A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Saturday 27th

27 February 1864

Monday 29th

29 February 1864
28 February 1864
Sunday 28th

Rainy morning with streets in the dirtiest condition. I remained at home and occupied myself in making up arrears of Diary and in writing one or two letters until it was time to go to afternoon service. I then sallied out with no very definite destination. At last I concluded upon trying my chance at St Peter’s Westminster. But as I passed through the house guards, and looked across at Whitehall the sight of numbers entering the open door reminded me that it has always been my wish to go there. So I crossed the street and dropped into the current. It was plain that there was some unusual attraction. Luckily a lady invited me into a pew, but a great number were standing in the alleys through the service. The preacher proved to be Mr Charles Kingsley who made a charity sermon for the benefit of St George’s Hospital Thus I attained several objects. One of them the wish to see the famous banquetting hall planned by Inigo Jones. It is handsome, though now shorn of its natural effect by the division of the floor into pews. There is not much ornament except in the ceiling where have been placed in the panels the paintings made for them by Rubens. The subject is the Apotheosis of James I, better suited to a festive room than a chapel. Over the entrance door is a bust of him likewise. the height of the ceiling, over fifty feet makes it difficult to distinguish much of hte pictures. In an atmosphere like that of London no picture stands much chance of preserving its prior shades of color. The service was read by the usual clergyman. Mr Kingsley preached a plain common sense sermon from Matthew 9.35. which speaks of Jesus as going about “healing any disease among the people.” He spoke of the use of this charity, of the necessity of creating a class devoted to this duty of healing, of the value of hospitals generally and St George’s in particular. This led him naturally to the demands on this charity, and the strain made on its resources by the numbers whom it received. The crowd was great, and the collection liberal. We dined quietly and in the evening had only a few visiters. Mr Ehringer, Mr Lampson, Col Chester and Mr Phillips. It is fortunate that Mrs Adams assumed so moderate a footing for her reception.587

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=DCA64d059