Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Descriptive List of Illustrations Descriptive List of Illustrations

[Note: for permissions reasons, not all illustrations from the letterpress volumes are available in this digital edition.]

Descriptive List of Illustrations
John Quincy Adams in 1835, by Asher Brown Durand facing or following page 108[unavailable]

Asher Brown Durand, during 1835, painted four portraits in oil of John Quincy Adams in the months before his sixty-eighth birthday. The first, done in March, was commissioned by Luman Reed of New York City as a part of his plan to create a collection of likenesses of the seven men who had been President of the United States. These he intended to present to a public institution. The third, for which Adams sat during June, was also done for Reed, who intended to retain a second set of the seven portraits for himself. The fourth, a replica of the third, was completed at nearly the same time, apparently, under circumstances that are not known. For a full account of the several versions and of the subsequent history of each, together with reproductions, see Andrew Oliver, Portraits of John Quincy Adams and His Wife, Cambridge, 1970, p. 168–179.

The second of the Durand portraits, that reproduced in the present volume, was painted between March and May, without additional sittings by Adams, and clearly was derived from the March likeness, though there are minor differences. This painting was undertaken by Durand at the instance of Charles Augustus Davis, also of New York and a friend of both Adams and Reed, who apparently had been helpful in arranging with the ex-President for the original sittings to Durand. In late March, when Davis and Reed together viewed, in Durand’s studio, what had come from those sittings, Davis was so taken with the likeness that then or soon thereafter he resolved to have Durand execute a replica of it for him. When the work was completed in May, Davis presented it to Mrs. Charles Francis Adams, sister of Sidney Brooks, Davis’ partner in the importing firm of Davis & Brooks. Charles Francis Adams, when he saw the painting in his home, pronounced it “a very good likeness” and the gift “a compliment and of the highest order.” See p. 141, below; vol. 3:4, above.

Two days later Adams had resolved that his father’s portrait should be included in the next exhibition at the Athenaeum Gallery, and to that end enlisted the help of Isaac P. Davis, a friend of John Quincy Adams and influential in matters connected with the Gallery. Adams’ efforts were successful, and when he came to view the exhibition he was impressed with the “simplicity” of the portrait. On further viewing, he apparently came to feel some reservation about the “coloring” and persuaded Durand to “improve” it (p. 142, 144, viii 151, 166, 168, below). Durand’s work so pleased Adams, however, that, as a gift for his wife, he commissioned Durand to paint a likeness of Mrs. Adams’ father, Peter Chardon Brooks. When that portrait was completed, Adams, contemplating it and the portrait of his father, reflected, “My late acquisitions are very valuable.” See p. 160–161, 168, below. The portrait of Mr. Brooks is reproduced in vol. 2: following p. 304, above.

The Durand portrait of John Quincy Adams which was Mrs. Charles Francis Adams’ passed by descent to her son John Quincy Adams (1833–1894), in turn to his son Arthur, who presented it to Harvard University. It now hangs in the John Quincy Adams Dining Room of Adams House in Cambridge.

Courtesy of Harvard University.

“The Famous Block of Marble Houses in Lafayette Place,” New York, 1831 facing or following page 108[unavailable]

See description for figure 3.

“The Activity of Competition Glares,” Broadway, New York, 1834–1835 facing or following page 108[unavailable]

The two views of New York City are illustrative of the kaleidoscopic scene that presented itself to Charles Francis Adams on his brief visit in November 1834. Both are from the I. N. Phelps Stokes Collection of American Historical Prints in the New York Public Library and appear as illustrations in Stokes’ Iconography of Manhatten Island, 6 vols., New York, 1918, plates 103b and 113. The view of La Grange Terrace, Lafayette Place, is a line engraving by J. H. Dakin, published by Peabody & Co., 219 Broadway, New York, and appeared, along with thirty-seven other views, in T. S. Fay’s Views in New York and its Environs [The Peabody Views], London, 1831. “Broadway, New York” [The Hornor View], “Shewing each Building from the Hygeian Depot corner of Canal Street to beyond Niblo’s Garden,” is an aquatint, in colors, drawn and etched by T. Hornor, acquatinted by J. Hill, and printed by W. Neale. It was published by Joseph Stanley & Co. and copyrighted 26 January 1836. The view is of Broadway from Canal Street northward almost to Houston Street, Niblo’s Garden being between Prince and Houston streets.

