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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Saturday 23d

23 February 1861

Monday 25th

25 February 1861
24 February 1861
Sunday 24th

Clear and blustering. A wind that sweeps over this city with might power. Attended Divine service at the Unitarian Church and heard Mr Ritter the same gentleman who preached last Sunday. He gave us a pretty good sermon, but my mind has at present lost its faculty of attention. After service I walked to Willard’s Hotel, and paid a visit to the Commissioners78 from Massachusetts. At first only Mr Crowninshield was in and Governor Cleveland of Connecticut was reasoning with him in favor of the last proposition that had been made, which really does reduce the point of difference materially. Yet it contains the fatal implication respecting the disposition of all territory south of a compromise line. Soon afterwards the other gentlemen came in. Mr Cleveland made little impression upon them, and I joined with them. But after he was gone I in my turn enlarged on the duty of establishing a positive system of action to offset the effect of their devices. They seemed to listen with incredulity, though many of them expressed themselves content with my proposals. After some delay, I asked Mr Goodrich to introduce me to Mr Lincoln. In the anti room I found Mr Sumner sitting on a similar errand. We had to wait a good while for some gentlemen to come out. They proved to be Messr Wade and Corwin. At last we were presented. Mr Lincoln is a tall, illformed man, with little grace of manner or polish of appearance, but with a plain, goodnatured, frank expression which rather attracts one to him. Our conversation was principally on his journey, and he told us the cause of it. It seems that whilst he was in Philadelphia, a Chicago detective who had been sent down some time ago to watch movements at Baltimore warned him of the existence of a conspiracy there to waylay and assassinate him whilst passing through by the railroad from Harrisburg. He urged him to go through direct on Thursday night. He preferred however to go to Harrisburg and spent Thursday to Friday there. Here Mr Frederick Seward found him and related the same information as coming to Washington from a separate channel. Thus urged and seeing no invitation from the citizens of Baltimore, he decided to start in an extra train and going back to Philadelphia to reach here yesterday morning, Of the existence of a club and of its machinations, there could be no doubt. Yet he added that if he had been made aware of the presence of a Committee from Baltimore when he left Harrisburgh, he would still have gone with then. That such schemes are still in agitation no one can doubt. At home. In evening a brief visit to Mrs Ten Eyck and her sister.79

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=DCA61d055