1849: Dr. Edward Bernadou to John B. Bernadou

This letter was written by Dr. Edward Bernadou (1820-1850) to his father, John B. Bernardou — a merchant in Philadelphia. Edward graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1845 and practiced medicine in New Orleans afterward. He is listed in the 1846 New Orleans City Directory at 125 Julia Street. Mortality records, however, reveal that he died of pleurisy at age 30 in Brownville, Pennsylvania on March 5, 1850, one year after this letter was written.

Stampless Cover

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

TRANSCRIPTION

[Addressed to John B. Bernadou, Esq., Merchant, Philadelphia]

Cincinatti, Ohio
March 15th 1849

Dear Father,

I arrived here about eight days ago, after a tedious and disagreeable trip up the River of 17 days. The heavy rise and the large quantities of ice, and the dense fogs, impeded to no small extent our utmost endeavours to make a short trip up. Add to this, a large number of our deck passengers (principally Irish and Dutch) were taken down with the Cholera, Measles, and Ship Fever. My kind and sympathizing heart would not allow me to remain idle, so I at once set to work and used my utmost skill to save them from the scythe which menaced them. Useless to say, I lost no one. I have not been able to kill a single patient since I am practising, but my own health seems to be menaced continually.

The day before our arrival here, I was taken sick and actually thought that I was going to Davey Jones’ Locker. The day we arrived here I was covered with the measles, and could proceed no farther. In fact, the Captain of the Steam Boat requested me as a favor that I would land as all his passengers (over 100 in number) were going to leave if I persisted in remaining on board. I do not blame either him or they, as none had ever had — or pretended not to have had – the measles. I was in what might be called, a sweet fix, for at two Boarding Houses, and 3 or 4 Hotels, they refused on account of the [other] boarders to receive me. So I had to wait on board until night and then at a late hour arrive at a Hotel without saying I had any thing the matter with me, for had I even said I was unwell and coming from New Orleans, they would at once have imagined that I had the Cholera. The Cincinattians are the damdest fools I ever met with.

The next morning being worse, I sent for a woman to nurse me. This was an additional expense as I had to pay her and her board. However, thank God, I am once more about my whole body skinning and scaling off like a snake when he sheds his skin. But unfortunately, it has rammed me back no little and (I am sincerely ashamed) I have not the means to proceed further without your assistance. Had I some powerful acquaintances here, I might procure some patients, but I am an utter stranger. I had one patient – an individual who wore a tumor on his neck. I removed it for him and charged him $5. He said he would be d___’d if he would pay any such price, and he threw me down $2 and departed.

To what a state has the medical profession arrived! For my part, I am so utterly disgusted with it, that I believe I will turn to and sow potatoes or corn upon my arrival home. If I ever marry – which will not in all probability be soon – I will give my children a good education, and then a trade. Mr. [Alex] De Toqueville, in his remarkable work on the U. States says very truly; There are but two classes of Aristocracy in this country, viz: The Mechanic and the Farmer. My boys shall belong to this Aristocracy, for if hard labour had only been wanted to acquire a fortune, I should have been independent long ago.

The hundred dollars you sent me in December last would have sufficed me for to pay my debts and pay my way home, had not this misfortune befallen me. But some how or another some cursed luck seems to pursue me every where and in every thing I undertake. It must, however, soon change. To cap the climax too, I have a large sore just above the heel immediately on the tendon. So much does it pain me that I can neither walk nor wear a shoe.

I hope, dear father and mother, that we shall yet (and that shortly) enjoy that quiet and happiness which your years and virtues entitle you to. Adieu once more. I embrace you tenderly, and remain ever your affectionate son, — E. Bernadou

Address: Care of Messrs Clemmer & Maguire, Produce Merchants, Cincinatti


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Spared & Shared 12

Saving history one letter at a time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

I shall be Willing to Suffer

The Civil War Letters of Marquis Lafayette Holt of the 3rd New Hampshire Infantry

"Shall the Union be Preserved?"

The Civil War Letters of William Henry Hodgkins -- Co. B, 36th Massachusetts

The Civil War Letters of William Busby

A Private in Co H, 20th Iowa Vols

Diary of Henry Knox Danner

The Civil War Experience of a Private in Co. K, 30th Pennsylvania Infantry (1862-1864)

Franklin S. Twitchell

Co. B, 13th Connecticut Infantry

The Civil War Letters of Henry E. Mumford

A Colored Soldier of Co. B, 29th Connecticut Infantry

No Babies Play

Letters of Joseph Hazen, Co. F, 20th New York Cavalry

I Long to See You Again

The Civil War Letters of Willis McDonald, Co. F, 17th Connecticut Infantry

I stood in my tracks

The Civil War Letters of Benjamin F. Hulburd, 7th & 2nd Vermont Infantries

This fight will tell the story

Letters by Harlan P. Martin, Co. E, 123rd N.Y.V.

The Rebecca Breidenstein Collection

Letters addressed to Rebecca by both her first & second husbands during the Civil War

The Smoke of my Rifle

A small collection of letters by Capt. Augustus Alonzo Hoit of Co. G, 8th Maine Infantry

Trumpet of Freedom

Civil War Letters of Cyrus E. Ferguson -- a soldier and bugler of the 15th Iowa Infantry

The Bowdoinham Letters

Civil War Letters addressed to the Brown Family of Bowdoinham, Maine

"I am for war, till slavery is dead"

The Civil War Letters of Jerome Bonaparte Burrows, Captain of the 14th Ohio Independent Battery

"All glory to our flag -- and to those who defend it!"

Seven Civil War Letters by Col. Augustus Abel Gibson

"Mother, don't worry about me"

The Civil War Letters of Caleb & John B. Chase, 3rd & 9th Minnesota Infantries

"They will get but little duty out of me"

The Civil War Letters of Silas Townsend, 29th Mass Infantry & 3rd Mass Cavalry

"Teach my Hands to War..."

The Civil War Letters of John Hancock Boyd Jenkins, 40th New York Infantry

"It is Life or Victory Now"

The Civil War Letters of Pvt. Eli Caress, Co A, 50th Indiana Volunteers

In the Trough of the Sea

The Civil War Letters of Dr. Allen Smith Heath from Aboard the USS Daylight

From the Bottom of My Heart

The Digital Archives of the Hodgdon/Rayner Letters

Spared & Shared 10

Saving history one letter at a time...

When I Come Home...

The Civil War Letters of George Morgan of Company F, 11th New Hampshire Infantry

%d bloggers like this: