Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 8

Saturday 25th. CFA Saturday 25th. CFA
Saturday 25th.
New Haven

Cold and clear. Steamer New Haven to New Haven.

I was up betimes and marched down to the Slip where the Steamer was and went on board. Found plenty of passengers and an abundance of freight. We started at seven and with a hearty goodwill I bid good bye to the City of New York, a place where I find very little disposition to remain for any length of time. But upon this visit, it has seemed to 365me more repulsive than ever for its motley and ragged population and it’s money seeking spirit.

The boat made very good headway for an hour and a half when it got into the ice. The prospect for ten miles a head was all dreary and in the midst of it we got aground. This was not a very good incident and I began to think we were likely to be frozen in. But the tide was coming in and after two hours and a half the boat again moved. The prospect was then better and the boat went bravely to work grinding up the packed ice for many miles until it became very clear that we should get through.

This was the only cheerful intelligence of the day, for as we were going the same track with the unfortunate Lexington, with all the details before us of that disaster and conscious that their bodies were somewhere under our path, I could not resist the feeling of gloom which these ideas created. And when we passed the very spot and I looked round to see what our chance would be under similar circumstances with cotton and spirits on board as full as we could hold and a hundred and fifty passengers with but a single boat, I could not wonder that the mortality turned out so great. The incidents as they are told are too affecting. They harrow the soul.

We reached New Haven safely at eight o’clock and it being too late to send out a train tonight to Hartford we lodged at The Pavilion. Much too crowded for comfort, but thankful to have got so far.

Sunday 26th. CFA Sunday 26th. CFA
Sunday 26th.

Railroad to Hartford and thence to Worcester.

The impatience of some of our company which does not appear to be quite of the best class, caused our getting up nearly two hours before it was necessary or expedient. For the train of cars which the agent had engaged to send through at five o’clock did not start until half past six. The morning was very cold and I suffered much inconvenience from it in my feet. We however went through to Hartford which we reached before ten and stopped to take breakfast at the United States Hotel.

We found conveyances ready to take us on and at eleven the whole company exceeding thirty in number started in three sleighs. The day was cold and I suffered a good deal from it as my India rubber shoes rather stop than promote the circulation. The only pleasant fellow passenger we had was Mr. J. W. Otis with whom I made acquaintance.366 Our route was slow from the deep snow and for two stages not very safe as the track was narrow and leaving it for a moment hazarded an upset. One of these we experienced which hurt nobody excepting one imprudent man who was looking out of the window and who got his face flayed by the crust of ice in the snow. It did not detain us however from our journey which we persevered in to the loss of dinner that we might get to Worcester by night.

We did arrive in fact at a little before twelve o’clock at the Temperance House where after getting something to eat we were ushered into a shocking cold room and got to bed thankful to God that the labours and dangers of this Journey were at an end.