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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1863

Wednesday 7th

7 October 1863

Friday 9th

9 October 1863
8 October 1863
Thursday 8th

Heavy rain and thunder shower in the night, but it was clear and warm in the morning. After breakfast I walked to the Station and took the train at nine o clock for London. The trip without incident, and I got home before twelve, to resume work and the composition of Despatches. They were short however this week, as at present there is a lull in the relations. The newspapers arrived from America. They are not quite so reassuring as I had hoped. Although General Rosecranz has fortified himself for the present, there is yet much doubt hanging over the progress of the division of Burnside to relieve him, as well as the other reinforcements that may be needed. The Government has a great responsibility resting upon it, if it suffers that Officer to come to harm. I think it will act up to the emergency. If it should, I do not doubt the issue. At three o’clock I had a deputation from479 the Emigration Society at Derby. Two men, one of whom was Mr Brown the Secretary. Their object was to represent the situation of numbers of people to me and to ask whether I could propose any facilities to emigration. According to their account the condition of the laboring class is melancholy. Their wages barely suffice to pay their way, and support their families, and nothing is left for the future. Brown said he was at wages of ten shillings a week as a bookbinder. He had children to bring up and educate, and he barely paid his way. What a prospect for the future. It was for these reasons there was a great demand to go to the United States. The only obstacle was the cost of transfer. The laboring class had no money laid up. If any assistance could be given either by the American government or by enterprising merchants there was no doubt in his mind from the extensive correspondence of their society that a great exodus would follow. I explained to Mr Brown the reasons why the government could take no part. They were partly political and partly economical. But if they would put their views in writing and send them to me, I would forward them to some individuals of high character, who from their extensive connections would soon be able to tell whether any thing could be done. They seemed thankful for this courtesy and promised to send me such a statement. Brown talked much and with good sense of the condition of the industrious poor in England. He says most of them are unhappy and wish to get away. Such is the happy and merry England of which we hear in poetry and romances. The very rich and the very poor are content with their lot. All between is a rolling and uneasy mass, glad to get away if only suitable opportunity present itself. It is well for the aristocratic element that much of it does go. If it remained there would before long be a reckoning. I worked until five o’clock, when I went out to take a long walk. Henry remained tonight at my desire in order to direct the emigration of the Servants which takes place tomorrow. After a quiet dinner, I read and wrote letters.480

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=DCA63d281