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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Saturday 23d.

23 January 1864

Monday 25th

25 January 1864
24 January 1864
Sunday 24th

A really fine clear day. The bag from America came this morning and brought me letters from both of my sons. That from Charles is dated New Year’s day and deals much in anticipation of his trip to this side. But John’s which is eleven days later describes his efforts to get his leave of absence all of which were damped by a fit of caprice in the Secretary of War. This had made a necessary another process which he was yet conducting at Washington, at the time of writing. I confess that I felt so disappointed as to be depressed during the remainder of the day. It is not common for me to attempt to wrestle with the vicissitudes of life. Knowing how uncertain the future is I have ever labored to school myself to count upon nothing. I have erred here. it is not for me to pretend to judge of what is to be. I should like to see my son again, but if it is not to be, I must acquiesce and be resigned. I was so engaged in reading the news that I lost my trip to the city— So I went to St Paul’s chapel in Regent Street. A plain, ugly interior, very base but fully attended. The Preacher discussed upon not being weary in well doing. He made one remark which seemed to merit attention. It was upon what he alleged was the common neglect by parent of the welfare of their children. Of course, he meant the spiritual welfare. Perhaps this may be so. I have more than once examined myself on this matter, and have doubted whether I have done all that I should. It is difficult to hit the right medium between over officious zeal and indifference. I have trusted to the effect of example and such early teaching as I used to give them on Sundays I fear it was not enough. For my children though not irreverent are not all I could wish them to be in this regard. I must try and find them a pew at some church, since I was so hasty in giving up that at Mr Martineau’s. The news from America is fair. Congress is restless and blustering as usual, but not inclined to do evil. Spent the day at home quiet and without interruption of any kind. Long walk— Then to dine by invitation with Mr and Mrs Sturgis. Colonel Hawley and Mr T. Baring the only company. Home before eleven.

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=DCA64d024