Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Friday. May. 21st. VIII:45.

Sunday. May. 23d. VIII.

Saturday. May 22d. VIII:30. CFA


Saturday. May 22d. VIII:30. CFA
Saturday. May 22d. VIII:30.

The ladies having become exceedingly scandalized at our late hours of rising sent up breakfast to us before we were up, thinking probably this might be a punishment whereas it was a great convenience. We were up nevertheless in very good season, and spent the morning as usual, I doing nothing but writing my Journal and reading Mr. Young. The former of which was not completed however until late as I had two days to write up. Much of my time was spent where I presume it will be generally, in the ladies parlour. Quincy to me is generally a very disgusting place until I get domesticated to it when it becomes sufficiently pleasant. Thomas being here is some assistance also. My Journal however will go on but slowly as my indolence is all which I can record.

This being Saturday was the proper time for Mr. Marston’s visit which was accordingly paid. He dines here regularly on this day in the 154week. Such a pompous, trifling, little-minded man I have seldom had the honor to meet. Winding himself into the graces of the old gentleman he has the power of twisting him round his finger by his opportunities of obtaining disclosures without (thank God) the ability to make use of them. As it is, he only swells himself into an idea of great importance and although by his nonsensical loquacity he has at times made a little mischief, I am satisfied with the idea that he has not made any more. There are a number of these men, the hangers on of our family as I call them who are exceedingly disagreable to me and who consequently do not get very good treatment from me. I am compelled to be amazingly cold to them for I cannot be otherwise or if I can, I will not. He is the pink of courtesy and most amazingly disagreable polite man I ever met with. Withal I pity him for he has seen far better days and bears his adversity quite well. Perhaps had I known him wealthy I should have observed his faults less.

I walked with the ladies to Mount Ararat alias Rock Common formerly my Grandfather’s, now belonging to the town.1 The view from it is beautiful. Extending to a distance of twelve or fifteen miles on all sides. The walk is a pretty one also, though rough and wild. On our return I closed my Journal and received a letter by my Uncle (who had been to town and brought George out) from my Mother. She speaks of nothing but the book.2 Mr. Quincy was here also with Josiah,3 who went soon after tea. George in the dumps this evening, which was passed as usual except that immediately after Supper I retired. Not from fatigue but peculiar causes which at some future time I shall describe. X:15.


Mount Ararat was part of the Old Braintree North Common (now West Quincy), which was divided and sold as lots after 1765. JA bought at least forty acres of the tract, which, along with certain other lands that proved profitable as granite quarries, he deeded to the town in 1822 for the purpose of founding a classical school of high quality. See JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:xxxvii; 3:247; Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy , p. 341–343; George Whitney, Some Account of the Early History and Present State of the Town of Quincy, Quincy, 1827?, p. 44.


The “book” discussed in LCA’s missing letter was presumably Pickering’s pamphlet. See entry for 17 May, and note, above.


Josiah Quincy (1802–1882), son of Mayor Josiah Quincy, had graduated from Harvard in 1821 and was now an attorney in Boston. Later (1845–1849) he became Mayor of Boston. See Adams Genealogy.