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


After he died, Louisa took care of his body, washing and dressing it for burial, and her friends began to take care of her. Two women bought and prepared mourning clothes for Louisa while one of Captain Hoyt's sons rode to Windham to tell the Park family. Captain Hoyt brought a minister from Newburyport to conduct the graveside service, and at Louisa's request, allowed the body to be placed in his family's mausoleum. Louisa wrote, "to see him deposited there was not half so distressing to my feelings as it would have been to see him buried under the sod; and when his father returns he can see him and remove him as he may think fit."64

After Warren's death, Louisa's friends got her into her old routine as quickly as possible. Two days after the burial, her landlady Mrs. Fowler, took her to tea with one friend and to visit another. That evening, Mrs. Lumbard, mother of little Lydia, gave birth to a daughter. Louisa wrote, "I forgot, for a while, my own distress, in the sufferings and joys of another."65

Louisa's diary changed significantly after Warren's death. Her daily life continued much as it had, though she frequently needed to be alone and allowed herself her private grief. She concentrated on her own health and the little tasks that had been left unattended. She continued to read and comment on life around her, but her attitude toward her husband and his extended absence lost all semblance of patience. She began directing many of her statements to John, as though she were writing him letters:

64. Louisa Park, Diary, May 2, 1801. The entire description of Warren's illness, death, and burial was included in one day's entry.
65. Louisa Park, Diary, May 2, 1801.
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