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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Sunday 8th

8 May 1864

Tuesday 10th

10 May 1864
9 May 1864
Monday 9th

Chilly with clouds and rain. I received my letters and Dispatches. The former being me intelligence of the completion of a transaction of a private nature to which I have long been looking with anxiety. This is the final payment of the sum required by my purchase and building on the Melvden Estate in Boston. Looking back at it I am astonished at my ever having embarked in such an undertaking. I am still surprised that in spite of the failure of all my calculations, consequent upon the breaking out of the war, and the removal of a superintendence of it both of myself and my son Charles, I have at last reached the point of clearing it from every incumbrance. I am no completely out of debt, and the amount of my liabilities as Trustee have been so much reduced as to render them no longer burdensome. The remaining property to secure the interest of the two surviving sisters of my mother in the sums vested in them by their brother, is quite solid. My bond to the children of my niece cannot be taken up during the life of their grandmother. To meet that I have set aside a sufficient amount of securities to satisfy the demand, should it occur at any moment. There might be a possible loss on the sudden conversion of them, which I should be obliged to make good. This is a trifling matter.9 My Estate therefore which on the breaking out of these troubles was embarrassed with debt and liabilities to the amount of a hundred thousand dollars and more, is now so nearly cleared as to render it perfectly easy to administer upon in case any thing happens to me. Thus one weight is taken off my mind. The public matters remain. The accounts are by no means equally clear in this case. There is a reverse by the incapacity of General Banks which for the third time on this part clouds the prospect. This is not however irreparable or even material in the general account. The great issue is that now making by General Grant about which we must soon know. Our past experience of the fortune of war is not such as to make me confident of the result in any one case, though it makes with equal reliance the general result certain. The condition of the currency and of our future means is a better cause for uneasiness. I trust that the initiative made here through Mr Scott Russell may yet show its fruits. Not a hint of it’s progress is yet received. General Lerman called to know what answer there was to Mr Teran. I told him what Lord Russell had said. He expressed himself much obliged. He alluded to the latest news he had received from Mexico, which was that Vidarre had been compelled to quit Monterey and go into Texas for protection. Juarez was gaining authority and strength. The want of arms was the great difficulty. Almost every one of the South American States had furnished some, and more were to go from New York as well as from here. The prospect for Maximilian was therefore not propitious. This matter has so intimate a connection with our own struggle that we can not decide upon the issue of it just yet. I wrote a note to Lord Russell on the case of the Georgia, which is again grossly violating the neutrality of this country. A walk and meditation. We had company to meet Mr Dayton. Lord and Lady Wenselydale, Mr Villiers, Mr Milner Gibson, Mr Bille and his sister, Sir Henry and Lady Holland, Sir William and Lady Ouseley, Mr and Mrs Duncan, of Mississippi, Mr Ward. This had been collected very suddenly, but it was quite successful. Mr Bille gave us the news that a suspension of hostilities for a month had been agreed upon today—and Mr Villiers reported a naval Victory of the Danes.10

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=DCA64d130