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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Sunday 19th

19 May 1862

Wednesday 21st

21 May 1862
20 May 1862
Tuesday 20th

My mornings are now absorbed by Americans. The last steamer has brought over a shoal, many of whom bring letters to me from persons who scarcely have the right to send them. It is altogether the most trying part of a minister’s duties to do the social part. At leas tit is so to me whose natural inclinations are so very strong towards retirement. My father once said of me when young that I was destined to be105 a hermit like my Uncle Johnson, and I scarcely can understand how I escaped it. At half past three o’clock I attended at the Foreign Office by appointment of Lord Russell for the purpose of exchanging the ratifications of the new Treaty between the two countries. The Secretaries had been engaged for one hour before in comparing the text so that there was little occasion for delay. His Lordship expressed his satisfaction with this result. We signed two papers interchangeably, and sealed our seals. After it was all over, and we took our respective copies, I had a few moments interview with his Lordship. My first object was to present the case of Mrs Sarah J Hale who wanted to present an address of condolence to the Queen. I asked His Lordship on a former occasion. He replied by saying that things of this kind were constantly happening, and he could not tell how they would be received. At any rate he would take the papers, so as to relieve me. He then proceeded to make a few remarks upon the position of things in connection with the Mexican expedition. He reminded me of the ground taken by him at our first interview. He then spoke the Spanish position with an evident pride as realizing what he had expected of them from the first. He said that the conduct of General Prin in retiring from the scene had been approved by the Ministry so that the countries had proved their diversity in regard to their first declarations. I admitted the fact, expressed no surprise at the cause of Great Britain, but confessed some mistaken impressions of the intention of Spain. He said it might be owing to an early formed affection for that country, but he felt confident of it from the first. We made no allusion to the action of France which is left to prosecute its scheme alone. This being over I removed my representations about the belligerent rights. Mr Seward had enjoined it upon me, so I went on with very little expectation of success. There was not much variation in the argument on either side but there was a singular admission incidentally made by him which it may be as well106 to notice. When I had occasion to allude to Austria as having very readily furnished us guns, and having no ideas of neutrality in the case, he said Austria had no commercial interest to demand action. Hence I infer that the recognition came first from the pressure of the commercial people at Liverpool and London instigated by the rebel emissaries; secondly, that the ministry would like to retract but are ashamed. Having gone over the ground once more I took my leave, and went home. Mr Sobrier dined with us again, and sat the evening.

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=DCA62d140