Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 22d.

Sunday. 24th.

Saturday. 23d. CFA


Saturday. 23d. CFA
Saturday. 23d.

Morning fine but very warm. I passed an hour or more in examining the Poetic of Aristotle and comparing it with Pye’s Commentary which I have obtained from the Library of the Athenaeum.1 Then to the Office where I was busy in finishing the Analysis of Puffendorf. I cannot say that I have read this with the attention it deserves.

At my Office with frequent interruptions and without the habits of thinking which seem to me to belong only to a Library, I can do infinitely less than I ought. I had no interruptions of any consequence however, and on the whole executed more than for some time past. Finished and copied a Letter to John in answer to his inquiry about the Oregon Settlement.2 I seized the opportunity to express to him my deliberate opinion upon the matter of the Flour business and to shake off all responsibility from myself as to the probable consequences arising from the pursuit. I am sorry for John but I am satisfied that neither he nor my father are equal to the task. Returned home, a little shower fell and it was windy.

Afternoon, read over the long Letter to Lentulus, of the character of which I am more and more satisfied, and several to Curio which are very good. This Curio was a good for nothing fellow, and the immediate cause of the civil War. Yet Cicero threw away upon him abundance of the best advice. Evening, my Wife went to see her Sister. I walked until nine. Read a part of Pye’s Commentary on Aristotle and the Spectator.


Henry James Pye, A Commentary Illustrating the Poetic of Aristotle; with a New Translation, London, 1792.


JA2’s letter is missing. CFA’s response to the request for information about a scheme, apparently centering in Boston, for encouraging settlement in Oregon noted that the manager of the scheme, Hall Jackson Kelley, was of doubtful reputation and that the essence of the scheme seemed to be to form a company of poor persons who would contribute according to their means toward the costs of a trip to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and thence by land to the point of settlement. CFA to JA2, 22 July (Adams Papers). Although Kelley’s American Society for Encouraging the Settlement of the Oregon Territory was soon disbanded and Kelley’s own journey to Oregon was a disaster, his efforts to forward migration to Oregon were not without influence in the later successful movement. See the notice of Kelley in DAB .