Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
April 15, 1840 Follow-up Letter with Providence CDS
From W. H. Smith to Joseph L. Tillinghast - Washington, DC
Concerns the Death of Tillinghast's Mother

(Scroll Down for Background Information and Text of Letter)

This follow-up letter sent the next day on April 15, 1840 from W. H. Smith to Joseph L. Tillinghast in Washington, DC relates the death of Tillinghast's mother. The cover is canceled with an April 16 - Providence Red CDS. and is marked with a red F, (for Free Franking Privilege). The Free Franking privilege was extended to the President, Vice President, cabinet members, Postmaster General Senate and Congress.

The Franking privilege also included the right to receive mail free. This letter was sent free to Representative Tillinghast, the Franker under that privilege.

Joseph Leonard Tillinghast was born in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1791. He was a fifth generation descendant of Pardon Tillinghast, one of the original proprietors of Providence, Rhode Island. Joseph Tillinghast was a United States Representative from 1837 to 1843.

SEE: November 1817 Joseph Tillinghast Letter for additional Biographical Information

This letter from W. H. Smith was sent the day after the letter of April 14th on April 15, 1840 and relates the final passing and death of Joseph Tillinghast's mother.

The text of the letter Follows below:

                       Providence Wed Eve April 15, 1840

Dear Sir,    
              At Eleven O'clock this forenoon, your dear loved mother left this world of anxiety & sorrow. About an hour before her departure she had her last distressed turn after which she seemed to die away so gradually & gently that the final moment of her ceasing to breathe was scarcely distinguishable.
              In the course of the evening
(the strikeover is in the letter) yesterday afternoon she seemed at one time greatly relieved from distress & suddenly raised both her hands in a reaching manner and fixing her eyes steadfastly upward as if upon an object with an animated & almost smiling countenance exclaimed with emphasis, "I see my savior! - Glorious Prospect!"  
              Mr. Mason immediately attended to every arrangement for the funeral which will take place on Friday 17th.

Yours in Friendship,
W. H. Smith

RI Historical Society
Stampless I
Stampless II

Stampless III
Stampless IV
Stampless V
Stampless VI
Brown & Ives Letters
The Hazard Family Letters
Joseph Tillinghast
Free Franked Letters
DeWolf Family Letters

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