Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Wednesday. 31st.

Friday. 2d.

Thursday. November 1st. CFA


Thursday. November 1st. CFA
Thursday. November 1st.

Morning occupied in copying a Lecture upon Practice in Law.1 A subject of which as yet I know nothing. I pursued the subject at the Office. Received a letter from my Mother2 which had a considerable effect upon my spirits for the remainder of the day. The family have evidently been in a state of high excitement about probable arrangements and I am much afraid that owing to the over earnestness 179of my mother upon some unpleasant subject, my father has spoken.3 I then had a conversation with George which did not contribute to improve what had already been shaken, inasmuch as it unfolded to me clearly all the errors of his mind which are likely to operate upon his fate. Afternoon at the Office reading Cruise. Drank tea at Mrs. Frothingham’s and went in the evening to a Ball at Mrs. B. Joy’s.4 Abby, Julia Gorham, and George went with me and we had a very agreeable evening. The party was quite crowded. George seemed to have enjoyed himself very much and as I thought was very much in the mood of forgetting Miss Abigail Adams altogether. If this could only continue. I reached my room precisely at midnight.


The lectures which Judge Samuel Howe (1785–1828) delivered on the practice of law at his law school in Northampton were circulated in manuscript. CFA copied them in his legal commonplace book for 1827–1829 (Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 311). After Howe’s death (see entry for 21 Jan. 1828, below), the lectures were published under the title The Practice in Civil Action and Proceedings at Law, in Massachusetts, Boston, 1834 ( DAB ).




The recent rumblings from members of the Adams household in Washington probably concerned JA2’s desire to marry Mary C. Hellen. Because his son was in no position to support a wife, JQA had refused his consent. The young people became engaged nevertheless (see entry for 8 Nov., below) but they were not married until February of the next year (Bemis, JQA , 2:118).


Mrs. Benjamin Joy, the wife of a merchant who lived at 33 Chesnut Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).