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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1861

Thursday 18th

18 December 1861

Friday 20th

20 December 1861
19 December 1861
Thursday 19th

I began my usual line of despatches, but they are becoming more and more brief. The newspapers are more and more ferocious, so that I can hardly see what escape is left to us. What use then in farther writing. At three I called to see Lord Russell. I gave him the substance of my despatch from Mr Seward, and then read it aloud as an evidence of the disposition of the government. We talked it all over, and came to the conclusion that here was no serious course of difficulty there. I then sounded him as to the case of the Trent. He explained very frankly the action of the government, the instructions to Lord Lyons how to proceed, and in case he got no satisfaction at the end of a week he was to return. The demands made were the surrender of the new and an apology. There were two despatches, one to warn of the existence of the other. I asked if Lord Lyons should come home, was it to be immediate war. He intimated not. Much would depend on the nature of the answer from the United States. And time would be taken for examination. On313 the whole I inferred that his Lordship did not desire war, but that he was likely to be pushed over the precipice by his desire to walk too close to the edge. We talked of the merits of the questions very calmly. Finally I took my leave; at the door, he said that if all matters were left between us he had no doubt we should soon agree, to which I expressed my assent and returned home. In the evening a visit to Mr and Mrs Parkes. We had been invited to dine there but had declined, having then expected to visit Lord Hatherton. Mr and Miss Weed, Mr and Mrs Knox, Mr Lucas and another gentleman were there.

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=DCA61d353