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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Friday 10th

10 January 1862

Sunday 12th

12 January 1862
11 January 1862
Saturday 11th



Commonly this is my holiday, but it was not one today. The letters pour upon me more and more. The excitement of the times has given my situation so much of prominence that I am a sort of mark for all classes to shoot at. The newspapers this morning are rather lively. The Times has a violent attack upon Messr Mason and Slidell, in order to discourage any preparation for a public reception, whilst the Post insinuates that I suppressed Mr Seward’s Despatch relating to the Trent case in order to go into the market under cover of Mr Peabody and speculate in the funds. The News has a very sharp leader putting the Post in a very awkward position for denying as if Officially that the Despatch had ever been communicated. It is a singular proceeding, and makes me doubt whether the papers is so much of an organ of Lord Palmerston, after all. Surely he could have no interest in keeping up a delusion which can be so easily and so soon dispelled. I had a visit from four of the younger officers of the Tuscarora with a note from the Captain apprising me of this arrival, and of his inability to come in person on account of his position in the face of the Nashville. In the mean time I have received a reminder from the Foreign Officer of the risk of collision in a neutral harbour, and of the rule of international law permitting one of the belligerents to leave the port twenty four hours in advance of the other. So I sat down at once and wrote a reply to Captain Craven enjoining upon him great prudence in his movements. These naval officers8 are bad when too sluggish like Marchand, and worse when too active like Wilkes. I am in great fear of some mishap, as Craven is high spirited and determined. I am also very unwilling to damp his ardour to take this pirate. At three o’clock I went by request of Lord Russell to the Foreign Office. After waiting some time for Count d’Apponyi to get through with his conference, I saw his Lordship. His object was to read to me a Despatch he was about to send to Lord Lyons in reply to Mr Seward. The purport of it was to accept the terms given in full satisfaction of all demands, making some demur to a few of the points of doctrine on neutral law the discussion of which is reserved for another paper. I remarked that I was very glad this was so well settled. He replied in the same vein, and hoped that nothing was left in the way of continued peace. After some little miscellaneous talk about the coming of the Tuscarora, in the course of which I explained the reason she was here, which was to protect American ships threated by several of these corsairs, he seemed to be satisfied. I then asked him if he had no farther communication to make, and on his saying No, I took my leave. Evening quiet. I read Lord Malmesbury. Henry went back to Walton, where the children remain a few days more.

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=DCA62d011