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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 235, September 30, 1857

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Identifier: DX03807228

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 235, September 30, 1857

Description: Regarding the death of his brother-in-law, Joseph Greatbatch.


have no doubt it was the Fever and Ague which is the invariable accompaniment of breaking up new land, and which renders this cursed country not fit for a civilized man to live in.) They gave quinine and other medicines. [Joseph] Greatbatch lingered for two weeks, sometimes being delerious, sometimes sensible. He would say he felt no pain and wonder why the doctor kept him in bed. Mary Anne [Greatbatch] was removed to a lower room, relapsed, took quinine, was delirious, yet, at times was able to attend her husband. At length the crisis approached — to terminate fatally. They had bathed him in whiskey and vinegar. He was sensible and died apparently without pain. “I asked him if he was better” says poor Mary Anne. “He said he supposed so.” She, a neighbor, (a woman), the boys [Fred and Edward Greatbatch], and another neighbor (accidentally passing with a load of hay) were present. He died without a struggle, no motion indicating pain. “So ends,” she writes “the short career of my poor, dear, kind faithful husband;” here am I a widow, my poor boys fatherless in the far West, to struggle with our difficulties.”

It is sad, very sad news. I am shocked and grieved at it. Until towards the conclusion of the letter I entertained no other apprehension than that the family had passed through some severe experience of sickness and suffering, happily ending in recovery. He — striving and patient and uncomplainingly industrious (in spite of the undeserved hard fortune which beset him all his life long — to die thus, when, humanly speaking, he had earned such a right to a prosperous and tranquil future. It is sorrowful enough to make the hopefullest doubtful whether existence does not contain more of misery than happiness. I am sure that poor Mary Anne’s fortu-

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1857-09-30

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Diseases
Medical care


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