A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Wednesday 17th

17 April 1861

Friday 19th

19 April 1861
18 April 1861
Thursday 18th

The new excitement has had one effect at least. It has relaxed the zeal of the men who came in quest of recommendations to office. I now have my time much more at my own disposal, and I am bringing matters to a close. I heard today that my things were on their way from Washington. The public news was alternately encouraging and depressing. In the morning it was to the effect that the Convention had refused to secede in Virginia.120 In the afternoon it was that Virginia had voted to go out, that the people had seized upon the Armory at Harper’s ferry, and the navy Yard at Norfolk containing several vessels of War, and that there would be resistance at Baltimore to the passage of the forces. All this gave me extreme uneasiness I confess, for it presents the prospect of a trap very much of a kind we thought of last winter, at our seat of government. We the children of third and fourth generations are doomed to pay the penalties of the compromises made by the first. Another regiment went off today amidst the cheers of the multitude. The war excitement is running very high. I am in great fear that both of my sons may be called upon to go, as they are attached to one of the city battalions. Thus far it has been thought prudent to keep them for a coast guard. But there is no knowing where the passions once roused will carry men. On the whole I felt very uncomfortable tonight. But for this peculiarity of the seat of government there would be little difficulty. We must have it somewhere else. That is certain.

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=DCA61d108