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A WIFE SPENDS TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS IN SEARCHING FOR HER HUSBAND.

(From the Cleveland Herald.')

One of those cas.s in which women's constancy under the most trying circumstances is exhibited came to luht lately. The story certainly has the imprint of the romantic more than the reality, and borders closely upon the imaginative ; yet the manner in which the facts were told by the wo interested parties clears the mind of all dwubt, and seems to stamp it with truth. The circumstances, as related to us, are substantially as follow :—: —

In the beginning of 1840, Henry Leffingwell was a well-to-do merchant, living near the suburbs of London. In the month of March of that year, a larceny was committ'.'d near his residence, and circumstances pointed to him as the perpetrator. He was arrested, examined before one of the stipendiary magistrates, and fully committed for trial. A month after he was convicted and sentenced to hard labor in the penal colony of Australia for a period o? ten years, and in less than a week's time thereafter he was on his way to the far-.'ff land

His devoted wife, who all the time firmly believed in her husband's innocence, at once made preparations to follow and remain near him during his confinement, so that she might be the first, when his ticket-of-leave came, to cheer him with good counsel and comfort him with wifely love. The ship containing the convict arrived safe, and her cargo of living human beings was at once transferred to the Government workhouses. Not so, however, with the

ship upon which Mrs Leffingwell embarked. When about half-way upon her journey, the vessel encountered a fearful storm, and, after buffetting the waves for two days, foundered, the crew and Mrs Leffingwell barely escaping upon a raft hastily constructed when it was found that the ship could not be saved. After an exposure of several days, they were picked up by the American ship North Wind, bound from NTew York to China, where Mrs Leffingwell was at length landed only to find herself further than ever from her destination, and with no immediate prospect of reaching it. • After several mouths of patient watching and waiting, she was enabled, through the kind offices of the American Consul, then residing at Yeddo, to procure a passage to Cuba, whence the prospect of reaching Australia would be much improved.

Passing over a space of a year and a half, in which Mrs Leffingwell passed through nisjiiy scenes calculated to try firmer r solutions than hers, but through which she clung to her ressilve with true English obstinacy, she finally found herself on the shores of Australia, but as much iit a loss concerning the exact locality of her husband'? whereabouts as she would be of a needle for which she ' was hunting in s hay-mow. She persevered, however, but four long years passed away before she was 'enabled to obtain the slightest trace of her husband, from the fact that when once lauded from the ship, each convict receives a number by which he is only known to his keepers. Mrs Lefiingwell knew not her husband's number and when she made inquiries for him she was always, baffled with the question, "His number mam?" At the end of the time spoken of, during which her means had become exhausted, and she had been compelled to resort to menial labor, she one day picked up a- Sydney paper in which was an account of her husband's release, the real criminal of the larceny buying tan foimd »ml exported, Tl»g »s«

count gave her husband's number, and the facts which convicted him in so precise a manner that she could not long doubt as to who was meant. Her course was marked out at once. Going to the prisoi#authorities of Sydney, she at length learned that " ticket-of-lcavc-man No. 186" her husband's number, had left the Island for the United States of America, two weeks after his release. The next thing for her to do wa's to follow him. Scraping together her scanty means, she found she possessed barely enough to pay her passage! She seized upon the first opportunity presented, and in Jan., 1847, she found herself once more upon the ocean, bound for the tand of the free, with her mission still unaccomplished. In due time slip arrived in New York city, were she lemahml until the civil war Jjruke out, not having in the meantime heard one word of her husband, though she had made every exertion to fiud his whereabouts. When the w.-.r broke out and at the first call for nurses in the hospitals, she responded, and until peace was declared there was none more faithful in the care of our wounded than Mrs Clara Leffingwell. While in one of the hospitals at Washington she nursed to life and strength a man who knew her husband in the army, who had been his messmate and boon companion, and who, in his delirium, constantly called upon her husband to come to his assistance. When the crisis was passed, and it was known that the soldier would live, she questioned him concerning her husband, and ascertained that lie was in a Pennsylvania regiment, having enlisted from Pittsburg two years before. She at once addressed Leffingwell a letter, stating in full her efforts to find him, and detailing at length hir disappointments and troubles' With the usual perversity of army mails, that letter never reached its destination. Mrs. Leffingwell waited and watched, but still no answer came ; and at length, when the war was over, she set out once more in search of her husband. A visit to Pittsburgh revealed the fact that her husband's term of enlistment had expired long before, and his identity wsis once more lost. « She inserted advertisements in a number of the Pennsylvanian papers, calling for information of his whereabouts, and then set herself again to watch and wait. Time crept slowly on, and still no tidings i if her absent one. A week ago when she had given up all hope of ever seeing her husband again, she very suddenly received direct information of his place of abode from one who came across the advertisement of three years beiore. The paper conta'ning it had very providentially escaped the destruction which usually comes upon the dailies of the different cities, and now was the means of uniting two persons who for twenty-eight years had been separated by a cruel fate. Our heroine at once made preparations to go to her husband, who lives in or near Cincinnati, and who had been apprised of her coining, She accordingly left Pittsburg on Friday morning, and arrived in Cleveland in the afternoon of the same day. What was her surprise and pleasure on alighting from the curs at the Union depot to procure some refreshments to be confronted by her husband. For a moment they stared at each o'her, and then with a simultaneous impulse they rushed into each other's arms, all unconscious of the gaping crowd, who with the usual curiosity had paused in their hurry to witness the scene. The years that had separated them, though they had silvered the head of each, and left lines of care upon | their brows, had not eradicated the love j they bore one another, or torn from their hearts the memory of the olden time, j before relentless f ite had so cruelly thrust them asunder. The trials of the past were forgotten in the present joy, and they took the train for home at seven in the evening, happy only in each other's company. It was while they were waiting the departure of the Cincinnati train, and through the kind offices of one of the C. aud P.R.R. official,;, to whom Mrs Leffingwell had revca!ed a part of her history, that the above was obtained.

Wire Tramways. — A novel description of tramway was practically tested, on Saturday, at the Eraddon Hill quarries, neatLeicester. The line is about three milys in length, and its distinctive feature is that it is not laid upon the ground, but is suspended upon poles, in the same manner as telegraph wires. An endless wire rope passes over rollers on one set of poles, and returns by auother motion being given to the rope by a steam- engine. Boxes, containing stones, &c, are attached to the rope, which, when set in motion, carries them in the direction which it travels. Suitable grooves are formed in the hooks to which the boxes arc suspended to enable them to clear the heads of the poles which support the rope. It is of course very economical ; no earthworks are needed beyond those necessary for fixing the poles in the earth ; no bridges over streams and watercourses, or ravines are necessary, the wire rope furnishing the tramway in the air. Tramways can be constructed at frcm £250 to £1000 per mile, suited to currying 50 to 1000 tons per day. The estimate ioclud-.s steam-power, rolling stock and every requisite for work. The cost of working the line is also very low as compared with that of .working by the ordinary wheel and axle. —Daily News.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WCT18690609.2.16

Bibliographic details

A WIFE SPENDS TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS IN SEARCHING FOR HER HUSBAND., West Coast Times, Issue 1158, 9 June 1869

Word Count
1,533

A WIFE SPENDS TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS IN SEARCHING FOR HER HUSBAND. West Coast Times, Issue 1158, 9 June 1869

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