A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Sunday, 8th

8 June 1861

Tuesday 11th

11 June 1861
10 June 1861
Monday 10th

Chilly and showers, clearing away towards night. We received despatches and letters this morning from the United States which kept us quite absorbed during the morning. The general effect of them was to depress my spirit, as neither the public nor the private intelligence is very favorable. The government seems almost ready to declare war with all the powers of Europe, and almost instructs me to withdraw from communication with the ministers here, in a certain contingency. At the same time my son Charles warns me of the reduction of my income in the face of the decline of business in Boston. If a conflict with a handful of slaveholding states is to bring us to this, what are we to do161 when we throw the glove down to all Europe? I scarcely know how to understand Mr Seward. He rest of the government may be demented for all I know, but he surely is calm and wise. My duty here is so far as I can do it honestly, to prevent the mutual invitation from coming to a downright quarrel. It seems to me like throwing the game into the hands of the enemy. The only compensation for this bad news, is the fact that the advance into Virginia is sustained. A brilliant stroke here might end the trouble, and bring on a pacification. Our boy Brooks went today to his school Thus I hope I may make up to him for the unavoidable injury he has received to his instruction during my public life. He may get a methodical education which will enable him to complete it on his return to the United States, at Cambridge. Afterwards I took a long walk, and went and looked at a house in Mansfield Street which is offered to me. The situation is not so favorable, but the accommodations are spacious and good, and the terms are favorable. We dined and spent the evening quietly at home. I felt better for the respite from the dining experience.

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=DCA61d161