Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23, 1863: Henry Adams to Charles Francis Adams, Jr.

Henry Adams

An excerpt from a letter from Henry Adams to Charles Francis Adams, Jr.:
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The Emancipation Proclamation has done more for us here than all our former victories and all our diplomacy. It is creating an almost convulsive reaction in our favor all over this country. The London Times furious and scolds like a drunken drab. Certain it is, however, that public opinion is very deeply stirred here and finds expression in meetings, address to President Lincoln, deputations to us, standing committees to agitate the subject and to affect opinion, and all the other symptoms of a great popular movement peculiarly unpleasant to the upper classes here because it rests altogether on the spontaneous action of the laboring classes and has a pestilent squint at sympathy with republicanism. But the Times is on its last legs and has lost its temper. They say it always does lose its temper when it finds such a feeling too strong for it, and its next step will be to come round and try to guide it. We are much encouraged and in high spirits. If only you at home don't have disasters, we will give such a checkmate to the foreign hopes of the rebels as they never yet have had . . .

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Charles Francis Adams, Jr. (Second from right).

Abraham Lincoln had appointed Charles Francis Adams, Sr. United States Minister (ambassador) to the United Kingdom on March 19, 1861. Adams' son Henry Adams accompanied him to London as his private secretary. One of Adams' other sons, Charles Francis Adams, Jr. served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry on December 28, 1861. He was promoted to captain on December 1, 1862.

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