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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Thursday 10th

10 January 1861

Saturday 12th

12 January 1861
11 January 1861
Friday 11th

I was asked to go early to the Capitol to meet the Republican members of the Committee, and to determine upon the course that was to be taken. I deprecated division and earnestly called upon those present to agree. Not half of our number had come and of these very few of the extremes, so that my appeal fell dead. Mr Corwin came in and read to us his draught of a report upon which we made some comments. It became clear to me that we must go in, about to differ, and to take our chance of dividing. Soon after this we went into the general Committee room where we found nearly all the members assembled. I then called up my resolution respecting the election. Having declined to take out the word paramount, Mr Millson proposed to amend it by inserting the words “a high and imperative” in its place. In other words he was for pulling out my sharpest tooth. We49 discussed this verbal question for some time, in the course of which Mr Kellogg with his customary obtuseness put in an objection. The consequence was that I lost it by one vote, and that might have been supplied by Mr Morse, but for his running into the other room to avoid voting. Then a discussion followed upon the amended resolution, which soon disclosed the embarrassment into which the extreme men were thrown. They reasured against it but without force, and Mr Millson completely turned their flank by declaring why he should support it. Left thus without support in the face of the inexorable record, after some consultation in the other room they came forward with a written paper which they desired to be placed on the record, assigning as reasons for declining to vote at all that they did not consider the matter as properly before the Committee, and that in their opinion action on it would do more harm than good. The question was then taken and the resolution adopted. I then proposed a resolution breaking up the Committee on the ground that the refusal to vote for the other one indicated a deeper disease than could be reached by Congress. This again seemed to disturb the members so much that they began to complain of unfairness. I was aware that in the discussion I had become somewhat warmed, and in the hast of writing I might not have weighed my language sufficiently, so I replied by saying that I should like time to consider these objections, professed no disposition to do any thing unfair, and proposed an adjurnment over until Monday. This was carried. Our friends then agreed to have a meeting in the morning, and there is a general call of the party for the evening, so that my move still puts it in the power of our friends to determine if they please to destroy the committee. Home a little late. Fatigued in the evening, but I worked until late at night.

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=DCA61d011