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The Wilbur A. Sawyer Papers

Title:
Letter from Wilbur A. Sawyer to Margaret Sawyer pdf (171,081 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Wilbur A. Sawyer to Margaret Sawyer
Description:
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. In this letter he added comments on the trouble caused by alcohol. (Sawyer was a non-drinker, and seems to have supported the alcohol prohibition campaign in America.)
NOTE: The original document is written in pencil on thin paper, and as a result the image is difficult to read.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (171,081 Bytes)
Date:
1920-05-20 (May 20, 1920)
Creator:
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
Recipient:
Sawyer, Margaret
Rights:
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Hookworm Infections
Exhibit Category:
From Hookworm to Yellow Fever: Rockefeller Foundation, 1919-1927
Box Number: 2
Folder Number: 1
Unique Identifier:
LWBBJY
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Correspondence, 1911-1995
SubSeries: Personal correspondence, 1911-1995
Folder: 1920
Transcript:
Murgon, May 20, 1920
Dearest Margaret:
Again I sit beside the dwindling, flickering candle. It does not seem to be quite so cool to-night.
We have had an interesting day at the Aboriginal Settlement, and I have a few photos that will be interesting. One of the striking things about the abos [sic] is the good grade of English that they talk. I heard one say "Au revoir" in reply to a "good-bye", and they use the same idioms and inflections as the average Queenslander. And yet they are living in all sorts of extemporized shacks with log fires inside them, and they go shuffling about barefooted in rags.
My room is over the saloon and I hear all the arguments. Yesterday a drunk spent much of the evening trying to sing Annie Laurie at the top of his voice. It was all sentiment--tearful sentiment--and no tune or intelligible words.
Then there was a terrific
(over)
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
argument between the bartender and a "guest" who was being urged to depart under threat of violence. Judging by the length of the discussion I take it that the bar-tender is a man of loud words rather than action. He told us that bar-tending was a most degrading business,--he used to run a store in Indoowpilly [?]. He had decided to sell a man drink only while he had money and then refuse to give him any more. He couldn't stand this everlasting begging for credit, and he wasn't going to give any more. When their money was gone they would get no more drinks at his place.
I have a reservation (I think) to leave here Saturday night and arrive in Brisbane Sunday. So "au revoir". Lots of love to you and the three nice little girls.
Wilbur
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2006-07-13
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