Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Friday. 8th.

Sunday. 10th.

38 Saturday. 9th. CFA


Saturday. 9th. CFA
Saturday. 9th.

We arose this morning and found we had made half the passage during the night. The day was clear and very hot. After breakfast I passed my time examining the scenery along the River. It is remarkable and peculiar to itself. The land is tolerably even, nowhere rising to any great height and along the bank as far as we saw there seemed a continuous line of houses of the description common in this region with at short distances a large Church with it’s two spires covered with tin and shining at a great distance. The manner in which these Churches were placed was generally picturesque. Whether intentionally placed or not I do not pretend to decide, but if they are, it is a pity we in New England could not take a lesson from them.

At about ten the river began to narrow and to give tokens of animation which announced Quebec. We passed the mouth of the Chaudiere across which a bridge is very prettily thrown, and soon came in sight of Cape Dimond. What has been said of the scenery here is not exaggerated. The Country below Quebec rises into mountainous ridges which entirely change the effect of the landscape. After all there is nothing like hilly scenery in my estimation. It seems to be so associated with purity and freedom. We passed down by the timber docks where the vessels which form the greater part of the Canada trade are situated, and finally came close to the place of Quebec. It is a very closely settled town on the side of the steep hill which is called Cape Dimond on the top of which is the famous Citadel. We passed by the place called Wolf’s Cove, being where he landed, the plains of Abraham, and the spot where General Montgomery fell. A perilous enterprise, the storming such a position. And one which never could be successful with ordinary judgment on the part of the defenders. Montcalm went down to meet Wolf, instead of sticking to his defences, and Montgomery was nearly successful only by a surprise.

We landed and I walked up the Hill, the ladies all riding. I found the streets narrow and guarded by gates which put one in mind of the feudal ages. How I made my way I do not know, but I found myself soon at the Hotel on the Esplanade which we had decided to go to. We were glad to get shelter for the sun was intolerably scorching. It is said that when the days are hot at Quebec, they are intolerably so and I can readily believe it. We decided upon doing nothing this afternoon but recruit from fatigue. The hours are vastly different from ours. 39Dinner is served at six. Tea and breakfast at 8 morning and evening, and luncheon at twelve.

After dinner, we thought it would be cool enough to go round and see the shops and make one or two proposed purchases, but we found the place disappointed us very much by the character of it’s business departments. And one of the Shopmen having refused bills of the Boston Banks and doubted about gold, I was disgusted and determined to go right back to my hotel. We were glad enough to do this on other accounts, the heat being still considerable. Quiet evening, with a little singing.