Sunday, March 19, 2017

Eliza Madison Preston Johnston to Louisa Bowen Johnston, May 22, 1827

[Eliza Madison Preston Johnston at Wythe to Louisa Smith Bowen Johnston via Tazewell, Virginia, May 22, 1827. "Favored by Dr. Quinn." Box 25, Folder 6, Robert Morton Hughes Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529. This is my rough transcription. Instances of the "long s" in the original have been modernized and paragraph breaks added for easier reading.]

My Dear Sister

We are this far on our way to the springs and I could not think of leaving the country entirely without letting you hear from us. My husband is getting better slowly he is able to set up nearly all day and to walk about a little.

Beverly accompanied us as far as Doct. Floyd's where we are to wait for the Major who will see us safe to the springs. 

I feel exceedingly anxious to hear from my dear little Mary do my dear sister write to me and let me know all about her the distress that I have had together with parting with my children seem so to have deprived me of what little health I had gained. I still continue quite lame and unable to move about but very little. 

Ellen was very pleased with going to school and bid me tell you that she thought she would learn twice as much as she did at home. Miss Turner says she is very attentive and thinks she will learn well. [T]ell your mother she is one of the best children and the least trouble I ever saw.

My husband joins me in most affectionate remembrance to all your family kiss our dear little girl over and over for me and pray don't let her forget us I fear she gives you a great deal of trouble do not my sister let he give you more than you can avoid. 

I fear I shall never be able to repay you for your many kindnesses and particularly for this one: gratitude is all I have to offer and that be assured you have you must excuse this miserable apology for a letter I am writing in bed [with] a vialent [sic] headache fare well my dear sister and believe me with truest affection
                                                    Yours &c.
                                                          E. M. Johnston

[Eliza Madison Preston Johnston (1803-1828) married Charles Clement Johnston (1795-1832), probably at Greenfield, on December 29, 1822. 
John Preston Johnston (1824-1847) was born on February 1, 1824. Eliza Mary Johnston (1825-1909) was born on July 3, 1825.
Louisa Bowen Smith Johnston (1800-1873)

Her mother = Eleanor Stuart Tate Bowen (1778-1833)
My dear little Mary = Eliza Mary Johnston (1825-1909); after her mother's death in 1828, she was more often called Eliza or Lizzie. Her sister Susan Louise Johnston was born in December 1826 and died on September 23, 1827. 
Ellen = Ellen Eleanor Bowen (1817-1850)
Doct. Floyd = John Floyd (1783-1837) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1806. 
Beverly Randolph Johnston (1803-1876)
The Major = Peter Carr Johnston (1793-1877)
The Springs = Wytheville was nearly halfway between Abingdon and Botetourt Springs, with about 75 miles to go. It's also possible that they were on their way to a different facility.]

[Many thanks to Sue Davis, William Myers, Mary Davy and Sally Young for their ongoing research collaboration.]

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