Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Saturday 14Th.

Monday 16th.

Sunday 15th. CFA


Sunday 15th. CFA
Sunday 15th.

The weather in the course of night became very bad and it was with great ill will that once I was forced to get out to hold the horses for the driver. We went on however pretty comfortably and arrived at Hartford in very good season for breakfast. The rivers were all very much overflowed and I was somewhat alarmed as the bridges on this road have occasioned a great many accidents. I breakfasted at Hartford, and when I came out to look for my trunk to have it put 96on, it was not to be found and I was put into a most tremendous alarm about it. No one had seen it and I was obliged to conclude it lost. After a moment’s hesitation, I nevertheless determined to go on as I could only be sure that in case it came I should get it and if it was stolen it would do me no good to stay. I was seized with the vapours though, as nothing of the kind had ever happened to me before and I had become quite negligent respecting it. Nothing was in the trunk of any value to any one but me. My journal was what I most mourned for, as I had lost an account which never could be repaired.1

My spirits were amazingly depressed and I felt like knocking down every body in the stage, this would have been a difficult task as there were eight besides myself. The light now enabled me to judge of the countenances and appearance of the newcomers. One who got in last night at New Haven was a rough old sailor who had met with a more severe misfortune than mine and still by his conduct gave me a lesson of patience. He had lost his ship, it being seized by the custom house, and was returning to Boston in the stage for the first time he said, in his life. Consequently at first he did not well understand the motion or the crowding. He became in good humour finally and laughed very heartily.

The remaining person who was remarkable in any degree was a man by the name of Gist, from Baltimore, a middling sized man with a round fat countenance appearing what he really was, a jolly loquacious animal. Indeed he was talkative to a most extravagant degree as he did not cease while I was in the stage. The day was rainy and stormy, and I was horribly blue, made more so by this man, who the more jolly he was the more I became angry. This could not last forever though, and I gradually felt my vexation worn away by the incessant attacks of the old crone. Story succeeded story and laugh succeeded laugh, he roaring himself to supply any deficiency in wit of his own. He was withal, a man who of all people was philanthropic to a great degree. He gave us his plans to benefit mankind, how he was to make them carriages and pairs and the Lord knows what besides. In fact he was a “facheux” to a most extravagant degree. Talking, talking, talking, and being good natured he endured rebuffs and continued talking if it was only to please himself. He told his stories and delighted in the witty turn which he was enabled to give his excuses in referring always to the Irishman or the sailor when a joke was related of either character. He gave me advice concerning my trunk most gratuitously, and said it had always been his plan 97to mind his own concerns, then argued religion with a universalist and so he went.

In the mean time the storm had increased with snow and hail. My nerves having been in a state of agitation, I felt unwell and stopped at Worcester, lucidly for I was quite sick in the evening. After which I immediately went to bed being much in need of rest.


This “journal,” only temporarily lost at the time, has since been permanently lost; see the account of CFA’s MS Diaries in the Introduction.