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


absence.59  When Warren was born he was nick-named "Suwarro" by Captain Hoyt, a family friend who was something of a mentor to the young Parks. Louisa disliked the name, but continued to use it because John had not provided any other. The baby was not baptized and renamed Joseph Warren until his father returned from sea.60  In numerous diary entries, Louisa indicated that John, Warren, or she was missing something crucial by John's not being a part of the family's daily life.

During her stay in Acton, Louisa outlined her typical day, "I rise at eight, eat breakfast at nine–then sew, what time I have besides the care of Warren, ‘till after dinner. If no company prevents, writing and reading in the afternoon. In the evening, knitting, if circumstances permit."61  That pattern prevailed most days in Windham and Salisbury as well. She spent the daylight hours reading and sewing, activities that required good light, and knitted in the evening. Experienced knitters can work simple patterns, and many complicated ones, without having to watch their hands much, so dim candle or lamp light would not have been a hindrance to her work.

The Parks apparently lived on John's wages. Louisa never mentioned cooking or caring for livestock. She did not work to supplement the family income, as her mother had done with her basement store in Acton. In the Spring months, there were no mentions of preparing a garden. Louisa was concerned about her spending, but proud that she and John had no debts, and Louisa had the money she needed to pay doctors for Warren's care.62 

59. Park, to John Park, June 6, 1800; Diary, December 9, 1800.
60. Park, to John Park, April 25, 1800; John Park, Diary epilogue, 1848.
61. Park, Diary, December 24, 1800.
62. Park, Diary, December 30, 1800; May 16, 1801.
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