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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Friday 29th

29 August 1862

Sunday 31st

31 August 1862
30 August 1862
Saturday 30th

On account of the weight of this book I did not take it with me. As a consequence the arrears have become considerable, and I set to work today to bring them up I also had visits from a curious person Captain Jayne from Providence, who wanted to see his Minster, from Judge Thompson and from Mr Bigelow Laurence. Towards evening I went down to the Foreign office to see Lord Russell by appointment. Detained for nearly an hour by the details of the execution of the Treaty just negotiated here with Belgium. Mr Rogier, the Minister of Foreign affairs of that country and M Van de Weyer were both here, and when at last I was admitted, Mr Milner Gibson was still with Lord Russell and remained during my visit. His Lordship said he wished to speak with me about the case of the Steamer Adela, about which some questions had been raised on the legality of her seizure. He said that Mr Seward had proposed terms of adjustment which were satisfactory and which could remove difficultly if applied in future cases— As all this had been done at Washington and without my knowledge I was at a loss for the causes of the communication until he came to mention that the federal commander had been reported as justifying the capture on a representation made by me that Lord Palmerston had said we might watch her if we could. Thompson he read from a note of his Lordship’s an alleged explanation of what he did say on the occasion supposed to be referred to. I was a little amused at the manner of making this communication which is plainly189 owing to my shutting off of direct communication, in the last note of my memorable correspondence. I expressed some surprise at the quotation of any words of mine by a naval officer with whom I had never held any communication. So far as Lord Palmerston was concerned I had never imputed to him such language. The conversation had grown out of the arrival of the James Adger last year in search of the Nashville. I had explained her true mission which was not to seize the men Slidell and Mason out of the Steamer, and then remarked that as I had information of the outfit of a vessel called the Gladiator with contraband of war, I had advised Captain Marchand to watch for her and catch her if he could. And to this I presumed Lord Palmerston would not object. Then his Lordship applied pretty much in the way specified in his note. It was some time since the event, but such was my best recollection of it. We then passed from the subject. I introduced one or two matters which remained partially unexplained and then rose to go. His Lordship then said that he supposed now all ideas of any joint action of any kind by the powers of Europe were laid at rest with me, as regarded our troubles. I was a little surprised, but replied at once that I hoped matters on the continent were likely to supply enough to occupy their minds, to prevent their troubling themselves about ours. This was in allusion to the outbreak of Garibaldi, and the news of his captivity which came today. He smiled very good naturedly, and said that as he was about to go to Germany in the suite of the Queen, and business in his absence would be attended to by Mr Layard. I walked home, getting there after the dinner hour. Two things I reflected on in this interview. First, the singular proceeding of Lord Palmerston. Secondly, the significant intimation given to me. Could it have been that my letters have given rise to it by getting to the ear of Mr Stuart at Washington In the evening, we had a pleasant visit from Mr Lampson.190

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=DCA62d242