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Belinda C. Miles to Lewis Allen Alderson

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Athens Oct 20, 1832

Dear Brother

I received your kind letter in due season and read it with pleasure. From your account of Lucy’s health at that time we thought there was some prospect of her recovery; but from fathers letter received last evening the prospect was less favorable and I very much fear, that L will not stay with you long: but we must leave her in the hands of God and be resigned to his will. You see I have addressed you in a manner in which I never addressed you before: which may in me appear rather bold: but if so I hope you will pardon, and tell me better in future. But however be this as it may I will venture (although aware of my unworthiness) to call you by this name connected as you are with my dear sister. Since we left you at Mr Downings I have spent much of my time thinking of you and sister and have felt extremely anxious on her account. You cannot imagine how lonesome I was for several days our room where we have spent so many hours during L’s sickness appeared as dreary as though someone had been removed by the hand of death: and being entirely free from the care of attending upon her, I was lonely indeed. I have often thought of our parting: and of the last lingering view which I had of your vehicle as the foliage obscured it from my eyes and I was compelled to bid adieu to objects aroud which my affections had become closely entwined; perhaps to meet no more until we all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. After we left you there was scarcely a word spoken until the storm came on we were fortunate as to be near a house where we stopped and staid a short time. We were there accommodated with a chair and an umbrella and proceeded on our journey very comfortably and arrived at home about dark. Miss Susan staid with me that night, and set out the next morning in company with Mr. M for Marietta. They performed the journey in one day; but Mr M was so much fatigued that he did not return until Thursday. You speak of our Sabbath School as affording you

 

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pleasure in retrospection. I hope you will not forget to pray for us in our school it is truly a responsible station and we need your prayers. Since you left we have had no male teacher except one Sabbath the whole care of the school has devolved upon the female teachers. The boys are somewhat unruly. We have not heard from Cousin C since he left we hope he will soon return. The camp meeting which was anticipated was attended in Alexander it was very interesting people came from a great distance. There were a great many that were hopefully converted I do not know the number. Among them were Mr Wether, Mr Wilson, Mr & Mrs. McQuigg, our cousins from Rutland, Louisa Fullah, A. Medberry and many others There was a Cumberland Church formed I believe the number of members received was one hundred and ten. Several families have left our Church and joined them. Miss Jewett has joined them. Mr. Steiger and family, Mr Knowles and family, M Hibbard, Mr Doar, and several others. There were only two ministers besides Mr Lindley from Pa Mr Morgan & Mr A[X]ton. Mr McAboy united with them very cordially. Mr Spaulding did not go out. The state of feeling in our church is yet very unpleasant, and much to be lamented. I should not be surprised if Mr  L should leave us soon. Mr L and Dr Wilson have now gone to Lancaster to attend Synod. A protracted meeting commenced in Logan last Monday which is still continued. They intended to continue it only three days but it became so interesting that they concluded to continue it longer an supply it with ministers from the Synod. Several of our Athens people have gone up. They had a protracted meeting in Marietta as Mr Morgan came out which was very interesting. Mr M has now returned to Pa. Louisa Lindley went in company with him. Mr. Lindley is going to stay a short time. They were none of them permitted to preach in our meeting house. They preached their sermons in the Methodist houses. It appears to me that Mr M is very badly treated by our church after being the means of doing so much good. Mr Cutler and his sister were out at the camp meeting he looks very bad but I believe his health is improving slowly. Mr Taylors family are well. I saw Catharine today she always inquires for you. She says they are so lonesome without you. I see your flower boxes every time I go down street they look as though they had lost their nurse. O if I could be with L and assist in taking care of her it would be a great comfort to me. But I am deprived of this

 

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privilege, perhaps forever. Little we thought one year ago, that two of dear sisters would ere this time leave their fathers house, to seek homes in distant lands. Had we known this our hearts would have been filled with sorrow: and the happy hours which we have spent together, would have been embittered with the thought of a future separation. It is indeed trying, for those who have been fed by the same hand, watched by the same eye, and guided by the same precepts, and where affections have become closely entwined, to be separated. It is almost heartrending. I feel that such is the separation between Sister L and myself. But this is a world of disappointment, and we ought to bear them with resignation. You will probably receive a letter from C before you receive this. I intended to have written before this but the mail went sooner than I expected. I am glad you and L are contented and happy. Contentment is truly as great a blessing as one can enjoy.

