Saturday, May 12, 2012

Charles Francis Adams, Jr. and the "Historical Keynote"

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

Charles Francis Adams, Jr. had two presidents in his lineage. His father was the United States minister to England. The younger Adams had attended Harvard and at the beginning of the war was practicing law. In December 1861, Adams was commissioned first lieutenant in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry and eventually fought at Antietam and Gettysburg. In July 1864, Adams rose in rank to lieutenant colonel in the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry - an African American unit that fought at Petersburg and elsewhere.

On March 4, 1865, Adams found himself in Washington City - as the war drew to a close, he was eager to hear the president's second inaugural address. Writing to his father a few days later, he had this to say: "That rail splitting lawyer is one of the wonders of the day. Once at Gettysburg and now again on a greater occasion he has shown a capacity for rising to the demands of the hour ...This inaugural strikes me in its grand simplicity and directness as being for all time the historical keynote of this war."

I would certainly agree with Adams. What do you think?




  1. "Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'."


  2. More evidence that the Gettysburg Address was not ignored.