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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Monday 10th

10 February 1862

Wednesday 12th

12 February 1862
11 February 1862
Tuesday 11th

We received the letters and newspapers at breakfast, and a good deal of time was passed in reading them. I had a long visit from Mr Bright who talked much of the events that have taken place in the interval since he was here. He had become so much disgusted as almost to incline to throw up public life. We agreed that things had turned out beyond our expectation, and that perhaps we were better for the breaking of the storm in this way, and with this result. He asked many questions with the view of informing himself I gave him all the explanations in my power. Mr McCulloch came in also. He spoke of the debate of last evening on the blockade, of the probable movements in Parliament, of the indifference of the minister about any issue, as they were prepared for a dissolution, and of the inexpediency of decided action in parliament to commit person on the eve of an election. He evidently remembers the last instance when he among other lost his seat. He spoke of the Mexican business as one that annoyed the Ministry much and might lead to an issue in Parliament. The truth is that England26 has ben led a dance on this subject the end of which is not yet. The project of inviting Maximilian of Austria to be King seems to have originated in a desire of France to effect by it a cession of Venetia for the fuller establishment of the kingdom of Italy. But the Mexicans seem indisposed to bite at the bait any more than Austria. In the mean while Great Britain is holding the door. All these things are going on whilst we stand handcuffed. The situation is as mortifying to us as it is to England. I expressed indifference about the dissolution of Parliament as it would at all events make a delay in the course of which we should be gaining more and more data with which to determine the issue of the struggle. Every day it did seem to me that I perceived our friends to be gaining strength and confidence whilst the rebels were losing it. Victory was within our grasp, if we had the generals to seize it. And in the event of defeat the same result of a cessation of the war on its present scale must ensue. After he left my day was pretty much gone. I took a walk and in the evening, read Lord Malmesbury, Death of Pitt and Fox.

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=DCA62d042