Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Saturday. 16th.

Monday. 18th.

Sunday. 17th. CFA


Sunday. 17th. CFA
Sunday. 17th.

Fine day but quite warm. I was occupied at home in beginning a draught of something upon Mr. Vaughan’s book, and in reading further Hume and Brodie1 in comparison. Perhaps this will only be another attempt added to a considerable list of things of that kind. But nil desperandum. It is better to give occupation to the mind and exercise to the pen.

I attended divine service all day and heard Mr. Kimball preach. He was formerly teacher of a school in Hingham which my brothers attended but has since moved elsewhere.2 His morning discourse was upon the character of Martha in the Scriptures as understood from the correction applied to her by the Saviour—her over attention to the 316things of this world. The subject was odd enough, but the Sermon was what struck me as very commonplace. That in the afternoon was better so far as the nature of the subject and the manner of treating it. It was upon mental independence. Yet on the whole I could not help reflecting how low the standard of teaching must have been in this Country twenty years ago. I do not know how far it is better even now. But I hope something has been gained.

Evening. Took a ride alone to Mount Wollaston, returning not till after sunset.


George Brodie, History of the British Empire from the Accession of Charles I to the Restoration, 4 vols., Edinburgh, 1822.


Daniel Kimball, Harvard 1800 and tutor 1803–1805, preceptor of the Derby Academy in Hingham, 1808–1826, was ordained an evangelist in 1817. GWA and JA2 had lived at his house while they were students at the Academy. ( Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ; JQA, Diary, 25 Sept. 1818; [Thomas T. Bouvé and others], History of the Town of Hingham, 3 vols. in 4 [Cambridge], 1893, vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 139, 141, 202, 212.)

In addition to the two Adamses who were students at the Derby Academy other Adamses and their relatives were associated with the Academy from its founding in 1784. Richard Cranch, John Thaxter Sr., and Cotton Tufts were among the original trustees; and Cotton Tufts was president of the Board 1804–1815. TBA was a member of the Board 1804–1818. The Adams connection with the Academy was resumed when CFA became a trustee in 1850; he served as president of the Board 1856–1859; on resigning as trustee in 1861 he was succeeded by JQA2 (History of ... Hingham, vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 123, 135, 139, 140).