Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Wednesday. 19th.

Friday. November 21st.

312 Thursday 20th. CFA


Thursday 20th. CFA
Thursday 20th.

Morning at the Office. Weather stormy and disagreeable. This morning produced to the light the first piece I ever wrote that was published.1 I wrote a short letter to my father upon the subject inclosing the articles written by Mr. Lowell under the signature of a Yankee Farmer and mentioning my notice of them. This took up much time and I had only an hour or two for Law. The receipt of a letter from my Mother2 assuring me of the continuation of good spirits in the family notwithstanding the disaster of the election,3 had a very good effect on mine, as I had been anxious upon the subject. Afternoon, reading Mr. Burke on Indian Affairs, not very interesting and if it were not for an occasional exceedingly eloquent passage, I would omit it altogether. Evening, did not go out as it rained violently. Remained at home and read Comus and a Book of Paradise Lost.


CFA’s letter, signed “A Lover of Justice” and printed in the Massachusetts Journal this day, urged readers not to be carried away by “A Yankee Farmer’s” insinuations. He pointed out that JQA had questioned the loyalty of the Massachusetts Federalist party but “had not yet named either Strong, Gore, nor Brooks nor Cabot nor any individual. When he does, his reasons for it may be demanded and doubtless will be given—but not till then.” CFA’s copy of this letter is in his Composition Book, M/ CFA/21, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 315.




JQA had been badly defeated in his bid for a second term, receiving only 508,064 popular votes to Andrew Jackson’s 647,276. In the electoral college the disparity was greater, with only 83 votes for JQA and 178 for Jackson. See Stanwood, History of the Presidency, 1:148–149.