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[p. 8]

The picnic party consisted of a large gathering of what was best in the society of the old town of Boston. It was held at the ‘Lake of the Woods,’ now known as Horn pond, in Woburn. The Indian name was Innitou. There were represented the Winthrops, Quincys, Amorys, Sullivans, Grays, Masons, Tudors, Eliots, Cabots, and others. Daniel Webster and wife were also of the party. Mr. Webster was then thirty-five years of age. He had taken up his residence in Boston in August of the previous year. In the following year, 1818, he was to establish his fame at the bar by his matchless argument on the great Dartmouth college case before the Supreme Court of the United States.

It is interesting to note, as we do in the letter, the impression made by Webster upon an educated and cultivated woman on a social occasion. His great career in the Senate began ten years later.

But to quote from the letter. Space will not permit its insertion in full.

Since I last wrote, many pleasant things have happened to me particularly, of these the most prominent is a day passed on the Canal, and its shores; there was such a variety in the amusements of the day, and of so choice a kind, that I felt no fatigue from 9 in the morning till 10 at night.

We entered the boat at Charlestown at 1/2 past 9. The party was too large to have any stiffness; indeed there was the utmost ease and good humor without sadness through the day.

The shores of the Canal for most of the distance are beautiful. We proceeded at the rate of 3 miles an hour, drawn by two horses, to the most romantic spot (about 9 miles from Boston) that I ever beheld.

The lake is about twice the size of Jamaica Pond or larger, and has a small wooded island in the center. On the island was a band of musicians which began to play as soon as we landed. It seemed a scene of enchantment; Cousin Kate who was by my side seemed too much affected to speak.

We had many wits in the party and there was no lack of bon mots. The gentlemen played off upon each other, to our amusement. When spirits flagged, we had the resource of music. Five instruments, and vocal music from Mrs Quincy, Mr Callender and

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