[Boston—Monday, 14 September 1863]

Sep 14. Drove out in the afternoon and met Professor Holmes with his wife and son who were on their way to their old family place in Cambridge. They asked us to go there with them; it was only a few steps from where we were. At once the Professor went to the low side door and knocked with a fine brass knocker which had just been taken off the old Hancock house and presented to our friend.

It was delightful to see the exquisite pleasure of O.W.H. in his old home. There hung a picture of his father, Abiel Holmes at the age of 31, a beautiful face it was. There a picture of his first wife, fair and perhaps a little coquettish but eminently sweet and wise, although the Professor called it a “little romantic”; the old chairs from France still stood there, not one injured. No modern affairs destroyed the perfection of the scene. The Professor has taken for his writing room the old parlor looking upon the little garden. He loves to work in the latter where he and his wife spend a good deal of time. They raise all their vegetables in it.

Washington slept three nights in the old place and in this house the battle of Bunker hill was planned. Dr Bradshaw stepped from the door to make a prayer for the troops before their departure to Charlestown.

There are fine old trees behind the house and I trust we did not disturb the spirits of the departed by sitting under their shade and talking of the last interesting engagement that of Miss Anna Loring to Otto Dresel. It was pleasant to see them both again and so happy while the Lieut. Col. is improving and hopping about like a lively chicken with the aid of his crutches.

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