Heavy rain. Office. Athenaeum. Division as usual. Evening at home.
The rain poured very heavily in parts of today. I was at the Office in business. The news from Washington is that the confusion being daily more striking, Mr. Rhett finally took advantage of a speech of my father’s which had a great momentary effect to put him in the chair as chairman to organize the House. This is a position which I fear he will be unable to avail himself of. The pith of the whole matter is that the Jersey members decide the majority of the house. And the two parties are rabid. I hope the country will not experience so much of disgrace as I believe they will. At any rate, the part my father has thus far acted will be creditable to him.1
Went to the Athenaeum to study Numismatics and was kept there until dinner time. Afternoon, study Bancroft. Evening, finish Nickleby and on with the Lecture. This was City Election day. My classmate J. Chapman was chosen, a good selection and I hope will do him honor.2 Evening, Lecture, which drags.
The House having been unable for three days to complete its membership and thereafter to elect a presiding officer, JQA spoke to the problem and offered a solution on the 5th. R. B. Rhett of South Carolina then moved the election of JQA to preside until organization could be completed. He assumed the chair and continued in it for the next ten days. The events are detailed in JQA’s journal entries for those dates.