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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Monday 14th

14 November 1864

Wednesday 16th

16 November 1864
15 November 1864
Thursday 15.th

Shortly after breakfast we took our leave. During my stay I have been favorably impressed the character of this family. There is an absence of all assumption which approaches almost to shyness in performing the duties of the position. Not a bit of cordiality of warmth. On the other hand, no air of superiority and condescension. It is impossible to find plainer manners. The Duke has capacity and education, but no faculty of using the power which they give. He is domestic and retiring. The hospitality which he practises is evidently the tribute he feels bound to pay to his rank and title. It does not spring from his taste which is of the simplest. His own private apartment is the plainest in the whole palace. His residence of six weeks at Chatsworth is the duty he owes to the possession of such an Estate. He rejoices when it is over. Just so is it with his residence in Devonshire season during the season. He prefers to live at his own first inherited homestead at Holhar, only with his own children around him. His constitutional shyness has prevented his taking my part in public life. But he is earnestly pushing forward his three sons, one of whom has now a subordinate place in the War office with a seat in Parliament, and the other two are canvassing for county seats in the next. The early death of his Wife made him educate them at home, contrary to the general custom. As a consequence he seems to have a well ordered family. Thus I respect the Duke much more than I do most of his rank, and I take leave of him with kind remembrances of his courtesy. We returned to London without incident, Sir Joseph Paxton who was going to Derby, scared us a nice carriage, and this time we were punctual to the minute at the King’s cross station. The carriage was waiting, and we drove at once to Hanger Hill where we found the family well as we left them. So far as I can tell, Mary about whom we were most anxious has not been affected by the risks attending the cold rooms and passages of the great place.

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=DCA64d320