Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rosanna Johnston, 1809 - 1844, A simple gift

John and Rachel Johnston's fourth child, Rosanna, was born at Fort Wayne in the Indian Territory on July 2nd, 1809. Named after her maternal grandmother, Rosanna Robinson, the Johnston's third daughter was disabled. Her 1844 obituary states ‘the deceased had been as child of affliction from infancy’. There is no record of what ‘affliction’ Rosanna suffered, but one could assume her disibility came as a result of a common childhood illnesss such as measles. Rosanna was not so severely disabled as to be prevented from traveling and entering into other activities with her sisters, but there seemed to be no thought that she would ever marry or live anywhere other than with her family. Toward the end of her life Rosanna suffered epileptic fits. She died suddenly at home on August 11, 1844. She was 35.

John Johnston to AR Johnston, Columbus, Ohio Feb’y 3, 1831

Rosanna and John has not been well lately. The former has been disturbed with a kind of fits.

John Johnston to Jefferson Patterson Tuesday August 13, 1844

She done almost all the milking, churning, scrubbing, etc. My poor good tender-hearted child.


After leaving you on Monday and proceeding about 5 miles this side of Dayton, I met a messenger going in pursuit of me, with the melancholy intelligence that my poor afflicted child, Rosanna, was dead. She went to bed as usual on Sunday night and was found lifeless in her bed in the morning. I suppose she must have perished in one of those spasmodic fits to which she has been of late years subject. God for wise and holy purposes has doubtless taken her from the trouble to come. Ever since the death of her dear and most excellent mother, she has led a life of misery. No one to look to her wants and watch over her imperfections.

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