by Lanaii Kline
Several years ago, I came across Margaret Teller’s obituary. It was an unexpected and delightful find. It was printed when the long S was in use. It was written when even the educated spelled words phonetically. It was written when widows were called “relics.” I don’t know why, but I find the relic part most amusing.
However, the fact that I found this obituary in a Pennsylvania newspaper was even more interesting. The obituary appeared in The Independent Gazetteer on March 17, 1789, Volume 8, Issue 1016 on Page 2.
This is a modern translation of the obituary:
Departed this life, at Clinton, the 23rd of February, the widow, Margaret Stoutenburgh, aged 93 years and 15 days– relict of Jacobus Stoutenburgh, Esquire, formerly Judge of Dutchess County.
On Friday the 27th of February, her corpse was attended to the silent grave by a large concourse of relations and friends, including 76 surviving children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
A sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Marsh, from Revelations Chapter 2, and part of Verse 10– “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life”– on the solemn occasion.
We would also add, she lived to this advanced age with the full use of her understanding and remarkable vigor of constitution.
Her personal character needs no tribute; her piety and charity are deeply engraved on all her acquaintance.
“Hence we learn that death sooner or later conquers all!”
Reprinted by permission from 2014 Stoutenburgh-Teller Family Association annual newsletter, editor Lanaii Kline.