August 23, 1812

am very sorry to report that the young lady died late last night. The crew called her Bess, so I can only assume her name was Elizabeth. It stuck me harder than I had thought when I learned her name; we could have had much to discuss and I would have enjoyed her company solely for the fact that her name brought images of my home. The doctor did all that he could for her; and in the end I believe it was more than just the fever that took her. She was with a child; and I believe it was her heart that could not bear to live any longer; for it seems she was treated so ill by someone; and her escape to America would have been such a welcome new start. Unfortunately; there is little information about her circulating, so we put her at rest with what we know, and pray that she finds peace at last.

Abigail helped to dress and support me as we slowly made our way to the deck to pay our respects as she was given a proper ocean burial. I gathered strength enough to sing her a short farewell; and she was so unceremoniously pitched over. Life on the ocean seems to be a very unforgiving mistress; and I felt heartsick and tired by the end of it all; and went back to my room to weep, and weep bitterly I did. I wept for my home so far away now, I wept for what could have been, I wept that I may never see anyone I love again, and I wept for poor Bess, who had not a soul in the world who could have cared for her but for the crotchety old doctor who shed not a single bit of humanity upon her dying heart, and I wish I could have known her and provided her with some comfort. Abigail did what she could, for not a living being could turn away her kindness or be immune to it; but I, selfish and unknowing, slept through the entire incident without pause.

The Captain has told us we will be arriving in New York in seven days. I am counting them down as each passes, and they cannot go quickly enough, nor can they go slowly enough. I am torn between wanting to be free of this place, and feeling like perhaps I deserve it. I beg for this misery to end.

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