1875 ORIGINAL, SIGNIFICANT MANUSCRIPT LETTER DETAILING THE SAVAGE RESULTS OF PESTILENCE ON THE CITY OF CHICAGO HANDWRITTEN BY A CLEVELAND MAN SEEKING A BETTER LIFE

By: GEORGE ROBERTS

Price: $2,455.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a rare letter written during one of the many typhoid epidemics that swept Chicago during the 19th century. Measuring 10 inches by 8 inches, the letter is two-sided and fills both pages. The letter has some stains as one would expect from a nearly century and a half paper but is fairly legible. The author of the letter is George Roberts to his wife. In it he describes how ill he feels and the state of mind it leaves him in: "... I am so [ ] and I can get up and walk around a little I have been very sick and now I am [ ] [ ] fever now but I am nothing but a shadow to what I was when I left you. ...". Typhoid fever, also known simply as typhoid, is a bacterial infection due to Salmonella. Typhoid is spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It is a curse of the developing world and is prevalent in poor and overcrowded living conditions. Common symptoms are a high fever and a debilitating weakness. Untreated, it is fatal in about 20% of the cases. In the 19th century, Chicago experienced a number of typhoid epidemics. In late 1800s typhoid impacted the city of Chicago by contaminating its main water system, leading to an overwhelming increase of sickness and death. Now with contaminated water, city officials had to build longer pipes out into the lake to try and draw in the water untarnished by the city but the population growth exceeded the pipes. Excessive rainfalls caused the city's sewage system to overflow and contaminate the lake water. Roberts describes how his friends helped him: "... I worked ten days and I had to give it up I went to a Doctor He thought it was the fever ... I was out of my senses and on the Tuesday the boys from the shop came and took me to the Charity hospital. I can't [ ] six dollars and a half a week. Some of them was in on Sunday and in a day or two are going to move me to my boarding house. ... I would like to see you as well but I have to look for support for you and the boy..." He apparently has family in Cleveland and it seems he went there to get some things for his family - without success: "May swears she will carrie it out. She can carrie it out to the Devil for all I care. I have don with her ... If you need anything you will have to borrow see if you can borrow five dollars from Abe or Betsy ..." This letter is a first-hand description of the poverty that faced many Americans in the late 19th century. Confronted with illness, he was unable to work to support his family. A social historian would appreciate how this document corroborates many of the other source documents of the time, showing that life was indeed very hard for the average person.

Title: 1875 ORIGINAL, SIGNIFICANT MANUSCRIPT LETTER DETAILING THE SAVAGE RESULTS OF PESTILENCE ON THE CITY OF CHICAGO HANDWRITTEN BY A CLEVELAND MAN SEEKING A BETTER LIFE

Author Name: GEORGE ROBERTS

Illustrator: /

Categories: 19th Century Ephemera, 19th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview,

Publisher: Chicago, Illinois, 1875

Book Condition: Fair

Type: Manuscript

Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall

Seller ID: 0008186

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, UNITED STATES; ILLINOIS; MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES; COOK COUNTY; TYPHOID FEVER; CHICAGO IL; FEVER EPIDEMICS OF CHICAGO IN THE 19TH CENTURY; DISEASES AND EPIDEMICS OF THE 19TH CENTURY; 19TH CENTURY, 1870S; GEORGE ROBERTS; POVERTY IN LATE 19TH CENTURY AMERICA; AMERICAN WORKING CLASS IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY; CLEVELAND; CORRESPONDENCE; LIFE IN 19TH CENTURY CHICAGO; AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL