Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Monday. 13th.

Wednesday. 15th.

Tuesday. 14th. CFA


Tuesday. 14th. CFA
Tuesday. 14th.

Clear. My time exceedingly taken up in a variety of final occupations. I have got fastened down so in Boston that it seems as if I should never be able to get rid of all the threads. As a last trouble, one of my houses is empty by the fickle disposition of the tenant who took it. I am resolved however not to let this or any other inconvenience of a similar sort detain me. I this morning finished Mr. Johnson’s business, closed his Account, and wrote him a letter to accompany it, which I take with me to New York to send from there. I also drew some Dividends and made a final deposite, so as to know what funds I may depend upon. The unexpected call the other day at Quincy cramped me in this respect.

I called upon Mr. Sparrel the Architect and requested him to think of a plan for such a house as I wished, while I should be absent. I sent him the Encyclopedia from which to gather hints.1 Notwithstanding my various duties I succeeded in finishing the 24th book of Livy, which will be a good resting place for the present. The remainder of the day was passed in clearing away papers and collecting and packing.


My Wife and I went out to take a short walk upon our return from which we found T. K. Davis who staid here conversing until a late hour. He has a great deal of foundation in him, more perhaps than most men and I like much to converse with him. We discussed tonight that old and familiar subject, Oratory and style.


CFA had nurtured for some time the hope of building a house for his family in Quincy. He had revealed that hope to his father in objecting to JQA’s idea for a building to house his own and John Adams’ books and papers. Upon further conversation, however, JQA’s plan was pursued to the point of consulting William Sparrell, Boston architect. That project was put aside, however; see vol. 6:170. Early in 1836, CFA resolved to move forward on his own plan, consulted Cornelius Coolidge, architect of numerous houses on Beacon Hill in Boston, and chose a site on land JQA offered him on the upper part of the hill across the road from the Old House. Coolidge’s plans not satisfying him, CFA examined numerous books on architecture including J. C. Loudon’s Encyclopaedia of ... Architecture, London, 1836, and turned again to Sparrell, this time to draw plans for his house. See vol. 6:358, 379, 400, 408.