Cholera epidemic presents dilemma whether to leave the city

Date Written

June 4, 1845

Solomon Sherwood Kimball was 38 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Rachel Sherwood Kimball, was 73 when it was received.

Solomon Sherwood Kimball died 45 years, 1 month, 6 days after writing this.
It was written 178 years, 3 months, 29 days ago.
It was a Wednesday.

New York
June 4th 1849

Dear Mother,

We are most anxious to hear of your health and welfare, as it is now three months since we received your last letter. The only ground of consolation we have is, no news, is good news; still we very much desire to have a letter from our dear Mother, that we may know particularly your condition and feelings, and how you got along since Mr. Brumbley and his family have lived in the house with you. We hope you are not so lonesome, as when you last wrote and that your health has improved. I would have wrote more frequently, if I had anything to communicate, but as I have sent a paper every week, which has been a token of our continued health and have been very constantly occupied. I have defused writing longer than I ought, but it is not from any forgetfulness of you dear Mother, for daily my poor supplications are offered to the giver of all good for his Blessing upon my dear and only parent, and for grace to enable me so to live and discharge my duties, as to be fitted to partake of the enjoyment reserved in another world. I hurt for you and all such as love the Lord Jesus and tract to his merits and atonement for pardon and acceptance.

We have been blessed with health since I last wrote and the goodness and protecting care of our Heavenly Father has been continued to us as a family—We moved the first of May, and are all very well pleased with our new home, the family that occupies the upper part of the house are very pleasant and agreeable. They have suffered a grievous affliction the past week, in the death of their youngest child, a little girl of about 20 months old, who died of croup on Friday morning, after suffering with the disease for a week. We sympathize with them, and pray that the Lord may avert from us a like affliction; we endeavor to put our trust in him that he will preserve us and ours, if it seemeth him good, surrounded as we are with the pestilence, our only hope is in his mercy.

The cholera has been in the city now nearly three weeks and is gradually increasing although as yet it has not spread with anything like the rapidity like it did in 1832—the number of cases reported as occurring in the city today is 23 of which 11 were fatal—yesterday 25 cases of which 13 were fatal. Many people are alarmed and all feel insecure; but where is the safety? The disease is all over the country , it is not confined to cities or villages. Cases occur daily in the open country. Emily would like very much to leave the city with the children if I could go with her, but is not willing for me to remain, and I cannot go without losing my situation, unless the disease should rage so as to cause a general suspension of business, but in that case it would be very dangerous leaving the city for the great routes would be thronged with crowds of people carrying the disease with them, and dying on Steamboats and Railroads and in stages, so I do not know as the exposure is as great to remain in the city as it would be in getting away from it.

We hope in the Providence of God to visit you this summer but cannot yet tell at what time—pray for us dear Mother that our lives and health may be continued to us, and that we may be spared to each other again in the flesh. We endeavor to commit ourselves to the care and tender mercies of the Great Ruler without whose permission not a sparrow falls to the ground, although we feel conscious that we have no claim to preservation, but are on the contrary justly obnoxious to his displeasure and Judgments.

Remember us kindly to all our friends and if able dear Mother write, only a few lines, or let Solomon or Amanda Louisa do so, and if spared we will again soon write to you—believe us ever dearest Mother your affectionate children.

S.S. & E.A. Kimball

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