July 23, 2008

Of Vice and Men

This letter, from an anonymous "young lady," warns William White Chew about the danger of his vice and offers out the hope of redemption if he becomes more watchful.

"Tell me did you ever think of the dreadful consequences which will accrue if you continue in your folly? At this early period of your existence persons predict your early death. How would you appear at the throne of God after abusing the glorious advantages he has given you, think you ever of this? If you have not, think now...."
She goes on to talk about how her own death might be near, and then resumes pleading with Colonel Chew to change his ways. After all of the talk of finality in this letter, his correspondent closed the letter with this seal, which reads "I Trouble you with a line" and shows one person tying a noose around another's neck.

There are references throughout William White Chew's correspondence to "incidents" that he was clearly trying to conceal, and even hints that he was forced to withdraw from his diplomatic career because of some improprieties. I have just begun processing his papers, and feel myself drawn in to Mr. Chew's mysterious story. I am sure there will be much more intrigue to report.

No comments: