Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Monday. 11th.

Wednesday 13th.

Tuesday 12th. CFA Tuesday 12th. CFA
Tuesday 12th.

We found upon rising this morning that we had made very good progress during the night and were near les trois Rivieres or three Rivers which is called half the distance from Quebec to Montreal. We were also fortunate in having so timed our course as to see in going one way, what we lost in another. The town of Three Rivers is pretty large but with the same general characteristics with all the others we had seen.

I here observed the cruelty of a practice common in this Country, the use of dogs for draft. A boy was driving a dog with a cart loaded with two bags of flour each of which probably weighed about two hundred pounds. This was pulled through the deep sand on the shore to the market boats ranged along and required the utmost strain of the animal forced on by continued beating. I could hardly restrain my feelings, useless as the expression of them might be. Animals do suffer under the mastery of man, particularly that class which is used for draught. The compensation to them is not easily understood. But some there certainly is.

We passed on into the sheet of water called a Lake of some name which I have forgotten,1 formed by the spreading of the river and ob-44served the lowness of the surrounding banks. At Sorel, we stopped an hour, but the sun was too warm to allow of getting out. Indeed we all felt a little tired of sight seeing, and feeling now that the homeward journey was in some sort commenced, we thought most of return.

My afternoon was passed partly in conversation with a Merchant originally from America but now settled in Montreal who discussed Canadian and American politics and partly in observing the scenery which becomes very interesting as we approach Montreal. The great victory achieved by Sir Francis Head’s party in Upper Canada has done much to set up again the English power in that province, but Lower Canada is little affected by the result. Here the division is religious and national—The French who have a leader in Mr. Papineau, and the English. Political feeling runs quite as high as in the United States and strange to say I generally found the dissatisfaction of the English with the Ministry in the Mother Country on account of their liberal concessions to the French party to be such as to render the thought of a junction with “the States” not disagreeable. I do not much wonder at this. The French and English cannot agree very cordially and the priest influence, (we had five dirty looking fellows on board today) is not favorable to the moral or physical advancement of the people of the Country. Yet I cannot say I dislike the quiet and contented look of the Villages near Montreal. Our Country advances it is true, but there is something so dangerous in the rapidity it has acquired, such an instability in every thing that one always feels a little uneasy for fear of some vicissitude that will entirely alter one’s position in life. Perhaps the anticipation of evil is the most painful of all the afflictions of life. Are we not as a nation very much exposed to it?

We arrived at Montreal at about 9 o’clock and went to our old quarters, but we found them so full that we were obliged to put up with very indifferent rooms, my Wife being put with the Misses Peacock and a garret given to Mr. P. and myself.


Lac St. Pierre.