- Born: 16 Apr 1796, Somerset Co., MD
- Died: 03 Sep 1871, Brewerton, SC
- BuriedFem: Abt 06 Sep 1871, Poplar Springs Baptist Church, Laurens Co., SC
There are letters for "Aunt Sarah" that were rescued by Elinor Mowbray of Fountain Inn, SC. She transcribed them as follows (italicized text added by this compiler): ===
April the 25 1856
Dear nephew and niece Its with pleasure that I take my pen to send you a few lines to let you know I am in moderate health at present. Hoping that these lines will find you and all yours in good health. I am often a thinking about you all and the pleasure I enjoyed amongst you when I was with you. I should be happy to see you all again. But as I know not whether I ever shall see any of you in this world again or not, I take the opportunity of sending you a few lines to tell you a little about how the times has been amongst us since I saw you. Your Uncle Pitts family has been greatly afflicted since I came home. His son John first took down and had a severe attack of the winter disease that's so prevalent in the country. And before he was able to see to the business out, the negroes all took down. That is the men, four of them. Pretty much the same disease. His old negro Jo had a spell before Christmas sometime. He has never got so he can labour yet and his oldest boy he raised, Jack died of a lingering disease, something like a consumption. There has been a sight of affliction in our neighborhood. Sarah Ann Milam has had a very severe spell and three of her children but all better at present. Isaac Boyd and some of his family has been sick. John Coopers family. Leroy Pitts family has all shared more or less the afflictions of providence. Eunice Duvall and family. Young Pitts and family is I believe in moderate health at present as far as I know. There has been several deaths close in the neighborhood and the sickness is still a going on. Almost every day I can hear of one and another taken down. Your uncle Louthers family is last account just in tolerable health. we are told in Holy writ that when the Judgments of the Lord are in the world, the inhabitants of world will learn righteousness. There surely is a loud call at this time to us all. Saying aloud watch. and be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. O my beloved niece and nephew I want if I never should see you any more this side of an awfull Eternity to meet you at the right hand of God on high. I feel like trying by the Grace and help of God to get to that happy place where parting will be no more. O my beloved nephew, I want you if you never have come out on the Lords side, if you have a small hope that God for Christs sake has pardoned your sins. You know not how long you have got to live. Come out from amongst the world and join in with the people of God and say by your actions to the people of God as one of old, thy people shall be my people and thy God my God. If you have got the Religion of Jesus you never will enjoy it as you would do in making an open profession of his name. our blessed Lord was never promised to bless the disobedient while living in it. While all the promises and blessings are promised to the faithful and obedient. Give not sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids till you discharge your duty to God in what he requires at your hand. If you are one of his redeemed ones, may the Lord enable you to do your while duty is the humble prayer of your very unworthy but affectionate aunt. I long to hear from you all very much. I want you to write to me as soon as you can and tell me all about your situation, both spiritual and temporal as nigh as you can. It is with much difficulty I have made these few scrawls with a trembling hand and weakness of body and mind. I shall begin to come to a close as I know not whither you can read what I have already scribbled. Your aunt Mary says she would be very glad to see you and would be glad to come to see you if she was able and had the opportunity. As your father and her were it seems nearer to each other or felt as being twins than the rest of us, you therefore feel particular near to her. Your most sincere and affectionate aunt and well wisher. Farewell. Sarah Hitch
Envelope addressed to Y.H.E. Hitch Beneath that in a different handwriting: A letter from Aunt Sally === (NOTE: this is to Young and Mary Hitch) So. Ca. L. District Sep 26th 1856
Dear and much esteemed nephew and niece
Its with pleasure tho in weakness I sit down to write a few lines. I am in a puny state of health at present. But o what reasons for thankfulness thats as well with me as it is. Through the mercy and goodness of an allwise Creator I have had as good health the past summer as I've had for several years past. I hope when these lines reach you, they will find you and your little family enjoying good health.
