Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP1658

Sent by:
Henry Walter Bates
Sent to:
Mary Ann Wallace (née Greenell)
13 June 1851

Sent by Henry Walter Bates, Pará, Brazil to Mary Ann Wallace (née Greenell) Weston Super Mare near Bristol on 13 June 1851.

Record created:
01 September 2011 by Beccaloni, George
Verified by:
22/05/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline (All except summary checked);


News of the death of her son Edward (Herbert Edward) from yellow fever.

Record notes

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP1658.1531)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/3/22
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Henry Walter Bates Literary Estate.
Record scrutiny:
22/05/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline;

Item notes

Physical description

Transcription information





13th June 1851

Dear Madam

I am very sorry to be the bearer of very bad news to yourself & family but believe it to be my duty to communicate what has happened as being the only person here nearly connected with your sons. The event we deplore is the death of your son Edward who breathed his last here on Sunday morning last at 2 oclock, a victim of the fatal black vomit the worst form of yellow fever. My poor young friend had arrived from the interior about three weeks & had engaged passage immediately in a vessel to leave for Liverpool on Friday the 6th inst.. To amuse the time until the ship sailed he had taken the same lodgings he had had with his brother in the suburbs very pleasantly situated near the forest & was very frequently at my house which was in the neighbourhood. On the day he was taken ill we [[2]] were in the city together took a cup of tea at Mr Millers[?] & went around to make a few small purchases. This was Monday night the 2nd Inst. On this night he was taken with a shivering & immediately fever & vomit so as to be unable to reach home, I therefore took him into a house on the road where I knew he would be as well or better attended to than at his lodgings. It happened well that he remained here as we should not have been able to have induced a medical man to go out so far to attend a patient - illness being now very prevalent in the city. We go immediately the best medical advice, thinking his disease was merely a constipation as it is called here but the Doctor treated him for the yellow fever & he was progressing very well on Tuesday when he committed the great improvidence of getting up & walking barefoot about a cold brick floor after mustard plasters had just been taken from his feet. The fever immediately struck inwards & black vomit declared itself early on Wednesday morning resisting all the skill of [[3]] Dr Camillio, until he did as I have already stated after suffering fearfully. It will be some consolation to you to know that he met with the kindest attention from the English residents here especially from the vice consul Mr Miller who frequently visited him. I myself slept by his side four nights when when I was rather alarmed by being suddenly seized with similar symptoms myself, shivering fever & vomit in rapid succession but being [hole in paper] lighter constitution I suppose it di[d not?] [edge of paper torn and missing] lay as firm a hold of me, I got better in four days though even now am a little weak from its effects. Poor Edward was much regretted here as being of a genial temper & a good heart, he was in a very robust state of health: he did not converse freely after being first taken but felt upset[?] at being taken thus when on the eve of departure for England. The little property he left is in the Vice Consuls hands who will I suppose arrange accounts with Alfred -- Pára is still very sickly another death from yellow fever today[.] Dear Madam

Yours very respectfully І Henry W Bates [signature]


Mrs Wallace

Weston super Mare

near Bristol

Late of Neath, Glamorganshire1


1. The text "Weston super Mare" and "near Bristol" have been crossed out and additional text added in a different hand apparently redirecting the letter to "Mr W Lelapps[?] І West Stoughton І Blackford І [1 word illegible]".

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