Shirley July 6th 1806
Before I arrived at this place, the arms which had ever received me with so much delight, were folded in death! The eyes which used to beam with so much affection on me, were veiled for ever! and the cold grave was closed on my too dear and ever lamented Father!
It would be vain, to attempt to describe the grief, his loss has occasioned me, it is greater than I can express, and will only cease with my existence!
Shirley, so lately the scene of happiness and gayety, is now literally the House of mourning! We all feel, that our best hopes are buried in the grave of our blessed, and dearly beloved friend. Oh! My dearest Mr. Lee remember, that your poor afflicted Fatherless wife, can now, only look to you, to smooth her rugged path through life, and soften her bed of death!
My poor dear Mother is bowed down with sorrow, and in very low health: a change of scene and climate, appears to be entirely necessary to her recovery: and I really fear my dear, my being here, will prove an obstacle to her early removal. The last week in this month, is fixed on for her leaving home: I trust my dear Mr. Lee you will certainly bring a conveyance for me by that time, do not disappoint me I conjure you—I wish to see you too, on account of our unfortunate little Smith; his situation I think, most deplorable—If something is not done for him immediately, his life I am convinced, will be a burden to him—The four Physicians who have examined him, confess they are doubtful what his complaint is. It has increased extremely since you saw him. He should be placed with a skillful Physician, who would examine him daily, and thereby discover his disease. Carter has been very sick, and looks badly indeed. Let me hear from you immediately, and forgot not my dearest Mr. Lee, to guard your health with more care, than you have for several years past – your life is more important to your poor wife & children now, than ever it was: Their other protector is taken from them, for ever and for ever!
Do not forget I entreat you, to write for Betty in the most pressing manner, to join me here immediately. A.L.
[Endorsed in another hand:]
(her fathers death)
Source: Vertical files, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 December 22