Your uncle Henrys family at this time is tolerable well except himself. He is at this time while I am writing lying a resting after throwing up. The rest of the relatives I believe as far as I know are all able to be up. I often think about you all and think again how glad I should be to see you although if I could believe that you did esteem and love me as I how I do you, we surely could get to see each other oftener. You surely could throw down your work a day or too and come and see us old people one time before we die. My will is good to come and see you if my opportunity was. You may say your opportunitys are not good neither. But I mean in the way of conveyance as for my work or any thing of that kind is no bar in my way tho I think I love to labor when able as well as any one believing it my duty.
O my beloved nephew I still want to be a knowing about your spiritual welfare. I love your soul and desire its welfare above every thing else for the word of eternal truth tells us if we should gain the whole world and lose our own souls what would it profit us. It is said again set your affections on things above not on things on the earth. O my beloved nepew an niece try to love the Lord and serve him with your whole heart, soul mind and strength. O that your unworthy aunt could do the same. I do think if my own heart deceives me not I do desire to love him and serve him. May the Lord enable us all to love and serve him is the prayer of your unworthy aunt.
I want you to write as soon as you can. I love to hear from you often if I could. O if you knew what pleasure it gives me to get a letter from you, you surely would grant me that favor as often as possible. I want you when you write to let me know how James Templetons family is. Tell Katharine Stewart to tell Ann Templeton. I want her to write to me and let me know how they are all a getting along.
I shall have to a close as I feel very weak and feeble at this time and I've already scribbled as much as perhaps you will like to take time to read unless it was move interesting. May the God of peace dwell richly in you both is the prayer of your unworthy aunt. So fare you well.
Your afectinate aunt until death.
=== South Carolina Laurens District March 20th 1857
Dear nephew. I once more take the opportunity of writing you a few lines to inform you that at the present I am enjoying as good health as I ever expect to. through the mercy and goodness of my kind Creator I have had as good health the past winter as I have had in several winters past. Your Uncle Henry Pitts family is tolerable well at present. Your Uncle Louthers family was well last account a day or two a go. I suppose you have heard of his heavy affliction in the death of Pinkney. He was sick a very short time. He was a complaining on the Sunday previous to his death of a small pimple on the side of his face but himself nor none of the family thought it any thing serious. On Monday it grew worse and still worse and at lenth it became very painful and his face on one side became so swelled that he scarcely looked like himself. On Tuesday evening he took a long severe chill and suffered on severely till Friday afternoon when he ceased to breathe. I feel to hope that hes gone to a better world than this. You said in your last letter that some of your family had been sick but at the time you wrote they were all better. I hope when this reaches you it will find you all in good health. You say times is hard. You say you have reapt a sorry crop last year. and now my dear nephew we must learn to be cheerful in adversity as well as prosperity. It appears from your letter your in very low spirits conserning your worldly prospects. and now pray tell me how and what your prospects are for a better and heavenly country. My beloved nepew I long to hear of you a coming out on the Lords side. If it is your duty marvel not if you meet with chastisements by your disobedience. I don't want you to think hard of me for speaking so to you on the subject of religion. I do it because I love you and wish you well. You said you did not want to hurt my feelings in telling me that it would not suit me to spend the winter with you for the several reasons which you have given. I reckon it was all right. I have spent the winter or the most of it with Pinkneys widow and two little children whose names are William Leander and Luther David, two lovely promising little boys. Your uncle Henry and aunt Mary desires very much that you should visit them with all your little family one time at least. It might be possible you might not lose any thing by it. The old people and myself cannot be here many more days according to the course of nature. Its an old saying. The young may die but the old must die. Your uncle and aunt pitts wishes to see Mary-ann and the children one time as neither of them has ever seen them and in all brobability if you do not visit them soon they never will see them. I myself would be so glad to see you all one time here on Reedy River. I want to hear from James Templeton and and family. I think I wrote to you one time before to tell Catharine Stewart to tell Ann Templeton I want her to write if she can to me. I have heard of Templetons distresst situation and feel to sympathise with the family and himself knowing the fewest number is ever cured of that disease. I shall begin shortly to draw to a close lest I should weary you with my disinteresting letter. I want you to write to me often as you can. I am always glad to see a letter come from you if it was as often as once every month. I want you next time you write send the name of your post office. I may at some time send by mail. So I remain your loving and affectionate aunt untill death. Farewell.
