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Browsing: Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volume 2


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.

Docno: ADMS-13-02-02-0004-0009-0014

Author: CFA
Date: 1828-09-14

Sunday 14th.

We arrived at Baltimore at about four o’clock and I dressed immediately to go up and obtain a seat in the Mail for Washington. But I found great difficulty in getting any place at all owing to the number of persons going on, and it was only by taking an outside seat in an extra stage that I managed to go on. Nothing particular happened but in travelling onward I could not help remarking how very much altered was the state of my feelings at this time from any preceding journey in this direction. My interests and associations are now fixed elsewhere and nothing but the remaining term of my father’s Presidency whether short or long gives it any kind of charm. I dressed myself upon my arrival at Gadsby’s1 and walked up to the house.
Found my Mother very much better and sitting up though still extremely weak from the great violence of her attack. Mary, my brother’s wife, very well, Abby Adams, my Aunt and Uncle Smith, my father and John very well. Those compose the family. The two last only arrived yesterday. They all treated me very kindly. I conversed with my Mother until dinner time, and after it, rode with John to my Aunt Frye’s, where they seemed quite glad to see me. But on returning I came near finishing my visit. John’s horse became restless, and I was thrown out in one of his plunges. My head was bruised and my shoulder but luckily with no further damage, which considering { 283 } my very flat and heavy fall, may be esteemed providential. I walked home and retired soon after, being in much pain.
1. Gadsby’s National Hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue at Sixth Street (Bryan, Hist. of the National Capital, 2:61).
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/