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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Wednesday 11th

11 May 1862

Friday 13th

13 May 1862
12 May 1862
Thursday 12th



A heavy rain and wind storm, the most violent I recollect during the past year. I drew up a form of Despatch for the week, and soon afterwards went out to attend the last day’s sale of Mr Huber’s coins. The number of persons attending even less122 even than usual but the bidding was spirited and the prices quite high. The collection is however remarkable for the rarity and beauty of its specimens especially in the region where they were found, Egypt and the Mediterranean. I have not purchased very largely, for the class of coins is not entirely within my line of research, but I am well satisfied with the objects I have gained. On my return home I found on my table a private note from Lord Palmerston denouncing in no measured terms General Butler’s proclamation and the government of the United States for employing him. It was marked private on the outside and confidential within, but it is offensive and insolent both in tone and manner towards the government, so as to make me the recipient of an insult to my country. It would seem as if in my experience in diplomatic life every form of trial was imposed upon me, and that in steadily progressive intensity. As Lord Palmerston is no inexperienced hand I conclude that this indicates a punitive change of policy. Hence the necessity for great caution in my action. On the one hand it will not do for me to pass over such an act without some notice. On the other I must if possible avoid any step that leads to national difficulty at this crisis. The path is full of danger and I must tread it calmly but firmly to the end. My impression is tonight that my continuance here is from this time of no use to the country. My relations with the prime minister can never again be friendly. I pondered deeply on these things for most of the evening, and before I went to bed committed to paper a draught of an answer to his Lordship.

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=DCA62d163