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One Sick Sister in the Nation
with Camp Meetings
& Last Rites for Nashubanoa

Choctaw Nation, Arkansas Territory
~ 1832 ~

Copyright © 1997, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

With permission from Frederick Smoot
This Link is to his  Pre-1920

Letters From Forgotten Ancestors in other states


Arkansas Territory, 1832


Manuscript postmark:
       Lit Riv Lick A T }
Manuscript date:
       De 6
Manuscript rate:
       25

Docket:
       1832 Nov Ark Choc. N. Sister Clough

Addressee:
       Miss Anna Burnham
       Havanna Green County
       Alabama

West Choctaw Nation November 23rd 1832

Respected & Dear Sister Burnham
       I received your’s of the 4th of July sometime in August and think I should have answered it weeks ago if I had not been sick. I was taken sick the 13th of Sept. - while in school was very chilly through the fore part of the day in the after part had considerable fever not with standing I attended to my school which consisted of about 28 scholars as usual. Soon after I commenced school in the afternoon one of the neighbors who lived a quarter mile distant on the public road sent her little daughter to tell me that Br & Sr Wright were at her house so I got one of my scholars to take charge of my school while I went and had a short interview with them, their health was tolerable good and they were anxious to get into the Nation: perhaps I aught to mention here as you may not have heard that Br Wm’s family had moved into the Nation some weeks or months previous to this & left me at the Old house which they occupied, where I remained with a few old my scholars who boarded with me, untill a few weeks before I was taken sick when in consequence of the owner of the house wishing to occupy it, I moved to a camp near my school much like those that were at Hikashabha, but not as good. The first night after I was taken sick (my scholars who boarded with me haveing gone to their homes) I went to Mr B---s who lived closely by, to spend the night where I remained 18 days my complaint at first was bilious fever; but terminated in a nervous fever for 12 days. I had a very high fever with little or no cessation during which time I had become so weak as to be all most helpless. The 2nd day after I was taken I thought I must have relief or soon die. Several of the neighbors were in. I was advised to take tartur which I did, also sent word to Br William In the operation of the Tartur. I lost my reason the next day about 1 oclock P.M. Br William came and remained with me until the next morning which was the sabbath. Br. W- left me with the impression that I would find myself relived, but it was a day of extreme bodily suffering to me: comparatively I never knew anything about distress & pain untill my last sickness. The next Tuesday, Br. W-came to see me again, thought me better returned early Wednesday morning. Thursday evening several stood around my bed and thought me to be dying. I had my reason and understood what was said by those that stood around me, yet when I heard it said again & again - she is dying - I did not feel that I was experiencing the agonies of death, still I had the impression that my stay on earth would end that day and had often asked how long before Thursday, but it was the good pleasure of the lord to spare me a little longer: that night one of the neighbors went to Washington 60 Miles for a physician, he returned Saturday following about 1 oclock P.M. with the Dr. who remained with me most of the time until Monday evening: immediately after the Doctors arrival he aplied blisters to my ankles, wrists and stomach which was a great service to me: he said my recovery was very doubtful: gave no medicine of consequence said I could not bear it. Sister Williams was with me nearly a week and took care of me which I consider a great favor and a young woman, one of my scholars, who has since gone to her long home, and I hope eternal rest, took care of me another week: neighbors were very kind and, I feel that I had a special cause for graditudeI though surely according to the Savior’s promise I found fathers and mothers brothers and sisters, in this land of strangers. The 19th day after I was taken sick, I was carried 9 miles to the house of a Methodist minister where I remained 4 weeks and I was treated with great kindness. Had a bed made in covered waggon soon after I was moved. I began to try to sit up a little, it took 2 to lead me from my bed made the 27th day of my sickness, if I recollect right I walked a few steps alone and from that time I gained strength very fast. During all the time I was sick I enjoyed great peace of mind: my heart was full, I had much to say to everyone: I had no fear of man before me. Souls appeared very precious and their danger very great - my own comfort did not arise from any good. I saw in myself or any good I had done for it seemed to me I had never done any good; but Christ was all my hope and his words that “he cause to seek and to save that which was lost” as well as other promises were vary precivus: I sometimes longed to depart