Late Rector of St. John's Church,
Portsmouth, Va.,
With Memoranda of the Pestilence
Which Raged in that City During the Summer and Autumn of 1855.
By David Holmes Conrad,
New York: Protestant Episcopal Society for the Promotion
of Evangelical Knowledge,

[Excerpting Chapters IX - XIII.]

Transcribed by Donna Bluemink.

From May, 1853, to May, 1854—Lynchburg Convention—Death of his Wife—Lines on the Same—Letter to his Brother-in-Law.

The year from May, 1853, to May, 1854, passed in the midst of the performance of pastoral duties—in the enjoyment of that domestic bliss of which no man was ever more susceptible. His intercourse with his children was peculiarly interesting.

In May, 1854, he attended the Annual Convention, held then at Lynchburg. The expected visit of a brother made it difficult for him to effect this; but again were his friends gladdened with the sight of him. The friend who writes this recalls with saddened pleasure the hours then spent in his company, the arrangements by which they contrived to take each meal together, sometimes by positive breaches of a first invitation, that they might accept a second one where both were invited to the same house. The walks in the environs of that thriving and opulent city, the view from the adjacent heights, the peaks of Otter, and the long [77] reaches of the James river, and the intervening steep thoroughfares of Lynchburg. His ardent love of travel amidst wild scenery induced him, with many other of his brethren, to accept of an invitation to go on an excursion, west, upon the Tennessee railroad; so that the friends parted in Lynchburg, not to meet until next year in Lexington, before which time a sad bereavement had fallen upon him. His faithful, loving wife was, after a lingering illness, taken from him. His countenance had lost its original brightness. It seemed to say:

"Oh I never, never, never more on me the freshness of the heart shall fall like dew."

The following beautiful lines seem applicable all to him: the first stanza applying to the happy, beaming, but chastened Christian joy, visible in him at Lynchburg; the second, when he visited Lexington, in May, 1855; the last, to the dark hour when mourning over that son whose dying words he was not permitted to hear. He stood like a soldier in a forlorn hope, ready for death, but steadfast to his duty:

"One morning as we wended
Through a path bedight with flowers,
Where all delights were blended
To beguile the fleeting hours,
[78] 'Sweet youth, pray turn thee hither,'
Said a voice along the way,
'Ere all these roses wither,
And these fair fruits decay.'
But the youth paused not to ponder
If the voice were good or ill,
For, said he, my home is yonder
O'er the hill there, o'er the hill.

"Again, high noon was glowing
O'er a wide and weary plain,
And there, right onward going
Was the traveler again.
He seemed another being
Than the morning's rosy youth;
But I quickly knew him, seeing
HiS unaltered brow of truth.
'Rest, stranger, rest till even,'
Sang alluring voices still,
But he cried, 'My rest is heaven,
O'er the hill there, o'er the hill.'

"The shades of night were creeping
A sequestered valley o'er,
Where a dark, deep stream was sweeping
By a dim and silent shore ;
And there the pilgrim, bending
With the burden of the day,
Was seen still onward wending,
Through ' a strait and narrow way.1
He passed the gloomy river
As it were a gentle rill,
And rested—home for ever,
O'er the hill there, o'er the hill 1"

"We subjoin extracts from his letters, dated about the last of February and the month of March, showing how this Christian lady, the ob- [79] ject of the love of so many hearts—the second self of the devoted husband, met the last enemy. The annals of our holy religion abound with many examples of the power of faith over death. The circumstances are detailed generally by those whose professed adherence to truth is solemnized by the feelings of the occasion. We may be satisfied that nothing in the following details is exaggerated.

Can the skeptic tell us how, upon a mere delusion, such a power can be given to a shrinking, delicate, timid woman? Or if it be owing to strength of conviction of the truth of religion, why can not the same strength of conviction of its falsity, on his part, enable the skeptic so to meet death? Death is the great mystery of our being. Hume, Gibbon, Voltaire, and Paine, and others of their school, professed to have solved this riddle. So does the Christian. The hour of death is the experimentum crucis. Which of them believes in their solution when the test is applied—when the honest hour cometh?

To Mrs. M. Chisholm, Salem.
"Portsmouth, Wednesday, March 7th, 1855.
"My Dear Sister: Your soothing and sympathizing letters came to me in this morning's mail. I doubt not you are already [80] apprised that the day on which I wrote you, Tuesday, the 27th, proved to be the day of the greatest calamity of my life. I sent you by mail on Saturday last, an obituary in the column of a daily paper. I now forget what I said in my last letter: indeed, most of what transpired during those last solemn days, except in the death-chamber, has faded from my memory. Oh! it was a death-scene never to be forgotten by even the most casual or careless spectator. It was that miracle of the moral world; the triumph of sanctified human nature over its lust, its great, its terrible foe—Death. The unruffled calmness of that triumph! It was not a closing of the eyes, and a forced insensibility of the mind to any even of the most terrific aspects of death. It was a serene and fixed eyeing of the foe, and more than a conquest over him, through the might and grace of a present Redeemer. Not an expression savored of even a momentary obliviousness of what was before her; not even a gesture or look indicated aught of the nature of excitement. Whilst not one of her family or numerous and attached friends could command composure, or find relief for their uncontrollable emotions otherwise than in tears and suppressed sobs, she was all the while, though undergoing intense and various physical suffering, perfectly unruffled, the only composed one, the only glad and happy one, amid a circle of broken-spirited mourners. Nor was her reason clouded even for one instant. The last respiration, and its accompanying slight and momentary convulsive movement of the features, found her equally conscious in mind, collected in spirit, and happy in her soul. But what was the secret of her blessed composure? Was it aught akin to consciousness of having acted well her part in life? No! far from it. Never did I witness a more deep and painful consciousness of unworthiness and unprofitableness before her God and Judge. But it was her perfect and unhesitating confidence in the efficacy of the blood of Jesus [81] Christ to cleanse each believer from all sins: it was this which constituted the secret of her glorious triumph. How often, and with what emphasis, would she repeat those precious words which embrace the whole theme of God's message to man: 'The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sins.' On Tuesday, leaning over her and applying my lips to her ear, I was privileged to enjoy a last full and free and confidential conversation with her, in which we reviewed rapidly the stages of our alas! too brief union on earth; spoke of the little ones, engaged audibly together in a brief and earnest prayer for them, and commendation of their case, and especially their spiritual interests, to the great Friend and Defender of those orphaned ones; then talked briefly together of the brief intervening future on earth, and matters of domestic interest and care, and also of the final and endless future in heaven, of which the moment of our expected reunion would constitute the first blissful moment. Then, as if nothing now remained but to announce the dissolution of the conditions of our earthly union, she pointed to her bridal-ring and asked me with regard to it: What disposal I would prefer to make of it? In reply I expressed a desire that she would indicate its disposal. She then inquired if I would be willing to wear it. On my expressing a desire to do so, she calmly drew it from her wasted finger and placed it upon my own; there to remain, in all probability, until the arrival of that blessed day wherein, God's grace helping me, we shall meet, no more to be sundered."

To Joseph Chisholm.
"Portsmouth, March 8, 1855.
"My Dear Brother: This the severest of all domestic afflictions, is the first that has cast a shadow on my pathway. From [82] the stunning effects of the blow, I feel that I have not yet awakened to the full and awful realization of my case. My dear and affectionate sisters-in-law, who had been summoned to Jane's sick bed-side, and had been in constant ministrations to her sufferings, whilst their cheerful countenances had cheered and animated my home, remained until two days since; and, meantime, Frazer came on last Friday morning, and remained with me likewise until two days since. The companionship- of these loved ones soothed and beguiled our sorrows. Domestic affairs have now, for the first time for more than two months, subsided into the ordinary quiet channel. Each home-habit and occurrence now holds its wonted way. The merry laugh and the short fleet step of the little boys, as usual ring through the house. But where is now the gentle, genial, all-pervading influence of the centre of all home's delights and charities? The household's rallying point; its attractive and tenderly uniting band—where is she? One sudden, mighty surge has swept over us, and the quiet which ensues in its wake is that of its own desolating power. But, dear brother, do not suspect me of forgetting the source of my calamity, and the great and manifold and blessed designs with which it has been sent upon me. I, who have taught others the highest lessons of Christian attainment, should have complete, childlike, humble submission to the Divine Will. I am now sitting as a learner in the school of that great and good Master, who has Himself drained the cup of human woe to its last fearful dregs, so that we might only taste it, and tasting it, learn to turn to that other cup, that cup of refreshment, which his other hand presents—even the cup of the waters of life. I do most fervently pray, that I may neither on the one hand despise—treat lightly—this chastening of the Lord; nor on the other hand, be weary or faint when I am rebuked of Him. I know, I feel that it is because He loves that He chastens: that [83] the loving corrections of my covenant God are any thing but an indication of His disfavor, although a solemn summons to increased diligence and concentration of soul, in laboring for His glory, and working out my own salvation. 'Lord, Thou didst give,' and Thou hast resumed Thy own hallowed gift. Oh! crowning mercy, I trust that Thou art enabling me to respond in this hour of bereavement, and not less than in the hour of happy possession: 'Blessed be the name of the Lord.' Soul-refreshing were the manifestations of the power and grace of God our Saviour, in that death chamber. Such calm composure in announcing that she was about to take leave of us; such faithful and appropriate remarks and Christian counsels to every one of her family, and friends and acquaintances, who drew near to her bedside; such blessed and unwavering confidence in her acceptance and salvation, through faith in the merits and blood of her Redeemer, whose acquaintance she had formed in the bright day of youth and health, and who revealed Himself now as a precious and tried foundation on which to rest her fainting and sinking soul—I never saw. It was a miracle of grace and love. Intense and unintermitted as were her sufferings, she testified the greatest delight in every devotional exercise. And we sang around her bed frequently, during the last two days. When the hymn, 'How firm a foundation,' was sung, she joined, herself, in a clear, firm, sweet voice, throughout the closing verse: 'The soul that to Jesus hath fled for repose.' Other hymns that were sung to the very joy of her heart, were: 'Jesus, Saviour of my soul,' the popular hymn, 'Just as I am,' 'All is well,' 'Asleep in Jesus.' Often did she quote and apply to her own case, 'The Dying Christian to his Soul,' 'Vital spark of heavenly flame.' Often did she exclaim: 'The world recedes, it disappears: Heaven opens on my eyes; my ears with sounds seraphic ring.' About an hour before her Saviour dismissed her ransomed spirit [84] from its companionship with its clay tenement, she inquired of me, with the most perfect calmness and deliberation: 'Is there such a thing as having too strong and full a confidence in the atoning blood of Jesus?' I replied that there was not, and after a few observations, inquired: 'Do you feel such a confidence?' 'Oh! yes!' she exclaimed, uttering each word with emphasis, 'a perfect confidence.' But the most touching of all the scenes I have ever witnessed, was her parting with her children, after having had them summoned into her room, about twenty-four hours before her death. Words that ought to be graven with an iron pen on the rocks for ever, did she utter with her wonted calmness to dear little Willie, and so adapted to his comprehension that he understood each word. For such a mother to take a long and deliberate farewell without one particle of rising emotion, was an act to which only the grace of God, through Christ strengthening her, could have fortified her soul. The death-chamber was truly bright with opening gleams of promised heaven. With her whom we mourn, the worst is past. The worst? Nay; all of evil, and trouble, and sorrow, that constituted her burden is for ever merged, lost, annihilated, in the unfathomed depths of that ocean—Redeeming Love. To her as a disciple of Jesus, life brought its severe, though comparatively brief, discipline of suffering and chastisement. The period of our union, every day of which was to me bright and genial, and happy as that of any husband ever was; made so by the attractive energy of her affection, and by the rare moral symmetry and beauty of her character; that period was to her alas! largely dashed with suffering, the more grievous, doubtless, to her because of her ingenious and too successful efforts to conceal it from those sho would fain spare all solicitude in regard to herself. Sho was a matured Christian when I first became acquainted with her. The spirit of her Master lived, and breathed, and loved, in all she designed, or said, or did.

[85] If you knew the consolations your letters afford me, dear brother and sister, you would write frequently.
"Affectionately, James."

To his Sister-in-law.
"Portsmouth, March 22, 1855.
"My Beloved Sister: I wish you knew how refreshing were your own and dear Mrs. Cushing's letters to me. They were truly answers to my own troubled spirit. Coming from those who have experienced grief, and have not in vain sought for the rich and exhaustless consolation of which a compassionate Saviour is the source, I realize that it is in mercy, not in wrath, that He is now dealing with me. I perceive that there is a 'need be,' that I am in heaviness through tribulation. 'As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.' I feel that hitherto the unruffled current of my life had not presented this indication of Divine parental relationship, namely, chastisement. Time, indeed, brings no abatement of sorrow; discloses constantly new sources of mental suffering and disquietude, on account of my exceeding great loss. But the most gracious word of promise and invitation comes home to my soul with a heaven-sent solace for each rising sorrow. I am brought nearer to my Saviour. It is as though I had hitherto heard of Him (whom I trust I can say my soul loveth) by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Him. Eternity casts its solemn lights and shadows more distinctly over the relations past, present, and future of time. I range mentally over the past, the few happy, happy years in which, as companions in life's journey, with literally but one heart, one mind, one common current of sympathies, attachments, tastes, hopes, en- [86] joyments, (for sure never was there between two beings more entire congeniality;) and I thank Him who gave us each to the other; I thank Him for the refined and ceaseless happiness which her cherished companionship inspired; I thank Him for the beautiful example of child-like faith in my Redeemer, and of cheerful acquiescence in each allotment of providence which the intimacy of a oneness of existence between us afforded me day by day. She was more than a helper to me in each walk of life. She was, rather by silent, winning, and eloquent example, than by words, my faithful Mentor. And this was God's most merciful bestowment—not only crowning those years with the highest boons of earthly bliss, but promoting my soul's welfare for eternity. She was a mature Christian when my acquaintance with her commenced."

