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Title: Stewart, Frances to Beaufort, Harriet, 1847
ID4747
CollectionRevisiting Our Forest Home_The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]
Filestewart/29
Year1847
SenderStewart, Frances
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginDouro Township, Newcsatle District, Upper Canada
DestinationIreland
RecipientBeaufort, Harriet
Recipient Genderfemale
Relationshipfriends (ex-pupil - ex-governess)
Source
Archive
Doc. No.
Date
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Logunknown
Word Count1330
Genredecease
Note
Transcript1847: September 21
To [Harriet Beaufort], Ireland

To Miss B.

Sep. 21st 1847

I am sure my dearly loved & loving friends will be anxious ab't me & I
must not let this mail go without bearing some intelligence of your poor
desolate & afflicted child, tho' I am wrong in using that first term. My
heart must be desolate & lonely but I cannot be so in reality when I am
surrounded by my dear children all trying who can show me most tender
love, consolation & attention & when every one who ever knew us
write in showing kindness, but afflicted I must be for no one can know
how severe our loss. Thank God I have been & am supported & can see
such unbounded love & mercy mixed in the bitter cup that it would be
profane & rebellious indeed to allow any repinings to arise in my breast
& the height of selfishness to sorrow without rejoicing, for we must all
feel certain that his soul which had been ripening for a long time past
has now attained the Haven where all troubles cease & where sighing &
sorrow are unknown. That he is now enjoying a peace which passeth all
understanding & oh what a change from the years of anguish & misery
he has had!! & probably would have had for some time to come. I have
long prayed that his poor tortured mind should be relieved but oh how
little did I forsee the full & complete relief & release that was so near, or the depth of misery left for us here, but still I feel the hand of the Lord has smitten us & all is well, all is mercy & we must now look forward & press forward to the mark set before us of the high calling of God in CJ.
At 1st his illness was intermittent fever which, however, this year has
been much more formidable than any other. About the 5th day it became
steady fever. He had no head ache or pain in back or limbs, indeed he
never had the slightest pain, but after Thursday the fever encreased & his
tongue showed it was a worse kind, his mind in general perfectly clear &
calm tho' his body was restless & sickness of the stomach most exhausting.
All usual remedies were tried & next week he appeared better, the
brown crust peeling off his tongue, but on the 2d Wednesday it began
to return & the thirst terrible. Towards days break Thursday he grew
restless sick & chilly. I sent for the Dr. who had only left us a few hours.
Twitching came on in his limbs. Dr. Hay was very anxious & sent for
another Dr. who did not think the symptoms so bad, ordered Calomel
& [ ] &c but he grew worse. He plainly knew then he was leaving us &
looked often at me saying I am happy! happy! Anna & Ellen came & Dr.
Hay only left us when obliged. Friday he spoke much to us all when able
but his throat & tongue were so dry he hardly could & we could only
hear by putting our heads close to him but every word was precious for
all breathed the most perfect resignation under suffering & joy & earnest
desire for the safety of the Souls of all round him. He spoke separately
to each calling for any absent & did not omit one. He made us read &
pray with & for him. He constantly prayed & called for [ ] & enjoyed
extempore [ ] most as it was the utterance of the heart at the time. Mr.
Taylor came twice & Mr. Rogers & Mr. Benson. He could not keep his
attention fixed for more than a few minutes, but joined his voice in the []
when it applied to himself or any one for whom he felt particular interest.
Friday night he gave Wm. & John advice & instruction & placed them
under Ed. Browns care & asked him to be a friend & advisor to his boys
which poor dear Ed. promised with tears & the dear one added "I mean
religious as well as moral." Many wonderful impressions & touching
expressions did we hear. The dear one seemed hovering on the brink of
Eternity from Thursday till 9 oC. Monday 6th Sep'r when the Sp't [spirit]
fled. They were days never to be forgotten. Never did any of us witness
such scenes. They are awful, for the Sp't [spirit] seemed more in Heaven than on Earth but glorious & rejoicing too. I have often heard & read of
Triumphant Deaths & read of such scenes but this was indeed victorious
Death had no sting to him. During these 3 days his breath often stopped
so long we thought all was over, but there was no struggle or sign of suffering.
His tongue was quite black. He made Ellen, Bessy & Edw'd sing
hymns & psalms frequently & took more pleasure in it than anything. He
also had psalms, &c read. Mr. Reid & Jas. often prayed at his bedside &
read to him. On Sat'y night he spoke to Dr. Hay & Ed. of many matters,
gave solemn directions as to many subjects, his funeral &c & made Dr.
Hay write it down, signed & had it witnessed. He could not bear Ed. a
moment out of his sight & sent for Rob't & spoke affectionately to him.
All belonging to this world seemed as nothing during this time when
we were watching his soul passing into Eternity. We were elevated above
this life. Sunday morning he was quite exhausted & the restlessness of
body, continued. He asked the 3 "to sing his Soul to Heaven." He slept
heavily for some hours then & I sat 8c held one hand which was cold &
blue. Some flies were about the bed & I touched his hand in trying to
wave them off which roused him. A rush of heat came on & he seemed
to revive. His voice became stronger & clearer & he again said how
happy he was & repeated his entire trust was in his Sav'rs atonement &
he longed to be with him & then added & to join my dear sister. He was
able to swallow better & spoke to all, gave Ed. a Bible Bessy had given her
Papa the year before & begged him to read it frequently in private as well
as in family reading, asked him to kiss him & showed such love to all as
I never saw him show before. Mr. Benson came & talked & prayed &c
but hearing hymns sung was his greatest pleasure. In this way he passed
his last Sab'th on Earth. Dr. Hay, Ch. Dunlop & Rob't Brown sat up that
night & all made me lie down as I was worn out not having lain down
for a fortnight, at first from asthma & then I could not leave him. I slept
so sound I did not hear Ellen get up at 2 & she shut the door & I never
wakened till 4.1 then ran to the head of the stairs & heard Dr. Hay praying.
I dressed quickly & as I went down I heard his voice unusually loud
& clear calling out "Oh my Sav'r, come for me." This was the last I heard
him say. Bessy forced me into the parlour to take a cup of coffee & when
1 came out he was sleeping & never awoke. He had some pain in the night but not severe. He opened his eyes once, turned himself & looked at me,
but the eyes were dim & a strange look in them, but he soon slept again.
He breathed on quite regularly till it just stopped. I have been quite well
except asthma.