Adams, Charles Francis
On Seward's advice, Lincoln appointed Adams minister to Great Britain. In the face of English sympathy for the Confederacy, he maintained the Northern cause with wisdom and a bold dignity that won British respect, particularly in the serious Trent and Alabama incidents. He is credited with preventing British recognition of the Confederacy and with averting Britain's possible entry into the Civil War on the Confederate side, thus contributing much to the Union victory. He later represented the United States in the settlement of the Alabama claims. He published many political pamphlets and addresses and was an editor of the works (10 vol., 1850–56) of his grandfather, John Adams, and of his father's diary (12 vol., 1874–77).
See his diaries (8 vol., 1964–; pub. by The Adams Papers) biography by M. B. Duberman (1961); W. C. Ford, ed., A Cycle of Adams Letters, 1861–1865 (1920); J. T. Adams, The Adams Family (1930); R. Brookhiser, America's First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735–1918 (2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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