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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Thursday 16th

16 April 1863

Saturday 18.th

18 April 1863
17 April 1863
Friday 17th

Mr Forbes came in to see me, and to report about vessels over which he and Mr Aspinwall have been expressing a suspension without bringing much that is new to pass. He made much of doing nothing to embarrass me. I then wrote my private letters for the week, which did not take me so long as usual. But the time was somehow or other filled up. Took a long walk. The spring seems to have opened pleasantly, and there is no rain. Met Mr Moreira, with whom I walked along Picadilly towards Appley House. He aspects his Despatches this week, upon which he is to judge whether to go or to stay. His condition seems as uncertain as mine. In the evening General Lerman came in again, and this time in a great agitation. It seems that my letter had been copied and surreptitiously published in the Times this morning. It had created a great excitement in the city by the severity with which it struck at the dealers in contraband to run the blockade, but the worst part of it for the General was that the underwriters had refused him his insurance against French capture, the only thing for which he had sought. It seems that a deputation had gone with the letter to Lord Russell in order to see what could be made of it to support their illicit trade. But they had returned with only great assurances, which meant nothing. The panic had become such that orders had been given to discharge several cargoes of Steamers which were up for Matamoras.341 I had noticed in the evening paper a statement that I had been so much troubled by the publication as to have gone down into the city at an early hour in the morning but precisely what to do about it did not appear. I think General Lerman was incautious in the use he made of hte letter, which was designed only to make the underwriters at Lloyd’s comprehend that their game was known. If I mistake not, it has been blocked. They refused to underwrite to Matamoras on any terms. Hence the stoppage of the vessels, and the howl of indignation against me. General Lerman’s position is rendered very critical and his voyage in danger of being broken up. He had applied for insurance at Hamburg. If that succeeded he might yet go on. If not, he should try his chance in his vessel alone. Lerman is not discreet. He talks too much and to too many people.

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=DCA63d107