Harriet Beecher Stowe to Sarah Beecher 7/29/1849


1849 JULY 29


“July 29

Dear Sarah

The last three weeks have been to me full of anxiety and sorrow — with gloom

and death spread all around us and enfeebled by the debilitating air of this

season we have struggled along, until about two weeks since without any

serious illness

— About that time Charley who has been the strongest and heartiest little

fellow possible to conceive of and who had cut two double teeth without the

slightest derangement of the bowels was taken ill four great double teeth were

nearly through and the eye and stomach teeth were all starting at once

— It is needless and painful to go over all the steps by which he sunk

downward — it only remains to say that he left us forever on Tuesday morning

a little after five oclock — While he was in a dying state Eliza was lying

dangerously ill of the cholera at Mrs Blackwells who coming in the afternoon

before and apprehending that she might be taken sick had carried her to her own


— The day after Charlie was buried Georgie was taken violently ill and after

coming down to the very gates of death was mercifully restored to us —

She and Eliza are both now recovered — Anna was seized with billious

dysentary in a most violent manner the day or two after Charlie was taken

— and has been lying very sick the whole time and is now just beginning to

sit up a little —

You see my dear sister thro what a scene of anxiety peril and anguish I have

passed — I am too much worn out and exhausted to write much but your

sympathy would be a comfort and I trust you will write me —

I can say that God gives me strength to resign my will to his — and to offer

up my flower — my darling — my best beloved to Him without a struggle —

I have been too weary — too hurried too anxious and too much employed as yet

fully to feel the full bitterness of my loss — Every thing has seemed for the

last fortnight     like a troubled dream — tho at times visitations of peace

from above have been given me — Write to me dear sister — I know you will

feel for and with me

The season has been peculiarly fatal to young children in this city — The

daguerrotyper who took a likeness of my Charley after his death said that he

found now constant call for his Service in a similar way and that he had taken

as many as five in one day — “In Ramah there was a voice heard — weeping

and lamentation and great mourning Rachael weeping for her children and

would not be comforted because they were not” —

— When I feel what it is to lose one infant child — I appreciate more what

desolation and mourning has been carried every where this summer — Oh Sarah

the dying the sinking the fading is worse than the loss — my heart has

been wrung with poor Charleys dying struggles — and the faded and sorrowful

form that remained after the spirit was past tho sealed with the impress of

immortal peace was so unlike my glad joyous living child that it seemed all a

dream —

Nevertheless he looked lovely and sweet and I have a resemblance of him that

seems dearer to me than any thing I have on earth — I am too tired to write

much farewell Yours affectionately

H Stowe”


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