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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Tuesday 23d.

23 February 1864

Thursday 25th

25 February 1864
24 February 1864
Wednesday 24th

The north east wind still prevails, making us uncomfortable more than cold. As I wished to go to a coin sale tomorrow, I anticipated my usual time for writing Despatches by preparing almost all of them this morning. This and the reading of the newspapers from America absorbed the day. The more I read, the more I am convinced that the struggle cannot be sustained in the south much longer. Loud as they as talk of persevering, it is plain that they see before them no palpable advantage to be gained. The difficulty now is to backward. Whether Mr Scott Russell will prove the adventurous guide remains to be seen. On reflection I have come to the conclusion that the man behind him is Mr Calet Huse, a man who has been principal agent here in making contracts and forwarding arms and munitions of war to the rebels. He is a Massachusetts man, more shame for him. Let this very fact may perhaps justify a doubt whether he may not be used as a tool by more cunning and profligate schemers, ultimately to583 to disavowed and denounced if convenient. I find that I must proceed with care. Dined by invitation with the Lord Chancellor again. The company consisted of Mr Bille, the Danish and M Van de Weyer the Belgian Minister, Chief Baron Pollock, Mr Evarts, Lord Shaftsbury, Sir James Nild, Mr Vernon Harcourt, and some others whom I did not know. I forgot to mention Sir Henry Holland. The Chancellor is talkative and gracious at his own table, and the consequence is a much more general and instructive conversation than I have found elsewhere. I sat next to Lord Shaftsbury, a gentleman of note as a head of religious and philanthropic movements. He has been very sky of me, because he found the convenient not to get implicated in any Antislavery movement that might embarrass the policy of his chief, Lord Palmerston. The Church has thus been kept free from any dangerous emotion. Soon after ten we rose from table. I asked the Lord Chancellor about the prospect of the Alexandra case coming up on appeal. He said he had done all in his power to accelerate it. But there was some underling at work to put it off, so that he feared now it would not come up until May. The ladies and Charles were in the carriage and I drove with them to the reception at Lady Waldegrave’s. It was only moderately full, but I found many acquaintances. The Ministers exulting in the issue of the conflict last night in the House of Commons. The opposition made another stand on the question of the detention of the detention of rams. I fear they make rather a strong case against the Administration, but they put their power to so dangerous a use that it roused Thomas Baring who tumbled down their castle of cards. My name comes much into question, but strangely enough, it is exalted in order the more to depress Lord Russell’s. The division should a majority for ministers for twenty five— From here we went to the Admiralty where the Duchess of Somerset was receiving. We were so late that the numbers were a good deal reduced. I met here Mess Melner Gibson and Villiers. The latter construes the last nights movement as a regularly prepared attack of Lord Derby. Hence the satisfaction at its failure. I think it indicates a degree of strength that may contain them before long.584

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=DCA64d055