Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Letter from Simeon Baldwin, New Haven, Connecticut, 1808

Letter Simeon Baldwin, New Haven, Connecticut, 1808
Sample Letter
Letter: New Haven Jany 4th 1808

Dear Sir

I have this day received yours of the 3d Inst wishing me to enquire more particularly of Mr Wm Baldwin respecting the circumstances of your brothers death. – You have indeed imposed upon me a painful task; but I expected it, & duty requires however painful it may be to us both, that I execute it faithfully.

– A day or two preceeding the Death of your brother he with Mr Michael Baldwin & three or four other Gentlemen arrived in Pittsburg from the westwards in a Stage & took lodgings at the Stage house, the next day he visited with a party of Gentlemen, at Henry Baldwins & by his cheerfulness rendered himself peculiarly acceptable to the family & the party

– some time after he returned to his lodgings, a messenger was sent to M Baldwin’s to inform them that the Gentleman who came in the stage with Michael Baldwin was found in his chamber sleeping & that he could not be roused – The 3 Mr Baldwins immediately ran to the tavern & perceiving his situation, instantly called in the aid of two Physicians – but their skill could not save him

– he never awoke – he expired that night I think about 2 oclock – Decr 8th Michael Baldwin Esqr. is an inhabitant of the State of Ohio, has been Speaker of their house of Representatives, & is a respectable gentleman & was one of your brothers friends – Henry Baldwin Esqr is a Lawyer of eminence residing in Pittsburg – These Gentn & their friends exerted themselves that every possible attention should be paid to your brother while living & to his remains after his decease — he was interred the next day attended to the Grave by the few who knew him there & most of the principal Inhabitants of the place, all lamenting that a man who had so universally acquired the esteem of those who knew him should so soon & without apparent cause become weary of this troublesome world – It appeared on enquiry that he had that day purchased a quantity of Landamum. He was found sitting at a table leaning over an unfinished letter

– In his pockett Book was found a Letter directed to you, & which you have probably received, tho’ as I did not know its contents I thought it prudent to retain it till you should hear of his Death. I sent it by the mail last week – No papers were found intimating the cause of the event. – I understand that Mr Michael Baldwin who returned soon after to the State of Ohio, took charge of his property & papers – & will communicate the intelligence to your friends there. –

Thus Sir I have endeavored to give you a faithful report of the information obtained from Mr William Baldwin who was among the first who saw him in his distress, was with him till he died & attended his funeral.

— I sincerely sympathize with you in this truly affecting dispensation of Providence. I am sensible that such a relation must be peculiarly painful to his friends, but attempts to suppress or disguise the truth often prove more so – The untimely deaths of friends are always awful & serious lessons to those who survive – & they become the more so when they proclaim, how feeble a thing is man when left to himself:

– I am with esteem your friend & Hble Servt

Simeon Baldwin

[Letter to unidentified person from Simeon Baldwin, New Haven, [Connecticut], January 4, 1808 -- From the Phillip F. Schlee Collection, Manhattan, Kansas published with permission on ]

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