Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Monday 27th.

Wednesday. 29th.

Tuesday. 28th. CFA


Tuesday. 28th. CFA
Tuesday. 28th.

The worst thing about these boats is the night travelling. The cabins are confined, and nothing but a red curtain separates the women from the men so that necessarily there must be much exposure and consequent familiarity. I could not help perceiving a great passion for double entendre among Mr. White’s family including himself, and a coarseness on the part of Miss Caroline which I could not quite admire. We have however thus far got along very pleasantly together and I deem myself very fortunate in making the trip with acquaintances.

This morning we found ourselves approaching Rochester, the largest and most flourishing of the internal canal towns. As the road was far more direct than the canal, I got off and walked four miles into that town. The morning was fine but it clouded over and rained all the afternoon. My walk was upon a rough road from holes but without stones and between wheat fields which appeared to promise well for the harvest. Rochester gives every indication of what we call business, i.e. the arts of procuring subsistence. The canal is choked up with boats and the falls are lined with flour mills to grind the staple of the Country. There is a fine stone aqueduct over the river which is however a little too narrow. I had time to read the papers and see something of the town before the boat arrived. Here we remained until four o’clock in the afternoon and we had intended to improve the time to go and see the Gennessee Falls which are somewhat celebrated but the heavy rain that set in prevented the ladies and discouraged us. I saw enough however of the place itself. It has the mushroom look which pervades all this Country and if it shows how much can be done by one generation it also shows how much more remains to be done by a succession of them.

We started at four and made our way through several very pretty towns until it became too late to look at them. Along here are the rich farms which though not picturesque furnish a great proportion of the food of the Country.

We had another companion here in the person of a Mr. Gerrish who was going to Grand Island under the patronage of Mr. White. He is a projector and his present business appears to be the establishment of a Steamboat ferry to that Island from the main. I conversed with 20him and found him acute as most Yankees are in matters of profitable enterprise. The evening was damp and gave me some notion of an Ague and fever country.