Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Hasty Quarrel

This entry is from A Cycle of Adams Letters 1861-1865 edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford.

Charles Francis Adams, the son of John Quincy Adams, was serving as the United States Minister to Great Britain at the time he wrote this letter.  He is largely responsible for France and England failing to recognize the Confederacy.  This letter is addressed to his son back in the States. He relates what the British people think about the situation in the United States.

June 21, 1861

Letter from Charles Francis Adams, Sr. to Charles Francis Adams, Jr., June 21, 1861
Charles Francis Adams to his Son

. . . People [the British]  do not quite understand Americans or their politics. They think this a hasty quarrel, the mere result of passion, which will be arranged as soon as the cause of it shall pass off. They do not comprehend the connection which slavery has with it, because we do not at once preach emancipation. Hence they go to the other extreme and argue that it is not an element of the struggle. 
. . . .On the other hand I now look to something of a war. We are in it and cannot get out. The slaveholding politicians must go down or there will be no permanent peace. 
Charles Francis Adams.  Frontispiece illustration to  A Cycle of Adams Letters 1861-1865

No comments:

Post a Comment