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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Thursday 3d

3 January 1861

Saturday 5th

5 January 1861
4 January 1861
Friday 4th

This day had been set apart by the President as a day of National fast and prayer for pardon for the sins of the people. I remained at home very busy writing answers to many letters of remonstrance against my action in Committee, and others asking for information. All this had been brought about mainly by an erroneous statement given by telegraph to the New York Times by a younger brother of Mr Panghm who has borne me a grudge ever since the printing business. And he got his information from Mr Kellry, who had hoped to become a great pacificater through his project, and had been disappointed by the Committee’s selection of me, as the channel of presentation. At noon I went to the Capitol to attend a general meeting of the republican members. On the way I overtook Mr Alley, who told me that he doubted much the propriety of his absenting himself from duty for so many days, and wanted me to give him my opinion just as if I was not in question. I told him that I agreed with him the more that I had no idea it would be of any use. Mr Lincoln must by this time have made all his engagement, and it was not to imagined that he could be released from them. He said he had reason to believe the contrary. But he concluded by saying that he had telegraphed to Mr Lincoln this morning to await a letter which would be addressed to him by mail from the delegation, unanimous for me. I expressed my thanks for their good will, but my indifference about the post. The meeting was quite a large one. Mr Howard was put into the chair. Mr Sherman opened the subject which was to consider the question whether we were to enter into general debate. Several gentlemen had expressed a wish for it and he therefore without expressing any opinion of his own submitted the decision to the meeting. Much was said about the force bill introduced by Mr Brigham, and about various matters that seemed to reach us first. At last I grew a little impatient and ventured to remark the first duty incumbent upon us was to secure the appropriation bills. That factions opposition to them, was threatened and there were rumors of violence to be attempted which ought not to be disregarded. We had but sixty days left,and of these some of the later ones might be disturbed. Hence it seemed to me all important that no debate should be entered into long as any of these bills remained44 undisposed of in the House. The speech was so generally approved of that it was immediately agreed by a unanimous vote o go into the general debate. Mr Sherman then brought before us the proceedings of the meeting of members from te border states. This is a voluntary organization outside of the regular ones, obviously created for the purpose of carrying what might fail in the special Committee. The measures suggested were similar to theirs, with the exception of the New Mexico project, instead of which came a new vision of the Crittenden compromise line, simply prohibiting Congress and the territorial legislatures from adverse action against slavery. Of course this is protection south of the line, and it makes a law which will apply wherever territory may be annexed. Mr State of Pennsylvania was the author of this amendment. He proceeded to explain it, but the members became very impatient and called for an adjournment until tomorrow. I dined without company, for a wonder. In the evening, we had visits from Mr Eliot and his daughter and Mr Sedgwick.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA61d004