Fragments: Mrs. Reuben Chandler Writes To Her Husband During A Cholera Epidemic From Correspondences: A Family History Of Letters

By Anne Stevenson

note: Most of this journal, written on shipboard, seems to have been destroyed, probably by fire. What remains suggests that Mrs. Chandler journeyed to New Orleans without her husband’s permission, thus becoming indirectly the cause of her baby’s death.


Two weeks aboard the ‘General Wayne’
is little more than a floating hospital
vomiting spells. I attribute them to
is truly ill. For two days he has
in his bunk.
Belle seems to recover. At least
fretful which indicates improvement.
struck by a nervous disorder.
I sleep very little and take no solid food.
(page torn)

(Second page)
Yesterday evening poor little Cookie died.
She was seized suddenly with spasms, poor thing,
and died in an hour. You will accuse me of
but it was truly frightful.
I have not slept for weeping.
only a dog!
(page torn)

(Third page)
arrived safely in New Orleans but
embark. We are all in quarantine
might be better, but Belle is
all day by her bedside. Doctor
plague and gives me no hope
pray for survival.
(page torn)

(Fourth page)
have not been able to put pen to
all over. Our dear little girl
among the blessed, my beautiful
authorities let no one near.
darkies. I am full of
one who was without fault and so,
lies shrouded in my sister’s
blame God and myself, dear
why you have left me without support?
(page torn)

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