A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Monday 15th

15 April 1861

Wednesday 17th

17 April 1861
16 April 1861
Tuesday 16th

A very heavy rain with a northeast wind. I was at work all the morning and had no interruption. In a brief visit to State Street I found the excitement running very high as the different militia companies came in from the country to be sent forward to Washington. The Governor calls out the remoter bodies, deeming it wisest to keep the city companies to guard the harbor and the city. In spite of the rain the people crowded the streets to cheer the troops. All party distinction seems to have been dispensed with, and the old factions join more vehemently in support of the government even than the republicans. I am now putting the last hand to much of my labour. My cabinet gives me the most trouble. But I have fairly commenced on that today. As I look on all these quiet and elegant pursuits I am tempted to lament the moral necessity that made me a public man. I can only now be thankful that so many years of happiness were granted me, without the regret that I should have had if I had ever shirked public responsibility. The future is dark and very doubtful for all of us of the present generation. But now we have paramount duties that must be fulfilled. This moral revolution must be safely guided if possible, and free Institutions preserved in our region at lest. The excitement has at least dissipated the Office seekers. A quiet evening. Only one brief visit from Dr Bigelow.

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=DCA61d106