I have about given up going to Putnam. Father thinks he cannot spare me. I suppose I shall spend the winter at home. Mr. Wether talks of taking [XXXXX] school. I saw M Marquess yesterday he said he had received a letter from you la[XXXX]. He now rooms in Mrs Hoge’s house. He is well. Lucy I suppose thinks much of [XXX] and she will certainly never be forgotten by its inmates. The children of the Sabbath School will remember you both They repeat the last words which you told them, every Sabbath morning. Though L is far separated from us; yet the thought is cheering that she has a friend, who is more dear to her than any other friend on earth and who I am sure will take much better care of her than I could were I with her. We were very glad that she was able to write. We are all well except little Mary she is about the same. Uncle R wishes to be remembered to you both. Pa will write soon. We shall expect to hear from you as often as once a week. You do not know how much I love you and how much joy it would give me to see you and L in this room as I was wont to see you. When you write tell me what room you occupy so that in looking a the picture of your home I may visit you in my imagination. Good night.

Believe me ever your sincere but unworthy B C Miles

L A Alderson

 

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Athens O

Oct. 24

18 ¾

Mr Lewis A. Alderson

Hockman Post Office

Greenbrier Co

Va


 

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Athens, Nov 19, 1832

My Dear Sister

We received your kind letter, dated Oct. 27, on the 16th, we heard from you before for two weeks, except by the Virginia students. We had begun to think that you were going to neglect us. It rejoiced us much that you were able again to write to us: [XXXXXX] were surprised that you had not heard from home since you left as Father and I both wrote soon after and Uncle R has also written. As this is the third Monday in the month we have had teachers prayer meeting from which I have just returned. We had quite a good meeting. The state of our school is yet very low; but some of the teachers seem to be very much engaged.  I gives one great pleasure though far separated from you to have the privilege of conversing with you by letter; and in a poor way letting you my thoughts. Could I now see you a few hours I imagine that I should not be at a loss for words to express my thoughts: but I am denied this privilege and will endeavor to tell you something of your home and friends which I trust will not be altogether uninteresting to you. Since you left Mary has been very sick we thought for two or three days that she could not live. She is now better. We have had but very little sickness in town. I believe there have been no cases of sickness except bad colds. We have all been more or less afflicted with them. I have myself had a very bad cold and cough, it is now better. Since I wrote you, two of our young ladies have taken to themselves husbands Miss L Cable returned from Dresden and after remaining at home two weeks was married to a Mr Webb of that place. She has now gone to Dresden to live. The market for Infant School teachers seems to be good yet. Last week on Tuesday I attended the long expected wedding at Mr Prudens Miss Achsah (as it was formerly) is now Mrs Brough. I had quite a time

 

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Miss Kendall and myself went down in the morning. They had quite a large wedding although they had not many from town I staid all night there Achsah is very much pleased and so are all the family. Rebecca is still left at home. I do not know that there is any prospect of her getting married. I think some of our girls are getting quite old.  Hetty is here yet she is being much engaged in the duties of religion. This is called a Cumberland. Many of our people have become very much revived at the camp meeting. Mr. Lindley is in this vicinity yet, preaching. I believe Mr Bryan is daily expected to take charge of the church in Alexander.

I received a letter from Susan Cotton week before last by her Father who spent a part of two days with us. She sent a great deal of love to you and brother. I lately received a letter from sister C in which she told me that she had just finished a letter to you. They are very much disappointed that you did not go to Orleans and spend the winter. I suppose they are now keeping house. I should be very glad to see them in their house, I think C will superintend household affairs very well. But C is in good health and O that I could say this of you. I do want to be with you although I do not think that my nurseing would be any assistance. I have been talking to Pa about going to Va he says he would be very glad to have me go if I had company and he would be glad to go himself is he had time: but his time is all employed at the mill and I suppose will be all winter. Although I should be so much pleased to see you, yet when I talk of going it is only for talk’s sake so that I do not enjoy much in anticipation of such a visit. If we should not be permitted again on earth Oh! may we all meet with joy to spend an eternity where the parting tear will cease to flow and all the ransomed will unite in one unceasing song of praise to Him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb. O that I could keep that day ever in view and be prepared to meet the summons wenever it shall be put into my hands. Since Cousin [X] returned we get along very well in the LL. C brought the tune that you was so much pleased with home with him. We

 

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have learned it so that we have sung it once in Sabbath.School I think it is very good. The Infant School is entirely done. Mr Wether has taken a school in the room with Miss Jewett. She is his assistant which I should think would not do very well, but it may. Mrs Spaulding is going to attend to a class this winter as soon as Mr L returns he being now absent for a few weeks on an agency for the home missionary society. I suppose she will have twelve or fourteen pupils we asked to make three of that number. Jane is still here will stay all winter.