La Grange Terrace, whose name was afterward changed to Colonnade Row, was the grandest of the structures occupying Lafayette Place, which extended from Fourth to Eighth Street between Broadway and Bowery. Other buildings within the area were Tompkins Market, Vaux Hall, and three churches: Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, and St. Bartholomew’s. La Grange Terrace consisted of nine mansions of white marble, or granite, constructed en bloc, with a common portico at the second level, from which rose noble Corinthian columns two stories in height. Among the notable figures who made their residence there at various times were Washington Irving and John Jacob Astor. In the “intermixture of fashion and poverty” that Charles Francis Adams found on his morning’s walk, the “famous block of Marble houses” was surely the exemplar of the fashionable (p. 6–7, below).


Hornor’s depiction of Broadway with its many and varied vehicles, its shops of all sorts and sizes, its street peddlars and hawkers, its blatant advertising, has the same flavor as Adams’ description of the street on which a man “builds a house to the clouds that his printed letters may be seen for half a mile glaring over the intervening houses.... Here is a great house and there a ginshop, or a tailor’s or a grocery. Such is the character of New York” (p. 7, below).

Courtesy of the Prints Division, New York Public Library.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, 1828 facing or following page 108[unavailable]

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, celebrated as the first art museum in America, was built in 1805 according to the plans of John Dorsey. Changes and additions, perhaps by William Strickland, were made in 1820 and again in 1823. The columns were changed from Ionic to Tuscan, and the sphinxes which had adorned the parapets were removed. Above the entrances was added the device of a stylized eagle clutching in his talons an artist’s palette and brushes. The view reproduced here as an illustration is of the remodeled building. The drawing by George Strickland was engraved by Cephas G. Childs. It was published by Childs in his Views of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, 1827–1828. The building stood, until its destruction by fire in 1845, on Chestnut Street between Tenth and Eleventh streets. Charles Francis Adams on his visit in 1834 found that the Academy held “quite a tolerable collection of pictures,” though he had not time to do justice to it before “twilight obscured the pictures.” He pronounced, however, that the public support given to the museum was not up to that shown in Boston. See p. 9–10, below; George B. Tatum, Penn’s Great Town, Philadelphia, 1961, p. 56, 166; Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 9:125 (July 1885).

Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia: “View Taken from the State House Steeple—Looking West,” a Lithograph by J. C. Wild, 1838 facing or following page 108[unavailable]

John Caspar Wild, a Swiss lithographer, returned to Philadelphia in 1837, after an earlier stay several years before, and forthwith produced twenty views of the city all drawn on stone from his own sketches and paintings. These he published in partnership with J. B. Chevalier as Views of Philadelphia, and Its Vicinity, Philadelphia, 1838. Included were four panoramas from the top of the State House. That reproduced here follows Chestnut Street as the main thoroughfare westward from Sixth Street. Prominent on the north side of Chestnut Street between Sixth and Seventh streets is the New Chestnut Street Theatre, in Regency style, built in 1820–1822 by William Strickland, Philadelphia’s great architect of the day. Its colonnade across the façade at the second story level was Corinthian. Five arches marked the entrance at street level. Both arches and colonnade were flanked by statuary niches. The auditorium within xseated two thousand. After Charles Francis Adams’ evening here during his stay in Philadelphia in November 1834, he pronounced the house “a pretty but not a convenient one.” Beyond the theater in the same block is the Philadelphia Arcade, also a Strickland building. The North American Hotel, at which Adams and his mother were staying, was also in the same block, directly opposite. The impressions of Philadelphia Adams derived from his day’s walking came in part from the buildings along Chestnut Street since his principal objectives were the Mint on Chestnut at Juniper and the Academy of the Fine Arts at Chestnut and Eleventh streets. He records that he found the appearance of Philadelphia pleasing, “there is something solid and comfortable about it, something which shows permanency. Every thing looks neat, the steps are white, the entries clean, the carriages nice, the houses bright.... The effect upon the eyes of strangers cannot be denied to be cheerful and inviting.” See p. 8–9, below; Nicholas B. Wainwright, Philadelphia in the Romantic Age of Lithography, Philadelphia, 1958, p. 48, 178; George B. Tatum, Penn’s Great Town, Philadelphia, 1961, p. 62, 169. On Wild, see also Martin P. Snyder in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 77:32–75 (January 1953), and John Francis McDermott in the same, 83:452–455 (October 1959). On Strickland, see Agnes Addison Gilchrist, William Strickland, Philadelphia, 1950.

Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

“The Pennsylvania Avenue Looks Now Far More Like A Street and the Place Begins to Concentrate” facing or following page 109[unavailable]

The view of Washington from the terrace of the Capitol to the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue, reproduced here, reflects the city as it was in 1834. The drawing of J. R. Smith was engraved by J. B. Neagle and published in that year, along with ten other scenes in the United States, in a new edition of Conrad Malte-Brun’s A System of Universal Geography, 3 vols., Boston, 1834, vol. 2:facing p. 222.

Compared with the urban prospects presented by New York and Philadelphia to Charles Francis Adams on the journey that brought him to Washington in November 1834, the essentially rural character that Washington retained, despite the development of Pennsylvania Avenue, becomes evident in the engraving. Not until after the exhumation of Major L’Enfant’s “grand design” in 1889, almost a hundred years after he prepared it, would there be significant change in the physical aspect of the capital city, despite the growth in population and the construction of individual and monumental government buildings. The impression made on Charles Francis Adams in 1834 that “The Pennsylvania Avenue looks now far more like a Street and the place begins to concentrate, but every thing wears the appearance of poverty and of want of permanency” (p. 15, below) is echoed in the words of his son Henry describing the impression made by Washington on him on successive visits in 1850, 1860, and 1868:


“Venturing outside ... he found himself on an earth-road, or village street, with wheel tracks meandering from the colonnade of the Treasury hard by, to the white marble columns and fronts of the Post Office and Patent Office which faced each other in the distance, like white Greek temples in the abandoned gravel-pits of a deserted Syrian city. Here and there low wooden houses were scattered along the streets, as in other Southern villages” ( The Education of Henry Adams , Boston, 1918, p. 44).

“Ten years had passed since his last visit, but very little had changed. As in 1800 and 1850, so in 1860, the same rude colony was camped in the same forest, with the same unfinished Greek temples for workrooms, and sloughs for roads” ( Education , p. 99).

“Beyond Lafayette Square the country began.... It was rural, and its society was primitive.... The happy village was innocent of a club. The one-horse tram on F Street to the Capitol was ample for traffic.... The value of real estate had not increased since 1800, and the pavements were more impassable than the mud.... Washington was a mere political camp, as transient and temporary as a camp-meeting for religious revival” ( Education , p. 253, 256).

Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

James Arnold of New Bedford and His Family facing or following page 204[unavailable]

James Arnold (1781–1868), a native of Providence, Rhode Island, had moved to New Bedford as a young man, found employment as a clerk in the office of William Rotch, merchant. The Rotches were among the earliest and most prominent of the great New Bedford whaling families. In 1807, Arnold married his employer’s granddaughter, Sarah Rotch, and in time became a partner, then a principal, in the firm. By tradition, his reputation was that of a “careful and conservative merchant,” of “wide and unsullied reputation,” but at the same time “autocratic” and “severe and exacting.” He was also reputed a man of considerable learning, a student of the classics. (Zephaniah W. Pease, “The Arnold Mansion and its Traditions,” Old Dartmouth Historical Society, Historical Sketches, No. 52, 1924, p. 6–8.)

Sarah Rotch Arnold (1786–1860) brought the softer virtues to the family, including the ability to create a home that was warm and graceful and that became known for its spirit of hospitality. She was also responsible for the creation of its extensive and beautifully conceived garden, which became a showplace in New Bedford. See below, p. 223–224.

The Arnolds had one child, a daughter, Elizabeth Rotch Arnold (1809–1860). Hers is the “melancholy story” long associated with the family. In 1830, when affianced to be married, deeply troubled, she confided to her parents that she could not marry because she had been seduced by, and for two years or more had been the mistress of, her cousin Francis Rotch, twenty-one years older than she, married and the father of two children. Hearing this, her father, behaving in accord with his local reputation as a harsh man and in order to expose the villainy of Francis, whose benefactor Arnold had been from the time of Rotch’s arrival in New Bedford, disclosed the xiiwhole affair publicly. Though feeling in the community ran so high against Francis that he was forced to flee, the full burden of her father’s disclosure was borne by Elizabeth. Francis’ wife and children followed him to Morris, New York, where he had ended his flight, and remained with him to the end of his long and prosperous life. Elizabeth, however, remained in her parents’ house, the object of the town’s curiosity and gossip, single until the year before her death when she married, against her parents’ wishes, Charles Tuttle, a New Hampshire country doctor.

