Geo Town
26th. Mar -33

My Dear Cousin Nelly

The enclosed little book - I will thank you to give to Harriett with my love. Tell her I hope she is able to say from her heart - “it is well, - It is only saying what is infallibly true and certain; as she will one day know - Now we “see through a glass darkly” - but when all the hidden ways of God’s providence are revealed to us, we shall see & own that “He hath done all things well.”

It is only the weakness of our faith that keeps us now from being, “in whatsoever state we are, therewith content” - If we believed and trusted as we have the right to do, we should always be enabled to say of everything that happens to us - “it is the Lord - let Him do what seemeth to Him good.”

God gives us many helps in this our weakness of faith - We see around us in the world many & severe sufferings. The child for whose life we would pray we cannot guard from them. We must commit it to God: and if He sees best to remove it from “the evil to come,” & take it from scenes of trouble and danger, to mansions of rest & happiness in his own presence, how can we repine? - When it is thus taken what shall we pray for? - that we may see it again - that this dear object of our affections may again be in our arms? This is a natural and reasonable desire - and it shall be granted. - And that is the the best possible way for us & it. - “I shall go to him, said David of his child, “but he shall not return to me.

Now if God, in such circumstances, was to give us a choice of either having our child returned to us here, or taking us to it in heaven, could we doubt as to which was best?

I trust that Harriett and Mr. Marshall will encourage each other in looking forward to a meeting with their dear child, where there will be no more sorrow or separation, sickness or death, and that they will see & own in this dispensation, the hand of a father & say - “it is well.

I am my dear Cousin

Affec-ly. yrs

F. S. Key

1833 Letter from Francis Scott Key to His Cousin Eleanor Potts
Concerning the Death of Harriett and John Henry Marshall's Child.

Reference: Edward S. Delaplaine. Francis Scott Key: Life and Times, Brooklyn, NY, 1937, pp. 248-251.

Back to Marshall Hall Story