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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1865

Sunday 19th

19 February 1865

Tuesday 21st

21 February 1865
20 February 1865
Monday 20th



The hurricane lasted all night and much of this day. The frost which was sharp did not yield in the shade. On my coming to breakfast I was cheered by a multitude of letters, and they were for a wonder uniformly pleasant. Mrs Adams and Henry, delighted with the trip from Nice and Mentone. They proposed on Friday to get forward to San Reme. Louisa from Palermo, announcing that the box of oranges which I could not account for receiving, came from Mr Rose. John and Charles from Boston both in good spirits. One little grovel from the last named, on account of my repeated expressions of solicitude for his health—a pretty good sign that it is well founded. On the whole, it made me light heated for the day.213 I also read the American papers with care. The tone is of the most warlike character. The report is of the utter and complete failure of the conference, the one side demanding recognition and refusing to hear of any thing else. And this is inserted in the New York Times as if directly from Mr Seward’s. On the other hand I received towards evening an official account from Mr Seward of the conference, which much modifies the rigidity of this statement. It would appear from it that no such position was taken by the rebels. They desired that the question might be avoided, and in the meanwhile some other brought forward upon which the sentiment of the people of the two sections could be united. Undoubtedly this has reference to the Monroe doctrine, and to possibilities on the side of Mexico. The President did right in declining any relaxation in the war policy on that plea. But his ground seems to have been fully comprehended by the committee, and not materially protested against. The meeting is moreover stated to have been free from all asperity, amicable and even kindly. My inference is that peace will soon be made. The blood of every man slain in the interval is a crime on the part of those people at Richmond who know now what can be the only issue. Went at two o’clock, to take luncheon with the Speaker which is really his dinner. Mr and Mrs Forster, Mr Bright and Lord Taunton. Much pleasant conversation on parliamentary debating, on American customs, and lastly on the school system of New England. Lord Taunton and Mr Forster are on a commission to provide for middle class education, and they desire to have me come before them to give information. But I foresee the danger of arousing the prejudices of the aristocratic classes, and decline to do more than to give in private such hints as my experience suggests. It would be very difficult to take much from our system, which is intensely democratic in its spirit, and freed from the burden of an established form of religious faith. Home at four o’clock— A quiet evening. Mr Alward come up, waiting for the Despatches, which were unusually interesting. Wrote to Louisa.

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=DCA65d051