Signature of Edward B. Walker Genealogy of Edward B. Walker
1756-1838, Duplin County, North Carolina - Sullivan, Claiborne, Hancock Counties, Tennessee


Andrew Calvin Walker - Letter to the Editor

Andrew Calvin Walkeroffsite link to WorldConnect was a doctor in Norma when his picture apparently was used to illustrate an article in the local paper about the outbreak of some sort of pox. He wrote the letter below to the editor as a sarcastic "protest" but also as an educational tool to tell the public about the epidemic. Whether he sent it or whether it was published in any form is unknown.

He gives a date but not a year, but based on the fact that he said he had been practicing 27 years, the letter probably dates to the mid-to-late 1910s. The newspaper was probably the Huntsville Chronicle, of which very few issues survive at the Tennessee State Archives.

Material courtesy Robert Emmit Walker. Click any page for a larger version.

Norma Tenn

To the Personal in Chronicle of Feb. 28

I want to say that I had my Photo made just for fun to send to my children & Did not aim for this world to see them but as the Editor got his papers on it & made some trite remarks about me I want to say that if I could have had it taken this day before I did while the Pustules were all so prominent it would have kept the mold out of the Editors Garden but they had shrunk considerably when I posed; But I felt so indisposed & it was a rainy & hard day I could not show myself to perfection so I defered [sic] until next day and my bumps attrofied [sic]. Hence I think I

Produced a nice picture except I had not shaved for 2 weeks on account of a few bumps on my countinance [sic] & then to think the Editor had to but [sic] in & say my beauty was Disfigured or that it played "an ugly" word, with my beauty.

Now this is getting right next to one of the tinder [sic] places about the Human Anatomy or Phisaognamy [sic] & this is where the whole kick is coming, for I have always known or though[t] I was good looking & then to think that because I had the misfortune to contract the Black [unreadable, "orhinorchus"?] Chicken Pox, or the Cuban itch, or the Elephant itch or whatever it is, I should not be entirely

discarded as a disfigured, ruined back number of the human Race. Especially as I have emerged from my Pustules & decaded [sic] & rotten appearance have shed off & feel fine & am glad to say that my nice, smooth & clear countinance is just about as facinating [sic] & beautiful as before I contract the what ever it is.

Now as to what I think this trouble is we have here, I am just as honest as I can be, or as I am about anything I meet in my Professional work. First, it is not Chicken Pox, because it is to [sic]severe, lasting to long, Eruption to deep in the skin to long from first chill & Fever until the Papule or Eruption appear

& altogether to severe and I have never met any other disease it might be confused with but Small Pox & it does not fill all the symptoms for it, as there is not any depression in the center of the Vesicles or Blister & again there are new Bumps appear in the field among the old ones now & then, so then two things have confused my judgment on this Epidemic but as to the change of the Eruption together with the Prodromes I can't help but think that it is a very light Epidemic of S. Pox & still not as light as some meals I have eaten or some other things I have met.

Now as to what this Strait Fork writer said about the later[?] Doctors not knowing anything about Small Pox only what they read we all know the Small Pox has nearly run out as to what it was 50 or 100 yrs. ago.

the point is has it all ameliorated or has drifted some of its main features shuch [sic] as the depression in the center of Blister for in this Epidemic we have nearly every Symptom of Small Pox, will those we do not have eliminate it from the list?

We had the depression in 1901 & also in 1903 when I was Co. Physician & during the 2 Epidemics I tracked 61 cases of what was called S- Pox. They were just like these except the depression in center of Blister as far as I can see.

Well I will close by saying I have been Practicing medicine nearly 27 years & have had all contagious Diseases, except the Thrush & S.P. so far as I remember & now I have just got over this Pest & as it was all over the outside I take it for granted it was not the Thrush at least. With the very best wishes for everybdoy, I remain one of your True Friends.

Dr. A.C. Walker



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