Слике страница

estate fund should accumulate beyond the applications for such loans, and should be likely to remain so, and the amount thus unemployed would safely justify the undertaking, and when mechanics and others may be in want of employment, then an asylum shall be built out of the avails of the income fund, for the benefit of poor widows and single women, and the same be supported and maintained out of the means from said fund.

The heir at law contends that the will is void in law, because it creates a perpetuity, and if suffered to stand, would be injurious to the public welfare. That nothing is given in charity, or if any thing was intended, it is uncertain, both as to the amount of the fund devoted, and the time when it shall be applied. That the intention of the testator, which must govern, is at war with every rule of law on the subject of charitable uses. The plaintiffs in error contend that it is a charity, and must stand or fall upon the point, what was the intention of the testator? The estate is worth over three hundred thousand dollars, the whole of which is tied up by this very strange devise.

3d. This day was observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, throughout the United States, on the recommendation of the President, who had previously issued a proclamation to that effect. The following is a copy of that document:

“At a season when the Providence of God has manifested itself, in the visitation of a fearful pestilence, which is spreading its ravages throughout the land, it is fitting that a people, whose reliance has ever been on His protection, should humble themselves before His throne, and, while acknowledging past transgressions, ask a continuance of

“It is, therefore, earnestly recommended that the first Friday in August, be observed throughout the United States, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. All business will be suspended in the various branches of the public service on that day; and it is recommended to persons of all religious denominations to abstain, as far as practicable, from secular occupations, and to assemble in their respective places of public worship, to acknowledge the infinite goodness which has watched over our existence as a nation, and so long crowned us with manifold blessings; and to implore the Almighty, in His own good time, to stay the destroying hand which is now lifted up against us.

“Z. TAYLOR." Under this date we deem it appropriate to record some interesting facts and incidents connected with “the visitation” to which the President has referred, and which will serve to mark its fatal progress and ravages; reserving for the Statistics, the tabular statements of mortality.

During the preceding summer months, the cholera raged throughout the United States to a fearful extent. In the Atlantic towns it was not so devastating as in 1832, but on the western rivers its sweep has

Divine mercy.

been appalling. In the cities of St. Louis and Cincinnati the deaths sometimes amounted to 150 and 200 per day. At the beginning of July, a gentleman, writing from St. Louis, thus described the horrors of the pestilence:

“Calamities are all around us. Death is every where. Cholera dealing its blows to the right and left, and thousands of our people have been hurried to their graves. A well man now, may be, an hour hence, a corpse. The sextons, the undertakers, and even the horses of the city, are worn out with the dreadful work of burial. Carts and furniture wagons have to supply the places of hearses, which, though numerous, are insufficient to carry out the coffins, though piled one upon another.

“Many dead bodies lie, without a friend to execute the rites of interment, until a public officer or a sister of charity comes to put them in the ground. Some persons, to save expenses which they are not able to bear, bury their friends in the woods or on the sand-bars of the rirer. Many is the house, lately full of inhabitants, that now has scarcely one left to tell the story of the departed. Husband and wife will take their tea together at evening, and before the next morning, one or both is ready for the grave.

“Some of the sextons, overtasked, bury the dead at half the usual depth. The city government have abdicated their powers before an indignant populace, and the duties of the board of health are devolved upon a committee of citizens. The public school-houses are turned into hospitals, and the chief business of the living is to take care of the sick and dying, and to bury the dead. Many members of the city government, and probably not less than 10,000 of the citizens, have fed. The stillness of the Sabbath reigns, while death is doing its work. The newspapers do not, it is said, report half the cases, because all the forms of law are paralyzed, and officers do not discharge their duties. A dullness, nervousness and lack of energy are manifested by every one. The atmosphere is hot and humid.

Flies swarm in myriads. Vegetation grows with the rankest luxuriance, and animal life sinks proportionably.'

If more be wanting to complete the sad picture, we have the following description by the correspondent at St. Louis of the Buffalo Express:

“You can have no proper idea of the ravages of the fell disease or its effects. The city, from a population of near 70,000 is now reduced to not over 30,000." Every body has fled but those too poor to leave, or whose business compelled them to remain. The streets are deserted, except by the hearse and the mournful procession moving to the gloated cemeteries. The blackened ruins, instead of having been removed and giving way to new places of business, as they would but for the pestilence, now present a sad spectacle of desolation. Few steamboats are running, and those go away loaded with the affrighted population, and bring back no passengers. The deaths, as reported for several weeks, have been from 100 to 160 per day; while it is conceded by all who know, that from one-quarter to one-third are not reported, so that the actual number of deaths, for some time past, has not been much less than 200 per day—or say 1,200 a week—and that too in a population of from 30,000 to 35,000. Of course, hearses are constantly to be seen in the streets, and the entire night is spent in burying the dead.

From Cincinnati the details received were of the most mournful kind. One paper stated :

“The alarming augmentation of interments that are daily occurring, the flight of families from the city, the consternation that is depicted upon every countenance, and the united testimony of all our physicians, admonish us that far more systematic and efficient measures must be taken, both by the people and the city authorities, before we can look for any amelioration of the epidemic.

“Our reporter, on returning from St. Joseph's cemetery, on Friday evening, met nine funerals, the last one unattended by any train, but consisted simply of a rude wagon, in which the rough coffin of an adult was placed at length. An aged woman was leaning upon the coffin on one side and weeping, and an aged man sat upon the other side, the tears also coursing down his cheeks. He was driving the horse. This was all of that mournful attendance upon the gravema father and mother forced by poverty to perform the funeral rites of a beloved son.”

