1864: Grace (Craig) McLeod to her Sister

This letter was written by 47 year-old Grace (Craig) McLeod (1816-1870), a native of Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, and the wife of Samuel McLeod (1814-1864)—also of Scotland. Her letter bears the sad tidings of the accidental death of her husband when he was struck by a falling tree while working with other men in a pine woods not far from their home in central Michigan.


Lincoln [township, Isabella county, Michigan]
January 17, 1864

Dear Sister,

I once more take my pen to write you a few lines to inform you that Samuel is dead. He died on the morning of the 8th of this month at four o’clock. He was to work in the pine woods. He was one of the sawyers and on the 7th, one of the men felled a pine tree and it struck a beech and some of the limbs struck him on the head and right shoulder and broke the arm and shoulder all to pieces and destroyed his right lung. He was sensible till he died but he suffered most from his bleeding at the lungs. They sent for me and I got there about 7 o’clock. We sent for Mary and she did not get there till nine next morning.

We brought him home and kept him till Wednesday. We sent for James and him and his Aunt Margaret came. We buried him at Mount Pleasant—the only burying ground in the county. It is at the county seat ten miles from here.

I wrote to you some months ago but have not heard from you since I finished it rather abruptly as my nose bled at the time and the the mail carrier was coming so Mary finished it for me. Write when convenient. The girls both have schools. James and Grace are at home. I mean to send this letter to the children at Chicago.

Receive love from all. I remain your loving sister, — Grace McLeod


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