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Dear Brother
The inteligence contained in your last letter, of Mothers death is truly surprising. If it was unexpected to you, it was much more so to me. How true it is that in the midst of life, we are equaly so in the midst of Death. And although many years had gathered on her honored brow, and the monitor Time had bid us expect that eternity for her was near; yet what a cold shock is produced upon us, when Death claims his own. We probably feel the visitation more keenly in proportion to the suddenness of the bereavement. In memory I can see her still, when she


wrung my hand for the last time; when Lucinda left her home to return no more forever. She thought, as I do, that I should have seen my dear wifes approaching end sooner than I did. But it was otherwise ordered. I was blind & could not perceive the cloud of death suspended over her. Mothers end is a similar example. The one died in the land of the Stranger, with no friend near but poor sinful me — the other in the midst of her children; without at least some of them knowing that her time had so suddenly come. But my dear Brother a just God will take care of his own. ‘I am the good shepherd, I know my masters sheep, and no man shall deliver them out of my hands.’ Ere this their sperits may have mingled in eternity, to wait for those they love to join with them in anthems on high.

To me this melancholy event was totaly unthought of, I had calculated that within 18 months I should present to her our child. I have often imagined to myself the joy she would feel on first beholding his blooming face, when she would first clasp to her bosom Lucinda's child. It was my design to gratify her with his picture. A few weeks before I rec'd your letter, a person staid here a few days who took likenesses by the Daugorreotype process. But the weather was cloudy & I could not get it taken. —

How often have I wished for a likeness of Lucinda. It would be a solace to a Sperit, which with her lies buried deep in the ground. But O Brother eternity is coming on us all. A few more years & our forms now strong in life, will be quiet & still. My Father has completed his three score years & ten. Mother verges close to that limit of human life. My brother Abner writes that they look well & hearty. But the Son of Man cometh as a theif in the night, and it often fills my heart with distress, to think that I may never see their faces again.


But not to anticipate trouble, permit me to recur for a few moments to the past, as this occasion naturaly brings it to mind. When first my fireside became desolate, my brothers sympathised with me. They are kind affectionate men, but Lucinda was measurably a stranger to them, they could not know her as you & I did. I could not open my bosom to them as I could to you, and although a wicked unregenerate man, may not call down a blessing upon your house for the comfort you have afforded him; yet permit him to beleive, that the bonds of affection & kindred still stands strong between us, endeared by my child and hallowed by the memory of her who lies deep in the ground — Her grave is in the deep wild wood, the broad armed oak waves over her — the roses of a summer have bloomed above her head. But O Brother what a solemn place the last house of the living is. Should you ever come to Illenois your heart can feel with mine by that hallowed ground, that the Lord giveth & the Lord taketh away blessed be the name of the Lord.

But let us be calm again. Many in this world are worse off than we. My home is desolate, my son is with the lady I spoke of in my last letter. I have quit house keeping and board out as in former years. Still I have some comforts. My buissness has been profitable & I am independent in a pecuniary point of view. I have some calculations visiting you in the spring of 1848. My brother Abner writes that he expects to visit Illenois next spring or summer. Possibly you may resolve to do so too. I should have written a week sooner but I received a severe injury to the mid finger of my right hand in raising my hew house.

I desire that Levi may be appointed guardian to John as soon as convenient. Tell him that his ward is hearty, lively, active and speaks quite plain.

There is at present in this place 1 tavern, 1 grocery, 3 stores, 1 blacksmith, 1 waggonmaker, 2 carpenters, 1 lawyer, and 2 doctors.

Remember me affectionately to your wife & children, Josiah, Levi, & Emeline.

I remain your Brother & Friend
H. Rutherford