26th Sept. 1872
Dear Mrs. Anderson,
The tidings concerning your noble husband were a great shock to us. We knew
that he had been in feeble health for a good while & was absent when the heavy sorrow
of your sister's loss came upon you, but were not expecting such results at all. Mrs. B.
heard the telegram read from the Sunday's paper, but knowing how much I'd feel it, kept
it from me until my severe labors for the day were over.
And I must confess my utter inability to sympathize in the unalterable grief of a
heart-broken wife. You have others about you to weep with you & echo your groans &
sighs but even they cannot enter fully into grief like yours tho it is very sweet to feel that
they feel with you & for you so deeply. How unspeakable precious in such hours of
sorrow, dear sister, to realize that there is in the universe one heart that can & does know
how to pity & comfort you. So that loving & sympathizing Saviour, who suffered
agonies infinitely beyond what you now endure & all for you, must we prayerfully &
tenderly commit you.
Read that scene at the grave of Lazarus in the Eleventh Chapter of John's Gospel
& when you can ponder all his gracious words to those sorrowing sisters. Recall such
words as these "We have not an High Priest that cannot be touched with a feeling of our
infirmities; but was *** in all points as we are & yet without sin." "For we know that all
things work together for good to them that love God." And also Hebrews XII entirely.
When your comfort comes & you arise by degrees to your great & noble work for your
dependent children as his precious trust to you his beloved wife, I doubt not that you will
find nothing so sweet as Christ's sympathy.
Please tell the family of my sincere sorrow at their loss & especially his sister,
who had acted a sister's part to me & mine, & his venerable Mother who next to yourself
feels this great bereavement. May God, the Father of Jesus Christ, comfort & strengthen
Yours in sympathy,
Wm. E. Boggs
Mrs. B. writes in love & sympathy to you all.
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.