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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Saturday 27th

27 December 1862

Monday 29th

29 December 1862
28 December 1862
Sunday 28.th

The day was fine, and being alone I was determined to execute a little project which I have been meditating for some time. This was to go to Tower hill and visit the Church of all Hallows Barking as well as Cooper’s row. Around these spots are associations connected with my dear Mother which I wished to indulge in. In Cooper’s row her father lived when a merchant established in London prior to the revolution, and afterwards when the first Consul from the new government. There she was brought up, and from there in 1797 she went to the Church and was united to my father before she accompanied him on his mission to the Court of Prussia. The place is not261 now and probably never was fashionable, not even when men of high degree came to lay down their heads in front of it as a penalty for their political offences. Yet it looks as London would naturally look before they day of its enormous developement and absorption of the vicinity. The Church is ancient. It escaped the great fire, but it suffered from an explosion of gunpowder in a house close by. The service was properly performed by a youngish man to an assembly of perhaps a hundred and fifty worshippers. The sermon appropriate to Innocents day and Christmas. Before this altar my parents stood long ago and plighted a faith which was honestly kept for half a century, of a life not without trials and vicissitudes. Then the chain parted by the death of one, and four years later the other followed. They rest in peace under the Church at Quincy, and here am I, their only surviving son plodding my weary way through days of natural tribulation, in the performance of an arduous trust, in the land which witnessed the outset of their career. The recollection of my mother’s tenderness and her deep affection comes over even now and fill my eyes with tears. I walked out of the church feeling as if I had bathed my face in the light of her blessed memory, and could go on with more courage to accomplish the more or less that remains of my own course. At home. I found the Despatches from Washington, and a pleasant letter from Charles, but written four days before the dreadful action at Fredericksburg. Fortunately for my comfort, no cavalry appear to have been engaged. I fear that there are many parents who have no been able to cheer themselves in like manner. It is a great step toward the close of the war. For even Mr Seward now admits that both sides are getting tired of it. General Burnside has terminated his career as commander in chief, I fancy, but whom have we better worthy to trust? Henry left me before dinner to join his mother at Walton. I spent a very quiet evening, reading a portion of Sir Roundell Palmer’s Book of praise, and some of Bulron’s Story called My Novel, which Sir Robert Phillimore in consequence of a conversation at his table has sent to me to read.262

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=DCA62d362