Letter (June 24th 1879) from Henry S. Davids to Mrs. Calvin Brown
Preserved by William and Sherry Jandt
digital transcription by Tom L. McFarland in August 2001

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June 24th. 1879

The only news we have today is, that the cholera has broken out among the natives. Two deaths occurred yesterday. The people are not a little alarmed at its early appearance and are taking measures to prevent it from spreading. I was ashore today and called on Mrs. Thornton, but nothing happened worth mentioning. She seems very pleasant indeed. The ladies have a fashion of taking a cup of tea and some cakes at five o'clock. As Mrs. T. was taking some when I called I joined her. Nothing more has been heard from General Grant, but it is thought the next ten days will bring him here. We have a new order on board the ship, "Officers are not allowed to carry an umbrella over the gangway because it looks undignified". A servant must do it for them. We are getting very high toned on the "Monongahela".
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I have distinguished myself in the eyes of the Admiral of late by making a distiler that distils 8000 gallons of water a day while Baird's only distils 1200 gallons. I don't propose to get out any patent, as the government paid for all the experimenting. However, the Adm'l has written a long report to the Secretary of the Navy about it. I expect Baird will be disgusted with me. The fact is, that Baid's apparatus is so unreliable that it is the next thing to worthless.

I can't help my mind from the mail with letters from home telling me about my little girl. As the time draws near I get more impatient and whenever a steamer is sighted it is a great disappointment to find that it is not the "China", still knowing she is not due for some days yet. I hope you are all well tonight. ~ Henry

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June 25th

Three ladies took lunch with us today, one of whom was a stranger, but proved to be a sister of Mrs. Dr. Taylor. I believe she is visiting a brother in Tokio whom I have never met. I think she is one of the most entertaining young ladies I ever saw ("saw" is written over an erased word) ; she kept all hands laughing during the whole lunch. At last we have heard that General Grant will be here on the 5th of July. She may not (I mean Miss Irwin) ("ss" in "Miss" is written in the style of 1750) be an own sister of Mrs. Taylor for the two do not resemble each other in the least. We are having very hot weather in the day time but still comfortable at night. 'Tis said next month will be almost as bad as Shanghai. No new cases of Cholera reported today. 'Tis to be hoped that this is the end of it. In four more days the mail will be in with a letter from my little girl and grandma.

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I tell you my heart aches to see that dear little soul. I showed Mrs. Thornton her picture today. She was greatly surprised at the wonderful change. I sometimes think her flesh is simply the reaction from her sickness and will gradually lose it again. The warm weather has commenced to take some of my flesh off already. Am dowm to 165 lbs. but feel quite well. I can say this much for China and Japan ; it has cured me of many of my old pains and aches that were never very severe but kept me thinking of them constantly. The pain in my left side very seldom troubles me now. I feel so thankful that my little Charlotte is cured of her troubles. 'Tis natural that she should require attention for some years to come.
~ Good - night. Henry

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June 26th

The "Peking" is in from Hong Kong and is advertised to sail tomorrow morning. As I don't care to have my letter late I will close now - I have nothing new to say. All is well with us and very quiet. The hot weather has set in most furiously. I am now writing with nothing but my underclothing on to keep cool. This being the end of the quarter I am quite busy for a few days. Give my love and a big kiss to my little Charlotte and don't let her forget her papa. Tell Bessie to take good care of her. Remember me to Bessie.

With love to all at home -

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My dear little daughter.

Papa is waiting to get a letter from you and grandma and he expects to get a picture made by Charlie herself. When papa comes home Charlie and he will makes pictures every day, of cats and dogs, and horses and cows, and chickens and ducks. When you write again you must send papa a picture of the little chickens you had this spring. Don't you think they are very pretty? Papa has Charlie's photograph hanging up in his room on the ship and he looks at it every day and trys to think what his little girl is doing and saying, and wonders if she will remember him when he comes home to see Charlie. What a big fat girl Charlie is getting to be. I don't think she will forget papa now. You must tell papa

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when you have another tea party and what little girls and boys came to it, and what they said to Charlie. You never told me if you have been to market with aunty yet, and what you bought for dinner. You must eat lots of beef and gravy, it is very good for little girls?, and makes them able to run and play all day long. Papa sends you a picture of a Japan house to copy and send the next time you write.

Papa sends his little daughter lots of love and a big kiss, and hopes she is a good girl and well and happy. Papa is well and thinks of his little girl every day -



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