Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

7. August

9. August.

[8. August.] CFA


[8. August.] CFA
8. August.

We were glad when Albany presented itself to our view on Tuesday Morning.

My mother determined at Albany, upon the pressing solicitations of the Otis family, to join them at Ballstown Springs on the succeeding day. Dr. Huntt again found us, and brought a letter from my father which had but little ambiguity in it as to the propriety of this journey and which explained very fully the reasons of the preceding ones. But many of these last did not reach us until long after the proper time owing to the folly of Charles King at New York.1 Albany is an excessively dull place and combines filth and heat to a great degree. But it seems to be thriving and prosperous. As a situation for commercial advantages, it may be good, but nobody would ever wish to pass a whole day there a second time, when travelling merely for pleasure.2


CFA misconstrued the meaning of JQA’s letters to LCA and was unduly harsh toward his mother for undertaking her northern journey. Between 14 July and 9 August JQA wrote his wife six letters but only the first suggested that she join him at Quincy with Charles and Elizabeth Coombs Adams (ECA), while all the rest directed her to go elsewhere for her health and comfort. One letter, sent in care of Charles King in New York City, was not received by LCA until later, but it only repeated JQA’s advice to go elsewhere than to Quincy because he had not yet secured the furnishings of the Old House, which were to be bought at auction. All these letters are in the Adams Papers.


CFA and his mother visited Mrs. Van Rensselaer of the patroon family that evening. He was miserable, but his mother was feeling better (D/CFA/1).