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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Monday 17th

17 October 1864

Wednesday 19th

19 October 1864
18 October 1864
Thursday 18th

The pleasant weather continues. I remained quietly at home, making up the arrears of the Diary, which will accumulate whenever I am absent. After luncheon I went out for a stroll, once more to hunt up the scenes of my boyhood. Passed Gannersbury park and struck into the road to Little Ealing at the corner where I left off on Sunday. From that point the changes were less. I well recollected the old palings, then the high brick walls and lastly the field adjoining the bridge that limits the grounds of Little Boston House. It looked exactly the same as ever. So it was with the place itself excepting that fifty years had made the trees taller and more to overshadow the road. One interpolation of a stable and house on the corner of the lane was a blemish in the landscape. I turned down the135 lane and walked through it, then to the left and then the right which carried me across a field to the bank of the canal when I used to fish. It was all just the same, excepting the presence of the ubiquitous railway track not far off. Nearly half a century since, and yet the bridge just here looks very short. The fish were leaping as of yore, and a canal boat made its way along exactly like that which went by when I ran away frightened at the size of the fish I had taken, leaving it on the pathway, and when I came back, my line was left, but the spoil was gone. To this day I have always longed to know what it could have been. After a long spell of musing I began to retrace my steps, towards the old lane. Here was a large house, and I asked a passing woman whose it was. She replied, General Clithere. It was Great Boston House then occupied by Colonel Clithere Could it be the same? His sister owned our place. It was much the same, perhaps modernized a little; certainly, very well preserved. My pilgrimage had been performed. I am almost the only survivor of those who occupied that dwelling in 1815–1817. Two of the servants still remain, very old people at Washington. Of my own family, not me. Such is life! The wheel revolves and only now and then turns up a case like this of mine. Evening quiet and at home. Miss Sturgis here in a visit She played on the piano—and I read a part of the memoirs of a lady of quality.

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=DCA64d292