So much of our history is recorded, remembered, and influenced by the views our male ancestors. But that’s only part of our story, and I am fascinated by the stories of our female ancestors. I am adding a new blogging category called Women’s Words Wednesday where I will post and reflect on these important words that I have found in my research, in whatever form they arise (letter, photo, official document, etc.).
Below is a letter from Sara Logan to Charles Cubbage, my great-grandfather, about Sarah Cubbage, Charles’ sister.
Mr. Charles Cubbage,
Dear Friend –
Will write you a few lines this morning in place of your parents to tell you that Sarah had fallen yesterday evening and got seriously hurt. It was so very ice, and she had gone to the shed to feed the chickens and was lying there when they found her. Her head pains her awfully and her back hurts her too. The Dr was here again this morning and said there was little improvement on her
[unreadable along frayed top edge of letter]
be no change for 48 [?]
She just lies and seems to be sleeping and does not seem to notice any one. Charlie I think poor Sara is quite [unreadable] your Father and Mother are so worried but I know Charlie you will come out if you can and if you do not come out the [unreadable, possibly “next word you” ??] that Sara will be better and fully recovered again and a marked improvement from her present condition.
Sadly, Sarah Cubbage died on Christmas Day, ten days after her fall. I do not know if Charles ever traveled the 30 miles from Swissvale to Penn Township in Butler County to visit his sister before she died.
But who was Sarah Logan? And why did she write the letter “in place” of Charles’ parents, James and Barbara Cubbage? Sarah mentioned how worried they were and that her brother should “come out if you can”. Were James and Barbara too distraught to write the letter? At this time, only Sarah and her brother James L. were still living at home; the remaining brothers had all left Butler County.
Sarah Cubbage worked for many years as a servant in the home of John R Logan. I am fairly certain that Sarah Logan was connected to this family – either a relative of John, or possibly the spouse of one of John’s sons. Sarah Logan wanted Charles to travel to see his sister, yet she seemed to stay positive at the end of the letter, hoping that Sarah will be “better and fully recovered.” What was it like for her to be the bearer of bad news? Did she reach out on her own, or at the request of the parents? And since Sarah Cubbage didn’t survive, did Sarah Logan need to write another letter to the Charles, and possibly their brothers, to let them know about her passing?
These are questions I most likely won’t know the answers to, but get me thinking about the role that women played during a tragedy. I am excited to share more words from women as I come across them.