Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Thursday. 14th.

Saturday. 16th.

Friday 15th. CFA Friday 15th. CFA
Friday 15th.
Lake George

We were glad to get out of our inconvenient quarters this morning and push off on our course. The first thing was to cross the river here which is done in a kind of ferry scow with a mast upon one side, from which hangs a large sail. It was very windy this morning and my Wife’s horror of water communications was strongly excited but we were quit for1 the uneasiness. Having reached the Stages which were ready to take us up we went on in them at a slow pace through a richly cultivated country, the fields loaded with hay which they were in the act of gathering in. I have rarely seen any thing pleasanter or more rural.

Here were also historical Associations. Here was Fort Ticonderoga, one of the strong posts of the old wars and of our Revolution. Here it was that Allen took possession by surprise and that Burgoyne again got possession. We stopped to look at the ruins, which bore clear marks of great labour. The ditch and counterscarp with the covered ways and magazines show that there was a deal of the military science of that era called into action here. I followed these traces with much interest for after all Burgoyne’s Expedition was the crisis of the War. His course pursued with greater energy might have decided the fate of the Country for that time.


Our ride was only of five miles but through so very hilly a region as to consume more than an hour, and then our delay for the purpose of dining was equally provoking. We killed two hours and a half here in a very heavy manner and were hardly compensated by a dinner of Salmon Trout fresh from Lake George, very fine. We were highly favored by the day which was one of the finest of the season, and took the boat from this point which is, I believe called Ticonderoga, for Caldwell, the other end of the Lake. It is a miserable Steamer very unfit to furnish much gratification to the traveller, but the scenery of Lake George is itself so beautiful and so peculiar that it is worth seeing in a cockboat. Here is a small sheet of the most transparent water imbedded in hills and mountains. Every side upon which the eye rests being wild and romantic and yet every side being different. The islands also are beautiful although presenting no traces of cultivation.

I would on no account have omitted this days trip as it pays better than places so much vaunted commonly do. The wind was so high, we were unable to judge of the much talked of glassiness of the water but from what I saw, I did not doubt at all. About sunset we reached Caldwell, where to my surprise there was a very nice house. I felt a sort of half regret I had not a day or two to devote to this. After tea, the water being quite placid we took the ladies out in a boat on the Lake and spent an hour charmingly. Miss Mary Peacock sung several of her prettiest songs, the scenery and the quiet rippling of the water, the skill with which the boatman kept the time and the delicious summer evening altogether produced an effect I shall long remember. Home and to bed.


That is, released from ( Webster, 2d edn.).