and be with Christ. I was sometimes impatient to be gone. I felt there was nothing to tie me to earth I had a great dread of returning to the business of life and again being exposed temptation and sinning against God; but now I see so much selfishness with my desires as fills me with shame and remorse. I have nothing good to tell of myself; but much of the goodness of God. I think if I could see you I can open my heart to you. I commenced teaching school in the settlements the last day of April last. I first engaged 3 months for which Br Williams has, and is to receive 64 dollars. At the close of the first term I engaged for 3 months longer for which the people were obligated to pay Br W-about 1 hundred dollars; but as I was taken sick when the time was half out, he will not receive near half that sum. Sr Wm. Has taught school 3 months among the Choctaws she charged 4 dollars a quarter for english and 3 for Choctaw scholars: her school closed not quite 2 weeks before her confinement the 12th of this month she had a fine large daughter born to the world. The 16th camp meeting commenced & continued until the 19th it was very cold and rainy at the time. I did not attend the meeting on account of Sr. W-s being confined: 21 were added to the church 18 of whom were members in the old Nation. There is meeting generaly on the sabbath at the meeting ground about 2 miles from this place: we have sabbath school on the morning before meeting have 5 scholars or more some of the teachers were formerly your scholars. We live on the west side of the Mountain Fork River 10 miles from the white settlements on the east; south of us about a quarter of a mile Wm Folsom lives 1/2 mile beyond Mr Robinson, and a little beyond Israel Folsom. Mrs R-- & Israel’s wife speak of you very affectionately. Br & Sr Wright live 30 miles from us near Little River they have got up a cabin with 2 rooms; but only one room prepared for use - Br Wr-has had an attack of sickness since he came into the Nation: was better when we heard from him, he writes that his complaint was entirely different from what he had before. As to the prospects of the Mission I know not what to say. I believe there is much jealousy existing with regard to missionaries. We can not tell how things will be until the rest of Choctaws come over we know there is need of many faithful laborers. Let us pray that God will send such and open peoples hearts to receive them. I did hope that you would come with Br & Sr Hotchkin: but hear nothing about it: when I was getting well I found the hope of meeting you in this land was a strong cord to bind me to earth. & now dear Sister what do you think of Ch---s [Choctaws] paying for their schooling and how much aught they to pay. I also should like to know wether you think it most profitable for scholars to study their lessons aloud & did you practice upon a plan of loud study when at Yohnokchya. I do not expect to be engaged in a school this winter. Hope you will write to me your thoughts about schools. 27th last Sabbath evening the lord’s supper was administered to Nashubanoa who has been sick several months and is thought he cannot live long. I was not present as I had no way to get there. Br W-says it was a very solemn time he though there was about 30 members of the church present. I think I feel thankful for that kind of providence which prevented y connexion with Mr. O with a heart full & eyes streaming with gratitude to God for his special care of me. O, may I ever be humble and greatful. Clara says give __y to Mrs Burnham.
Your affectionate though unworthy sister in Christ
Eunice Clough
P.S. Nov 5th
This has lain by me since some time for want of an opportunity to send to the __
Last Friday Moulton & Br. & Sr. Hotchkin suprised me with their presence: yesterday they left for Br. Wrights. Br Joslin is married & if he has not arrived at Union is on his way there. Sister Allen has been called to give her little Holes back to God; may she be comforted of him. Mr Green writers that they expect to send out Br. & Sr. Wood next fall and 2 female teachers. I hope you will come by that time. We have heard from Col F---s party expect them to arrive next Saturday.
Yours E.C.


Notes:
“Long Home” means: “to die,” also: “a grave.”

The cover manuscript postmark is “A T” which is: “Arkansas Territory.” Little River Lick was located very near to the present Arkansas ~ Oklahoma boundary. Arkansas Territory was created in 1819 and included about twice the volume of land than the present state of Arkansas. Our map is a detail from an 1832 map printed in Scotland. It shows the full size of the Arkansas Territory. We have added a star to the map to indicate the general location of Little River Lick. It would seem that Sister Eunice Clough live somewhat in a northerly direction, on Mountain Fork River, a branch of Little River. We place Washington (location of the doctor) in Hempstead County Arkansas. In 1836 Arkansas became a state.

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot

Provenance: Phil Bansner, Postal History Dealer ~ 1997




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