Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926) to Alexander M. Ross
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03007.16
Author/Creator: Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926)
Place Written: Rohnerville, California
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 19 October 1887
Pagination: 3 p. ; 20.5 x 12.5 cm.
Summary of Content: Discusses the Alcott family in Concord and her approval of sick patients eating very little. Inquires after the Alcott family, with whom she used to live. Mentions Louisa May Alcott. States her firm belief that underfeeding sick patients can be good for them, and that overfeeding them is harmful. Ends with ”As ever a friend of liberty, truth, and progress.”
People: Adams, Anne Brown, 1843-1926., Ross, Alexander Milton, 1832-1897., Brown, John, 1800-1859., Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888.
Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900
Full Transcript: Humboldt Co, Rohnerville, Cal, Oct, 19th 1882., Dr. A. M. Ross, My Dear Friend, I recieved [sic] your most kind letter some time since but have been prevented, by family cares from replying sooner. I also recieved some printed documents from which I infer that you have adopted Mr. Alcotts theories [inserted: on diet and doctoring]. Did you meet any of the Alcott, family when you was at Concord? I boarded in their family while attending Mr. Sanborn’s School, when I was quite a young girl. I remember how he used to insist on wearing from two to three clean shirts per day, and as he was not then  rich enough to pay a laundress his dear, old, uncomplaining wife had to ”do them up,” I thought there was quite a striking contrast between their appearance, He looked so cool and neat sitting in his study, while his fat patient wife was standing in the hot stuffy kitchen, sweating and sweltering over the ironing board., Mr. Alcotts daughters were perfect pictures of health, I think they told me they never tasted meat. I have known Miss Louisa and her sister Mrs. Pratt to walk from Boston to Concord, a distance of twenty miles, [inserted: starting] after dinner, and get home before sundown. Very few American women could accomplish that., I think that the idea that most doctors and nurses have of  feeding patients so much and so often, does more harm than almost any other part of this treatment.A sick person can subsist for a number of days on very little food, with benefit, at least I can. I have gone from three to five days without tasting food, when I had the diptheria [sic], and severe attacks of sore throat, and believe my fasting did me more good than any medicine I took., As I have not seen the Century Magazine you spoke of, I shall be pleased to accept the copy you so kindly offered to send me. With many thanks for your kindness, and love to your wife and family I am as ever a friend of liberty, truth and progress, Annie Brown Adams
Keywords/Subjects: Diet and Nutrition;, Transcendentalist;, Women’s History;, John Brown;, Abolition;, Slavery;, African American History;, Health and Medical;, Woman Author;, Women’s History;, Literature and Language Arts;
Background: Anne Brown Adams was the daughter of John Brown., Alexander M. Ross was a famous Canadian naturalist, also a prominent abolitionist and a strong supporter of John Brown.Order Image