Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Friday. 14th.

Sunday. 16th.

Saturday. 15th. CFA Saturday. 15th. CFA
Saturday. 15th.

Morning cloudy, but it cleared up in the course of the day into very fine weather. At the Office as usual. Little or nothing of interest occurred. I was busy in translating in which I made great progress. But it is dry and disagreeable work. I do not relish it much. No inter-236ruption at all. Went to the Bank and put in Prentiss Whitneys Note for Collection. This will settle that business in one way or the other, and get me out of another scrape in which I had thought myself deeply engaged. It remains to wind up with him his other small demands, about which I feel exceedingly unwilling—He having behaved in so very shabby a manner. But those demands must be settled.

Called for a moment to see Mr. Brooks after which I returned to the Office and continued Aeschines. As my Wife wanted to go to Medford to pay some visits, I agreed to ride out early after dinner. We accordingly started at four and stopped at Mrs. Gray’s, and afterwards at Mrs. Hall’s, Abby’s two Aunts. The former we did not find, the latter was upstairs and I did not see. After staying a short time, we went to Mr. Brooks. Found Edward Brooks and his Wife just leaving there for Boston. The evening was short, for Mr. B. and I took a ramble on the banks of the Canal and enjoyed the pleasantness of the west Wind. We went as far as the Farm which belonged to my Uncle and is mortgaged to my Father.1 It is a fine situation and by a Tenant who could improve it would make a great Estate for the Country—But as it is, brings little or nothing. My Uncle obtains whatever benefit there is in it. We saw also the Aqueduct over Medford River which has just been made. A substantial work and likely to be durable.2 But this Canal may after all be only finishing itself as a sacrifice to the rage of rail road improvement. Evening reading and Conversation.

1.

Originally JA’s, the milk farm of eighty acres was owned in common by TBA and Rev. Joseph Barlow Felt of Hamilton. It lay to the south of the river on both sides of the canal about a mile southeast of the Brooks residence and a quarter of a mile west of Medford’s center. See above p. xviii; Boston Patriot, 24 Nov. 1827, p. 3, col. 4; JQA to GWA, 4 Dec. 1827, Adams Papers.

2.

The walk along the canal from the Brooks Stone Bridge southward to the river was just over half a mile. The canal’s course was through Brooks’ lands along what is now Sagamore Avenue, under a bridge on the road to West Cambridge, now High Street, then along the present Boston Avenue to Medford Lock. Beyond it, the canal spanned the river by aqueduct. Both lock and aqueduct had been built in 1804. In 1829 the earlier supporting structure of wood was replaced with stone. The aqueduct and the course of the canal through Medford are illustrated in this volume. See above, p. xviii and xix; Roberts, The Middlesex Canal, 1793–1860, p. 195; and Lewis M. Lawrence, The Middlesex Canal, Boston, 1942 [processed], p. 110.