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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Monday 4th

4 April 1864

Wednesday 6th

6 April 1864
5 April 1864
Tuesday 5th

Steady rain all day with occasional fog so thick as to prevent work. Some work to do in writing replies to Lord Russell, to the captain of the Steamer Kearsarge, and adjusting the accounts of the week. A short time devoted to numismatics. I had a visit from Mr Scott Russell who came apparently to signify to me that the guns of the Elswick company were pretty nearly ready for delivery. He soon asked me whether I had any accounts on the great subject. I read to him parts of Mr Seward’s letter, and especially the compliment to himself. He construed the substance pretty much as I did, as superlative caution in a critical period. He told me that Mr Yeatman had not gone in the steamer as he intended, but had preferred to take his chance in a fast blockade runner that had gone out about the same time. This had been a precaution against my suspicion of influence. I said I thought it wise. I suspect it was my son’s presence that frightened him away. Mr Russell seemed slightly disturbed by the doubt expressed of Mr Yeatman’s influence, but he lauded his good faith and repeated the statement formally made of the hearty concurrence in his views of all the other people who might be supposed to have more influence at Richmond than he. This time he was more positive in regard to the active sympathy of Mr Mason. This of itself is to me a most significant623 indication of the state of feeling in the South. If he has been able to bring down his pride and self reliance to consent to these terms, it may fairly be inferred that the spirit of most of the rebels is broken. I remarked that the government was restrained by the fear of the good faith of the leaders. There was a great temptation to play false in order to overturn the Administration of the President. I was sorry to say so, but the whole conduct of the rebels from the outset had been so full of trick that I had lost my confidence in them. I instanced the action of the three commissioners, Yancey, Rost and Mann, when they first came out and saw Lord Russell. They told him that slavery was not the cause of the war, but the tariff was. This was certainly a willful falsehood merely to attain a momentary object. Mr R said that I did not say half as much ill of the professional politicians of the south, as Mr Yeatman did. He would only engage that if any fraud were meditated, he should hear of it, and I should know it. he thought however the South had already suffered too much to be willing to hazard what might be left of chance of recovery. He said Mr Elliston had gone in the steamer of Saturday as agreed. We then got talking of the Times and of its effect on English opinion, which is not material to set down. I had a walk, and in the evening played Whist with the children.

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=DCA64d096