Another paper refers to numerous rumours it has heard of persons supposed to have died of cholera recovering while preparations were being made for their interment; and mentions, as one of them, that one of the pall-bearers at a funeral declared, while walking by the hearse, that he heard a noise in the coffin. The hearse was stopped, the coffin opened, and the person who was about to be interred found breathing. He was conveyed home, and, it was stated, would probably recover.

Før a period of eight weeks, the mortality in the city was 4,628. Another account says 4,114. At one time there were 2,500 houses vacant.

From Dayton, Ohio, a flourishing place, connected with Cincinnati by canal, the accounts were truly deplorable:

“On account of the fatality attending families in which it made its appearance, the idea that the disease is contagious has become prevalent. Physicians themselves are panic-stricken — patients suffering from disease are left to die alone and neglected; husbands desert wives in this fearful extremity, and daughters forget what they owe to their mothers."

Sandusky city, another place in Ohio, suffered terribly from the cholera. The account from that place stated that the epidemic had reached a crisis which threatened to produce most disastrous consequences:

“Of a population of 3,000, there are not more than 700 remaining. The deaths for the last two days amount to above one hundred, and it is still on the increase. Most of the inhabitants who have escaped the dreadful malady have left the city in dismay. Business of every description is entirely suspended, and the various hotels, together with the post-office and public stores are all closed. Many of our physicians had fallen victims to the disease, and those who have escaped its ravages have precipitately fled from the region of death. The sick are suffering in a dreadful manner for the want of medical aid and assistance. The living are not only unable to attend to the wants of the sick, but cannot bury their dead. There are none to be found to dig graves or make coffins. The markets are entirely deserted, and the few inhabitants remaining are under the necessity of sending to Cleveland and other ports on the Lake for provisions and medical assistance.”

Birmingham, a flourishing town in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, was desolated by the scourge. The Pittsburgh Gazette says:

“The disease in this ill-fated town is rapidly on the increase, and is now spreading through all parts of it. The greatest consternation prevails, and few who can leave their houses remain in them. The stores are closed, and the streets blocked up by the furniture wagons and carts, removing families into the country, while the manufactories are, with very few

exceptions, shut up." The following affecting incident is recorded in the western papers:

“A family near Charleston, Miami county, Ohio, were last week attacked with cholera. First the father died-then three of the children and the mother were taken—a boy of thirteen being the only one remaining in health. The sick children all died on Thursday; and during that night, with the three dead bodies lying in the room, the boy, alone and unaided, faithfully watched and nursed his mother! On the next day, some neighbours came in, gave a decent burial to the deceased, and were compelled, so noxious and offensive was the room in which the woman lay, to remove her, for the time, out of doors to the shade of a tree near by. The boy was taken to Tippecanoe by some friends, and remained there for a few days, was seized with cholera, and died after a short illness! The mother is recovering; but the noblehearted boy, who so faithfully watched with her during that fearful night, has gone to his reward."

The New York Courier and Enquirer contains another touching instance of the desolation that has fallen on families:

“A gentleman extensively engaged in manufacturing, told us yesterday, that a fine little fellow, twelve or fourteen years old, recently came to him and asked for work. He told him he had none to give himbut was prompted, by the tears which started to his eyes, as he was turning away, to inquire into his circumstances. The boy told him where he had lived, in the Tenth avenue--and that within a few days his father, mother, two brothers, two sisters, and an apprentice boy, who lived with them, had died of the cholera, and that he was the sole survivor of them all! Such an appeal was not to be resisted; the little fellow soon found a place, and is now at work.”

We add another orphan story equally affecting; this scene was in the same city:

“A clergyman attending the funeral of a woman, who died in Wall street, on the 11th inst., says:—'I found the two children sitting by the side of the coffin, and as no other individual was present, the desolate room was as silent as the tomb. I offered a short prayer, and at the close of each sentence, the children repeated that prayer, word for word. They had been accustomed in that manner to repeat their mother's prayers. They then waited for the privilege of riding on the hearse, to accompany the remains of their mother to the place of burial.'

Sometimes a parent was left alone, his whole family being swept away by the pestilence.

“A few days since, a child belonging to a young mechanic residing in the upper part of the city, was attacked with the cholera, and died in a few hours. On the succeeding day the second child was attacked with the malady, and on the following day she also died. The third child, the youngest and the only one remaining, was taken down the same day, and while the mother was attending upon her, she also was attacked by the same disease, brought on by care and anxiety, and another day had scarcely elapsed, before she, too, was numbered with the dead. The remaining child lingered for a day or two longer, when it followed its mother to the world of spirits. Thus, in the short space of a week, was a husband and father deprived of wife and children.”

We have said, that in some instances whole families were swept away; we copy from the Cairo Delta, (III.) one of those instances:

“We are informed that a week or two since, in a little settlement between Ohio city and Charleston, Mo., every member of three families, numbering thirteen persons in all, died of the cholera. Their names were Hill, Welch and Brecken. A doctor named Myers, who had been attending them, was also taken with the disease, and died alone. The bodies were found in the houses, and in too decomposed a state to be placed in the coffins provided for them. They were buried as they were found. The three or four inhabitants not taken with the disease fled. In all the instances of great fatality of which we have read, resulting from the cholera, this appears comparatively the greatest.”

Had we room, we might increase the mournful account-we might add to the list of the sufferers many more instances of the fatal progress of the pestilence. It was not confined to any class or age. The poor and the rich alike were its subjects. It respected not persons-the temperate and the intemperate fell before it. It struck down some of the finest intellects and noblest spirits in the land-Gaines, Duncan and Henrie, Ogden, Lawrence, Woolley, Lord, Scovel, Lyon, Hamilton, Griswold, and many others,—the brave, the learned, and the pious.

And of the devoted and fearless physicians who attended the sick, and the dying, throughout all the scenes of this gloomy period, num


« ПретходнаНастави »