Read about the Henry Clay Steamboat Disaster
Read about the Atlantic of Lake Erie Steamboat Disaster

February 21st

A beautiful warm day. What would not our New York friends give to enjoy it with us, they perhaps buried in deep snows. I wish some of them were here to amuse Williams; it is dull work for him, feeling as feeble and miserable as he does. Strange he does not get better; we surely thought the change for better would be very great as soon as he got to sea. His side troubles him very much. He thinks it is owing to the motion of the ship. I trust from my heart that it is nothing more.

Evening: I have just been reading the newspaper accounts of the loss of steamboats  “Henry Clay, N.R.”, and the “Atlantic of Lake Erie”; both seem to have been lost through carelessness and foolhardiness. Many lives were lost and the saddest part, so many little helpless children. I feel now like shunning all steamboats or railroads. How can families enjoy life where the father and husband is thus exposed once and twice every day; sure am I that I should suffer the very torments of anxiety – but what is sure, I would not live so.

Dear little Willie has coughed very much today, and we do not doubt but that it is the whooping cough. God grant that this darling, affectionate little one may be spared, and made a blessing to us. He is indeed very, very lovely, and so bright and intelligent. I think we are both very proud of him; I know for a certainty that I am.