|Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 2:19 pm: |
Mr. Thomas C. Drake.
The death of this young gentleman is thus announced in the Rodney (Miss.)
Gazette, of Dec. 14.
Mr. Editor:—In looking over your last paper, I was surprised to find no
notice of the death of our esteemed friend, and late fellow-citizen,
Thomas C. Drake. A lamentable duty has thus been omitted, not through any
neglect or carelessness, nor from the want of proper respect, but
doubtless from the belief that among the many who have wept over his
untimely loss, some one would pay a tribute to the memory of the deceased.
It was not expected that his relatives, pained as they are by this sad
dispensation of Providence, would bestow a thought on the subject,
connected with associations so purely selfish. To praise the dead can
alone comfort the living, by kindling in the bosoms of the afflicted
emotions of pride. The loss in this instance was too great to allow any
such thoughts to usurp the place of holier grief; for to those who feel
deeply; who have deeply suffered by the rude hand of death, the customary
eulogistic notices of the dead are unheeded; yet friendship may be
permitted, in the hour of grief, to offer sympathy to the living, and to
embalm with the incense of affection, the memory of virtues which should
never perish; though the tomb itself may crumble into dust and the earth
mingle with his cherished remains.
But a few years have passed since Mr. Drake came among us, radiant with
the smiles of youth and health; buoyant in hope—firm, ardent and generous
in the pursuit of an honorable independence. As a clerk, he entered his
brother’s store in Rodney; and we all remember the industry, politeness
and probity which characterized his deportment and won the respect of his
acquaintances. The energy manifested in his station as clerk, soon won the
confidence of friends by whose aid we find him are long, established as
one of a respectable mercantile house in St. Joseph, La. It was about this
period, 1849, Mr. Drake was attacked with hemorrhage of the lungs; since
which time he has lingered with occasional intervals of apparent good
health, until some two months ago, when his disease manifested itself in a
more fearful form. How fruitless the objects of life, and vain the hopes
of man!! To all appearances, not less than three short months since, life
to Mr. Drake presented a most enchanting prospect. His disease now
slumbered, and health again seemed to sparkle in his eye, and impart its
wonted ambition to his cheerful nature. An engagement with an interesting
young lady, of Lebanon, O., long deferred on account of ill health, he now
consummates. With his bride he leaves his native State to resume his
business in the South. Greeted with hope, flowers seemed to spring up in
his pathway, and all the future became redolent with bliss; but Death had
long marked him for his own; and the cup of joy brimming full was suddenly
dashed from his anxious lips, and the silver cord was loosened.
While descending the river, in October last, he was attacked with
pulmonary diarrhea, from which he gradually sunk, and on the 24th of
November breathed his last at the residence of his brother in Rodney.
Mr. Drake was born in Ohio, on the 21st February, 1826; died November
24th, 1850, aged 24 years, and 8 months.
Thus we see how vain, delusive, aye, treacherous are all the objects of
life. God in his infinite wisdom has deemed it best to crush the glowing
hopes of our young friend, and to sever the ties which have linked him to
his sorrowing relatives—while the solemn truth should be impressed on all,
“He builds too low, who buildeth beneath the stars.”
Source: The Western Star, dated 10 January 1851 (obtained from the Ohio
Historical Society, microfilm roll # 19249)by
24 June 2004