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Smithfield Preston Foundation

Papers, 1784-1881, n.d., Ms1997-002

June 28, 1833 -- letter from George C. Thompson in Shawnee Springs, Kentucky to James McDowell in Lexington, Virginia

Shawanee Springs 28th June 1833

Dear Sir,

I believe no one of the Springhill family has yet performed the melancholy duty of communicating to you the Death of our universally beloved friend, your Aunt, Mrs. Hart. She was not in good health, I think, at the time of your recent visit there. The attack of Erysipelas some weeks since, and then when appearing to be getting well, a slight relapse, had weakened her considerably; but she seemed to be again convalescent; when the alarm of cholera in the neighbourhood induced her to go into her cellar (which had become damp by lat rains) and remain some time attending to some precautionary measures, sprinkling lime perhaps, where it is believed she caught a violent cold; an inflammation of the Lungs ensued; and after great suffering hor about nine days, she expired on this day week the 21st in the evening. All her children were around her, except Mrs. Gibson & Nathaniel. I could not attend her death bed myself in consequence of the existence of the cholera just in my neighbourhood; and the necessity of my remaining at home with my large family; but those who were present speak of her last moments as exhibiting in a most striking manner the confidence, or trather the ecstacy, with which the christian can meet Death. I do not know whether Nathaniel has yet left Virginia; or to what point to direct a letter, or I would write to him. If he has not yet left; have the ggodness to make the communication to him.

Mr. Hart and Mrs. Virginia Shelly passed on from here two days ago to Travellers rest; where old Mrs. Shelly is supposed to be dying; and is probably by this time in her grave.

The cholera is making most awful ravages, in almost every town and village in Kentucky, and in a great many neighbourhoods out of the Towns. You can form no idea of the gloom and consternation which pervade this country. Upwards of 400 have fallen victims already in Lexington. It is still there, tho they say abating considerably. In other places I believe the mortality has been still greater according to the population. In Paris 30 died in 48 hours from its first appearance. Indeed the accounts from almost every direction are terrific. When a village is attacked, all, or nearly all, who have the means of getting away, fly to the country. Half the citizens of our little town (Harrodsburg) have fled. A number of our relations have taken shelter in my fathers house and mine. My uncle Col. John Thompson is dying today at his farm four miles from here and about the same distance from Town. I am thankfull to have it in my power to inform you that my own family are as yet, well. Nor do I recollect that any of your relations in this country have been taken off by cholera.

Mrs. Thompson requests you to say to Nathaniel if he is with you, that but little was arranged as to Domestic concerns at the Springhill house except that Mrs. Letitia Wallace would remain there for some months with Mary Howard. Sarah begs to give her love in the most cordial tterms to your Lady, and likewise to your father & Mother. Allow me to present also my best regards.

Respectfully & affectionately
Your friend & ----
Geo. C. Thompson

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