Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Wednesday 13th.

Friday 15th.

Thursday. 14th. CFA Thursday. 14th. CFA
Thursday. 14th.
Lake Champlain

We had time in the morning to see as much of St. John’s as was worthwhile. It is a comfortable looking town at the head of navigation of Lake Champlain, and is the port of entry of Canada on the American side. But it is flat and without beauty. At ten o’clock we went down and took our places in the Steamer Wineoskè, a singular Indian name.

Our course was first along the low lands almost level with the water which form the banks of the River at the head of the Lake, then by Rouse’s point along to Plattsburgh where the Country begins to look better. This was the scene of Macdonough’s memorable Victory, more important in its results upon the nation than one might suppose from the spot where it took place. Thence to Port Kent, and across the Lake to Burlington. An exceedingly pretty spot indicative of comfort, independence and long settlement. Here the Lake assumes an entirely new appearance and the Mountains of Vermont and those of New York vie with each other in variety and boldness of shape. The day had been fine with us, but the distant hills had been covered with mist to the South so as to make them visible very late and we afterwards learnt there had been heavy rain there all day. But a more lovely evening I never saw.

We stopped for a short time at a little harbour the name of which I have forgotten, very near Burlington, where the Steamers are always laid up for the winter. The Captain wished to get out to see a boat that 47was building to take the place of his, and he invited us to do so too. We accordingly ran about the shore, which was low and gently shelving with verdure almost to the water. A more beautiful spot in it’s way I have seldom seen. The Lake is here very transparent and the general effect of the scene quite enchanting. But there was no time to stay. Our course for an hour or two until sunset was in as picturesque a Country as I have seen and I a little wonder the beauties of Lake Champlain have not been more celebrated.

When it became too dark to see we retired to get some rest before the hour of our arrival. I slept quite soundly until twelve o’clock when we were roused to be put ashore at our place of destination, Shoreham. What can be more desolate than thus to be thrust upon land in midnight darkness and to grope one’s way along to a house which proves to be comfortless and the keeper of it surly. We finally succeeded in retiring for the rest of the night in a room not large enough for a convenient closet.