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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Thursday 31st

31 March 1864

Saturday 2d.

2 April 1864
1 April 1864
Friday April 1.st

Blustering winds and sudden showers begin the month. I was occupied in writing private letters home, resuming my correspondence with Charles as well as John, and writing a letter to Mr Sumner. This has been made necessary by a visit from M van de Weyer the other day, charged with a request from his Master, Leopold, the King of Belgium, that I could be the medium of expressing his gratification at the complimentary manner in which he Mr S. Had referred to him in a late debate in the Senate on the Stadt dues. I assented of course. This task is a delicate one as I desire to use friendly terms without incurring the hazard of a renewal of intimacy. His long friendship is one of the incidents I recollect with pleasure. It was carried on however until the moment when it was in danger of being handsome to both. Even if I had a right, I have no inclination to lay up offence for me some portions of his conduct during the later portion of my stay in America. But I never was618 more clear in any conviction, than in that of the expediency of never trying to restore the old relation. My wish is for the future to rank him among the ordinary number of my acquaintance. Precisely on this footing I tried to write this letter. After work was over I went out to walk, and paid a visit to Mr Bates. Found him suffering under sharp twinges of the gout. He seemed disposed to endure the pain philosophically in consideration of the general notion that it is apt to merge in itself other and more dangerous tendencies. Perhaps it may be so in his case. We had to dine with us, Mrs Curtis and Miss Gray. Coll Curtis was not well enough to come. Captain Winslow of the Kearsarge, his surgeon, Dr Brown, and his paymaster. J Adams Shaw made up the company. The officers made themselves pleasant enough, but it is very clear to me that the conduct of the commander does not altogether satisfy his officers under him. There are suspicions of his fidelity, inasmuch as he is from the south and has been a slaveholder. I do not so much believe in that as in his disinclination to active exertion, a trait not infrequently betraying itself in our naval men during the present war. It is rather a singular circumstance that who ever comes troubles me more than the does the rebels. Captain Winslow follows in the steps of captain craven and Captain Marchand. I am at this moment engaged in a justification of him to Lord Russell for the careless transaction at Queenstown. I have sometimes regretted that we have not had a more active and numerous squadron in these waters, but on reflecting upon the operations of the few that came I am not sure that the country’s interest is not better served without them.

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=DCA64d092