman,” Hunt’s Merchants’ Mag., 2:100–119.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0027

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-27

Thursday 27th.

Cloudy and cool. Distribution as usual. Evening to Mrs. Henshaw’s.
There is not much deserving of particular notice in the record of my day. The Office hours are a little wasted and the remainder of my time taken up in the ordinary routine. Received a letter from my mother which is tolerably cheerful.1
Home where I read Antigone. This play surpasses all the rest of the set in pathos. And the moral seems a high one that the laws of God are to be adhered to in opposition to the threats of man or his prohibition. There is nothing superior to this in modern philosophy or religion. The character of Antigone is a model throughout all the plays.
Afternoon, Sharon Turner and copying manuscripts. Evening, we went to Mrs. Henshaw’s to a small party given by her daughter to her young friends. Home late. I am getting tired.
1. 24 Feb., Adams Papers. The letter is devoted entirely to political developments rather than family matters.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0028

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-28

Friday 28th.

Cloudy with slight rain. Distribution as usual. Evening Mr. Beale. Unwell.
After coins I went to the Office and there almost completed an answer to my mother. I then thought as I felt unwell I would take a walk round the South Cove and look at the condition of the lands. I had some conversation with Mr. Brooks about them who very kindly offered to me the use of any money if I was embarrassed, which I declined but wished to avail myself of his judgment in the location of the lots for my share at the division which is about to take place.
Home where I finished Antigone. Afternoon, the usual occupation. Writing and one chapter of Sharon Turner. Evening at home. Mr. G. W. Beale Jr. called in for a short time. For a day or two past I have felt a very singular pain or rather stiffness in my chest which has gone on increasing until this evening it was rather inconvenient. Went to bed early.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-02-0003-0002-0029

Author: CFA
Date: 1840-02-29

Saturday 29th.

Fine day. Distribution as usual. Evening, T. B. Frothingham.
After my usual market visit I went to the Office and was occupied there as customary in Accounts and conference with Deacon Spear upon sundry matters. Nothing remarkable. To the Athenaeum to return a book, home rather late. Began the Trachinians of Sophocles. Nothing new.
My pain which in the morning was acutely distressing continued all day in such a way as to alarm me a little, so unused am I to be sick. Yet I pursued Sharon Turner and copying. Evening, T. B. Frothingham came up and we played whist. Bed early.

