Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Thursday. 8th.

Saturday. 10th.

Friday. 9th. CFA


Friday. 9th. CFA
Friday. 9th.

My father left this morning early for Providence. He goes to Washington to assume new cares and incur more praise or odium according as chance may direct. The disastrous result of the Presidential Election throws a gloom over the political affairs of the Country which is deeper and darker than it ever has been before.1 The fate of 395our currency is sealed, and the Judiciary is in imminent danger. Office ceases to be honorable and vicious principle is every where triumphant.

I went to the Office. Read Lingard apud Henry 8. Here begins the interest of his, alias a Catholic history. At noon, I returned home for the purpose of going out and paying visits with my Wife. The day was delightful. Called at Mrs. Webster’s, Dr. and Mrs. Kirkland, Mrs. Crowninshields,2 and Mrs. Sparks’—Two at home and two out. Mrs. Sparks is a bride and an interesting woman.3 Dr. Kirkland has just returned from Europe and looks like an old Beau. His lean Pantaloon is “a world too wide for his shrunk shank,” and he in the midst of his decay mental and corporeal indulges a foppery which never became or even would have been thought of in his early days. The spectacle is a melancholy one.4

Afternoon, reading over Stone’s book. The luxury of my library is very great. Evening. Gardiner Gorham passed an hour,5 after whom Edward Brooks came in. The rumor of the death of Dr. Spurzheim is not correct.6


Although the election in Massachusetts was still three days away and the result in New York was not yet known, the voting in Pennsylvania, Maine, and New Hampshire had been so overwhelmingly in favor of electors committed to the reelection of President Jackson that the outcome in the nation already seemed clear.


On Mrs. Benjamin Williams Crowninshield, see vol. 1:30; her residence was at 1 Somerset Place ( Boston Directory, 1832–1833).


In October Jared Sparks had married Frances Anne Allen of Hyde Park, N.Y. Although they were to occupy the Craigie House in Cambridge, it would appear that they were now living in Boston, perhaps at his former residence, 3 Somerset Court ( DAB , under Sparks; Boston Directory, 1832–1833). Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Sparks is reproduced as an illustration in the present volume.


Dr. John Thornton Kirkland had married Elizabeth Cabot only a few months before he resigned as president of Harvard. Following the resignation in 1828, they had traveled widely in the United States and abroad and had only recently taken up residence in Boston (vol. 1:12; vol. 2:226; and the notice of Kirkland in DAB ).


Gardner Gorham was a brother of Julia Gorham (CFA, Diary, 1 May 1833).


See entry for 12 Nov., below.