Belknap County New Hampshire

~ Suicide in Sanbornton Bridge ~
~ Death by Smallpox in Grafton ~

~ 1 November 1857 ~
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Red Circular Postmark:
         2 NOV
Red Circular rate:
         PAID 3
         Mrs. Harriet G. K. Burleigh
         East Sanbornton N. H.
Letter’s author:
         Sister Anne
Sanbornton Bridge,
Nov. 1. 1857
My Dear Sister
         I have been designing every day this week to write to some of the home friends, but something has arisen each day to prevent. I presume you have heard of the occasion which has again cast a gloom over the village. -- I refer to the suicide of Mr. Morey. I would just as soon thought it of myself or of you as of him. Surrounded as he was by an interesting and pleasant family, in good and prosperous circumstances, it must be his reason was particularly darkened. He was quite sick during vacation, and had not entirely recovered from it, though he managed his affairs and labored as usual. Sunday he attended meeting in the forenoon at the White house, heard his class in Sabbath school and walked home with his wife. Mrs. Morey wished to go over to the Brick church in the afternoon and asked him to go, he refused saying he did not feel very well, but ____ her and Sarah to go. They did go. When they returned home they saw his boots in the sitting room, and supposed he had laid down. They went into the bed room and saw his collar and handkerchief. Mrs. Morey went out into the shed, saw his back, and thought he was standing on some stair by his side. -- She advanced, spoke to him, and took hold of his cold hand and she discovered the fact that he was hanging. She rushed to the door and was heard uo on the old Academy hill to shriek “My husband is dead.” Sarah ran to the nearest house and said “My father is dead,” and then fainted. He was buried yesterday. I excused two of my classes and attended the funeral. I never saw such mental agony before as Mrs. Morey and the children expressed. It was thought that Mrs. M. was not sensible to what was transpiring, she looked like a maniac. You will recollect Luther Puffer I presume, he gave an address here at the commencement of the term. Dr. Ladd was called to Grafton last week to see him -- poor fellow, he took the smallpox traveling in the cars -- and nothing could save him. Dr. Ladd told me he never saw a more distressing sight than was his death and sufferings.
         But I will leave the sad scenes. The school is prospering as well as usual and has nearly reached its terminus, I dread examination soon, for there is to be a host of visitors. Will you not be present either at the examination or exhibits (though the latter bids fair to be a shi__ affair). The examination of classes does not commence till Tuesday. Thursday, I shall go to Concord I think and return on Saturday first train. I do not know where I am to board next term, and I can't say that I care much. Tomorrow Eve the U. P. have a public meeting and on Saturday Eve, the _. A. S. Tell Mrs. Burleigh my mouth waters every day for some of that new cider. I’ve not had a drop this year. Tell mother my dress fits beautifully. It never looked so well before. Do you not think we are having remarkably fine weather. It seems almost like summer. Much love to all.
         from your Sister

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot
Provenance: eBay Online Auction 1998

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