Docno: ADMS-13-08-03-0002

Chronology

Charles Francis Adams, 1836–1840

1836
Resides in Boston with wife and three children at 3 Hancock Avenue and maintains an office at 23 Court Street.
1836   June 15–July 22   Travels to Niagara with wife ABA, via the Hudson River and Erie Canal, then to Montreal and Quebec, and returns via Saratoga and Lebanon Springs.  
1836   July 24, 25   His article “The Slavery Question Truly Stated,” completed before his departure, is published in the Boston Daily Advocate.  
1836   July 11   President Jackson orders the Treasury to issue the Specie Circular, which made gold and silver the “sole acceptable payment for public lands” and led to hoarding and weakened confidence in the state banks.  
1836   Aug. 2 – Nov. 1   His annual summer residence at the Old House in Quincy with JQA and LCA continues while construction proceeds on his new house, nearby, for the growing family.  
1836   Sept. 1 – 24   His series in five numbers supporting the election of Van Buren, entitled “To the Unpledged Voters” and signed “One of the People,” is published in the Advocate.  
1836   Sept. 3   JQA presents to him the “Pine Tree, Deer, and Fish” seal crafted in London in 1816 by JA’s order to emblemize JA’s contributions to the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain in 1783 and JQA’s success in reasserting the same rights in the Treaty of Ghent in 1814.  
1836   Nov. 2   His article supporting the candidacy for Congress of A. H. Everett, entitled “A Word for the Wise” and signed “A Friend to Mr. Everett,” is published in the Norfolk Advertiser.  
1836   Nov. 14   JQA is reelected to the House of Representatives from the 12th Massachusetts District with scattered opposition.  
1836   Dec. 7   Martin Van Buren is elected president.  
{ 384 }
1837
1837   Jan. 25 – Feb. 8   His series in six numbers, with the title “Mr. Webster and the Currency and signed “A,” is published in the Boston Daily Advocate.  
1837   Feb.   His pamphlet Reflections Upon the Present State of the Currency, Boston, 1837, 34 p., a reworking of “Mr. Webster and the Currency” and including additional papers not printed in that series, is published.
Efforts to expel or censure JQA for his persistent effort in the House of Representatives to introduce petitions from women and slaves in defiance of the “gag rules” adopted in May 1836 fail after bitter debate.  
1837   March 13   His article on the collectorship of the port of Boston is printed as an editorial in the Advocate.  
1837   May 10   The New York banks suspend specie payments and are followed by banks at Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston.  
1837   May 20   Resumes summer residence at the Old House in Quincy, pending completion of his new house in October.  
1837   June 17 – 20   His article “Calm Thoughts Upon Our Money Affairs,” signed “A,” is published in the Quincy Patriot.  
1837   June 21   In England, Victoria becomes queen.  
1837   Aug. 18   Breaks relations with the Advocate over the paper’s editorial support of the Van Buren Administration’s policy on money and banks with which CFA was in profound disagreement.  
1837   Sept. 2 – Oct. 7   His series in four numbers, “The Annexation of Texas” signed “One of the People,” the first of his many efforts to prevent admission, is published in the Quincy Patriot.  
1837   Oct. 25, Nov. 1   Delivers two lectures in Quincy on the Northern Discoveries, twice repeated for other audiences on later occasions.  
1837   Nov.–Feb.   Prepares biographical notice of LCA, which would appear with her portrait in vol. 4 of Longacre and Herring, National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, Phila., 1839.  
1837   Dec. 4   Publishes an article signed “One of the Many” in the Boston Morning Post expressing outrage at the murder of abolitionist editor Elijah Lovejoy in Illinois and opposition to the action of Boston officials in denying use of Faneuil Hall for a public meeting of protest.  
1837   Dec. 14   Lt. Thomas Boylston Adams Jr., oldest son of JQA’s brother TBA, dies of a fever in Florida while serving in the Second Seminole War.  
{ 385 }
1837   Dec. 26   Publishes under his own name a pamphlet, Further Reflections Upon the State of the Currency in the United States, Boston, 1837, 41 p., a sequel to his earlier pamphlet but containing no material earlier published.  
1838
1838   Jan. 23   Delivers a lecture entitled “Materials for History” upon invitation of the Massachusetts Historical Society at the Masonic Temple, Boston, on the spirit of the American Revolution as seen in the correspondence of AA and JA. During the next two years the lecture would be repeated for eight other audiences. The occasion marks the first time any substantial number of letters from the Adams family archives were communicated to the public.  
1838   Feb. 16   Henry Brooks Adams (HA), his fourth child, is born in Boston and later christened in Quincy.  
1838   April 17 – 20   His four “Letters to Nicholas Biddle, President of the Bank of the United States,” signed “A Citizen,” are published in the Boston Courier. They undertake to justify his shift from support to opposition of Biddle’s policies, particularly Biddle’s stand against the resumption of specie payments.  
1838   April 25 – May 31   Visits Washington, D. C., with ABA and his friend Thomas K. Davis.  
1838   May 3   His “Letters to Biddle” are reprinted in the New York Journal of Commerce.  
1838   May 11   The Courier publishes his letter signed “A Citizen” restating the independence of his views and clarifying further his position, under attack.  
1838   May 14   A disagreement with his friend Davis leads to a complete break in November over whether it is possible to seek political office without thereby sacrificing one’s personal principles to the demands of party.  
1838   May 21   The Specie Circular is suspended.  
1838   June 13 – Nov. 6   Spends his first complete summer at his new house in Quincy.  
1838   Aug. 2–8   His article in the Courier in four parts, “The Democratic Address” signed “A Conservative,” is an unfavorable review of a paper circulated by a committee of Administration supporters in the Congress on currency questions and their bearing upon the slavery issue.  
{ 386 }
1838   Aug. 17   Publishes in the Courier a rejoinder, signed “A Conservative,” to a Washington Globe attack on his recent four-part article.  
1838   Nov. 13   JQA, though opposed, is reelected to the House of Representatives from the 12th Massachusetts District.  
1838   Nov. 15 – Dec. 1   His unsigned series in seven numbers directed against Van Buren and Calhoun and titled “Political Speculations Upon the Carolina Policy” is published in the Courier.  
1838   Dec. 14   Replies in the Courier to a renewed attack in the Washington Globe on “The Democratic Address.”  
1838   Winter   To counter ABA’s prolonged malaise, the Adamses participate more actively than in earlier years in Boston’s social season.  
1839
1839   Jan. 31   Dispatches to the trustees the 120-page “Catalogue of Brass Coins of the Roman Empire belonging to the Boston Athenaeum” he has had in preparation since Feb. 1838.  
1839   March 14–23   His series in four numbers, unsigned, with the title “The Prospect for the Currency,” taking issue with the secretary of the treasury’s report, is published in the Courier.  
1839   May 9   His daughter, LCA2, is seriously injured when hit by a wagon.  
1839   May 18 – Nov. 6   Renews residence in Quincy.  
1839   July   His essay-review of Matthew L. Davis’ Memoirs of Aaron Burr and of Burr’s Private Journal is published in the North American Review, and “The State of the Currency, by Charles F. Adams” is published in Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine.  
1839   July 6–18   His unsigned series in four numbers, “The Southern Commercial Conventions,” directed at the anti-Union activities rife in the South, is published in the Courier.  
1839   Aug.   “The Theory of Money and Banks,” his review of George Tucker’s The Theory of Money and Banks Investigated, is published in Hunt’s. The author’s name is attached to this and to subsequent articles in Hunt’s.
Begins preparing a volume of AA’s letters which would be published in 1840, the first fruits of his work on the family papers.  
1839   Sept.   His “Banks and the Currency” is published in Hunt’s.  
1839   Oct. 24 – 29   His article “The Philadelphia Manifesto,” signed “A,” is published in the Courier in three parts.  
1839   Oct. 30   Is offered and declines nomination by the whigs for the Massachusetts legislature.  
{ 387 }
1839   Nov. 20   Georgeanna Frances, the younger child of his dead brother JA2, dies in Quincy.  
1839   Dec.   His “The State of the Currency,” and amplified version of “The Philadelphia Manifesto,” is published in Hunt’s.  
1840
1840   Jan. 7, 9   His letter, unsigned, criticizing the President’s Message, is published in the Courier.  
1840   Jan. 20 – 27   Journeys to New York City to address the Mercantile Library Association in Clinton Hall.  
1840   Jan. – Feb.   Two essays, “The Principles of Credit” and “The Politics of the Puritans,” are completed. The first would be published in the March issue of Hunt’s, the second in the April issue of the North American Review.  
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/