A letter describing the symptoms of scarlet fever suffered by a young girl in Weymouth, Massachusetts, circa 1838.
Weymouth, October 23. 1838.
I am sorry to have bad news to communicate, but ought to be thankful on the whole that it is no worse. Lizzy's illness was all a reality, and to come to the point at once her complaint is scarlet fever. She laid on the sofa all the afternoon after you left but did not complain much but in the evening her fever became quite high, she grew red partially, and complained much of her eyes. I slept with her and she was in the room all night, we managed in the most [approved?] way and gave her saffron and catnip and mullein tea and after midnight her complaint of her eyes abated and she slept considerable. This morning as soon as light Ma sent for Dr. Fifier[?] who came and left her an emetic which she has taken and which has operated very well. She has thrown up a great deal of bilious matter and appears better. The Dr. called it scarlet fever, but not a complaint with much disease of the throat. In fact she complains very little of her throat. Send out by Mr. Kingsbury all her woolen clothes that came in & whatever gowns you think will be the most useful to her. Also her slippers & a few lemons. Don’t send her cotton stockings but her woolen ones. You need not think of coming out. For Ma & I shall be able to take the best of care of her & now think it likely as not that little Ann
will have the complaint. I will write in by Linfield every morning while she is sick. It would be impossible for the wisest of grown women to behave any better than she does. Takes every thing without a word of difficulty and in short makes her point in the most complete means[?]. She can describe all her own symptoms & appears to have all her faculties[?] in very full perspective[?].
I do not think you have any cause for alarm. I think she will be only comfortably sick, but at any note, I will write to you every day. Tell M. Chapman not to make herself uneasy about Lizzy more than is right, for I do not feel as though there was cause. Little Henry appears to be improving, and we have[?] keep him out of Lizzy’s way.
Lizzy sends her love & says she should like Parley’s magazine sent out.
Mr. Joseph Porter has been fined $10 & bound over to keep the peace.
Yrs [yours] truly A. W. Weston.
If D. is in town tell her to write.