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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Tuesday 26th

26 February 1861

Thursday 28th

28 February 1861
27 February 1861
Wednesday 27th

Mr H O Hildreth who is here on a visit came to breakfast and to talk with me for an hour about the applications for Office in my District, and incidentally of the possibility of getting something for himself. He is an honest and worthy man and I should be glad to serve him. I then went to eh capitol to attend a meeting of the Joint Library Committee. All the members present but Mr Bayard. Only formalities of ordinary business attended to Then to the House, where no further opposition was made to taking the questions in the order in which they stood on the Journal. First, Mr Burch’s proposition for a Convention which was voted down. Next came Mr Kellogg’s resolution which came pinched between two propositions desired by opposite classes of members, and last and next Mr Crittenden’s proposal, reject by a party vote. Then sprang up the amendment to the Constitution and here again a great deal of excitement, became visible. I ought to say that the resolutions which preceded them were adopted81 by a large vote. It was surprising to see the passion manifested by Messr Ashley, Bingham, Hickman and Washburn especially. The first question was upon substituting Mr Seward proposition for mine, which was carried by 120 to 60. Then upon the amended from, which was lost by 120 to 71, wanting a change of eight. Mr Kilgore of Indiana then moved to reconsider, and adjourn. On the adjournment the Yeas and nays were taken, and they were carried by a union of all the men on the other side. So that the matter is left in suspense. on the whole I can scarcely imagine a more remarkable exhibition of folly than this entire action exhibited. A united vote would have carried with it the proof of a conciliatory spirit, whilst it expressed no more than has been expressly declared by resolution this session more than once. On the other hand a negative vote carried on with so much vehemence and passion leaves an implication at least of a desire to keep open a chance of direct interference at some favorable moment hereafter. The result of my reflection is that in spite of the reaction apparent through all the border states, those states will ultimately range themselves with the remainder. And the issues will be separation and perhaps war. Of the effect of all this who will undertake to judge? Evening at home. Several person paying visits.

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=DCA61d058