In solitude, she scanned the prairies for any sign of his homecoming. He had gone out with his military company to look for restless and warring Indians. He had been appointed by the governor to be a captain to this company. Yet for her, solitude in waiting and worrying were taking its toll.
She was alone, but not alone. She was a mother to his stepchildren while she awaited the birth of her own child. Her responsibilities were crushing…taking care of the kitchen and garden, managing livestock, overseeing the homestead. She prayed that no harm could come to them if Indians discovered she was alone. After all, her stepson Joseph had gone out to check on livestock one morning and was murdered by these people. She waited in solitude.
She had married Daniel Boultinghouse just last year on 31 January 1813. On that cold day, they had exchanged promises to love one another in good times and bad. This anxiety she felt this day was part of the days that were ridden with worry. She seemed all alone…in solitude, trying to glue her family altogether.
The day did come when she spied him coming across the grasslands with his son. He was coming home to be their protector and provider. No longer was she in solitude for now she would be coupled with her beloved Daniel.
Note: Rhoda Howell was my third great grandmother who waited for her husband Daniel Boultinghouse to return from duty in the War of 1812. They were pioneer settlers in the Illinois Territory.