transcription transcription + image
JQA Diary, volume 40 19 June 1835
JQA Neal Millikan Press

19. IV:30. Friday— Boston— Quincy

I wrote this morning till Breakfast Time and besides the Diary of yesterday filled up one page of arrears of the last volume in September 1833— I give myself this for a morning task, through the Summer, if I can so long hold to my purpose— At ten O’Clock I went with my grand-child Mary-Louisa, and Mrs Wilson to Boston. I left them at the Athenaeum, where Mr Durand took a sitting for the Portrait of the child. I went thence to my Son Charles’s Office, and returned to him the two papers that he had prepared, on the Patronage bill which passed the Senate at their last Session and which are to be published in the Boston Centinel. I made some observations to him upon the papers, and suggested to him some ideas— But the composition is entirely his own, and he will prefer that it should so continue, as it is best that it should. He has opened to himself a controversy, the result of which it is not easy to foresee; but of which my hopes anticipate a favourable issue. And all my hopes of futurity in this world are now centered upon him, and upon his employment of his 19time. I spoke to him also of the collection of coins and medals which I have given him, and which he is to arrange and assort and distribute; and to put up in an appropriate desk, with a descriptive catalogue of them to be made— And I further mentioned to him my wish to erect a small building of Stone, in which my Library may be preserved, and my fathers and my own manuscript books and papers may be kept, at least in some degree secure from fire— He made some objection to this, intending himself at some future day to build a House at Quincy, where the Library may be conveniently kept—but after some conversation with me he appeared to give up his objection, and will procure a plan and estimates for the building that I propose— I visited at Governor Armstrong’s, but he was not at home.—at Mr Thomas L Winthrop’s, and he received me— He read me a Letter from Colonel a citizen of the Republic of central America, and charged as he says with a diplomatic mission to the United States— The Letter is dated at New-York, but gives an account of a city in central America, which he visited last Summer, and where he says he found the ruins of a Temple 250 yards long 200 broad, and 40 yards high— He says also that he found there some exquisitely wrought works of art—and an instrument for working in Sculpture of fine Stone— From the inspection of his discoveries in that City he infers that the American Hemisphere is the seat of the most antient civilization, and that it passed from thence to Asia, Africa and Europe— And as it was totally extinguished in America, it is now in deep decline in China and Hindostan, and to a lesser degree in Africa, and still less in Europe— I told Mr Winthrop I thought his theory hardly warranted by the facts stated in the Letter—particularly as the working instrument found by the writer was of stone, shewing the want of iron instruments— But a Temple of such dimensions surely indicates a populous country and a high degree of civilization— Mr Winthrop invited me to dine with him, but I was engaged— I returned to Charles’s House, and at four O’Clock went with him to Mr Alexander H. Everett’s where we dined— Mrs Everett and Miss Everett a niece of theirs who went with them to Spain were there; and Edward Everett, Messrs. N. Hale, B. F. Hallett, Porter, Rockwell, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth, Thomas of Plymouth, Peabody, Stephen Whitney and one other Gentleman were the company— Most of them are members of the Committee of the State Legislature for revising the Statute Law of the Commonwealth; and they are sitting during the recess of the General Court— At seven O’Clock I returned with Charles to his house, and thence with Mary-Louisa and Mrs Wilson home to Quincy. About half the time we came through a very heavy thunder shower, with a continual glare of Lightening, a fresh gale and torrents of rain— But we landed all safe just before the Temple-bell rang nine— The morning had been fair with a promise of a beautiful day— It clouded up about 3 in the afternoon— The gust came on suddenly at the dusk of Evening— I met and spoke with judge Hall this day in the Street. Mr Durand came in to Charles’s after our return there this Evening— He will paint for Charles the Portrait of Mr. Brooks.