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April 10, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Mrs. David Patteson

Mount Pleasant. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.


Mrs. David Patteson of Mount Pleasant, Buckingham County, proceeded her husband, dying in late 1844. An unusually lengthy obituary, particularly for a woman, ran in the December 17, 1844 issue of Richmond’s Whig & Public Advertiser.

Another has gone to her rest!

On Tuesday, 26th November, Mrs. JUDITH PATTESON, (consort of Maj. David Patteson, of Buckingham,) in the 84th year of her age, changed her state of mortality for one, we are assured, of immortal glory. Her deep-toned piety, her constant humility, her almost unequaled meekness, her long-tried patience, her becoming fortitude under the heavy bereavements which she had frequently to sustain, her love of virtue in others, her antipathy to all immorality, and her strong attachment to the Word of God, have made a deep and lasting impression upon the memory of her family and all who knew her, that their irreparable loss is her eternal gain! Her last illness, though severe, was short: her decision upon her own case was, perhaps, as correct as that of her attending physician: When she was taken sick, she told the family that “her time had come, and the Lord had sent for her, and she was willing to go.” The grim monster, Death, threw open his icy arms to receive his victim, but could produce no terror in the bosom of one who had put her house in order, and had patiently waited for many years for the coming of her Lord! It was her inestimable privilege to occupy the condition of St. Paul when he exclaimed, in the state of holy enthusiasm, “Oh, death! where is thy sting? oh, grave! where is thy glory? Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” The antagonist of vitality may triumph for the short time over the victory which he has won – the insatiable grave may have swallowed this victim – and her insatiable appetite may still cry “more, more!” Why should there be this shout of victory among the tombs? When the immortal spirit has gone to its home in the skies, there to remain in a separate state only till the morning of the Resurrection, and then it will return and be reunited to the body, and in that state of reunion enjoy the bliss of Heaven forever.

                The subject of this obituary lived 67 years with her husband in the marriage union: during all that time she sustained, emphatically speaking, all the characteristics of a wife: To her husband she was entirely submissive – his will was always her pleasure; – she was obedient, attentive, kind and affectionate; nor did these traits of her character depreciate, with her physical powers, under the influence of age, but shown brilliantly to the last moments of her existence. In the death of Mrs. Patteson a great loss has been sustained: her aged husband (to whom the present generation are indebted, in part for their patriotic government and liberties as a nation) has lost the best of wives; her neighbors have lost the kindest of neighbors; the traveler will never forget the hospitality which he has so bountifully shared within her open doors, nor will the poor man’s wife and the needy orphan ever forget the supplies which they have so frequently received from her charitable hands; the servant has lost a mistress whose humility has always extended to them the best of treatment; – in conclusion, we have lost a friend whose example, if followed, will lead us to the Cross of Christ, and to the rest that remains for the people of God. After living at peace with all men, till she had received in her withered arms several of her fourth generation, this devoted Christian has fallen asleep in Christ, with the hope of seeing the face of God and righteousness, and of waking in his likeness.

T. N. J.

P.S. The Enquirer will please copy.


It is my belief that the author of this glowing obituary is Rev. Thomas Nicholas Johnson. Click here for more about him:

Buckingham Notables: Rev. Thomas Nicholas Johnson, Part I

Buckingham Notables: Rev. Thomas Nicholas Johnson, Part II

Buckingham Schools: Rev. Thomas N. Johnson

Click here for more about Major David Patteson.


Leave a Comment
  1. Linda Loftin / Apr 10 2017 2:21 pm

    The characteristics of a good wife have certainly changed for the better over the years!

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 10 2017 5:04 pm

      Changed, indeed. Better is a matter of opinion, I suppose.

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