In a letter to a lady, in Shepherdstown—a connection of his wife, and a very dear friend—dated Feb. 27, 1855, the day of her death, he writes: "Dear, dear Jane is at the point of dissolution, entirely conscious of her situation. All is peace—all is peace. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. The serene composure of heaven irradiates her countenance." On the next day, Feb. 28: "Her departure took place, perfectly serene and tranquil, about ten o'clock last night. She was conscious to the latest breath, and passed away without a struggle. The last utterance of her lips was: 'Yes, a perfect confidence.'"

Upon the death of Mrs. Chisholm some of his [87] parishioners paid all the expenses incident to the funeral, and handed him the receipted bills. This delicate attention was responded to in the following letter:

"How shall I give expression, my beloved parishioners, acquaintances, and friends, to my sense of your unparalleled tenderness, assiduity, sympathy, and generosity towards me and mine, throughout the protracted stages of suffering by which my great calamity was preceded? And when, at length, all that a solicitude no less than brotherly and sisterly could suggest and devise, proved unavailing; and the tabernacle that had enshrined her spirit whom you loved so well lay prostrate and tenantless, then your generous cares were lavished upon those mortal remains to a degree that overpowered me! * * *

"I most fervently pray, and shall continue so to do whilst I have breath to pray, 'The Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead and with me!' 'The Lord give mercy unto your households, for ye have oft refreshed me.' 'The Lord grant unto you that ye may find mercy of the Lord IN THAT DAY.'"

Pestilence in Portsmouth and Norfolk—Journal of Events for the First Month.

We come now to the fearful scourge that came down upon the devoted cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk, in the summer and autumn of 1855.

We have lingered around the threshold of this topic—we dread to lift the pall—we are pained to renew the griefs of that awful visitation.

But it is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning. We all have to mourn, and we may not, all, feast and rejoice. Let us recall these days of darkness, then; not with any wish to open up old wounds, to revive forgotten sorrows, but to exhibit the utter helplessness of man, the fearful fragility of his mortal body, the impotency of youth, and health, and riches, and station, to avert[89] the arrow that flieth by day, the pestilence that walketh in darkness, the sickness that wasteth at noon-day; but to exhibit him, at the same fearful hour, rising above fear—looking beyond the grave—defying these arrows in the strength of a high and holy trust—and calmly fulfilling the noblest duties of humanity, amidst squalor, dying groans, mortal terrors, and the last offices to the pestilential corpse. This brightening up of God's undying image, in his fallen creature, comes from a light which shines through the sepulchre. It first was lit up, on that memorable resurrection morn, succeeding the last typical passover, in Joseph of Arimathea's "own new tomb;" it has ever since, through that open sepulchre, cast forth its heaven-derived radiance along a bright but narrow path. Blessed is the man that cometh to that Light.

We have no desire to follow in the track of Boccacio, or Defoe, or Pepys. We have no right to assume the office of historian of the Yellow Fever at Gosport, Portsmouth, and Norfolk, in the summer and autumn of 1855.

We were not eye-witnesses to the same, but Mr. Chisholm was. He never left the spot until he was carried to his grave, about the 11th of September. He was besides a voluntary sojourner [90] there. He was urged to fly, as thousands of his neighbors did. He approved of their doing so, in his benign and charitable estimate of others, while he positively, and upon reasons assigned, chose himself to remain. It is due to his memory that these reasons should be given—hence I publish his journal from the 27th day of July to the 11th of August, inclusive, and follow it up with his letters, subsequent to the day of his being seized himself. These details are needful; they may peradventure, in some cases renew sorrow, but they are never calculated to produce pain or shame. Certainly the reader will see that they were never so intended by the amiable narrator. If, however, there should be a sentence or an allusion calculated to do so, it has escaped the eye of the author, who has been compelled, by professional engagements, to prepare the narrative irregularly, out of continuity, and with many interruptions. He prays forgiveness and a kind construction of his motives, in limine. A History of the Plague will be sought for hereafter. Should not such authentic data as we can give be laid out for the future annalist of that dark and desolating pestilence?


Friday, July 27.—On my arrival in Portsmouth the afternoon of the day I parted with you all at the depot in Petersburg, I learned that Mrs. M. had just died at the Crawford House. At dead of night on Thursday night, two gentlemen went from Mr. McFadden's sick chamber in quest of me, and not finding me, called on Mr. Hume, who had very satisfactory interviews with the dying man. The funeral, which took place at sunset, within three hours of dissolution, was the only one which has been followed by a procession of carriages. Throughout his illness, by day and by night, Mr. M. received every attention from the young gentlemen of Portsmouth. The weather is intensely sultry; the moon-light nights lovely. You know that it is not a week since public attention was awakened to the existence of yellow fever in Gosport. This evening Mr. H. gave permission to the removal of Mr. and Mrs. G. to his farm-house.

Saturday, July 28.—It is reported that a corpse, uncoffined, was found this morning as late as 7 o'clock, in the Roman Catholic church-yard; the body of some member of that church who died over night, and whose friends were determined that it should be buried in consecrated ground. But this is against the town laws. In this state of things a portion of Portlock's Cemetery is appropriated to the future interment of Roman Catholics who may die of the disease. The poor Irish girl at Captain L.'s, who had lost one of her family, has now lost them all, and is alone in the world. Moreover, having gone over to Gosport in the midst of the infection, it is not deemed safe by the L___ s to receive her back into their family. But Captain L. is making great exertions to secure some place for a nightly shelter to this and another poor Irish girl similarly situated. Until ten o'clock at night they were roaming about the streets, as many of their countrymen and wo- [92] men have been doing for several nights. At last a temporary refuge is obtained for these girls in the Academy for two nights.

Sunday, July 20.—Very early in the morning it is discovered that several of the Irish from Gosport are hanging about the Academy inclosure. Soon a gathering of citizens from various quarters takes place, and the excitement occasioned by the apprehension that the Academy is to become a rendezvous for members from the seat of infection, become so great that the Irish all leave the spot, and the Academy becomes closed up again. However, these poor creatures received every humane attention, and good food and clean clothing come in to them in abundance from various families in this and the neighboring streets. Not having articles of food in the house myself, I handed Mrs. P. $1 to be appropriated to their relief. The pest-house, temporarily constructed out in the vicinity of Portlock Cemetery, and upon which many of our citizens have been working day and night for the past forty-eight hours, is completed and made ready for the reception of sufferers. But now, behold, unlooked-for difficulties arise and threaten to defeat the wise and benevolent plan of removal. In the first place, the wretched and squalid patients in Irish Row positively refused to abandon their pestilential abodes. These, in number between three hundred and four hundred, reeking in nameless abomination of filth and stench, and exhibiting in their conduct towards one another a hard-heartedness of which we would not have dared to believe human nature capable under such circumstances, reveling and fighting and quarrelling amongst the dying and over the dead—they refuse to stir. It became necessary shortly before service-time to send away for their priest, Mr. D., to come among them and use such authority for this end as his official relation gave him over them. This difficulty being adjusted, and their consent to go being obtained by mingled ecclesiastical promises and fulminations, now trials present them- [93] selves. Neither the vehicles nor hands to assist in lifting in the patients and driving them over to the new pest-house can be obtained on any consideration. Thus the day wears away, and I never saw a more disheartened band of men than our physicians.

Monday, July 30.—Applications having been renewedly made by the physicians in every direction, and steadily and flatly refused by the alarmed citizens, they finally, to-day, have to employ their own servants and carts. After numberless difficulties had been encountered and successively obviated, the removal of the great body of the patients from Irish Row, took place this morning. The creatures were actually unwilling to help one another—the well, the invalids—and the physicians and Mr. D. together, assisted most of them into the carts. A most melancholy spectacle is the removal, under the noon-day heat of an almost tropical sun. Nine carts were filled with sufferers, in some cases two in a cart, lying prostrate; in others, three or four sitting. Their agonized faces and their piteous groans awakened mingled horrors and compassion. Even after they had been there transferred, these, unfortunates became discontented and unruly, and in one instance, at least, actually escaped to town, hiding no one knows where. Between 11 o'clock and 1, I was engaged in going the rounds among my people in Newtown and Gosport. Found all perfectly well, though some were in the midst of pestilence and death. The R___s were on the borders of the ill-fated district. They were dejected and undecided what to do. Their beautiful floral garden, flaunting a gayety and glory of colors and forms which seem to mock the human misery around, had ceased to afford complacency to the enthusiastic horticulturist. Thence went over to S ___'s. In the same block, now abandoned by all but themselves, there had been, the previous week, disease and death. On the opposite side of the narrow street was the house tenanted by Mrs. K. and her family, and Mr. G., her son-in-law; the latter and Mrs. K___'s [95] two daughters very sick, (within forty-eight hours after, they all three died.) Mrs. S., so busy in her culinary preparations below stairs that she did not hear my knock for some time. Her doors and windows facing the sick houses, all closed. She tells me they can not remove; that they have taken every precaution in the use of disinfectants, etc., and that she trusts that God will preserve them in the midst of danger, or prepare them for His holy will, which contingency she seems desirous to meet in a Christian spirit. As I left the house, Mr. S. came home from the yard to dinner, well and cheerful. I begged them to apprise me in case they should be taken sick. To-day and yesterday have been dismal days in our community. The angel of death is, as it were, hovering in mid-air over our two towns, waiting the divine mandate, to deal around pestilence and death; for to-day the alarming discovery is made that seventeen cases have broken out in one vicinity on Water street, in Norfolk. I can not describe the appearance of the streets at this intelligence, or the dejected and panic-stricken appearance of the inhabitants. But as yet there is no evidence that the uneasiness of the public mind has exerted a disturbing influence upon business. One store only, Mr. M 's dry goods store has been closed, and thus far every case reported has been traced to the one locality in Gosport as its source. This morning I called upon Mrs. M., who is staying at Mr. W.'s.

Tuesday, July 31.—Early this morning three graves have been dug for those who had died in the night. The hands employed in digging became exhausted. To-day, about 2 P.M., a fine thunder-shower, after which the weather became much cooler, an agreeable contrast to the intense sultriness of the previous week. This morning the deputation of citizens who had been to Washington to solicit the use of the Naval Hospital, returned, announcing the successful result of their suit. The wife of Mr. P., who a few days ago had removed from the infected district to [95] King street, is sick, but convalescent. Manifestly the excitement is subsiding. At 5 P.M., called on Mrs. C., whom I found very well and cheerful. "Whilst conversing upon the great calamity of the day she evinced her characteristic tranquility and self-command as well as considerate allowance for the timidity of those who could not control their fears, as Mr. M., who had left town. It is characteristic of her to be thoughtful for others. In the course of conversation she remarked that she had allotted to-morrow (Wednesday) to making a quantity of that powerful disinfectant, thieves' vinegar, for the supply of several of her friends who had requested it, her own former supply being well-nigh exhausted. She expressed her intention of sending me some to use in case of being called to attend in sick rooms. She then proceeded to narrate to me the tradition in regard to the origin of the name of this preparation. I took leave just as the Weldon train was entering Crawford street, and we indulged in some playful comment on the extreme timidity manifested by some of the passengers. Took tea with Mr. R. at Mr. W.'s last night. Near midnight the captain of the Augusta in alarm left his wharf at N., and sailed away to Old Point.

Wednesday, August 1.—Very damp atmosphere, with frequent showers all day long. Mr. M., of Gosport, gunner, was carried over to the hospital, sick of the fever, (he did not survive his removal forty-eight hours.) At tidings of M___'s sickness, his neighbor, R., took the alarm, and made arrangements for removing his family to Baltimore, having been warned by his physician that if he spent another night in Gosport it would be at the risk of his life. The Baltimore papers of Saturday evening, had notified that henceforward no one from Gosport would be received on the boats of the daily line. R., to his amazement, learned this prohibition just as he was about to take the boat. He sat down and wept bitterly, asking if they would require him [96] and his to stay in Gosport and die. Then arousing to the conviction that no time must be lost, he went and procured a wagon to take himself and family to a house about three miles from town, whose occupant had offered to board him, or rent him apartments. But scarcely had they got seated in the house, when the family began to give signs of the utmost alarm. After remaining an hour or so, and entirely failing to quell their apprehensions, ho was obliged (the night had come on, and it was raining,) to look up some conveyance in the neighborhood for the removal of his family to town. With some difficulty he succeeded, and they reached town after 9 o'clock at night, and sought and found shelter from the elements, and a hospitable reception, with a family of connection on Court street. A few days afterwards they left for Philadelphia. In the, afternoon, funeral of old Gen. Hodges. P. M., called on Mr. and Mrs. S. At night, called on the L___s. This afternoon, H., a German, of neat personal habits, and steady, excellent character, died of yellow fever, and was buried. He resided back of Hugh street, between it and King street, in the vicinity of the F___s and G___s. Also, in the same vicinity, the police-officer is very sick, (he died in forty-eight hours.)

