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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Wednesday 21st

21 May 1862

Friday 23d.

23 May 1862
22 May 1862
Thursday 22d.



This day I devoted to my Despatches which were all connected with the conference of Tuesday. I am tempted to hope that with these the heaviest portion of the labours of my mission are brought to a close. It is now just one year since I entered upon them, and during nearly the entire period I have had little but anxiety. The prospect is that the events which now appear likely to determine the struggle at home will contribute to clear my way at least for some time to come. Yet I cannot conceal from myself the fact that the relations between the two countries were not cordial, and that the American people will long retain a bitter sense of injury done them in the unequivocal manifestation of sympathy with the rebels during the critical period of the contest. How this may affect me as the party standing between the two I cannot pretend to foresee. The position of Napoleon is such that I am not disposed to run precipitately into collision with the forces here. The wise way will be to wait until the natural jealousies of the two powers work out for us a situation better than we could make for ourselves. I walked down to bid farewell to Mr and Miss Weed who leave tomorrow on their return to the United States. He has been of great use to me, and I regret his departure. All the fancies of alienation growing out of the calumny of De Feus have vanished into thin air. So far as I can judge Mr Weed is not open to any of the charges made against him by his enemies at home, unless it be one to which the public men of New York have been justly subject ever since the days of Aaron Burr, the fancy for political management. Even here however, he stands better than most of them, as he seeks no personal objects in all his course. Mrs Adams and I dined with Sir Henry and Lady Holland. The Bishop of Bath and Wells and Lady Auchland, Lord and Lady Shelburne, and Lord Frederick Cavendish with Sir Henry’s family made the company. I sat between Lady Holland and her eldest daughter. The conversation rather dull. The Bishop seems to be a farmer as well as a Lord. But not one of this three qualifications makes him shine. After dinner, Lady Holland had a reception, where I found myself much alone. London society is multiform for progress in acquaintance. The ladies sang.108

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=DCA62d142