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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Thursday 23.d

23 June 1864

Saturday 25th

25 June 1864
24 June 1864
Friday 24th

Finished up my private letters rather sooner than common. I have now received from Captain Winslow, his account of the action of Sunday. It certainly indicates a formed purpose on the part of the owner of the Yacht Deerhound to aid and abet the escape of Semmes and the rest of his crew, after they had surrendered themselves and their ship. This strong tendency of the English to intermeddle with us is going on to show itself more and more. Were it not for the European complications I should fear it might before long bring on a war. I have no desire to contribute to such a result. But it appears to me that some warming must be given to this government, if for no other reason, to foreclose the argument for doing nothing in season for the want of it. Of course I can go no farther than to make a representation, and wait special instructions. After mature reflection, I have concluded to write a note to Lord Russell, to send tomorrow. Evening, all of us to a ball at the Duke of Devonshire’s, given to the Prince and Princess of Wales. Very brilliant. The house is more gorgeously ornamented in the Walls and ceilings than any I know, but it is defective in the arrangement. There is no common point of entrance to the respective great rooms. I had a brief talk with the Duke, for the first time. I enquired for his son Frederick, the lately married. He said he had only passed through town to go to the continent for a few weeks. He had hesitated on account of the possibility of a dissolution. But in that event, he could be quickly recalled by telegraph. He is to run for Parliament for one of the ridings in Yorkshire. From this it is very plain that such an event is thought likely. Afterwards I met Arthur Russell. He said55 that matters looked badly. Bu the Ministry would not propose any war policy. If they should, at least forty or fifty of their side would leave them. On the other hand, if they adhered to a moderate course, although in argument the opposition would carry every thing before them, they might be sustained in the vote by a majority of eight or ten. Such is the best England can do in a moment of crisis! This is a mere continuance of the same cause of drivelling feebleness which has brought Denmark to the condition she now is in. The lesson of the division of Poland seems to have been utterly lost to this generation of imbeciles. It is perhaps as well for us, however, that these counsels should prevail. Mr Russell also said that there was to be an assemblage of the opposition at Lord Salisbury’s on Tuesday to consult upon their action. In point of fact Lord Derby feels his own incapacity to take the reins of government, and very discreetly discountenances exertion. We did not get home until after two o’clock. I noted the absence of most of the German members of the Diplomatic corps. This is Brooks’s birth day. 16.

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=DCA64d176