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The Wilbur A. Sawyer Papers

Letter from Wilbur A. Sawyer to Margaret Sawyer pdf (174,081 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Wilbur A. Sawyer to Margaret Sawyer
Dr. Sawyer was in Georgia and Alabama inspecting malaria and hookworm control programs from late August to early October 1924, while his family finished a vacation in northern Michigan and prepared to move back to New York City. In this letter Sawyer described some of the health problems he had seen while making the rounds with local Rockefeller Foundation representative Dr. W. G. Smillie.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (174,081 Bytes)
1924-09-24 (September 24, 1924)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
Sawyer, Margaret
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Public Health
Exhibit Category:
From Hookworm to Yellow Fever: Rockefeller Foundation, 1919-1927
Box Number: 2
Folder Number: 4
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1911-1995
SubSeries: Personal correspondence, 1911-1995
Folder: 1924
Sept. 24, 1924
Dear Margaret:
If you saw the rivers of tears I am shedding you would sit right down and write me a letter with a sponge or blotter enclosed. Another day and no letter. The office staff thinks my wife is a fiction and the Secretary has offered to write me a letter if I do not get one soon. Even Peggy seems to have forgotten her old man pops.
Yesterday I played with hookworm statistics, and the day before Dr. Smillie and I drove out in the country to investigate thyroid and tuberculosis cases. Rural Queenslanders live in palaces compared to
the rough cabins of the white farmers here. You can hardly imagine the depths of ignorance and physical degradation of many of the people. At one house we went to see a case of tuberculosis in the mother of the family. We found that her husband had died of tuberculosis, her 18 year old daughter had advanced tuberculosis, her 16 year old daughter was in bed with the survivor of a pair of illegitimate twins born four days before. An assortment of younger children and grandchildren were floating about the place and viewing what the future had for them. And this was only a sample. Most of the farmers seem to be tenants and to move most every year, adding failure to failure. When they are talked to about health precautions about one idea out of ten seems to penetrate the drawn and impassive face with mouth hanging slightly open, and that idea is not approved of.
The last two days have been comfortable, but before that it was very hot here. Real tropical heat. People were wearing thin clothes,--palm beech or just plain cotton. Most people went about without coats.
Have you heard anything from Freda Bage? I hope you will have room enough so that she can visit you without overcrowding. I suppose I will be back before then.
What do you think of this for a combination of business? There is a shop here that makes coffins and sanitary privies. I suppose one business falls as the other rises, and the firm cannot lose.
Love to all of you,
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