Smithfield Preston Foundation
Papers, 1784-1881, n.d., Ms1997-002
October 4, 1847 -- letter from Thomas Lewis Preston in Abingdon, Virginia to Susan S. McDowell in Lexington, Virginia
Abingdon Oct. 4th 1847
My Beloved Sister
I came from the Saltworks this mourning and through sister Sally, who also reached here today heard of your arrival at home. Since we parted I have only heard from you thro ---- and Sister Sally, and long intervals of anxiety have interviened. From the fact of receiving no letter whilst at Hanhawha I took it for granted you had come to Layewill and was never more thoroughly disappointed there where I was then informed you had taken the other course. Could I have then turned back I would have done so. But I know you would ---- to Lexington, and I was needed at home. Words cannot express my regret at missing you, and whenever I think of it I could almost bow my head and weep.
A hope of your speedy recovery had sprung up in my heart, and I ---- the trip to Tazwell would be the means of bringing about a result so ---- prayed for. Around this hope many pleasant fancies had clustered, and they gave cheerfulness and beauty to my anticipations. When disappointed and mortified we do not ---- readily and I cant get over my parting from you as I did and then missing you afterwards. But we must resign ourselves to the will of Heaven in these matters, and all at last may turn out for the best.
Sister Sally further informs me that dear ---- and Mr. H. are with you. Would that I too could be there! I am sure you will be much gratified at haveing them to see you and I am sure ---- is a great comfort. Could Sister Sally have accompanied you, you would indeed have been blest. May God in his mercy be with you all and bless you as may be best for your eternal welfare.
Sister S. mentioned that she had some papers for me to examine and give you an answer upon them without delay. I purpose God willing to attend to it in the morning and write you by next mail.
I hope also to write to James and to Margaret. Though at Lexington she is not much nearer there at Columbia yet I feel as though she were and my heart becons to see her. Can she be persuaded to return home by this ----!
Poor Eliza Johnston is quite overwhelmed by her sad affliction and sister is quite unhappy about her. No consolation can now be offered she must trust in God who ever tempers the wind to the ---- lamb, and who in his own good time will heal the wounds he inflicts.
We are all well and Anna joins in love to you and those around you. I write in haste now, next mail I will write more deliberately. My prayers are for you. May God spare and bless you, and so prepare us here that when the trials of life are over we may be united in Heaven where there is no more parting.
your truly affectionate brother
Thomas L. Preston
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