Cloudy and cold with rain. Morning to Quincy. After dinner to New York.225
It was a cheerless looking day that I have rarely known worse at the season. I rode to Quincy and gave as many directions as I could respecting what was left to do but as the principal man upon the wall was not there I had to leave the procuring more stone until my return from New York. The rest of the details about the old house are also backward. Hurried them as much as I could and then returned to town.
The rain began and I felt particularly gloomy about going. It was ten years ago on this day that my poor brother George left this same place for New York which yet he never reached alive.1 And I felt as if there was some danger in the coincidence. I yet felt that my father was alone and might need assistance if he found himself unable to do what he had engaged.2 So the conflict between duty and inclination was quite trying.
I finally determined to go, being influenced quite as much by a wish to break down the superstitious fear of presentiment which in my life I never yet knew verified although I have often felt it as by the more obvious motives. Accordingly I started in the Railway cars for Providence and thence to Stonington, where we took the Steamer Rhode Island for New York. There were in company Dr. F Parkman, Rev. Messrs. Lunt and Robbins, and Capt. H. Oxnard, and I got along very pleasantly. General W. H. Sumner was also on board of the boat.
See vol. 2:370–372.
JQA had been in ill health, sometimes without voice, since the adjournment of Congress and while preparing his oration for delivery in New York (Diary).