At James Arnold’s funeral, the minister, referring to the storied mansion, spoke “of the deadly pain at the heart of all that beauty, of the tragic agonies those walls enclosed, of the struggles of strong, proud natures—there to bear submissively the inevitable.” (Old Dartmouth Historical Society, Historical Sketches, No. 52, p. 23.)

The story is told in John M. Bullard’s privately printed book, The Rotches, New Bedford, 1947, p. 159–165, under the rubric, “The Great Rotch Scandal”; there, however, the persons involved are not identified by name. The present editors have had the help of Richard C. Kugler of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society in establishing the relationships.

The group portrait (42″ × 32″) is in oil on canvas. The artist is unknown, nor can date or place of execution be assigned beyond the general assumptions that can be made from the appearance of those portrayed. The identity of the male figure in the background is also unknown. The painting descended through the Rotch family to Arthur G. Rotch, by whom it was given to the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Courtesy of the Harvard University Portrait Collection.

Diagram of French Coins as Arranged for a Drawer of Charles Francis Adams’ Numismatic Cabinet, 1835 facing or following page 204[unavailable]

The first recorded manifestation by Charles Francis Adams of an interest in coins, an interest which would absorb him to the end of his life, came in 1833 when he discovered among his grandfather’s papers some “old coins of the time of the English Commonwealth, 1649,” evidently sent to John Adams by the English antiquarian, Thomas Brand Hollis (vol. 5:141–142, above). Two years later, in June 1835, when John Quincy Adams made known his intent to give to his son the collection of medals and coins that he had been in the process of gathering at least as early as his ministry to Russia, 1809–1814, Charles Francis Adams was able to understand fully the significance of the gift, recording that “This is a present of high value to me,” and later calling the gift, “one of great consequence.” John Quincy Adams added to his announcement the wish that Charles should arrange the collection and have it “put up in suitable boxes and draws.” Over the next several weeks the transfer of the collection was effected (p. 151–152, 169, 174, below). Meanwhile, Charles, with his cabinetmaker, James Sharp, began the planning of a piece of furniture to house the medals and coins which, after xiiinumerous delays by Sharp both in the planning and execution, was delivered in October (p. 163, 248, below). Without waiting for the completion of the cabinet, Adams was “occupied in making out my coins on paper so as to from a tolerably accurate idea of the surface they will occupy” (p. 176, 185, 187, below). Diagrams in Charles Francis Adams’ hand of the projected arrangement in nine drawers, with the various coins and medals drawn in outline, are in the Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 601. That containing part of the French coins is the one illustrated in the present volume.

As evidenced by the diagrams, the collection which John Quincy Adams presented to his son consisted mainly of European coins of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The more valuable part, the ancient coins, which he had kept in “a casket” in Washington and which it was his intent to send to Charles Francis, were not to be found when John Quincy Adams returned to Washington (p. 185, 249, 280, below). There is no evidence that they turned up later.

Characteristically, Charles Francis Adams’ first efforts were directed toward acquainting himself with the literature of numismatics, especially that which bore upon antiquity. By 1838 he felt himself sufficiently grounded to volunteer to make a catalogue of the Boston Athenaeum’s collection of Roman coins. His offer was accepted by the trustees; the catalogue, running to seventy-five pages, remains at the Athenaeum. Not until 1846 or thereabouts did he feel his historical and numismatic learning and his means sufficient to justify substantial outlays for the purchase of coins. By then the fields of his interest, ancient, medieval, and modern European, especially the coinage of England and of France, had been fairly well defined. His taste had become committed too to coins that were reflective of important historical developments, rather than to coins of great rarity or of numismatic significance.

Thereafter he began buying fairly regularly, though never lavishly, from local collectors and dealers and at the Philadelphia and New York auctions. It was during his years in London, 1862–1868, however, that in the auction rooms he made his largest and most important purchases. As his son Henry wrote, “He would disappear from the Legation day after day to attend coin sales at Sotheby’s, where his son attended alternate sales of drawings, engravings, or water-colors” ( The Education of Henry Adams , Boston, 1918, p. 213).

