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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0009-0011

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-09-11

Thursday 11th.

Roused exceedingly early by the receipt of the mail, which announced to me that my Mother was a little better.1 I sat down and wrote a short Note to George2 before dressing myself to go off on my Journey. The Providence Stage started at a little after four o’clock, and we arrived at Providence in time for the Steam Boat Washington at twelve. Nothing remarkable occurred excepting one of those awkward conversations between two gentlemen in the Stage concerning the relative merits of Genl. Jackson and my father which I dislike very { 281 } much to interfere in and yet which make me feel on thorns. Luckily little was said of an offensive character as the two were administration men and they shortly discovered who I was. We started directly in the Steam Boat with a large number of passengers of whom I scarcely knew a soul. I made acquaintance with Mr. Morse of New York, a painter3 who knew me before I did him. The passage was remarkable for nothing but delay by a head wind, which retarded us two miles an hour in a trip otherwise perfectly fair. My sleep as bad as usual.
1. Letter missing.
2. Missing.
3. Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791–1872), later more famous as the inventor of the electric telegraph, had studied painting under Benjamin West in London (DAB).

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0009-0012

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-09-12

Friday. 12th.

The day was bright and clear and the sun rose splendidly as we were still more than sixty miles from New York. We were consequently all the morning in passing these and arrived barely at twelve. Indeed I was apprehensive that I should be compelled to wait, but by an immediate exertion on the part of the driver of a hackney coach, another gentleman and I succeeded in making good our course. The Captain was just giving the order to push off. Our hurry through Broadway was ludicrous as our hackman’s horses were not accustomed to such unusual speed. But I was saved by it a ride at Night in the Mail. We arrived in the Steamboat Bellona at New Brunswick, took Stage immediately and reached Trenton at ten to sleep. I was treated with great attention and kindness throughout.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0009-0013

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-09-13

Saturday. 13th.

We were called shortly after four o’clock, to take the Steamboat for Philadelphia. The morning was clear until sunrise when a thick fog enveloped us and a wind from the South, rising to remove it, made us feel quite uncomfortably. Our boat called the Marco Bossaris, which I remember as our rival once in the Saratoga coming from Poughkeepsie two years since, was but an indifferent concern. I had no acquaintance on board, but a gentleman sought mine and discussed politics of which I was cautious. Arrived at Philadelphia. I immediately sat down and wrote a letter to Abby according to my promise, but it was in the Steamboat and without much opportunity for accommodation. Besides doing this, I had time enough to walk up Chesnut Street and buy some Peaches before the starting hour of the Steam Boat for New Castle.
{ 282 }
At twelve I was again off with a company as little known to me as any I had yet met with. The passage was marked with no incident excepting that just as I was landing, a man shook my hand and seemed glad to see me for he said he seldom saw great men. This rather amused me, for it was the first intimation of my having actually done something though I am stared at enough. In the half tipsy condition of this man, the ideas of the Father and son, in themselves perfectly distinct, had become very much confounded into one and so in saluting me, he seemed to have a notion he had come across the President himself with only a slight alteration. Indeed generally, though we live in so republican a country, people find it extremely difficult to keep entirely separated the idea of family distinction, and this creates the peculiar advantages together with the disadvantages of a situation like our’s. A bold active mind might profit by it, I feel aware that he could, and at the same time feel fully conscious of my own incapacity to do it. But enough. Our ride from New Castle to Frenchtown took the usual time and we found ourselves in the Steamboat Philadelphia about to pass a night as well as we could.
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/