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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Friday April 1.st

1 April 1864

Sunday 3d.

3 April 1864
2 April 1864
Saturday 2d.

Rather undisturbed this morning, which gave me a good opportunity to complete my draft of a note on the establishments at Queenstown. It appears that this business was gotten up by the rebels and Mr Mason through their sympathizer, the Earl of Donoughmore. In view of this it becomes my duty to put an extinguisher upon all hopes of difficulty from this source. I had barely time to complete it before the hour assigned for an interview with Lord Russell— The object of this was to read to him two Despatches lately received from Mr Seward. One619 related to the passage of his instructions to me of the 11th of July last which has made so much noise, and which had been the cause of an attack upon the Ministry by Lord Derby. It seemed to me a little awkward, and unsound in the logic, but as it was meant to fortify Lord Russell, and as my discretion to vary from my line of instructions must not be too often stretched. I concluded to read it bodily. His Lordship made the single remark that by this act of bringing the paper to his attention, Mr Seward seemed to make it necessary for him to express an opinion of it. When it had been referred to by Lord Derby, his answer had been that offence was quite sufficient as a separation. I gave my explanation of the matter which is a simpler and more natural one. If Mr Seward thought necessary to publish the instruction at was never used. This would have saved the appearance of fanfaronade, after the importance of the act had ceased, and England could not call us to account for it— The other Despatch was a recapitulation of the various causes of difference between us, and the steadily growing irritation caused by the interposition of British subjects every where against us. It demanded nothing but it distinctly intimated the nature of the feelings which would become deeply settled in the popular heart, in America. Lord Russell seemed inclined to disclaim the imputation of inertia which seemed to be conveyed. He went back to the Alexandra, and the Iron clads and the persecution with all its varying fortunes. They were yet in the midst of these things so long as they were unsettled, nothing more could be done. This implied, rather are now without adequate support in Parliament. A dissolution is absolutely necessary to change the state of things which paralyzes the government. A new Parliament will either be ready to uphold this Ministry or to demand a new one. We must wait until the new power arrives. Very possibly when it comes, it may not suit us. Lord Russell is always so reasonable and friendly that I scarcely expect to gain by a change. I walked home, stopping on my way at the620 German gallery in Bond Street, where was a private view of a large number of water colour drawings by Simpson, of scenes in India, Thibet and Cashmere. They are interesting as they bring to the eye the seats of an ancient and peculiar civilization The ever revolving drama of life leaves behind it in widely different spots memorials of its passage, all bearing the common mark of human industry, but in no two places precisely the same. In all man’s labors, the same diversity prevails that is found in the individual of the species. Oriental, African, European and American movements all bear a general resemblance, and at the same kind a distinctive peculiarity. India is full of the traces of great antiquity, which is not the antiquity of China, or of Egypt or of Palestine or of Greece. These pictures make me wonder, but they do not attract me. The scenery is picturesque but not inviting. Least of all the sketch of the far famed vale of Cashmere, which looks like one of our flat swamps. Home and quiet evening.

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=DCA64d093