Thursday, August 2.—This is a morning of frowning skies and dreary prospects. Coffins are being ordered before the deaths of patients. This morning, Mr. S. received from the hospital an order for three coffins at once, and a request to have two more in readiness within a few hours, as they would be inevitably required. In several instances within the last few days, it has been found next to impossible to obtain persons to shroud the corpses, and lift them into the coffins. It is found equally impracticable to procure any to assist in removing the sick from their homes to the hospital. This morning the family of H., (the German,) who died yesterday, consisting of his wife and daughter, [97] sick with the fever, were carried from their house to the cart by the physician and his brother, and the priest. No other aid could be obtained, though the opposite pavement was crowded with curious spectators. Two little boys of the family yet remained at the now desolate home. The spectacle of these children sitting out on the pavement, after the removal of the family, was heart-touching. Mrs. H. and daughter lingered a few days, and died. There are daily new indications of the gradual shutting off of the various avenues of communication between this place and the rest of the country. On Tuesday, the decree of the Mayor of New York was received, announcing that the Jamestown and Roanoke would no longer come to Norfolk, but touch at Old Point for exchange of freight, passengers, etc., on her way to and from Richmond. Yesterday, Wednesday, the stage-coach running between Portsmouth and Elizabeth City, was arrested within ten miles of the latter place, and sent back with its load of passengers, the U. S. Mail alone being allowed to go to Elizabeth City. Now cases of fever are occurring in M ___s and B___'s family. It now becomes palpably plain that the district inclosed by High, Crawford, King, and Middle streets, is an infected district. There is sickness all through it, and in part of Middle and County streets adjacent. To-day, a man has been employed to convey the sick to the hospital. He has W___'s baggage-wagon, fitted up with bed and a canvas covering. He is driving like Jehu up and down the streets, smoking furiously, and, I am told, drinking inordinately. He has done a heavy day's work in this line. When at night-fall he arrived with his last load at the hospital, he complained of feeling excessively fatigued, and the physician jocosely remarked to him that he himself would be the next one brought thither. And sure enough, the next morning, Friday, he was brought in, and on the next Monday night, died. Called at Mrs. R___'s and [98] N___'s and Mrs. G___'s. Court street is alive this afternoon with fires of tar. Very cool and damp evening. The disease is manifestly alarmingly on the increase. Among others who have been taken to-day to the hospital, are S. and his wife and child, whom I saw well on Monday. Streets at night begin to have a dreary appearance, nearly all the stores being closed by dark. Families and individuals have been leaving town for several days past, but there are growing indications of a wide-spread, uncontrollable panic, and the ensuing days will probably witness a great exodus.

Friday, August 3.—By day-break every part of the town is astir. Hacks, carts, wheelbarrows, porters laden with trunks, valises, and boxes, and hastening as if for life, are seen in every street: whole families are seen in a body, threading their way with agitated countenances and hurried steps, each parent's arms laden with helpless children; and by sun-rise the depot wharf presents a scene of crowded human life and personal effects, such as I have never before seen. Many hundreds left this morning by the Richmond, and the other morning boats. The stream of migration which commenced this morning, continued all day long. At 8 a.m. the cars carry away their unwontedly large freight of human life. Throughout the day private conveyances are moving in every direction, and dray-loads of trunks and baggage. In the afternoon the Baltimore boat bears away its scores perhaps hundreds. It is estimated that two or three thousand in habitants have already gone. The day is bright, beautiful, and cool. In the course of the day Mr. A. G. died. A tragic tale has been the history of his family, for the past two weeks. His household consisted of himself and wife, his young son, and a married daughter with her husband, Mr. and Mrs. G. The latter had an infant only a fortnight old. They resided on Henry street, Gosport. The yellow fever broke out in Mrs. G___'s family [99] about the 20th. His son, and daughter, and son-in-law were taken sick. His sister, Mrs. J. D., of Southampton county, was residing with them. A cousin also, Mrs. J., came over from Portsmouth, on hearing of the indisposition of the family, to stay and minister among them. About Monday, the 23d, Mrs. G___'s son died. By Thursday, the 26th, Mr. and Mrs. G. were added to the victims. At this stage, Mrs. D. fled, alarmed, by the cars, to her residence in the country, and a few days after was seized with yellow fever; she was abandoned by every attendant and left to die alone. No one could be induced to enshroud her remains, or to put them into a coffin for decent interment. At length the corpse was hastily wrapped up in a blanket by the physician's servants and thus interred. Mrs. J., who had gone unsuspecting into danger, petitioned to be received again amongst the friends she had left; but it was not deemed prudent to permit her to return. On Saturday morning, July 28, the family, now reduced to three persons, were conveyed to the farm house, tendered to their occupancy by Mr. H., whereon Monday morning, 30th, Mrs. J. died. Mr. G. continued to linger in a dying condition, until to-day. This evening he died. But for the ceaseless, self-sacrificing and heroic attention of their kinsman, Mr. Holliday, who has been with them the chief part of each day and night, their sufferings would have been more deplorable than they were; for it was impossible to procure, for money or any other consideration, the requisite nursing and attendance. [Mrs. G., the last of the seven victims out of one house, was removed after her husband's death, on Saturday, to the hospital, where she expired on Monday, August 6. I saw her at the hospital on Saturday, but she was too ill to notice any one.]

Saturday, August 4.—Yesterday afternoon I called to take leave of Mrs. P., when Miss B. mentioned to me Mrs. C____'s in- [100] disposition, and spoke of the suffering she experienced in her head. I made some allusion to the singular effects produced upon the system by the homeopathic treatment. It seems that on Tuesday night, about 9 o'clock, (only three hours after my call,) Mrs. C., who had been sitting in the damp air for a considerable time, remarked that she felt a chilly sensation, and withdrew to substitute for her dress a thicker one. In the act of doing so, she had a decided chill, and immediately went to bed and sent for her physician. She continued indisposed, as she and the inmates of the house all thought, but slightly, until Friday night. Last night at half-past ten, after I had undressed and as I was about to extinguish my light, a step was heard at my door. It was Mr. K., announcing to me that Mrs. C. was very ill of yellow fever, and there was no hope of her recovery. I found her very calm—perfectly resigned to the will of God—placing her trust in the merits of her Saviour; she was suffering, occasionally vomiting. I prayed with her, and then returned home. About half-past one, I was again roused up to go and see her. She was probably aware of the nature of her disease, and had already intimated the day before to Miss B., that she had a presentiment of death. At this second visit she was constantly vomiting dark blood; but she was still calm, and expressed the hope that she would soon be with Christ in glory. I reminded her of the promise: "Leave with me thy fatherless children." The servants who constantly attended her, bear witness to the lovely and uniform submission to the Lord's will which characterized her every utterance. She seemed fearful of even entertaining a thought other than ''the will of the Lord be done." About an hour before her departure she remarked, whilst turning herself over in the bed: "I think I shall die now, in a short time;" and then immediately added, "But it is wrong for me to say so—I ought not to say so; when the Lord pleases, is the right time: I desire only that the Lord's holy will be done." [101] She desired her pious servant, Richard, to pray with and for her. At her instance, a lady was sent for who had indulged a groundless and wicked resentment towards her, and when she came, assured her that for herself she entertained no ill-feeling whatever, desired that if she had ever given occasion of offense to her, she would forgive it; and then she proceeded in the sweetest, most persuasive tone, to exhort her to be converted and become a happy Christian, and thus be in readiness for the final summons, come when and how it might. Similiar language she used to other family connections who called to see her. She lingered through Saturday, and expired on Sunday morning about three—just a year and twelve hours after her husband, a coincidence to which she herself adverted. Her interment took place at 2 P.M. on Sunday. The burial service was pronounced by me, at the grave, Mr. J. C., G. H., and one or two others being present. By sun-rise this morning the depot wharf was again crowded by an anxious multitude, several hundred in number, seeking safety in flight; and from that hour onward throughout the day, has there been a continued stream of egress from every possible or conceivable avenue. The tidings of Mrs. C___'s illness this morning spread perfect consternation far and wide, and determined hundreds who had not even entertained a serious purpose of the kind, upon leaving the town before set of sun. Throughout the day, new cases of the fever are reported on every street. Such a day of mortal panic and flight as to-day has been, I desire never to see again. Sunset.—The town would seem to be by this time nearly deserted. Whole streets, of the best located and built in town, are left without a white occupant, (Isai. 5: 9:) "Of a truth, many houses are desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant." As a friend observed to-day: "Houses and lots, and lands, are of no account now." What a comment are the incidents of to-day upon these [102] words in Job: "All that a man hath will he give for his life;" upon these words of our Saviour, "The life is more than meat, and the body than raiment." Oh! that amidst this fearful crisis, I could have witnessed some evidence of heed to this admonition of our Lord: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added thereto." There is a literal fulfillment in our midst, from house to house, of that fearful judgment denounced upon the disobedient Israelites of old: "The Lord hath given us a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind; and our lives hang in doubt before us; and we fear, day and night, and have none assurance of our lives. In the morning we say, Would God it were evening! and at evening we say, Would God it were morning; for the fear of our heart wherewith we fear, and for the sight of our eyes which we see." The Suffolk proclamation is received, interdicting either public entertainment or private hospitality to any citizens of Portsmouth, and threatening a penalty of $100 to any one who should dare come.

Sunday, August 5.—What a Sabbath stillness pervaded sea and land, streets and by-ways, as the sun rose upon the place. But in an hour or two, the car-bell was the signal of a new stampede of multitudes. Had but one service to-day, and scarce a dozen in attendance. Reports of the deaths of some, and the extreme illness of others, who had been sick only a day or two. Saw the S___s at the hospital. She is perfectly unconscious; has not been heard to speak since Saturday morning; has had the black vomit most violently; great apparent suffering; every breath accompanied by a groan, which I could hear at some distance. She expired about three hours after I saw her. He is quite calm, but his case is doubtful. Addressed him a few words of advice, begging him to pray. Saw him frequently afterwards.

Monday, August 6.—The day dawns in clouds and gloom. [103] Very cool, as last week, with repeated showers. The condition of the atmosphere is believed to favor the rapid dissemination of the disease. New cases reported hourly, Mr. S., the cabinet-maker and undertaker, finding it utterly impossible to meet the demand for coffins, when some ten or twelve are required daily, has been obliged, this morning, to make application to the commander of the Navy-Yard for aid. He received fifty-two coffins, four of which were in immediate requisition. It is observed that the streets through which the "sick cart" holds its dreary way, to and fro, are now specially smitten by the fever. John P. died this morning. Others of his father's family are quite sick of the fever. This young man entertained a high regard for old Mr. H., who lived next door, and whose death took place last Wednesday. He staid almost constantly with Mr. H., attending and nursing him day and night. He continued his visits and attentions even after the appearance of black vomit convinced him of Mr. H 's disease. In a day or two he was taken, and yesterday and last night the hearts of his friends were gladdened by the evidences of convalescence—a fine night's rest, all tranquil and promising; and then of a sudden, towards morning, a little uneasiness supervened, and then, in a few minutes, the appearance of the dreaded black vomit conveyed the astounding announcement that all was over. And my own observation is, that generally, yellow-fever patients in the collapsed stage look comparatively well, only a little languid, even when all hope has been surrendered, and they are within a few hours of dissolution. It is announced, to-day, that the last regular trip will be made to-day by the Weldon train. In future the train will stop at Suffolk as its terminus, and may send on a small car with the daily mail to this place. The Baltimore boat will enter the harbor to-morrow morning for the last time. Every person leaving Portsmouth by public conveyance in any .direction, for the future, must present a written pass or per- [104] mit, certifying that he is in good health, and signed by the President of the Sanitary Committee. No bundle is allowed to passengers, only a trunk, and even when the condition imposed by these restrictions are strictly complied with, they find it difficult to escape.

This evening we all remove out to the Poor House; a vast relief; for the heart, almost sick with the dire incidents of daily town life, is ready to sigh:

"Oh! for a lodge in some vast wilderness."

