Saratoga — Lebanon Springs
The morning was clear and we were again engaged in preparations for the next move. After breakfast we took the Railway Cars for Troy. Here we parted with our companions for more than a fortnight, Mr. Peacock and his two pleasant daughters. I felt unusual regret at parting with them as I have rarely been with persons who were more equal tempered and agreeable. During nearly three weeks that we have been in their company, I have not once had a feeling of ennui or dissatisfaction with them, a thing I could not say of the Wilkes or White party to the same extent. But the time of separation between travellers is always at hand and perhaps this gives the strongest zest to the social habits existing between them. Mr. Peacock lives at Harrisburg, and it is very unlikely that I shall see him again. I shall remember his good temper and paternal feeling to his daughters for a long time. General Van Rensselaer, Mr. Rollins, Mr. Crawford and others accompanied us to the Car and were pleased to express some interest in our departure. This was civil.
Our trip to Troy through Ballstown was a quick and rather a pleasant one and we found ourselves at the former place before twelve. Here there was no delay. We got into a Stage and started at a somewhat different pace towards Lebanon. The contrast from a Car to a Stage makes one feel a little regret at leaving the first, but it is not so pleasant a way of travelling I insist for people in health who prefer fatigue to a strain upon the nerves which I cannot describe to myself and yet feel most powerfully. We had a pretty full stage, a Lieutenant West of the Navy and his Wife and child, Mrs. Thresher as usual. She has had a dull time, I fancy, at Saratoga and is glad to get away. Our ride was not an unpleasant one but we lost our dinner by a trick of the undertaker of the concern at Troy. I know of nothing more unpleasant on journeys than this being deceived.
The Country around Lebanon Springs is exceedingly pretty and is less altered in the last ten years than almost any I have met with. We arrived at the House about six o’clock and were comfortably established before tea. But I felt here more sensibly than elsewhere the contrast between the company I met here now and that which was here when I was with my Mother.1 John H. Gray and his Wife were the only acquaintances we met and they are but uninteresting ones. Then there was a large collection of persons with whom I sought acquaintance less than I should now do. Mr. Gray got into conversation 52with my Wife so that I had an opportunity to escape and take a warm bath, in these delicious waters. This refreshed and cleaned me from the dust of my Journey so that I retired very quietly.
The earlier visit to Lebanon Springs was in Aug. 1826; see vol. 2:75–76.
A pleasant morning. We had concluded to remain here for the day, and in consequence to go over to the Village of the Shakers, the main point of attraction here. Accordingly, breakfast being over, I procured a Carriage and we went, accompanied by our Attaché, Mrs. Thresher. Our ride was a very pleasant one and reminded me of the many we took heretofore. We arrived at the Quaker1 Village and my Wife went in to make her purchases at the shop, the usual tax for curiosity in travelling. There is something a little remarkable in the economy of this establishment. They make a great deal of what they use, and what they make is certainly executed with great care. Perhaps the honesty of the people is better shown by the attention which they give to making well and from good materials whatever they sell than by any outward profession or appearance. They were obliging and attentive to us. The women took us over their dairy and made us taste their beer, their blackberry and their currant wine. So that we were glad to get away with our purchases.
After a ride, we returned to the House and I indulged in the luxury of a cold bath. The weather is hardly warm enough to give to these their full relish. And yet there is a softness in the water which is at any time very delightful. Formerly the cold baths were narrow and several in number, but now they have all been thrown into one which is an improvement.
Dinner, after which a walk up the Hill behind the House with Mr. Gray. The Country around here is pretty, but it is monotonous. The want of water prospect is a great deficiency and the perpetual hill and dale is nearly as bad as the perpetual plain. The cultivation and variety of forest, relieves very much and on the whole presents a cheerful scene. We went round to the Pittsfield road and here observed a precipice over which was a singularly constructed bridge and then rambled home, thus consuming very nearly all of the afternoon. The evening was taken up with writing to my Mother who has not heard from us since our departure from Fishkill.2
Thus in MS.
Letter to LCA, who had arrived in Quincy, in Adams Papers.