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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1865

Saturday 4th

4 February 1865

Monday 6th

6 February 1865
5 February 1865
Sunday 5th



Cloudy, drizzly, chilly day. I was glad the family were not here. Had some idea of desiring to Pembroke Lodge to see Lord Russell, and perhaps Lord Lyons who is stopping there but gave it up on account of the mud and rain. Went to Church in the city. Hit up on a rather unprominent edifice in Friday Street, which proved to be St Matthew’s and St Peter in the Chepe. It is one of Wren’s construction, in his simplest manner. It varies from others of the same sort only in the transposition of the gallery, or rather the door which is put in at the south east corner. The want of light on the other sides by being shut in by buildings is supplied by six long circular headed windows placed close to each other on the east or street side, an on the altar. The ceiling very plain. The dimensions small, and filled in with plain oaken pews, with the side walls panneled all round to match. The pulpit stuffed into the north east corner. Yet the effect was social and homish— The attendance quite full. I do not fully account for the difference in this respect between the city Churches. The services much as usual, excepting that the customary vacuity of the discourse was suddenly enlivened by an allusion to the struggle in America Taking for the text the passage read from the gospel concerning the tares and the wheat, he suddenly pounced upon the cruel and savage and bloodthirsty spirit shown among us an object of the most profound disgust, and to be considered as a visitation for the outrageous offences of our national life. It was not to be wondered at in a country where all license was given to the expression of every form of religious opinion, and where consequently had been uttered some of the foulest errors that were known to the age. How could it have been otherwise where no limit was put to the saving to tares, and no power existed to give a unity to religious sentiment. This little burst was altogether refreshing. He then proceeded to intimate that matters were not altogether so straight as they might be even at home. It occurred to me that the Bishop of London is an address had claimed only a bare majority of the people of Great Britain as within the fold of the Established Church. He is not of the old school, the I thank thee, Lord, that I am not even as this publican stamp, in which this preacher must be classed. There was nothing else in the sermon; but197 spiteful mediocrity has at least the merit of raising the attention. The afternoon at home. A visit from Mr Alward, who proposed a visit to the zoological gardens—but it was too chilly and dull to be attractive. Mr Torrens came in and sat an hour. I asked him some questions about the election, especially his canvass for Finsbury— But he seems to take it very philosophically. There is on the whole much apathy prevailing in parties just now. The period has however nearly come. For Lord Palmerston will scarcely survive the opening of the next Parliament. Some talk of the strange news from America about Mexico. It is stated that Mr Gwyan of Mississippi, and afterwards of California had been made a Duke by Maximilian, and set up as a Viceroy on the Northern States ceded to France. This is a revival of the old story about Gerynn. This may be a premonitory symptom of what I have foreseen as likely, the transfer of the deperate class of rebels to that country. A good riddance to ours. Quiet evening— I forgot another visit from Mr Lampson who talked of Mr Fisher and the old business of the Sanitary commission. Fisher wishes to magnify his Office, which rather provokes the men who suspect that they are to be made the medium. He also told me that the rebel agents are much excited by the possession of some news which they think is to set up their futures again. I have had some other evidence of this. Can it be this Mexican affair? There have been so many of these exhilarations in my experience followed by a cold fit that I am now surprised by them. They are a mercurial, imperious, selfrelying, intriguing race who follow politics as they do the color of a card. In the evening, I got the Despatches, and a private note from Mr Seward at last. But it was only to say that the President had not thought it for the public interest to take up for consideration my suggestion, down to that time. He would keep me further advised. I infer from this one thing only. That is that he does not consider my remaining here indispensable. The only question is how to supply my place, and that he wishes to put off during the session of Congress. I do not expect to hear before March. The telegraph brings rumors of Mr Seward as about to come. I suspect started by those who wish him out of his present post. That would scarcely do. Read an article in the Edinburgh review on the History of Normandy by Sir T. Palgrave.198

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=DCA65d036