Tuesday, August 7—Wednesday, 8—Thursday, 9.—I remark the adherence to truth and nature with which famine is coupled, in the deprecations of the Litany, with plague and pestilence, as an attendant calamity. Great fears are entertained lest there, may be actual suffering, from failure of the necessaries of life, between the present time and the reopening of the now-closed stores, which can not take place under two months hence. Throughout the earlier part of this week, not a quart of meal was to be obtained in town. Since then Mr. M. has obtained some forty bushels by a roundabout course, from Suffolk. His store, the only grocery except B___'s now daily open on High street, opens about 9 A. M. and closes at 4 P. M., (the hours observed on the Pontine Marshes.) The only other stores open throughout our main business street are the dispensaries, whose doors are beset by an anxious throng in quest of medicines; and the undertaker's, when those who have time and inclination call in order to know the number of deaths reported, coffins ordered, and interments in progress. There are no sounds, either of mirth or of business, in the main avenues; no groups of grave men on the pavement; no bands of frolicsome children in the highways or byways; no social gatherings; no hearty salutations and accostings when men meet, for every one seems to be dubious about his approaching neighbor; no bridals; no [105] baptisms; not even "dirges dire and sad funereal array," at the constantly-occurring burials. The ominous "sick wagon," with its tall white canopy, dashes up and down the empty streets; and the black hearse, bearing its coffined burden, (or burdens, for sometimes there are more than one carried out at a time,) rattles by one with an indecent and revolting haste, not one emblem of sorrow, or accompaniment of human sympathy, relieving its sinister effect. On Wednesday, August 8, there were eleven burials—not funerals—for in these woful days man receives an interment but little better than the burial of a dog. The daily average of deaths, from the beginning of this month, is about eight. When the deaths occur in the daytime, the interments take place between one and three hours after dissolution. Amongst the distressful accompaniments of our calamity is the almost callous indifference manifested by the bereaved after the first day or two. Those who have lost their dearest friends within a week past, are in several instances observed to be walking about, and conversing and smiling as if nothing had happened. Much of this lack of sensibility, however, is assumed through "dire necessity;" some of the afflicted, anxious to effect then escape from the place, actually assumed the air of cheerfulness, and put away mourning habiliments, as travelers, lest some keenly scrutinizing glance might read their recent history, and divine the place and occasion of their departure, and the sad tale of their present circumstances; some ominous wink or finger-end might seem to say: "That person was also one of them—his troubled appearance and faltering speech bewrayeth him." And thus the wo-worn fugitives forfeit every rite of public entertainment or private hospitality. On Tuesday 7, visited Mrs. Y. Her daughter is the Mrs. F. who moved from Gosport to King street, near the market, about two weeks ago, to escape disease, and was immediately seized with the pestilence, and is supposed to have infected that district. [106] Last Saturday they again moved from King street to Washington street, where I found them. Mrs. Y. is past recovery, having the black vomit. But she is conscious, although so deaf in consequence of the influence of quinine, that I am obliged, in conversation and in prayer, to raise my voice to the loudest tones. Repeated my call on Wednesday, and on Thursday at 6-1/2 P. M., when one of those scenes of unmitigated distress presented itself, such as can only take place during the reign of pestilence. Mrs. Y. had just died in agony indescribable, and her daughter was alone in the house (save a little girl about ten years of age) to close her parent's eyes, and to render the last offices to her corpse in preparation for the burial. She, Mrs. F., was sitting, holding in her arms her only child, three years old—yesterday, well; now, in a dying condition. The floor around was covered with black vomit, which the child had just thrown up. Its little dress was likewise smeared with vomit and blood from the nostrils. Meantime the sad tidings had just reached Mrs. F. that her husband at the hospital was in a most unpromising condition. Thus, in one short hour, the relations of mother, wife, and daughter, which she had previously sustained, amid circumstances of unruffled happiness, were dissolving before her eyes. And she who, as she then observed, had never before known a trouble or affliction, was about to be left alone and desolate in the world. What a night of horror was before her. Alone with her mother's corpse and her dying child, and every watch of the night ringing as it were the knell of her dying husband. Ah! it was a difficult work to apply the consolations of our holy religion to one overtaken by such a storm of calamities. The actual history of the past eight or ten days, and the present condition of our afflicted town, have realized more than the apprehensions which the most timid or despondent could have ventured to forecast. It is awful! Not only is all communication by public lines, either by land or by [107] water, utterly cut off, or so fettered and obstructed as to amount to nearly the same thing, but all approach of any one from Portsmouth to any settlement or village in the vicinity is absolutely interdicted. At Old Point, fugitives from our town are met by the point of the bayonet And I very much fear many will be the cases of suffering of our poor inhabitants, fleeing from their homes for their own lives and the lives of their families, and refused a reception in the places whither they flee. Already have several such fugitives died, and died without one of the few solaces they would have enjoyed in sickness in their own plague-smitten town. The instance has been reported to me of a Mrs. ___ who, with her mother, fled to the premises of a near relation some seven or eight miles from town; was there seized with yellow fever; was forsaken by every friend and neighbor; in her extremity desired to have Christian ministration or at least to hear hymns sung, but asked in vain, and at last sung herself till her utterance and breath failed. It was with the utmost difficulty that a rude cart could be procured to carry her body to the burial. And it was drawn by a steer. At Hampton the privilege of interment in the church-yard was denied in the case of a young lady, an only child, from Portsmouth, who had sickened and died a mile from Hampton. All her family connection for generations were interred in the church-yard. Her father, the same day returning to Portsmouth, was not permitted to pass through Hampton, on his way to the steamboat which stopped there for passengers.

Further daily entries in this form are not found, but the history of the progress of the epidemic will appear fully in the letters written almost every day, which will be given in the following chapters.

The Pestilence—Letters to Various Persons during the subsequent Days of his
Life—To his Son William, the Author, and Others.

To his Little Son.

"My Dear Little Willy: It is nearly time for your papa to be expecting a letter from you through the post-office. I think of you constantly. Here I am, sitting in my study-chair, the sun as hot as fire. The only cool-looking thing that I see is your little arbor, which is just in front of my open door. It is grown so thick now that you could hardly creep in underneath it. And your marigolds are blooming beautifully by the side of it. I would be happy to see you here by my side, doing your little work at writing or reading; or else in the garden watching your arbor; but I know that you are much happier where you are, under the fine, large, shady locust-trees of your uncle's lawn, and frisking and sporting about with your dear, kind little cousins. Now don't forget to be always a good, gentle, sweet little boy. Sometimes you do forget at home, and whenever you do it makes your papa sorry. But it would indeed distress your papa if you should not behave well in every particular while you are at Aunt S___'s. Be, or try to be a Christian little boy, in all your ways, in all your words. Be attentive, and don't grow tired whilst Aunt I. is reading to you, or hearing you read. Mind every word your Aunt M. says to you, and don't be in too great a hurry to eat [109] when you hear of food. I love to see little boys attentive to others, and not thinking only what they shall eat; but looking round to see if others are helped, and trying to make others comfortable. Remember it is a greedy boy that is anxious to stuff his own mouth, and does not care for others. Tell dear little Johnny that papa missed him this morning in the bed. He had nobody to speak to when he woke up in the morning. Even the mosquitoes seem to have gone away. There was not one in my chamber last night. Now, my dear child, good by.
"Your loving father, J. C."

To Miss Mary Page, in Cumberland County, Va.

"Portsmouth, Monday Morning, Aug. 6, 1855.
"My Dear Mary: * * And now I have one request to make of you. Do not deny it me. It is that you will maintain the utmost cheerfulness and composure for Sally's and her family's sake. Do not add to her burdens of care and anxiety by the manifestation of despondency or undue solicitude about the absent. I know you will not. Our heavenly Father has thus far mercifully preserved me from all harm, and His protecting power is as remarkably manifested here as in any other place. I never have so realized the truth, 'His mercies are new every morning.' Oh! that we might always and everywhere be impressed from hour to hour that in Him we live, and move, and have our being, and that our daily preservation is a daily miracle of His power and benevolence towards us. * * To-day (Wednesday) was publicly observed as a day of humiliation and prayer. The Christian community, generally, assembled together in one church, (the Methodist,) and we had a profitable time. Kiss my dear children for me. Tell them to be good boys. Tell Johnny [110] his papa says he must try to show himself a good boy by trying to take the medicine well."

To his Sister-in-Law.

"Norfolk County, near Portsmouth, Aug. 10, 1855.
"My Dear J.: By the goodness of our Heavenly Father we are all permitted to reassemble around the household altar, hearth, and board, another morning, loaded with benefits. It is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness. * * *

"It is well, perhaps, that you should understand that no part of the town has enjoyed exemption from the visitations of the fell scourge, except North street and the north end of Court street. The community began to open their eyes to this unwelcome discovery, on Thursday and Friday of last week, the 2d and 3d instant. They then, most discreetly and wisely, as it now appears, seemed to come simultaneously to the conclusion that the only guarantee of safety was flight. Accordingly the exodus, which had already commenced, became from sunrise on Friday, the most perfect stampede you ever heard of. People who one hour solemnly protested that they had no apprehension of the disease and no intention of courting safety by flight, were seen in the next hour fleeing as for their lives, with a few hastily-collected articles, going, they knew not whither. Steamboats were crammed to their utmost capacity, with freights of human life and human baggage. Passenger-cars on the railroad were redoubled in number, and almost stuffed to bursting, and every individual or family thus going were obliged to provide themselves with a certificate of health from the chairman of the [111] Sanitary Committee. The climax of this migration was probably on Saturday, a day which I am confident I could never forget as long as I retain the remembrance of any thing; and this was all well and wise, better both for those that went and those that staid, for this epidemic is nursed into vitality by close and crowded aggregations of human beings. One or two cases occurring in one house make that house and its precincts an infected district—a centre of malign influences for the whole vicinage. The clearing of a street or square of course leaves the disease no point on which to alight, no material on which to feed. Almost every street in the chief and most central part of the town is thus vacated. * * * The only grocery store open on High street is U. M___'s, and his hours are from 9 A. M., to 4 P.M. Perhaps B___'s is also open. Other stores of every description, except dispensaries, are closed. Actually, one danger to be apprehended in the work of pestilence is famine. Several of the more provident families who have remained, as Mr. H___'s, for example, and Mr. I., have laid in an ample store of provisions. There is no more ready handmaid to the disease than hunger. It is said to be exceedingly important as a preventive that the stomach be well filled, and, I need not add, that whoever are in Mrs. H___'s hands are fed up to the very capacity of their systems. * * * We the inmates of W., enjoy thus far uninterrupted health. It is God's bestowment from day to day. We feel it to be so as we never before have realized. It is blessed to feel gratefully that

'New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove!
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life, and power, and thought'

Oh! why do we not always and everywhere feel that the continuance of life and its blessings is one continuous miracle of a wisdom, love, and power no less than infinite?

[112] "You doubtless recollect that to-day is, in my own personal calendar, an anniversary of most touching interest. Each scene and incident of that bright festal day which united my destinies and hers whom now we deplore, in that hallowed tender bond which I fondly dreamed that only a far, remote old age would sunder—each scene passes before my sad spirit, as its appropriate hour is struck. The very glow of the clear, cloudless summer sky is the same; the gentle, grateful breeze is the same; and the rural quiet of this sequestered spot, hemmed in by woods and gardens, heightens the illusion. 'But the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord!' "What! shall I receive good at the hand of the Lord and shall I not receive evil? It is only when 'need be' that we are in heaviness through tribulation.

"With regard to returning hither. I may as well tell you, if you have not already surmised as much, that no white man, woman, or child can return to Portsmouth until after several severe frosts have occurred, under peril of death."

"Portsmouth, Monday, August 13, 1855.
"My Beloved Sister: * * * I can scarcely describe to you my emotions of solicitude about my poor sick child, and of gratitude to you for your tender assiduity and devotion to his care. The Lord recompense you abundantly for it! I can plainly perceive, by the tenor of all the letters thus far received, that so far from improving, his health is retrograding. You can imagine the conflict in my mind. There are (or will be after this) but two Protestant ministers here to administer such consolation, and to speak such words in season to the suffering or the afflicted as emergency may require. And even if I felt at liberty to leave my post just at this juncture, I very much question [113] whether I should be as safe as in remaining. Some of our unfortunate Portsmouth people who have fled, have been seized with the fever elsewhere, and of course, without a chance of escape from death, for the proper treatment of the disease is not understood away from the sea-board. On the other hand, whoever is taken sick here is removed without loss of time to the spacious and airy hospital and there are instantly put under the energetic management of the government physicians, who are familiar with their work from long and varied practice in this department. We all continue in perfect health. I repeat, that I never had a finer appetite in my life. * * * Yesterday, I had service in the morning in our church, two or three persons only being present. In the afternoon, by special request, I officiated in the N. S. Presbyterian Church, in Middle street, Mr. H. having been sick and not yet strong enough to resume his duties. Mr. T. will be obliged to withdraw to the upper country early this week, on account of the hopelessly feeble state of Mrs. T___'s health. Mr. W., Mr. B., and Mr. W., left last week. Mr. H., I believe, stays in the country, about four miles from town; so that Mr. E., the chaplain, and myself, constitute at present the only available force."

