Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Friday 2d.

Sunday 4th.

Saturday 3d. CFA


Saturday 3d. CFA
Saturday 3d.

Morning cool. I rode to town and passed most of my time at the Office where I was occupied partly in Accounts, partly in drawing up Leases, and partly in visits. Saw Mr. Geitner who came to pay his rent in advance. Also Mr. Walsh who was a little for talk. Also Mr. A. H. Everett with whom I had a few words upon politics. But I did not succeed in the main point for which I went to town which was to see Mr. Stanwood about his first payment of interest. There was a mistake as so often happens in similar cases and I am obliged to go in again on Monday. I did not see Mr. Ayer, another failure on his part. Returned to Quincy.

Afternoon passed at home. I finished my third paper upon the present state of political affairs with which I was not entirely satisfied. Received a letter from my father together with the seal my grandfather had cut, emblematic of his continued support of the liberties of the Country.1 This day seven years I was married and when I recollect how uninterruptedly happy my life has since been, I stand in fear and trembling before my God lest my many demerits should render me unworthy of a continuance of my blessings. I can only trust as I have always done. Evening at home. Mr. Beale came in and talked of Quincy matters which are more fruitful than they used to be.


3 Sept. 1836, Adams Papers. JQA chose this day to present the seal to CFA because it was both the anniversary of CFA’s marriage in 1829 and of the signing of the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain in 1783. The seal which accompanied the letter is that known as the “Pine Tree, Deer, and Fish,” emblematic of JA’s “successful assertion of two great interests in the Negotiation ..., the Liberty of the fisheries, and the boundary securing the acquisition of the western lands.” Also on the seal is a motto from Horace, “Piscemur, venemur, ut olim.” JQA had had it engraved in London in 1816 at JA’s order to mark JQA’s success in also asserting those rights successfully in the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. The seal duplicated that which JA had had engraved in 1783 except for the addition of the motto. The 1783 version had been given by JA during his lifetime to JA2; its present whereabouts is not known. The 1816 seal, which JQA described to CFA as “a token of remembrance of my father, who gave it to me, and of yours,” passed, as JQA directed, from CFA to CFA2. It is now at the Old House. ( Catalogue of JQA’s Books , p. 140–141; Wilhelmina S. Harris, Furnishings Report of the Old House, Adams National Historic Site, Quincy, 1966–1974, 10 vols. [typewritten], 5:535).