My morning was principally occupied in looking over the papers which my brother left at his Office. Knowing his continual preservation of all papers, I feared that some might remain which would grieve the family. I found three or four which I destroyed. George had an extremely amiable disposition, but he was the creature of impulse and frequently gave way to the seductions which an ill regulated imagination excited. My father almost lived in him and the loss will to him indeed be dreadful. My anxiety to hear from there is great. My own reflections are gloomy and I pray God for assistance and aid. But as I find that my thoughts turn more and more upon it, I see the necessity 373of occupation and therefore read Clarendon but without much profit as my mind wandered from it. In the evening, I went to see Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and their conversation helped to pass away the evening. Abby wrote me a very kind note1 on Saturday in which she promised to be in town if I asked to see her. My letter2 did not reach her for this morning and the rain prevented her coming.
Morning at the Office. The men came this morning to make the repairs to my room. I presume since this accident that the other1 will devolve upon me, but as the repairs have been commenced, I believe, I shall pursue them. I went down to see Abby who was in town but did not feel very much inclined to converse, and I was sorry to perceive that she was more troubled than I wished. It always grieves me to see her vary from her high tone of spirits and when I am the cause of it in any manner, it pains me the more. I was busy during the rest of the morning. Attempted to read Clarendon in the Afternoon, but without much success. Received a letter from my father on miscellaneous subjects. The tone will be quickly altered when this dreadful information arrives. Evening, a walk, and a few Numbers of the Spectator.
I have felt utterly unable to apply myself to any study of Law this week and on that account, it is perhaps lucky that I have had some occupation for my thoughts in the alterations I have ordered in the Office I am about to occupy, and the arrangements which it is necessary for me to make thereupon. My books were all moved upon shelves again after having been lying about for a long time. I do not now look forward so anxiously to the future. Afternoon, tried some of Clarendon. The weather was very warm and pleasant. But I felt rather languid, and in very middling spirits. No letters this evening which keeps me still in suspense. My anxiety to receive some information from home is very great, though at the same time I dread it. Evening, some Numbers of the Spectator.
Morning at the Office. Nothing very remarkable occurred. I was engaged much of the time in making my arrangements for my other 374room. I also went down to see Abby who was in town and wanted me to go out. But I did not feel as if I could while I was liable to receive letters in my absence. My spirits were better but still a great pressure constantly exists. Afternoon reading Clarendon. The weather very pleasant. I did receive two letters this evening. One from my father and one from John.1 They are a little encouraging as to the effect upon my Mother. She bears it better as yet than I had hoped. But the first shock is not all. John’s letter is kind and reminds me of the additional obligations which fall upon us, a circumstance of which I have already thought not a little. My will is good, and I trust to Heaven for it’s watchful guidance and protection, to allow me to perform all which it is my duty to do. And I now feel a strong desire to live which I never had before, and which also adds more terror to my despairing moments. But these shall not in future be so numerous.
“We are in great distress,” JQA reported; “but I write to inform you that the first shock of this heavy dispensation of Providence is past, and that your mother and myself, relying on him who chastiseth in Mercy, still look for consolation in the affectionate kindness of our remaining Sons” (JQA to CFA, 3 May 1829, Adams Papers). The letter from JA2 is missing.