The next letter is "beautifully written, in printed characters—large and black—upon a sheet of note-paper:

"Portsmouth, Tuesday, August 14, 1855.
"'Willie:' My dear little fellow, what would I not give for a chance to see you and your poor little sick brother; but I feel it is my duty to stay here as long as the sickness continues, if possible. It is pleasant to have an opportunity of saying something to comfort the poor suffering families. One family that I [114] was called to see was in a sad case. The lady, Mrs. F., had just recovered from yellow fever, enough to admit of her being moved, and this was the second removal of the family within a week. Her husband was taken sick, and carried away in the sick-cart to the hospital. The same day her husband was taken, her mother was taken sick, but did not go to the hospital. And she sent by Dr. M., to ask me to come and say something to comfort her and prepare her to die. I used to go every day to see her, and talk to her about Jesus. The third day, when I opened the door, there was great crying, for the old lady had just died, and her daughter, Mrs. F., was left alone to close her eyes and prepare her body for burying. Just before her mother died, her little child, three years old, was taken very sick, and the black vomit began to come out of its mouth, and blood out of its nostrils. Just then poor Mrs. F. received news from the hospital that her husband was probably dying. Oh! it was enough to melt one's heart to see that poor woman. Night was coming on, and she would have to spend the hours of darkness all alone, with her dear mother's corpse and her only, dying child. Nobody offers to stay in houses where there is any body sick of yellow fever, particularly at night; for they say that night, between sunset and sunrise, is the time when people take the sickness. And at the hospital there is the greatest number of little boys and girls, and babies, whose fathers and mothers are sick, or perhaps have died, leaving no money to pay for taking care of them, and no kind friends to carry them away and treat them like their own children. Don't you pity these poor little orphan children, that have no friend even to give them a piece of bread? And don't you thank our Heavenly Father that he is so kind to you and Johnny?

"My dear little boy, love God with all your might, for Jesus Christ's sake, and try to grow wiser and better every day. Tell [115] Johnny that papa is going to come up and see him and all the people, and 'Hatton' is coming with him, as soon as we can.
"Your affectionate father."

The next of his letters is addressed to the writer, in answer to one which was addressed to him, as soon as his friend knew that he was at his post and there resolved to stand:

"Portsmouth, August 16, 1855.
"My Beloved Friend and Brother: Like a trumpet-blast does your letter stir and nerve my spirit! Yes; I am here, 'a debtor to mercy alone.' Miserably unprofitable as I feel myself to be as an ambassador for God, at this solemn season of the lighting down, of His arm, my purpose to abide by my post as long as Pestilence holds its dread sway amongst us, has not once faltered. And I am able to testify to the praise of the Father of Mercies, that even in this atmosphere of death, my health is thus far perfect. Not an ache, or a pain, or a sensation of languor, or the least diminution of appetite, have I experienced. Oh! if my heart is not specially and lastingly impressed by this chapter of the 'goodness and severity of God,' which has been opened to my contemplation for the past month, I shall have reason to tremble at its insensibility.

"By far the larger part of my own, as well as of all the other congregations of this town, sought safety in flight immediately on perceiving that the pestilence, from being the infection of a filthy suburb mainly crowded with foreigners, had become an epidemic, sparing neither locality, nor station, nor wealth, nor worth. The exodus by flight and in a state of mortal trepidation, of some seven or eight thousand persons, in the brief compass of two or three days, is a spectacle to leave its deep imprint [116] and its singular mental associations upon the heart, until every memory of the past is obliterated.

"I have lost but two members of my congregation; two at opposite ends of the social scale; but praised be Sovereign grace, as I believe, both 'one in Christ Jesus.'

"The one was a female in the obscure walks of life, living within the infected district of Gosport. I called upon this family to ascertain that it was 'well with them'—if not in body and estate, at least in spirit—one day when the house in the same street, immediately opposite, contained three dying victims of the fell scourge; and except this where my parishioner lived, there was not a house in which there was not one dying or dead. I found my parishioner, her husband, and only child, well and cheerful. She was manifestly placing her trust, in that hour of fearful suspense, in her covenant God. In two or three days they were all simultaneously taken with the fever, and carried to the hospital. On going thither to see them, I found her speechless, sightless, and unconscious, in the terrific conflict with death, which terminated in an hour or two. Her husband, unprepared to die, has been spared, I trust, to make his preparation.

"The other communicant was a widow lady in easy circumstances, whose fine native impulses and qualities were exalted and refined by grace; and who was in activity, benevolence, and moral influence, a mother in Israel; and whose residence far remote from the original seat of disease, seemed to guarantee to her exemption from any ground of apprehension. 'In the midst of life' she was found in the article of death. But oh! the blessed serenity with which she proclaimed to us, that 'Christ, in her, was the hope of glory.'

"It has been my sad privilege to see other victims of this pestilence, and to present to them the promises and assurances of the everlasting Gospel in their trying hour.

[117] "My family are in Cumberland, at my brother-in-law's, whither they went before the commencement of the reign of alarm here. My poor little boy Johnny is, and has been for six months, in a condition of general debility and ill-health, which excites great uneasiness in my mind. It has been intimated to me that I may never again see him. I need not say that my mind is at times a scene of conflict. I try to lay my solicitude at the feet of Him who careth for us! The latest accounts of him are more encouraging. Will you not write again, and soon, my dear brother? If you knew what a cordial to my spirit, what a stimulant, your epistle has been, I am sure you would. My best love to Mrs. C.
"Yours, J. C."

Portsmouth, Friday, August 17, 1855.
"My Dear M___" and J___, (his sisters-in-law in Cumberland:) Many thanks to you for your daily bulletins in regard to Johnny's condition—for the relief they administer to my mind. * * I need not enlarge upon the present state of disease. I have prepared a journal of my daily observation and impressions for the fortnight following the day of your departure from Portsmouth, and my first impulse was to send it; but it occurs to me that you have heard enough of our woes, for the present at least; I may offer it to your perusal at some future time. Mrs. H. and her children must have a charmed life. They are, and have been for a fortnight, the sole inhabitants in the square which was so fatally desolated at that time that every one fled thence; and she and her children have only had one or two slight and transient attacks of indisposition. "We all tried to prevail on her to go with her family to the hospital, and the vehicle was actually in waiting at her door for two hours, but she positively refused to go. There must be much suffering among indigent white fami- [118] lies, but perhaps more among the free blacks, and some servants who have been left, by their owners or those families to whom they were hired, without any provision for their sustenance when well or comfort when sick. This morning I went to see Mrs. G., who lost her eldest son by the fever yesterday. I found her sitting in the midst of the apartment, surrounded by her prostrate and clinging children, her commanding figure in an attitude of forlorn grief, with upturned, streaming eyes, and clasped hands, that would have rivaled the poet's and artist's conception of Niobe. Poor, unhappy woman! I tried, but I fear unsuccessfully, to soothe her mental agitation; for she expressed the dreadful conviction that her son, though a faithful and dutiful child to her, had never entertained a thought of God or of eternity, and thus had been, 'gathered with sinners;' and she was inconsolable at the thought of her own unfaithfulness to his spiritual welfare. She wished to know of me, if I thought there was any scriptural warrant for her interceding for the peace of his soul! I trust God will give her penitence, and the peace of believing, which she seems to desire.
Yours, James."

"Portsmouth, August 22, 1855.
"The state of things in town is gloomy in the extreme. Yesterday there were seventeen funerals, and to-day it seems likely that there will be as many again. There are scenes in every street, I might almost say in every inhabited house, which it would make your heart ache to behold, or even to hear. Yesterday afternoon I observed that one or two persons were gathered, apparently in curiosity, around the door of the small house, directly at the corner of G___ and M___ streets. I went thither, and saw within, two gentlemen who had been drawn in, as I was, [119] by desire to know what was the matter, Mr. H. and Mr. B. On a pallet on the floor was a young man, not more than 21, just breathing his last, his blood-shot eyes fixed, and himself insensible; the bedding and floor covered with the fearful black vomit, and over him his widowed mother, with an expression at once of indescribable affection for this dying youth, and at the same time so woe-begone and imploring, as if she hoped that even yet we might have it in our power to avert in some way the terrible calamity. It melted our hearts. We all could do nothing but weep with her. He was the only survivor of eight children. And he was every thing to her—not only her support but her companion; one of the most devoted and affectionate boys that ever lived. It seemed to be his life's great purpose and pleasure to make her happy. As I left the house he breathed his last. Having left my umbrella behind, I returned in a few minutes, and there was the poor mother, bewildered with grief, vainly endeavoring to draw hose on the feet of her son, and to shroud him. She could get no human being, white or black, to assist her in this last sad duty. Mr. G. H. subsequently came in, and in that true spirit of heroism, utterly heedless of all consequences, which has characterized him throughout this season, he shrouded the poor young man himself. All alone as this mother and son were, and preoccupied as every one is with their own troubles, no one knew that he was ill till a short time before his death."

To his Sister-in-Law.

"Thursday, 2 p.m.
"My Dear J.: I have just returned from going my daily rounds amongst the sick—a melancholy errand, and not without [120] its satisfactions. In some instances, at least, the soul is gladdened by the manifestation of a power of faith which meets the King of Terrors in his own dark domain, bids him defiance, and more than conquers him, through Him who loved us. Another heart-cheering letter from my friend C. Oh! how much solace it affords me, day after day, to hear from Johnny; to read every treasured-up word of his; to be permitted to watch, as it were, in sympathy, though not in presence, beside his sick couch. Can I tell you all what I feel toward you for the devoted, self-sacrificing part you are taking in daily and nightly nursing him? The Lord recompense you all, is the wish and prayer of
"Your attached brother,
"J. Chisholm."

This last letter was written on a sheet containing a longer and detailed report from Mr. Chisholm's friend, host, and parishioner, E. A. Hatton, who wrote almost daily to the anxious family in Cumberland county.

To the Author.

"Portsmouth, August 25,1855.
"My Beloved Friend: Again I am able to report myself, in rejoinder to your last most acceptable letter, as a pensioner upon the bounties of an indulgent and forbearing Creator. The week now drawing to a close has surpassed, in features of woful interest, either preceding week. On Tuesday there were seventeen interments; on Wednesday, nineteen; yesterday, twenty-one. Occasionally a day occurs in which the destroying angel seems to be passing, and suspending his terrible work. Since sunset [121] of yesterday, I suppose some fifteen must have been buried. Often has the faithful wife, after days and nights of incredible endurance and exertion, been obliged to lave and shroud, unassisted, the corpse of her husband; the daughter or son, a parent; the father or mother, a beloved child; the husband, his wife. And not only this, but the very nearest of kin are called on by the emergency of the case to deposit the loved and deplored one's mortal remains in the coffin, and perhaps to assist to bear it forth, over the threshold of home, to the hearse. By these and similar occurrences the sensibilities of the most tender-hearted are in a measure blunted; and we learn to take our part, with calm apathy, in scenes, the report of which, in other times, would have 'harrowed up our souls.' But even amid all these appalling incidents—incidents which seem almost involuntarily to force the cry, 'Hath the Lord forgotten to be gracious? and are His mercies clean gone for ever?' God mercifully vouchsafes glorious manifestations of His presence amongst us, as a faithful Creator and most merciful Saviour. Amid the involuntary groans of vanquished nature in the sufferer, and the wails of heart-stricken friends around, the calm, holy response of triumphant Faith is oft-times heard, proclaiming that the last foe has been conquered, and more than conquered, through Him who loved us, and that already 'Heaven lifts its everlasting portals high.' What was my gratification to meet yesterday, in my daily visit to the hospital, my old friend R. H. He has been ordered hither for the present. He looks in good condition, and we had a most pleasant chat. In hope of being able to resume this correspondence at an early date, and desiring you to continue to write to me whenever you have a period of leisure, I remain devotedly yours,
"J. Chisholm."

The Pestilence—Letter to Mrs. Holliday—His Brothers, Sisters, and Others.

To exhibit the full detail of all the labors and services rendered to all around by this devoted man would require that we should present scores of letters lying around us. His very correspondence from the latter part of July up to the day of his seizure by the disease, on the 7th of September, must have averaged some six or eight letters per diem. He was thoughtful of others besides those of his own household. For evidence of this see the annexed letter:

"Portsmouth, Monday, Aug. 20.
"My Dear Mrs. Holliday: Gustavus desires me to drop a line informing you of the causes of his failure to visit you as he had proposed to-day. He is perfectly well.

The case is this: He spent last night with B. C, who is doing well, and this morning on his return from the hospital, he discovered, calling at 'Waverley,' that Dr. Maupin had been taken sick. He at once determined that it would be impracticable for him to leave town to-day."

[123] He has just breakfasted with us at Mrs. Hatton's table. I repeat that he is in perfect health, and moreover he begs you to be assured that in the event (an event of which there is no present likelihood) of his being taken sick, you shall be apprised of the fact forthwith. With fervent wishes for your happiness, both temporal and spiritual, and with much esteem, I remain yours,
"James Chisholm."

