A little 19th century distraction just in time for Halloween

Posted on October 30, 2009 by


Sidetracking a bit (again) from the examination of western Maryland’s take on the “impending crisis” of 1861, I figured I’d post something else of interest from the Hagerstown Herald of Freedom and Torch Light. This comes from the February 8, 1860 issue. Nothing scary, just a touching 19th century “spirit story.” I always enjoy finding tales such as this. Regretfully, the type was misaligned in the printing, so I’m missing a few words from the article (indicated by “- – -“).

A BEAUTIFUL INCIDENT. – Some months ago, an amiable, beautiful and accomplished lady, the mother of three bright, interesting children, and the wife of a highly esteemed citizen, died suddenly and under peculiar and trying circumstances. – Her death was universally lamented, and her affected family has the deepest sympathies of the whole community. Among her children was a little angelic girl about five years old.

A lovely being, scarcely form’d or moulded.
A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded.

The child often seemed to be thinking of her absent mother and frequently spoke of her, but she had not been more thoughtful or melancholy than many other children under similar circumstances. On a pleasant, balmy evening, just after the sun had set, the child with several other members of the family, including the father, were on the – – – of the house, enjoying the pleasant – – – when the child was observed to – – – gazing upwards, with her eyes upon some object, which seemed to – – – she continued in this for several moments when she clapped her hands gleefully, jumped upon the – – – and in an ecstacy of delight, and cried out, “papa, papa! There’s mother, there’s my mother! O! my dear beautiful mother, – do come home and live with us again!” The father with a melting heart spoke gently to the child and attempted to withdraw her attention; and told her that she was mistaken, her mother was not there. Yet the child continued to clap her hands joyfully, for some minutes, and declared it was her mother, she saw her “there, there!, there!” pointing with her finger – “I see her eyes!” All present were struck with amazement and awe, and none doubted that the spiritual little girl had really commuted with her mother. Peninsula News.