Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 31st.

Sunday. 2d.

Saturday. September 1st. CFA


Saturday. September 1st. CFA
Saturday. September 1st.

Cold morning but clear. I went to town. Time taken up partly in going to my House for Papers, partly in business transactions, and partly in a nameless kind of way which is fairly to be set down to waste. It is somewhat severe to be obliged to put down so large a quantity of precious time to no definite account. Some things however ought not to be done, some things it is more prudent not to do, and the rest as mere action is trifling. My only proper deportment is hard study and that I am sorry to say, I do not go through with. My spirits sink whenever I reflect upon what a useless life I lead. It is the only thing that annoys me in my present condition. I must go on trusting in my good 356conduct and in a higher Power who works my benefit even when I do not know it and imagine the reverse.

Returned to Quincy to dinner. Afternoon consumed in attending the public funeral of Dr. Phipps of this town. A worthy man who expired a day or two since without the least warning, and has left a large circle of mourners.1 The Prayer by Mr. Whitney and the Sermon by his son were appropriate and impressive. I thought it a fine spectacle to see the voluntary homage paid by a Community to an Individual sustained by no recommendation beyond his own private character. It was not so affecting as Dr. Gorham’s death, though that ceremony was marred by the want of genius in it’s Orator.2 Evening quietly at home.


Dr. Thomas Phipps, who had succeeded his father Thomas Phipps in the practice of medicine at Quincy, died at forty-six of a heart ailment while on his rounds (George Whitney, Some Account of the Early History and Present State of the Town of Quincy [Boston, 1827], p. 58; Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot, 1 Sept., p. 2, col. 6).


On the funeral of Dr. John Gorham and the address on that occasion by Dr. James Jackson, see vol. 2:361.