Wednesday. 6th Aug. 1851.
We left for the city in the morning
train, and I kept up my composure through all. Maria H.
was a great comfort to me in my trouble. Mr Hale put us
in the cars. We rode to nineteenth St. the city was hot & dusty.
I entered the house with dread, went in the basement room.
All was still, Maria came in to meet us, she looks thin.
She told me of her trial, to be alone with a dying
father; how agonizing. A nurse was with her, but
those who should have been there to support him, were
all absent from his room.
Catharine was sick in her room, had been so for four days.
Mother was weak, and trembling unfit to soothe a dying soul.
Maria, alone was not the one to give the christian, hope[,] her
cares & duties had worn her down to a mere machine.
How strange that the Dr could have left a dying man to
such weak protection; and that Catharine, or his wife, did not
call in some firm kind friend, to cheer the closing hour.
His sisters children were both competent to the task, and
would gladly have watched around his bed; and had offered
their services the night before.
But Catharine, by some strange wish; kept all his friends
from his room, and would not allow even her own sickness.
to be mentioned.
I was deceived by her gay letters to the last, and did not go
to see him, or bid him farewell; Not one of his children, those
who loved him best, were with him. Henry, Eugene, Ferdinand
and myself were not permitted to see our father’s, last
I have shed many tears for the past; His last “God bless you,”
and the expression of his eyes on the last meeting we had
will always, be fixed in my remembrance. How kindly
he took change of my silver, and put it under his own bed,
to keep it safe. I then hoped to see him in a few days; but
it was to be my last interview; and to.day I saw him in death.
The body of the strong energetic man; the fine
agreeable, sensible man, the thoughtfull, tried & pious man
was before me. The fore head alone was his, all else was changed,
pain, agony and sufferings unknown to us,, had done its work.
How I shrank, from this poor defaced image of my lost
father, and prayed that his spirit might be happier in heaven.
His kindness, his tender care, his unwearied exertions for our
comfort, all came back to my mind, and my poor returns,
how they upbraided and reproached me. I wished to call
him back to life, to give him some mark of affection, but it
is too late. Death has set his seal, and to me his lost for
ever on earth. 76 years, and six months, was the length of his
mortal career. God who he served has taken him home.
I went up to see my mother, found her composed, but
agitated on meeting me. She bore the trial with more
fortitude than could be hoped, it astonished me, my
fears were, that she would sink, after so much anxiety.
Mrs Wiliard, stayed with us, she prepared mother for the
funeral. Catharine was in bed, but seemed better, she
had been sick from dysentery; she looks very thin.
At four oclock we all assembled in the back bed room.
Dr Frainer read the episcopal service.
W. Van Nest. made a beautifull address, and prayer.
“The death of a saint is precious in the sight of the Lord”.
this was the consoleing [sic] subject, presented to us; and I
How sadly the rolling of the carriage wheels sounded, as
they bore from his house, and family, my poor father.
They laid him in the cold vault of Trinity Church.
Ferdinand, has purchased one there.
I wished for some bright, green spot, to leave him, where we could plant flowers around his bed; so as to keep him fresh in our hearts.
And now all is over; we are left to mourn his loss
and follow if possible his example of patience & submission to the will of his God. I may soon be called to follow him, let me live above the world. and all sinfull desires; and give my self to a carefull preparation for death. So that
I too may be ready, when the Master calls.
We met the board, but he was not there, how
I missed him with his hospitable smile and manner. I went to mothers room after tea, Garret, spent the evening. He took the boys to sleep in Charlton St. We slept in the back bed.room, or rather went to bed.
I could not sleep, counted the hours untill morning. A palpitation of
the heart kept me awake. Maria H. and Julia slept soundly.