S. Hitch to Y.H.E. Hitch. === (NOTE: to Young and Mary Hitch) South Ca. La. Dis. July 25th 1860
Dear nephew and niece. I have seated my self this evening tho weak and feeble to try to write a few lines to you to tell you I am tolerable well only at present. I have not enjoyed but very little good health since I saw you last. A part of the time I have been confined to my bed. This morning I had a disagreeable head ache it went of and left a weakness which I still feel at this time I am a trying to write. I hope if these few lines should reach you that they will find you and your little family all well. Uncle Henrys family is well at present uncle Louthers is well as far as I know. There is not very much sickness at this time in the neighborhood. Tho there has been some very sudden deaths around us.
The crops about in this section looks solem. To look at corn fields it looks awfully discouraging. Uncle Hs corn in the spring looked beautiful but in consequence of the draught it has dried up and withered so that it looks cribs will almost remain empty. Not only his but I hear it from different parts and places. But now let us pause and think from whence comes all the blessings that we do or ever have enjoyed it looks like a scourge sent on us as a nation and for what. Not for our righteousness. But for our sins.
And now my beloved nepew I want to hear from you very much if you have never yet taken up the Cross and come out on the Lords side. I wanted to have a conversation with you on that subject while I was at you house but I put it of till Sunday when going to church. I thought I would have an opportunity of talking it all over. True it is a cold and lifeless time of religion amongst Christians at this time. but my beloved nephew if God for Christ's sake hath pardoned your sins its your duty to confess him before men. For he hath said in his holy and blessed word. He that is ashamed to confess me before men him will I be ashamed to confess before my Father and his holy Angels. O Young you don't know how it would rejoice my heart to hear that you had found Him of whom moses in the law and the prophets did write Jesus of Nazareth. And had come out from the world and joined Gods Holy army to help to fight against the enemy of Gods people. For he is said in scripture to be going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
I received a letter a few days since from Katharine Stewart. She said in her letter that your old father in law had become convinced and believed it to be his duty to follow his Savior into the watry grave. O Young when I heard of it I though surely surely if Young had religion that such a sight as that would stir him up to a true sence of his duty. And now my beloved nephew can you say with a clear conscience before your God that you never have at no time felt it your duty to join the Church and be baptized. If you have now I beseech you in the name of my Master to put it not of by saying I am too mean and I am not fit you may say too. I see so many of the professed followers of Christ that act do and say things that I dare not. But my beloved nephew does that make it any less your duty to do what your Savior has commanded you to do. I think not. I have tried in my weak way to pray to my Heavenly Father for you, that he would direct and show you your duty if he never has and grant you grace and strength to perform the same.
I want you to remember that the time is short when we shall all have to bid this world adieu prepared or not. So my dear nephew if you think you are not a fit subject for baptism, I pray you be up and a doing. Give not sleep to your eyes nor slumber to your eyelids till you have found Christ presious to your soul. the chiefest amongst ten thousand and altogether lovely.
I fear that I will make my letter too long so that you will become tired of reading it. If you can read it atall. But I can not leave of until I talk a little to Mary Ann. My dear niece I doubt not but you pray to God dayly in behalf of your beloved companion. Pray on sister and continue to pray. It may be God will hear and answer your prayers in his own good way and time. I must now begin to draw to a close. I want you to be sertain to write when you receive this and I don't want it to be long for I feel that my sojourn here cant be long and O if I could feel a full assurance that I should be received at God's right hand. I care not how soon for there is no real pleasure in this poor world. Young I do want you and Mary Ann come and see us old people one time. I say one time. I want you to write to me Mary and tell about your fathers affliction experience and baptism. So Fare you well at present
=== So.C. L. Dist. Jan 31st 1864
Dear Nephew, I received your kind unexpected letter on the 30th inst. It found me enjoying as good health as I ever expect to have. Through a kind and merciful God I have been enjoying as good health for a year or two except a spell I had last summer as I have for a number of years.
I feel sorry truly sorry to hear of your afflicted situation but the good word says all things shall work together for good to them that love God. I hope and trust that God will spare your life to return to your beloved family again and that you may have the opportunity of offering yourself to the Church and be baptized and go on your way rejoicing.
