foot of Penn Hill
, charged with the sole care of their
little brood of children; managing their farm; keeping house with frugality, though opening her doors to the houseless and giving with good will a part of her scant portion to the poor; seeking work for her own hands, and ever busily occupied, now at the spinning wheel, now making amends for having never been sent to school by learning French
, though with the aid of books alone.
Since the departure of her husband for congress, the arrow of death had sped near her by day, and the pestilence that walks in darkness had entered her humble mansion; she herself was still weak after a violent illness; her house was a hospital in every part; and such was the distress of the neighborhood, she could hardly find a well person to assist in looking after the sick.
Her youngest son had been rescued from the grave by her nursing; her own mother had been taken away, and, after the austere manner of her forefathers, buried without prayer.
Woe followed woe, and one affliction trod on the heels of another.
Winter was hurrying on; during the day family affairs took off her attention, but her long evenings, broken by the sound of the storm on the ocean, or the enemy's artillery at Boston
, were lonesome and melancholy.
Ever in the silent night ruminating on the love and tenderness of her departed parent, she needed the consolation of her husband's presence; but when, in November, she read the king's proclamation, she willingly gave up her nearest friend exclusively to his perilous duties, and sent him her cheering message: ‘This intelligence will make a plain path for you, though a dangerous one; I could not join to-day in the petitions of our worthy pastor for a reconciliation ’