Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Thursday. 2d.

Saturday. 4th.

Friday. 3d. CFA Friday. 3d. CFA
Friday. 3d.

Morning rather warmer. I was occupied in examining authorities for my No. 5, but the utter silence in which my papers are received discourages me. I must try and wait for No. 4, but I do not think Mr. Hallett has aided me in the mode of publication very seriously. He has so many other irons in the fire that the Paper is falling to ruin. Perhaps this is best. There are too many drags upon it.

Office, and thence down to pay money and regulate accounts. Received a Dividend and advanced still farther on my father’s account. Mr. Sparrel called to ascertain the proportions for the proposed plan, which I gave him.1 Then home where I finished the first Satire of Juvenal over again, and looked over some of the MS Letters. Mr. Frothingham, P. C. Brooks Jr. and T. K. Davis dined with me and we had a very pleasant time. After dinner read a little of Thiers. Evening at home quiet. Tried to write something for a toast tomorrow but without success.


Evidently CFA in pursuance of his father’s request had consulted William Sparrell, Boston architect, about plans for a building to house JA’s and JQA’s books and papers. The project seems to have had its genesis several weeks earlier when on 18 June JQA recorded in his diary: “I opened this day my trunks of Books and papers which I sent by water from Washington. I have no room for them in my Library, and it has stimulated me to the formation of a new project of building an Office of Stone where my books and papers, and those of my father may be kept .” ” (Diary, 18 June). On the following day when CFA was in Quincy, JQA notes: “I ... mentioned ... my wish to erect a small building of Stone, in which my Library may be preserved, and my fathers and my own manuscript books and papers may be kept, at least in some degree secure from fire. He made some objection to this, intending himself at some future day to build a House at Quincy, were the Library may be conveniently kept, but after some conversation with me he appeared to give up his objection, and will procure a plan and estimates for the building that I propose” (Diary, 19 June). The planned building was not constructed during JQA’s lifetime, but remained a cherished hope, and in his will (Article 16) he “recommended” to CFA “as soon as he shall find it suit his own convenience, to cause a building to be erected, made fire-proof, in which to keep the ... library, books, documents, and manuscripts safe.” In 1870 CFA fulfilled the obligation to his satisfaction by the completion of the Stone Library facing the garden at the Old House, where it remains essentially unchanged. The “proposed plan” of 1835 has not been found.