Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Sunday. 29th.

Tuesday 31st.

Monday. 30th. CFA Monday. 30th. CFA
Monday. 30th.

Morning cloudy with a tendency to a general thaw. I went to the Office and from thence to the Advocate Office where I left another article. I like them when written, but am disappointed when I read them in print. Found Mr. Gibson there who entertained me with further accounts of the affairs of the party. He now says that neither of the branches of the Boston party is to have the Collectorship. W. Fos-175ter must be compelled to take it. I think W. Foster not very competent but in other respects very well calculated for the place. I leave them to decide these matters as they please.

Accounts at the Office and about to go to work upon Diary when interrupted by A. H. Everett who talked as usual politics. I expressed my high disgust at the proceedings in Congress to shelter Reuben M. Whitney who has got hold of the weak side of Genl. Jackson, and is thus entailed upon the party.1 Also a talk about the currency, and a letter from Pearce intimating that the Whigs were courting my father with the view of making him Governor of this State.2 Preposterous. Something better than this must be made to be believed.

Home to read Livy. Afternoon, Buffon and Burnet. The account of man is very interesting and is written with great beauty. Forster whose stale politics do not very well suit me. Evening at home reading Basil Hall’s, Schloss Hainfeld. A singular story in a man’s life, but probably much embellished and improved. Afterwards, writing.


On 17 Jan. the House of Representatives had resolved to appoint a select committee to investigate the conduct of Reuben M. Whitney as head of the Deposit Banks as a part of a larger investigation of the executive department’s alleged failure to consult the Congress on appointments and other matters. On the 23d the Committee requested the President to supply it with lists and information needed. On the 26th the President replied claiming immunity for executive officers from congressional investigations. Meanwhile, on the 25th, Whitney appeared before the Committee but refused to answer its questions, was censured, apologized, but continued to challenge the authority of the Committee. On 10 Feb. the House ordered Whitney to answer to the charge of contempt, and on the 13th he was brought to trial before the House. During the period much conflicting information relative to the proceedings within the Committee was published, to some of which CFA makes reference here and below, in the entry for 2 February. See for example, Daily Advertiser, 30 Jan., p. 2, col. 2; 1 Feb., p. 2, col. 4; 2 Feb., p. 2, col. 1; 4 Feb., p. 2, col. 5; 7 Feb., p. 2, cols. 2–3; Daily National Intelligencer, 1 Feb., p. 3, col. 5; 6 Feb., p. 3, cols. 3–4; 7 Feb., p. 2, cols. 2–4; 11 Feb., p. 3, cols. 2–4; 14 Feb., p. 3, cols. 4–5.


To whom the letter from Dutee J. Pearce was addressed is not clear; there are no letters from him of about this date in the Adams Papers.