Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

1861. February 6.—Parliament was opened yesterday by the Queen in person. The military parade, turnout of royal equipages, and assemblage of Peers, Peeresses, Bishops, and Judges, were unusually imposing. The speech was fuller and clearer than common. The paragraph devoted to the United States was uttered as if really felt, though I certainly did not do what some of the newspapers allege,—nod my head with an expression of misgiving as to a “satisfactory adjustment.”

“Serious differences have arisen among the States of the North American Union. It is impossible for me not to look with great concern upon any events which can affect the happiness and welfare of a people nearly allied to my subjects by descent, and closely connected with them by the most intimate and friendly relations. My heartfelt wish is that these differences may be susceptible of a satisfactory adjustment.

“The interest which I take in the well-being of the people of the United States cannot but be increased by the kind and cordial reception given by them to the Prince of Wales during his recent visit to the continent of America.”

Went to the Commons at eight o’clock, and witnessed the first scene of what I cannot but regard, for the existing government, as an inauspicious breach, on reform, between Lord John Russell and Mr. Bright. The motion was to amend the reply to the speech by a clause as to the omission of that topic. Forty-six, in a thin house, voted for it.

Previous post:

Next post: