Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Saturday 3d.

Monday 5th.

Sunday 4th. CFA


Sunday 4th. CFA
Sunday 4th.

I did not attend Church or go out of the house all day. I read some of Lord Bacon contrary to custom as I take Sunday to be a holiday. But the principal part of the day was employed in discussing politics and the Presidential question with Johnson Hellen. I have become very much interested in it for want of something better to do, and talk about probabilities and possibilities much more than I ever did before. There are so many people one sees here playing so deep a game and staking almost all upon the result that it is impossible not to feel as if one wished to crush them. General Jackson is rising here considerably as it is understood that he has made up almost all the old quarrels, and by sweetness of manner and piety of disposition is winning his way with success.1 I do not think him to be an intriguer however.

Mr. Calhoun, of whom Johnson entertained so many fears, is now on the descending scale and will probably quit the field. There are flying rumours about Mr. Crawford and his health, but no confidence can be placed in what is said concerning him. Mr. Clay says he is confident of his election, as he is backed by his eight Western states and will trust to Providence for five others. And last of all my father appears to take the matter with most amazing coolness and upon any question being asked him returns it with the diplomatic answer, We shall see. He does sometimes explain himself more fully and we have pleasant conversation on this subject. Johnson’s whole heart and soul appears to be fixed on the catastrophe, which interests us all more or less. We spent the Evening “en Famille.”


After Andrew Jackson was elected United States Senator from Tennessee in 1823, his friends brought him and Clay together at a dinner in order to ease relations between the two powerful men which had been strained by Clay’s bitter attacks on Jackson’s military activities in Florida. Jackson himself then played host at a large dinner attended by Clay, JQA, and Crawford, all presidential aspirants. JQA, who had been Jackson’s champion in the military controversies between the General and certain members of Monroe’s cabinet, returned the invitation by arranging a great ball in Jackson’s honor for 8 January, the anniversary of the battle of New Orleans. See James, Andrew Jackson , p. 298 ff., 378, 381–384.