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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Wednesday 18th

18 May 1862

Friday 20th

20 May 1862
19 May 1862
Thursday 19th

I prepared some of my work for the steamer today but not so much as usual for the reason that the conference with Lord Russell which was to make a basics for much of my work did not take place until today at four o’clock. Previously I had several persons to see me. Among others Col Johnson who has come as Commissioner from New York to the Exhibition and Mr Holmes. They spoke to me about the celebration of the fourth of July, particularly as the former had been solicited to preside in case I should decline. I went through my reasons for considering it inexpedient on my part to meddle with it, but at the same time recommended that if a celebration were to be held, then he should accept the position offered to him, and endeavour to give it a proper character. He said he had doubts about that, in his situation. My interview with Lord Russell was a very amiable one. Unluckily I had left by mistake at home Mr Seward’s Despatch which I had intended to read to him,s o that I contented myself with promising him a copy. But I talked about General Butler and the intercepted letter of Mr Huse which I gave him a copy of, and the progress of the war. I also alluded to the discovery Mr Moran had made of a claim made by this government upon mine more than sixty years ago of the same kind with that in the case of the Emily St Pierre. This is remarkable as it shows that the demand was resisted on the grounds now taken here, but not without difference of opinion in the cabinet. The papers of McHenry, the Secretary is quite a strong specimen of reasoning on the right side—and must have dictated by his chief, Alexander Hamilton. I then referred to my affair with Lord Palmerston, which kept me embarrassed. He had not answered my second note and it was now four days. His Lordship said he had written a note to his Lordship, to which no answer had been returned. He would write again. He intimated that the thing was altogether irregular, and could be regarded only as a private proceeding. This was a great relief to me, for I now saw that I had all the advantage. Another admission of his and not unimportant, and that was his belief that the rebellion was drawing to its end, at least in the open field. He referred to the motion of Mr Lindsay130 to be proposed tomorrow in the House of Commons as one that must come to nothing. All this indicates a propitious change in the temper of the Ministry, and a sign that Lord Palmerston has overshot his mark. I think tit was the most kindly interview I have had. Home in better spirits. In the evening I had an answer from Lord Palmerston, characteristic, but substantially retreating from his precipitate blunder. I shall now close the correspondence, and cut off the probability of any repetition of it with me.

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=DCA62d170