Saturday, April 9, 2011

Adah's Observations on the Birth of a Nation and the End of Her Mourning

11 February 1861

My best beloved Margaret,

Can you find it within your most gracious and benevolent heart to forgive your wretched friend?  You must think me quite a wicked person for letting your letter go so long unanswered.  I am afraid that I can offer you no better explanation than the sorry fact that old Father Time, despite his age, moves ever so quickly - a week may pass in the blink of an eye!

And can you believe, my dearest friend, that in that time we have witnessed the birth of a nation?  I must admit that I can scarce wrap my head around it.  And yet I am happy for it - It is my sincere hope that the North will simply let us be, for if we quarrel so violently as one nation, perhaps we may "agree to disagree" as two.  Timothy things this is extremely naive, and feels certain that the North will not let us go without a fight - one which, of course, he desires to be a part of.   On this very day, Mr. Davis is riding to Alabama to accept the presidency of our faith new country, while Mr. Lincoln rides to Washington to accept his!

It certainly does seem most strange to be nearer to the North's capital than to that of the South.  I can only imagine what Alexandria shall be like after Mr. Lincoln's inauguration.  Timothy shall not be let out of the house to join any riots, if I can help it.  Every day he has some ill word for Mr. Lincoln - I have never heard Timothy use fouler language about a man.  Poor Father tries to his best to quiet him, for he so dislikes discord.

I should like very much to tell you something, but you must swear not to make any mention of it to my Winchester relatives.  It would seem that the Lord has put it into Father's heart that he should like to shepherd a flock once more - in Winchester!  I think perhaps the uncertainty in Washington and the faint drumbeats of war have something to do with it as well.  I should be happy either way.  Wouldn't it be lovely to be  near each other once more?  A quieter life would much suit me.

It brings me such joy to read of all that is going on in your life, my dear.  Your writings bring me back to our childhood, and all the happiness we enjoyed.  Praise be to God that He delivered the little Wilcox children from the icy waters!  And how brave and gallant were Mason and Mr. Fleming!  There has certainly been much excitement at The Hill.  My heart is overjoyed to hear of Fairchild and Miss Wilcox's engagement.  It is so good to have something to celebrate in the midst of all this conflict and strife.  Why is it so hard for man to remember that we are charged to love one another?

I am very much impressed with your Mr. Fleming.  A very selfless soul he seems, indeed.  But naturally the young man must pass my scrutiny before he may even let the notion into his head of courting my dearest friend! You are very lucky to have found a man who has mastered the fine art of the waltz, I must admit.  I do not as yet know the state of Mr. McCarty's skills upon the dance floor, as I have not been to a dance in well over a year.  But, I think I may find out soon enough, for Mr. McCarty has invited Father to give the sermon next Sunday at his church, and there is to be a friendly, small party in my father's honor the evening of the Saturday before, where I am told there is to be dancing!  This shall be my re-entrance into society, my dear Margaret.  I shall mourn my Mother in my heart until we are reunited in heaven, but something transpired Tuesday last which reassured me of God's never-ending love and grace, and filled me with more comfort than I have ever known.  After I had gone to bed, I was consumed in such dark thoughts of pain and longing.  I sat up in bed and cried out to the Lord for help.  And quite suddenly I felt a great weight lifted off my shoulders and a warmth fill my bosom.  Soon afterwards, I drifted off to sleep and dreamt of my dear Mother.  She appeared to me so happy and serene.  I knew then that her spirit was at peace in heaven, and that I should not fear her gone forever. I pray you too may feel such peace, in all aspects of your life.

It is impossible to know what lies ahead.  But we shall always be certain that our heavenly Father has a plan for us.  May it preserve our loved ones, and bring us all together very soon.

Yours always,


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