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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Sunday 12th

12 May 1861

Tuesday 14th

14 May 1861
13 May 1861
Monday 13th

Beautiful morning. Up early and on deck where I found we had passed the Sherries and Holyhead, and were opposite the bold coast of Wales. The line of its mountains was dimly defined against the sky at first, but later we saw the top of Snowden and the whole ridge covered with snow. Not long afterwards, Liverpool the terminus of our voyage came in sight. The passengers met and passed a vote of thanks to the Captain and the136 Officers, and directed me with Mr Clay to present it in writing, which we did. Indeed the Captain has been unwearied in his civility to all of us, and especially to my own family. At eleven the steamer was nearly at the dock, when a tender came off for the mails. It brought a messenger from the Vice Consul to me, with an invitation to stop at Liverpool, and a notice that the American Chamber of Commerce desired to write upon me to present an address. Of course I had no choice but to go to the Adelphi where rooms had been engaged for me, there to wait for the train to London at forty minutes after three. At this place I received visits from the Vice Consul, Mr Wilding, from the agent of Messr Baring, brothers and Co, and from the Mayor of the city— All offering every facility in their power. At two o’clock, a deputation of nine or ten gentleman from the American character came in and read to me an address, to which I made a suitable reply. They listened with great interest to my words and seemed much gratified by the tone. A little conversation with one or two who lingered after the past, and with Mr W H. Channing who came separately gave me some clue to the feeling now prevalent in the commercial parts. It cannot be doubted that a considerable number of persons in this city sympathize with the secession party sufficiently to wish that the Slave States might peacefully be permitted to separate and form a distinct and independent government. The bond of alliance is the cotton plant, in which producer and consumer feel equally interested. A wish was expressed that I should remain over tonight in this city in order to permit me a further opportunity to counteract this mischievous tendency. But from the symptoms I saw here, the propriety of going to London forthwith. seemed unquestionable. So after a hasty luncheon we proceeded to the Station of the London and North Western railway and booked ourselves directly for London. Our trip was without incident, but we all admired the beautiful verdure, and the fine cultivation visible on all sides of us. Great Britain must be admitted to be parcelled out into lots, which show that no resource will be lost against the increase of population. Yet after all from the nature of things the fact that no waste lands remain is a sad exhorter to the domestic economy of the nation. We reached the great city137 at about nine o’clock. Mr Henry J Parker, Mr Wilson and Mr Moran of the Legation were at the station to meet us, and Mr Dallas’s, carriage was waiting to take us to the Hotel in Regent Street where rooms had been secured for us by Messr Baring, Brothers & Co, as they could not execute my older at Thomas’s Hotel. Mr Bates of that from called in for a moment to express his satisfaction in seeing me, and his uneasiness respecting the proceedings of the government, here, so far as they could be gathered from the time of the Ministers in the late debates in Parliament. I confess that the speech of Lord John Russell has executed in me no small surprise. But I was too tried for much speculation of this sort, and soon afterward retired to bed.

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=DCA61d133