Zerlina was the Thorn’s tenth child, born around 1828/9. I mentioned her in the general post on the children. Sadly, she drowned at the age of eight years old at Trenton Falls, New Jersey, in July, 1836. An account of the incident, describes Herman was carrying her and helping his wife across the fastmoving water. One of the servants asked to take charge of Zerlina. The servant slipped on a rock and lost her his grip on her. He was rescued, but she wasn’t.
I will again post the beautiful poem written about her by Lydia Sigourney, known as the “Sweet Singer of Hartford.” The poem was in her letters to George Griffin.
Below is also an account of the tragedy:
And another mention of the tragedy.
Such an awful tragedy. I can’t imagine how they must have dealt with it and the mark it must have left on their lives.
It is interesting that they chose to name their daughter Zerlina, which was apparently made up by Mozart for the heroine in his opera “Don Giovanni.”
Lastly, I have also found mention of a miniature (? painting) of Zerlina, Eugene and Camille de Varaigne. That seems an unusual combination, but exciting to think it exists somewhere.