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


It was now that I felt the want of my husband. It was with difficulty that I could refrain from reproaching him for abandoning his beloved wife and only child. I found myself under the necessity of supporting all... ...

Death it is true, may, but nothing else shall ever separate me from my beloved partner. Since his imagination paints a residence at home as impossible, I will follow him, if in no other way it can be allowed, in the habit of a sailor!...My life is a scene of sorrow and tears, in his absence I can endure it no longer. Why should we persist in denying ourselves the greatest enjoyment that was ever realized by mortals, when it is now in our power to possess it? ...In truth, my fortitude and patience are exhausted....Oh haste, my love, and relieve the impatience of your Louisa.

I cannot drive this subject from my mind, any more than I can exist without nourishment. Is it not the wish of us both to procure and secure the happiness of each other? Why then do we neglect the only way that leads to it? It appears to me that while we are searching after it, we are running away from it. Why is it, with all your abilities, talents & accomplishments, my love, that you cannot gain a genteel subsistence with your wife?...If you leave me again, I will call upon the mercy of Heaven to take me out of this painful existence.66
Louisa was no longer willing to accept her husband's career at sea. She wanted him to be by her side.

Louisa had called Warren her "substitute" in some of her early winter entries. The explanation for that word came in her entry of May 3rd when she wrote, "I have no Warren to care for, to attend to, caress and love."67  Louisa needed to have someone to care for. It was her job and her calling to love and attend to her family, but her family was gone. Her diary became her new substitute. She had written as though to a friend, but when her grief overwhelmed her, it became a surrogate for her husband, and she aimed her unhappiness directly at him. But as desperately as she longed for her husband's company, it was her women friends who came to her rescue.

66. Park, Diary, May 2, 1801; May 8, 1801.
67. Park, Diary, May 3, 1801.
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