1813 1931

Stewart Family Letters

Bosque McLennan County Texas
Jan 17th 1853

Dear Uncle & Aunt           (Refers to Loughton and Mary Davis)

          It is with painful feelings that I take my pen to inform you how we are at present & how we have been we are better now than we have been in six months we have children ill yet but I have the most sad information to give you that has ever fallen my lot and it is this Father is dead yes he has left us he died on the morning of the 14th December he was taken sick on the 24th October had the fever three days then took hard agues & fever which continued for a week which in this time had run into the Typhoid Fever so soon as we found that his sickness had take a change we sent for a Doctor which visited him for thirty eight days one day with another he is a good Doctor and done all that was in his power and said that had it not been for good nursing he would have died two weeks sooner after the Doctor attended one week he had a pain to settle in his right side took a bad cough which lasted until he died we are confident that his liver and lungs were wasted away before he died we could smell his breath all over the house he was for six weeks that he was never clear of fever he was sick seven weeks and although we were all sick Providence provided for us for we were never a night during his sickness but what there was some of us able to be by his bed which was never left day or night as he was severly sick all the time we did not know what moment he might leave us he was afflicted with sores and blisters and for all that he was so patient that he would hardly ever complain we had the most lonesome time that you ever saw we only had company four nights in the whole seven weeks we got so that we never looked for anyone but the Doctor and the old lady McLennan Father often told us that he must leave us on Monday week before he died about daylight he said to mother I am almost gone and what will you do after breakfast Mother asked him if he had anything that he wanted done he said no that he was done settling in this world and had settled with his god and was waiting to go to him mother told him that it was hard to part he said that the Lords will must be done he then told Angus and Allan that he must leave Mother and his girls in their care the boys had always held in when by him until then and they could stand it no longer he said to them dont cry honey you are to be your mothers support he requested all to meet him in that we would find him safe where we would part no more he then advised John, James & Hugh to do good and be sure to meet him in heaven after he had talked with us all he appeared to be reconciled and was waiting to go to rest he lived a week after this on Sunday before he died on Tuesday the Doctor said that he would not come any more unless we would send for him as Father did not swallow anything for two days before he died he could not do him any good Monday was the lonesomest day no one to look for we saw that he would not live until morning Allan went out and got a negro man to come in to sit up with us about two oclock in the morning he died he was in his senses until the last and knew all of us when we noticed that he was going Mother waked up the children he raised both his hands & Angus caught them he says Angus give me into the hands of the Lord and then he said Lord receive me into thy hands then he said Lord save all that is behind and then looked round upon us all asked Allan to straiten his head & breathed but twice more that was a solemn time with us the boys and that negro laid him out we made the shroud and have buried him on a high hill in the prararie where we can stand and see as far as eye sight will reach close by stands a live oak which shall wave over him until time shall be no more we found the old man McLennan to be a great friend we lived in a house of his for three months and were sick all the time some days we would nearly all be down but this friend kept us in provisions all the time he would not measure corn nor weigh meat while we lived there when Father would speak of paying for it he would tell him that he rather him to have it than any one else he even fed our horses it seems that misfortune will follow us where ever we go the old mare luck died a few days ago Angus had a favorite one to die since we came and even the old favorite dog died.

          Father had not purchased land before he died he was not able to attend to any business after we came he had rented a place and we are living on it now the boys has not bought as they have not had any chance to look round they will buy the first good opportunity they are out of money and are working to make some I hope we will all soon get well to do our share Mother is not well nor has not been in a long time she is troubled with a pain in her side which she has had for a long time she has fallen away until she has got so small we have suffered more from sickness this year than we ever did it has been so all over Texas except here there has been very little sickness here I have tried to give you all the news that I could think of Mr Fullenwider has lost his youngest child they have all been sick Wm Stubbs was here a few days ago he says that Roderick McNair has another fine son they have all been sick too we are lonesome the boys are off so much Mr McLennan is so good to engage work for them and to try to help them on that ask his advice in every thing and he is able to give it too I have not told you who he is and you may not know he and Father came from Scotland together lived as neighbors in Florida and found each other here he is four years older than Father he thought so much of Father that he would not bear to see him for some time before he died I must close Mother and all the family sends their love to you all Aunt Barbara not forgotten Remember me to her and all the children and accept for yourselves the love of your affectionate

          Catharine Anderson
be sure to write soon as we are anxious to hear from you

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