A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Wednesday 26th

26 June 1861

Friday 28th

28 June 1861
27 June 1861
Thursday 27th

A fine day. I was busy in the morning preparing my despatch for tomorrow. But I was early called off to the laborious preparation for the Drawing room. At the proper hour we all went, and the same ceremony was enacted, which I witnessed last week. The only difference was that the dresses in the general circle were all freed from the restriction as to mourning, the consequence of which was a great variety of rich colours. Mr Moran said it was observed that the Queen received me very graciously. I was not conscious of it. I presented Mrs Cropsey. The number in attendance was quite small comparatively so that we got away in half the time. The Queen has not yet recovered entirely from the shock of her mother’s death. Many appeared that she may develope at just this time of life some of the seeds of her grandfather’s malady. She has been rigid in her demands176 for deeper and larger mourning that has been customary, and she has manifested displeasure when her household have varied from it. These Drawing rooms have been submitted to as an unpleasant necessity, and she is to leave London as soon as is practicable next week. This will substantially break up the season. We returned home, calling on the way to see Mr and Mrs Bates. Here I found Mrs Hodgkinson, whom I knew so many years ago as Ann Hinchley. She seemed glad to recognize the acquaintance, though I should hardly have identified this as the pretty girl who used to come and see the Welshes, when I lived with them in 1818, a boy at the Latin school in Boston. Having got rid of the harness I enjoyed a quiet dinner at home. In the evening we went for a short time to a great ball at Devonshire House. The house is very showy, and the crowd was prodigious. I find a few acquaintances, especially in the Corps Diplomatique. The contrast between the interior and the exterior of houses in London is striking. I have passed by this edifice in Piccadilly many times, and always with an impression that it was some public warehouse or barrack or other. Yet on stepping within the court, a palace opens to the view. The master seems old and ill suited to the duty of a host. I find very few of the nobility who received with dignity and grace.

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=DCA61d178