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Tom Pearson, Editor

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

"MY SUFFERING WAS VERY GRATE"

Connections: the Hoosier Genealogist 47:2 (Fall/Winter 2007) features an article about the 95-page diary of young Lucius S. Keaton of Shelby County, Indiana. He began the diary on January 1, 1864, when he was 13 years old. He faithfully made daily entries in the diary until July 26, 1865, the day he died from the ravages of diphtheria, a disease characterized by difficulty breathing or even an inability to breathe due to a false or pseudo-membrane formed in the throat. In the last diary entry Lucius made, he noted that:

"My Suffering was Very grate,"

and so it must have been. His father told him that the doctor had said the diphtheria was going to kill him soon, and Lucius noted in his diary:

"I called Father and Mother to Bed and gave Them my parting hand and They gave me a parting Kiss and my Brothers and Sisters Done the Same. Fare Well."

Shortly thereafter, Lucius died. The last entry in the diary is by Lucius's father:

"He Departed this life July the 26 AD 1865 A fue minets after 9 oclock PM."

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