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Samuel Kirkland to Jerusha Kirkland

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Kirkland 78a

Samuel Kirkland to Jerusha Kirkland
Wyoming 5 July 1779 My Dear, I wrote you the other evening which was the
first since our parting - I had no conveyance direct to Stockbridge in all
my Journey - I arrived at Easton on the Delaware but one day before the
army marched. Whether that will reach you is uncertain - and what will be
the fate of this, I can't tell. But really Dear I can't refrain from
writing__ neither the distance nor the place variegated with mountains,
valleys, and rivers the bustle of the camp, have taken from me your place
in my heart. I am happy to find by further experience I am at present in
many respects happily situated - have part of a marquee to myself and live
in the general's family. Conversation in the family for some days past has
been chiefly upon religious subjects - such as the authenticity of the
scriptures - the government, character, and supremacy of the deity - the
nature and consequence of deism - The General has undertaken to convince
any Deist ) of which there is no want in the army) from principles of
reason that the scriptures are of Divine Original - at least all the
doctrinal and preceptive parts. In less than a day he has wrote 30 pages in
quarto to prove the existence of a supreme being - the Divinity of the
Bible, and that Jesus is the

savior of the world. He has read the greatest part to me - last evening and
this morning. I can't but admire the ingenuity of the man, the justness of
unerring sentiments. He frankly owns that he was once a perfect Atheist,
then a complete Deist, at length convinced by fair impartial reasoning of
the existence of the supreme being the perfection of his character - the
mediatorial undertaking - the inspiration of the holy writ except this
doctrine viz. - the depravity of human nature - which he must deny - or
charge the Deity with imperfection - or what is worse - of being the author
of sin. I am very sorry that I forgot Mr. West's piece on amoral agency - O
that God may give me wisdom and faithfulness to bear a suitable testimony
to the truth and never be left to deny the Lord. You may enquire why the
Army is detained here all this time? I answer by a shameful neglect in the
Commissary Department - Provisions that should have been here 3 weeks ago
are not yet arrived - this morning an express came who informs they are on
their way - we hope to march soon - the necessity of a just and speedy
retaliation for British and savage barbarity prompts the army to encounter
every fatigue and surmount every difficulty. Havoc, Devastation and waste
salute our eyes wherever we walk over the fields of this once flourishing,
now defoliated country - and these objects

create strange feelings in the heart. A just indignation and deep
abhorrence of pretended British clemency once so much boasted of, now
blinded with savage barbarity. Upwards of one hundred and fifty widows were
here made upon this ground - in the space of one hour and a half about a
year from this time, Are these the fruits and effects of thy clemency O
George - thou tyrant of Britain, scourge to mankind. May he to whom your
vengeance belongs pour forth his righteous indignation in due time. These
once flourishing, blooming, but now melancholy fields are now cultivated by
the feeble hand of disconsolate widows and helpless orphans. But why dwell
so long on the dark side - this devastation is undoubtedly a necessary link
in the grand chain of events to bring about the enjoyment and establishment
of the liberties and privileges of this land, that they may be a happy
people - and the gospel of peace extend its benign influence through every
state - and the redeemer reap a glorious rich harvest - Indeed if we look
into God's moral government - we shall find, 'tis not without cause that he
hath done all these things - these terrible things in righteousness.
Yesterday I preached to the inhabitants of this and adjacent places - they

very attentive. Reverend Mr. Johnson of Groton has a daughter here, married
to the famous Colonel Butler - who exerted himself so much in the defense
of this place. I feel concerned for your domestic affairs - and can do
nothing for you at present - shall have money sufficient, please God that I
live to return to reimburse, whatever your exigencies may demand. I pray
you to apply to Captain Jones with Dr. Sergeant for such advisors stand in
need of for family support or outdoor labor. I doubt not of their ability
or willingness to afford you any assistance you may want. You will remember
me to the family - my tenderest love to George and Johnny - Jerusha and
Sally, sister Sally Gifford , John and Peggy. I hope their conduct will be
such in my absence as shall give me pleasure upon my return. Don't forget
me to Mr. West and many others. I am obliged to write in so much company
and noise this morning - that I expect to forget many things - but my main
object is to converse with you - that you may know I think and feel for
you. May we be prepared for an everlasting indissolvable union with the
great head of the Church on high here found faithful to Him. Yours most
cordially, S. Kirkland Mrs. Jerusha Kirkland