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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Saturday 30th

30 March 1861

Monday April 1st

1 April 1861
31 March 1861
Sunday 31st
New York[?]

Easter sunday. Attended Church at St John’s with the family. It was very full, and the altar was adorned with white flowers. Dr Pyne was assisted by another gentleman who preached a sermon more with sound than substance. The service was long, so that I had time only to step in and see Mr Sumner a moment prior to dinner. I wished him to try and push forward Mr Dana’s appointment, but he relucted as he had already strained his influence. He told me that General Wilson entertained a project of putting Mr Train into the Attorneyship, in order to make a path for the introduction of Governor Boutwell into the House. The basis of this is a complaint that the county of Middlesex has had too much and Boston too little of the Offices. To cure which Mr Train being from Middlesex is to supersede Mr Dana from the same place. After dinner I took my leave of Mrs Frye whom I doubt if I shall see again, and then of the ladies who have done every thing to make me at home, and started for the Depot of the road to Baltimore. My visit has changed my feelings much. The impression which I have received is that the course of the President is drifting the country into war, by its want of decision. Every where at this place is disengagement, not loud in words but in hopelessness of a favorable issue. For my part I see nothing but incompetency in the head. The man is not equal to the hour. I therefore retain no regret at the necessity which removes me from my place in the House. I foresee the prospect of a convulsion which may or may not lead to a reconstruction unfavorable to liberty. My presence will do no good. Whilst it would only end in deep mortification to attempt to sustain an Administration and a party which have no principle of cohesion. However unpleasant it may then be to represent a divided energy at least the position carries no fatal consequences to the people from a109 mistaken policy. What Mr Seward will do, I know not. His present design is not to desert the ship, and that is right. But if the man at the helm be bound hand and foot why should he further cumber the deck? Better for all hands that he be thrown overboard. I see no escape from a reconstruction of the cabinet. The original blunder is there, unless indeed we trace it higher to the selection at Chicago. The cars were quite full of person leaving the city after the adjournment of the Senate. Among others several Senators, most of whom predict a conflict in a few days. No incident of material importance on the road through Baltimore and Philadelphia.

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=DCA61d090