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“We are almost becalmed, and have been for some days, and some changes have taken place from the uncertainty of a long passage, but I have cause to be thankful for hope. So far I have been weak and not well all the way.”
Here closes the journal written by our precious mother. May its valuable pages be as soul-cheering and instructive to the reader as they have been to the compiler The next account we have of this tenderly loved relative is contained in the following communication :
“Freetown, Sierra-Leone, May 7th, 1832. “Dear Sir,
“The individuals who now address you feel it a most painful task to have to communicate intelligence which they know will deeply distress you, (although one of them is unknown to you.) We sympathize in your loss, and feel, too, that we have lost a dear friend, and a successful labourer in the cause she was engaged in. She had indeed the welfare of the benighted Africans at heart, and counted not her life dear unto herself so that she might be made a blessing unto them, in conveying religious instruction to their susceptible minds; willingly did she endure many hardships and privations, which few are acquainted with, in her labours of love. Her zeal in the great cause seemed to know no bounds; full proof of it is left behind, though her own life is laid down in her last efforts to benefit her fellow-creatures.
“The name of Hannah Kilham is dear to many in this part of the world; we may say she was beloved and respected by all who knew her. Her loss is felt acutely by the poor people at Charlottee, particularly by her dear charge, the school children; they feel they have lost their dearest friend:—the scene was truly affecting when the mournful tidings were brought to them. We could not but shed a tear with these sable mourners; but we trust whilst we deplore her loss on earth her happy spirit dwells in a milder clime—a region of eternal day ! “We are sorry that we are not at present acquainted with all the particulars respecting her illness and death. The information we have received is the following:—Mrs. Kilham left Liberia in good health to return to Sierra-Leone; when very nearly within two days' sail the vessel was struck by lightning, and put back to Liberia; she was taken ill the day following, complained only of seasickness; whether country-fever, or some other disease followed we have no intimation further than this: on the third day, the 31st of March, she died quite insensible. Her grave is the boundless deep ! “Her personal baggage is not yet arrived. Mr. M'Cormack has taken care of it, and soon it will be sent here; which, with other effects, shall be disposed of according to your direction. “We waited upon his Excellency the Lieutenant-governor on Saturday the 5th,-the day we received the mournful intelligence,—and again this morning, with respect to continuing the schools. Mr. M'Foy, having confidence in the Society of
Friends, promised to be responsible for all expenses incurred in providing a teacher, or teachers, to carry on the schools upon the plans adopted by Mrs. Kilham, until you can send one out, or give instructions respecting them.”
Notice of the early Life of Hannah Kilham, communicated by her Sister.
HANNAH KilHAM the daughter of Peter and Hannah Spurr, was born on the 12th of 8th month, 1774. Her father was a native of Whittington, in Derbyshire ; and her mother, whose maiden name was Brittlebank, was born at Glossop, in Yorkshire: after their marriage they resided in Sheffield. From early infancy our precious sister, the seventh of their numerous family, discovered a remarkable seriousness of character, which, together with a delicacy of constitution, frequently occasioned the remark among her friends, that she probably would not be long in this world. Her predominant care, whilst yet a child, seemed to be lest death should come suddenly, and find her unprepared. Her father, a strict adherent to episcopacy, required her attendance regularly with the congregation of the Establishment; but her mother allowed her to go, at early morn, to hear John Wesley ; and afterwards others of the Society bearing his name. She also frequented the evening service of the Church of England, and the readings of the liturgy in the course of the week. There is reason to suppose her mother was most inclined to dissenting communities; but her conduct on this point was reserved, as may be presumed for family peace ; for she was a remarkable example to wives, obeying her husband in all things, only in the Lord. Her piety and bene