Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Sunday. 25th.

Tuesday. 27th.

Monday. 26th. CFA


Monday. 26th. CFA
Monday. 26th.

I received this morning upon reaching the Office, definitive letters as to the settlement of my Uncle’s landed property, and the other business relating to the Will of John Adams.1 I called upon Judge Leland and conversed with him upon the subject. After obtaining his ideas about it, I returned and wrote the necessary Papers.2 My principal anxiety is to release my father from the great burden of debt he has laid upon himself, as soon as possible. I talked with Mr. Brooks about the propriety of taking legal possession, but he seemed to think 269peaceable possession would do as well. I was engaged most of the Afternoon in writing and copying Letters to Mrs. Angier3 and to J. M. Gourgas.4 This with a little Spanish took my whole time.

Evening. Began reading aloud to my Wife Bulwer’s last Novel of Eugene Aram.5 A wild thing taken from the shocking story which cuts such a figure in the Newgate Calendar. I do not admire these kind of things. Afterwards, I finished Bell’s Account of the French Revolution which is a mere compilation.6


JQA to CFA, 21 March (Adams Papers). In this JQA essentially confirmed his earlier instructions given in his letters of 5 and 17 March, on which see entry for 13 March, above.


CFA consulted the judge of probate in Norfolk co., Sherman Leland of Roxbury, primarily on the question of guardianship for the minor children. Judge Leland, though inclined not to favor the appointment of widows as guardians, agreed to appoint Mrs. Adams if she should wish it. It was also his opinion that the portions of the minor children, now vested in them, should be paid to their guardian at once or that notes should be executed in their favor with interest paid to the guardian. CFA to JQA, 27 March (LbC, Adams Papers); Mass. Register, 1832.


In his note to his cousin, Abigail Angier, CFA wrote that her portion of TBA’s devise from JA, with interest from the date of TBA’s death, was ready to be paid upon demand. In the course of the next several days she and Thomas B. Adams Jr. were paid the sums due them. CFA to Abigail A. Angier, 26 March; CFA to JQA, 31 March (both LbC’s, Adams Papers); M/CFA/3.


CFA notified Gourgas, who had qualified as administrator of TBA’s estate, that it was JQA’s intent to take possession of the real property under his mortgages “by regular legal process if necessary, or by a mere notice to the Tenants and pacific entry with your Consent as Administrator”; further that JQA proposed to pay all rents derived from the properties to Mrs. Adams during her lifetime, deducting only the expenses incurred. The letter also carried notice of the necessity for Mrs. Adams to become guardian for her minor children or to nominate someone to serve. CFA to J. M. Gourgas, 26 March (LbC, Adams Papers).

When Mrs. Adams’ decision was reached it was that Phineas Foster, her brother-in-law, should become guardian for the children, provided JQA did not wish to serve. Foster’s appointment was subsequently confirmed. CFA to JQA, 31 March (LbC, Adams Papers); M/CFA/3.


Published in 3 vols., London, 1832.


John Bell, History of the First Revolution in France, London, 1831.