Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Thursday. 28th.

Saturday. 30th.

Friday. 29th. CFA Friday. 29th. CFA
Friday. 29th.

Quite cold. Office as usual. I was occupied in drawing a sketch of my proposed remarks to digest and fix which in my memory took me 319all day. It is something, this taking the leap and first impressions go a great way. Called to see Mr. Hallett and get a sight of his resolutions previous to attending the meeting. They run entirely in the current of my contemplated course and are evidently based upon the course I have all along shaped out to the party. I told Mr. Hallett of my determination to go and speak if I could get the courage. He spoke of it as the wish of the Committee that I should which he had been charged to communicate, but I thought he did not in fact seem much delighted with the idea. I said nothing and went home.

Having prepared myself, and accompanied my Wife to Mr. Frothingham’s where I left her, I went to the meeting. It was very full. I saw Mr. Hallett but he barely recognized me and passed on. I sat down next to Mr. French but found his ardor prodigiously cooled. He advised me to wait and see how things went. They were fearful of opposition as some of the Webster men had been drilling troops, and therefore they wanted me as a reserve. My own judgment was against my proceeding provided they did not mistake my motives, so I was glad to rest. Mr. Thomas of Plymouth reported the resolutions which were rather too numerous. He opened the debate and was followed by Amasa Walker in a very bad speech. Mr. Whitmarsh who spoke well and Hallett himself who is evidently the favorite and did very well. Upon his closing I offered to rise but Mr. French thought things looked very well and there was no occasion. In fact Mr. Clough’s opposition was very well calculated to defeat all serious continuance. The meeting closed by a vote which was very unanimous.

After it was all over, Mr. Whitney came and regretted I had not spoken. I told him exactly how the case stood. On the whole, upon reflection I think I adopted the prudent course. I showed myself on the spot ready to speak and yet avoided it without any appearance of shrinking. The party will in time discover that when they want me they will have me. And I must wait the time. I called for my Wife and home. Passed an hour in reflection upon my situation.