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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Thursday 9th

9 January 1862

Saturday 11th

11 January 1862
10 January 1862
Friday 10th

The reaction consequent on the reception of the news is very considerable. Stocks rose three per cent, and every but the confederates and the war party seemed to be relieved. Mr Leverson and Mr Weed breakfasted with me, but they talked little on the subject for which they met. The former obviously is earnest but has not much force. The gentleman made another appointment and adjourned at eleven. I was not sorry as it is my most busy day. A Mr Smith called on me to recommend a Hungarian General for command of our arm. I pleaded want of authority to meddle with such questions. The rest of the day passed in writing private letters home. At half past five I went by the invitation of Rear Admiral Manners to a dinner with the Royal Astronomical Society Club. at the Freemason’s Tavern in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. I found about thirty five or forty person assembled, some of them of the most scientific in the kingdom, Professor Airy, Astronomer Royal at Greenwich is the President. They dine together once a month, and then go to a meeting of the Society for the transaction of business at Somerset House. I found among the company, Mr Adams, the astronomer who discovered the planet Neptune at about eh same time as Leverrier in France. Mr De la Rue, Sir George Sartorius, Mr Vignoles and many others whose names I did not retiain. I was the guest on the right of the Chair and was treated with the utmost deference and attention. Towards the end of the dinner, the President gave three sentiments in succession. The Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the President of the United States. To the latter I responded in a few words of thanks and gave as a reply the astronomical societies of both country, may the only contest between them be as to which shall discover the most stars. It was well received and we then adjourned to Somerset Houses. Here I was introduced into rather a small room containing perhaps sixty or seventy persons. The usual forms of organization. The President an old gentleman by the name of Lee who welcomed me very warmly. Two or three papers read; mostly from the Astronomer Royal. One giving the result of a great series of observations to measure the diameter of the sun’s disk vertically and horizontally. The result was a difference only of a quarter of a second. Mr 7 De la Rue, the Secretary who is a maker of writing paper by trade, is yet much devoted to astronomy and is carrying on a series of experiments in photography applied to measure the sun, which occasioned Professor Airy’s paper. He showed some plates taken in Spain at the time of the total eclipse, which are curious. On the whole I was entertained and instructed. And certainly if this be an instance, I cannot infer the existence of much enmity to America in the scientific class of Englishmen. Home by ten o’clock. Mr Parkes came in and talked some time about a letter of my son Henry written to America printed there and came to back to be criticized by the London Times, this morning, somewhat after its customary manner. It was not prudent, but Mr Parkes made too much of it.

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=DCA62d010