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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Friday 21st

21 February 1862

Sunday 23d

23 February 1862
22 February 1862
Saturday 22d



The weather is springlike. Scarcely could it be called a winter, though the drawback in the almost constant cloudiness is very serious. My morning passed very fast. Mr Field came to me to read his proposed memorial to Lord Russell. I suggested some alterations, and especially the making of the United States the leading figure and Great Britain merely cooperating. I told him this would defeat his object here forthwith. I36 further objected to his quoting Mr Seward’s instructions to me in the draught of a speech he read to me, which he proposed to make today. I gave him a copy o f the paper because he was so much mentioned in it, and I though it might aid his objects, but I begin to doubt the correctness of the step. It is remarkable how few people possess that nice tact which distinguishes the exact thing to do on any given occasion from what is irrelevant or unsuitable. At one o’clock I drove in the carriage to the city, to see Messrs Baring about the raising of money for the payment on behalf of the government to Lord Russell. I twas agreed that I should draw upon them one thousand dollars, and they would charge it to the government. From here I went to the Freemason’s Tavern where the Americans in London were to assemble for the proposed celebration, at two o’clock. It was called a breakfast, but it is more properly an ornamented luncheon. The number was much larger than I expected filling three long tables and one at the head, running across. I think near three hundred, men and women, one third of them perhaps English. Bishop McIlvaine presided , and I sat on his right. The hall is quite a handsome one, and easy to speak in. After a prayer, and the collation, an ode was read— Then the first sentiment to the memory of Washington, to which I was summoned to respond. What I said was well received. I was followed by others who spoke longer. But the most significant and taking speech was made by Mr George Thompson, the same person who was associated with the famous antislavery mob where Mr Garrison came so near to being a martyr. There were no distinguished persons present but the company was very respectable, and the thing in all respects creditable. I left at half past five, walked until seven. Quiet evening at Mr Bates’s . My son Henry took his departure, to spend a few days at Paris. received a telegram from America giving us an account of further successes— General Burnside appears to have overcome the obstacles, and to set about his work in earnest. The campaign is now assuming its true proportions and we may soon form some judgment of its results.37

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=DCA62d053