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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Thursday 30th

30 January 1862

Saturday February 1st

1 February 1862
31 January 1862
Friday 31st

The temperature is almost sultry, and the dampness corresponds. I went on with my customary labour preparing letters for the mail this evening. I wrote a private letter to Mr Seward in answer to a portion of a note to Mr Weed which had been shown to me. It is plain that the difficulties of his position wear upon him. My wonder is that he has stood under them at all. In all my experience of public abuse and private slander of a Statesman I have never known a parallel instance. Mr Weed went with Mrs Adams to pay a visit to the Duchess of Argyll. After the day’s work was over I took a walk with the younger children round the Regent’s park. After dinner I though I would go to the British Institution, from the Secretary of which I had received an invitation to attend the Friday evening course of Lectures. The subject for this evening was the glacial theory which was explained by Professor Hopkins. The room was filled, though the course is confined to members and visitors. The lecturer reviewed the three theories of the motion of glaciers the sliding, the viscous and the regelating— He rejected the first two and aderated the last.19 He attempted some experiments with ice which rather hung fine. I thought the argument feeble. The facts known are the motion and the more rapid advance of the surface than the bottom. To affirm that this last phenomenon is owing to the rapid crushing of the ice and instantaneous freezing of the fragments, a process which has never yet been witnessed by an observer in any spot but in a scientific laboratory when a small piece of ice was carried through the treatment, is to say the least of it a premature generalization. The movements in nature are seldom so regular as they are in a lecture room, and it is difficult to believe that a constant source of pulverization and regelation of a great body of solid water is going on before men’s eyes and no one has ever had the least suspicion of it. The audience was half of it composed of ladies, and the attention was great.

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=DCA62d031