Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving and Smallpox - 1908

Maybe it's a weird combination -- I first searched my postcards for "Thanksgiving," and came up empty except for this card of Main St., West Hartford, CT, which has a very interesting message.  The front says: "Thanksgiving morning.  Dear Friend.  Mr K. and I are to be all alone this Thanksgiving day I expect, but we are very thankful for the mercies of the year."  The message continues on the back of the card, where the writer talks about some recent visitors that stopped by to "have dinner with us after Church Sunday."

Next, she mentions that "Mrs Henshaw found Smallpox in the town of Brattleboro, so they were going to have a quarantine.  Haven't heard since."  So, I googled "Smallpox," "Brattleboro" and "1908" (the postmark date on the card), and found that there really was a smallpox epidemic there at that time, with 195 cases reported.  But according to the Medical Record, a weekly journal of the time, the situation was well-controlled by the State Board of Health.

So, the writer can rest assured that things turned out OK, thus giving her one more thing to be thankful for, even if she's alone with her husband on the Holiday.

1 comment:

VioletSky said...

that is a pretty non-descript Main Street! I often wonder why someone thought these scenes were postcard worthy. But for us collectors, the scene and the message are definitely worth it.