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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Saturday 18th

18 July 1861

Saturday 20th

20 July 1861
19 July 1861
Friday 19th

Cloudy and dark with rain at night. A very busy day, in drawing up despatches, and writing letters. A visit from Mr Pike and Mr Wright, former minister to Berlin. The former talked with me respecting the first point of the Declaration of Paris in 1856. He seems much averse to it. he says that he wrote to Mr Fessenden about it, and that he had written back that he was opposed to it and he though it would scarcely pass the Senate. I told him that any such position on the part of the Senate would be much to be regretted, as I should regard it a retrograde movement in the policy of the country. Mr Marcy had taken the first step backward, and Mr Buchanan had followed with the second. On the other hand the policy had been originated by Dr Franklin, and more than thirty years ago my father had inspired new vigor into it. The duty of the new Administration was to change all this. At any rate I had no alternative. Mr Sanford had made himself very busy in opposing the instructions of the Department, and I supposed that he had induced Mr Dayton to vary its terms. I could not go so far. Circumstances of a purely accidental nature had prevented me from making the proposal at first. These had now been removed and I had executed my orders. I though them served in principle, and that the192 party coming in on the basis of liberal ideas would commit itself very badly, if it should turn its back on them. Mr Pike is one of the progeny of the New York Tribune, and has doubtless imbibed the views of that school against Mr Seward. Mr Wright is a democrat, who goes home to reestablish himself on the pure Union issue. He has all the Western characteristics. We dined quietly at home, but went out at ten o’clock to a Concert at Lord Ashburton’s. It was much too full for the size of the concert room. Some of the singing was good, especially the cavatina from the Elisir d’Amore and the pastorale by Mario. But we were obliged to take leave in order to to go down and shew ourselves at a grand ball at Baron Brunnow’s. It was very showery but we left at midnight, and thus ended the last week of gaiety.

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=DCA61d200