In departing from our plan of giving the initials of the names used by Mr. C. in private letters never intended to be seen by the public eye, in this present instance, we know that we shall be pardoned by every one who lived through the pestilence in Portsmouth, unless it be by the brave young gentleman whose mother is here written to, to alleviate her apprehensions about the absence of her son. The author has not the honor of his acquaintance, and can not be suspected of any partiality, when he alludes especially to this unmarried young barrister, who had no other tie to bind him to Portsmouth, to the sick-bed, the hospital wards, the dying scenes, the offices towards the dead of the most repulsive nature, than a pure, disinterested humanity. If there be any one who will not subscribe to the sufficiency of this reason for this apparent impropriety in introducing his name, besides himself, let that person peruse the fol- [124] lowing extract of a letter from Mr. C. to his brother, in Saco, Maine, dated fifteen days afterwards:

"Portsmouth, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1855. "* * * The few citizens who remain on their feet to constitute the administrative council of the town are at their wits' end Noble men! Their number has been sadly decimated. Several of the best have fallen; but God still mercifully preserves some and they are men who merit more than the hero's amaranth. First and foremost among them from the very first, from the 20th of July onward, has been and is your friend Gustavus Holliday. You would scarcely credit what that more than hero has done, has suffered, has endured, has sacrificed."

If my reference to this gentleman should be thought invidious, when there are so many others whose names will live in the annals of this dark day as well as in many hearts, I plead my apology in this voice from the dead:

To George W. Grice, absent at the Springs.

Portsmouth, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 1855.
"My Dear Friend: Your letter is received by me this evening, and its kind sentiments have both cheered and deeply affected me. I can sincerely say that to none of my absent friends have my thoughts more frequently recurred than to yourself and 'M.,' and I had more than once resolved to ascertain your whereabouts, and to hold a chat with you on paper. How soul-subduing and yet soothing and elevating, the contemplation of that glorious temple not made with hands, with whose infinite diversity [125] of sublimities and beauties your senses are daily feasted. Nature's grand and hallowed fane engages and procures to the devout beholder a continual Sabbath. The glorious harmonies of that handiwork, unmarred by the touch of human art, constitute a real presence of the Infinite Architect; and the full choir and antiphon of the interminable forest constitute the gushing melodies of Nature's ceaseless hymn. For the moment, when the mind suddenly turns with the quickness of thought from those exquisite pictures of beauty and of hallowed repose, to the awful desolations of a city smitten by plague, where a malign agency seems to have disjointed the very frame-work of society, and to have defeated every providential arrangement indicative of the wisdom and benevolence of God, it is prone involuntarily to exclaim: 'Are these His doings?' Yet it is even so. God's attributes, not only of infinite holiness and power, but likewise of wisdom and boundless benevolence, are no less manifested in the woful history of each dreary day here than beneath the silent and lovely shadows of those perpetual hills. The havoc wrought by sorrow and anguish, disease and death, are the sad entail of human transgression against (not the natural or physical, but) the moral and spiritual law of our Creator. But oh! unspeakable benevolence in Him to overrule all these dreadful consequences of sin to the furtherance of the everlasting bliss of all that believe through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. In all our calamity God is here in our midst. We have seen, we have felt His merciful influence allaying the sufferings His hand unwillingly inflicts, almost neutralizing the death-agonies of the victim of pestilence, filling the sinking soul with inexpressible calmness, peace, and joy, opening wide heaven's everlasting portals to their weary vision, and opening their parched lips to utter as a final note of praise: Jesus is precious to me! 0 Death! where is thy sting? Thanks be to God who giveth me the victory through our Lord [126] Jesus Christ! Jesus can make a dying-bed feel soft as downy pillows are! The last victim of pestilence, a few hours since, was our heroic Dr. Trugien, worthy of more than a hero's laurels, and not less than a martyr's crown. His life was a sacrifice to his benevolent professional zeal. Day and night, like his noble compeers, the other members of our medical staff, Schoolfield and Maupin, he has breathed an atmosphere of pestilence, and been conversant with scenes too thrilling and harrowing to be contemplated. Only a few days ago, he remarked to me, that the scenes of wo, not merely from the effects of the disease, but from the suffering and want incident to the present unparalleled calamity! which in his daily rounds he was called to witness, would hardly be credited, and could not be witnessed with any degree of composure. Last Friday morning, whilst at the hospital, Dr. T. entered arm in arm with Dr. Schoolfield, to all appearance as well as usual. We engaged in a few minutes' conversation whilst standing in the passage, and he described to me in glowing and affecting terms the scene from which he had but a few hours before returned—the death-bed of Emma Boutwell. Turning to God on her bed of sickness, she found joy and peace in believing, and the Doctor was doubtless divinely vouchsafed this spectacle of glad triumph over death before being himself called to traverse the dark valley. But at that moment, scarce five days ago, who anticipated this result? He remarked to me further, that he felt slightly indisposed. He was fatigued, and had yielded to the solicitation of friends in seeking the quiet retreat of the hospital for a few days before returning again to active duty. On Sunday night the fever suddenly took an unfavorable tendency with him; symptoms of apoplexy, from the fatal effects of which it was not in the most accomplished medical skill to save him. The event has cast a deeper shade of gloom over every heart. But he was a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ. He was, [127] though young and in the midst of life, prepared to die! Death had no terrors for him whose child-like faith looked implicitly to Death's great Vanquisher. Oh! what contemporary of his will take his place in our community, as an active, zealous, consistent follower of the Redeemer? May I not indulge the hope—I will at least put up the earnest prayer—that it may be yourself, my dear and valued friend, upon whom the mantle of such Christian character as his may fall. The holy cause of religion can not spare, in this place, such an advocate, at such an age, for influence and active usefulness. God give you grace to resolve henceforth to be His and His alone! You have heard that some of our shining marks are stricken down. Captain George Chambers, Lewis W. Boutwell, who can fill their places? Nash Tatem, Patrick Williams, James Ed. Wilson, Wilson Williams, old Mr. Ashton, Mrs. Atkinson, Mrs. Potts, Mrs. Avery Williams, Mrs. Colin Campbell, and a host of other valued members of society are numbered with the silent dead. Our Mayor Fiske, after having seen his family successively brought to the verge of the grave, is now himself very sick. Schoolfield and Maupin are just creeping forth from the terrific paralysis with which this disease, even when not fatal, smites the frame. They will scarcely be able to resume their professional duties this summer. Mr. Eskridge and myself are the only resident ministers who can go about and visit the sick, the dying and the bereaved. Handy, Devlin, Hume, are convalescent of attacks of sickness. The other clergy are away. I have been able to keep open our little sanctuary without an interruption, our church being the only one in town open. The congregation is miscellaneous, and not very many at that. For several Sundays past, the solemn fact has been remarked, that some are at church for the last time. In perfect health, sitting before me on Sunday, before another Lord's day some one or more has gone into the dread silence of eternity. On [128] one day last week, I think I visited more than a dozen dying persons; but we hope that the plague is being in a measure staid. The number of now cases is fewer; many are yielding to treatment. On Saturday, twenty-six were buried, and in five days of last week the total was ninety-four. Of my own family I am constrained in sorrow to say that I fear I may never again look upon my precious little Johnny. I am not encouraged by the letters I receive to indulge such a hope. But 'It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth Him good.' "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.' Willie is well, and the dear little fellow does not forget the many evidences of your kind partiality for him.
"Your sincerely attached friend, "J. Chisholm."

To his Sister-in-law.

"Portsmouth, Friday Evening, August 31, 1855.
"My Dear M___: The writing the above date reminds me that but a few hours longer remain of a month, which in memorable and terrible interest, surpasses any month I have ever lived through. It seems almost a year since the dull, dark, rainy morning of the first of August; a morning which brought to us the saddest and most alarming tidings in regard to the condition of the entire town, and which seemed to fix the purpose of a general flight. * * * My thoughts have been, when I have not been visiting the sick, devoted to my own dear suffering child. And shall I never see his sweet face, or hear his voice again? I went home to our house to-day, and every object, his toys, his little dresses and hats, the porch and its steps, down which he has so often run in glee to welcome my coming, the kitchen, the yard, Aunt Amy—every object brought its tribute of touching associations and recollections; I could almost hear his little footfall on the stairs. If it might please God even [129] yet to spare him; but 'He hath done all things well,' 'His holy will be done!
"Your brother, J. Chisholm."

"Portsmouth, Saturday, September 1, 1855.
"My Beloved Sister: Sometimes I suspect that amid the incessant excitement occasioned by the awful condition of our community, I have not realized the severity of the trial at my own door. I can not realize that my threshold may never again be crossed by one of those two dear little ones, whose existence constitutes my main earthly satisfaction and hope. Johnny's condition is like a painful dream rather than a fearful reality. But my Heavenly Father knows how large a share of earthly happiness I am to be intrusted with, and may I be fitted not only for the meek endurance of present troubles, but likewise for any farther chastisement which His righteous will may have in reserve for me. I was called to witness this morning, a scene sadly in consonance with my own feelings. Dr. M., the senior and. presiding surgeon of the U. S. Hospital, sent for me early, to pray with himself and wife for two of their sweet children, a boy and girl, of the ages of seven and nine, who are lying at the point of death with this malignant fever: if these should be taken, they will have but one left, who is not as old as W. I talked with the little girl, and when I began to repeat to her, 'There is a happy land,' the brightening of her countenance indicated that I had touched a responsive chord. She knew it, and her father desired me to sing it. She sang part of the hymn with me. Sweet child! I trust she will be spared to her doting parents. The breaking out of disease, as in these, within the hospital premises, is very ominous. Perhaps it indicates that the atmo- [130] sphere there is infected; if so, then all the physicians, and nurses, and attendants there, may be taken down, and the direful results can not be foreseen: but this is not sufficiently established. The state of things in Norfolk is said to be awful, beyond description. There are twelve hundred cases of sickness, and a daily average of thirty deaths. Two or three more physicians have died there within the past forty-eight hours. Our Academy is crowded with destitute, homeless, orphan children. Oh! these are no times for indulging in miserable feelings. We are called on, as disciples of the Saviour, to forget poor, miserable self, and to be considerate for others. I regard sitting down and making one's self and others around one, miserable, as especially sinful at this solemn time. Let us be up and doing.
"Yours, James Chisholm."

To Mr. Joseph Chisholm, Salem.

"Portsmouth, Monday Morning, September 3, 1855.
"My Dear Brother: Your letter was received last Tuesday. From the tenor of your letter, as well as from the fact that I had not heard from you before, I perceived that you had not the slightest conception of the nature and extent of the calamity which is desolating our devoted community—a calamity, I verily believe, without a parallel in the history of the United States. The principal part of the population left the place in panic. Of nearly 12,000, the estimated number of inhabitants of Portsmouth, there remains not 4000, white and colored inclusive. The mortality by this fearful epidemic has already amounted to about 400, so that the remaining population is literally decimated, and the ravages of the disease continue unabated. But the desolation occasioned by the mere mortality is but a part—I might almost [131] say the lesser part of our calamity. Although philanthropic physicians and nurses from abroad have nobly taken their lives in their hands and come in to our relief, the amount and diversified phases of our distress, occasioned by desertion and insufficient nursing, beggar computation. In the wake of pestilence too, closely follows famine. Its pinching horrors are already felt by a large part of our population, though the genial atmosphere of summer lingers with us, and autumn is pouring her redundant stores all around us. There is but one, I must correct myself, there is not one grocery-store open in the place. A depository of the provisions, however, generously sent us by the noble cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore, has been opened, and from this source the needy and wo-stricken sufferers are supplied. With a characteristic delicacy, our municipal authorities have made no parade whatever of the public and universal misery; but the good Samaritans of these cities have literally come where we were, and when they saw us, they had compassion on us and have done much toward 'binding up our wounds,' at least have taken care of us, and have literally said: 'Whatsoever thou expendest more, I will be responsible for.'" * * *

"Portsmouth, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 1855.
"My Dear J.: Just at this moment an astonishing spectacle is presented to our gaze, and I trust we may hail it as the first omen of better days. A schooner, under full sail, is actually entering the harbor. There has been nothing like this seen for at least six weeks past. I presume she brings a cargo of ice, the supply in both towns being nearly exhausted. We are all well to-day. The state of things in Norfolk is said to be appalling beyond all conception. The Baltimore steamer came into port to-day, to land, among other articles, a lot of fifty coffins; and we [132] are told that such was the dire need of them, that there was actual quarrelling and fighting over them."

To the Author.

"Portsmouth, Sept. 5, 1855.
"My Very Dear Friend: I must say one word to you, and I can say no more. Your letter, just received, has been 'a word in season to him that is weary.' Side by side with it in my box lay another communication from Cumberland county, announcing what I had so little prepared myself for, though preadmonished —that my precious child had ceased to suffer, and was a lamb gathered into the Good Shepherd's bosom; and if the little ones be intrusted to the guardian care of elder ransomed spirits, faith teaches me to whose nurture the spirit of my darling has been consigned by Him whose name is Love—she who on earth approved herself so, a faithful, tender, Christian mother. 'He hath done all things well.' The condition of our town is awful beyond conception. The eye must see; the ear must hear; the fancy can not furnish the deep, dark shadows of the picture. On Sunday, thirty-two deaths in Portsmouth; on Monday, twenty-one; yesterday, thirteen; to-day, by eleven o'clock, seventeen. The heartless language of the undertaker from whom I obtained this coming's report, was, almost in a tone of exultation: 'Oh!we'll get it up to twenty before sunset.'
"Yours, in Christian love,
"J. Chisholm."

