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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Wednesday 18th

18 February 1863

Friday 20th

20 February 1863
19 February 1863
Thursday 19.th

Rainy morning and fog. As I had the Despatches into very brief and bald productions. It is rather fortunate on the whole as the topics rather multiply. A visit from Mr Forster, who came to say that possibly there might be a debate tomorrow might in the commons on America and he wished to ask what my views were of the position to be taken. He seemed rather to leave to the idea of a possibility of a mediation as a friendly act. I answered by pointing out what was in my view the only wise course for England. This was to remain perfectly quiet and await the issue of the next four of five mouths. During that time the armies now in the field would have pretty much spent their strength, and then the296 probability was that some movements towards peace would follow. At that moment some such overture might fitly come in, though I should not go so far as to say that it would. At least at present there was a no chance for it. I explained to him the last news just received by telegram, which indicated a new shape of parties, anterior to some form of reconstruction. He said that he had not much expectation of a discussion, but it was always well to be prepared with a line. I asked him his opinion of the condition of the Commons. The Ministry have lost elections of late and can have no hold in Parliament. Was a dissolution likely? He thought not. The obstacle lay not in the Ministerial strength, bu tin the disaffection to D’Israeli. I expressed a hope that things might go on as they were for the sake of America. But to my surprise, he left fall a doubt whether after Lord Derby’s speech at the opening, we might not be as safe in his hands as in those of Palmerston. For my part I have felt so all along. But this is the first time he has ever admitted it. In my own opinion Palmerston is the worst enemy in his heart that we have. Usual walk. In the evening al the family but Mary went first to a small party at Mr Mansfield’s. I found there a number of acquaintances. The first time it has happened at that house. From thence to a small dancing party at Lord Stanley’s. Most of the wives of ministers, and a few of the Corps Diplomatique. There was also a reception at Lord Salisbury’s, but we did not go to it. Mary 18 years old.

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=DCA63d050