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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Monday 9th

9 May 1864

Wednesday 11th

11 May 1864
10 May 1864
Tuesday 10th

My morning much taken up with visits. Mr Dudley reports the issue of the application for the men who seized the Joseph L Gerity. The Court allows the habeas corpus which at once brings the question out of the Treaty up to them. The practical effect of such a decision is to make the Treaty will whenever the party professed to be seized has interest enough to organize resistance in the courts. Coll T Bigelow Lawrence and a Mr Brooks from Boston also called. The number of American who are coming over increases rapidly. Mr A Evans came in to urge me to make representations to the government of the effect of the action of the New York legislature in refusing to pay interest in coin, on the public debt. The Times has made use of this to discredit all the United States obligations. I scarcely know whether it be worth while to take so much trouble to be always pacifying the fears of the English. To pay creditors faithfully is the duty of debtors. But when the government undermines the obligation by removing the only permanent standard, how are individuals to define the extent of the engagement. If my neighbor pays me his debt in paper which I depend upon to pay my creditor with, what am I to do if it prove worth only half as much in the gold he requires? It is plain that the whole thing rests upon a false basis, and the innocent intermediate suffers at both ends. I told Mr Evans I would write on the necessity of sustaining credit. In my opinion the whole system on which we have gone is false, and the only true remedy is to recall the paper, at every hazard. Walk and returned the visit of Mr Hall. Went also to see a new application of photography which is very curious. The result is to present a figure in a crystal cube which stands out with almost the prominence of those in a stereoscope. Quiet dinner. In the evening we went to a reception of Count Apponyi. He had been entertaining the Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg and the Duke of Cambridge at dinner, after which came general company. We remained but a short time, and then to the St James’s Hotel to take up Mrs Duncan. But as she had been taken ill we proceeded to Lady de Grey’s to a ball. I remained about half an hour and walked home, leaving the ladies, who did not get away until two o’clock.11

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=DCA64d131