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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Wednesday 15th

15 January 1862

Friday 17th

17 January 1862
16 January 1862
Thursday 16th



Engaged in preparing my despatches for the mail tomorrow. At eleven I had a visit from Sir Emerson Tennent and Mr Lawson, being the two friends of Mr Peabody, how were to consult with me. The former expressed his opinion adversely to any movement at all just at present. Parliament was soon to meet, and the relations between the two countries were still so uncertain as to render it very problematical what the issue was to be. If Mr Peabody were now to come forward, and a war should ensue, the effect of his act would not be favourable either here or in America. As there was no occasion for haste, it seemed more prudent to put off action at least until the prospect should clear. He said they had come from Mr Peabody to know whether I concurred in these views. To this I replied by saying that action or inaction in such circumstances must in a degree depend upon the character of the man in question. If confident in the excellence of his purpose and regardless of mere opinion of friend or foe, he could do nothing better than to proceed fearlessly. If on the other hand, there was sensitiveness and timidity sufficient to make him positively unhappy under sarcasms or reproaches, it would not be wise to advise him to affront them. Considering Mr Peabody as an amiable but shrinking person I should lean o the second course, and recommend delay. It was then agreed by us all to advise him accordingly.. The sum he proposes to give is one hundred thousand guineas. Mr Weed tells me that he has already given as much to the Institution founded at Baltimore, and that he has eight hundred thousand pounds remaining. All this acquired within thirty years. I had visits likewise from Sir George Sartorius and Sir Gore Ouseley. Dined by invitation with Mr Milman, the canon of St Paul’s. Company consisted of Sir Roderick Muchison, Sir Henry Holland, Mr Luvre, Mr and Mrs Cardwell, Sir Roundell and Lady Palmer and Mr and Mrs Romilly, a very interesting company— Much of the conversation intelligent and instructive. We left at ten o’clock, in order to drive over four miles to Mr Senior’s, where there was a children’s party. Here I met for the first time Mr Austin Layard, and had some talk with him.

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=DCA62d016