Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 10th.

Sunday. 12th.

Saturday. 11th. CFA


Saturday. 11th. CFA
Saturday. 11th.

Beautiful morning. I went to town. Time engrossed by the usual variety of little minutiae which benefit nobody and vex me. It is making a considerable sacrifice to the few people who come to see me, to go and waste much of what might prove serviceable. Whether I am taking the right course or missing my way it is impossible to say. I do sometimes mistrust myself. But then I know that all that has been gained by me within three years has been the result not of acquirement at the Office but of reading and reflection in my Study at home.

Called at the Athenaeum and from thence upon Mr. Audubon the Ornithologist with some letters which my father requested me to present to him.1 He was not at home. Returned to the Office and read some of Major Hordynski. Mr. Jackson the Painter called about the House in Tremont Street. Returned to Quincy.

Afternoon, read Seneca, and finished the third book upon benefits. Can a child confer a benefit upon his father? Doubtless. Evening, Mr. Beale called in. Finished Adventurer, vol. 1.


John James Audubon had had one of his sons, John Woodhouse or Victor Gifford, call on JQA at Quincy requesting letters of introduction for Audubon who was on his way to Maine “in pursuit of birds for the completion of his great work” (JQA, Diary, 10 Aug.). Copies of the letters which JQA wrote in Audubon’s behalf to John Holmes, Benjamin Vaughan, and Peleg Sprague are in the Adams Papers (11 Aug., LbC’s).