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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Monday 18th

18 February 1861

Wednesday 20th

20 February 1861
19 February 1861
Tuesday 19th

Morning as usual. I have now succeeded in getting off the great mass of my documents. And I think after this I shall enjoy a greater share of leisure. At the house we had a pretty animated debate on the Navy bill, in which there is a provision for the building of some new steamers The gentlemen on the other side are eager to construe every measure to strengthen the defences of the country as designed to coerce as they call it. And this idea of coercion overhanging all their operations is designed to turn the scale in the doubtful states. I am pretty tired of this sort of sophistry, but yet it is wise to be patient. We succeeded in getting the Navy bill through and then I went home. Governor Seward and his son dined with us. I though he seemed to be more discouraged than I had yet seen him. The Peace Convention would agree upon nothing. And even the proposition of a Convention constitutionally assembled was now looked upon without favor in Virginia. Hence the danger of secession seemed to be imminent. He said that he had sent a person to Richmond to communicate with certain members of the Legislature and to ascertain what the precise state of things was. He should know in a couple of days. My wonder is that he keeps up his spirits as he does. He went away rather early, and without his game of whist, on account of a caucus at his house of republican senators. Mr and Mrs Sedgwick took tea here. After which we went into a small party at our neighbor’s, Mr Ten Eyck’s.75

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=DCA61d050