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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Tuesday 22d.

22 November 1864

Thursday 24th

24 November 1864
23 November 1864
Wednesday 23d.

To town, in order to finish the collation of the copy of the note to Lord Russell which I sent to him this day. It is important for its tone, as well as for the formal notice which I am directed to give of the withdrawal of the engagement limiting the armed force on the northern lakes, made in the Treaty of peace in 1814. Latterly the one of the governments has been growing a little less friend. Certainly the failure on153 the part of Great Britain to maintain her neutrality is flagrant enough to justify war, if that were a useful remedy. The mischief is that to declare hostilities would only be playing into the rebel hands. Mrs Adams came in with Mary to be operated upon for a small wen like mine taken out some weeks ago, by the same surgeon, Erickson. I wrote today a confidential letter to Mr Seward, sounding him about the possibility of my being relieved in the Spring. I do this not without some little misgiving as to my own duty as well as the possibilities to which the proposition may lead. The responsibility attending this post declines steadily with the progress of the war. I now await the developement of the feeling in the South consequent upon the very decisive character of the election. My question does not attack so that I were invited to them. This is like flying into the fire. My private address to Mr Seward will perhaps obtain for me some light to direct my steps in the right way. Home after dark. With Ms Adams I went to dine with Mr and Mrs Spencer Walpole, who live in this town. A small company of fourteen at table. I knew no one, but was presented to Mr and Mrs Dewent Coleridge, the son of the Poet, and a Mr Barbow, for a long time secretary to Lord Lyndhurst. There were besides a Mr and Mrs Peel, and several children. The entertainment was sociable and pleasant. Mr Walpoel has always been very courteous to me, without so far as I know a single motive for civility. He is attached to the Conservative party in which we find but little sympathy. He is not among the rich, through belonging by connection to the old aristocracy. Over the fireplace was a full length picture of Sir Robert Walpole whose brother Thomas of Wolterton and his lineal ancestor. Mrs Walpole is a daughter of Spencer Percival, the prime minister of England who was shot by Bellingham in 1812. He lived in this town, as do all his daughters now, though not on the paternal Estate. Heavy rain on our return.

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=DCA64d328