Hyde Papers - Box 01: Folder 01

Letter from Abby B. Hyde to Millicent W. Goodale

Letter from Abby B. Hyde to Millicent W. Goodale
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Becket, April 13, 1842.


My Dear Mrs Goodale

Three weeks since our daughters returned from South Hadley, & Julia has often during that time spoken of writing to you, but has not been able to use the pen. I now take it up in her stead and in doing so am tenderly reminded of what was passing under your ^{roof} in August of 1840. Before this reaches you it is probable that you will have learned that death has again made a breach upon our number. On Sabbath morning the 3rd inst. our dear Charlotte closed her eyes upon the scenes of earth & entered as we hope upon the rest which remaineth for the people of God. She came with us to this place last October, taking charge of our domestic concerns, and supplying her mother's lack of service by her prompt & cheerful attentions to the people committed to her father's pastoral care, as I was at that time in a feeble state of health. About the middle of Jan. she was taken ill with the measles & in a few weeks that disease was followed by symptoms indicating a highly inflamed state of the stomach & other organs; which never yeilded to medical treatment, though in the course of her protracted sickness they assumed various appearances. She lingered twelve weeks after her first attack, much


of that time being considered by us, & viewing herself as suspended betwixt life & death. She spoke of the probable result of her sickness with great composure & seemed in a good degree weaned from her earthly attachments. Ten or twelve days previous to her death she became more comfortable in some respects & our hopes of her recovery were much raised. Her sisters came home about this time and the meeting with them did not appear to injure her, nor did we perceive any unfavorable effect from the visit of another friend three of four days later. She suffered less than she had done & was able to take more nourishment & was very cheerful. These things we remarked particularly of Thursday the last of March. But the next morning a change took place & it became apparent that her stay with us would be short. I cannot now depict to you in detail the painfully interesting scenes of the dying struggle protracted through forty hours. But dear Mrs Goodale, you can enter into our feelings--you too have watched a beloved child as she went down the banks & stood in the dark cold waters of the rivers of death. You, too, have shared the consolation of feeling that she was not there alone, but that He who has passed that way before His people, was with her in that time of utmost need. Our dear child lost the power of distinct articulation very soon after the indications of speedy dissolution appeared, but retained hearing & consciousness for a considerable time, & as long as she was able to make any communication to us, signified that she found light in the dark valley, that all was peace. In the new home


of her adoption, dear Charlotte's mortal remains have found a resting place; hallowing it to all our hearts. And now it is time that I leave her there & turn to the living.

The latter part of Feb Julia was taken ill and was shut up in her room under the Doctor's care four weeks at the Seminary with a slow fever. As soon as her strength would permit she came home accompanied by Adeline who could not leave her to return sooner. The journey proved very fatiguing to Julia, yet for several days we saw no special reason to apprehend that she was not doing well. But within about a week some alarming symptoms made their appearance and we now greatly fear that her lungs are fatally diseased. A bad cough & laborious breathing are the indications that especially excite our concern. Thus has God taken us in hand & smarting under the recent chastisement, we tremble at [His?] still uplifted rod. You will think of & pity us, & will pray that if it be possible this cup may pass from us: this is our oft-repeated petition, yet we hope we are enabled to add "not our will but Thine be done".

The measure of strength with which I have been favored while passing through these scenes of sorrow, has been a wonder to myself & my family--I have known nothing like it in the last three years. I was able to take care of Charlotte & Sarah through the measles night & day. A sister of mine was with us the last eight weeks of C's life, who devoted herself wholly to the most tender attentions to the dear sufferer. For a little time past I have been rather drooping & this is the first letter I have attempted since Charlotte's death, though I have several to write. And now I want to make very many inquiries respecting you & your dear family--are you in health &


prosperity? & is the Lord blessing you in spiritual things? Are David & Warren at home--and dear Mary & Charles & Harriet -- how are they? We remember & love them all. We were much affected to notice the death of David's friend George Clark so suddenly cut down in the morning of life but not unready as we the best reason to hope--please present my love & sympathy to his mother.

Julia sends a great deal of love with many thanks for your letter which was received not long before she was taken sick & in this love & thanks we all unite--We love to bear in mind the obligations under which you & your dear husband have laid us in past years -- we feel an affectionate interest in you & yours & the beloved name of Lucy is still often upon our lips -- Have she & our dear Charlotte met in heaven -- do they there hold sweet intercourse--do they unite in songs of praise to their Redeemer & do they sometimes talk together of those they loved & left behind.

We shall think it a great privilege to hear from you soon.

Yours very affectionately

Abby B Hyde


Becket, Ms

April 16[?]

Mrs Meliscent Goodale Marlborough, Mass.

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