Dr. Kennedy possessed a gift or a defect which has been mentioned already - one that few people would not shrink from. When death came to any of his friends in his absence, he was conscious of the loss at the moment it occurred. Two instances will be sufficient proof.
Shortly after his second marriage, he and his wife were visiting at her Father's, Major Peter Shafer's. On sitting down to dinner, the Doctor leaned back in his chair with an expression of countenance that alarmed Mrs. Kennedy, whostarted up, asking him what was the matter. He was unable to speak at first but quickly recovered, and said that Catharine, his youngest daughter, had just died. She was a sickly child always, but had appeared unusually well that morning, and they had left her without apprehending danger. The time was noted, the dinner eaten with what appetite they could command, and the visitors went to their home, several miles distant.
Dr. Kennedy's restored stone house
When they arrived they found the child indeed dead! She had died the very moment that her Father had perceived his loss. I say perceived, but he called it seeing.
Another one that I clearly remember having heard from my Father and his older Sister, occurred before the death of his first wife, but I never heard how long before. Her Mother was very sick, and Mrs. Kennedy went to attend her. The Doctor went off on one of his medical rounds, and one night about 11 o'clock, I think it was, he heard strains of sweetest music in the air, and saw the apparition of his Mother-in-law surrounded by so bright a light that he could tell the hour by his watch.
He was then on his way home; but changing his course somewhat, he rode on to the house of Mr. Beavers, his father-in-law, thirteen or fourteen miles beyond his own residence. His wife met him at the door with this "Doctor, Mother is dead." He said that he already knew it, and the time of her death. It had taken place at the moment he had noted.
Well, happily for his children, Dr. Kennedy did not transmit to them is weird gift, for I never heard that any of them were seers of visions, or dreamers of dreams.
Yellow Frame Church, Sussex County, NJ
Barbara at the Yellow Frame Church, Sussex County, NJ