Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 2d.

Monday. 4th.

Sunday. 3d. CFA Sunday. 3d. CFA
Sunday. 3d.

The only obstacle to our pleasure here has been that we have received no letters from home. It is now a fortnight since we have had any information respecting the children and we are consequently very anxious about them. I have sent over and called over at the Post Office the other side, hitherto without effect. Our party decided upon another visit to Goat Island today for which I was very glad. We crossed the Ferry again which becomes quite a pleasant trip and our first purpose

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was to go to the Hotel where I left my Wife to spend the day with the Whites, and then to go to the Post Office. It was shut up but luckily the Mail was just in and the door had been opened to admit it. We slipped in and while he was examining the list I espied a letter which the Postmaster handed over. It was from Mrs. Frothingham and relieved us from all uneasiness,1 so we go tomorrow on our way rejoicing.

I then joined the rest of our party excepting my Wife whose strength I was anxious to spare, at Goat Island and went to those points which I had omitted to view before. The most remarkable one is that of the middle fall as seen from below. It is perfectly practicable to go quite under this and observe the effect. The body of water is to be sure very much less than are either of the others, but this very circumstance perhaps gives a better opportunity to measure the force of the fall. It is a little wonderful to observe the velocity with which the water descends. It appears to come not as if it was one body but as if it was a series of little solid masses each of which was thrown with force from above. This must be owing to the rapidity of the current before it reaches the fall, which gives the impetus which to me is the most striking feature. We saw two very perfect bows today, one in the ascent of the American side which was a complete arc, the other at the Middle Fall, which though not so long was exceedingly brilliant.

On the whole after visiting all the various points of view I came to the conclusion that it would be quite as well to limit one’s self to three. All that is to be got in the way of effect can be found at the Table Rock which is even with the top of the Fall, at the commencement of the ascent from the Ferry on the American side which gives the position to see it from below, and under the Middle Fall which gives a good idea of the power without inconvenience to the spectator. The view from the Stone Tower is also worth taking rather for the sake of the rapids above than for the Fall itself. But I think that a person could spend a month in looking at these objects and not be fatigued. On the whole I enjoyed this day much more than Friday’s, because I tried to see less in a given time.

We returned to the Ferry after I had called at the Hotel for my Wife whom her friends there tried hard to persuade to stay and dine, but a storm appeared to be brewing and my time was measured so that we hurried home, to dinner. In the afternoon my Wife returned to the Table Rock but having promised to write to Mr. Brooks while I was here and having postponed it thus far I determined to devote the last afternoon to this purpose. I wrote and wrote until I covered the fourth 31page when I remembered Mr. B did not relish long letters, so I determined to try again in the evening. We had a little singing in the Parlour after which I retired and wrote a second letter.2


The letter is missing.


The second letter to Peter C. Brooks is missing, but CFA retained the first version (Adams Papers), apparently to consult when writing the journal entries for the period since leaving home.