This letter was written by Job Tubbs (1797-1856), the son of John Moore Tubbs (1759-1843) and Elizabeth Bush (1767-1822) of East Lyme, Connecticut. Job was married to Frances Chappell Turner (1805-18xx) and they had several children, most of whom are mentioned in this letter. Their first son, John Tubbs (1827-1831) died young. Their second son, Charles Herman Tubbs (1830-1863) is not mentioned. The next three children are mentioned as being sick with the measles at the time the letter was written in 1843: John H. Tubbs (1833-1893), Frances Elizabeth Tubbs (1835-1916), and Mary Gridley Tubbs (1839-1846). Their last child, George Frederick Tubbs (1846-1904) was not yet born. Living in the same household was Abigail (“Abbey”) Tubbs (1786-1883), Job’s older sister who never married.
Job wrote the letter to his sister, Hannah (Tubbs) Turner (1788-1854), the wife of Almerin Turner (1780-1873), the son of William Turner (1756-1790) and Hannah Williams (1758-1777). Almerin was a farmer in Susquehannah County, Pennsylvania.
The letter describes the death of Job’s, Abbey’s, and Hannah’s father, John Moore Tubbs, who died on 21 February 1843 after an illness of just two weeks duration. After John Tubb’s first wife (Elizabeth Bush) died in 1822, he married Sybil Chapman (1781-1849) in 1823.
Addressed to Mrs. Hannah Turner, Silver Lake, Susquehannah, Pennsylvania
March 27th 1843
Under a sense of duty I owe to you, I now take my pen to communicate to you the painful information of the decease of our aged and beloved father. He died on the 21st of February at 9 o’clock P.M. He had been as well as usual this winter until about two weeks before his death. He went into the woods with his team after a load of wood, wet his feet, took cold which occasioned a hard cough raised much from his stomach. He appeared to raise with ease to what he had at other times when he took cold. But some fever appeared and he mostly stoped raising. We called on the Physician. He visited him several times but medicine did little or no good – only a verry little temporary relief. We did every thing in our power to make him comfortable and restore him to health. But alas, his time was come. He appeared to have his senses until his last. He lost his speech verry much so that it was verry difficult to under stand what he said. He appeared to have considerable pain until a day or two before he died when he appeared to be sensible of but little and appeared to drop away easy.
You doubtless would like to know how his mind was in regard to a future state. To this I can give you a little idea as it was so difficult to understand what he said. Mr. Gridley, our Parson, visited him about a week before he died, before we thought him dangerously ill or before he had so much lost his speech. He asked him if he was willing to die. In reply he said he did not think it right to act the part of a hypocrit. He could not say he was [and] did not feel prepared. Asked Mr. Gridley to pray with him and a day or two after he said to Abbey he had lived with us a great while but was now going to leave us. She asked if he was willing to die. He said if it was God’s will, he was. He says I wish I could tell you how I feel – everything appears different – I feel as if I was in a new world – but I cannot tell you. He was much exhausted as it was a great exertion for him to speak. He said to his wife he thought he should meet her in heaven – no injustice – and how does it become us to spend the short time we have to spend here upon the earth in the service of God – to put our trust, our whole trust, in him – for he that trusts in Christ is safe.
My family are in tolerable health except John, our 2nd boy 9 years old. He has the measles, very sick, and we have two more to have it – Elizabeth 7 years old and Mary, our baby, 3 years last September. Our family consists of 9 – myself and wife, Abby, 4 children of our own, and a boy and girl that live with us. Abbey’s health’s poor but able to do very light work. I was sick last winter, not able to do anything about half of the time. This winter have had a lame hand all winter and is a reason I have not written you before as a great part of the time I could not write attall. But we have received many blessings and have the comforts of life.
Edwin Smith’s wife Eliza has been very feeble this winter in consequence of her lame limb much exercised with paine and confined to her bed a part of the time. There has been but few deaths just in this neighborhood. Capt. Joseph Smith is very infirm – only just able to get about house and Aunt Polly Clark is sick – probably will not recover. She has been entirely blind more than a year and almost helpless.
Father’s widow lives at the house where he died and probably at present. We received your letter last fall and hope we shall received another soon. I want Mr. [Almerin] Turner should write to us soon. Our love to you all. Write all about your children where they are. Abbie sends her love to you all and would write you but her hand trembles and she cannot. Your affectionate brother, — Job Tubbs
Enclosed a small piece of Father’s hair.
Here’s a multi-page pdf provided by Debra Turner. She thinks the portrait photo of the woman on page 8 of the pdf file is Frances Ellis Turner but isn’t positive. In the other picture, the caption reads: Frances Ellis Turner and Anna Turner (in the broad hat) with two charming young ladies (possibly Anna’s grand-daughters?), Anne (left) and little Sally (right) at Deer Isle, Maine in 1933.