Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Sunday 8th.

Tuesday 10th.

Monday 9th. CFA


Monday 9th. CFA
Monday 9th.

Arose today and went to the House of Representatives for the last time this year. I also went into the Supreme Court. Mr. Wirt was finishing the case in reply to Emmett. It is said very able. Mr. Emmett’s close was said to have been remarkably beautiful, therefore I was sorry I did not hear it. Mr. Wirt was in the law so I did not stay long but went again to the House. Mr. Livingston was speaking on the subject of Internal Improvements trying to place the subject in a new light.1 But he selected the time for his remarks, far too late in the discussion of the bill. Every body is tired of hearing the mention of Roads and Canals, so that he was but little attended to. I not feeling at all like interesting myself particularly as my mind was otherwise occupied, went away and left perhaps for many years the stately building which holds the directing power of the nation.

Miss Selden was at the Supreme Court and John went and sat with her, but I was shy and went off even without speaking to her. She sent by John to inform me the house would be open till evening 88but I did not wish to avail myself of the advantage. In fact I felt so indifferent about going or staying that I was unwilling to excite a regret at departure. On this account also, I refused to go any where and left without paying a single take leave visit, a circumstance which, I have since heard astonished some of the favoris very much.

In the evening by my father’s request, I went to Mr. Sullivan’s to inquire if he had any command, a mere piece of politeness. Which being done, I spent the rest of the evening over the newspapers with Johnson, Monsieur and John having gone as usual to hear Mr. Goodacre.


Edward Livingston first narrowly construed the proposed measure, trying to show that its objects were all within the powers specifically granted the Congress under the Constitution, and then also reaffirmed the power of the federal government to legislate for the general welfare ( Annals of Congress , 18 Cong., 1 sess., p. 1430–1459).