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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Tuesday 28th

28 June 1864

Thursday 30th

30 June 1864
29 June 1864
Wednesday 29th

Made up the details of my correspondence today. The number of notes called for my enquiries of every kind is always rather oppressive, although I devolve a great portion upon my son, or the second Secretary, Mr Moran. A short time of leisure I was given to numismatics when I suddenly recollected that a meeting of the Peabody Trustees was to be held at four o’clock. I got to Sir Emerson Tennent’s Office at the board of Trade just in season. The object was to open the proposals for the new buildings at Islington. This was done, and the lowest was accepted, after which the contract was signed as well as the sheets of the plans. All present but Mr Morgan, gone to America. This makes the second of the edifices and will absorb about one third of the duration. Home to leave the news from America, which places General Grant clear with his whole army on the south side of James River. There seems now to be some chance of his success. There is a rumor that Petersburg had been taken, but it looks unconfirmed. On my return I dressed early in my uniform to go and dine with Sir Roundell and Lady59 Laura Palmer. This arrangement had been made necessary by a change of the day fixed for the State Ball. Lady Palmer had sent out invitations when the ball had been appointed for the 27th. On its change she had the choice of losing her company or asking an earlier hour, and a condition that those going might be in uniform and thus ready to go at once to the ball. The company consisted of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll Lady Richetts, Sir Robert Phillimore, Mr and Mrs Gladstone, Mr and Mrs Brand, Mr Waldegrave the brother of Lady Laura and his Wife, and a sister whose name I did not catch. There the brother of Lady Laura and his Wife, and a sister whose name I did not catch. There were others utterly unknown. As usual in such a case every thing went wrong. Some of the party were detained in the House of Commons, and came an hour late. The party was likewise a little jumbled so that we were not t our ease. It was therefore a less pleasant occasion than when the lawyers abound. I left the table to go to the ball. Though much after the hour, the attendance was yet small. When the Princess came in, the crowd followed in the wake. The usual nods and smiles and curtsies. But the seats for the corps had been curtailed that all the men were compelled to stand. The pressure on the outside was so great that many of the ladies invaded the seats. As usual our business seemed to be to see the host and his relatives dance. This may do for once, but a repetition is slightly monotonous. We went into supper crowded up somuch that it was with difficulty I saved myself from exclusion. On the return of the Court to the ball-room, we in common with nearly the whole corps took our leave. I can imagine nothing more uncomfortable for them than on occasion of this kind. The idea of trying to make a quest at home never seems to enter into the contemplation of an Englishman. He may come, but if he does, he must learn to shift for himself. I bore the matter with indifference, as I am supposing that it will be the last occasion upon which I shall be under the necessity of wearing my uniform, or attending upon royalty. The labor is tedious and fruitless at least to us republican, Not much chance for politics. We got away after midnight, I rejoiced in getting home and to bed.60

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=DCA64d181