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Letter to D. S. Edwards, M. D., Surgeon U. S. S. North Carolina, New York, from his brother, H. Edwards, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 20, 1845



N. Orleans Septr 20th 1845

– Dear brother It has been so long since I have written you that I begin to feel ashamed to write you at all. I believe however, it is better to reform late than never. I have received nothing from you since the beginning of June last, the letter you wrote me on your return to N York, from a visit to our parents Soon after the receipt of your letter in June last I made a trip to Canton Miss for the purpose of collecting a debt of about $600. due me for a number of years past, but was unsuccessful, The Mississippians were too smart for me. I returned to N Orleans after about two weeks absence (having traveled about a thousand miles) minus my expenses.

– Since then I have spent several weeks up the Coast, at St James, “my old stamping ground” where I was invited to several balls & parties given in fine style. They were attended by the finest & handsomest set of young ladies I ever saw collected together & all dressed in the best style & in the most refined taste, & then they dance the polka with that little innocent coquetry which makes one forget where he is[.] I have been thinking that I am about half in love with one of them & believe I shall soon go up there again & perhaps make out the other half – Had I succeeded in collecting what was due me in Mississippi I should have went on to N York and made you a visit but as I did not I thought I could not spare the money for such a trip This city has never been more healthy, I presume than during the past summer & up to the present day.

I frequently visit the Charity Hospital where there are between 400 and 500 sick, many of them unacclimated, emigrants from almost every part of the world & none of them have any thing like yellow fever – not a single has yet appeared in that institution[.] About a week or 10 days ago there were three cases of yellow fever reported by a physician attached to the board of health – since then none; and the most intelligent & experienced physicians doubt the correctness of that report. The mercantile community have raised a great out-cry against the board of health & will I have no doubt kick them out of office immediately for having published such a slanderous libel on the salubrity of N Orleans.

The 2nd Municipality is rapidly improving and a large number of buildings are going up A beautiful paved street & sidewalk now passes the buildings which I have erected, where when I purchased the lots there was mud, ancle deep in rainy weather. The crop of sugar cane is generally good & the planters expect a good price for their sugar this season, some of them made small shipments to England last season and the returns they received will induce them to make large shipments this season We had some of the warmest weather here in July last that I ever experienced – At present it is cool & the rains have commenced. It is raining to-day.

My health is perfect, with the exception of a slight catarrh occasioned by sleeping with my windows up – Write me soon [–] do’nt wait to get another letter from me before you write Give my love to Sister Harriet & the children & kiss them as sweetly as I would myself

– Your Affect[ionate] brother H Edwards

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Notes: Letter to D. S. Edwards, M. D., Surgeon U. S. S. North Carolina, New York, from his brother, H. Edwards, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 20, 1845; from the Phillip F. Schlee Collection.

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