Dear Brother
My right to use the foregoing title has passed away; and although


now for the first time I use it, yet I hope you will permit me to call you so, for the sake of her who was your sister and my wife. I perceive by yours of Sept 20th that you was ignorant of Lucinda's death: but a few days later & you must have heard the melancholy news. Oh what a shock you must have felt, but I cannot tell you the pain it was, of communicating to your mother, the sad tidings of our misfortune. That sad duty I would gladly have avoided, had not honor compelled me to perform the task.

When I wrote to your mother I believe I stated that I would detail to you, the circumstances of Lucindas illness. The Methodist Society in this neighborhood, hold camp meetings every 2 years, about 3 1/2 miles distant from this town. The first year we came out she attended one — staid one night at the camp & was attacked by a violent fever directly afterwards. This year it was for a while deemed too sickly to hold one, but by the urgent entreaties of the circuit preacher a meeting was held at which more than fifty persons took sick & the congregation prematurely broke up. Lucinda was exceedingly anxious to attend, & knowing my opposition to such collections of people, proposed attending on Sunday only. But I knowing how much it would gratify her, had her taken there on Saturday, to stay till Sunday evening. She promised not to stay nor lodge on the camp ground at night, but to put up with a particular friend close at hand. I could not well be there with her. Sickness was raging like a devouring element all over the country. I was called every where, & night & day alike found me posting from house to house. I found leisure to spend 1/2 an hour on Sunday afternoon (Aug 31st) at the camp. She immediately told me that she had staid all night in a tent: that some men occupied the raised beds, & she & some other women lay on some straw on the ground, and was anxious to know if I was angry. I told her I was sorry but she said that they persuaded her to stay and that she did not like to speak for a raised bed; most of the guests were strangers. I had charged her by no means to sleep on the ground for by


doing so she took her first fever two years ago. Lucindas frank nature never allowed her to conceal from me any fault, which she thought she had committed, or withold any thing from me for a moment, which she considered my right to know. She then asked my permision to have John babtised which was done. I then left & did not get home till past midnight. She returned late. Some of her friends tried to persuade her to stay all night, & when she would not, they were long in bringing her horse, her company from this place had left, she carried the child herself & it was an hour after sundown before she got home.

I think the seccond day afterwards, she complained of a pain in her right armpit. She continued to work till thursday when it became agravated by quilting at a neighbors. She then carried her arm in a sling. About Sunday she took a chill; the arm swelled considerably but never showed any appearance of gathering. The fever was moderate. The pains extended into her breast which was blistered, without relief. Opium affected her head so much that she could use but little of it. Poultices did not releive her arm. I still had no idea that her danger was so great, for when I could be with her she complained little. But death was doing his work & I did not know it. On the morning of the 12th the conviction of her great danger first broke on my mind & in my distress I burst into tears. She then began to speak of death, of prayr, of her soul and of her mother. I asked her why she thought she would die. She said it was because I had given her up. I thought she would last 2 or 3 days, & I hoped that a favourable turn might yet take place. Oh it is hard to beleive that so dear an object would die: to die and leave me forever. I soothed her, & told her that I thought she would yet get well — that my distress was for her sufferings. She kept comparatively strong all day. When hope was no more I could not tell her that she would die. I have often pronounced that word to the dying, with but little emotion; but to her I could not say it. I had brought her to a far country there to die amidst strangers; & no mother or brother to weep over her passing sperit. I only was there to comfort her, with all these sad reflections on my mind.


Her breath became shorter, her mind wandered & I could hear her sometimes say she would die. Her last hour was restless on account of the difficult breathing, but this left her & she sunk quietly in death about 8 o clock in the evening. She was buried the next evening. I could get no preacher to attend her funeral, all was sick but two kind neighbors performed that service. A hymn was sung and an affecting prayr was made ere the ground closed over her forever. Oh there was much consolation in that prayer, although [I was] a solitary mourner, the young & old who kneeled around the grave could then join me in my sorrow and the companionship of gref lightened the burden on my own head. I have a great many sad reflections on this subject. I know your kind nature will not misapprehend me. I was too blind to her danger. I was not with her enough. Every body was sick. Such a distressing time has never before been known in the West. The calls were incessant & I often went when I should have staid by her side. There are a thousand things I could say concerning her last illness, and her health for the last year, were you here, or I there with you. You spoke of coming out, do so, visit me & with me let us kneel over her grave. Our son has been sick, he took remitting fever, which declined into chills. It is five or six days since he last had them; he looks hearty & well. I am still keeping house. I have taken in a young man & wife. The girl we have had since spring, is still with me. John is living with a widdow woman close by. Whether I shall bring him home or not, I have not yet determined. Sickness this year as I said before, has been without a paralel. It commenced in the beginning of August to be bad and continued unabated throughout Sept. While Lucinda lay a corpse great numbers came, not knowing my misfortune for attendance & medicine. They did not let me rest, the night after her funeral, I had to get up at 2 o clock & ride till 12 at night, I did not get more than 3 hours sleep out of the 24 & sometimes not one. In the first week after her death I have never seen such a time for sickness. My buissness this season has nearly doubled any other since I am in this state.

Tell your mother that I am looking for a letter from her every mail. Should she neglect me I shall ever be wretched. I know that she blames me for taking her daughter from her to a


distant country but she cannot blame or reproach me worse than I do myself. Tell her to write, let it be what it will. I will take in kindness the heaviest reproaches she can put on me. Remember me to your family, your brothers & sisters, write to me soon.

Lucinda cannot join with me in love to you and yours again, but her sperit in heaven no doubt dwells on us in its godly ocupation for as she was kind and good here she is not less so there.
H. Rutherford