Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Saturday. 6th.

Monday. 8th.

Sunday. 7th. CFA Sunday. 7th. CFA
Sunday. 7th.

My morning was taken up in reading the Debates of the First Congress upon the removing power. It seems probable that I shall now have to go into a thorough examination of Mr. Webster’s Speech. God protect me through it. It is the critical moment of my life and I am twenty seven years old. Let that fact and its associations already recorded on my last birth day stir me up.

Attended divine Service and heard Mr. Frothingham. My daughter Louisa with me. Text John 1. 19. “Who art thou.” She distracted my attention. The character of the Saviour and John with a reference to the Communion, and to self examination. This is very blind. Afternoon Mr. Eliot, a young Missionary from St. Louis, on an errand for charity.1 His Sermon was an Address. 2. Corinthians 8. 13 and 14. “For I mean not that other men be eased and ye burdened; But by an equality that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality.” A very ingenious argument in favour of rendering aid from here to build up a Church at St. Louis. The manner was good, and the whole application interesting, and had it’s effect. But my mind was not convinced and therefore it would have been weakness to have yielded to the mere example of others. He had a collection afterwards which was well supported.

Read a Sermon of Barrow. Ephesians 5. 2. “And walk in love.” The necessity and good effects of charity. A very good discourse, but my head is so full of constitutional argument I do not pay proper attention to my regular duties. Evening wrote a Paper No. 8 of Political Speculation and did not go to bed until midnight.


Rev. William Greenleaf Eliot had gone to St. Louis following his graduation from Harvard Divinity school in 1834, and by March 1835 had organized the First Congregational Society there. He had been brought up in Washington of Massachusetts parents and had taken his first degree at Columbian College there. In 1837 he married Abigail Adams Cranch, a daughter of Judge William Cranch of Washington. Eliot’s long career in St. Louis was 154devoted to the establishment of churches and schools and to raising funds, in extraordinary amounts, for their support. He was active in movements for temperance reform, women’s rights, and the emancipation of salves. In 1853 he established Eliot Seminary which later became Washington University. He resigned his pastorate in 1870 to become the University’s chancellor, a post he held until his death in 1887 ( DAB ).