Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adah on Illness and Inauguration

20 March, 1861

O my best beloved friend!

How you father's words chilled me to the bone when I read that you had fallen ill!  Timothy came running into my room when he heard my cries, and none could console me.  How it pains me to think of you ill, my dearest Margaret!  And the realization that I can do naught for you - not even come to your bedside - distresses me to no end.  y et I know that my foolish worries can hardly compare to the trials which now endure, stricken as you are by this most wicked malady!  Please believe  me when I say that we all - Father, Timothy, and all our friends, have been steadfastly praying for you sake, appealing to the Almighty for your recovery.  I lift you up to Him, my dear Margaret.

Perhaps a bit of good tidings may bring you some comfort?  I have been corresponding with Mr. McCarty since his return to Arlington.  He is ever a most considerate gentleman, and we have so much to talk about.  He intends to return to Alexandria for my birthday celebration, so I shall see him quite soon - I had begged my father not to make a fuss over my silly birthday, but he would not hear of it!  He does dote upon his children . . . How I wish we could be together again for my birthday.  I recall with great fondness how we used to play charades and forfits and bellman and pass the slipper!  What joyous times we shared, Margaret.

We are all watching with great interest and considerable trepidation, those events which are unfolding all around us.  You had asked me in your previous letter if I should be able to witness Mr. Lincoln's inauguration.  To my great disappointment both Timothy and Father forbade it!  I do sympathize, at least with my father's reasoning: he was worried for my safety.  I did receive an excellent report from Mr. McCarty, who was able to attend.  There were some 25,000 people all gathered there to watch!  Can you believe?  The crowds pressed so close that the Presidential carriage was compelled to stop frequently.  As for his speech, Mr. Lincoln closed by asserting, "In you hands, my dissatisfied fellow country men, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war.  The government will not assail you.  You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors."  I do not quite know what to think of Mr. Lincoln's judgement.  As of yet, there has been no violence, only peaceful secession.  I pray that the United States would not seek to "take back" her "lost" states through bloodshed.  For would she not then be the aggressor?  And even now, I have learned that the new Southern government has tried to peacefully and diplomatically address issues arising from their separation, and yet Mr. Lincoln has refused their ambassadors!  We are all very anxious to see what both sides should do next.  Our dear Virginia does not as yet make any motion in favor of secession.  And so we wait, and pray, and trust that the Lord will guide the hearts of those men in whom we have placed our trust.

O my dearest Margaret, may our Heavenly Father bless you and heal you.  You are and always have been in my prayers.  I long to see you again.  I will send this letter by the fastest post I may - please have your father tell us of your situation, and do not keep us ignorant of your state.

Your loving and affectionate


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