A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Saturday 5th

5 September 1863

Monday 7th

7 September 1863
6 September 1863
Sunday 6th

Fine but cooler. I went with my son Brooks on a pilgrimage to church in the city. This time, it was to St Peter’s cornhill. On entering, I perceived at once that the interior was unmistakeable Sir Christopher’s. The distribution much in his usual manner with rather awkward columns supporting a series of arches without any galleries, excepting over the door of entrance. There was much less ornament than usual. Some carving on wood along the top of the panel behind the altar. Between the chancel and the nave was a woodscreen, made of dark wood, supporting in the center, images of the Lion and the Unicord, the royal drums which never look to me the right thing inside of a church. The services were read by the Incumbent who preached a sermon with much more substance in it that is common. His topic was the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. With the customary self complacency of this church he assumed that it was the right mean between one extreme in the Romans and the other in the Dissenters. Unfortunately, that mean is a compromise which carried the seed of its own destruction. The attendance very small. At home, I called to see Governor Wright and Mr Hoyt—and then went with Brooks to the Zoological gardens. We were very much amused at the exploits of a little spider monkey whose feats on the slack rope are extraordinary. Mr Dudley dined with us. He showed me his papers. An opinion given by his counsel Mr Squarrey seemed to me very good. That prepared for Mr Lush was not quite so fortunate. On the whole I fear not much is to be gained from it. Yet on the principle of omitting nothing in the nature of evidence for the record. I advised him to go on. Mr Dudley seems much concerned at the progress of these formidable vessels. He lives almost by the pursuit of these investigations into the labors of the rebels. He showed us a photograph he had caused to be made of the iron clad Steamer, and he explained the whole of its construction. It certainly is too dangerous a vessel to come from the harbors of a nation professing to be friendly. He said that he had furnished all the particulars of her construction to the458 various departures of the government so as to put them on their guard but he much doubted whether there was a single harbour of any depth of water in America into which she could not penetrate to do mischief. This is rather a gloomy picture. I do not view it in quite such dark colours. Vessels of this sort rarely turn out quite as perfect as anticipated. He left me saying that he would call again in the morning after seeing Mr Lush’s clock.

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=DCA63d249