Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Friday. July 16th. VI.

Sunday. July 18th. VIII.

Saturday. July. 17th. VI. CFA


Saturday. July. 17th. VI. CFA
Saturday. July. 17th. VI.

Attended Prayers and recitation in Topography. Went to the bookstore and Athenaeum, found very little in the papers. Mr. Force has bought the Washington Republican and proposes to publish a daily paper in opposition to the Intelligencer. A number of this latter paper did not come this Morning so that I was unable to see what answer they made to my father. They have the most sliding, misrepresenting villainous way with them that I have ever known in a publication. Though very justly punished, they may do some injury.1 As I am perfectly independent of all this however, I care not one cent.

I returned home and wrote my Journal and read one or two articles of the North American Review. One on the subject of Boccaccio which did not appear of much importance and one on the Tariff which I did not like although it comes from Mr. Everett.2 It appears to me to be reasoning not of the very strongest, but I was in such a languid state while reading it, that I presume it was owing to that. I know not what it is, but my usual energy is gone. Since the interval which I have taken my powers of mind are considerably weakened and any thing but an exciting book puts me to sleep; I am determined to conquer this.

In the afternoon, I remained in my room reading, finished a Chapter in Mitford concerning the first Peloponesian War until the death of Pericles. An account of the famous plague of Athens which made such havoc in the middle of a raging war. The people of this city were unfortunate but the nature of their Government must have prevented their success, for the people had become almost unmanageable. It is a question not yet decided whether a people are able to govern themselves and it is exceedingly doubtful whether even our experiment will succeed. I read the second age of Anacharsis also. He makes romance of history.

I did business with Mr. Porter for the Knights and exchanged my Burns for a set of Johnson at the Bookstore a very advantageous business for me. After Prayers I took a walk with Richardson, returning spent sometime at the Hotel with Dwight and others after which we returned and I read my Bible, having had some pleasant converse with Richardson, went to bed. XI.


The editors of the National Intelligencer denied that they had published a distorted selection of the documents concerning JQA’s slave trade convention (see entry for 15 July, and note, above) but refused to make a personal or political issue of the Secretary’s blunt attack, expressing “our sincere regret that one, who has so many claims on our personal respect, should have permitted himself to use this language” (Daily National Intelligencer, 12 July 1824). The editors then attempted further to pacify JQA by printing all the papers on the slave trade convention in an extra issue of 15 July.


Caleb Cushing, “Boccaccio’s Decameron,” North American Review, 44:68–86 (July 1824); Edward Everett, “The Tariff Question,” same, p. 223–253.