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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Saturday 21st

21 March 1863

Monday 23d.

23 March 1863
22 March 1863
Sunday 22d

A spring-like soft day. So slight is the gradation of the seasons that I can scarcely imagine winter to be gone. Attended Divine service and heard Mr Martineau preach but without any effect. The service now consists in my mind of portions of the ritual and the hymns. But today we had an another very indifferently sung, and the closing hymn was322 omitted in consequence of some damage to the organ. After service I was making up the arrears of my Diary until three, when I designed to go out. But just then I had a visit from Mr Forster, and talked earnestly with him about the very grave condition of our affairs. I feared that a collision would come unless the Ministry here could be persuaded to act with more energy in restraining the outfits from this kingdom. The ravages of the gunboat 290 were perpetually irritating our people, and now would go out the fact that money was furnished here to enable the rebels to buy and fit out many more. If this was not met with more appearance of repression than had yet been made, the consequence would be a demand in America for the issue of letters of marque, which the government would find it hard to resist. But if he should yield the chances of a collision on the ocean would be much increased. I feared that the bad influence in and out of the cabinet would then prevail, and carry with it the people. I urged him therefore to do something to make the Ministry alive to the nature of the difficulty. He said he would speak to Mr Layard about it tomorrow. I likewise spoke to Mr Forster about the answer to the meeting at Bradford, which incidentally introduced his name. I had received authority to modify it as I thought best. And I wished only to do what was rightable to him. He seemed to hesitate a little, and finally inclined to suppress what related to himself. Mr Forster is true and earnest, but a little timid in his policy. After he went, Mr McCullagh Torrens came in and talked of news and politics. He casually alluded to the growing feebleness of Lord Palmerston. He said that Milady was very anxious about his purposed journey to Scotland next week where he is to have an ovation. This corresponds with what I casually heard said by two of the Ministry at the reception the other night. Some speculation about the cabinet, if he should break down. Mr T thinks Derby almost equally unfit in health. Hence there would a compound construction. May-be so. Thus talking I lost my exercise. Evening, read a little of Helen.323

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=DCA63d081