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Frances Marvin Smith Webster1847-10-20Lucien BonaparteFort McHenry, MD39.2641151-76.5798874I have delayed writing several days dearest husband so that I might give you some certain information as to my movements. I wrote you from Newport the day before I left. I have proceeded thus far on my journey without meeting with any accident or difficulty although travelling alone I have experienced the greatest kindness and attention from acquaintances formed on the route. A passenger in the steamer from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh was a celebrated Baptist clergyman, the Rev. Mr. [Thomas] Stockton, and also a famous Quakeress preacher Mrs. Lucretia Mott. One evening was devoted to preaching, prayers by Mr. Stockton and a sermon by Mrs. Mott. She preached most eloquently against the Mexican War, dilated upon the iniquity and impiety, said that no Christian could consistently with their professions be engaged in it, that the Bible and bowie knife could not go hand in hand. I wish you could have heard her, I think you would have almost been persuaded to resign.We crossed the Allegheny mountains in a snow storm, and on the very summit had to alight and stand in the snow nearly half an hour while something which had given way about the harness was repaired. In consequence of this exposure both children took violent colds, and when I arrived in Baltimore I thought I would stop one day and let the children rest.I therefore drove out here to see Aunt Harriet who I found in the greatest distress, she not having had a letter from Colonel Belton for nearly five months, and being as we all still are in the greatest anxiety for Scott's division of the Army, she would not listen to my proceeding immediately with my journey but prevailed upon me to remain with her here for a few days. She-- NA --accompanied me to see Mrs. Magruder and Mrs. Dulany, where I deposited Mr. Donaldson's silver, bonds, etc., which were left with me. Please inform him of this fact. I dined with Mrs. Magruder and while there Mr. Donaldson's sisters called to see me. They are very stylish in appearance, and very agreeable in their manners.In the afternoon I returned to the Fort where I have remained until now. Aunt Harriet has abundance of room in her quarters and plenty of everything to make herself comfortable and she is very anxious to have me remain with her and share the expenses of housekeeping. I am inclined to think this will be a more economical arrangement than boarding as I had intended. I will at all events try it for one or two weeks and then I can judge whether such an arrangement will answer or not. Winfield is here now and I have hardly ever seen a more agreeable and intelligent and gentlemanly young man. He has I believe made an excellent marriage, his wife is now with her friends in Philadelphia and he is here awaiting some appointment which has been promised him in Washington.October 21stYou will grieve with me dearest husband when you learn the dreadful news brought by this morning's mail. My dear brother Kirby has fallen beneath the murderous blows of the Mexican, poor fellow how my heart is wrung when I think of him. I at first heard that he was only wounded, but then the dreadful truth was revealed to me. I am completely prostrated in mind, by all the distress I have experienced in the last eighteen months. Since we parted what sorrows have I not endured -- death has snatched from me three of those most closely united to me, my aged father, my lovely infant son, and my gallant brother.Oh how hard it is to say God's will be done, and when I think of Kirby's poor wife and three orphan children my heart yearns towards them and I feel as if I must step forward and do something for them. But God only knows how soon the same sad fate may be mine, and I am almost paralyzed with fear. Why does our wicked government suffer their army to be slaughtered in this way for want of reinforcements. I do not think the officers could be censured if they were to meet en masse and send in their resignations and then let Mr. Polk manage the war in his own way.I have heard nothing respecting these battles but the statements in the papers which I send you, except that Belton is Lieutenant Governor of Mexico. Winfield is now gone to the city to wait for today's mail and may bring further intelligence with him. I will not seal my letter till after his return. . . .You better direct your next letters here. Dr. Stinnecke is attending to Josephine's eyes since they are very much inflamed and troubled me. Fanny is well but we are all very anxious about you. . . .