Letter recounting the deaths from Typhus Fever in Lynchburg, Virginia during the summer of 1845
Letter recounting the deaths from Typhus Fever in Lynchburg, Virginia during the summer of 1845

Letter recounting the deaths from Typhus Fever in Lynchburg, Virginia during the summer of 1845

Lynchburg, Virginia to Short Creek, Harrison City, Ohio: 1845. Unbound. This two-page stampless folded letter measures 7.5” x 12.25”. The letter is datelined November 11th, 1845. It bears a circular blue “LYNCHG VA” postmark dated November 11 and a bold “10” postal rate mark indicating the cost to mail a letter over 300 miles. The letter is in nice shape with short partial slits along three mailing folds. A transcript will be included. Very good. Item #009256

In this letter, which was written over several months, Robert informs his sister, who lived in Ohio with their father Jonathan, about a severe outbreak of Typhus Fever that had occurred in Lynchburg during the summer and killed a number or people. "I can inform thee I am well at Present. Brother Newbey has bin in a bad Condishon with his feet & legs a swelling and Brakeing out . . . he got a doctor to come & see them & gave him something to anoint with. . . . Thomas Moormans family has all Bin Sick. Virginia was taken down first then the old woman & then Samuel all with the Typhus fever. Samuel is dead the old Lady hant left her bed yet – Micajah has bin a drooping a bout but hant taken his bed yet – James is very Porely but Started to the Springs a few days a go over the Mountains. It has ben Myty sickly in the Country this summer more so then in town a bundance of people has Dide a bout in the Country a good many has dide in town this summer. . . . I believe all our Relations are well at present. Old Betsy Moorman has got well James Moorman is mity porely – Docter Moorman Dide with the fever This docter moorman was a son of little John moorman well Little John Moorman had a Son in law the name of Robinson he Dide & the Brought him down to our Grave yard & Buried him with Military honour firing guns in the grave. John Percivel dide with the fever. Young Zack Waide dide with the fever few weeks sence. The fever was worse in the Country then in the Town Some half a Dozen I suppose. But the fever is pretty well over since the hard frosts has come." He also bemoans the lack of corn liquor (“Times here is Gloommey little or no Corn made neare a bout here What few Corn makers a bout here Sese before august Come in the wood not make on Barrel of Corne”), reports on a money crisis (“There is no selling of Land now Every body wants to sel there Land & there is nobody to buy money is so scarce.”), and passes on regards from some family slaves (“Old black Betsey Roberts Remember her love to old Master Jonathon & Mis Judah”). Although foodborne Typhoid Fever was endemic to the Lynchburg region, louse or flea-borne Typhus Fever was not. The Typhus mini-epidemic described in this letter is not recorded in local or state histories.

Price: $400.00