A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Saturday 18th

18 June 1864

Monday 20th

20 June 1864
19 June 1864
Sunday 19th

To Church in the City, where I drifted into what proved to be St Botolph’s. Aldersgate. This was not one of the many edifices which suffered in the fire, but it subsequently became so dilapidated, that in 1790 it was rebuilt. The exterior is nothing, but inside it has a cheerful and rather elegant look. The galleries are hardly elevated enough from the level of the pews and on one side there is no light, and which clearly marks the absence of Sir Christopher. From the gallery to the ceiling spring Corinthian columns which support an arched ceiling quite tastefully decorated. At the east end in a semicircular opening for the altar, ever which are three windows of stained glass. The centre represents the agony in the garden, in a manner which aided by sunlight is very effective. Windows in the form of a part of an ellipse are let into the arch of the ceiling, so that there is light enough, if properly dispersed. The attendance fair. The sermon an occasional one, arising from the Bishop of London’s letter soliciting the aid of all the Churches to his grand plan of raising a hundred thousand pounds annually for ten years to build more Churches for the poor of London. It was simple, clear and judicious. I could not help thinking however that at least thirty of the endowments within the city which at present provide buildings that have no worshippers, could with proper energy be made to supply a large part of this want. The English fixedness to old ways is the only obstacle.. There were however banns of marriage for two couples read out here today. After luncheon, drove out with Henry, Mary and Miss Dayton to Kew Gardens, which are looking very attractive just now. It is a great place of popular resort on Sunday. We wandered about the grounds for two hours, getting back just before dinner. I found a telegram from Mr Dayont awaiting me, which announced that the Steamer Kearsarge had this morning destroyed the Alabama in an action off Cherburg, lasting an hour and a half. This incident will have a moral effect far out of proportion to its intrinsic importance. I trust it removes one cause of cumulative difficulty with this country. We had to dinner Messr Sanford, Beckwith and Kingsland, Mrs Bishop, Mr Wilson and his niece Miss Wilson and Mr Charles Hales. Also Miss Cushman and others in the evening. All of them delighted with the news.52

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=DCA64d171