Dr. Sawyer attended a League of Nations Regional Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in November 1932. En route, he spent
several weeks meeting with colleagues in Paris, Amsterdam, and London. In this letter he described some of his itinerary,
and his long conferences with Dr. Beeuwkes of the Yellow Fever Commission in west Africa.
Item is handwritten.
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4 (272,976 Bytes)
1932-10-14 (October 14, 1932)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
The Yellow Fever Laboratory: Rockefeller Foundation, 1928-1937
This is our anniversary and here I am thousands of miles from you, and with the wide Atlantic in between. I wish you were
here to share this large room on the top floor of a hotel on the Rue du St. Honore overlooking the housetops, beyond which
the Eiffel Tower is shinning with a myriad of colored electric lights advertising CITROEN cars.
The voyage across the ocean was pleasant, and without strong winds. Several members of my table were keen about deck tennis
and so I had a reasonable amount of exercise and another sunburn. We anchored at Cobh, Ireland, during the night of Oct 11th
and put some mail ashore, and the next afternoon the London passengers went to the land at Plymouth in a tender. It was the
morning of yesterday that we reached Havre, a sentimental spot in my past, for it was there that I found you on board ship
a couple of years ago and brought
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your very sweet self to Paris at the commencement of our very best vacation after the honeymoon. Well do I remember how nice
you were, and are! I realize that it is an inadequate show of affection merely to send you a letter on so important a day,
but I love you as much as if I had given you diamonds and a Rolls Royce and millions of kisses at close range.
Since reaching Paris I have talked almost continuously with Dr. Beeuwkes. It is necessary to go over the same ground many
times, because that is his way of making up his mind, and I am rather slow myself. So I have very little to report on of
interest. To-morrow morning we shall try to crystallize our plans for Africa by writing them down and in the afternoon we
shall call on Dr. Abt of the Office International d'Hygiene Publique. On Monday I expect to see a number of the members
of the Committee of the "Office" and on Tuesday I hope to go to Amsterdam to call on Dr. Schuffner, and soon afterward
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shall arrive in England. As you probably remember, I shall sail from Southampton on Oct. 28.
It is chilly here and most of the people on the street are wearing overcoats. I didn't expect to need an overcoat before
my return from the southern hemisphere, but it is very comfortable here and necessary. I suppose it is cooler also in Hastings.
Billy would have been interested in the ventilators in the ceiling of my cabin on the S. S. Manhattan. They looked like two
eyeballs and each could be turned in any direction. Sometimes they were cross-eyed, and sometimes the[y] made a strong wind
because they were focused on the same spot. The fan in the room was really not necessary. In fact there was too much breeze
from the "eyes" and I turned one of them off. It was hard to find a place to sit without being hit by one of them.
I tried the swimming pool but found it a bit crowded, as it was small. Deck tennis was more fun for exercise.
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I was late last evening trying to get my trunk from the railway station and find a place to eat. I must have looked very
tired for a blonde lady stopped me and tried to persuade me to go to bed. And that was on the busy corner in front of Thos.
Cook's and opposite the Madeline.
This talking incessantly to one person in the R.F. office is very tiring and I shall be glad when our plans have been written
up and we go our separate ways. Dr. Beeuwkes is not very well and there is a real risk that he will not be able to stick
to his African post another year. The coming year should be a very important one and perhaps the last in Africa for his group.
There is little in the way of news to justify this letter, but if I could tell you how much I love you I should be saying
a great deal. Not being a poet I must leave much to your imagination,--but it's true!