"Portsmouth, Wednesday, September 5, 1855.
"My Dear Martha: It probably occurs to you, that in the resent appalling condition of our plague-smitten community, but[133] one alternative presents itself to the consideration of every one. Shall I regard personal safety alone, and flee with speed from this atmosphere of poison and death; or shall I look the question of my relations to society, to humanity, and to God, full in the face, and decide accordingly? The question of duty as a minister of Christ, has determined me to stand firm at the post to which I have believed all along the providence of God called me. Up to this hour, for the period of seven weeks that the desolating scourge has been doing its remorseless work amongst us, I have been perfectly well; not one uneasy or uncomfortable feeling. For five weeks of this time I have been a daily, and sometimes a nightly attendant, as occasion might call me, at the sick and dying-beds of the sufferers and victims of this malignant fever. My present condition surprises myself. I trust that I more than ever realize that the 'Eternal God is my refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.' I am in His hands, to do with me what seemeth Him good. The wards of the U. S. Hospital, temporarily granted for the use of our people of Portsmouth, are crowded, to the number of 150 or 200, with yellow-fever patients, and I pay these wards a daily visit, endeavoring to administer as far as desired or needed, the blessed resources of our holy religion. It is some comfort amid these dreary walks of duty, to reflect that I have aided some poor creatures to seek and find that peace which the world can neither give nor take away. I also visit whenever in town I am called for. As to the details of wo presented by our present condition, I do believe that it is utterly incompetent to any descriptive powers to convey a picture of them. Never since the continent of America has been settled, (I speak calmly, and with reference to what I have read or heard of,) never has so terrible a calamity overwhelmed the same amount of population. You would find it extremely difficult to lend credence to some statements which I [134] could make to you from knowledge and observation. Yesterday, a communication was received from generous, sympathizing Baltimore, offering to convey the entire remaining and surviving population of Norfolk and Portsmouth to any salubrious point that might be selected, or could be obtained by them; and likewise guaranteeing to them, so long as they might be there detained, all things in the way of provisions, furniture, bedding, etc., which they should stand in need of. The very fact suggests some idea of the horrors of our position. But I fear the offer can not be accepted. There is no inhabitated house without yellow-fever patients, whom it would be hazardous to remove. And the well could not be spared, for they are even now far too few to take care of the sick. And then, people can not run away themselves, and leave their servants to suffer and die. I have one suggestion to make, that in every city and town they wake up and try to respond to the dictates of humanity and Christian sympathy, by introducing the calamity of these their sister cities into their desks and pulpits; that they cry mightily unto God for us; that they satisfy themselves, if need require, as to the facts of the unparalleled miseries of our communities; that they appoint seasons of special humiliation and prayer for the commending of our case to a merciful God. Can you not, as a suggestion coming from me, stir up the Christian congregations of ___, to their duty to themselves, to their country, and their God, in this respect?"

"Portsmouth, Sept. 6th, 1855.
"My Dear J: I have your sweet and consoling letter. It reached me last night, only a few hours after I had received Bro. Dame's second letter. May God fully sanctify to me His painful visitations. I can not express to you the grateful sense I entertain of the kindness of you all to the departed. Thank Bro. Dame for his truly soothing and sympathizing letters.

[135] "The horrors of pestilence, both here and in Norfolk, continue without abatement. The lives of the few who remain in town, in the enjoyment of health, and they are very, very few, hang in doubt before them. * * * J. C."

To his Sister.

"Portsmouth Sept. 7th, 1855, Friday Morn.
"My Dear Anne: The inclosed scrap from the Richmond Dispatch, [he here means the notice of dear little Johnnie's death,] which some kindly sympathizing soul has penned and then sent on to me by mail, tells its own sad story. He ceased to breathe last Friday night, the 31st instant. 'I was dumb, I opened not my mouth because Thou didst it!' 'He hath done all things well!' 'Blessed be the name of the Lord.' The word and spirit of God teach me to adopt these utterances, and I trust they come from my heart. No tongue can tell the accumulated and still gathering horrors of our situation here. I am at the post of duty, and in the hands of the Lord. But be prepared for any intelligence, for our lives hang in doubt before us from hour to hour. I still view with grieved amazement, the apathy of ___ at woes to which human history can scarcely present a parallel. All the notice which the press there has taken of our case, as far as I have heard, is the promulgation in one or more papers of a cruel falsehood, namely, that the Protestant ministers had, in a body, deserted their post of duty, and sought personal safety at the approach of danger.

''Let the touching paragraph inclosed speak for one of them. At least two others, Norfolk ministers, labored until they could stand no longer, and are now 'where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.' Another of our Protestant ministers of Portsmouth is the poor, enfeebled wreck of one of the finest constitutions that you will meet with. But he is convalescent, and [136] God can and I believe will give him back his physical energies. Another who has been 'in season and out of season,' is now prostrated, perhaps upon the bed of death. This morning he made his final bequests to his devoted family, in regard to every earthly matter. The ears of every individual in the community, where such misrepresentations have been promulgated and listened to, ought to be made to tingle. I do not say that every minister among us has stood at his post; but such as have left can doubtless assign a reason for their course; and what right have those to sit in judgment upon them, who would not touch the burden of our agony, miseries, and despair, with their little fingers? Let the members of our truth-loving family make these things known. There lies a schooner at our wharf; the first, I believe, that has entered the harbor for six weeks. She is from ___. Her freight is ice, which article is absolutely necessary to our dying community, not only as a momentary relief from the quenchless fire of fever, but as a medicine. But she is selling the article at a reasonable profit. This is the first commodity too, that has been even sold to us, for the period I have specified."

The following is the paragraph referred to, from the Richmond Dispatch:
"Rev. Anthony Dibrell.— The South Side Democrat pays a warm tribute to the memory of the Rev. Anthony Dibrell, late pastor of Granby Street Methodist Church, Norfolk, who fell a martyr to his sense of duty to Religion and Humanity. The Democrat says: 'Ever since the fever commenced its ravages, Mr. Dibrell has been untiring in his ministrations at the bed of affliction, breathing consolation to the distressed and soothing the passage of his people to the grave. Like a faithful and affectionate shepherd, he deserted not his flock, but with a Christian fortitude and a Christian charity he exerted every energy of his nature, in season and out of season, until the fell destroyer, with remorseless grasp, seized its pious prey, and consigned him to the gloom of the grave. We knew Anthony Dibrell—knew him long and well. He was the loveliest specimen of Christian character we ever saw. Every one who was acquainted with this man of God, loved him with a tenderness and a devotion as deep as it was disinterested.'"

[137] Some allowance must be made for the strong expressions in these letters arising more from a jealous regard to the fame of the places which the original letter referred to, than from a real doubt of their sympathy. Besides, we must allow for the want of accurate information in this time of an embargo of pestilence.

The public meetings held afterwards, the deep expressions of sympathy, and the substantial contributions sent on for the relief of the sufferers, show that it was not for want of heart-felt sympathy, so much as from a want of full information that this apparent apathy existed. No! let us thank God the Father of our compassionate Saviour, for the noble, Christian-like spirit which this event has elicited in our whole country. It is characteristic of Christ our Saviour, that He never passed affliction and sickness without relieving it—physical suffering. The imitation of His high example is the spirit of Christianity in this respect. Where Christ is, there is a self-sacrificing humanity.

The Pestilence—Death of his Second Son—Interesting Incident of Same—Effect upon Mr. C.'s Spirits—Ill Effects of Agitation in Times of Sickness—Lines on the Death of his Son—His Last Writing—Death—Letter of E. A. Hatton.

The Great Being who prepares those whom He loves for their great change, had in store for him further chastening. The second son, Johnny, never recovered from an attack of the measles. Mr. Chisholm's letters through the spring and summer of 1855, show his fears; and the deafness and wasting of the child, justified them. The mother was spared this affliction, for the attack of the measles came on after her departure. Hope still clung to this little one on the part of the father, but it will be seen to have been unfounded; his death preceded his father's but a few days, at the close of the summer, in the house of an uncle, and under the care of relatives that spared no pains, no watchings, no prayers for his recovery.

In the foregoing letters of the month of Sep- [139] tember, he refers to the death of little Johnny, who died on Friday night, August 31st. There was something which occurred so remarkable in his death, that some friend in Cumberland county published an account of it. We subjoin the brief article taken from the Richmond Enquirer:

"An Interesting Child.—'Little Johnny,' as he was familiarly and affectionately known in the circle at home, a younger son of the Rev. James Chisholm, of St. John's Church, Portsmouth, died at the residence of his uncle, Thomas Paige, Esq., in Cumberland county, a few days since, in the fifth year of his age. It is a source of consolation to know, says the writer of his obituary, that every attention was paid to the little sufferer, and that his pillow was smoothed by kindred friends who deeply sympathize with his only surviving parent. His last moments were quiet; the storm had subsided to a peaceful calm; unconscious of surrounding objects, his mind wandered to the spirit of his departed mother. Fixing his eye, and pointing significantly in a corresponding direction, he exclaimed, 'There is my Mamma', and his angel soul winged its flight to heaven."

Those who were with him, relate that he had not spoken for hours, and they could hardly tell whether he was living, so utterly unconscious did he seem. He turned his face around, and they thought it was a falling over of his head, and replaced it, with his face upwards: again he turned his facet pointed with his little wasted finger, and made the exclamation, "There is my mamma," and died instantly. It was on this last day of August that his friend in Martinsburg wrote to Mr. Chisholm a letter, to which his letter of September 5th is a reply, and ventured to suggest the consoling thought that though the father might not be present to see him die, yet the sainted and departed mother might then be present to carry his spirit to spirit-land. He answers that he knows nothing in this idea contrary to his faith. In writing [140] his obituary for the Martinsburg paper, his friend remarked upon the contemporaneousness of this trust, so strongly expressed in his letter of the 5th, and the circumstance of "Little Johnny's" death: "These lines were penned by him immediately after reading the letter from Cumberland announcing, the death of his child. That LITTLE ONE in dying seemed to have vouchsafed to his dying vision, the evidence of 'things unseen' by the father. * * * The wise men of the world would call this a 'singular coincidence:' Christians do not reject God's providence, even in the fall of a sparrow."

Written upon reading the account of the Death of the Rev. Mr. Chisholm,
"Church Journal,'' September 27.

They told him that his gentle boy
Was on his death-bed lying;
They bade him speed—his tender bud
Was drooping, withering, dying.

One moment of deep agony
Passed o'er his pallid brow;
Then spoke the saint: "My post is here—
I may not leave it now.

"O God! the God in whom I trust,
Be with my stricken flower:
Hear thou my prayer—oh! bless my child,
In this his dying-hour.

"And if the spirits of the blest
Extend their guardian care
To those they loved below, oh! grant
A sorrowing fathers prayer.

[141] "May she whose gentle blessing first
Was pressed upon his brow,
In this, his last and mortal hour,
Be with my darling now."

Oh! precious is the Christian's trust,
And never was it known
To fail the humble faith of one
Who claims it for his own.
The little form is fading fast,
And the fixed glazing eye
Is upward turned—the parting lips
Breathe the short, frequent sigh.

When lo! a ray of rapturous light
Kindles on lip and eye;
A vision bright is passing there—
A form beloved is nigh.

Listen! the pallid lips unclose,
The arms are raised on high;
The prayer of faith is heard—she comes
To bear him to the sky.

"There is my mother!" All is o'er;
Press down the darkened eye:
Dust to its kindred dust: the soul
Is with its God on high.

It is an established fact that in these pestilences nothing tends more surely to excite and to aggravate the disorder, than mental agitation, especially fear, and also despondency, or any depression of spirits. Nothing, on the other hand, is more conducive to safety than calmness, self-possession, and cheerfulness even. The singular gayety, even levity, sometimes seeming so out of place in physicians, nurses, and friends of the sick, [142] is not merely a reaction of the feelings, but often an effort of nature to avoid that provocation of attack. Regularity in diet, sleeping, and exercise are important; but above all, an humble but firm trust in God—a perfect conviction "that He ordereth all things right." It is wonderful how this will sometimes disarm the foe, when ten thousand are falling at our right hand. But Death cometh in like an armed man upon those who yield to alarm.

The prayer of faith is wafted on,
And God, in pitying love,
Has sent to bear the stricken one
To his bright home above.

Plague-smitten martyr, near thy bed,
Unseen by mortal eye,
Are waiting those she loved on earth—
To bear thee up on high.

And holy lips are breathing now;
"Servant of God well done:
Well hast thou fought the glorious fight,
Bravely the victory won.

"Heaven's golden portals open wide;
Enter thy glorious rest;
The martyr's crown awaits thy brow,
Oh! sorely tried and blest!"

New York, October 7, 1855. E.

[143] It is apparent that up to the death of his son, Mr. Chisholm possessed his soul in patience; his letters, numbers of which lie before us, all show this. There is a limit beyond which any nature must give way. The tone of his letters from that time, is manifestly changed. In spite of all his efforts to shut out the sad image of his dying child, his heart and strength failed him; the wail of his wounded spirit is heard amidst the calm details of his holy labors with the sick and dying; the rest of the quiet bed-chamber, the tranquillizing effect of the social meal, the holy refreshment of even secret prayer, were all saddened by the abiding-sorrow of heart caused by the taking away of all hope of recovery, by the death of his son.

