This letter was written by Robert W. Murphy of Preston Hollow, New York. Murphy served in the New York Legislature as a representative from his district.
Theodore Sedgwick, Jr. (1780-1839), a New York lawyer, was appointed attaché to Paris and later District Attorney of the southern district of New York. He was one of the defense attorney’s who defended the Africans in the celebrated Amistead trial.
Salt rheum is eczema (non-contagious). Cold or fatigue would probably have little affect on the symptoms.
Addressed to Theodore Sedgwick, Jr. Esq., Attorney at Law, 81 Nassau Street, NYC
Preston Hollow [New York]
5 February 1839 Tuesday
T. Sedgwick, Esq.
Yours of the 25 ult. came to hand today. I am indeed very sorry to hear that Charles is not well. The salt rheum is a disorder, which I have never heard him complain of, nor any one of my family.
As the navigation is open to Catskill, I would go to New York immediately had I not appointed the 12th inst to sell a large quantity of chattels as executor of an estate which may occupy two or three days. Hence, I cannot go until the last of next week. You say that Charles “must not be exposed to cold or fatigue.” Therefore, he might not be able to return home with me if I should go to New York this week. I should think Charles had better come home as soon as he can. If the river continues open to Catskill, he will have only 26 miles to ride home from there by stage. I would not have him come to expose himself improperly to “cold or fatigue” but if you think proper, you may let him come home without waiting for me. If so, please write 2 or 3 days before he starts, mentioning the time he will leave the city. As he appears well – except the salt rheum on his hands – I flatter myself he will soon be able to come home if not able to pursue his studies. Yours respectfully, — R. W. Murphy