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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Saturday 17th

17 August 1861

Monday 19th

19 August 1861
18 August 1861
Sunday 18th

My birth day. I am fifty four years old. My career in life is drawing on to its close and I know not that I ought to regret it. The darkness that draws over my country sheds its influence on my mind. I have no ambition to figure in civil brawls, or to triumph in the midst of social misfortunes. The country has at last come upon the rock which the father left barely protruding from the surface of the water, but which has since risen up into a mountain. The struggle against it may be successful, but I fear it will cost us dear. I must make my mind to share in the misfortune, as I have done so largely heretofore in the prosperity. The question is more interesting to my children than to myself. Perhaps it may be of service to them, in opening a field of activity which could have been closed in times of prosperity. Let me pray that the trial may refine and purify us all. In the morning I walked with Edward Brooks and my younger son to attend public worship at a little Chapel at Crawford, built by Mr Arkwright214 a son of the famous cotton spinner who laid in this vicinity, and whose great fortune is now dispensed by his descendants in the third generation. It is a very neat church, at which he attended, as well as many of the people in the neighborhood connected with his factories. The services were earnestly participated in, and the sermon was much in the customary vein. We walked back to the Hotel, after which I mounted with my son Brooks to the two heights between which the Derwent flows. The country is bold and picturesque, and the presence of the rocky cliffs and stone walls in conjunction with bright verdure and foliage recalled to me the most favorable appearance of New England scenery. The exercise in mounting and descending was somewhat fatiguing. I received a letter from Mr Wilson transmitting a copy of a note from Mr Dayton which gave me ample food for mediation. I wrote a note in reply, but I felt as if I ought not to be here. The duties of this mission are constant.

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=DCA61d230