Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Wednesday. 6th.

Friday. 8th.

Thursday. 7th. CFA


Thursday. 7th. CFA
Thursday. 7th.

My father accompanied me to town this morning and consequently made me somewhat later than usual. I went to the Office and passed the time much in my usual way. Writing up my Journal and Accounts. News arrived this morning of the death of Mr. Monroe. Another coincidence as it happened on the fourth of July. He was a worthy man, and his career on the whole a creditable one, but he was not perhaps entitled by nature or education to the distinction which his fortune gave him of being elected to the Presidency by a nearly unanimous vote. A thing that will not soon occur again. His later hours have been extremely painful to himself. Poverty and debt hung like a weight about his neck and these finally put an end to his course. He was not 85old comparatively speaking. For my Grandfather was ninety one, and Mr. Jefferson eighty four. He was seventy two. The Country has finally faced his debts, so that perhaps he does not die insolvent.1

My father returned from the Meeting of the Overseers of the College earlier than I had anticipated so that we were enabled to leave town at my usual time. The afternoon was spent as usual by me in assorting my Grandfather’s Papers and in replacing those which I find no time to arrange. I have done little in the time passed here, but that little is more than was called for. I read in the afternoon and evening a portion of the North American Review for July. The Number is generally good although I am a dissenter in many instances from the opinions expressed in it. Not having been able to obtain a new volume of the Spectator today, I read but one Number this evening.


The death of ex-President James Monroe was the occasion of widespread retrospective comment not unlike that by CFA. JQA, invited by the City of Boston to deliver a memorial address, was so absorbed by a consideration of the life of one of the last figures of importance whose public career had spanned the whole of the nation’s history that the task of condensation became impossible. See entries for 16 and 25 Aug., below.