Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Letters

Transcription - Illinois State Archives
Chief Justice Sidney Breese Collection

[September] 8th and 9 at night

I today in the [xx xx] of infamous memory [xx] the New York Artillery near-- Tomorrow Col. Clinton with Cap. Dubois, Billings & Benton set off & leave poor me behind with Cap Johnson. As soon tho as the officers [xx] arrives & [xx] 50 [xx] come in I shall set off with that company; so that while I will or no I must abide here a few days longer-- was you by me my beloved oh! how delectable would those few days be!

I inclose a letter to an old venerable gentleman who perhaps you might have heard of. I hope he is with you, for from the knowledge I have of him I don't think you will be a loser by his conversation-- By the letter he sent me I am sorry to find our good Stamford Mother is in a bad state of health-- I hope the Lord will [establish] her health & continue her long able song to a family who in a most poignant manner would feel her loss--

It begins to [game take] my dear & I have already wrote to you more than you will care to peruse at one sitting: therefore think it best to conclude, especially as I must be up early to [Goryland.] some waggons to the [xx] that are to carry up the baggage-- And yet some how or another I do not know how to conclude either, when writing to the woman my soul loveth I know not when to [xx] of-- It's something like a personal taking because we linger & dither and seem to wish to evade sorrowing scenes-- & now by the bye I must take notice of a passage in your letter herein you seem to think a little hard of my hurrying away from you too soon when I took my leave of you-- Upon my life my beloved it proceeded from every matter contrary to [unindexed]-- I knew that we must part-- & I also knew your weakness but I'll bear the [aggression's] you were in a wreck my [precious] heightened-- My God knows how I suffer'd when I left a room which contained my Heaven upon Earth!--

Take my baby in your arms & give it a thousand kisses for me, and bless it a thousand times-- --My love to dear sister Maria to W & Mrs. Van Voorhees Mrs Gates but not forgetting your father & grandmother.

I [take] you around the week my dear and miss you [severely]-- I charge you to take particular care of yourself as you tender the love of-- H.L.--

I begin this page in my chamber a little past 5 and all things chearfull around me as the weather is very fine-- I could enjoy the pleasantness of the season too if you my dearest was but in my arms, if you were but in sight- If you was but in the house-- and my little Representative's [notes] would be heard-- -- -- But cease despairing my fond heart-- a few more revolving suns and alternate days & nights [will] again & the faithfull pair will meet and in a close embrace again & again [felt onr] this sorces & renew their course-- My faith is strong my Dear that we shall certainly meet again, that happy days are in store for us & that we shall have the joyous task of Educating the Infant Catherine & [rearing] its tender mind to noble [summits]-- {I saw] employment that, HA! my Love! My Bosom is on fire at the idea

But even supposing the [soder] had opened the gate to one or other of [delight]-- Is there not a rich abundance of conversations in store against such events? You blessed by our Redeemer there is-- There is an inexhaustible fund of comfort in the Lord Jesus And all believers may take to the [full]-- --[Y] thither let you if I after go my Beloved-- for after all its there & there alone that true comfort can be found, even in the Hour when An arm of flesh walketh not-- To Jesus the Saviour let each dedicate his soul, & consign the partners interests-- To him let us give the babe with which Kind Heaven has favor'd us And all will be well-- All will be well--

You need not really my Dear have any fears that the troops who go now up will be exposed to many or any dangers in Battle as there is the greatest reason to suppose that by the time the affair is over-- I just now had a Colonel Van Issah (an old vetern) give it as his opinion that he did not think there was so safe a place in all America as that is which we are going-- I heard yesterday from one of Col. Waterbury's men that your neighbour Judge V.D.B's son John [attn] & ran away from their fire at Albany-- By the life old Waterbury is among the foremost of those that are gone against or [Jesus]-- A feather in Stamford Hero's cap!

Waiting at the Tavern a few minutes for [Philip Van] Cortlandt I scribbled the following lines-- You see wife how I reckon on your partiallity!--

On my little Catherine sleeping

Sweet Innocent lye still & sleep,
While chearfull seraphs vigils keep,
To ward of ev'ry shaft of death
That may be wing'd to seize thy breath.
Dear Infant how serene you lay,
Nor heed the bustle of the day!
Thy little bosom knows no care,
For guilt neer lay & wrankled there;
In thee all troubles die & cease,
And all is quiet all is peace.
How much unlike thy Father's life
Amid the Din of Arms & strife!
The tumult and the noise of war
Forever thundring in his ear.
Thy mother too has shed her tears
Has heav'd her sigh & known her fears.
Her lips hath not forgot to press
The bitter cup of keen distress.
And Thou sweet Babe will soon perceive]
That to be mortal is to greive;
That as the spark will upward fly,
So man still lives to mourn & dye.

This is the earliest surviving poem of Henry's.


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