Adams Papers

Abigail Adams to Esther Black, 15 Dec. 1797

Philadelphia December 15th 1797

Dear Mrs Black

I wrote you that I would send Mrs Brisler to see Mrs Halls child. She went on the Saturday after I had seen mr Black, to get directions from him where to find it. he told her it was some distance from him, but that he would send for it, the next day, being Sunday. if she would Say at what time She would be at his House. She named three oclock, at that hour mr & mrs Brisler & Betsy Howard went to his House but when they got there; mr Black informd them that he had been that morning to see the Child, but that it was not well, and the Nurse thought it would not do to take it out. they then requested of him the name of the Street, and person who had it, and they would go to the House and see it, he named a street to them, but had forgotten the Name of the Nurse, they went to the street, and to every house in it, where there was any probability that a Child might be nursed, but their [search] was fruitless.

Dr. Cox one of the physicians who attend[ed] Mr Hall dinned with me yesterday, from him I learnt, that being Sent for to visit mr Hall, he found him with the most violent symptoms of the fever, that he bled him severals times, but being very full of Blood, and the fever very high he required to be bled oftner, and more plentifully than he was willing to consent to, that mrs Hall was very assiduous in her constant attention to him, but very unfortunate, for both, She excessively fatigued in Body and distresst in mind, got to bed at the very time when his Life depended upon good Nursing, he dyed two days after, and the 12th of his Sickness—She Survived him only 3 days, so that the Child was only 5 days old when She dyed

These are all the particulars I can collect, it would have given me pleasure to have been able to have written you under what care the Child is placed, but I can only State to you my endeavours—my compliments to Mr Black, and to Captain and mrs Beals when you see them

From your Friend

Abigail Adams

(NcD: Josiah C. Trent Collection in the History of Medicine).

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