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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Saturday 12th

12 March 1864

Monday 14th

14 March 1864
3 March 1864
Sunday 13th

A clear morning. Went to Church in the City, with Brooks. We this day took St Botolph’s, Bishopsgate. A large edifice, well filled with worshippers, but on the whole not interesting. It was rebuilt about a century and a half since in a respectable style but not striking. The Ionic columns are good. The service as usual, with the exception of the sermon, which was made to help a charity of a Lying in Hospital. There is a painted window in the end representing the transfiguration apparently, in a singular style of colour. One of the squares of glass had evidently been put in to replace the original. Being of a much darker shade of coloring the effect is that of a bad patch. The circumstance most curious of all attaches to the name and its peculiar connection with the gates on the old city. A Church of St Botolph is found at Adgate, Bishopsgate, Aldersgate, and Billingsgate—but no where else. The notion that the name of Boston is a corruption of Botolph’s town is also found to prevail. After dinner I went with Charles and Mary to the Zoological Gardens. But the wind had become very chilly, and the animals were dull and torpid. On my return home I found a telegram from Mr Seward in cipher. It roused my anxiety, but there was nobody at home to point out where they key was in the Legation. I much feared that it might contain some preparation for softening disastrous events in the Southwest. I was unable to find the necessary paper though I searched all parts of the office. Henry did not return until seven o’clock, and it was eight before he succeeded in finding the key and deciphering the paper. It turned out to be next to600 nothing; a simple notice that something would be done to relieve Lord Russell from the pressure of the opposition, caused by the publication of the correspondence. We had to dinner Mr John Bright, Mr C. W. Field and Mr Weston. After which came Mr Lampson and his daughter and one or two others. Mr Lampson came to talk about the effort to make an organization to aid the Sanitary Commission. He found that Messr Sturgis, Morgan and Duncan had expressed dissatisfaction with the way in which their names had been used, and their determination to withdraw entirely. Mr Bates was true and decided, but seemed hesitating about the amount of his subscription. I said that the intelligence did not surprise me; nor was I unprepared for the failure of the undertaking. All that I hoped to be done was that the action of these parties should be clearly understood in America. This was not a political question. It was a great act of national humanity. Any American that was dead to it must have abjured all his nationality. It was not for me to find fault with him. The fact only should be made known in America in cases where there was a liability to a delusion. Mr Lampson said he hoped yet to be able to do something— But he feared it would not be much. The truth is that a life in Europe very generally takes the look of our Institutions out of my countrymen. They sink into mere chinese mandarin figures ready to bow on every occasion at the truck of a titled donkey. I am glad to except my friend Bates from this censure. For though very impressible to rank and station he nevertheless retains a strong pride for his native land, and in the simplicity of his ancient and homely birth place.

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=DCA64d073