A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Thursday 11th

11 August 1864

Saturday 13th

13 August 1864
12 August 1864
Friday 12th

I was told that there was good bathing in the river. So I went out with Brooks before breakfast to find the place. After a good deal of groping, we came to a pool formed by an outlet from the shallow stream which seemed to answer the purpose. It was small, uneven at the bottom and above all the temperature was very cold. So we contented ourselves with a single plunge. After breakfast we went out to view the neighborhood. Followed a road which disappointed us. I mounted a high point, but it presented only one picturesque point. The fact is that the beauty is all concentrated here in the road by which we entered yesterday. Afterwards we all went a drive to Nantle, a place twelve miles off to get to which we surmounted a high elevation that brought us through a pass to our destination. It was wild, and rugged and barren enough. The best thing about it was the view of Snowden as we saw it looking back through the pass. Nantle itself was dreary as possible. It is a point at which extensive quarries of slate are worked. Whilst we waited to rest the horses, we examined the mode in which the work is done. The material has already been taken out to such a depth, that the process of lifting is now performed by machinery worked by water wheels, or by a steam engine. A very large proportioning proves to be refuse, which is carried out and piled up in enormous heaps on the ground in every direction. Much the same is done at the granite quarries in Quincy, but there the color is not so dingy, neither are the fragments so much resembling dirty rubbish. I watched the process of splitting the slates and of cutting them into the form needed for roofing houses, which was ingenious and very rapid. The developement of this slate business is one of the sources of the prosperity of Wales, and of the fortunes of the proprietors. But it stamps on the surface sterility wherever it goes. The return was pleasanter than the going, as the sun was not so searching, and the breeze had risen fresh. We dined at the Table d’Hôte and had a quiet evening.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA64d225