Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Saturday. 16th.

Monday. 18th.

50 Sunday. 17th. CFA Sunday. 17th. CFA
Sunday. 17th.
Saratoga Springs

It was quite a cool morning this morning, but clear and pleasant. I attended the Episcopal service in a little building put up apparently for visitors at the Springs. The house was quite filled and we listened to a reader and a preacher, neither of whom was very well qualified for his business. I have a great admiration for the common Prayer as being a collection from the best passages of the Bible as well as a clear understanding of its spirit but I always feel a little regret when I think I find it misread.

I was not inclined to repeat my visit in the afternoon, so that after dinner we made a call at the other house to see the Boston party there. Met Mr. Crawford, an Irish young man whom we had seen at Niagara. He informed us of an incident that had been reported already but not in so clear a shape as he was able to give it, having just left the scene of its occurrence. Mr. Herman Thorn, a gentleman who has been making some noise both in Paris and in this Country by the extent to which he has carried his love of display, has lately come here for the purpose of giving his children a sight of Niagara Falls. He passed through this place last week for the purpose of stopping at Trenton a day or two. It seems he has lost a daughter eight years old over the Fall at the place where Miss Suydam was lost some years ago.1 This will turn all their rejoicing into mourning and serves to show to us all the instability of human affairs. Perhaps the daughter may have the best fortune in this inasmuch as it is generally believed Mr. Thorne is running through his fortune for the purpose of rivalling Dukes and Earls in show, to leave his children with all the habits of luxury, beggars. Mr. Crawford is an intelligent young man not yet twenty one, who proposes to take his departure in time to celebrate his birth day at home. He has been travelling a year or two for his amusement.

After tea, assembly in the great parlour. We make great progress in acquaintance. The Boston party came in and sat with us for an hour and prevailed upon Miss Peacock to sing one or two sacred pieces.


Elsewhere CFA recounted the circumstances in greater detail: “The servant was carrying the little girl, (eight years old) in his arms along the steep place just where Miss Suydam fell eleven years ago, when his foot slipped and they went together into the water beneath, but in parting the man got hold of the shore and was extricated by a stick extended by one of the party, the child was lost” (CFA to LCA, 19 July, Adams Papers).