From late May to early August 1934, Dr. Sawyer again visited yellow fever control operations in Brazil. This included a ten-day
trip to the Mato Grosso region to check on several puzzling outbreaks of yellow fever in rural areas, and led to the recognition
(by Dr. Fred Soper and others) of a new infection pattern: jungle yellow fever. In this letter, Sawyer described a shorter
tour through the interior of several northeastern Brazilian states.
NOTE: The original letter is written on onionskin paper.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (130,569 Bytes)
1934-07-21 (July 21, 1934)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
The Yellow Fever Laboratory: Rockefeller Foundation, 1928-1937
I suppose this will be my last letter from here, as I should be on the next air-mail myself. Dr. Soper and Dr. Paul, Dr.
Gordilho, and I have just completed a long trip through the interior of Pernambuco and Ceara. We went in at Recife and came
out in Fortaleza. How good it does seem to have a private shower bath! We slept in hammocks throughout the trip. We rode
in automobiles, on a rail car, and for a short distance on a train. We have eaten armadillo, wild duck, dried beef, canned
things, and hundreds of eggs. Nothing seemed to hurt us.
Way in the interior we met an engineer who had found some fossil fish while digging for water, and he gave me one. I will
bring it to Billy if it is not too heavy for the plane.
At Juazeiro we called on Padre Cicero,
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
an old priest who was twice Vice-President of the state and once headed a sort of rebellion against the government. People
go on long pilgrimages to see him at his home in Juazeiro far in the interior. He was 90 years old, but very alert and clear
in his mind. On our return here we learned that he had died. He was always a supporter of the yellow fever work, which was
important for us as his influence in southern Ceara is very great. On his verandah he had an anvil bird, which sang while
we were trying to talk. Its song is the same as that which would be produced by striking an anvil as hard as possible with
a 20-lb. sledge. It was evidently intended to be heard at a distance of two miles.
I should get my mail in Para in a couple of days. We are almost completely isolated here. Dr. Soper received a telegram
that Mrs. Soper had been operated on in Kansas and was convalescing satisfactorily. It was all news to him.