Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday. 9th.

Saturday 11th.

182 Friday 10th. CFA Friday 10th. CFA
Friday 10th.

Mild day. I went to the Office as usual. Occupied in the manner usual with me in writing Diary and making up my Accounts with now and then a talk with Mr. Walsh. The news from Washington now is that as usual my father has fallen into a great trouble. It seems that he roused the passions of the Southern members to the boiling point by stating that he had a petition from certain persons calling themselves slaves, which he requested of the Speaker to tell him whether it was or was not embraced in the order of the House on that subject. Before they knew what it was about, before they ascertained whether my father meant to present it, the Speaker having hesitated and being desirous of taking the decision of the House, a dozen members proposed various votes from light censure to heavy expulsion. This produced a violent storm which terminated in nothing for the day.1

Walk with Mr. Walsh, and home to read Livy. Ancient history gives us most interesting views of man in other ages and in other habits, yet still the same. Rome arriving at it’s height of power and developing the seeds of it’s decline. How is it with us?

Afternoon, I was occupied in taking out my papers on the Currency and arranging them with a view to collected publication.2 This is a labour for which I shall scarcely be paid, but n’importe. It is respectable occupation. Evening at home. Lamartine, whose poetical imagination amuses me. Afterwards, writing upon the Currency.


The tumultuous events in the House of Representatives on 6 and 7 Feb. are detailed in the Daily National Intelligencer, 9, 10, and 11 Feb., p. 2, cols. 1–6; p. 2, cols. 2–6; p. 3, cols. 1–2, respectively. A full account of the parliamentary storm that did not abate until 11 Feb. is contained in Bemis, JQA , 2:343–348.


On the papers’ publication, see below, entry for 25 February.