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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Thursday 14th

14 January 1864

Saturday 16th

16 January 1864
15 January 1864
Friday 15th

Continued fog during the day, calling for lamp or candle light occasionally. Very much occupied writing letters home. This kept me at my table pretty late. There is almost always something to do. Yet I cannot but observe a considerable change in the nature of my work. There is547 much less of embarrassment from the inexperience of the Consuls. Most of them have fallen into their places and acquit themselves now respectably enough. The number of applications for service in America has greatly fallen off. So with letters of enquiry. Most of the work is now caused by the labors of the rebels in continuing their enlistment, and outfits. I completed today the settlement of the expense for the forgery prosecutions. And I sent a confidential letter to Mr Seward and an abstract from my Diary containing the record of my conversation with Mr Scott Russell. The more I reflect upon this, the more singular it seems. That Mr Russell firmly believes himself to be possessed of the views of the Rulers at Richmond is certain. That his informants give him a most deplorable account of their condition, his direct and incidental admissions equally conspire to prove. Yet this would seem to be a most circuitous and awkward way of setting about terms, when so many easy ones are close at hand. Another idea suggests itself to me that it may be a trick to operate upon the electives this year. An armistice and a negotiation might serve to put us into confusion, and promote the success of a candidate disposed to yield too much for our own security. These people are crafty and treacherous, though I think better of Davis in this particular than of most of the rest. On my part I see infinite caution is needed to avoid doing harm in meaning to do good. I do long so much to terminate this lamentable struggle, that short of sacrificing the great objects of it, I would be willing to do a great deal. Walked round the Regent’s Park, on the outer circle. Dined by invitation with the Lord Chancellor. Company composed almost wholly of lawyers not one of whom I knew. Mr Villiers was the only Cabinet Minster. Judge Shea, the new member of the Bench, remarkable as the first Roman Catholic appointed for a very long time back. He is popular with the Bar, which gives courage to the Ministry to take the step. Dr Travers Twiss, the Oxford Professor of International law. Mr Montague Chambers, Mr Huddleston, and many other Queen’s counsel. On the whole an intelligent and gentlemanly set of persons. The dinner at our end especially and lively and amusing. Lord Westbury did not talk so much for effect as usual. Home by eleven.548

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=DCA64d015