Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Saturday. September 18th. VIII.

Monday. September 20th. VIII:55.

Sunday. September 19th. VII:45. CFA


Sunday. September 19th. VII:45. CFA
Sunday. September 19th. VII:45.

Up early this morning and for once breakfasted with the family. The weather misty, rainy and exceeding disagreable. I did not attend Meeting all day but spent the morning with great idleness talking in a cold chilly room with my Mother and George, talking about Father’s plans for the future, which—at least one of them—was undergoing the of her criticism and ridicule. I was perfectly agreed with her and on the whole was much amused. We afterwards fell into an argument occasioned by some of his boastful speeches concerning the superiority of this part of the country, in which I took up the other side of the question, and we digressed from this into an argument as to the puritan settlement, in which he as usual talked extravagantly and I did not deliver my true sentiments because I wished to put a stop to his rant, I call it nothing else. He has this intolerable habit of speaking in superlatives which always provokes me and there are times when I cannot but come out sharply and he does not proceed.


In the afternoon we entered into conversation again and talked of much which I did not dare to put into my Journal at present. It was upon old times, and was merely an explanation of much which would excite the blood of a Pagan. I am sorry but I cannot agree in some points with the opinions of the family. There is much unaccounted for in the history of my earliest years not affecting me but my mother. George and I had a little warm talk here. I then sat down and read the second Part of Irving’s Tales of a Traveller. I must confess I do not think so well of this as I did of the first. It has but little to recollect with pleasure. Every thing in it is commonplace and an attempt to make something out of common nature without colouring highly which in my opinion is impossible. Indeed I think Mr. Irving must change his manner or he will lose his reputation.

Mr. Degrand and Mr. Sprague were here this evening and spent the Evening here. They are both political men, the latter in the legislature of the State, and Editor of a Newspaper in Salem.1 He is rather a pleasant man and he conversed upon the subject which is most his own, politics, and as he appeared to have pretty correct views of things, he was not tedious although Mr. Degrand compelled him to remain to his usual hour. I then talked a little with Uncle and George soon after which I retired. XI:30.


Joseph E. Sprague, with whom JQA had “a long conversation ... on the subject of the Vice-Presidency” (JQA, Diary, under this date).