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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-13-01-02-0003-0002-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1824-02-12

Thursday. 12th.

Roused this morning at half past three o’clock, after a very uncomfortable night indeed, dressed immediately and prepared myself for my journey. The weather had become fair and turned cold. After some delay from the number of passengers we mounted and went on—the two gentlemen being still with me. The stage in which we travelled was of most enormous size, being able to carry fourteen passengers without inconvenience. It looked more like a moving house, than any thing else. I obtained a seat in front and enjoyed a nap until breakfast time. The springs and road being so good as not to move me in the least. At breakfast, I became thoroughly awake and began to look about me to see the phizes of my companions, my first care almost always when I am travelling about in large stages.
Mr. O’sullivan, I have understood to be a man not of the very fairest character in the world, as it was not known how he acquired as much money as he did when in the Pacific Ocean. Shubrick gave me this information although he did not have time to state the reasons why { 92 } they suspected him. He is not a pleasant man. With this last named man I was pleased, as he had considerable plainness in his manner and seemed to be warm hearted. There was a woman in the stage, who in voice and face bore a remarkable resemblance to Mrs. Henry the Boston actress,1 and put me into a love reverie for a few minutes. My heart was opened and I admired her and her child painting to myself images of maternal love, from which I easily came to pure affection and which dream might have lasted longer, had it not been interrupted by the harsh squalls of the fretted child. So I was put to flight. A young man was in the stage also, who appeared to be acquainted with her and in some measure to protect her from accidents. He had evidently just come from College,2 as he displayed an astonishing quantity of knowledge to the astonished ears of our country friends. One man there was not remarkable for any thing except a pair of eyes which inclined most terriffically toward each other—an unpleasant sight to look on. The rest were common every day people with the exception of a little Dutch looking, squab girl, who was very talkative indeed and a good subject for the quib3 which was played on her. She offered us some snuff, told us the story of her runaway husband without emotion, and complained of being horribly sick. I never saw any thing in my life more ugly. Good natured though to to a great degree.
Thus we travelled on, very comfortably indeed. It was fortunate for me that I obtained so much rest today otherwise it is a question if I should have been able to have sustained such a severe course as yesterday might have been the commencement of. We arrived in Philadelphia at half past three o’clock and went immediately to the Mansion House. I instantly went up to wash and dress myself for it was much needed, as I had not changed my clothes since my departure from Washington, and I had the comfort of feeling cleanly, a great refreshment for travellers. Some horrible accounts of the roads, so that I was almost tempted to stay here a day, but it being late, I determined to go on. And to keep myself in order, I retired to bed very early.
1. Mrs. Anne Jane Henry had made her Boston debut as a dancer in 1813; her second husband was the gifted George H. Barrett (Joseph N. Ireland, Records of the New York Stage, N.Y., 1867, 1:444–446).
2. Yale (D/CFA/1).
3. A taunt or gibe (OED).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/