August 11th, 1851

Herman Melville, with a party of friends and relatives, stays overnight in the observatory on Mount Greylock. Evert Duyckinck, one of the party, wrote to his wife: “The ascent of Saddleback the highest mountain in Massachusetts came off grandly with a party of eleven?–a night encampment in an old box called an observatory on the summit & of course sleepless. But people don?t go there to sleep: so a huge bonfire was lighted. Wrapped in buffaloes [robes] we stalked around in the cloud Ossianic ghosts. The sun rise was a failure; not so the sweeping clouds below us rolling in vapory masses, through their looped raggedness disclosing the lower world.”