This letter was written by John Smith (1801-1883) of Danville, Maine, to his brother, Asa Smith (1798-1880) of Mattawamkeag, Maine. They were sons of Maj. Peletiah Smith (1773-1823) and his wife Elizabeth (1771-1849). Suffering from poor health and depression, Major Smith hanged himself in 1823. We learn from tis letter that the Major’s wife — Elizabeth [unknown surname] — lived until 24 March 1849.
Addressed to Mr. Asa Smith, Mattawamkeag, [Penobscot] Maine
March 25th 1849
Dear Brother and Sister,
The time has arrived when it has become my painful duty to announce to you that our aged and honored mother is no more. She died yesterday morning 10 minus before eight o’clock. All the particulars that I can give you of her sickness is it appeared to be a gradual decay of old age. She was confined about 7 months. She was the last old person that formerly belonged to the Corner District. 3 have died since she was taken sick, viz: Mrs. Tarbox, Mrs. Fitz, and Mrs. Sturgis. Mrs. Sturgis died last Monday night. She did a smart day’s work on Monday, ate her supper as well as usual, went to bed at 9, died at 11. It is a general time of health here with the exception of the mumps. They go rather hard. Rufus is now confined with them and under the Doctor’s care.
— John Smith
N. B. Probably you would like to know mother’s age. She was born September 29th 1771; consequently she was 77 years old last September. — J. S.