Diary of Charles Collins, September 6, 1857

Source citation
Collins, Charles.  “The Diaries of Charles Collins.”  6 September 1857.  http://chronicles.dickinson.edu/encyclo/c/ed_collinsC.htm
Author (from)
Charles Collins
Date Certainty
Patrick Sheahan
Transcription date
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print.  Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

Sept 6/57.  Reached home in safety with all my family on the 3d inst after an absence of six weeks & a half.  Our visit to Maine has been exceedingly pleasant.  The children all enjoyed it very much especially in Cumberland[13] among their countless cousins.  We have all been favored with excellent health & we are all now home again in safety & and ready for school & all other work for which I desire to record my gratitude to Almighty God.

I note the following particulars

1. Visit to my old friend Chs Deake [14] in Brooklyn of two days – nice time – Sunday Morning attended Dr Bethune’s [15]Church.  His house of worship is lighted from the roof – too sombre – must I think exert a depressing influence upon the feelings.  The notion of “dim religious lights” or any other such helps to devotion is all gammon.  The Dr is a graduate of Dickinson – his sermon was rather moderate – evidently smitten by the Dog Star, though the day was quite cool.  Evening attended Dr Kennedys [16] Church – heard a stranger. – Ward Belcher’s Church closed. – Monday went out to Greenwood Cemetery[17] – what a beautiful city of the dead – more than 30 miles of carriage drive through it.

2. Tuesday reached Cumberland & had a joyful meeting with father & mother in this new house.  Here spent the most of the time

3. Attended Commencement at Bowdoin College [18] for the first time.  Day very rainy until about 10 o’clock – found Rev C. L. Allen [19] & Chs W. Morse [20] – stayed with Morse.  Was strangely impressed with the respectability of the performances though not one of the graduates came up to the point of eloquence.  The program contained the names of thirty-eight speakers & and only two “excused.”  Of course the Commencement was a terrible bore – the audience kept from 10 o’clock A.M. till 5 o’clock P.M.!!  To relieve the tedium long music was given after every sixth speaker when the audience stood up & such as wished went out & came in – house not full, in consequence, no doubt of the rain in the forenoon.  President Woods wore the black gown & scholastic cap, & the graduates as they came onto & left the stage were careful to bow to him; all which bows he as carefully answered.  Looked into some of the students rooms – some of them hard cases but generally commodious & nice – with a bed adjoining – Society Libraries [21] not equal to those of Dickinson nor have they so nice rooms for them. – Thursday A.M. heard Prof Harris [22] of Bangor [23] before the Phi Beta Kappa [24]. – P.M. returned home.

Met at this Commencement John S. Abbott Eq[25] my old teacher who supplied the place of Master Purintin[26] a short time in the Portland High School[27] – he is bro-in-law to Rev Chs. F. Allen[28] & lives at Norridgewock Me[29]. – saw also John S. C. Abott –[30] “Napolean Abott” as he is called. – the man who writes so many books – he resides in Brunswick. – Took Commencement Dinner with the students & officers – a poor dinner for a such an occasion – after dinner several speakers & and a good time – the only good time I think in which I ever heard speaking after Commencement dinner.  At Middletown[31], the speaking is done at the Alumni reunion in one of the Society Halls.

4.  Went to Montreal (in company of with Prof John Johnston [32]of the Wesleyan University[33]) to attend Convention of the American Associations for the Advancement of Science[34] – had a delightful time – was entertained by John Matthewson Esq[35] in whose family I found warmhearted friends.  His carriage daily was at my service – drove all around the city – around the Mountain – ascended the Mountain – visited the Waterworks[36] – the Cemetery[37] – the French Cathedral[38] & c. – Attended meetings of Convention – the “Promenade Conversation”, welcome given by the Natural History Society of Montreal to the Association & at which the retiring President of the Association read a very long, highly scientific & deeply uninteresting speech – very few persons paying attention to it.  It was Professor Hall [39]of the Geological Survey of N.Y.[40].  My opinion is that all such speeches should be read on such occasions like legislative bills in certain stages of their passage, that is simply by their titles.

Could not stay through to enjoy all the meetings of the Convention – on Sunday A.M. preached in the Meth Church in the western suburb (“Griffintown”) – at night in great St James St M. Church[41] – this house is immense – has two tiers of galleries & will hold 3000 people – organ & choir gallery behind the Pulpit & this in the end next to the Street.  For the first time in my life I was here dressed in bands & gown.  Such is the usage in this church but in no other in Canada.  I objected but they told me it was one of their institutions.  Rev Mr Gerly is the pastor – a lovely man.  Monday morning started for Portland – Canada is a far better country than I expected to find it - & the people whose hospitalities I enjoyed (through the kindness of Rev Henry Cox, Pastor of the Chestnut M.E. Church) I love very much.  Made the acquaintance at their house of Rev M Jenkins[42] of Phila – also of Dr Hoy[43] of Racine Wis. Whom I shall be happy to meet again. 

5.  The only thing in our Vacation programme which we failed to accomplish was our expected visit to Dr Stone[44] of Brookline.  He must have been absent from home as wife received no answer to her letters.  During all our stay in N. England the weather was cool – with frequent rains.  Though not so genial as in these parts I am persuaded that the N.E. climate invigorates & gives more power of endurance & labor than his or farther South.

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