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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Sunday 15th

15 May 1864

Tuesday 17th

17 May 1864
16 May 1864
Monday 16th

The morning brought me a great bundle of Despatches, besides private letters. The most material related to the fortune of Mr Yeatman. It seems that it was not Mr Jefferson Davis as I understood Mr Scott Russell’s note, but Mr Lincoln that was referred to. Instead of acting as he gave me to understand he should, he turns up at Philadelphia, from which he writes letters to Judge Wayne proposing to negotiate with him apparently de novo. The government on learning this immediately sent him an oder to depart in six days. The correspondence has been sent to me, with an intimation that the judgment formed originally of Mr Yeatman is completely verified. The gentleman comes out in this Steamer, re infecta, and rather put backward than formed by his agency. I suppose I shall hear from Mr Russell, the other side of the story. At the same time I think the conduct of the government indicates the prevalence of personal quite as much as political apprehensions. I do not perceive that any effort was made to disavow the extent of his authority. On the contrary the assumption that he was vested with authority was the cause of the alarm. The other Despatches that came are animated with so thorough a confidence in the issue on the field, that I judge they believe more in that than in the negotiation. Perhaps this may be right. But how many innocent and valuable are to be forfeited, which might have been saved.16 We have not a word about Louisa; but Charles writes in good spirits, phased with the change in his situation. He says nothing is known at head quarters of what is about to be done. The newspapers are equally misinformed, which I consider a good sign. General Grant is no boaster. Mr Dana writes me from Washington. He thinks Mr Lincoln will be renominated and elected in spite of all defects. I think so too, but fear these defects much more in the second term than the first term. The sense of commond danger makes us all tolerate things now, which would lead to serious divisions once it was taken off. My day otherwise quiet, as it is a holiday. Received a visit from Sir James Brook, well known as the Rajah of Savannah. He came to speak of an incident that had come to his knowledge, which might interest me. A naval friend of his at Greenock had written to him to mention that he had been requested by the Borneo company Agent to look at an extraordinary war vessel that was fitting out there, and given an opinion about her proper armament. As Sir James could not conceive what was the need of such a vessel in Borneo, he had been led by his grateful sense of services rendered to him by the United States when he was in trouble, to come and ask me if I was aware of any such proceeding for the rebels, under this cover. I replied that a vessel called the Hawk had been under my observation. I would make further enquiry about her, and let him know the result. He gave me the address of the Borneo company agency. A very charming walk in the Park, as the day was delightful. Quiet evening. 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=DCA64d137