Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 13th.

Thursday. 15th.

Wednesday. 14th. CFA


Wednesday. 14th. CFA
Wednesday. 14th.

Morning clear and quite cool but it soon clouded over. I pursued my usual study of Demosthenes, until it was time to go to the Office. Began today a review of the Federalist which I propose now to examine more thoroughly than I have yet been able to do.1 It is becoming every day of more importance to know what the framers of the Constitution did really and in truth mean. One man says one thing, another thinks the opposite to it is the proper sense, and none are willing now to bow to the decision of any common arbiter. If there is any thing more particularly dangerous than the rest, to our prospects of continuance as a Nation, it is this growing indisposition to compromise. A disposition which if cherished in the minutest concerns of life makes unhappiness, 136must be destructive when it is prevailing in the divisions of a People. If I should ever be called to deliver any address, I think this would be a useful subject. No body called today. I passed an hour in reading George’s Papers, particularly his letters to Mary. How sorrowful they make me. And when I look back, what causes have I to be grateful to the protection of a divine Providence.2

Returned home and passed the afternoon in reading the Letters to Atticus. An Essay of Lord Bacon on Seeming Wise, and in the Evening Translated the rest of my task excepting the last Section, and the Spectator. My Wife was pretty well, the Child with a little cold.


CFA’s earlier reading in The Federalist was in 1826; on the Adamses’ copies, see above, vol. 2:29.


See above, vol. 3, entry for 8 Sept. 1829. No letters from GWA to Mary Catherine Hellen (Mrs. JA2) are known to survive.