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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Friday 20th

20 May 1864

Sunday 22d.

22 May 1864
21 May 1864
Saturday 21.st

Cloudy and chilly—rather a refreshing change. My day much broken up. Wrote a note to the Count de Paris. Madame Laugel came the other day informally to signify that he would be glad to ask me to his wedding as well on my own account as to show his regard to the United States. But that he was embarrassed in making a distinction outside of his family relatives that might be invidious to representatives of other courts here. He hoped this difficulty might be avoided if I could consent to appear simply as a private friend, without any official character. I asked Madame Laugel to give my very best respects to the Court and to say that I felt the compliment he was disposed to pay to me, as well as to my country. But that it seemed to me scarcely possible for me whilst a representation of it to divest myself at pleasure22 of that character, especially in the presence of ministers from other courts and in the case of a ceremony necessarily of a public nature, more or less. Under these circumstances it seemed more prudent both as it respected him and myself not to run the hazard of any complications or misunderstandings, which might call for explanations. Five of the ministers will certainly attend as such. How and where would they provide for me. If as a minister likewise, the Count is in trouble with the distinction made with others not invited. If as a private man, the inference may be drawn that I consent to sacrifice the dignity of my country for the sake of getting to a quasi royal marriage. I did not give all this as fully as I have written it. A long visit from Mr Pike, who is here on his annual visit from the Hague. He talked much of Mr Chase, and his mistakes about the currency. He thinks he made his system in view of a Presidential nomination. And having now lost it, he is in danger of ruin as a public man from the consequences of its inevitable failure. I never have doubted his system to be wrong, but have been disposed to be charitable in consideration of the terrible difficulties with which he is surrounded. Mr Foster came in also to enquire about the news. There is an arrival four or five hours later which speaks of unofficial accounts of Grant’s success. I told him that I had been taught by experience not to exult too soon. Yet it was very certain that the confidence in the Government in the issue had never been so firm. Went with Mrs Adams, Mary and Mrs Borland, to the flower show of the Botanic Society in the regents Park. It was very fine, particularly in the azaleas and Geraniums. A very large assembly but not many whom I knew. On my return I went to see Mr Harry Ingersoll of Philadelphia. He talked of his Uncle. Mr Joseph Ingersoll, who was my predecessor here. I never had any fancy for the race that came from the stamp act agent previous to the revolution. He said he heard a great deal about the “cantankerous” conduct of the Queen. I replied by a general remark upon the disorganized condition of the entire government. In the evening, we were again quiet and above. This has been on the whole a wekk of comfortable repose.23

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=DCA64d142