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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Thursday 3d.

3 July 1862

Saturday 5th

5 July 1862
4 July 1862
Friday 4th



A clear and mild morning for our National Anniversary. Looking back to the last one, it seems to me that our position is materially altered. Then we had not a single point on the coast line south of the Chesapeake excepting Key West and Fort Pickens, and no point on the Mississippi south of Cairo. Now all the coast is in our possession excepting Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah and perhaps Galveston. Mobile is probably ours before this. On the other hand we command all the river but Viksburgh. The contest for Missouri and Kentucky is over and probably Tennessee is nearly clear. The tug is now for the very heart of the rebellion. Then let us draw from the great progress of the present campaign our trust for the future, and let us congratulate ourselves that as yet the sentiment of the loyal region is strong and united. This is my oration for the present occasion. My morning was spent in writing letters to my two sons. I had a visit from Mr Bright who is about leaving town. He asked me about my affair with Lord Palmerston, who had heard of it from Mr Cobden to whom I had perhaps injudiciously mentioned it. I gave him the substance of it. He said his opinion of Palmerston was such that if it were necessary to his retention of power, he though he would not stick at any measure even at the cost of a war. Nothing of the kind would be hazarded during the session of Parliament, but he was not sure how it might be afterwards I said I had not made up my mind whether he had not intended to fasten a quarrel upon me. In this he had not succeeded, and I had cut off that particular channel of experiment. At three Mrs Adams, Mary and I started in the carriage to go to the Star and garter at Richmond to dine there by invitation of Mr Peabody. We reached there early enough to be able to take a pleasant stroll in the park. The weather on the whole favorable though scarcely warm or sunny enough for the complete enjoyment of so pretty a scene.144 The company was rather larger than I expected, exceeding fifty. A few English. The entertainment sumptuous. Mr Peabody made a brief speech and proposed a couple of toasts—The Queen, and the President of the United States. He had a day or two since signified this intention to me, and intimated that some Englishmen present might respond to the first, whilst the second would be left to me, if I chose. I had then declined to say something about the President, expecting that Sir Gore Ouseley would on his side lead off in some notice of the Queen. Instead of this he very briefly acknowledged the compliment, and then turned short and proposed a sentiment to me. This was not in my purpose. I took no notice of it, preluding my remarks by an intimation that my official character was off for the day. After which I persevered in my original plan. What I said was well received. Mr Stell after me proposed the health of Mr Peabody himself which I suppose I was expected to do. But on the whole I did not regret the omission. For next week I am to give him a dinner on Monday, and on Friday I must attend the Mayor’s entertainment when I shall be called upon to give him a more particular notice. This will be enough. Mr Peabody is a most likeable man, but his foible is greediness for praise, especially from me in prominent situation Never having had much fancy for this sort of thing, I shall limit myself as much as possible to do that which is appropriate without being excessive. We did not get away until after eleven, and it was past midnight before we reached our door.

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=DCA62d185