Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday. 15th.

Saturday. 17th.

Friday. 16th. CFA Friday. 16th. CFA
Friday. 16th.

I was roused at three o’clock this morning by my Wife who soon gave indications of the necessity of Dr. Bigelow’s presence. I accordingly went for him in the midst of a snow storm and in the extraordinary silence of the streets. I never before had occasion to observe this. No wonder that thieves select this period as their most favorable time. I got home by five and my time until breakfast was passed anxiously when I was notified of the birth of a fine boy with less suffering than on former occasions.1 I felt deeply grateful to the divine being for this continuance of his mercies and could hardly realize that it should be so, having suffered my mind to receive some general impression from the gloomy fancies in which my Wife has indulged. It snowed hard all day.

I went to my Office for an hour but could do very little. Mr. I. P. Davis called with a man named Savage who brought some coins and a medal or two to look at and to buy. I do not at present feel very rich and so made him an offer which he hesitated about accepting and I seized the hesitation to put him off.

Home. Oedipus, but my occupations are very much put to flight for the present. Afternoon, Aristotle, against which the same objections lie, so in the evening, I amused myself with the Pirate2 which however did not prevent me from going to sleep. Blessed be God for the favorable result of this day. I rejoice with trembling.


In writing of the birth to his mother (16 Feb., Adams Papers), CFA referred to this third son born to ABA as “another clever boy.” On 23 Sept. 1838, he would be christened Henry Brooks Adams, the name a tribute to ABA’s brother Henry (1807–1833). In later years he ceased to use the middle name and in The Adams Papers is designated as HA. The facts of his life are perhaps best known through his own The Education of Henry Adams, but a more complete treatment is in his biography by Ernest Samuels, Henry Adams, 3 vols., Cambridge, 1948–1964.


Sir Walter Scott, The Pirate, 2 vols., Boston, 1822.