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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Sunday 19th

19 April 1863

Tuesday 21st

21 April 1863
20 April 1863
Monday 20th

The newspapers are still barking about my letter, which is a sign that the cost is not yet repaired. The Despatches and private letters came this morning. All was encouraging but the letter from Charles, which made me very anxious. He is evidently now disgusted with his position and on ill terms with his commander. I feel more than ever that he is in danger of being sacrificed to no useful end, and yet it is not in my power to extricate him My whole life here has been shaded by this case. I can only school myself to resignation in all my trials. I went to the city in order to draw some money and got home in an hour and a343 half. I had many visits. One from Mr Alva Crocker when I remember twenty years ago in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He has been travelling on the continent and is now on his way home. Then came Mr Robert J Walker with whom I had a long conversation. He as well as Messr Aspinwall and Forbes are sent out from the Treasury to carry on operations of their own with which I have nothing to do. Of course they will more or less undertake to advise me, which I shall try to take in the best part. I feel sensibly that this mission is growing more and more difficult as it draws toward its close. For it is plain to me that that close is approaching. Perhaps their advice may be ultimately found useful. Mr Bigelow, who has postponed his departure to Paris came to tell me of Mr Torrens McCullagh’s alarm about the effect of the publication of my note and his great anxiety that something should be done to counteract it. I advised Mr Bigelow to exercise patience, as things seemed to me going on very well, as they were. The responsibility was heavy on me, I was aware; but I must hear it with what courage I might. In the evening came Mr Cassius M Clay on his return to St Petersburg. He seemed very much changed, and singularly depressed. I fancy his bitter experience at home has spoiled his conceet, and he goes back to Russia a mortified exile. Perhaps this may in the end prove a healing medicine to him. After he went, came Mr Bertram Howell to tell me of his experiences. He described to me the manner in which the men at Lloyd’s behaved in order to gain time to copy my letter. The effect of it had been to destroy insurance on the trade, and he had been approached by the owners of the Sea Queen, formerly Lloyd’s, which is now at Falmouth, ready to go to sea, with a view to the outright sale of her as she was. He had listened to it so far as to procure her secret manifest as well as that of the Peterhof which he had brought up to me to look at. I examined both carefully, and could not have a doubt of the destination of both. Mr Howell seemed inclined to keep at the valuation, and asked me if I would give him a letter for that too. I said I would take time to think of it. I urged him to embark as soon as possible. And he left, to see me again.344

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=DCA63d110