Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 21st.

Thursday. 23d.

Wednesday. 22d. CFA


Wednesday. 22d. CFA
Wednesday. 22d.

This day was set apart here for the celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of Washington’s birthday. A considerable apparatus was got up to make the thing do,1 but I could not make up my mind to take any part in it. The influence of Washington’s character was undoubtedly highly favourable to the prosperity of this Country and indeed even to it’s existence, and I doubt whether any body surpasses me in my admiration of his peculiar merits, but with me it needs no noise to increase the estimation of them, nor high wrought Eulogy to blunt my discrimination of his true qualities of greatness.

After taking a short walk, I sat down at home and occupied myself busily all the morning in reflecting and writing upon Mr. Gallatin’s Memorial which is a very able Paper. Mr. Brooks and Miss Julia Gorham dined with us and we had a pretty good time. As I gave the Memorial to Mr. Brooks to read, I could not go on writing, so I passed my time in looking over Lord Sheffield’s Pamphlet and the minutes of evidence taken before the Committee of Manufactures some years since upon the subject of the protecting duties.

Evening Mr. J. Gorham passed an hour here after which Miss Julia, my Wife and I paid a visit at Dr. Stevenson’s and spent an hour pleasantly enough. So passed the day. I did not read a book of the Odyssey tonight.


The Boston celebration of the Washington centennial was arranged by a committee of the legislature. The observance included a public procession to Old South Church from the State House, with the principal address delivered by Francis C. Gray. There was also a civic dinner arranged by the 246Council in Faneuil Hall, a parade of the Boston Fire Department, and the ringing of bells at intervals throughout the day (Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 22 Feb., p. 2, cols. 1–2).