The following letter, addressed to a brother clergyman, the Rev. C. J. Gibson, on the day of his reception of the tidings of his son's death, is so beautiful an instance of the progress and the rapidity of that process of ripening for his Master's kingdom, that it is proper to insert it here; the last sentence is especially indicative of this:

"Portsmouth, Wednesday, September 5, 1855.
"My Beloved Brother: I can but give you a line in response to your most tender and comforting letter, but I will not withhold that line.

"The same mail that brought yours to-day, has brought me the announcement for which I had so little prepared myself, though [144] admonished; that my sweet child has been taken from suffering to his Saviour's everlasting rest, and the companionship of his mother. No passage in your letter, or in any letter I have received, has touched me so much as your allusion to my dear children, my only earthly treasure, and I had almost said, my all of earthly happiness. My Heavenly Father has been pleased to put to rest for ever each busy thought of solicitude or of earthly hope, in regard to one of them, which I had been wont to cherish, and strange to say, it seems as if the burden were lifted off my heart, in regard to the other."

On the seventh of September, surrounded by the objects of his once happy home, the mementos of the departed wife and child, "his household Penates lying shattered around him, he calmly penned this his last epistle, and before he had time to affix his signature to it, he was called away to officiate at the funeral of a young girl. The fatal precursory chill seized him while he was repeating the solemn funeral service of the Church, standing on the edge of the open grave. He was taken by his own request to the Naval Hospital, and though many yearning hearts hoped that he might be spared, this was not to be. He had held his post until the plague was staid; he had stood at the gate of the valley and shadow of death, to cheer and stay up the heart of every comer, and then when nearly all had entered, he went in him- [145] self, alone. The following was forwarded to John W. Page, Jr., Esq., after the death of the writer:

"My Beloved Brother: A burthen has for some weeks been resting on my mind. As it seems manifest that this remorseless pestilence will spare none—as there is scarcely an individual of my acquaintance who remains here, but has been attacked, or is now prostrated by it, or has been hurried into the world of spirits —I feel that I ought to say to some near friend, what, in one event, which is possible, I might not have opportunity to say. I would say in regard to myself, should no opportunity be vouchsafed me to make the declaration, that I now, as in utter uncertainty as to the result, place my entire and exclusive trust as a conscious sinner, by nature and by practice, guilty, condemned, and helpless, in the merits of Jesus Christ, God my Saviour. That I look back upon my past life with sorrow and shame, when I remember how unworthily and unfaithfully it has been spent. That nothing affords me comfort and peace at this solemn season, but that true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief. That my convictions, and emotions, and hopes, in approaching Him, as my refuge against the accusations of conscience, and the fear of death and judgment, find expression in the words of that hymn whose first and final verses are these:

'Just as I am! without one plea,
Save that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bidd'st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God! I come.
* * *
'Just as I am! Thy love unknown,
Has broken every barrier down:
Now to be thine and thine alone,
O Lamb of God! I come.'

[146] And in regard to my dear and now only child, "Willie, I have to say, that should I be taken from him at this season, I have only a few hundred dollars, not perhaps more than five, wherewith to make provision for his earthly wants, and nurture of body and mind. (In my account-book, which will be put into the hands of Mr. A. H., I have made, I believe, a full and correct statement of my financial matters.) I leave the provision for his wants and the disposal of his earthly lot, entirely in the hands of Him who says to me: 'Leave with me thy fatherless children.' On this head, I strive to put away all solicitude, arising out of the fact that I have not been able to lay up any thing adequate towards his support until he should be of an age to maintain himself by his exertions. I am only anxious about the welfare of his soul. Should he live, I desire that, if possible, he should be trained by some truly pious and prayerful friend, to the fear of God and the love of Christ his Saviour. I would have him raised and educated in affectionate preference for, and attachment to, the doctrines and usages of my own beloved Protestant Episcopal Church, as held by the evangelical portion of the Church; who, according to my own convictions, alone hold the true and correct views of the Church, and in their practice fairly represent her distinctive spirit. I would have him trained to be obedient, diligent, and truthful; strictly economical in every particular, and yet benevolent in feeling, generous in action towards others. In the choice of companions and associates, I would have him ever guided, on principle, by those first chapters of the Book of Proverbs, which he has already committed to memory. Above all things, it is my desire that it may please God to endue his mind and prepare his heart for the meet exercise of the Christian ministry, and to incline his heart to make choice of this vocation. In the event of my removal, will you be so kind as to communicate these my sentiments and wishes to the members of my [147] own and J___'s family? The rest I leave to their concurrent discretion and arrangement."

The reader has now but to be introduced to the chamber where this good man met his fate. It was a ward of the Naval Hospital. I have the privilege of giving them this detail, in a letter written to his wife's sister, by one who loved him like a brother; whose house was his home during the greater part of those fearful two months; whose name will ever be associated in Portsmouth with Mr. Chisholm's, for his noble disinterestedness, courage, and humanity, during that dark time. "We know that others besides this excellent young man deserve that praise which truth accords to heroism, but being so especially connected with Mr. Chisholm for years, and to the end of his life, by the ties of dear friendship, founded upon the fact in part that he joined the Church under his ministry, I give the account of the last eight days of his life, his death and burial, in the words of Mr. Edward Alexander Hatton, of Portsmouth:

"Sunny Side, Sept. 18th, 1855.
"My Dear M. and J.: In a short note on Sunday last, I communicated the mournful tidings of the death of our beloved brother—for I feel as if he were my brother—and promised to give [148] you a more detailed account, after I had recruited a little. On Friday, the 7th inst., he went to town as usual, with either my brother or Dr. M., and at 4 P. M. I went for him, as I was accustomed to do. Upon arriving at "Waverly, which was our rendezvous, he was not there, but had left a message for me to wait, as he had gone to bury Mrs. S.'s child. In about ten minutes he returned, and said he thought he had a chill, and asked me to look at his hands, which were rather pale, and cool. He said he had felt faint while at prayer, and thought he had better go immediately to the hospital. After some consultation I determined to drive him down and consult the doctor as to whether he had better remain or not. We went down and found Dr. M. there, and he thought Mr. C. had better remain; so I saw Dr. M., who immediately had him placed in a comfortable room, and after seeing him snugly fixed, I bade him good night, and told Dr. M. that if I could be of any service to him to let me know. He said he thought for the present I had better not be with him, as he could not have any thing to eat for several days, and quiet and freedom from all excitement were most essential in every case of this disease. I however sent one of our best men to attend him, and I went down every day, though I only saw him once, until Monday, when the doctor thought I could be of service, as his fever had broken and he could take food. I immediately went to his room, and finding that he fancied frozen arrow-root, proceeded to the kitchen, and prepared some myself, putting prepared chalk in, with the doctor's approbation. During the preceding night a gentleman had been placed in the room with Mr. Chisholm, as the rooms were all occupied; but as another patient had just been discharged, and this gentleman had become delirious, and I thought would disturb Mr. Chisholm, I asked the doctor, and he immediately had him removed into the room vacated by Mr. C. R., which was rather more airy, and only a few steps distant. From [149] this time I remained with him, administering his nourishment (at this time he took no medicine) with my own hand. Besides arrow-root, he had, as he might prefer, boiled milk, chicken-soup, tea, and once coffee, and chicken-jelly, which I had made at home. But he preferred the arrow-root frozen, with a little port wine, to any thing else; and every morning I made a little more than a pint, which lasted four hours. He was quite cheerful, though the doctor had positively forbidden him to talk at all, and had desired him to keep as still as possible for fear of irritating his stomach and inducing black vomit. For that reason I talked very little with him, but frequently washed his face, head, and hands with ice-water with a little aromatic vinegar in it, which was very grateful to him. His mind, however, in my opinion, was not entirely clear, except at intervals, during his illness. He would, after sleeping, call me and ask the most out-of-the-way questions, and after a little seem to recover himself and then say: 'Z., is it you?'

"On Thursday I thought he was doing remarkably well; though, as I always wrote you, I could only speak for the moment; and on Friday morning I also thought him improving, as he took a great quantity of nourishment, and retained it all without the slightest difficulty. About 2 P. M. on Friday a change took place, and he asked for champagne, which was given him; and he acted in rather a strange manner I thought. He continued to grow worse, and at 2 P. M. the doctor said there was no hope for him. I immediately informed him of his situation, and did it as gently as possible. For a moment he was much prostrated, but after I had laved his head with ice-water, he recovered and said: 'He had hoped it would please God to spare his life, but he was perfectly resigned to His will and prepared for the change.' He asked me to read the hymn commencing, ' Rise my soul,' which I did, and read several others for him, and also repeated several portions [150] of Scripture, and made a quotation from one of Mr. C.'s letters, namely, 'That it was merely a question of time with him, how long he was a probationer in this world.' He said: 'Yes, dear Mr. C., how much pleasure his letters have given me, and how they have buoyed me up, and encouraged me to proceed in my labors.' During all this time, I had to keep his head wet with ice-water, frequently renewed, and speak to him frequently, as his brain was becoming more and more implicated every moment. I then asked if he had any messages for his friends, and he said: 'I have committed my feelings and views to writing,' (he gave them to me the day he was attacked, and requested me to forward them to your brother J., which I did yesterday,) 'but say to them that for the last eight days I have been the object of intense solicitude with the surgeons and attendants at this hospital, the best establishment in the United States, and have received the utmost kindness and attention from them.' I then asked if he had no other message for you; but his mind was giving way rapidly, and he said: 'I can not now, I wish to go to sleep.' Finding it impossible to get him to say any more, I advised him to go to sleep, and he said, sweetly: 'He giveth His beloved sleep;' and turned over and immediately dozed off. I now commenced stimulating him with brandy, champagne, carb.-ammonia, and externally with mustard and capsicum, but he continued to sink, and at 6 A. M., on Saturday morning he swallowed with so much difficulty that I stopped giving him any thing. He then slept quietly until 2-1/2 P. M., having taken 35 drops laudanum, when he awoke, and seemed rather better. I immediately washed his mouth with a towel wet with ice-water and vinegar, and called the doctor, who said he would try again. He gave him soup, brandy, champagne, carb.-ammonia, and for a few minutes it seemed as if he would rally; but we soon found out that it was only the last effort of [151] Nature, and he gradually grew weaker and colder until 20 minutes to 10 P. M., when, he expired.

"After his death, he was dressed in a full suit of black, with white cravat, and at 12 M. on Sunday we buried him, very plainly but decently by her whom he so much loved. I wrote to Rev. Mr. Jackson, who saw him during his sickness, desiring him, if possible, to officiate. He was, however, unable to do so, and the Rev. Mr. Hume, of the Baptist Church, came down of his own accord, and most kindly read our service over him. There were some 20 persons at the grave, which at this time, when people are buried, and nobody present but the hearse-driver, and the grave-digger, is quite a large collection. The physicians at the hospital were very much attached to him and deeply regretted his death. Dr. Minor remarked to me: 'That such a man was a walking sermon.' I have his valise and key, the key of a trunk, his wedding-ring, and cuff-buttons, and his pocket-comb, which I thought Willie would like to have. I also saved a lock of his hair, which you can take if you think prudent. His pocket-book is also in my possession. I have some 20 or 25 letters, most of which I have answered, they being business ones. I have written to his brother, to J. P., Mr. A., and Mr. C. He wrote a letter to J., in which he expressed his wishes and feelings, the day he was taken ill, and handed it to me at the hospital, when he was preparing for bed, desiring me to read it and forward it. Hoping he would recover, I deferred sending it until yesterday, and for fear it might be lost, I retained a copy of it. The doctor considered his case rather a strange one; and I think that Johnnie's death preyed much upon his mind, which was one of the causes of his brain being so soon affected. During his whole illness he never had the slightest nausea, and retained every thing he took, and he took a great quantity of nourishment for a fever patient, but it seemed to do him no good. The worst symptom was [152] an unconquerable diarrhea, which nothing would check; which was part of his disease; but it is rather strange his stomach did not seem to sympathize with the disease of the bowels. You may rest assured that every thing that human skill could do was done; for the doctors were most assiduous in their attentions, visiting him every two or three hours during the day and several times during the night; and I always called them if any new symptom appeared or any change took place. Most of his nourishment I prepared myself, and administered every dose of medicine and all nourishment with my own hand; and from Monday until Saturday night, I only slept ten hours. I am confident that no one has had better attention. I do not mention this as if I deserved any credit, but merely to let you know that he was well taken care of. He has gone to his reward. It is true he has died of the fever, from ministering to the spiritual wants and necessities of others; but much as I loved him, and much as I shall miss him, I would rather he should be where he is, and know he has fallen like a good and true soldier of Jesus Christ, with his armor on, battling for his King, than have had him survive by deserting his post in the time of danger and necessity, or when he was most wanted. Few will miss him more than myself. But God has called him and I strive to be resigned to His will, knowing that 'He doeth all things well,' and that 'He doth not willingly afflict the sons of men.'"


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