Creator

Delia Locke

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afternoon, Elmer came over to return a book to our library which he had been reading. It was "Franklin's Life and Works." He said he liked it very well, and wished to borrow "Abercombie's Intellectual Philosophy." We looked expecting to find it, but did not. "No matter now said he, "some other time will do as well." I thought he did not look as well as usual, and asked him if he felt well. He said, "not very well", he had a bad feeling at his stomach. He said he thought he needed lobelia, and asked if Dr. had any among his medicines. I thought he had a little, and we looked for it and found it, but Elmer mistook it for something else, and took none. He then went into Father L.'s room and talked with him awhile, after which he departed. Mr. McGrath who preached at the schoolhouse today, called with George. Afterwards, Mr. Thomas Wiley called. (T.S.R. 50. 2 P.M. 86. S.S. 69.) June 28. Monday. This morning, I rose about five o'clock, and was scarcely dressed, when Elmer's hired man came over in great haste, saying that he was awaked early by hearing Elmer groan, and on going into his room he found him unable to speak, and seemingly unconscious of all around him. He feared Elmer was dying - said he went over in great haste for George, but found he was not at home - wished Robert to go in search of George, whom he supposed to be on the other side of the river. I sent off Robert immediately, but only a few minutes more had passed, when Simon (the hired man) returned, saying he found Elmer dead when he again reached the house. I could hardly believe it, and directed a horse to be put into the gig immediately, which, when done, I took and drove over as soon as I could, leaving Susan and the children in bed, and George to finish getting breakfast. It seemed as if he might only ham swooned, and could soon be restored again to consciousness. O what a lonely ride was that - my mind agitated by hopes and fears, and when I reached the house, and entered it alone, all was as still as the grave. A dread and fear crept over me and almost took away my power to move. However I summoned courage, and entered Elmer's room. But on going to the bedside, and taking him by the hand, I immediately saw, that all we might wish to do for him would be of us avail. O how that touch chilled me. I placed my hand on his forehead. It was cold and clammy. His hands were tightly closed upon his breast, and his head was thrown back upon his pillow. He looked as if he had met death with firm and unshrinking resolution. But O that he should have died entirely alone. What a dreadful thought! No friend to minister to his last wants, to hear his last request, nor the word of affection he might have wished to send to that lone mother far over the sea. O may we not hope that in that dread hour, Jesus was near to smooth his dying pillow, and bands of angels waited to convey the departing spirit to the realms of the blessed? I stood long and gazed. How I longed to call him back again to earth, that if he must leave us, we might have the privilege of kindly soothing his last moments, and hearing from his own lips those words of calm resignation and Christian hope, which I doubt not were in his mind, but unexpressed, because none were there to hear them. Then the thought cause, how wrong to wish him again to this earth, to breathe once more the dying sigh, and heave the dying groan. It is all right, "all night." But, my Father in heaven, help me to feel it so. What shall we do without my dear husband? I asked myself again and again. O that I could this moment see and speak to him. And again I felt so lonely without him.

Date Original

May 1858

Source

Original diary dimensions: 22 x 33 cm.

Resource Identifier

Locke_Diary_1858-1861_Image031.tif

Publisher

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Rights Management

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Keywords

Delia Locke, diaries, women, diarist, California, Locke-Hammond Family Papers, Lockeford, CA, Dean Jewett Locke, rural life, rural California, 19th Century, church, temperance organizations, Mokelumne River Ladies' Sewing Circle, temperature recordings, journal

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