This letter was written by Orrin C. Parker, a physician in Charleston, South Carolina, who later (by 1849) became the keeper of the Sailor’s Home in Savannah, Chatham County, South Carolina. He was married to a woman named Catharine.
The letter mentions the marriage of Caroline Theresa Stanley (1822-1883) to John Conyers Lea (1815-1863) which took place in Charleston, South Carolina, on 25 July 1844. John was born in North Carolina, the son of William Pell and Sarah Lea. I’m not certain of the relationship between the Parkers and Caroline but I’m going to conjecture that Caroline was Orrin’s step-daughter and that Orrin’s wife was married to a Stanley. Caroline was residing with the Parkers in the 1860 census in Savannah. Caroline named her first-born son after Orrin Parker — John Orrin Lea (1845-1919).
Parker wrote the letter to his brother, Zachariah Parker (1797-Aft1845) of Ludlow, Windsor County, Vermont.
Addressed to Mr. Zachariah Parker, Ludlow, Vermont
Charleston, South Carolina
January 11th 1845
My Dear Brother,
I again take my pen to address a few lines to you altho you have not answered my last & for what reason I am not able to say. I leave this with your conscience but if you are living (if it is not too much trouble for you, you would confer a great favor on one whose mind you have a place continually and who ever bears you on the wings of his petitions to Almighty God daily). We are all well and enjoy blessings more than we deserve.
I wrote you, I think, in my last that Caroline was married last July 25th day to one Mr. Lea — a Pilot of this place and a worthy young man tho not pious. As for myself, I have nothing good to say but thank God that I am what I am. By grace, we are saved through faith, not of works lest any man should boast what a blessing. I can inform you that I still hold fast my integrity and I trust am growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I with my brethren in common have my trials and difficulties to encounter but I find they are for my benefit. Therefore, I rejoice that I am counted worthy to have them.
I trust you are almost ripe for the harvest. Therefore, I need not exhort your diligence for you have already reached the threshold of your Father’s House. I am on the way and when I have accomplished the business assigned me, I trust we will meet where parting is no more. O what a happy meeting. And shall we meet on the beach of Canaan to part no more? Yes, if we are faithful. And for my part, I feel more like trying than ever for I believe that I am more than halfway already and a few more struggles will land my little Bark on the fair banks of Canaan and there praise God, my deliverer, forever. Glory to God. I feel already to praise him (O Religion, blessed religion, who can describe it? — Not Saint Paul for I believe him when he says it has not entered into the heart of man to conceive). I think it hardly probable that shall ever meet on times chore. If not, I shall believe it to be God’s will. Therefore, let us come with all into his hands. Who knows what is best for us. I hope, if Father is still living, that he is not living to himself but to God. And tell him that his youngest son is still in the land of strangers and perhaps like Benjamin, have been detained for my Father’s good. If so, I cheerfully stay and submit to the divine will of him who knows best what is best for us and pray that the will of God be done in all things.
I had a letter from Harvey’s wife last week saying that she had never heard from Harvey. She writes is though her mind was somewhat deranged. Poor thing. I have never heard from John nor Caroline nor Rosina. If you can tell me where any of them are and how to direct a letter to them, you will oblige me very much. I hope you will answer this as soon as you have ready it. If not, I shall conclude that you are dead and shall immediately write to the Post Master at Ludlow to know what has become of you. And now, I must close and believe me your ever affectionate brother, — O. C. Parker