To James and Alice Barlow

7 December 1863


[MS in Finney Papers 2/2/2]


Oberlin. Ohio. U.S. 7th Dec. 1863

My Dear Br. & Sister Barlow.

My Precious Wife has gone to heaven.

For the last year she has been failing

with a distressing cough. About the

first of Sept. she went to Clifton Springs

water cure. There an ulcer broke in her

lungs & relieved the congestion & her

Physician pronounced her better. He

however recommended that she should

visit the sea shore for the recovery of

her strength. She went, but her strength

continuing to fail, she was ordered back

to the "cure" by the Physician. On her way

back she was suddenly cut down in

the cars, taken to a Hotel in

the city of Syracuse, & died there.

Her two sons, her brother & lady cousin

were with her. I was not with her

& only reached her to attend her

funeral. Her family burying ground

is on the beautiful "Mount Hope" the

city cemetary of Rochester N. York. There

she has always expected to be buried.

She lies surrounded by her first husband

& 6. Children. This city is not far from

where she breathed her last. I only arri

ved to see her dear face through the

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transparent lid of her coffin. A more

lovely looking corps I never saw. Her

flesh had not wasted much. She

appeared, in her last sleep, much

younger than when alive, & her

countenance was radiant with

smiles. Her departure, at the time,

was very sudden & altogether unexpected.

I feared that she was gradually sinking

with consumption. But when her lungs

grew better the disease suddenly

determined to her head, & she became

paralized. To the last she was, in

spirit, as you knew her. A blessed

woman she was. Grace had done its

work for, & in, her, & she was a ripe chris

tian & fully prepared for her change.

She did not expect to depart so soon.

As a wife she was most affectionate & faithful.

As a Mother, most loving, wise, & successful.

As a christian, she always has been since

she has been my wife, what you saw her

to be, Consistent, laborious, selfsacrificing

useful. I never saw a more uniform

Christian. She was never impulsive or

flighty, but sober, rational, always abou

nding in the work of the Lord.

I bless God for the grace bestowed upon

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her. She departed this life on the 27th ult.

I do not know when she last wrote to you.

You & the dear friends at Bolton

were ever on her heart. We were

often conversing of the sweet days

we spent at your house, & the blessed

scenes through which we passed at

Bolton, & in Manchester & other parts

of England. So, My Dr. Br. & sister Barlow,

I am left to make the rest of my journey

home without my sweet companion, &

helpmeet. But blessed be God it is but

a little way, & I am not alone. Christ

is with me & has "said I will never

leave thee nor forsake thee". My Dear

wife has suffered sever[e]ly in health for

many months past. But it is all over.

I can not but mourn her b absence, but

so unspeakable is her gain, that I am

ashamed to think or speak of my loss.

She has lived much in anticipation

of this change for years. But none of

us were expecting it so suddenly.

Her interest in her English friends never

abated as I could perceive. She was

ready, at any time, to return, & resume

her labors while she had life to do

so. Do, My Dr. Br. & Sister give my love

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to such of our friends as are within

your reach. You are aware that I have

been ill much of the time since we left

England. The health of my Dear wife

suffered a good deal through her unre

mitting care of me. She has gone & I

remain. I am able to preach considerable

now & attend to college duties. Since

I have been so ill I have given more

thought to the subject of death than

ever before. It has ceased to be to me an

object of terror or even of sorrow.

It must be to a christian a most

desirable & glorious change. You

will pray for me, will you not,

my Dr. Br. & Sister. My youngest Child,

a Daughter, is with me. She was not

married as was expected soon after

our return from England. This, I can

see, was providential. Her engagement

was broken off by mutual consent.

She is a sweet Christian as, perhaps, you

ever saw. My wives youngest & only surviving

daughter, by her 1st husband, is the wife of

my son who is an Officer in the army. She

is with me also. My Children are all to me

that children can be. Give my dearest

love to all your Dear family. Your Br. be, forever

C. G. Finney.



Elizabeth Finney died on 27 November 1863.