Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Tuesday. 7th.

Thursday. 9th.

Wednesday 8th. CFA


Wednesday 8th. CFA
Wednesday 8th.

Heavy rain. The winter appears to be breaking up at last. I went to the Office where Mr. Ayer soon came in for the purpose of examining a bill lately sent to me from Quincy for timber furnished for my House. He is given to long talking so that it was a good while before I got rid of him. I perceive one or two tendencies to extravagance about him against which I shall be compelled to guard. Mr. Walsh also came in and talked. On the whole however, I felt hurried and did not get home very early. Received a letter from my father respecting his affairs which did not assist my spirits very much. 1 My time was much engrossed by a business operation for the investment of a considerable sum on other accounts as well as my own.2

Afternoon reading Burnet and Forster. Evening, Moore’s Life of Byron which is very interesting. Went to Mr. Brooks’ to a family party. All there as usual, but to me it was very dull. I felt myself somewhat out of spirits without being exactly able to define the cause. I thought and was in hopes that this had passed away for this year. Home where I resumed Byron.


Receipt of JQA’s letter of 3 March (Adams Papers) is noted again in the succeeding entry, but without the revealing comment. The reference is clearly to the passage:

“I must raise [before returning to Quincy] a sum of two or three 200thousand dollars by your means—Antoine Giusta has called upon me for the repayment of 1000 dollars of the debt which I owe him, and I want as much more to pay my household current debts here, and to pay my expenses in reaching home. You must contrive in some manner to supply me.”


In his reply of the 9th (LbC, Adams Papers) to his father’s letter, CFA, in recounting the difficulties he would face in providing the requested funds on such short notice, wrote,

“My common practice heretofore has been whenever any sum of money belonging to you has accumulated in my hands ..., to invest it on your account in some shape or other bearing interest.... It so happened that only yesterday it was that I parted with all your money and indeed now you are nearly three hundred dollars in my debt. The present rates of interest are such that it is absolutely impossible to convert the security without a very great sacrifice. Under those circumstances, I know of no better plan, than to try and borrow a thousand dollars at the Quincy Bank on the pledge of Stock ... and I will try the first week in April to advance you another thousand in anticipation of the receipts of that month.”