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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Thursday 13th

13 February 1862

Saturday 15th

15 February 1862
14 February 1862
Friday 14th

The morning was industriously passed in finishing up my letters, especially a long one to my son John. I am haunted by an indefinite apprehension that he is charged with too great a responsibility in money matters, by the departure of Charles, whose judgment on such subjects is better and energy greater. I must trust in Divine providence in the midst of these dangers that surround us on all sides, for there is no help in man. At half past three I waited on Lord Russell, by appointment. My object was to mention to him some matters on which I had directions from Mr Seward. One respecting the Slave trade in Cuba, suggesting the expediency of watching the coast of that island. His Lordship suggested the difficulties growing out of the question of the right of search. The agreement between Mr Seward and Lord Lyons had not been considered security at the Admiralty to justify a variance from former instructions. I replied that the very same reluctance at this crisis to hazard new complications had been assigned by Mr Seward for doing little ourselves, if circumstances otherwise should permit. His Lordship hoped we might ultimately agree to the qualified visitation. I said it was possible, but that in the present sensitive condition of public opinion it would not be advisable to open it. I went on to the next topic, the authority to pay money for the detention of the Perthshire. His Lordship said Mr Hammond, the Under Secretary would arrange that. I closed by asking him about the list of vessels running the blockade mentioned by him as having been given by Mr Mason. Was it to be included in the papers about to be published for the use of Parliament. He answered that the list was one furnished by Mr Yanley. It would appear, but without the names of the vessels, which might subject them if found anywhere to condemnation in a prize court. I said that in that shape it would be of little use to me, for my object was to analyze the character of the representation. He then asked me about the farther alleged filling of Charleston harbor. He expected to be asked about it in the House of Lords this day. I expressed doubts whether any obstacle could be other than temporary. The flaw of two views together with the action of the tides29 on the shift sands of that coast would inevitably force a passage for itself. But if it should not the difficulty could be remedied after the trouble were ended. His Lordship said it might be so, though one of their most capable engineers thought not. The conference then ended. I made the rest of my Official calls, after which I took a walk. Evening at home. Reading the Biographie d’une contemporaire. A very curious piece of French revolutionary story.

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=DCA62d045