Dr. Sawyer attended a League of Nations Regional Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in November 1932. Afterward he spent
several months touring in the Congo and Nigeria, talking with health officials about incidences of yellow fever. This letter
described his stay in Brazzaville, and the contrasts he encountered there.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (151,837 Bytes)
1933-01-01 (January 1, 1933)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
The Yellow Fever Laboratory: Rockefeller Foundation, 1928-1937
This is the only paper I have with me, as my main supply is across the Congo in Leopoldville. So excuse the misleading formality.
Happy New Year! And many more of them! Most of the town seems to have celebrated and danced until early morning. The Governor
General's reception and dance, which I attended, closed respectably at midnight.
This is a town of contrasts. A dinner or luncheon as guest of the Governor or one of the other officials is most elaborate
and excellent, but a meal at the hotel makes one almost sick. To room at the hotel is impossible, and the Governor has given
me a rest-house with one servant. About half the time I am invited out, probably partly on account of the knowledge of the
conditions at the little hotel, and the other half of the time I eat at the hotel. I have luncheon and dinner engagement to-morrow
and next day, and then (on the 3rd day) I go back to the A.B.C. Hotel (sounds simple, doesn't it?) in Leopoldville, "Leo"
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I am arranging for an invitation to Dr. Beeuwkes to survey French Equatorial Africa and sketching out a plan. It is hard to
do so without any chance to talk things over with him, as I have long been without information.
The water in this town is on only for an hour or so, morning and evening. Very pleasant! And the great Congo River with its
limitless volume flows swiftly by.
The day I arrived the Governor General and Madame Alfassa called for me in their touring car and took me for a ride down the
Congo River along the upper part of the rapids. The road is high above the river and the view of the opposite shore is pleasing.
A Mr. Ross, American, came to see me in Leopoldville, and invited me to dinner for next Thursday. It will be good to hear
American spoken. He is Secretary of the Protestant Missions organization of the Congo. He seems very pleasant.
I shall be glad to be on the water again on January 8th. It is tiring to be incessantly struggling with French, even when
the victims are most helpful.