25 July 1789 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh
My Dear Brother,
Your letter that I received this day having the stamp of distress, but too well bespoke the dark contentment. Alas my friend my brother, a brother too whose miseries surpass what his nearest friend can suppose, fate having taken possession of all life and nothing is left but to mourn. I wish with me only to offer my mite of condolence the administration of which distress me to the soul. The cause is too grievous to admit of Balm, yet can I not resist begging of you to exercise your good understanding in endeavoring to avoid that tide of trouble which at present overwhelms you. And if possible change it to a more serious contemplation of these months which you as well as all who knew your and my poor dear girl, have so justly valued in her. She is my witness when I declare that your loss is imparable to you as will those of her family.
But for my sake D John forbare, remember your health and their future happiness. I will not tell you to forget your dear beloved Nancy [Anna]. No my Brother, I will not impose on you what I hope I shall never do myself. This would be carrying Philosophy to a degree of austerity which nothing but a hardened hear could justify. All hope is that you will guard against that melancholy which but too often takes hold of the heart of sensibility and unfits it for remaining obligations almost as strong as that by which it felt a sacrifice.
And while I say so much, don’t believe my Brother, that I wish to rend you from the noblest purposes, that of simpathy. I pray you again not to think so meanly of me. But why this caution? I well do know the disposition I am speaking of holds no reflections but those as and by affectionate temperance gleanin under whose immediate protection I hope and believe you ever lend that firmness you so much require.
Most gladly would I come to you but I am so unfortunately as but to have one young man the other is gone to Virginia so that my presence is inevitable here. I hope soon to see you. Till then farewell my most dear Brother Yours ever affectionatley J McCulloh
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 222