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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Wednesday 25th

25 March 1863

Friday 27th

27 March 1863
26 March 1863
Thursday 26th

Quite busy drawing up my Despatches until ten o’ clock, when I started on my way to the Foreign Office to keep my appointment at three with Lord Russell. As my errand was rather a critical one, I tried to prepare myself to do my duty fully without at the same time giving offence. I showed him a copy of a letter which had been sent to me, exposing the schemes of the intriguers here to produce a war. I thank urged for some action which might discourage them. The invitation caused by the ravages of the gunboats and driven the government to the necessity of directing me to explain their difficulty and suggest the adoption here of some more counteractive policy. I read the Despatch which had been sent me, and expressed my own disinclination to the adoption of such a measure as the issue of letters of marque, as multiplying the risks of collision at sea.325 But I could scarcely understand how it could be avoided if there was to be a repetition of these outfits and armaments from the ports of this kingdom. His Lordship said that they should do what they could, but the law was difficult to execute and they could not go beyond it. I replied by suggesting that there was still another mode of actions for them which might do good. This was the adoption of a strong and significant tone of condemnation of all the abuses of neutrality that were going on. There had been more such hitherto from the Ministers. They appeared to be disagreed in opinion and silent, the effect of which was to encourage all these acts and to nurse the presumption among us that they were arrived at. He then referred to his letter to the Liverpool Merchants, to which I answered that I had made the most of it at the time. He alluded also to his speech in the House of Lords the other day. He had since received a note from Lord Palmerston entirely approving it. I said that that speech had given me great pleasure. Had it been made two years ago, we should not have been where we now are. I was also much gratified to hear what he had said of Lord Palmerston. I only wished he would say the same thing in public. I had always felt great distrust of his sentiments towards us, as Lord Russell was probably aware. For I had said as much to him once before. He replied that I was mistaken. I rejoined, that I should be glad to find myself so. As a whole I felt his Lordship to have been in much better mood, and really inclined to go as far as he could, to prevent difficulty. Perhaps the final result may be prevented yet. I walked home musing on the singular course events had taken since the commencement of this outreach, and wondering at what was yet to come. I can only pray the Divine being that we may not be furnished according to our offences, but rather in mercy. I, with my Wife and daughter dined with Mr and Mrs Moreira the Brazilian Minister. The Spanish Minister and legation, and the members of his new legation who are numerous constituted the company. It was almost as difficult as the dinner at the Peruvian minister’s the other day. Mr Moreira lives at great expense326 and entertains elegantly, but he seems not to have much of an acquaintance. The English are particularly unfitted to conciliate strangers. M Moreira and his family have been here six years, and yet they entertain none but the bitterest feelings to the whole people. Latterly he has had extraordinary reason so to do, his country having experienced sorry treatment from this government. From this house we went to a drawing party at Lady Stanhope’s. Mostly young people very few of whom I knew. As Mary was dancing, we continued then until two o’clock in the morning.

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=DCA63d085