Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Monday. 30th.

February. 1837. Wednesday. 1st.

Tuesday 31st. CFA Tuesday 31st. CFA
Tuesday 31st.

Cloudy and mild, being what is familiarly called with us the January thaw. I went to the Office. Occupied as usual. I paid this day the last Account upon my list. Such a month of payments has never before occurred in my experience, there being one Check for each day. Diary which I made up.

Mr. Walsh came in and talked but was interrupted by a son of Mr. William Spear’s who came to bring a note from his father, about the Burril house. I sent him word to decide it as he thought best. Mr. 176Walsh told me he had given up the prospect of any success with Genl. Lyman and was turning his attention to the place in the Navy yard. I undertook to write to Dutee. J. Pearce about him.1

Home. Livy. Afternoon the usual series of occupations. Why need I describe them every day. Evening, read Hall’s book until eight o’clock when I dressed to go out. Mr. Amasa Walker sent me an invitation to his house and I concluded to go. I remained only half an hour and found a singular mixture in the crowded rooms. Abolitionists, Temperance men, regular built Jacksonians, bankites, radical loco focos, and Antimasons. A large proportion of the company were members of the Legislature. Home in half an hour. I wish to act right in such cases. Where I receive a respectful invitation, I do not think it becoming to throw it under the table as some in this City would do, but rather to accept it and remain as long as I like if the crowd amuses me, and if not to withdraw at a proper time. After my return I had time to write upon my articles respecting the Currency which interest and amuse me although they seem to produce no effect at all. Wrote to D. J. Pearce.


The letter to Dutee J. Pearce (LbC, Adams Papers) was a plea for help in procuring a mathematics instructorship in the Navy for John Walsh. Although Pearce, a representative in Congress from R.I., had been defeated for reelection in November, he retained his influence in the Van Buren administration. Despite their party differences and occasional misunderstandings, Pearce and JQA, largely because of their shared Antimasonry and JQA’s thorough dislike of the whig leaders in R.I., maintained a long and sometimes close relationship (see above, entry for 26 Nov. 1836; Adams Papers Editorial Files; JQA, Memoirs , 11:253–254).