|Moore, Sally to Pettit, John, 1868
|Argentina - Pettit
|Buenos Aires, Argentina
|cholera, decease, adversity, family
|Buenos Aires March 12th, 1868.
My dear Cousin,
It is now nearly four months since I have written to you. I think I wrote last by the November mail, since that time we have had sad times in Buenos Aires. The dreadful cholera returned again in spring and made fearful ravages, few families there are that have not lost some of its members, ours could not be expected to escape, three of Uncle Mike’s children have gone, Edward died on the first of February after a few hour’s illness, poor Bella Tallon on the fifth and her little child the day after on the seventh, our poor Uncle James died at nine o’clock and a young man, a cousin of Aunt’s the same day and in the same house on the day following, Patricio, Uncle Mike’s second son a fine young man eighteen years old died. I leave it to you to fancy the grief of all the family and besides those who died there were fifteen in bed together, that is, at one time. When the cholera commenced in the family most of the members living apart went to Uncle James to live or die together, it was a fearful time so many sick and dying in the same house, but we felt very grateful to God that so many have recovered, there have been whole families carried away not leaving a single person behind. I have sent the Standards or rather a friend sent them for me to you, if you have got them you will know already of the state of things here, everything came together war, plague and locusts, those have been very bad this year eating up every green thing so that in some parts the sheep eat them, they even eat clothes, so that people were obliged to keep their houses shut to save them, they also got into the wells in such numbers as to make the water unfit for use and to make matters worse, the dust storms were very frequent, sometimes I am told that even with the doors shut, a lighted candle looked like a coal of fire from the quantity of dust. The hand of God seems to be on our poor country, no one ever saw such times here before. I hope however that it is past, the camps are improving since we have had some rain and the cholera is nearly gone, there are still some cases however. Today I have heard of five so that there are still some fears of its returning in the Autumn, such tales of horror and miseries as are told of persons abandoned by relatives and dying alone, of others all dying at the same time and no one to assist them, some dying and in the same bed half putrefied bodies of others and what made the scourge so bad in the camp was the fears of the people. In town very few were neglected but in the camp parents left their children and children their parents to die alone and after death some were burnt house and all, no one having the courage to bury them. At Uncle James I am happy to say they were well attended to both corporally and spiritually. They had a doctor from the village who went out every second day and a priest a friend of the family who had gone out on a visit and found them sick. He also took it and nearly died but still he was a great consolation to them, he came in a few days ago and poor Fanny also she escaped the cholera but grief and fatigue told severely on her constitution. The doctor told them to send her to town at once or he would not answer for her reason, poor girl it was a great grief to her to lose her two brothers and her sister but I am happy to say that since she came to town she is getting much more reconciled and gaining strength. She says that she will write to you by next packet. Poor Kate she has been very bad too. We are expecting her in town soon, she had cholera, I mourned her as dead. I heard one day that she had died but fortunately it was not true. Mrs. Kirk was one of the first victims of this visitation, poor old lady she took sick in the morning and died in the evening on the 16th of December. I am much obliged to you for all the papers which we receive so regularly. I hope mine go more regularly than they used to. Please write soon your letters are a great treat to us, and I hope to hear that you are both quite well. Your cousin Margaret Roach is quite well, she desired me to remember her to you, she has behaved bravely during the sickness assisting and visiting the sick where she wanted.
Mamma, Maggie, my sister, and Fanny all join me in kindest regards to yourself and your father,
I remain my dear John your ever affectionate cousin, Sally Moore.