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.
Morning at the Office. I attempted to read a little Law but could not succeed very well. The Painter came to do his part to my new room, which in this way goes on progressing. Finding I could not do much with Chitty on Contracts, I sat down and wrote a letter to my brother John.1 Perhaps the Contents were not very prudent, but I did it with the best intentions. I do most earnestly hope they will soon come, at least some portion of the family, but I confess I see but little prospect of it. I went to Medford today with Mr. Brooks to divert the time. Found them alone and Mrs. B. a little dull about herself. There is another prospect which I do not much like to examine.2 But I never saw her when I felt so strongly for her. Evening with Abby.
Mrs. Brooks’ illness was to lead to her death in 1830.
Morning, returned to town with Mr. Brooks who was very kind and pleasant. On my return, I received a letter from my Aunt Smith1 in a strain dismal enough, but still giving me some assurances of the condition of my Mother. I feel incredibly easier since I have heard this. My father suffers as I thought he would, the tree has felt the lightning, the branches only have materially suffered, I hope. The trunk 375however feels the blow. Dr. Welsh called to see me with a message from Harriet. They are in misfortune as Thomas and John are ruined.2 This news came yesterday and astonished me much. I am very sorry for them both. Morning passed in reading Law though my mind is still unable to fix itself. Afternoon, I went to see Harriet, and to obtain some of my brother’s papers which I wish to arrange a little. She asked me to draw a Deed which I did to convey the Furniture of the House to her. But it was not executed though she gave me the trouble of going all the way up there in the evening about it. I remained in my brother’s room looking over his things and talking of them all evening, and did not return home until after ten.
Thomas Welsh Jr., Harvard 1798, a lawyer, and John Adams Welsh, a merchant, had suffered a severe financial reverse. See entry for 6 July, below.