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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Friday 24th

24 April 1863

Sunday 26th

26 April 1863
25 April 1863
Saturday 25th

I had a succession of visits this morning. All full of the debate in the House of Commons last night and of Mr Cobden’s speech. Although there was a very bitter attack from Mr Horsman, the general impression was that the House was decided in a wish to avoid hostilities. Mr Bigelow told me also of a visit he made to Russell of the Times, and of the state of his mind and that of the principal Editor. He said the prospect was quite black. The difficulty with America looked bad, and it was not clear that it might not be accompanied by a quarrel with Canada, and an insurrection in Ireland. Perhaps these considerations may make them pause for a while. But it can not be for long. The venom is at bottom. I then had a call from the Speaker, Mr Denison. His object plainly was a soothing one. He seemed anxious quietly to assure me that the House of Commons did not sympathetic with Mr Horsman, and that the general sense was against violence. He made a species of apology for his inability to put a check on the abuse of America under the rules of order which quite moved me. I replied in the kindest tone, disarmed all invitation, went over very calmly the various causes that combined to produce it, and promised to do my best to keep it under. All this over I went out with the ladies to return some visits, after which we went to the Botanic garden to attend the flower show. It was for once a fine mild sunny day, and the place looked remarkably well. The company not very large, so that the show of roses and azaleas, and other rarer flowers could be much better seen. In the evening I had a visit from General Lerman and his brother. He told me that the Sea Queen was not gone as reported. That they were still negotiation for the purchase, and that his object was to ask me if I could aid them further, if he should put his brother in command. I replied that since the application of Mr Spence to me the thing was utterly impossible. It was not at all351 worth my while to get into complications with this country on such a question. I already hazarded myself enough to serve them. He admitted the force of my reasoning about the Sea Queen, but greatly mourned his difficulties and embarrassments. I said I hoped he would find his way out of them, but feared I should not be able to give him aid. After he left I went with the family to a small reception at Lady Wensleydale’s. Not many there that I knew. Thence to Lady Palmerston’s weekly reception. I overcame my aversion to this under a conviction that as things now stood it would be wiser not to leave an opening for an inference respecting my absence. The assembly was quite large. Lord Palmerston received me much more cordially than he has done since our difference, but I did not attempt to converse. I had a little talk with Baron de Cetto, the Bavarian minister both an American and European politics.

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=DCA63d115