Upon the death of Charles Francis Adams, the collection begun by his father and greatly augmented by Charles, numbering some ten thousand coins, passed by will to his son Henry. Henry Adams made some minor additions of his own, chiefly in the coins of the countries of the Middle and Far East in which he traveled, but he never showed an addiction. In 1913 he gave the collection to the Massachusetts Historical Society. The Society, in turn, as its scholarly activities shifted almost exclusively to the field of historical manuscripts—after taking care that those ancient and American coins in the Adams and in its other collections which were not pres-xivent in the collections of a principal local institution were added to those collections, and after reserving the medals for its own uses in historical studies—dispersed the remainder of the collection at auction sales in 1971.

A more comprehensive account of “Charles Francis Adams, Numismatist” by Marc Friedlaender is listed for publication in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings for 1974.

From the original in the Adams Papers.

“Order of Performance for the Celebration of Independence,” Quincy, 4 July 1835—A Broadside facing or following page 204[unavailable]

The celebration of independence in Quincy in 1835, which began with the exercises in the First Church (“Stone Temple”) as detailed on the broadside in the Adams Papers and concluded with a dinner in a tent on the Hancock Lot, was not effected without encountering serious difficulties during the planning stage. These derived largely from the heated character of the political scene in Massachusetts in 1835, the animosities and crosscurrents of which the townspeople were not always aware. Readers of the present volumes will be able to grasp in large part what the stresses were, from a series of entries in the Diary of John Quincy Adams for the month preceding the event.

At a town meeting on 3 June the inhabitants of Quincy “resolved to celebrate the next 4th of July” and voted to appoint a committee of five, with John Quincy Adams as chairman, to procure an orator, the Committee to report its actions to an adjourned meeting of the townspeople on 13 June (entries of 4 and 5 June).

On 8 June the Chairman entered in his journal that the Committee, with one member absent, met. “After gravely discussing for about an hour the question to whom we should apply; whether to Mr. Webster, to Alexander H. or Edward Everett, to President Quincy, or to his son Josiah, we finally settled upon.... President Quincy.... Mr. Webster would have been preferred, but he has just gone upon professional business to Washington, and it would have been impossible to obtain his answer in time to report ... next Saturday evening.”

In due course, President Quincy declined “on account of his multiplied occupations and the weakness of his voice.” The Chairman in consultation with one other committeeman then determined to inquire of Colonel Josiah Quincy whether he would accept an invitation issued by the Committee. On the day before the adjourned meeting was to assemble, Colonel Quincy’s regrets were received. The Chairman thereupon apprised committeeman George Beale of the fact and asked him to make the report to the meeting, the Chairman being unable to attend. He noted further: “I had been told that many of the Citizens would be glad to hear me deliver the Oration, and I requested Mr. Beale, if any such feeling should be manifested, to say that ... I should be happy to gratify any wish of the Citizens of Quincy, but that circumstances of a domestic nature would render xvit a painful office at this time, it being not only the day of my father’s death, but having since the last anniversary lost a beloved Son, who was born on that day. I did not wish explicitly to give this reason, but he might allude to it in general terms to avert any possible application to me” (entries of 11 and 12 June).

At the meeting of the inhabitants, after the Committee was voted the town’s thanks and discharged, another committee was appointed. Harvey Field, as spokesman for the new Committee, waited upon John Quincy Adams. “Mr. Field made some enquiry concerning Mr. Webster, and asked if I would write to him upon his return from Washington and invite him to deliver the Oration, which I declined. He then said that Mr. Solomon Lincoln of Hingham had been mentioned as a suitable person to deliver the oration; and asked if I knew him. I said I did, and that I had no doubt he would deliver a very good Oration” (entry for 16 June). Ten days later Field was back: “He intimated that there was some dissatisfaction of some of the members of the first Committee appointed ... that they had been discharged and another Committee chosen, but he said it was not intended to offend the first Committee. I assured him that it had given no offence to me.... That I was glad they had obtained the consent of Solomon Lincoln ... and should have very cheerfully applied to him had his name occurred to me or to any other member of the first Committee. He said that the reason for changing the Committee was the belief that two of its members ... were averse to having any celebration at all” (entry for 26 June).

