A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.


Creation of the Digital Edition

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., kept a diary for most of his life, usually very consistently. While some portion of that archive has been published in print, and some portions of that were subsequently digitized, the Civil War years have never before been published all together. The entries presented here were transcribed directly from the manuscript volumes, using the oXygen Editor software and encoded with an in-house shorthand for the Text Encoding Initiative P5 guideline. The files were then transformed to fully compliant TEI P5 XML.

The transcription has not been verified against the original manuscript, nor has any annotation been provided. The MHS makes this content available as a valuable research source but with the caveat that it is not yet an edition as established by modern documentary editing standards.


Made possible with funding from the C. F. Adams Charitable Trust. This resource is a joint creation of several MHS departments: the Publications Department, the Adams Papers Editorial Project, and Collections Services. Assistant Editor Amanda Norton, Adams Papers, transcribed all of the text; Associate Editor Jim Connolly, MHS Publications Department, reviewed the completed files and wrote copy for the website, with the assistance of Amanda Norton and Assistant Editor Sara Georgini, Adams Papers. Director of Publications Ondine Le Blanc managed the project, and Web Developer William Beck made it all work online, on any device.

What the Editorial Markup Means

These unverified transcriptions incorporate specific editorial devices to highlight certain aspects of the condition of the manuscript (ms.) and/or the transcription process.

[roman] words that were difficult to decipher in the original or that have been conjectured by the editors
roman material struck out in the original ms.
+roman+ words added by the author
…… spaces left blank in the ms. by the author