A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Saturday 14th

14 September 1861

Monday 16th

16 September 1861
15 September 1861
Sunday 15th

Our host, Joshua Bates, is a shrewd, self-made American, who has raised himself by his own judgment to one of the first positions in the world of commerce. He is one of the leading members of the banking house of the Barrings, with an enormous private fortune, has married his daughter to a shrewd member of the diplomatic corps, who has gained a great deal of influence with the Queen, so that serially there is not much left for our plain American to desire in the midst of this haughty aristocracy. Such are the freaks of fortune. It rests with the grandson of a Weymouth boy to become if he knows how to conduct himself the founder of a peerage. He has a pretty though not a very large place here built by another American adventurer who came from our town of Braintree Henry Hope, and made a fortune much in the same way, and he has filled it with books and judiciously selected works of art. He lives luxuriously and yet within compass. The contrast between him and his partner Russell Sturgis is striking enough. The latter was never made to be a banker. After breakfast, Mr Bates, Sir W. and Lady Ouseley and I went to Church as the Village church. Attendance very full, and service very much as usual. The preacher said he had been long in the East Indies and then drew a contract between the effect of the gospel in regulating the morals of Christian nations, and that of the oriental system of idolatry. But it was poor and meagre. We then walked round Mr Bates’s place, in the course of which he showed clearly enough his sense of its value to be strictly commercial, and that he is only waiting for a price to sell it. And indeed I scarcely know why he should keep it. For he has built for his daughter a new house in the Fuest near Windsor. Mr Bates drove with me all over Richmond park which is close by. It set in to shower a little so that we lost the view. On our way home we stopped to pay a visit to Mr and Mrs Harkey who live close by. He was not at home but we saw his Wife, who was an American woman. She seemed lively and intelligent but far from pretty. The dinner as sumptuous as usual.235

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=DCA61d258