That Solomon Lincoln’s name had not occurred to any member of the first Committee, whose list of proposed nominees was made up only of those prominent in public life or established orators on public occasions, need not surprise. Lincoln (1804–1881), a graduate of Brown University and a lawyer in Hingham, had served a term in the State’s House of Representatives and a term in its Senate, had published a History of Hingham in 1827, and had delivered addresses on a number of occasions in that town, but had spoken publicly only twice before beyond the town’s boundaries. See [Thomas T. Bouvé and others], History of the Town of Hingham, 3 vols. in 4 [Cambridge], 1893, vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 334–336. That he had apparently yet taken no strong stand on political issues or candidates was perhaps a part of his appeal.

As Adams had predicted, Lincoln proved a good choice. “Mr. Lincoln’s Oration was a very good one, without any infection of Party Spirit, giving due honour to the Patriots of the Revolution, and especially noticing those who were natives or inhabitants of this Town.... He was about an hour in the delivery and was very warmly applauded” (entry for 4 July). Charles Francis Adams thought “the Oration rather above the ordinary level of such productions.... He did not stir any temporary politics.” John Quincy Adams not only attended the ceremonies, but was persuaded to provide the toasts, all carefully nonpolitical, for the dinner that followed. A. H. Everett was also present. See p. 171, below.

From the original in the Adams Papers.

Titlepage of Charles Francis Adams’ First Separately Published Work: An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs, 1835 facing or following page 204[unavailable]

In Charles Francis Adams’ pamphlet, his most sustained effort to undermine the popular support Daniel Webster enjoyed in Massachusetts in his quest for the Presidency, Adams undertook to demonstrate that when Webster, in his speech on the Executive Patronage Bill in the Senate in February 1835, gave support to Calhoun’s Bill he did so to win Southern support for himself, but in so doing repudiated the historic position of his party and the Constitution itself, which he had earlier earned his reputation defending. The outcome sought by the Bill, ultimately denied by vote of the House of Representatives, was to make the power of removal from office, given specifically and exclusively to the President by the First Congress and affirmed by the Act of 1820 limiting the terms of service of certain officers, subject to the limitation that before a removal became effective the President would be required to give an account of his acts and the reasons for those acts to the Senate. The Constitutional issue turned upon whether the requirement that the power of the President to make appointments in certain classes of offices be with the advice and consent of the Senate carried with it an implied similar restriction governing removals. Charles Francis Adams, then, taking as his pseudonym “A Whig of the Old School,” and taking both his title and motto from Burke, sought to bring overwhelming authority from the debates on ratification and in the First Congress to show that the “Old Whigs,” the witnesses of truth, were unequivocal in their exposition of executive prerogatives. The appeal to precedent stripped Webster and the “New Whigs” of all legitimacy.

The pamphlet, published on 30 September 1835, was a somewhat revised version of eight articles bearing the same title that had appeared in the Boston Daily Advocate and the Columbian Centinel, 23 June–4 August, and in other Massachusetts papers thereafter (p. 163–164, below). Adams was led to bear the expense of pamphlet publication by his own zeal in seeking to inflict whatever further damage he could upon Webster, by his father’s urging, and by the evidence available of the success of the series in the newspapers. Charles Francis Adams thought that the measure of that success lay in the fact that in the speculation aroused about authorship the nominees had been A. H. Everett and John Quincy Adams, “the two best political writers in the State if not in the Country.” Moreover, Hallett, the editor of the Advocate, in praising the articles as “The Essays of the True Whig” chose as his touchstones for the measure of their excellence, the essays of “Cato,” “Publius,” and “Publicola.” By the last named, Hallett linked the author’s gifts with those of John Quincy Adams, who had used that pseudonym. By the second he referred, of course, to the pseudonym used by the author of The Federalist; and by the first he evoked “The Independent Whig,” always associated with “Cato,” as John Trenchard’s and Thomas Gordon’s pseudonym for their “essays on liberty, civil and religious,” in the London Journal, 1720 &c. (p. 190–191, 198, below).


Twin objects impelled Charles Francis Adams to write the papers and to undertake the close analysis of Webster’s speech, and of the authorities on whom he relied, in order to refute Webster’s position. The first was to complete a major piece of writing during his twenty-seventh year, a year which had a talismanic significance in his thinking as “the particular age at which men famous for talent have begun to develope it to the world ... the age at which my father began his public career ... Cicero made his defence of Roscius ... Demosthenes entered upon the public business”; as “the turning point of most men’s lives”; and as “the critical moment of my life.” “Let that fact and its associations ... stir me up” (vol. 5:363, above; p. 153, 198, below).

