The Fassett Letters - Letter #11

Date: 2/23/1853
Place: Placerville
From: A.F.G. [Ann Fassett Germain]
To: Mother

Placerville. Feb 23rd / 53
Dear Mother.
                      Since I wrote to you last an Allwise & unerring Providence has been pleased to visit us in affliction. Our dear little babe died February 15 with the Small pox aged 3 weeks & 1 day. it was hard to take it out of my bosom & lay it in its little coffin, but how much harder it would have been to have parted with my dear kind husband & precious little Clara. thank God they still live. Parker was taken down Jan 21st he had a very severe attack. we knew he had been exposed (as it was all over town, a number of cases within a few rods of us) but did not know as he had it. he was afraid of all the Doctors, & phyicked himself well with blue mass & calomel. I was taken very unwell the same day he was & Monday 24th sent for a Dr that had been recommended. He came, called it a light case of varioloid, said he would give him some powders to throw it out & he would be well in 2 or 3 days. said P need not leave my room as it would make no difference then with me. one of his powders would cure me too. but said if I wanted him soon he would come, then told Chit not to call him as it was out of his line, but get his partner. I sent for another one but for some time could not get a woman. (two came but would not stay) P was on another bed in the same room tried to get up & go out but fainted. At last Mrs Lee took her babe & a woman that worked for her & came & in a few minutes my dear babe was born (nearly a month too soon). Mr & Mrs Harker were out doors but dare not come in. Mr H went then (about 9 or 10 in the evening) & hired a woman that had had the small pox to nurse us but her sons wife was sick that night & she went there. H. & Chit tried every where offered 5,00 per day or any price but could get no one. Chit has done the house work and taken care of us all through our sickness. My bed was not made for almost a week & then a man made it. I took all the care of our babe till it died. it was the smallest one I ever had but very healthy till it was 2 weeks old. from that time it suffered so much that I felt almost glad when it died. It was dying all night & till 1 o'clock in the day, cold for 2 hours. Mrs Lee came & dressed it. Chittenden put it in the coffin and the next morning got 1 man to help him bury with only D. & G. to go to the grave with them, no one to come in not even to make a prayer. Clara was then breaking out, and I was broke out with the varioloid. I did not have it very bad. in 11 days set up a few minutes. (I was taken the day after the babe was) Clara had it very bad but the scabs are coming off now and she set up a while this morning. It is 11 days since she broke out & we consider her out of danger. she is completely covered but her sores are not very deep. I am afraid she will show it for life. P will probably be badly marked. he did not have another Dr till he got about the worst, when we got one that we think knows all about it he said P was doing well but left a blue pill & some Dover powder & camphor. he called 2 or 3 times after said he was doing well as he could but lt was a very severe case. 1 man stayed one day and 2 nights setting up half the nights & Chit half another one 2 days & several nights. the 21st day he set up a short time. he is now able to walk around & sits up nearly all day, but it takes all his strength to lift Clara. It is pretty hard work for him & I together to take care of her. Chit & the boys keep well. C. got vacinated & it worked a little. Clara was vacinated 3 times but it would not work. P was, when he was a child but the Dr. says a man can have it after he is 33. I wrote Dec 6 & 26, Jan 10. C wrote last mail. Your all come safe. rec 1 from Jane Nov 28, yours Dec 10, & one from Mrs Walden, & to day yours of Jan 9. I will write next mail. am so tired must stop & lie down. My head is not straight enough to write any how.
                                                  Love to all. Good bye
                                                                                       Ever yours
                                                                                                                          A. F. G.
P. S. Chit went to the city to buy goods for a grocery, will be back Friday or Saturday. he baked us some bread. D brings the wood & water & P & I make a little tea & take care of C.

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