A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Wednesday 20th

20 March 1861

Friday 22d

22 March 1861
21 March 1861
Thursday 21st

Another stormy day with a very high wind and heavy snow. My stream of visits abated only a little, until one o’clock, when I shut my door, and put the remainder over until next day. The newspapers give us intelligence of the nominations at Washington which are on the whole very creditable to the new administration of their policy100 I am not quite so sure. The appearances are of doubt and indecision. Mr Palfrey dined with me and I talked with him about his affairs. I explained our action at Washington and the good will manifested to him there. He seemed somewhat moved, and yet it was plain to me that his suspicion had become so much a part of his nature as to make him yield with difficulty to any general idea. In the midst of our conversation I was called to see Mr Edward L Peirce who came to tell me he was going to Washington. He did not disclose his object. He had already written to me one or two letters awkwardly apologizing for his conduct in the winter, and he clearly shared the effect of it, in this meeting. On my part I met him with quiet courtesy, at the same time not unwilling to throw in just that shade which makes a line of separation from familiarity. In truth I have no ill will to this young man. But his conduct indicates an absence of heart or a flexibility of political morals which puts an end to further confidence. That he should differ with me on such a point as that of last winter is natural and justifiable. But that when professing to be my friend he should draw from me a private and confidential explanation, and then rush into a public attack on it in the newspapers, which he scandalously circulated whenever he thought it could hurt me is not exactly to be reconciled to my notions of good faith. Now he finds he has made a mistake and that I am at once and suddenly placed above his reach to benefit or harm me, he apologizes by saying he never doubted my motives. Hune tu, Romane, caveto. He will have no more letters from me. At home quiet in the evening. The storm raged furiously.

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=DCA61d080