Letter from Edward H. Denison on family news, his father's death, and his church


Letter from Edward H. Denison on family news, his father's death, and his church


Letter from Edward H. Denison to his sister Mary Denison Lyman. He discusses family news, his father's death, and his church.


Denison, Edward H.

Is Part Of

Lyman Family Papers








Pacific University Archives





Other Media

Castleton Dec 18th 1858

Dear Brother+Sister After a long delar I take my pen at last to inscribe a few lines to you + I shall not stop to make apologies only plead the general issue – pressing cares + aversion to writing, we have just seen a letter you sent to Mr Higby by which we were pleased to learn that you were all well I suppose you begin to realize something of the cares of a growing family for ourselves we fully comprehend the subject being the parents of 5 children! Our flock are all well at present though Ann + the baby were quite sick in the Summer I suppose you hardly think how large some of our children are Ann is full as tall a her Aunt mary ever was + the boys following hard after. Our children are all sorts the two oldest you recollect Frank is a read head Ted is a great tow head but I think I said enough about the babies. Our friends in general ar about as usual. Aunt Patience the oldest Fathers family + also the last but one – has grown to be almost a perfect child + is a very great care for the family Patience remains about the same child of sunbeams + smiles that she ever was wont to be. She caught a fall one day last week + injured one of her limbs so that she is confined at present, so their room presents rather a gloomy aspect at present.

I presume [?] this you have received all the particulars respecting our dear fathers death. I feel that in the midst of this sore affliction ( when I look at Aunt P) that we have cause of gratitude that he was taken suddenly home + thus spared days + nights of pain + anguish as the powers of life gradually gave way yet it was heart rending to us that he must be taken from us without a moments warning or even time to bid us one last farewell yet so it was the sermons came suddenly like the falling thunderbolt + he who but a few short hours before was the patriarch of an idolized family was silent in death + rest assured that ours was a smitten family at early morn the children missed the smile + cordial greeting of Grandpa as well also the kind good night yet for all this, it is well – well that the ripened corn sould be garnered up – well that the pilgrim of four score years should find his pilgrimage ended – well that the randsomed spirit should leave her [?] + return to the regions of cloudless beauty. And now we ave laid our Dear Fathers mortal tenement away in its last resting place in our new+ beautiful cemetery (situate + over his grave is a beautiful slab of marble with this inscription “He walked with God + was not for God took him” I have been thus particular, thinking that these things must interest Mary especially as it is the closing drama in the life of one whom she may well rejoice to call Father

I write this letter to you as you see from Castleton but I cannot tell when I shall date the rest for I have determined not to stay in Castleton only till spring I think some of Iowa –Michigan-Wisconsan- or somewhere else + one thing is certain I must go where I can provide for my family more easily tan I cn here. I began to think a wile ago that the Indians would drive you East so that we might meet again in some western state + now I submit whether if you should come to Kansas or Iowa you could not be more useful than in Oregon to say nothing of the chances of occasionally seeing your kindred. I hear that Bro Francis talks of going to Nebraska he has been very unfortunate in his business at Kallamazoo + is poor, Bro [W?] was involved with him + he thinkgs of going to Minesota so we scatter in this world shall we all meet in the same home at last?

Things in our town remain in “status quo” our church were very fortunate in securing Dr Childs for a pastor + he holds a strong position in the affections of his people yet is not a time of special religious interest in our town nor in all this region + it is a mournful fact that our churches are decreasing in numbers + as piety declines in the church weakness increases + it is a prob-lem hard to solve whether the power of Christian faith shall ultimately triumph in our land causing the overthrow of every form of wickedness from slavery-down or whether our national star of hope is to set in deepest gloom + slavery with all her infernal blood to riot on her ruins I am free to confess that I am very much disheartened at te result of election this fall, for it is a fact that the slave power have always accomplished their wicked designs thus far + I fear they will continue to do so till the obtain full control of our govern-ment + then – the bitter end – either a bloody civil war or a nation of miserable sects at the north for it is now boldly advocated at the south that slavery is the true condition of the laborer white – or black, I confess that when I commence writing or thinking on this subject my heart is full Our people have contributed for the relief of the sufferers in Kansas Sarah, [sola] + Mrs Higby started the project _ with some others obtained about three hundred dollars in clothing + money which has been forwarded to the sufferers but it is time I should draw to a close + now for a matter of business I am appointed administrator for Fathers Estate + as there is some property which he did not dispose of in his life time it will be distributed amongst the heirs + I wish you would empower Mr Higby or any on you prefer to receive your share from the administrator + give a receipt for the same in Marys name + direct him how to send it to you when the estate is settled, you will of course ascertain the form of attorneys power + govern yourselves accordingly now I think you will give me the credit of a long letter which you will please answer in due time + accept for yourselves our best + earnest wishes for your welfare + also that you may all be heirs to an inheritance undefiled fadeth not away

from your brother E H Denison