Monday, May 3, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Funeral Card of Samuel Van Every (1820-1888)

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them. If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post in the comments.

Recently a contact I made with a cousin in Texas resulted in the discovery of the funeral card of Samuel Van Every, my second great grandfather:

There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
     The life of Mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
     Whose portal we call Death.

In Loving Remembrance of

Samuel VanEvery,
Born in Canada Feb. 25, 1820
Died at San Marcos, Hays Co Texas. April 18, 1888
Aged 68 years, 1 month, 23 days

Asleep in Jesus! Blessed sleep,
     From which none ever wakes to weep!
A calm and undisturbed repose.
     Unbroken by the last of foes.

Asleep in Jesus! far from thee,
     Thy kindred and their graves may be
But thine is still a blessed sleep,
     From which none ever wakes to weep.

  1. The poem at the top is a stanza from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Resignation (1850)
  2. The poem at the bottom is the first and last stanza from the popular hymn, Asleep in Jesus, by Margaret Mackay (1832)
  3. It's a small detail, but I count 24 days between March 25th and April 18th.
  4. update: Further reading indicates that this is really a "mourning card" or "memorial card."  It didn't announce the date and location of the funeral.  

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