Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Tuesday. 21st.

Thursday. 23d.

Wednesday 22d. CFA


Wednesday 22d. CFA
Wednesday 22d.
Hudson River—Albany

It was by no means clear today, but the clouds which had been hanging upon the mountains rose leaving their tops clear and giving reason to expect at least a cessation of rain. I think I should have gone today at any rate as Mrs. DeWint was expecting a new supply of visitors to take our places, so that I was glad the weather was no worse. Our moving also made the rest of the guests move which was important.

We all got ready early, depending however upon Mr. DeWint for decisive action as to getting us over in time to the other side of the River where the Albany steamer touches. He went over himself early 12having business at Newburgh, and promised to return with his carriage in season to take us down, but time passed and he did not appear, so that at last we concluded at least to walk to the ferry and meet him there. There is but one boat for this river here a mile wide, and it had just started from our side before we got there. We had therefore to wait it’s going over, returning and then over again, three trips with intervals of waiting before we could hope to get to the place where the Albany boat would take us up, in addition to which, when the bell rung twelve the hands of the ferry stopped at Newburgh to dine. It was therefore tolerably clear that we should not be in time if we waited for this mode of conveyance. The next thing was to find out a substitute in the way of a boat. Mr. DeWint who had crossed the River in this way in order to meet us now exerted himself. There was but one boat on the landing and that was in a boat house and fastened with a chain and padlock. To find a key to fit this, the owner being absent with the right one in his pocket, was the point. All the keys on the landing were tried without success until just as we were becoming hopeless, Joseph H. Adams offered his and it fitted. To get the boat down and round with the baggage on board was the work of a moment. My Wife, two Misses DeWint and I got in with Mr. DeWint and one oarsman, and we got across having the Steamer from below in sight and approaching with her customary velocity. Thus it happened that we had barely time to take leave of our friends and thank them for their civility before we had to rush on board the Champlain. And it will be seen in the subsequent record that upon this narrow chance must have depended much of the pleasure which we enjoyed.

The day continued dull and the clouds were collected around the Catskill Mountains as we went up, in such a manner as to make the Pine Orchard any thing but agreeable or attractive. We met but few acquaintances. Mr. Geo. Bond, his Wife and daughter were the only people and they went only to Hudson. The Steamer’s Machinery gave way so as to slacken her pace and we did not reach our destination until nearly nine. I had a fair opportunity however to view the river all the way up which I was unable to do in my former trip. On the whole, what stream is there to exceed it in beauty? I know of none. But I have travelled little.

Our arrival at Albany was attended by the most unpleasant landing I ever experienced. The narrow Wharf was crowded and when I was anxious to get a Carriage to convey my Wife who was suffering from a severe headach, I made matters worse. For the vehicle, I procured was so jammed in among carts, drays and carriages as to make the effort to 13appear dangerous to get out. In doing so we approached so closely to the water as to produce in my wife excessive terror and in myself uneasiness on her account. At last we reached Congress Hall. She went immediately to bed, and after inquiring for and seeing Mr. White who informed me that his arrangements were made to go tomorrow, and renewed his invitation to us to join them which I accepted, I retired also.