For US actor, playwright, and theatre manager Harry Watkins (1825–94), the 1852–3 season was a whirlwind of ups and downs, elation and despair, triumph and tragedy. His engagement as an actor in C. R. Thorne's stock company at the New York Theatre ended abruptly in mid-September, leaving him without work at a point when few theatres were hiring. He mourned the loss of a beloved cousin, Jane Mott, who passed away one rainy day in October after a drawn-out illness. He endured many a headache while spearheading a fund-raising effort among his fellow actors to contribute a memorial stone to the Washington Monument. He was elected to the board of the American Dramatic Fund Association, but infighting among the directors left him feeling insulted and underappreciated, ultimately leading him to cease his involvement. By far, his biggest frustration was his inability to obtain reliable employment. He wrote many letters to many managers, to no avail. More than once, he considered giving up the theatre altogether.