Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Friday. 24th.

Sunday. 26th.

16 Saturday 25th. CFA


Saturday 25th. CFA
Saturday 25th.

We made slow progress in the night from detention. The Country still looked very beautifully along the Mohawk up to the Village of the Little Falls where the great number of boats at the three Locks kept us six or seven hours. It is a romantic place full of rocks and falls but disfigured by dirty factory buildings. We thought we might as well walk up to the Hotel in the Village and see what was to be seen.

At the House, a discussion began upon the propriety of advancing before the boat, by riding to Utica tonight so that we might sleep there and be in readiness to join the boat again in the morning. At first we inclined much to this course but afterwards rejected it upon the assumption that it being but twenty eight or thirty miles we should not sleep longer than twelve o’clock before we should be called. The roads were also represented in a horrible state. The argument ended in a bet made by Mr. Joy that the boat would not get to Utica by four o’clock tomorrow morning, against Mr. Curtis that it would—A basket of Champagne for the benefit of the company. I confess I thought Joy mad when he proposed it, the chances seemed to be so certain that we might go at least the twenty eight or thirty miles in seventeen hours. The majority inclined to believe this so strongly that we returned to the boat to dine and shortly afterwards having passed through the three locks here we were making such good progress as to leave no doubt even in Mr. Joy’s mind that he would lose.

In the course of the day I amused myself with reading Professor Von Raumer’s book on England which I did not admire.1 He is dull which is unpardonable for a book of travels. But I find it difficult here to fix my attention to any thing. There are so many objects to distract one and yet objects in themselves of no interest.

In the evening we had cards, a round game of brag2 at which I found every one a proficient but my Wife and myself. We played until I became aware that money was in question when I left off. Although the amount was trifling yet I prefer to avoid that Charybdis altogether. I find Joy a singularly wild boy without judgment or self-control. His familiarity with brag would alarm me if I was his Wife but she good little soul appears to have no eyes but for what is immediately before her. This is fortunate. We broke off early hearing the news of a probable long detention in consequence of failure of water in the upper level from excessive lockage. The chances of the bet grew more even.


There was a Phila., 1836, edn. of Friedrich Ludwig Georg Von Raumer’s England in 1835.


A popular card game essentially similar to poker.