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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Laura Almira Wood Catlin,   pp. 179-183 PDF (1003.5 KB)


Page 182


Wood on the shores of lovely Lake Champlain in which
Mrs. Catlin was born, has never passed out of the family.
It came into Mrs. Catlin's possession who bequeathed it
to a near relative. She brought much of its beautiful
furnishings to her western home. Among these treas-
ures was her grandfathers secretary which contained
still greater treasures-his journal of his experiences in
the war of 1812; and the invaluable journal letters of
his brother, Colonel Eleazur Wood of the regular army,
who lost his life in that war. But for the success of Col.
Wood's work in Ohio, Perry's victory would have count-
ed for naught. Lossing's history, the standard work on
the war of 1812, relies solely on Col. Wood's journal for
the events covered by that extensive document. Realizing
the value of these private papers to the science of history,
Mrs. Catlin arranged for their placement in the Historical
Library at Madison, where they now are, the property
of the State.
    Intense love for humanity, such as Mrs. Catlin's, al-
ways bespeaks the soul of a poet. Hers found expression,
occasionally, in charming verse. Modesty forbade her
seeking publication; but in 1909 Mr. Catlin had a small
volume of them printed for private distribution among her
friends. Would that space permitted giving some of
them here.
    During the winter of 1913-1914, Mrs. Catlin was
stricken with pneumonia. Because of her advanced age,
it was feared that she could not recover. But her friends
were overjoyed in the early spring to learn of her conval-
escence. It was Easter time. On that Easter morning,
greenhouses and florists' shops were stripped and Mrs.
Catlin's home was fairly deluged with flowers. All great
souls are simple. To her who never considered she
merited so much as a single blossom, this outpouring of
love from people in all walks of life was so overpowering
it almost caused a relapse. The occasion seemed an echo
of her own lines written years before:
                          182


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