This letter was written by Sarah Louise (Hutchinson) Lumpkin (17xx-1875) to her son-in-law, Henley C. Lybrook (1802-1882) upon receiving word of the death of her daughter, Belinda (Lumpkin) Lybrook (1821-1850) due to consumption. Henley Lybrook was the son of John Lybrook (1763-1837) and Annie Chapman (1763-1831). Henley came to Cass County in 1830, and located in the southwest portion of Pokagon Township, where he taught school far a short time. In 1832, he moved to Cassopolis, where he resided until coming to Dowagiac, eighteen years later.
Sarah (Hutchinson) Lumpkin was married to Capt. Robert L. Lumpkin (1776-1879). Despite Sarah’s claims that her husband was crippled and dying, it appears that he lived almost thirty more years. The Lumpkins emigrated to Cassville, Grant County, Wisconsin in the 1840s.
Addressed to Henley Lybrook, Cassopolis, Cass County, Michigan
May 20, 1850
We received your last letter with joy in the first part but our joy was so soon turned into grief that we cannot tell how we can sympathize with your distress and ours. We seem as tho’ we cannot bear it in our old age tho’ O know that God has said he would be with us in the 6 trouble and in the 7 he would not forsake us. We are all well with the exception of myself and Mr. Lumpkin. I have a very bad cold at this time but I hope these few lines will find you and your dear little well. I would like to to come and see us and bring your dear little daughter [Mary] with also and let her stay with us this summer. I think it would be good for her health.
I am in deep distress on the account of the loss of my dear Belinda. She is gone, I trust, to the realms of joy and love where no sickness nor sorrow will ever be felt no more forever. O Henley, I am truly glad you gave me great satisfaction. You said she lived pious life in this world and this is a great satisfaction to me. I can have that great hope that she this good morning the blessings of God with her dear little brothers and relations that have gone before her. We sympathize with you for your great losses and distresses. I am sorry but I cannot do you no good. I am poor distressed old woman and have no comfort in this life. I seem as tho’ I was in a heathen land among heathens where there is no good to be done. It seems that there is no pious people here. I do not like this place nor do not intend to stay.
Mr. Lumpkin gives his best love to you and says he is almost done. He is crippled with pains and cannot hardly get about his work anymore. He says he does not think he will be long here. You said you would send me some of her clothes. I would like to see them if I could or have some little thing that I could look at by times when by myself. We enquired about the passage from Milwaukee to Galena. It is one hundred 75 miles to Galena and the same distance to Cassville. It is land carriage to either place. the steamboat Enterprise runs up the Wisconsin River near Milwaukee. The freight would not be much on the steamboat. By land carriage, I cannot tell how it would be but if you conclude to send them to Galena to Smith Harris to bring them to Cassville to Robert Lumpkin. And if you send to Cassville to Mr. Morris or Legraves, you must do the best you can with them and I want you to please come and see us — you can loose that much time — and to come. I want to talk with you. I would come and see you if I had money. You must write to me when you get this letter or come.
You must give my best love to Josiah and all the family and tell Eveline to come and see us. I want to see them all. I have been waiting for a letter from Josiah and Evelina and all the little children and also your dear little daughter. I must come to a close by subscribing myself your affectionate mother until death. Farewell. You must write to me quick if you please. You must excuse me for my bad writing for I cannot compose myself long enough to write as I would wish to do. We all join in love to you all and everyone and leave that sick place. — Sarah Lumpkin
Dear Brother and Sister,
As my poor sister has left us but I trust that we will meet again. She wanted to know the ages of my dear little boys, but I did not have the change to do so. I want to see all and if I was as able to come to see you as you are me, I would of been there long ago. I will remember you all and trust that I will see you all. — Mildred Hutchinson