The second object, which determined the direction his major effort would take, was to square family accounts with Webster. Both John Quincy and Charles Francis Adams were convinced, and apparently on good authority, that Webster, in order to solidify his hold on the National Republican party in Massachusetts as a base for his moves toward the presidential nomination, had been responsible for the intrigue by which John Quincy Adams was deprived of election to the Senate in January–February 1835. See p. 59–79passim, 138–139, below. Before the end of May, Charles Francis Adams had “resolved upon an attempt at counteraction” and had seized upon Webster’s stand on the Executive Patronage Bill as a suitable instrument. The series of articles would be a principal element in a campaign to “save us from the undermining action of treacherous friends.” As he contemplated “An Appeal” upon its completion, Charles Francis Adams wrote, “I shall be content if the party is punished which has endeavoured to destroy all my father’s standing” (p. 147, 159, 190, below).

Courtesy of the National Park Service, Adams National Historic Site.

The Factory of the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company at Sandwich on Cape Cod facing or following page 205[unavailable]

In 1825 Deming Jarvis, who had been one of the principals in early and important glassmaking ventures in Cambridge, Massachusetts, since 1814, established, with a newly formed group, the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company at Sandwich on Cape Cod. Under the direction of Jarvis, a man of ingenuity and foresight, the company achieved distinction and success almost immediately.

In addition to the advantages which Charles Francis Adams attributed to the location: the immediate availability of inexpensive wood fuel for the furnaces, the healthiness of the climate, and access to markets (below, p. 217), the choice of site was a sound one because its navigable stream, emptying into the sea, accommodated large vessels laden with the raw materials needed for manufacture. But Jarvis’ success derived as much from his business policies and technical abilities. He provided at Sandwich an early example of the benevolent paternalism that was to characterize much 19th-century industrial enterprise. He built not only a factory but a village for his workers that in a few years numbered dwelling houses for two xviiihundred and fifty workers, as well as a church and a general store. His wage scale was higher than the average scale and the working conditions provided were favorable. Moreover, by following a policy of full production not dependent on seasonal fluctuation in sales he avoided layoffs.

The final ingredient that gave Sandwich a dominant place in the glass industry in the United States for most of the sixty-three years of the company’s existence was Jarvis’ ingenuity in bringing the art of pressing glass, a new technique, to its full potential through the patents he secured from 1828 onward. As Charles Francis Adams observed, the process was indeed “ingenious and American.” On Jarvis and Sandwich, see Kenneth M. Wilson, Glass in New England, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, 1969, p. 3, 8, 35–43 passim; also Ruth Lee Webb, Sandwich Glass: The History of the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, Framingham, Massachusetts, 1939; George S. and Helen McKearin, American Glass, New York, 1941.

The wood engraving of the Sandwich factory is in the Boston Bewick Company’s American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge, 1:530 (August 1835).

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

A Street Scene in ’Sconset on Nantucket, by Alexander Seaverns facing or following page 205[unavailable]

Because the village of ’Sconset (Siasconset) underwent so few changes during the 19th century, or indeed during the century before, it is not possible to date the drawing made by Alexander Seaverns with any exactness. Seaverns, who was known locally during the second half of the 19th century as a wood engraver and an artist, came to Nantucket to teach in the school and remained.

’Sconset, located some seven and a half miles from the town of Nantucket was a 17th-century settlement. Its houses, all small in scale, have been given the name “whale houses.” Many of the surviving houses have been individually studied and described in Henry Chandlee Forman, Early Nantucket and its Whale Houses, New York, 1966.

The ’Sconset scene which presented itself to Charles Francis Adams on his visit to the island with his father and party in 1835 seems not materially different from Seaverns’ depiction of it some years later. Adams’ description, showing more precision and eye for detail than he ordinarily manifested in the Diary, gives emphasis to those qualities which are evident in the drawing as well: “Siasconset is the Nahant of this Community. Originally a fishing settlement, the huts were gradually deserted by their original tenants and taken by the comfortable citizens for the purpose of affording clear air and change of scene for the two summer months. They are all of a similar construction, of one story and protected from the external air by shingles over boards. They are rarely painted and probably cost five or six hundred dollars to build. The houses are placed within a very few feet of each other and the people when there make a sort of general society. There is a primitive simplicity about this whole thing which I have met with nowhere else” (p. 220, below).

Courtesy of the Peter Foulger Museum, Nantucket.