Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 28th.

Thursday. 30th.

Wednesday. 29th. CFA


Wednesday. 29th. CFA
Wednesday. 29th.

Fine day. Remained at home again. Wrote off a fair copy of the draught which I mentioned yesterday and was engaged in reading again the first volume of Mr. Oliver Cromwell’s book. But somehow or other I do not take to it now. The clearness of my ideas is all gone. Perhaps in a week or two it may come back again. In the mean time, my labour seems to be very much without an object. My spirits are not very good in this state of things.

After dinner, I sat about the old files and went over a considerable number of letters received during the period commencing with this Century.1 There is a vast deal of trash with very valuable matter in this collection of Papers. I think it incumbent upon my father to take some course by which the latter shall be picked out and placed in a form to be made durable.

Evening at home. Read aloud in assisting my father the last Chapter of Sir Jas. Mackintosh’s Dissertation upon the History of Ethical Philosophy.2 Finished 2d vol. of the Adventurer.


“I took up with Charles the project of assorting them, and after three hours occupation upon them found we had scarcely begun. I determined to begin by reducing all the Letters to Alphabetical files, and then subdivide them into collections from individuals, chronologically arranged. This labour will be exceedingly tedious and long”

(JQA, Diary, 29 Aug.).

The “Dissertation on the Progress of Ethical Philosophy” had been written for the Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1830 and was also published separately in that year at Edinburgh.