After you left home, in looking over things, I found many which you should have taken with you; and which I know you have wanted. This is owing to my carelessness and I am very sorry but I think considering circumstances I may be forgiven. I often imagine I hear you saying that is just like Belinda. and so it is. I often think of last summer when I attended upon you and hope that those who attend on you now do not so often need reproof as I did. O Lucy we are often much troubled about your ill health; but you are in the hands of our Heavenly [XXXX) and he will do all things well. Uncle R has just gone to his room he (XXXX) you please give my love to them.” It is quite late and I must have to close as the mail goes in the morning. Mr Spaulding’s people wish to be remembered in love to you. Accept a large share of love from us all both for yourself and Mr A I have taken the liberty to call him brother although entirely unworthy. Do write often. I shall expect a letter from brother A soon we are very much disappointed, when we do not hear every week.

I am really ashamed of this letter it is written so badly but it has been done in haste. Good night..

Your affectionate sister

B C Miles

Mrs LW Alderson

 

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Athens O

Nov 21

18 ¾

Mrs Lucy W. Alderson

Hockman Post Office

Greenbrier Co

Va

 

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Athens, Dec. 21st. 1832

Dear Brother,

Having a few leisure moments, I know of no way, in which I can spend them more pleasantly than in conversing with you. Your kind letter of the 05th, was received in due time, and over it were shed many tears; tears of sorrow mingled with joy: of sorrow that sister Lucy’s health is no better, and, that we shall probably ere long be deprived of her society, and of joy, that there is a bright prospect of her entering on “a better an enduring inheritance,” and, that you both appear entirely resigned to the will of our Heavenly Father. This certainly lightens the affliction, more than any thing else. What more could we wish?

You wish to know something about our Sabbath School. It is now in a very low condition. The   number of scholars is very much decreased in both departments. Mr Shipman is anxious to resign the superintendance into the hands of some other person. I think, however, that he will not, as the teachers are all unwilling. I suppose we may assign the unpleasantness of the weather as one reason; why the Infant department is not better attended. We have the same teachers, that we had when you were here, with the addition of one.

I believe the number of students in college, is about the same, that it was last session; I think they attend to their studies remarkably well, as they visit in town but very little.

I often think of our parting and think that I probably then beheld for the last time the face of a dear sister. Yes Lucy, You and I, by stream, by shores, In song, in prayer, in sleep, Have been, as we may be no more

 

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Kind sister! Let me weep. I can hardly bear the thought, but if we attain to that rest which is prepared for those who love God, all will be well with us. I do long to see you and if L’s life should be spared until spring, I think no trivial occurrence will prevent my visiting you. I hope you will continue to write every week, as we are always anxious to hear of Lucy’s health. If I could see you and sis, this evening my eyelids would not be as heavy as they now are, neither would I fall so far short of words to express my feelings; but now every attempt proves ineffectual, and I must say Good night.

Please accept love from the family, and as much from myself as you think me capable of possessing.

Your unworthy sister

Tuesday, Dec 25

Dear Brother & Sister

Since writing the above on Fryday, several things transpired, of which I must inform you before I send this. On Saturday morning last Elder Brice left this world. He has not been able to go out this winter. His funeral was attended on the Sabbath by a numerous audience. Sermon preached by R. G. W. Also on yesterday morning old Mr Harper entered into rest, as we believe. The funeral services will be attended to day, in the Methodist house, at eleven o clock

Mr. Spaulding has now returned from his agency: the affairs of the church are in a deplorable state. Dr Wilson, on Sabbath before last, preached a sermon, which was not well received by the majority of the church: in which he said many things against the Cumberland’s, even calling them by name in the pulpit; but he undoubtedly did it from pure motives, being very much blinded.

How matters will turn out, we know not; but the church is in a very critical situation. I understand, there is to be a Cumberland church formed this evening. I presume many will go from our Church.

 

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There is to be a wedding this evening at Mr Steigers. Miss Elizabeth & Mr L Jewett are about to leave the ranks of single life; and, as is the fashion of the present day, lead a married life. I wish them all the happiness, which mortals are capable of enjoying. Pa was quite unwell this morning but was able to attend to his work. Pamelia. E & myself are studying with several others, and recite to Mrs Spaulding. She takes a great deal of pains with us, and, I think if we do not improve it will be our own fault. My time is wholly occupied, so that I am obliged to neglect my friends more than I would wish to: if it may be called neglect, to omit troubling them with my uninteresting scrawls. We received your letter of the 13, on last Friday also one from Mr Dart they were then well. Miss Kendall wishes to be remembered to you. I must now close as I have a long lesson to get in one hour.

I forgot to tell you that this is Chrismas day with us. I wish you a happy Chrismas. Your loving but unworthy sister.

Belinda

 

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Athens O

Dec 26

18 ¾

Mr. Lewis A. Alderson,

Hockman, P.O.

Greenbrier Co.

Va

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