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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Monday 23d

23 May 1864

Wednesday 25th

25 May 1864
24 May 1864
Tuesday 24th

I had one or two rather long visits. One from a Mr Yarnall who brought me a letter from Mr W. E Forster, singularly enough, as he comes from Philadelphia. He wished to get access to the police and prison sources for investigating crime. After consultation with Mr Moran, I gave him a note to Sir Richard Mayne. Then drove out with Mrs Adams, and Mary to pay visits at Richmond and Twickenham to the Duke and the Duchess de Chartres, and the Duke and Duchess d’Aumale. The former have done us the favor to invite us to a ball in honor of the marriage of the Count de Paris, but they have not asked Mary, as we learn, because she had left no card at the house. As the invitation is of little worth to us except as a compliment, without Mary, and as the family have always shown good will to the United States, we thought it better to go and inscribe our names. We found the Duchess d’Annale at home, and as vapid through not so stiff as before. This business of associating with Royalty is not to my taste, either in the ante or the post Regal condition. On the way home at the bridge we met Brooks who happened to be there with his boat. Dined with Lord Russell on the grand occasion of the Queen’s birth-day. All the heads of the Corps Diplomatique, the members of the conference, and the ex-empolye’s of the service. Sat between Count Visthurn and M. Bille. The former very sharp on British ignorance of all outside of their own interests. The latter better natured but evidently having little hope for his country. I spoke with Mr Stewart also, who has been Secretary under Lord Lyons, but is now protowhist in the conference. He said he should not return to Washington. From here27 in full dress to Mrs Gladstone’s as requested. On this anniversary all the great offices of these State Banquets. The custom has been to go afterwards to Lady Palmerston’s. This is not departed from without a cause, Mr Hayward the other day assigned it to be that His Lordship would be too much fatigued by standing as he always would insist upon doing. Talked with Mr Villiers and Mr Gibson. The former asked me about a rumor of news from America that General Grant had been defeated. Mr Cardwell had seen posters put out to that effect, whilst on his way here, I expressed my disbelief in the possibility of any reception of later intelligence, and all who spoke to me agreed in thinking it a trick to sell newspapers. This is an old trouble with me at this season of the year in society. I am always conscious that the greater number of those about me are willing believers in every such talk. And although not myself crediting it, I felt a possibility that by a very rapid passage, a steamer might have arrived with the time of sailing, the 14th. However I manifested this uneasiness, and distinctly gave it as my opinion that the next news would announce General Lee’s retreat from his present position to one near Richmond. This is the fourth year that I have to hear this sort of trial. I trust it may be final one. Home before midnight. The usual illumination.

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=DCA64d145