Sunday, September 21, 2008

Touching Account of the Death of Anna McKinney Sloan 1834

This is a wonderful old letter addressed from James Sloan to his father and mother-in-law, Collin and Betsy McKinney. Collin McKinney was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence; the city of McKinney and county of Collin were named for him.

James Sloan’s wife, Anna (McKinney) Sloan was a first cousin to my great-great-great grandmother, Emily (Watson) Watson. At the time this was written, James was 41 years old and had several small children at home, some of them by his first wife who also died young. James and Anna had four children; the youngest was a daughter, Mary Ann, who was born September 13, 1834 and whose birth is described in this letter. James remarried after Anna’s death and had four children by his third wife.

Anna was only 25 when she died.

I found this letter while searching in the Milam-McKinney Family Papers, Special Collections Library, University of Texas at Arlington.

Addressed to Collin McKinney, Lafayette County, Lost Prairie Post Office, A. T. (Arkansas Territory)

Clark County, A. T.
October the 9th 1834

Dear Father and Mother
I take my pen in hand to direct a few lines to you to let you know something of our distressed situation - Anna is no more – she is gone to return to us no more – she was taken with a chill and fever and the most racking pains imaginable on the seventh of September and was in that way daily until the morning of the thirteenth of the same month – she then was delivered of her child and appeared like as if she was a going to do well although very low and weak but in a short time was taken worse again and continued a wasting away until she departed which was the thirtieth day of September. Six days before she departed I was setting by her she appeared to be a dozing but all at once she cried out glory to her god and continued shouting and praising of god for some hours – she told us often that she felt happy - said she I never felt such peace and happiness before that from that time it appeared to me like as if her mind was entirely _____ on her god – she took up the most part of her time in exorting her friends who stood around her to serve god and to try to meet her in glory. Not more than five minutes before she drew her last breath I could hear her distinctly say glory. She is gone and there is no doubt in my mind but what she is gone to glory where we may if we prove faithful meet with her where parting is no more.

We have had a good deal of sickness in the family this season but they all appear to be doing tolerable well at this time. The little baby keeps well. I feel very anxious to see you and I feel in hopes you will come to see us as I cannot leave the children at this time to go to see you. I hope I will have the opportunity of seeing you in a short [time] – so nothing more at present I remain your most affectionate son

James Sloan

© 2008, copyright Stephen Mills

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