Henry Hyden Woodward

LETTER: Pages 41 & 42 of Descendants of Captain Henry Woodward

Lee County, Virginia
January 23, 1848

My Dear Children:

Through the abounding mercy of God we are still living and in the enjoyment of tolerable health and we hope these few lines will reach and find you well and prospering both in temperate and religious point of view. I can tell you that we got your letter dated November 7, 1847, which afforded us much joy and pleasure as formerly to hear that you were still alive and in reach of the mercy and grace of God, and for all these favors and blessings, we return our constant thanks to HIM who holds in his hands the destinies of the children of men. I suppose you have another son therefore your cares and obligations must necessarily be increased.

I reckon Lydia can hardly comply with her former promise for Ezekiel has had the fortune to buy a place of about 50 acres or more for a few dollars, more than half in trade and calculated with regard to the payments that it appears he can easily pay. Lydia had another son born dead on the 11th, of this instant; she is rapidly recovering. Jesse married a girl, Sarah M. Robinson, who came from Washington and is no kin to those other Robinsons. Exekiel's place lies just on top of the big hill the other side from here, joining John Ingle; and Jesse will live on my place in the house that James Lyttle built.

Elizabeth was married on the same day that Lydia had her son to Solomon Hobb's son, you remember Solomon, and they live in Tennessee three or four miles from Rose Hill Camp-ground. I have plenty of corn and meat and fine stock around me and I think am dong well. The friends around in general are tolerably well except we have had some cases of the fever this winter among us. John Warren died some time in November, five or six among us who had the fever; none as yet died except John Warren, though I myself was very low, but am rising again to health and strength. I was taken on the 26th of November, and lay about forty days before I could rise and venture abroad. I used medicine from a physician, which tended to destroy the fever and restore my health. I now proceed to give you our ages according to Sally's request. I Henry H. Woodward was born April 22, 1798. Your mother, Elizabeth Woodward was born September 18, 1798.

            Barbara Jane was born November 8, 1818
            John David was born March 17, 1820
            Lydia Hyden was born March 1, 1822
            Sally Shelton was born August 6, 1827  (surely a typo, must be 1823)
            Elizabeth Morain was born May 20, 1825
            Jesse Murphy was born January 6, 1827
            Rhoda Orr was born October 2, 1828
            Henry McDaniel was born March 29, 1830
            Susannah Burgin was born February 10, 1832
            George Fry was born April 28, 1837
            David Orr was born April 28, 1837
            Alexander Fletcher was born May 12, 1839
            James Crawford was born December 4, 1841
            Nathan Moran was born August 29, 1845

I and your mother were married November the 25th day, 1817. Matilda had another son born about the first of October last and they called his name Henry Hobbs. I would have written sooner but I was waiting to see what would become of Lydia and baby but we can tell you that religion still survives among us - we had a fine meeting today at Pleasant Hill.

I must not omit to tell you of a meeting held among us about the first of October last. It continued three days and two nights. The meeting was held at Bethel and during the time 26 joined the church and upwards of 30 professed to get religion. It was an uncommon time.

Before I conclude you will doubly look for some good advise as usual.

I can only recommend to you what I have hitherto done. That is in a word to serve God and keep His commandments for this appears to be the whole duty of man.

The service of God consists in knowledge and obedience. It is our duty first to know, secondly to obey. We must have a knowledge of ourselves for utter helplessness our inability to preform any good thing with out the aid of God. We should also have a knowledge of the true character of the Divine Being. He possesses almighty power, He is also present in every place at the same time, He is also infinitely wise, and the Scriptures tell us His nature is love. Now when all these attributes are joined TOGETHER for the salvation of the human family, why should we stand back to perform the obedience He requires at our hands. I have long since tried to enjoin obedience to God on all my children. I want to see and know that they are all traveling though Emmanuel's land to fairer worlds on nigh. I therefore invite you again to serve God in spirit and in truth. Be zealous, be determined, let others do as they may, for your part do you serve God. We which this advice to operate upon all our children for the time is not far distant when we will both repose in the ground. Therefore, we beseech the God of the Father left to protect you all when we can no longer have the privilege of seen our children and exercising over them that influence which the God of the God of nature requires of us. Now in conclusion may the God of peace and consolation be with you and keep you in His favor until death and may we all meet again in Heaven at last - Amen.

Henry and Elizabeth Woodward


We send you our best love and regards and we beg you to receive the good wishes of all the children. Answer this letter as soon as you can and let us know how you are doing.

H. H. Woodward

{Typewritten copy of actual letter now in possession of W. A. Woodward, Chadren, Nebraska. Written to Mr John Grabill, Callatin P.O., Daviess County, Missouri and from Jonesville, Virginia.}