Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

August 1st. 1827. CFA August 1st. 1827. CFA
August 1st. 1827.

Roused most shockingly early in order to take the morning Steam boat for Philadelphia. Found on board Mr. and Mrs. Bankhead of the English Legation. He is no favourite of mine but in travelling we forget slight dislikes. She is in a terrible state of debility and needs more care and attention than he (with all his love of her) is capable of. Some men are so naturally constituted as not to understand these matters. I offered seats to them in my father’s Carriage and he also invited Govr. Williams of South Carolina.1

Upon arriving at Philadelphia we went to Renshaw’s Hotel in Chesnut Street and with difficulty obtained accommodations—So unexpected has his approach been. Mr. Walsh posted in directly afterwards and obtained my father’s promise to go to his house to tea. Mr. Sergeant came in afterwards and sat for a short time. But they all went to Walsh’s accepting an excuse in my place. William D. Lewis2 came in and talked over a Supper with me. Philadelphia is decidedly hotter than Washington. My room was almost suffocating.


David Rogerson Williams (1776–1830), who had represented South Carolina in Congress, had served as governor of that state from 1814 to 1816, and was cur-148rently a member of the state senate ( Biog. Dir. Cong. ).


William David Lewis (1792–1881), the Philadelphia importer and commission merchant ( DAB ).

Thursday. August 2d. 1827. CFA Thursday. August 2d. 1827. CFA
Thursday. August 2d. 1827.

Roused early to go to the Steamboat for New York—Trenton, Captain Jenkins. Mr. and Mrs. Bankhead again with us and Colo. Watmough,1 in the Stage. I never saw dust in such masses. This journey has been more overpowering than any I ever took in my life. A thunder shower came over us while in the Thistle, between New Brunswick and New York. Arrived at six o’clock and found all the family collected together for the first time since March 1825. George’s manners struck me in a very strange way at first, and it has taken some time to become familiarised to them. Miss Abby S. Adams with my Mother. Johnson and I went to the Bowery Theatre.2 Principally to see the Opera dancers. Only two on this evening and these the most indifferent. Mrs. Barret performed her favourite character of Miss Hardcastle.3 She has altered much or else my taste is changed. Perhaps both. At any rate, she was shockingly dressed. I met Tudor, friendly but not warm on either side. My taste has altered here. We were only jolly companions and table friends. I relish these things but little at present and so in all other things our characters bearing no similarity, we feel no regrets in separating.


Presumably John Goddard Watmough (1793–1861), who had served in the War of 1812. He was to represent Pennsylvania in Congress from 1831 to 1845 and to marry Matilda Pleasanton ( Biog. Dir. Cong. ; Columbian Centinel, 21 Nov. 1832).


The recently opened Bowery Theater stood in the Bowery, a few feet south of Canal Street (Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage , 3:254).


Mrs. George H. Barrett, formerly Anne Jane Henry (see entry for 12 Feb. 1824, and note, above), was starring in Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer.

Friday. August 3d. 1827. CFA Friday. August 3d. 1827. CFA
Friday. August 3d. 1827.

I took a bath this morning for cleanliness and walked about the City. Sidney and Henry Brooks1 called to see me, Abby’s brothers. My mother does not appear either in good health or spirits. My own feelings inclined to great melancholy on seeing what I think to be the future prospects of our family. My father seemed excessively depressed and in all appearance from the same cause. After dinner we went down to the Steamboat and there we took leave of my Mother and Johnson Hellen. I felt terribly melancholy. But we were soon on our way in the Washington,2 and I drove those thoughts from my 149mind. My classmate Winthrop on board. The night was cold and I slept uncomfortably according to custom in a boat.


Henry Brooks (1807–1833), another of Abigail Brooks’ brothers. See Adams Genealogy.


The Washington was the first steamer to be built especially for the New York-Providence service (Roger Williams McAdam, The Old Fall River Line, Brattleboro, 1937, p. 21).