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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Wednesday 19th

19 February 1862

Friday 21st

21 February 1862
20 February 1862
Thursday 20th

A lovely spring day. I drew two or three of the Despatches which kept me very busy until it was time to go with Mrs Adams to take luncheon by invitation with the Speaker and Lady Charlotte Denision, at his house in Westminster. This is really all the dinner that he gets, and any where else it would be regarded as a sumptuous repast. The only persons to me us were Lord and Lady Stanhope, and the Bishop of Oxford and his son. I had a little more conversation with the Speaker on the state of opinion in Parliament which he again maintained was disposed to be quiescent in regard to34 America. He is calm and impartial, so that his opinion is worth something. Sir Hamiltoncame in before we left, and I fell into conversation with him about the Queen. It appears that she retains her energies, but with these she developes the same characteristics which appeared last summer. The consequence will be an almost total characteristics which appeared last summer. The consequence will be an almost total obliteration of gayety this season. For it is understoon that the giving of any festive entertainment of a general charaacter will excite in her great displeasure. Sir Hamilton says that in all his long experience he never knew a season so gloomy. Lord Clarendon, one of three persons whom Her Majesty is willing to see has had a long conversation with her from which he draws encouragement as to the calmness of her judgment, but it can scarcely admit of a doubt that the state of her mind yet keeps alive much uneasiness. This fact has much to do with the strange calm that has come over all the leaders in Parliament. From the speaker’s I went by appointment to the Foreign Office to see Lord Russell. Met in the antechamber Court Flahault, the French minister, who talked much of America, venturing to express doubt of a result depending on the military occupation of so immense a territory. This is not an unreasonable view for a European, and it must be correct if we prove mistaken as to the developement of a reaction in the population. I spoke to Lord Russell of the complaint made by the authorities at Washington of the treatment of the Flambrow at Nassau in refusing the colas actually belonging to the United States. He asked me to make a note of it. I then showed him the cover a letter received by me from the Consul at Gibraltar about the Sumter which had come with the notice from the post Office here that it was open, the consular seal broken, and a separate office seal put on at another part of the envelope, attesting the fact. His Lordship said that he would cause enquiry to be made. The other matter related to the payment of the sum awarded to the owners of the Perthshire, all which was promptly arranged, and I took my leave. I had spoken to him about Mr Field and the Telegraph, but he continued to parry the35 proposed interview by begging first to have some proposition in writing. So I took Fenton’s Hotel on my way home, in order to ask Mr Field to prepare a paper, which he agreed to do. Mr H J Parker overtook me and gave me the news of the capture of the command of one of the main trunks of railroad communication, between their military positions. In the evening all the family went to the Haymarket concert room to hear the performance of Mr C. Matthews at home. The life of such a man has little to merit a public exhibition of it, and the wonder is the had the conceit to imagine it could be popular. His father who had more comic talent exhausted the view. I got very tired of it before it was over.

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=DCA62d051