Letitia Hall, "Threshold of a Century: the Diary of Louisa Adams Park, 1800-1801"

17

She began her long visit with her parents in a sentimental mood. She wrote:

Spent the evening with Father and Mother at the old mansion house–the place of all my childhood pleasures, first impressions, & first affections.... even the old wainscot made my heart beat.45
But her homecoming happiness did not last. She loved her family and enjoyed being with them, but her extended visit was a strain. Her parent's home was probably not a mansion as it was the parsonage of the town's Congregational Church. The family was not wealthy; when Louisa was a girl her mother had supplemented the family income operating a shop in the basement.46 The house may have been cramped, and the common rooms, where Louisa sewed and wrote, were very busy. She complained that other family members had access to her belongings and she wished she were in Salisbury, "I don't like to have my articles disturbed." The house was busy and Louisa often felt crowded by company. She wrote, "In the evening was obliged to hear Mrs. Foster talk so much, I could neither read nor write.... ...In the evening, company–of no consequence to me. I had much rather have been alone." On Christmas day she vented her frustration and wrote, "This is the most stupid place I ever lived in. Some frivolous dispute is the only variety in this town.... ...I feel a great inclination to write, but there is so much chit-chat going on in the room I must give it up."47


45. Park, Diary, November 27, 1800.
46. Guide and Index to Women's Diaries, 29-30.
47. Park, Diary, December 11, 1800; December 5, 1800; December 6, 1800; December 25, 1800.
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