Death, the Unconkerable King of Terrors
Blount County Tennessee
~ 1841 ~

© 1998, Mary Lynn Taylor Norman. All Rights Reserved.

Circular handstamp postmark:
       Maryville __
Manuscript date:
       June 28
Manuscript rate:
       Mr. J. N. Taylor
       Columbus Tennessee

Saturday Maryville June 25, 1841
Dr Brother:
       I recd your letter of June 17 containing five dollars in money. I recd the letter on Sabbath morning just as I was about starting out to our old place on crooked creek where I have a Sabbath School. I had not time just then to return an answer, nor did I think it necessary so soon to tax your patience with anouther letter, nor would I even now were it not for one sentence in your letter that I do not understand. You say “that you sent me three dollars by Berry,” if I can make out the sentence. I have not seen Berry since I left home, nor have I received any money, but the five above mentioned, from you since I left home. I sent home three dollars by the Post rider, which I suppose you received, though you did not say. I am well, and doing as well as I can. I have a very large Sabbath School, between 60 & 70 there last Sab and Sab before.
       I suppose you have herd that Rev. Dr. McGie is no more, -- he died two weeks ago with, I suppose, old age. “The toll the wise the Rev. head must lie as low as ours.” Death, the unconkerable king of Terrors, is committing his ravages every few weeks in every neighborhood, calling off the most fair and flourishing, as well as the middle aged and the old.
       Last Tuesday evening there was a man died in Maryville after lying not more than 12 hours. He had come to Maryville on some business from the paper mill. The longer I live, and the more see of the world and human nature, the less I think of it. We come into life in a storm, and are hurried on to middle age, and then to old age, by the current of error, fashions, and customs, untill premature disease and death seases upon our vitals and we are brought to our graves and are forgotton soon, or if remembered at all, it is only with the sad recollection that we have lived, died, and gone the way of all the earth, and that the condition of our fellow men with whom we associate is none the better of us having been in existence. If men would restrain their hellish passions, Rath, Malace, envy, revenge, jealousy, and a host of kndred passions, and endeavor at all times, and under all circumstances, to preserve a calm and quiet temper of mind, their cup of enjoyment would be more than replenished for the little self denial it would require. To produce this calm in the mind of man, of so infinite importance, in every true act of devotion, and in every minute of real enjoyment, it might be a good plan to think often of death, of the relation we sustain to ourselves, our fellow men and our God. If men would studey these relations, and when he knows his duty, try to do it, the cup of grief might be turned into joy. No longer would there be found a deamon in human form, writhing under all the secret pangs of remorse. Remove rage and cruelty to man and disterb the natural rights of his fellow men. As well might the pilot of a ship try to guide the vessal, without a rudder, or sails, as for a man who gives loose rains to his passions and especially anger, to stear clear of difficulties. But why do I write thus? My thoughts seamed to run in that channel. But a word of a more personal nature. I recd a letter from D [?] Brown my old landlord in Ala. He has collected “something the rise of a 100 Dollars for me,” which is subject to my order at any time. I am afraid to risk it . . . [torn, word missing] Probably I will get an opportunity to send for it in the fall. I heard from Hiram this evening by Calvin (Post). He was well, and has gone to housekeping.
It is now eleven o’clock at night and I am both tired and sleepy.
Reguard for all Farewell
/s/  Thos. J. Taylor

       Columbus mentioned that you had recd a letter from Broth. Joseph and that he taked of being at home in June. If he has come home, tell him that I would like to see his long countenance.

       Go forth beloved to distant lands and if yo left behind ---
And if yo meet with prety girls remember her.

From the Collection of Edward Taylor of Maryville, Tennessee.
Provenance: a treasured family heirloom

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