United States Congressman from Massachusetts
U.S. Minister to England during the Civil War
(1807-86) He was the grandson of John Adams and the son of John Quincy Adams, the 2nd and 6th Presidents respectively of the United States of America. He graduated from Harvard in 1825, studied law under the celebrated Daniel Webster, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1829. He served five years in the Massachusetts state legislature, 1840-45, and put his state on record as being abolitionist in sentiment. He founded the Boston Whig in 1846, and was editor until 1848, when he became the vice presidential candidate of the Free-Soil party. With the foundation of the Republican party, he represented his father's old district in Congress, 1859-61, and became a party leader. President Abraham Lincoln appointed him as U.S. Minister to England, a very delicate diplomatic position as the Federal government was trying to keep England from recognizing and supporting the Confederacy during the Civil War. His great wisdom and dignity in the face of mounting British sentiment for the Confederacy was instrumental in maintaining the neutrality of England. In 1871-72, he was a member of the five man tribunal that met in Geneva to settle the Alabama claims. American success in the case was wholly attributed to his skillful diplomacy. Britain paid $15,500,000 as damages for complicity in the construction and fitting out of Confederate raiders during the Civil War. Adams received support for the presidential nomination at the 1872 Republican party convention, but lost to Horace Greeley.
Signature With Sentiment: 2 3/8 x 1, in ink, Very truly yours, Charles Francis Adams. Some ink bleed through from the opposite side.