Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 16th.

Sunday. 18th.

Saturday. 17th. CFA


Saturday. 17th. CFA
Saturday. 17th.

Morning Cloudy and cold. I went to the Office and worked hard at my first Article on the Treasury Report so as to finish and send it to the Patriot today.1 This required pretty constant diligence for I was interrupted by Jos. H. Adams who came about his Commission. After a little conversation with him I thought it would be best to make him finish the business and sign the Papers. He accordingly took the Oath, and I despatched him to Quincy after dining with me, and the Papers to Washington.

Afternoon. Read the rest of the first book De Divinatione containing all that can be said in favour of the art of predicting from natural or unnatural signs. It is ingenious but not conclusive. The Stoic doctrine was a strange compound of superstition, firmness, virtue, sophistry and Nonsense. But such is the character of man wherever you find him. I read a part of the fifteenth Chapter of Gibbon but not much, as considerable time was consumed in reflecting upon the matter for my second number relative to the finances. These are labours of love, without any thanks. The night was excessively gusty at times, making me fearful for my windows. Closed the evening as usual with two numbers of the Spectator.


A communication, “The Treasury Report—No. 1” signed “F.,” appeared in the Boston Patriot on 24 Dec. (p. 2, cols. 5–6). The writer proposed to take up in a series of articles his disagreements with the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, Louis McLane. Initially concentrating on the section relating to the public debt, he offered a rationale for opposing the proposed acceleration in the rate of debt retirement by raising special revenue. For an earlier estimate of McLane, see vol. 1:69.