O my beloved nephew you don't know how glad I was to hear from you and to hear that you had a hope that when you was done with this troublesome world you would have a resting place in heaven. O glorious thought that there is a resting place for the weary traveler where there will be no more parting with friends and relatives. You said you asked me to remember you in my prayers. O my dear nephew I don't think I shall forget you.
I thought for a long time you had entirely forgotten me. The last letter I wrote to you you gave me no answer. I waited and looked for a long time for one but it never came. I wrote to Ann Templeton to know of her if she knew what was the matter that you did not write to me. She said Adellar saw Mary Ann at meeting at Clear spring Meeting House and she said she said she could give no reason but through neglect. I then gave up on a writing to you any more till you wrote to me. I have wrote to them that is Katharene Stewart and An Te when they heard from you when I would write to them. I had just lately heard you was in the Camps.
It is a hard task for me to write. It takes me so long to write a letter. I will begin now and tell you a little of my troubles since I saw you last for it would take me a long time to tell you all.
Your Uncle Henry (NOTE: this is Henry Pitts [1792-1861]) you know is no more. And John W. Pitts (NOTE: John Wesley Pitts [1831-186x]) also is no more. And worst of all your Aunt Mary (NOTE: Sarah Hitch's sister, Maty [HItch] Pitts [1794-1863]) is no more. She died the last day of Oct last. And o the trouble I have seen and felt in consequence of the conduct of that spoiled child emeline (NOTE: Lucinda Emeline Pitts [1836-??]). She got so after the death of her father that she wanted to make me leave there. And would abuse me in the shamefulest manner you ever heard and would threaten to hit me if I did not keep out of her way. She would urge her mother to make me leave. I saw no satisfaction when I was there. I staid at Eunice Duvalls (see below for NOTE) the most of my time but when I would go back there again I would have to bear the same abuse again or worse. It would trouble her mother very much. She would tell her frequently to hush and then she would abuse her mother.
Her mother said to me one day maybe you had better go to uncle Louthers or somewhere awhile and stay a while and so I did. I went down to Duncans Creek to Susan Duvalls last Jan. and staid six months and came back and it was no better but still worse and worse. She wanted no one to stay with her mother but herself so she could have the whole rule and control of every thing in and out. Her brother John had to leave his mothers and go to eunices and die on the account of the abuse that she gave him while at his mothers. Em was always a teasing of her mother to make a will and will all or the most of her property to her but she never could get her to do it till within a few days of her death and there is but few that believes it to be her mothers will but her own making. The rest of the children except Isaac Boyd is a trying to break it and the reason he is not is because em has promised to give something to him.
O my beloved nephew this is a world of trouble and distress. I am at this time at eunices but rather expect I shall live at D.M. Milams (NOTE: David M. Milam [1820-1895]) the man that married Sarah Ann Pitts (NOTE: 1817-1896]). Em is a living at the same old place where her father and mother died a keeping house her and the negroes such a keeping of house as it is. She has but little company only of men and negroes. Leroy P (NOTE: Edwin Leroy Pitts 1818-1882] who m. Catherine Harris Boyd [1824-1909]) and family and John Cooper (NOTE: John Cooper [1824-1900 m. Louisa Jane Pitts [1827-1913]) and family, Eunice D. (NOTE: Eunice Elizabeth Pitts [b.1821] m. William L. Duvall [1821-1856]) and family and uncle Louther (NOTE: Louther Douglas Hitch [1798-1886]) and family are all well at present as far as I know. Marian Duvall (NOTE: Francis Marion Duvall [1836-1864] m. Susan T.E. Hitch [1841-1912]) went to Virginia and staid I think something over a year and became diseased and came home and died some few weeks ago of the brain fever.
And now my dear nephew I do hope that God permits you to return home again. You will not fail to do your duty lest a worse thing come upon you. You say you have suffered affliction. It may be because you did not your duty that God had required at your hand before you left home and he has followed you as he did Jonah of old and has been a chastising you with his rod of affliction. I hardly know how to leave of but I must come to a close by saying to you I want you to writ as often as you can. Now I heard from you I shall want to hear from you worse than ever. If you get home be sure to write. So no more at present but remain your loving aunt till death.
