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Guide to the Anna Mitchell Letter Regarding the Illness and Death of Her Son, Preston, after 1920.

Summary

Anna Mitchell was a resident of Upland, California. Collection comprises a letter (14 pages) written by Anna Mitchell to Sarah, dated September 10, probably written later than 1920. Anna describes the illness and death of her six-year-old son, Preston, giving a day-by-day, sometimes an hour-by-hour, account of his symptoms, as well as treatments and diagnoses by a female doctor, Dr. Gregory. At first the diagnosis is rheumatism, then typhoid, then meningitis. Anna describes his "suffering so with the heat," with "pain down the right side in the region of the liver," "sunken cheeks," and crying with headache, fever, and vomiting. Paralysis comes later. Anna goes on to describe his death, the preparation of his body, the home viewing, and his cremation in Pasadena. She also describes her regrets and her grief; "... whose life was so much dearer to me than my own life, that since he is gone, nothing but darkness & sorrow is left us. Even for those that are left me--I cannot feel that I have courage or strength to make the effort to live."

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11674
Title
Anna Mitchell letter regarding the illness and death of her son, Preston
Creator
Mitchell, Anna
Extent
0.1 Linear Feet, 1 item
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection comprises a letter (14 pages) written by Anna Mitchell to Sarah, dated September 10, probably written later than 1920. Anna describes the illness and death of her six-year-old son, Preston, giving a day-by-day, sometimes an hour-by-hour, account of his symptoms, as well as treatments and diagnoses by a female doctor, Dr. Gregory. At first the diagnosis is rheumatism, then typhoid, then meningitis. Anna describes his "suffering so with the heat," with "pain down the right side in the region of the liver," "sunken cheeks," and crying with headache, fever, and vomiting. Paralysis comes later. Anna goes on to describe his death, the preparation of his body, the home viewing, and his cremation in Pasadena. She also describes her regrets and her grief; "... whose life was so much dearer to me than my own life, that since he is gone, nothing but darkness & sorrow is left us. Even for those that are left me--I cannot feel that I have courage or strength to make the effort to live." Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collection and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

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Collection is open for research.

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More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

Anna Mitchell Letter Regarding the Illness and Death of Her Son, Preston, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Letter
Folder 1
 

Historical Note

Anna Mitchell was a resident of Upland, California. She was married to Will, with children Preston, Marion, and William.


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Provenance

The Anna Mitchell Letter Regarding the Illness and Death of Her Son, Preston was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Poffinberger, October, 2018

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2018-0120