Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Friday. September 10th. IX.

Sunday. September 12th. IX:30.

Saturday. September 11th. IX. CFA


Saturday. September 11th. IX. CFA
Saturday. September 11th. IX.

Arose a little earlier than I had myself expected considering that I had been up until so late last night. I immediately sat down and wrote my Journal for the morning’s business. My mother was not here this morning, so that I employed my time more than usual. My father went to Boston again today which will be the usual course while he is here. His friends being continually desirous to entertain him and do him honour. In this state of things also, they wish to be particularly marked in their way of treating him. I amused myself all the morning in reading Junius. It is astonishing to think of the power which this author obtained in England by his manner. No man but was afraid of him excepting perhaps Mr. Horne1 and he was afraid of nobody. Sir William Draper was to be pitied as in any other contest he might have come out with some credit but he came across the path of an enormously cruel as well as a powerful man and was treated accordingly. One thing, I am struck with in the remarks of the Commentator, that he is rather servile to the governing power and speaks of 321Junius, the Earl of Chatham and all the other great men of the nation not as Patriots but merely as men swayed by the interest of the moment. Indeed English liberty is but a shadow when it’s greatest supporters are merely venal timeservers. What Junius was, though a matter of great speculation, will probably never be disclosed. He must have been a great man.

Immediately after dinner I took a walk to Neponset and spent the rest of the afternoon in playing, so long an absence has had a little effect upon my play which I did not get over for more than half an hour. I played however with my usual success and gratification. It is unquestionably a most interesting game. I remained until it was so dark, I could not see a ball and then returned home where I did not arrive until eight o’clock. I then read two letters of Junius, particularly the famous one for which the publisher was prosecuted.2 My father and mother did not return home until ten o’clock when we sat down to supper and except a very little time spent in conversation with George, who came out with them, we went directly to bed. XI:15.


John Horne Tooke (1736–1812).


George Woodfall (1767–1844), publisher of the Public Advertiser, was prosecuted for printing Junius’ letter No. XXXV, dated 19 December 1769, entitled “Junius’s Address to the King.” The printer obtained the celebrated verdict that he was guilty of printing and publishing only, won a new trial, and was freed. (Junius, ed. John Wade, London, 1881, 1:255–256; DNB .)