Barbour County Families
Abraham and Maria Morgan Hudkins

Julia Sterrett

Abraham Hudkins married Hannah Bailey in Taylor County on March 24, 1834. (According to Lyle Corder, it was Harrison County, VA/WV.) There was a daughter, Rhoda Ann, born October 12, 1837, who married Thornberry Bailey Bartlett of Harrison County, born January 17, 1833, on February 22, 1854. Rhoda Ann died December 31, 1902.

He married Maria Morgan (his second wife) in 1843. They had 10 children. The firstborn, a girl, died shortly after birth. The next 4 survived to adulthood. The next 4 died of diptheria within 6 weeks in 1865 (see Maria Morgan's letter to her sister Emily). A son was born in 1866 or 1867, his name being either Jay or Claude. He moved to Pasadena, California sometime around 1890. The 4 who lived to adulthood were: Annette Elizabeth, April 15, 1846; Emily Jane, June 4, 1850; Richard Ezra, September 29, 1852 and DeWitt Clinton, June 7, 1854.

This is a copy of a letter from Maria Morgan Hudkins to her sister and brother-in-law, John and Emily Burr, in French Creek, West Virginia probably in 1865. It is not known who Adalade was.

Nov the 9th
Dear Brother and Sister
It is with a crushed and bleeding heart I sit down to tell a tale of sorrow. Our house is silent and lonely. Our hearts are sad. I have scarcely nerve enough to record the painful events of the past six weeks. Four newly made graves tell of our sorrow, four vacant places around our fireside and table. We no longer hear the sweet prattle and merry laughter of children's voices, all is quiet and still. Dear sister, you know from experience how to sympathize with us. That ruthless destroyer has entered and taken a beloved and p(?) son. Why is it, oh why h(as) the Lord permitted these afflictions to come upon us is often asked by our repining hearts. O that grace may be given to us to bow in humble submission so that we can say and feel that the Lord doeth all things well.

Sunday morning the 25 of September Florence complained of a sore throat. We thought it was a common sore throat from cold and tried the usual remedies but she continued to grow worse. We then sent (for?) Dr. T. Bartlett who did all that skill and affection could do but human aid could do nothing to stop the progress of that dreadful disease. She died Monday morning the ninth day of her sickness. Parting with that dear child seemed as much as we could bear. It is well we cannot see the trials that lay before us. I think mighty power has comforted and strengthened me or I could not have had the fortitude and calmness I have had.

The Sunday after Florence's death Charles was taken sick and the next day Lewis began to complain of his throat. We tried remedies that were said to have affected a cure in other cases but without any benefit. We then sent for Dr. Bradford, a physician celebrated for his success in the Diptheria. He and Thornsberry attended upon them faithfully but alas their efforts like ours were all in vain. Lewis had a high fever and lost his appetite from the first and kept his bed most of the time. Charles kept his appetite and strength better. We was able to be up most of the time for a week, but I think he suffered more with his throat than the others. Nothing that was done had the desired effect. They continued to grow worse until the morning of the 20th when their sufferings ended in death. Charles died at half past three, Lewis at four, only half an hour between their deaths. Lovely and pleasant they were in their lives. In their deaths they were not divided. They were burried in the same grave.

I know dear friends your hearts sicken at reading this tale of woe as mine does in writing it, but I cannot stop here. My sorrowful story must go on. On Sunday after the little boys were burried we saw that our last remaining little pet was not well. On Monday she was worse but did not complain of her throat. I (flattered?) myself it was not the Diptheria and doctered her for worms. The third day the canker made its appearance. We then sent for Dr. Harter of Weston. His treatment was different from the others (but?) it failed to remove the disease. Finding the remedies were not effecting a cure, we sent for another Dr. but all was of no avail. Death had marked my lovely babe and could not be cheated of his prey. She died Sunday, the 5 of Nov. In less than five weeks four of our children had been laid in the grave.

I have received a letter from Adalade. She is teaching on the West fork, boarding at the widow Hall's. She is very anxious to hear from home.


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