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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Friday 7th

7 March 1862

Sunday 9th

9 March 1862
8 March 1862
Saturday 8th



A lovely spring day, clear and general as possible. I went out to breakfast with Mr Field, at Fenton’s Hotel. A small company consisting of Mr Bright, Mr Forster, Mr Kinnaird, Mr Baseley, Mr Kinnaird, members of the House of Commons, Sir Rowland Hill the famous Director of the Postal system, and Messrs Weed and Lampson. The conversation45 turned upon the discussion last night in the House of Commons. Mr Gregory made his long threatened demonstration upon a notion for the productions of more papers about the blockade. His speech was elaborate and effective; but it was answered fully by Mr Forster and Sir Roundell Palmer closed the debate so that three was no division. I had not felt any uneasiness on this subject after the reception of the continuous news of successes which renders the probability of the insurgents sustaining themselves much more dubious. Mr Gregory could not have selected a more difficult moment for himself as the current of opinion is setting much the other way. Nothing shines so dazzling to the military eye of Europe as success. Our English friends appreciate it as full as any body. The campaign will proceed without farther difficulty. I talked much with Sir Rowland Hill about the organization of the city ports which he says is increasing in proportion to the facilities given. I think in this they are in advance of us. He invited me to visit the general distribution Office on some evening. They admit but one party on one day. I said I should be happy to come. I returned home to be present at noon when Mr Peabody, and the five gentlemen when he proposed to make the Trustees of his benefaction, assembled. The old gentleman was much agitated and feeble from late illness. He took out the draft of a letter which he proposed to write to us, being pretty much the same he read to me some weeks ago. Lord Stanley objected to two or three phrases which led to some interchange of opinion, and a final agreement on the form. It was then settled to put the letter into shape and sign it, after which Mr Peabody could transfer the money, and to adjourn for one week. Returned a visit of two with Mrs Adams and then a pleasant walk with Mary in Hyde Park. We dined at Mr Edward Ellice’s. Lady Zetland, Sir George and Lady Grey, Lord Stanhope, Mr Warrington, Mr Panizzi, Sir Edward Head and Mr T. Baring. One or two of the ladies I did not know. I sat between Mrs Ellice Junr and Colonel Ellis, the nephew. Lord Zetland and Edward Ellice Jr came in from dining with the Fox Club. Mr Ellis is a well wisher to America, and he has more knowledge46 from repeated visits than most people. But he is full of the usual English motions. Lord Zetland is a new creation, much like other Lords. We left some to pay a short visit to Lord and Lady Palmerston. Small company, but most of the corps Diplomatique. Many persons talked of our late advantages in America and of the probability of an early pacification. I was congratulated all round as if every body wanted us to succeed. Even Lord Palmerston seemed to doubt his former judgment, I endeavoured to receive it all as matter of course and without exultation. I had some talk with Lord Cranworth, who conceded a restoration of the border States and though this should be all we ought to desire. Why not let the cotton states go? It would be cutting clear of slavery which would ultimately remain to plague us and renew our difficulties. The English idea of division lies at the bottom of it all. Mr Munchton Milnes who spoke last night told me that a majority of the members were at heart with Mr Gregory, but all the weight was against them so that there could be no manipulation. Home by midnight after a pretty fatiguing day.

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=DCA62d067