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JQA Diary, volume 45 26 July 1845
JQA Neal Millikan Courtship and Marriage of JQA and LCA
207 Quincy. Saturday 26. July 1845

26. IV. Saturday.

Mrs Martha Burrill Loring Thomas.

Sun rose 4:46. Set 7:26.

Anniversary of my marriage 48 years have since passed away. A small remnant only can be before us. A Merciful Providence has hitherto conducted us along the path of life— We have enjoyed much— We have suffered not a little— Good and Evil have followed us alternately— The thread has been of checkered yarn. Altogether my lot has been a happy one upon Earth, and every feeling of my heart ought to be a sentiment of Gratitude to him who is the disposer of events— I have met with bitter disappointments— Heavy calamities have befallen me— All my children with one exception have been taken from me— One in infancy—two in the prime of life, and this bereavement has once been extended to the second generation— The successive decease of my brother Charles, of my Sister, of my mother of my father and of my brother Thomas, have for the last thirteen years left me the only member of the family of the past and the present generation, surviving on this earth— The common them of reason is death of fathers, and it is one of the fatalities of old age, to follow to the tomb all the joys of cotemporary kindred and friendship.

As those we love decay, we die in part; String after string, is sever’d from the heart.

With regard to what is called, the wheel of Fortune, my career in life has been with severe vicissitudes, on the whole highly auspicious. With advantages of education perhaps unparalleled, with principles of integrity, of benevolence, of industry and frugality, and the lofty Spirit of patriotism and Independence taught me from the cradle, with the love of Letters and the arts useful and ornamental, and with aspirations of Science, limited only by the scanty spark of ethereal fire in the soul, my intercourse with my cotemporaries, has in all its fluctuations been more successful than I deserved— My life has been spent in the public service— Washington, Madison, Monroe were my friends and benefactors— Jefferson a hollow and treacherous friend.— Jackson, Charles J. Ingersoll, George W. Erving, Jonathan Russell, base, malignant and lying enemies, a list to which I might, but will not add other names.— I have enjoyed a portion of the favour of my country at least equal to my desert, but have suffered and yet suffer much from that Slander which outvenoms all the worms of Nile— But I am wandering from my wedding day.— Mr Peter C. Brooks went with Charles to Boston; upon his return home to Medford—and Charles brought his son John Quincy home from School— Mr Loring brought me from Hingham a basket of harvest apples. Miss Smith a daughter of Mr Richard Smith of Philadelphia was with him. Mrs. Martha Burrill a claimant of a widows pension came and left her papers with me— I found her name upon the list of pensioners in the Session Message of 1840.— Mr Longworth of Cincinnati sent me from Boston an engraved portrait of Hiram Powers the Sculptor in profile. I received also a Letter from Mr Serruys the Chargé d’Affaires from Belgium