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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Tuesday 7th

7 January 1862

Thursday 9th

9 January 1862
8 January 1862
Wednesday 8th



My morning slipped off unaccountable in the midst of letters and accounts and visits. Mr Montague Leverson, a gentleman friendly to the United States came in by appointment to talk with me about the state of the press, and the importance of charging its character. I told him that I could not do little this way, but that Mr Weed was here who had great knowledge and experience, and that I would if he pleased, put him into communication with him. As he assented, I asked him to come ot breakfast on Friday, when I could get Mr Weed also. The truth is that the press is in process of transition from the old to the new. It has been cheapened, and thus competition has come in to such a degree that even the absolute power of the Times over public opinion is declining. A misjudgment of public opinion in any moment of crisis would be very likely to overset it. In the mean time the inferior sheets are open to all sorts of mercenary and personal influence.5 The confederate emissaries who are just up to such a level have labored assiduously and not without effect in this path. Mr Weed however is already organizing a system of counteraction which begins to tell on the opposite side. Towards evening I received a telegram from Mr Reuter, bringing the news two days later from New York to the effect that Messr Mason and Slidell and suite had been surrendered. Soon after Mr Weed came in from the city with confirmatory intelligence, and a later telegram put it beyond doubt. So that the danger of war is for the present removed. I am to remain in this purgatory a while longer. The little that I may do to help my country in its hour of trouble will be an inducement to reconcile me to the delay, and I confess I do not like the idea of returning in the midst of a the confusion of such an organization as that at Washington. These considerations must avail to make me bear with patience the load that is set upon me. In the evening we had Mr Weed, and Mr Mrs and Miss Parkes all in high glee at the news.

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=DCA62d008