Following his discharge from the Army Medical Corps in May 1919, Dr. Sawyer accepted a position with the Rockefeller Foundation's
International Health Division. His first assignment was to initiate and oversee a hookworm control campaign in eastern Australia.
He and his family arrived there in August, settling in Brisbane. Sawyer traveled frequently for this job, and his letters
home describe some of the unique features of Australia's geography, economy, and population.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (170,354 Bytes)
1920-05-19 (May 19, 1920)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
From Hookworm to Yellow Fever: Rockefeller Foundation, 1919-1927
I shall sit me down beside the flickering candle and try to keep warm by putting my rubber coat on. My desk is my bureau,
and my legs are tucked away at one side, and my heart is in Brisbane, but I hope my writing will still be legible.
So far my trip has been interesting and successful. The Nambour contingent was out in force. There were so many of them that
I had no chance to say "oranges" to Dr. Samson. I had to discuss the long cold winter with Mr. Philcox, and to say
"how-do-you-do, glad-to-meet-you" etc. to the new member of the staff, Miss James. She looked very well in the faint
light of the platform and would probably do the same in the daytime. I think she will be a valuable addition to the staff.
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
We arrived here almost on time. The aboriginals are enthusiastic about hookworm, and we could have all their specimens at
once, if we would accept them. Out of the first 24 we found three cases of hookworm and a few additional tapeworms, etc. I
think the h.w. are not spread up here to any extent, but many of the abos [sic] come from the coast and the gulf.
I talked to the assembled men and heads of families this morning and also visited the abo. school and photographed the pupils.
My candle will soon go out, and I must stop. My ink has already flowed out, as you can tell from this pencilled scrawl.
I hope you are feeling well, Sweetheart. Love to all,
P.S. Heard a California lady give a prohibition lecture last night.