Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Wednesday. 19th.

Friday. 21st.

Thursday 20th. CFA


Thursday 20th. CFA
Thursday 20th.

Morning at the Office busily employed but not satisfactorily. The rumor is that Mr. Webster goes to England in which case I shall have to look for quarters elsewhere. This appointment will seal the destiny of this administration if it is not already fixed. Mr. W. may be very glad to escape from the country in the wreck of matter which will ensue.1 Afternoon busy at the Office copying Practice, and at home in the evening but not reading very usefully. Copied Executive Record.


The rumor that Webster would become minister to Great Britain was not entirely unfounded. During the winter of 1827–1828 Secretary of State Clay approached him on the subject and reported that “Webster somewhat earnestly desired it, being forty-six years of age, and, if to go abroad at all, wishing not to postpone it until altogether past the prime of life.” But John S. Barbour’s prior claims to the mission, plus the expense of serving as a diplomat abroad, caused Webster to defer his ambition. See JQA, Memoirs , 7:474; Fuess, Webster , 1:349–350.