So fare you well to Y.H.E. Hitch.
=== S.C.L. Dist May 9th 1864
I seat myself this morning to write you a few lines to let you know how I am and where I am. Through a kind providence I am tolerable well again at present. I have moved to E.L. Pitts and I expect perhaps to live with him the rest of my days.
I hope when this comes to hand it will find you well. I received your kind and welcome letter on the 8th of this inst and was glad to hear from you one more and to know that you was still in the land of the living and on pleading ground with your God. Every letter I get from you I fear it may be the last I shall ever hear from you. You say you are having a good time there amongst you in religious meetings. You say they are a joining the Church out here and now my beloved nepew try to do your duty as others are a doing. You said in your first letter you sent me you was not satisfied in not offering yourself to the Church while at home and now you have the same priviledge as others have to join the Church and I would advise you as a friend you would embrace the opportunity. you don't know that you will ever have a better opportunity and then get a letter and send it home to the Church where your companion is.
No doubt it would rejoice her heart to have your name enrolled on the Church book with her own although it would be more desirable for to be present with you when you joined. But you should not neglect doing your duty on that account. If you are a Christian and I hope you are you will enjoy your self in the comforts of religion amongst your Christian brethren a great deal more than you do out of the Church. You can make free in talking of the subject of religion what you can out of the Church amongst your friends.
You said you had two of J. Cooks boys to see you. I would like to hear from them all and to know where they all are and how they are a doing. I want you to tell them if you should see them again to tell them to write to me and tell them where to direct their letters to direct them where you do yours.
James Duvall, Eunices son has been in the armmy a considerable time. He has been in three or four battles and got wounded at chattanooga if I recolect right and came home and has never got so he could walk without his crutches for he was wounded in the ancle or in the leg near the ancle. He has been at home seven months.
Young Pitts, Leroys brother is somewhere in the armmy. the last account he was in the illenois in the hands of the yankeys. Leroys oldest son is in the armmy also Joseph A. Hitches oldest son is in the armmy. Joseph A.H. has been in it himself but is now at home sick. He got sick at the camp and I fear he never will get well any more.
I received a letter from Ann E. Templeton the 1th of March. They had all been sick but was then better. Her two little boys is agoing to school and she says a learning very fast. They both wrote to me when there mother wrote. I have been a wanting to write to Mary Ann but did not know for certain where to direct my letters whether at the same post office or not where I used to direct them at Centerville.
I reckon you have perhaps heard of the death of Marian Duvall, Susan Hitches husband. He was in the armmy over twelve months and came home on a furlough and took the brain fever and died in a few days. He was a living at his fathers old place. He had put up a small house up on the road near where the old machine stood and susan is a living there this year but I don't know whether she will continue there any longer than this year or not.
Pinkney Hitches widow is a living over in Abbeville on a little place she has rented and her two little sons with her. J.A.H. lives on his fathers land near him.
I shall begin to draw to a close lest you get tired a reading my blotched writing. I do here enclose a little thread to mend your cloths when you tare them. I sent some thread to Marian Duvall when he was in camp and he was very glad of it and I thought perhaps you might need it.
I want you to write every chance you can get for it does me good to hear often from you. I do hope that this unholy war will shortly come to a close so that all of you will get to come home to your fammilyes one time more.
May God spare your life to return to the embrace of your fammily is the wish of your affectinate aunt: So fare you well at this time.
Sarah Hitch to Young H.E. Hitch
=== So. C.L. Dist Sept. 15th 1864
Dear and much beloved niece
It is with pleasure I seat myself today to drop you a few lines to let you know how I am a getting along. I have had a tolerable bad of something like neuralgia or neumonia. it was three weeks last Sunday since I took sick. I was not confined to my bed all of the time quite. I have never sat up a whole day in the time. My head has been my greatest distress but through a kind merciful Creator I am at present so I can get about again a little. I have been a wanting to write to you before now but was prevented by sickness and other things.
