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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Saturday 6th

6 July 1861

Monday 8th

8 July 1861
7 July 1861
Sunday 7th

A showery day. I found a church today being that called St Martin’s in the fields. It is an edificie in the style of a century and a half ago, quite imposing, and much more to my taste as a place of worship than the dingy Gothic. The attendance was large as it has been in every one of the established churches I have seen. The sermon was on charity, being apropos to aid to be given to the Lock Hospital, and was much like all the others I have heard. I am much led to notice the apparent sincerity and earnestness of the devotion in the other parts of the service, which seems to constitute the worship of this denomination. The discourse always like superfluity. After chem I took a walk with my son Brooks as far as London Bridge, which we crossed in order to look at the scene of a great fire on the Surrey side, which is said to be the most serious since the great fire of London. The space devastated is estimated at three acres, but I could not judge of it, as the front on the river is narrow, and we were shut out on the street side, where it only reached a single building, by the authorities. The engines were still busying playing upon it thought it week or ten days since. The cause of this is that prodigious quantities of tallow were stored in the warehouses, which has melted and run into the cellars where it continues to burn. The fire is also memorable for the loss of the head of the fire department who was crushed by the sudden fall of a wall. London Bridge on a Sunday gives some notion of the population of a great city. We came up in a little ferry Steamer which plies from the bridge all the way to Lambeth, but we stopped at Westminster and walked home. The view on the rive is not attractive. Indeed I know not in this city any idea except solidity, which impresses itself favourably from the sight of any part of it. The coal smoke destroys all the really fine buildings. Of these I saw but three on the river, St Paul’s, Somerset House, and the Parliament houses. We were caught in one or two showers. Quiet evening at home.

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=DCA61d188