Cholera epidemic


Date Written

July 22, 1849

Samuel Graham was 42 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Robert Phares Kirby, was 36 when it was received.

Samuel Graham died 40 years, 6 months, 5 days after writing this.
It was written 174 years, 2 months, 13 days ago.
It was a Sunday.

July 22, 1849

Dear Brother and Sister,

I take this opportunity to inform you of our health. We are at this time enjoying only moderate healthy, but as we are surrounded on all sides with sickness; the cholera is sweeping off its hundreds to an alarming extent, in Cincinnati, for several of the last weeks there have been about one thousand deaths per week, by cholera and other diseases, and it is now in all the towns on the railroad, turnpikes, canals, and rivers, in fact it is in all the towns that I have heard from, but some places not very fatal. Betsy Lefatra is all the person that has had it, nigher [sic] less than Lebanon yet. We shall have to put off moving a little while longer than we wanted to, in consequence of the cholera being so bad along the road, we do not count it safe or prudent to start while it is so bad, but still, if we all keep well we expect to be there some time between this, and the first of October and if the sickness does not abate so that we can get there sooner than October, I want you to put in about 10 or 12 acres of wheat for me, in as good time, order, and terms as is convenient, or else get some person to do it for me, if you can. I do not expect it will be so we can start before you get this letter and have time to send me an answer. If you will write to me immediately and we have any kind of grain or garden seeds that you want us to bring, let us know it, and we will bring what we can and I want you to give in your letter the route we must take to get there the names of the towns in rotation as they come.

John Graham received Phoebe’s letter today, and we have just read it, and it appears that we can’t get to hear from any source, whether Allen Phares, has moved out there, or not, please to tell us. No more at present, but remain your as ever.

S. Graham to R. P. Kirby

[The following half of the letter was written from Hannah Kirby Graham to Phoebe Graham Kirby]

Dear brother and sister,

As Samuel can think of nothing more to write, I thought I would write a few lines and tell you that I was still anxious to come out there if life and health is spared and I get well enough to travel. I have been sick about 8 weeks. I was taken with the diarrhea and had it about a week, the medicine did not stop it, then the Doctor came and left medicine that salavated [sic] me and that kept me down about two weeks then I got able to work some and I suppose I worked a little hard, the weather was a very warm and I took a relapse and have not been able to do much since but I think I am gaining some now. James and Joseph both had it but attending to it in time they both soon got over it. Mother was taken with it about two weeks ago and is now tolerable well. There is not a family that has scarcely escaped it in the neighborhood. The Doctor says that if it was let run on that most would be cholera, but if the diarrhea can be stayed, there is no danger. There has been no case of cholera except Betsy Lafetra and she has got about well. I believe it is 4 weeks today since she had it. There has been but 3 cases as we have if yet in Lebanon. They was week before last. They came from Cincinnati to stay till it was better down there the paper states. That it is on the decrease last week and we hope that it will disappear. Harrison and Sarah Ann has come up to father’s to stay awhile they are both well. John is still at Indiana. Mother has his little boy and Caroline has a young daughter. But I must stop for the want of room. I will tell you the rest when I get there.
From Hannah Graham to Phoebe Kirby

I have not told you half. I want to for I could talk two days and nights. I want to see you both.
H. G.

Scans of Letter