I do hope when these few lines come to hand, they will find you and your little sons all well and a doing well. you said you wanted me to write as often as I could for I was all that you had to write to now. O my dear niece I think I can cympathise for you in your loneliness and would be glad I could hear from you every week for it seems like the oftener I hear from you the nearer you feel to me.
There was years passed by when we neither saw each other nor but seldom heard from each other and I felt sometimes like Young was dead and gone. And after he went to the army and commenced writing to me I felt like I wanted to hear from him every week if I could. His letters was interesting to me and I feel very certain that it wont be long that it will be so that you and me will have the privilege that we now have of a writing to each other and a hearing from each other for I feel certain that I shall soon have to go the way of all the earth.
and I want you to write as often as you can, you and that lovely little J.J. Hitch, which you say is so much the favor of his beloved father. And O that he may be like him in principle and live long on the earth and be useful in his day and generation. May he seek and serve his father and his mother's God in his youth. O my beloved little nephew I want you to remember your Creator in the days of your youth before the evil days come when you shall say I have no pleasure in them.
May the Lord have mercy on little Lucian and bless his little soul and teach him as he grows up how to walk the strait and narrow way of holiness. O my beloved niece you don't know how glad I should be to see you and your dear little sons and converse with you and them face to face. But I fear I never shall have that pleasure. I was in hopes when I wrote last perhaps I should have the chance to pay you a visit but I fear new I shall not get the opportunity.
E.L. (Edwin Leroy?) Pitts has gone to the war and its uncertain when he will return whether ever or not. And his people has got so much work to do of one thing and another I fear it will be a bad chance. They have there molasses to make that will take them a considerable time.
But O my dear niece if we never should be so fortunate as to meet here may we be so happy as to be prepared to meet in heaven where sorrow is known no more and where trouble never come. O my dear niece let us try to bear our troubles and our trials here with patience knowing that it is but a ten days tribulation when it will all be done. O my dear it is delightful thought to think when we leave this sinful world of a going to one where sin never enters.
I shall have to come to a close as it is nearly night and I want to send it to the post office tonight and I feel fatigued being weak. I want you to be sure to write when you get this and tell me all about how you are a getting along. J.J. I want you to be certain to write and tell me how you feel about meeting your beloved Father in that happy place where Jesus is. youth is the time to embrace religion.
And I must bid you all farewell at present. May God and his Holy Spirit be with you to guide, direct, and comfort you in all your troubles I hope is the prayer of your affectionate aunt.
I remain your affectionate aunt until death.
Sarah Hitch to Mrs. Mary A. Hitch ===
Transcription of an old letter in the possession of Elinor Mowbray describing the circumstance of "Aunt Sally's" death (transcribed in November 2014):
Laurens County S.C. Sept the 10th 1871
Dear cousin I seat my self this evening in order to let you know how we are all a getting a long we are as well as common at this time. my little babe has been very sick but has got well he is enjoying verry good health at this time and I hope when these few lines come to your hand that they may find you all well and a doing well grandpa and grandma is not so verry well but they keep up and about. I will give you a little sketch about Sully Hitch by request of grand pa as he expects that you have not heard it She was struck with the palsy at cousin Leroy Pitts a setting on a chair in the piazza. She fell from the chair and they run and helped her up but she could not talk for a while She was struck in the throat but she could not talk plain when she got so she could speak. she was struck on the last day of August and died on Sunday the 3rd of September. she bid adieu to earth and the earthly things. she told them before she died that she was a going to die and that she wanted to be buried at old poplar Springs Church. her funeral was preached before she was buried. she lost her speech before she died and she made motions to all that was standing around. they went up to the bed and she taken hold of their hands and rub their hands and would look up that is good as to say that she was a going to die and go happy that she was willing and ready. I must begin to come to a close by saying to you to come down and see us all so that the circumstances that I have just related can be related more perfect and with greater understanding.
So farewell for this time. W.G Hitch to Mary A Hitch
If you can not come down write as soon as you get this. Direct your letter to Brewerton PO Laurens County SC
Envelope addressed to: Mary A. Hitch, Huntersvill P.O., Greenville S.C Handwritten on the side of the envelope: Brewerton SC Sep. 14
Envelope has 3 cent green stamp with picture of George Washington
Died single according to SC DAR Bible Records.