1795: William Elijah Green to Dr. John Green, Jr.

William Elijah Green (1850s)

In this letter, William Elijah Green (1777-1865) writes to his brother, Dr. John Green, Jr. (1763-1808) informing him of the death of their brother Elijah Dix Green (1769-1795), a physician who died 21 September 1795 in Charleston, South Carolina. Elijah was a 1792 graduate of Brown University.

Other siblings mentioned in the letter are Elizabeth (“Betsey”) Green (1774-1854), Samuel Green (1767-1837), and Timothy Green (1765-1813).

These were sons and daughters of Dr. John Green (1736-1799) and Mary Ruggles (1740-1814) of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Dr. John Green, Jr., Worcester, [Massachusetts]

Providence [Rhode Island]
October 17, 1795

Dear Brother,

Feeling a great concern for two of our brothers who are from home and not having heard from either since I came home of a late date, & it being very sickly here at New York & South Carolina, I am greatly worried at it as they die very suddenly. In this town day before yesterday morning fell down dead Mrs. Betsey Rhodes, an acquaintance of sister Betsey’s and a Mr. Lee of New York who was here when Bestsey was. 3 days after he returned home, he died of the fever, & a Mr. Edwards of Charleston, South Carolina who went from here in August died in 4 days after he got home.

And shall I say our beloved brother Elijah is dead as I was informed by the President yesterday noon who had letters from a friend of his in Charleston which gave an account of it after 3 days illness. You may well imagine my surprise after having letters from him the same day that sister went from here dated the 9th of August of the most pleasing nature that he had been unwell so as to keep his bed 3 days. But when he wrote the letter, he was in perfect health, he says. I pray it may not be true but God knows. I do not [know] how true it may be but let us not repine at the dispensations of Providence for he who gave him has taken his own & exchanged this world for a world of glory, as I have every reason to think from his moral character.

Green Hill Estate in Worcester, Massachusetts

Do not inform the old gentleman of it for some time nor the old lady. It will quite break their hearts, I am afraid. Wait until you hear from Samuel or Timothy. I shall send enclosed in this a letter he sent to Betsey.

Farewell. I remain yours, — William Green

As there has been no letters here for sister, you may tell her I have been almost everyday to see our acquaintance — are all well — Col. Whipple’s family desire to be remembered to ours.

Dr. John Green and Mary Ruggles of Worcester, MA


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