Letter from Mrs. E. K. Heckle at Memphis to Kezia Payne DePelchin, October 25, 1878 [Digital Version]

Bibliographic Information

Heckle, E.K., Letter from Mrs. E. K. Heckle at Memphis to Kezia Payne DePelchin, October 25, 1878 (October 25, 1878)

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Title: Letter from Mrs. E. K. Heckle at Memphis to Kezia Payne DePelchin, October 25, 1878 [Digital Version]
Funding from: Funding for the creation of this digitized text is provided by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Author: Heckle, E.K.
Statements of responsibility:
  • Creation of digital images: Center for Digital Scholarship, Rice University
  • Creation of transcription: Amanda York Focke, Asst. Head of Special Collections, Woodson Research Center
  • Conversion to TEI-conformant markup: Amanda York Focke, Asst. Head of Special Collections, Woodson Research Center
  • Parsing and proofing: Fondren Library, Rice University
  • Subject analysis and assignment of taxonomy terms: Melissa Torres
Publisher: Rice University, Houston, Texas
Publication date: 2010-06-07
Identifier: aa00184_26
Availability: This digital text is publicly available via the Americas Digital Archive through the following Creative Commons attribution license: “You are free: to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work; to make derivative works; to make commercial use of the work. Under the following conditions: By Attribution. You must give the original author credit. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.”
Digitization: Page images of the original document are included. Images exist as archived TIFF files, JPEG versions for general use, and thumbnail GIFs.
Provenance: This collection was given as a permanent loan from Charles McBrayer of the DePelchin Faith Home in 1973.
Description: 3 handwritten pages, describes Heckle's difficulties with nursing, left in DePelchin's cloak pocket
Source(s): Heckle, E.K., Letter from Mrs. E. K. Heckle at Memphis to Kezia Payne DePelchin, October 25, 1878 (October 25, 1878)
Source Identifier: Kezia Payne DePelchin letters, MS 201, Box 1, letter 26, p. 196-198, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University
Description of the project: This digitized text is part of the Our Americas Archive Partnership (OAAP) project.
Editorial practices
This text has been encoded based on recommendations from Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Any comments on editorial decisions for this document are included in footnotes within the document with the author of the note indicated. All digitized texts have been verified against the original document. Quotation marks have been retained. For printed documents: Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. No corrections or normalizations have been made, except that hyphenated, non-compound words that appear at the end of lines have been closed up to facilitate searching and retrieval. For manuscript documents: Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. We have recorded normalizations using the reg element to facilitate searchability, but these normalizations may not be visible in the reading version of this electronic text
Languages used in the text: English
Text classification
Keywords: Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus
  • Correspondence
Keywords: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Yellow fever--History--United States
  • Disease outbreaks--History--United States
  • Nursing--History--19th century
Keywords: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  • Memphis (inhabited place)
  • Tennessee (state)



Friend K.

I leave here tomorrow morning, en route for Texas
via New Orleans. I returned from Decatur, Alabama yes—
morning. I found many Doctors and Nurses leaving.
They have fitted up the Market Street Infirmary as a
hotel for such nurses as cannot get away. The table is
well supplied, but the association is not pleasant and
as they do not expect to employ any but home nurses
in future. I thought I would rather take transportation
to Texas via N.O.New Orleans than remain here, the last part of my
stay in Decatur was not pleasant. I had to walk half
a mile for medicines and commasaries, feed the cows,
pigs and chickens, sell the milk and butter and gather
the garden truck. I could get along with all that
but when she insisted on my lighting her pipe every
half hour I broke down. But the last straw was added
when my food was dealt out to me after the family
were done eating and the balance locked up, and after
sitting up five nights and days I asked her to let
me have a blanket to lie on before the fire in
her room to rest my back. She said her bed clothes
should not be put on the floor for nurses to sleep on.


That they were paid to setRegularized:sit up not to sleep. I came to the
conclusion my services were not appreciated. I told the
Doctor to send a colored nurse which he did and
although it was raining terribly, I was at the depot
in less than one hour. I applied to the association
president (Mr Little John) a very appropriate name)
for some dinner or lunch to take with me. He said
he could not let me have anything. I knew I had a
two days trip before me. The prospect was not very
pleasant but poor Little John. He keeps a Hotel
and the more rations he can save from the Memphis
supply the less he will have to buy for his boarders.
A New Orleans Doctor was attending my patient
ordered a half bottle of ale for me as he thought I
needed it, but as soon as the little fellow found it out
he came up at nearly midnight and took the
bottle back. Fearful I might get drunk on it.
Oh ye gods and little johns! He need not be
afraid of the fever, it would never honor anything
so mean. In the first week of my stay here I staidRegularized:stayed
with an old couple very rich people. The man died.
Two others came to lay him out. there were no nice
clothes. He had only colored shirts. His wife said


can't you button the coat up so as it won't show.
It looks like a sin to buy a branRegularized:brand new Shirt to
bury him in, the same for socks. She wanted
him buried in his boots or barefoot. I had a
pair of new stockings I gave them to lay him out
in. They were as you may imagine very common
people though wealthy.

I wish I could see you before I leave. Write to
me at New Orleans but I hope we will soon
meet at home. I was very sick when I got back
not having been able to get any refreshment
after we left Tuscumbria the night before.
and we did not arrive here until three o'clock
in the afternoon. Mrs Cruger very kindly had
some coffee made for me. I then came up to your
room and laid down. By supper time was
all right. I saw Mr Dalzell today. He
inquired after you. He is looking very badly
from fatigue the last time I saw him was
by the death bed of poor Schuyler. I was very
sorry to leave you sick when I left I told Mr
Langstaff and he said he would see you were
attended to when he returned.

Yours Truly,
E. K. Heckle

Rice University
Date: 2010-06-07
Available through the Creative Commons Attribution license