Louisa Hope Eastman (1822-1908), the daughter of David and Salinda Eastman, married Owen Maynard — the recipient of this letter — in 1840, and they settled at Plinlimmon in Sangamon County near Auburn, Illinois. Louisa and Owen had three children Richard David (1841-1928), Julia (1843-1929) and James Herbert (1846-1907).
Owens Maynard’s parents were Juliana Owen (1774-1846) and James Pelham Maynard (1747-1817). The author of this letter was Richard H. Owen (1777-1858), Owen’s uncle. Richard Owen was a librarian in Baltimore. Juliana and her sister Mary spent their later years (1830s-40s) at Plinlimmon with Owen and Louisa Maynard.
Addressed to Mr. Owen Maynard, Auburn, Sangamon County, Illinois
Sunday, August 10th 1845
Your last letter was ____ off. Your next will not, I fear, come to the sight or hearing of your mother. You are as well as those nearer aware that her infirmities added to her protracted life, warn us that her earthly pilgrimage was near its close. She has been spared a long probation & has profited by the mercy to lay up treasures in Heaven. She has for months been a suffering, yet patient cripple, & for nearly a month prostrate on the bed of disease with inflammation of the lungs & in all human probability on the brink of the grave.
Your aunt with the aid of kind nurses & sympathizing friends is sustained only by excitement to be with her, but I fear the severance of earthly ties & the ______ of her grief with her debilitated constitution will quickly convey her inanimate body to the cold clay beside her. United in life, death cannot separate them. I write this at request of your Aunt in advance of the (to us) dreaded event. It will afford consolation to you as to us & the subject of it, that your mother has & continues to receive skillful & attentive medical aid & the best nursing; but better than all spiritual consolation, are humble & resigned will to the wise dispensations of Providence. We united with her in the solemn privilege of a _____ covenant in the Holy Eucharist administered yesterday by Christ appostical at the hands of the Rev’d Mr. Austin.
Tho’ the outward body is sinking, the spiritual is alive & active. Her senses are as vivid as visual, tho’ she can nut indistinctly give utterance to her thoughts & feelings. May God giveth grace so to receive her visitations that this painful life be ended [and] we may be reunited in the realm of eternal peace. Pray.
Your affectionate Uncle, — R. H. Owen