Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Friday 3rd.

Sunday 5th.

Saturday 4th. CFA


Saturday 4th. CFA
Saturday 4th.

This is the Anniversary of our Independence and therefore a public 398day. I am not fond of noise and bustle, therefore prefer a quiet residence at home. I had this morning much conversation with my father upon the prospects of the family. John has decided to desert the State, poor George is now no more, and I am the only one who remains to keep the name and the family on our branch at least from destruction. This result I have never before suspected and it presents to me most perplexing circumstances. My own peculiar situation renders the thing trying, because I feel fully aware how slender is my dependence upon life and hope. I have trusted not without bountiful mercy being bestowed upon me, in an all seeing Divinity who can search and guide the ways of man when his own judgment and power is but a bubble. I will do my best and place my reliance for other help upon a higher power.

After an earnest conversation, we walked up to my Uncle’s, there to make some arrangements if possible in regard to the little shares of property belonging to the two girls who are now of age.1 I am anxious to fix it upon them so as to remain a permanent fund bearing interest all their lives. So that they can have no control over the principal either themselves or by their husbands, when they have them. But I am afraid my good project will not succeed. Women seldom feel the value of certain independence. On our return, we crossed over a part of the Farm, the boundaries of which my father appears to be anxious that I should know. How little did I ever think that this would be my lot. Degrand dined here and talked about money. We drank the fourth of July with great spirit. Afternoon quiet. John went to town and did not come out until late.


Under JA’s will, his estate, after certain initial deductions, was to be divided into fourteen parts, to be distributed equally to his two sons, his eleven grandchildren, and his niece, Louisa Catherine Catharine Smith, daughter of AA’s brother William. TBA’s share and the shares of his children were to be held in trust by the executors, Josiah Quincy and JQA, until the children came of age (Bemis, JQA, 2:111–112). Since TBA’s two surviving daughters, Elizabeth Coombs Adams and Abigail Smith Adams, were now of age, JQA was providing for the transfer of their property to them.