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"THE YELLOW FEVER THERE IS MORE MALIGNANT ... EVEN THE NEGROES CATCH IT"
(George Payne Rainsford,1799-1860, Novelist & Poet)
Fine Autograph Letter Signed to "My dear Hutchins"
saying that he has been "waiting anxiously to hear from you respecting the manuscripts which I sent over and you received. Whatever delay may take place in Mr Newby's receiving it - if not occurring by any defect upon my side - must not of course, count against me, either in the date of his bills or the period of presenting the next manuscript. Both must be reckoned from the time when you called upon or sent it to him. The terms of our agreement are precise. The bills must of course be sent to me as they are always payable to my order and would be discounted without my endorsement. I cannot help thinking that one of my letters to you must have miscarried as is so frequently the case here. Were I in Norfolk I could tell you all I have written for all are registered the moment they are posted; but in travelling I cannot take such precautions and if I happen not to have stamps to put on the letter but prepay it in money every now and then the postmaster pockets the money and the letter never goes. We are now here staying with Walter at the most miserable backwood town you ever saw. The meat is so tough that Fanny cannot digest it at all and if it were not for Walter's gun and mine and our fishing rods, she would actually starve. No eggs, no fowls, no mutton, nothing but beef steaks as hard as iron except when we bring in game. However the expence of being starved here is not much for this place is as cheap as Norfolk is dear. We pay two shillings a day for board and lodging. Poor Norfolk is in the most awful State that ever was known. The yellow fever there is more malignant than it has ever shown itself elsewhere. Even the negroes catch it - a thin unknown elsewhere and few once attacked recover. Sorrow has become so great that not twelve hundred white persons are left in this town which numbered eighteen thousand. All the stores and shops - even the druggists are closed; the meat and fish market has ceased; none of the provision boats come in; the dying are left to die alone and the living are nearly starved. The acting Consul writes me word that no living thing is to be seen in the streets but the doctors hurrying from house to house, the horses dragging the hearses and the mourners following. Each day sweeps off one sixtieth part of the remaining population and I am in terror lest poor Crudshaw shouldlbe carried away too ...", 3 sides 4to., with integral autograph leaf and seal, Menasha, Wisconscin, 6th September
About 1850 he was appointed British consul for Massachusetts, and then in 1852 moved to Norfolk, Virginia, and in 1856 became consul-general at Venice, where he died of apoplexy on 9 June 1860, and was buried in the Lido cemetery. An epitaph, in terms of somewhat extravagant eulogy, was written by Walter Savage Landor.
Thomas Cautley Newby
(1797/1798-1882) was an English publisher and printer based in London.
The 1855 yellow fever epidemic in Norfolk, Virginia, sometimes called "The Death Storm," wiped out around two thousand of Norfolk's population and was one of the worst disasters in the history of the city.
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