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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Friday 7th

7 June 1861

Sunday, 8th

8 June 1861
8 June 1861
Saturday 8th

This whole week has been chilly, cloudy and uncomfortable, giving no idea of spring or cheerfulness in any sense. A Captain of a merchant vessel called to ask me to interfere for him as his ship had ben seized under a prosecution ordered by the government here for his malpractice in regard to certain colored seamen New Orleans. Hist statement was so imperfect that I could not help suspecting him. So far as I could gather, he had shipped some blacks at Cardiff in Wales in his ship which was bound for Fernando po on the coast of Africa. He discharged his load of coals and then sailed for New Orleans in ballast, touching at St Thomas’s on the way. Here his crew were confined as usual in garb, and here he discharged them. His shipping articles were so drawn that it was possible for him to do so. But the practical effect was to put them into slavery, unless redeemed by some other persons. And who knows but he might have ben paid for playing this trick. I found him so dull in answering my questions that I determined to see the Consul, Mr Morse, before deciding what to do. Accordingly I walked down to his Office in Grace Church Street and talked with him about it. He promised to cross-examine the Captain further and to write at my request to the Consul at Bristol to get information. We dined today by invitation, with Lord and Lady Spencer. A small company of young people for the most part. He was in America three or four years ago as Lord Althorp, and dined with me. She is very handsome, as are likewise her sisters. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe was there whom I remember in Washington as Mr Stratford Canning. Lord and Lady Stanhope, and Lady160 Ailesbury were all I discovered. The entertainment and all the appointments exceed any I have yet seen. And the house itself is more elegant in its old interior. After dinner several ladies came in to the salon, which really produced a more brilliant and thoroughly aristocratic effect than I have witnessed before. For to tell the truth thus far my impressions at least of the female department have no been favorable either to their taste or style. I felt quite unwell, and therefore left a little sooner than I otherwise should. At first I though of giving up Lady Palmerston’s levee. But after a little repose at home, I decided to try it for a short time. There was a great crowd there, and I made one to two more acquaintances. Home after twelve.

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=DCA61d159