Pictures and Illustrations.
New Orleans March 14, 1844.
My Dear Sisters,
I received your welcome letter last Sunday afternoon, we had quite a feast on the forenoon in the form of a packet of letters by Mr. Ringman. I suppose you would like to know how we are situated in the for famed, "crescent city," The levee of which I have heard so much and knew so little, is an embankment 100 miles long and 150 feet wide to prevent the Missisipi from overflowing the city. At certain seasons of the year the gutters are opened and the water rushes across the city into the swamp The river varies from a mile to a mile and a half in width is deep and rapid, if a man falls in, he is lost beyon all doubt, the under current is so strong. When our Stevadon fell in, no one moved to save him, he never rose again. The water is very muddy but after it has been purified it is the most delightful water to drink I ever tasted. The purifying process is as follows. Thick, dirty water, is put into a large stone jar, a small piece of alum is thrown in, after an hour
2you may draw a tumbler full as clear as a cristal and pure as spring water, the mud adheres to the sides and bottom of the jar. The pavements are very good in every part of the city. Fruit and flowers abound, every day since we arrived we have had our table ornamented with the latter and our closets filled with the former; little boats are continually passing under our window with shells fruit While I am writing the "chain gang," are at work on board the Sea Lyon (the ship inside of ours) and such a combination of discordant sounds never was heard this side of Pluto's regions before. Perhaps you will ask what I mean? They are negroes who have been condemed for some crime, instead of keeping them in prison idle and an expense to the city, they are chained to prevent their runing away and sent out to keep the streets, markets, &e clean
While I am writing poor Anna is laying on the transum with her head on a pillow saying "O dear how I do feel, Gary! Gary! I hope you will not have to suffer as I do. But for your comfort I can tell you the Dr says it is contagious Her right eyeball is continually weeping is very swollen & inflamed & maturates. The Dr. pronounces it opthalmia, a contagious disease peculiar to the climate. I wash it out three or four times a day with a hair pencil & something ordered by the Dr. She says I must giver her love to you and say "I am better would write to them if I could see." She has not been able to write, read, or sew for more than a week. But I think she will be well
3before you read this Sophia and I have been vaxinated her did not take as well as mine, there was one case of small pox on board the Alice when she arrived. The scar left on my forehead is very bad it will always remain. We have had an addition to our family of a bird a cat and the promise of a dog. Mr. Punchard left for Mobile yesterday he intends visiting his friends in Gainsville, Alla. We very charitably wish that the river be so low that he cannot go further than Mobile. I particularly wish that as he is my beau, to church &e. We walk 1 1/2 miles to church of Sunday in the hot sun & and again in the evening and feel richly paid for our troubles. Mr Scott stand next to Dr Box & Mr Kirk in my estimation, but is totally & entirely unlike either of them. Mr Punchard says, "I like his honest, earnest, straight forward way of doing things," He has one of the largest and best aranged churches (Josh say so too) that I ever saw. The house is so full they think of taking down one end and adding fifty or 60 pews. His Sunday evening sermons are to young men his next subject is the "object of living." I look forward during the week with satisfaction to my Sunday evening treat. 'Tis true on our way to church we pass the American Theater open and the Café with numbers of men playing domino, we told the theater is suported almost entirely by nothern men Mr Scott spoke of it solemnly last Sunday evening. He told them the God they professed to worship among the hills of New England was the same God who watched over them among the sandy plains of the sunny south. A common remark here is "how still the streets are," after the eight o clock gunfires, scarcely a person to be scene in the street.
4We have had several calls from Mr. Fisk, Sophia was so glad to see him she came near jumping over a table that impeded her progress. He took Soph. and myself to the top of the St Charles hotel yesterday a splendid view from the top our highest point was where I have put a figure 2 in the picture. I saw a little boy about five years old walk outside of the pillar marked 3. on a place abo 2 inches wide I think I did not breath until he was safe. If I had known who his mother I should have asked her to give him a whiping, the fall from there would have been 120 feet.
Mother dear I hope you won't forget your lory because she is so far away, wanderg over the world, I shall write to you soon. Josh says we shall be here until the 1st of June. I can't help saying I wish I was with you and Alice and Mary instead of where I am. I would come home if I could and still hope Mr. H. will send for me. I never was so home sick in my life