Manuscript Letter by a Plantation Owner about a Fatal Epidemic among His Slaves. M[alcolm?] McNeill.
by [Slave Document]
Autograph letter, January or October 28th, 1854, highly legible hand, 4 pp., Five inch tear along one fold, but doesn't really affect text, smaller fold tear on back sheet, a little staining; otherwise in very good condition. This is an autograph letter signed by Malcolm? McNeil from Sommerville, Tenn., to his wife (in Louisiana or Mississippi?) while on a trip to attend Methodist Church conference in Memphis. "…our Lake Charles preacher" [Culpepper] "who has been two weeks from the plantation, he says all well, fine health since spring…Bro. Culpepper says in addition to our losses at Lake Charles...one of Sissy's boys (he thinks his name was Turner) died with the scarlet fever...three died after I left. Pale Mahalie's child and a boy... one of Cissey's children, it is strange Thos.Henry never reported it but Culpepper says he was nurse physician and all that after I left. Thos.Henry…wrote…that Flowa and Henry were expected to die and that...Culpepper attended in person to the sick and done the best he could but that he knows 3 died…" During the 1850s and 1860s several scarlet fever epidemics took their toll in the United States. McNeill reports several deaths on his own planation attributed to scarlet fever, with surprisingly little concern. It appears that the McNeill family were large slave-owners in Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana. Malcolm McNeill may have been a lawyer, and Mississippi may have been his residence. (Inventory #: 106341)
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