Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 23d.

Monday. 25th.

Sunday. 24th. CFA


Sunday. 24th. CFA
Sunday. 24th.

Morning cloudy but it cleared away in the course of the day. I attended divine Service during the day and heard Mr. Frothingham preach. In the morning a caustic Sermon upon the Religious excitement prevailing to some extent of late in our Community.1 It was not in his common tone, but pungent and bitter. Perhaps well calculated. Though for my own part, I care little if the delusion is innocent in regard to others. Afternoon not remarkable.

I was informed today of the important political News from Washington of the resignation of the whole Cabinet.2 It produced a great deal of excitement and conversation as the effects will probably be felt far and wide. What the result will be it seems vain to attempt to guess. But I confess I felt a little elation in thinking that this was the party that claimed such a triumph over my father. That these were the Men who claimed to know how to administer this government, and to bring it back to its original purity. The cunning man is sometimes caught in his own trap, and may often be a useful lesson to his successors tempted by similar circumstances. After all, honesty is the best policy. Finished the first volume of d’Israeli, I shall not take up the second. Mr. Blake came and passed two hours, talking politics. Evening, the Spectator.


The most recent outbreak of bitterness in the long-standing conflict between the orthodox and conservative wings of Congregationalism related to the adoption of statutes governing the Theological School by the Harvard Board of Overseers.


Washington newspapers of 20 April had carried accounts of the resignations and printed such letters as were avail-35able. The papers apparently arrived in Boston on the 24th; the news became public in Boston on the 25th. The resignations seem to have begun on the 7th with the letter of John H. Eaton, secretary of war. Van Buren’s resignation as secretary of state followed on the 11th. Samuel D. Ingham, secretary of the treasury, and John Branch, secretary of the navy, submitted their resignations at the request of the President on the 19th. JQA, Diary, 20, 25 April; Boston Daily Advertiser, 25 April, p. 2, cols. 1–2. On the issues underlying the resignations, see below, entries for 2, 11, 14 May, and 27 June, notes.