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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Wednesday 18th

18 March 1863

Friday 20th

20 March 1863
19 March 1863
Thursday 19th

I had a visit from one of the firm of Fladgate & Co solicitors, who came to get my attestation to the signatures of the President and Secretary of State and Profr Henry, to be used in effecting the recovery of a further sum under the legacy of Smithson. After some enquiry he prepared a form of deposition, and I appointed tomorrow morning for the execution. Another visit from Mr Howell who brought with him Mr Fleming to introduce to me. This is the gentleman who sat by my side at the dinner on the 24th of last month. I then prepared the customary318 drafts of Despatches which by my new plan are so much shortened as to give me much reduced labor. I dined with the Minister from Peru, Mariano Sanz. His entertainment was given to the Vice President of Peru, who is in Europe on account of his health. It was a curious assemblage, composed almost wholly of South Americans most of whom spoke nothing but Spanish, and of two or three Englishmen long connected with them. As few of them speak either English or French, of course conversation was not a little contracted. Before dinner we sat in a circle, rather after the fashion of a Quaker meeting. We waited more than an hour and then went down. I was placed between Mr Sanz and a Mr Montefiore, the last of whom spoke the worst of French and the former not two shades better. Mr Gutierrez was opposite and he kept up some conversation. The greatest civility and good will were manifested however on all sides. And decided expressions of sympathy with us in our difficulties. After dinner the Vice President came with his son as interpreter and expressed his good wishes, his great concern at the difficulties which had occurred, for the sake of the interests of the whole continent, and his hopes that we might before long he restored to our position of the natural protector of all the other nations. I replied by reciprocating his sentiments, by deploring our misfortunes, and lastly by expressing a wish for a more general union among the American States, which would enable us to act with the greater effect in opposition to any plan of the same kind with that now in progress in Mexico. This idea served to be very agreeable. The Vice President is a fine looking man and seems intelligent. The Minster himself is also highly respectable. I could not help reflecting on the imperative necessity of the policy here pointed out; a policy initiated by my father forty years ago, but sadly departed from in later days, by which means the good will of these states was alienated rather than conciliated. Should circumstances permit it, I shall endeavour to keep in mind the leading idea that first enunciated. It is worthy of a great statesman. All that I have experienced in Europe established my conviction of its necessity. Having taken my leave I went with Mrs Adams and the rest of the family to a reception at the Duchess of Somerset’s.319 It was not so large as that we attened two years since. Not many of the Corps Diplomatique. This was held at the Admiralty of which teh Duke is the head.+

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=DCA63d078