Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Saturday. September 4th. IX.

Monday. September. 6th. X.

Sunday. September 5th. IX. CFA


Sunday. September 5th. IX. CFA
Sunday. September 5th. IX.

Arose rather late this morning and therefore could do but little before it was time to attend Meeting. I went and heard Mr. Whitney deliver a Sermon on some subject or other, which I did not attend to. He is an exceeding feeble Sermonizer. I had occasion to be somewhat displeased with a new regulation they have which is to stand up while the singing is going on. This over, I returned home and continued writing my Journal which I continued also in the afternoon and finally succeeded in bringing it up to it’s precise and exact time. It has been something of a labour but it has exhibited my perseverance and I am satisfied. I employed myself the remainder of the day, in reading over the second volume of Percy Mallory, as I had done it very hurriedly before. Part of it requires attention, particularly the trial which consists in the cross examination of an ignorant witness. I read it over with more care and was much pleased with many observations which the author makes in course, as some of them are very striking. He talks as if he was in high life. Who it is, I have forgotten although I have been told.

In the Evening, much company in the house which I did not go in and see. My feelings are singular in this respect. I do not like to see the visitors we have here half the time and can scarcely give my reasons except that I do not feel confident when I see them; there is something so ineffably coarse about one part of the receiving family that I cannot see her move or speak without feeling degraded. It is this which makes me avoid company in which she is, as I do burn with shame when I see her vulgar, dashing manners. This is the truth and nothing but the truth. I am perfectly convinced with the author of Percy Mallory, that unequal marriages are unfortunate things. I spent half an hour upstairs, Mr. Quincy and Josiah there. As John Taylor of Caroline is dead Grandfather had that famous letter of his read to him which is really an honour to him and a great tribute and a deserved one to Grandfather.1 They went away and then we went in to Supper. George and I had some classical conversation and then retired but we were long awake and conversed very particularly concerning Mary. I think myself that it is a disadvantageous match, and 314therefore if it could possibly be stopped, would be desirable. Although I went to bed at eleven it was after one before I slept.


JA and John Taylor of Caroline (1753–1824), the brilliant theorist of the Virginia agrarians, disagreed sharply over the principles and the policies of the American government; in fact, Taylor’s An Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States (1814) was undertaken in order to refute JA’s A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America. Nevertheless the two men remained personal friends, and on 8 April 1824, in his final illness, Taylor wrote JA a farewell letter, praising the President as “a patriot, who I believe has served his country faithfully, and done what man can do, to please his God” (Adams Papers; printed in JA, Works , 10:411–412). See Henry H. Simms, Life of John Taylor, Richmond, 1932, p. 208–209.