Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Monday 29th.

Wednesday. 31st.

30th. CFA


30th. CFA

After studying my Geography and reading my number of essays, I went in the carriage to Georgetown with Madame and Aunt Frye whom I saw to day for the first time. We first went to Mrs. Peter’s where they paid a visit but I did not get out. On returning they observed that America looked exceedingly well this Winter.1 After traversing the most crooked streets that were ever formed and the most narrow excepting only those in Boston, we got home. Uncle and Aunt Frye dined and spent the evening here. She looks surprizingly well.

In the evening Madame continued her “bouquets” and Judge Cranch came in with Mr. James Greenleaf whereupon I retreated till late in the evening. The Judge is a good sort of man but there is something associated with the name of the other which disgusts me with him.2 They went away at half past ten when we separated.


Martha Parke (Custis) Peter, daughter of John Parke Custis and granddaughter of Martha Washington, and her daughter, America (Columbia Hist. Soc., Records , 18 [1915]:80–81).


The visitors were William Cranch (1769–1855), Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of the United States in the District of Columbia and son of AA’s sister, Mary (Smith) Cranch ( DAB ; see also Adams Genealogy), and James Greenleaf, the Judge’s brother-in-law, who, a generation before, had served a short term in a debtors’ prison in consequence of his overspeculation in District of Columbia real estate (Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family , p. 101, 217; Allen C. Clark, Greenleaf and Law in the Federal City, Washington, 1901, passim).