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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 154, February 20, 1857

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Identifier: DX03736888

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 154, February 20, 1857

Description: Regarding the death of William Levison just three weeks after the death of his daughter Ellen.


20. Friday. [William] Levison died this morning, between two and three o’clock. I had not thought the crisis so imminent, though, last night, I heard his groans and cries as I went up stairs. Mrs [Catharine] Potter was present, two outside friends of Levison’s (who had volunteered to sit up as watchers, but were asleep at the time) and [Jesse] Haney — who had just ascended the stairs, and was called in. Mrs [Mary] Levison had lain down in the adjoining room, sharing Mrs [Catharine] Potter’s bed. She fainted away and had to be carried from the death chamber subsequently. Haney cried out and, they say, kissed poor Louisa’s hand. He had been dying since the afternoon, was for the most part delirious, and crying “Make haste!” Mrs Potter says he recognized her and squeezed her hand, hard. Poor Levison! —

It is just three weeks since the death of his child [Ellen Levison]. He has followed her very soon.

There’s no one who knew the man that will not think kindly of him, now he’s gone. It is not to be so much regretted for his own sake — for he had no great portion of health and happiness, and his child’s death lessened that little. He loved her very much, and his sorrow aided to loosen his own hold on life. [Nathaniel] Hawthorne writes that if a deceased man could return some days after his demise he would find that he had either risen or sunk in the estimation of his acquaintances.

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1857-02-20

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Death
19th century


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