Richmond, Va. Oct. 14th 1872
Dear Cousin Etta:
Your note of the 8th is only just rec'd. I cannot undertake to say to you how much
we have thought of you & yours in your great bereavement, and how deep has been our
own affliction in the loss your beloved husband. This feeling has been the more intense,
because I inferred from one or two of his letters that you would be left to struggle with
poverty & yet, knowing his full faith in the duty of Life Insurance, I clung to the hope
that he had not permitted his policy to lapse. How this may be I have no means of
knowing. Of course if the premium due in August last was not paid the policy is
forfeited. The company will however pay what is called its "surrender value," provided
three annual payments have been made in cash; but not if a "premium note" has been
given for a part of the payments.
Butler will understand this explanation. If he will write to "J.L. Halsey, Secry,
No. 156, Broadway, NY" he will learn at once if there is anything due. I would write at
once, myself, but the companies do not feel bound to furnish information of this sort,
except to parties in interest, or their representatives.
I enclose you two little notices of dear Patton's death; they were penciled hastily
by myself & that will explain one or two little inaccuracies. The Enquirer had also quite
a warmly eulogistic notice, but it betrayed such an utter ignorance of the facts that you
would care to see it.
There is this at least to cherish in your memory & that of your pour stricken
children, that he left not an enemy behind him, & that his name will be affectionately
remembered and widely honored for many, many years.
May God have mercy on you all!
We are all just about as usual here, & are without news from Washington. Father
expects to make us a visit next week.
All my household joins me in a message of warmest affection to you & the
Aunt Margaret, Butler, Cousin Carry [?] & their families-
Your own affectionate Cousin,
J. Adair Pleasants
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.