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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Friday 21st

21 November 1862

Sunday 23d

23 November 1862
22 November 1862
Saturday 22d.

A clear, pleasant, cool day. My letter writing not being yet quite completed I continued it for much of the morning. Wrote to Mr Dana at Boston, and so far as I could brought up all my arrears. At half past four I went with Mrs Adams and my daughter to the Paddington Station where we were joined by Mr and Mrs Bates to proceed by the Great Western railway to Windsor. At that place we found carriage from Mr Van de Weyer’s, which brought us four miles, to his house at New Lodge. It was quiet dark when we got there, but we were pleasantly welcomed, and sat down soon afterwards to a comfortable dinner. The guest were dean and Mrs Milan, Mr Hibbert, Mr Wyune, making with the family sixteen at table. Afterwards there was Whist for those who liked it, and conversation for the rest of us. I ought not wholly to omit notice of a little incident though of little impotence in itself which took place this morning. I received a note from the Duchess Dowager of Leeds asking my aid in completing a conveyance which she wished to execute of some lands in America. To this end I was requested to call at a convent where she was stopping for a day at No 44 Upper Harley Street. I accordingly went and saw her sign and acknowledge the deeds. She is now and old and a plain woman. But she is the only survivor of three sisters, Miss Catons, a granddaughter of Charles Carrol of Carrolton, who came out to England in 1816, and who somehow succeeded in marrying into the noblest of families in the kingdom. One sister became the Wife of the Marquis of Wellesley, one , of the Marquis of Stafford, and this one first married Major Henie and after his death the Duke of Leeds. Lady Stafford died a few days ago. None of them lead children, and the Duchess today very frankly confessed her entire solitude, and her desire to take refuge from the vanities of life in a convent, not as a nun, but as a boarder. What a moral this tale carries with it. She talked with good sense and moderation, but it was clear to me that the finery of Hanley Castle in her state of mind was desolation, and that she would ultimately fly from it and take the vows in preparation for a better state.241

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=DCA62d326