Cholera & Yellow Fever Fears
New Orleans, Orleans Parish Louisiana
~ 26 August 1832 ~

Copyright © 2003, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

Note:       Asiatic cholera, endemic to the Indian subcontinent, originally came from the Ganges Delta region of India, and arrived in the British Isles in 1831. Irish emigrants brought the disease to Quebec Canada in the spring of 1832. It reached New York City in June and Buffalo New York by mid July 1832. See our King Cholera page.

Folded Letter Sheet (Stampless Cover)
Circular handstamp postmark:

       NEW ORLEANS La Aug 29
Manuscript Postal Rate:
       Mr. Danl Hobbs

New Orleans 26th 1832
Dear Parents

       From the length of time that has elapsed since I have had any intelligence of you or any of the family except brother David, you must be well aware, tends constantly to excite the poignancy of paternal affection.

       It is true I have maintained a long silence myself, but my excuse (a subterfuge indeed) is that I had not only dispaired of hearing from you again, but that I was forced to believe that I was writing to those who were past all earthly correspondence and of course from who I could never again hear, but through the medium of some one else. But still I am resigned; I will not complain. I will resign myself to any penance those whom I can call by the fondest of all names; who were the progenitors of my exhistence, the nourishers of my infancy and childhood, and the child of whose bodies I can claim to be, however poignant the endurance of the sacrifice.

       I came to this city in December last and have resided here ever since and am now under such engagements that I do not know when I can leave. I am engaged with another in contracts for building and though a poor business I am obliged to follow it for want of capital to engage in a better. My health though unpropitious is still much better than it was during the two last years of my residence in Attakapas.

       We have here accounts of the collera morbus, in every newspaper, all around you; but I have sought with avidity, ever paper that I thought would give an account of it in Massachusetts, if it had found its way there but, from their silence on the subject conclude that, not only Boston, but the whole State is free from that loathsome epidemic.

       The city of N. Orleans I suppose never was more healthy than at present in any season of the year, and indeed there has been no sickness here for the last 2 years that is not indigenous to a northern climate. No excitement whatever seems to prevail here in anticipation of the collera, but all seem surprised at the fright of the people of the northern cities on its approach. The alarm seems to have been more infectious in New York and some others of the northern cities & towns than the disease itself. And consequently by far more a serious malady. Not a case of that or of the yellow fever I believe has occurred this year or the last either.

       Last week I received a letter from brother David (date not recollected) at which time he was well & in the same business as usual. I immediately wrote him an answer.

       My heart yearns once more to see the old hills in front of the residences of my childhood, the old plains, the woods, the sheep-pastures, with its butternuts & grapes, the orchard & the cold springs, the old red school-house with the “brook that babbles by.” All these scenes of my childhood, with my infantile associates, almost daily tantalizes my fond recollection. Does my old bed still stand by the right hand window as you enter the western chamber? Does the old square gin bottle stand at the left hand on the upper shelf in the cupboard? In mentioning all these familiar objects another of a more serious nature rushes on my memory, viz. the old yellow sanctuary - and the back ground where reposes the remains of _____ Excuse me, I still hope to see the spot.

Your dutiful son,

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