Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mary Valentine Wood Johnston: Death Notice, July 1, 1825

[Death Notice for Mrs. Mary Johnston, Richmond Enquirer, Volume XXII, Issue 16 (July 1, 1825), page 3.]

DIED --- on Tuesday evening last, Mrs. Catherine Trice, Consort of Mr. J. E. Trice.

------- , on Friday the 17th ult. at the residence of her husband, near Abingdon, Mrs. Mary Johnston, wife of Judge Peter Johnston, in the 57th year of her age.

This inestimable lady possessed, in an eminent degree, every virtue which can adorn the female character. As a wife, as a mother, as a mistress, as a friend, as a neighbor, she was the object of esteem to all who knew her, and of warm affection to her intimates. There never was a human being to whom she gave offence: while she rendered kindness to all within her power.

Of an intelligent mind, of a benevolent and affectionate heart, her incessant efforts were directed to the literary and moral improvement of her numerous children, and to the happiness of all around her.

                             Death! e'er thou shall kill many,
                             Good, and kind, and wise, as she,
                             Time will throw a dart at thee . . .

[Mrs. Mary Johnston = Mary Valentine Wood Johnston (May 8, 1769-June 17, 1825), daughter of Valentine Wood (1724-1781) and Lucy Henry (1743-1826), married to Peter Johnston, Jr. (1763-1831).]

[Poetic fragment: adapted from William Browne (1591-1643), "On the Countess Dowager of Pembroke" (circa 1621).

The original lines:

                             Death, ere thou hast slain another,
                             Fair, and learn'd, and good as she,
                             Time shall throw a dart at thee . . .]

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

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