Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 20th.

Wednesday. 22d.

Tuesday. 21st. CFA


Tuesday. 21st. CFA
Tuesday. 21st.

Morning warm but cloudy. The Air having the sultry character of August. I went to town as usual and have rarely experienced more of heat. My time was taken up in Commissions for my Father. First to my House, next to State Street for the purpose of finishing the business of his Loan, which I did.1 I then answered a letter from my Brother received this morning, about a proposed loan of Mr. Frye’s, which is curious from the apparent confidence of the proposition.2 The hours passed in this way with great rapidity and I returned to Quincy.

The heat ended today in occasional showers during the afternoon. I read the Eighth and Ninth Philippics of Cicero upon the course to be pursued after the return of the Embassy to Antony and upon the Honors due to Servilis Sulpicius. This business of honors was one of the greatest signs of the decay of the Republic. For the rest, these are like all his latter Orations, fluent and honest. Took a Bath with I. Hull in the Evening, and read J. Otis’ Rights of the Colonies asserted and the Spectator.


JQA had given CFA a power of attorney to transfer 50 shares of New England Insurance Co. stock as collateral for a loan ($5,000 for 6 months at 4 1/2 percent) which P. P. F. Degrand had negotiated at the American Insurance Co. CFA received the money and deposited it in JQA’s account at the U.S. Branch Bank for withdrawal by JA2 to meet his and JQA’s joint note at the Union Bank of Georgetown due on 26 June (JQA, Diary, 10 and 21 June; JQA to JA2, 14 and 26 June, Adams Papers).


JA2’s letter is missing. In it he wrote that their uncle, Nathaniel Frye Jr., had requested him to inquire of CFA at what interest Frye could borrow in Boston with a mortgage on his house in Washington as collateral. CFA’s reply was a discouraging one; he doubted that any loan would be made on property outside the state, certainly at no less than a 6 per cent rate. CFA to JA2, 21 June (Adams Papers). On Frye, see vol. 1:4 and Adams Genealogy.