Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: William F. Smith (1823)

National Daily Intelligencer (DC)
11 February 1823

In Falmouth, Va. at the residence of Murray Forbes, Esq. on Sunday, the 2d inst. after a short illness, WILLIAM F. SMITH, in the 20th year of his age, the eldest son of George Smith, Esq. of Dumfries.

Seldom had nature dawned upon youth with more promising or more brilliant prospects: seldom had she bestowed upon a favorite, more estimable or more engaging qualities of mind or person. To a form at once handsome and manly, were added a naturally brilliant and highly polished understanding, and the most engaging and winning manners.  No expense or pains were spared by a fond parent, to improve what nature had so bountifully bestowed. Mr. Smith graduated at Princeton with great credit, and bid fair to be the pride of his family and his country. The writer of this small tribute to departed worth, is conscious that obituaries are generally eulogiums; but he knew him in his school-boy days, and since he has been stepping into manhood; and is also conscious that those who knew him well, will consider this fleeting paragraph, but a faint sketch of its original. When a man full of years and of honor, sinks into the tomb, we can more easily be reconciled to an expected event: but when heaven's decree tears from us, in the bloom of youth, one in whom our fond hopes were centered, it racks the soul with anguish. To his only remaining parent, our kindest and our warmest sympathy is due. Within the course of a few months, a husband and a fondly-cherished son, have been snatched from her embraces.

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