Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Tuesday. May 25th. VIII:30.

Thursday. May. 27th. VIII:30.

Wednesday. May 26th. IX. CFA


Wednesday. May 26th. IX. CFA
Wednesday. May 26th. IX.

Arose very late this morning owing to the late hour at which we retired, Thomas and I having considerable conversation concerning the scene of last evening. We also took a long walk and I read the remainder of Akenside’s Poems in this collection, of which I shall not at present think of judging. This is the day in which the State Officers for the next year are installed in Boston, consequently it is a holiday, it being also the birth day of one of my Aunts children we had a remarkably comfortable dinner of which I partook in very good spirits.

In the afternoon I wrote my Journal and finished the first volume of Miss Opie’s Tales. “White Lies” is very good indeed although it is a story intended to injure the very moral which she lightly inculcates in a former. The last story is too much worked up for effect. The interest is attempted to be wound up too far. It may do in plays because we are willing to feel excited but not so well in novels.

In the afternoon I again took a walk, and strolled over the burying ground of the church. Here I saw the tombs of my ancestors. Four of them descending in a direct line from the first of the name who came to this country. Mine making the seventh generation since we have been in the new world. In the old we have no traces. Here I felt inclined to muse but as Thomas Hellen was with me who is no musing character I was quickly interrupted and we soon returned.1


After tea, I as usual sat with my grandfather until almost nine o’clock, he retiring much earlier than usual this evening. His curiosity and interest is lost in almost every thing now, few subjects will keep his mind many minutes and it requires a person much more skilled in giving amusement or fluency than I am to amuse him. He will not talk on old matters now and that is almost the only thing which I am commonly interested in with him. We came downstairs again and sat with the ladies until they retired, they remained rather later than usual on account of it’s being the last evening of Thomas’s stay. For my part I sat down to a good supper on bread and cheese, I having surprizingly recovered my appetite since my regular exercise. After this, I talked and smoked more than usual with Thomas—principally concerning our prospects of which subject he is as fond as myself, and we thought that probably this was the last election night as well as the first in which he and I should sit in the old family house spending such a pleasant evening with so large though inharmonious and still agreable family. I.


These tombs, furnished by JA and inscribed under his supervision, may still be seen in the burying ground across the street from the First Church in busy Quincy Square. They are those of Henry Adams (ca. 1583–1646), the immigrant; Joseph (1626–1694), 7th son of Henry; Joseph (1654–1737), eldest son of the first Joseph; and John (1692–1761), often called Deacon John, 2d son of the 2d Joseph and father of JA. See JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:254-255 3:254-255 , and Adams Genealogy.