Finding Aid for the Collection of personal narratives, manuscripts and ephemera about the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic,1917-1923

Processed by and machine-readable finding aid created by UCLA Biomedical Library staff.
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
History and Special Collections Division for the Sciences
UCLA
12-077 Center for Health Sciences
Box 951798
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1798
Phone: 310/825-6940
Fax: 310/825-0465
Email: biomed-ref@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/biomed/his/
©2011
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Collection of personal narratives, manuscripts and ephemera about the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic,
Date (inclusive): 1917-1923
Collection number: 509
Extent: 2 boxes (1.0 linear ft.)
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library.Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: A small collection of items relating to the 1918-19 influenza epidemic. Included are letters and diaries from 44 individuals, almost all either members of the U. S. Armed Forces or their relatives and friends, who provide a personal commentary on the disease's impact on them and their communities. A few contemporary public announcements, articles, advertisements, and other ephemera add to the record of perceptions and concerns of the time.
Physical location: UCLA Biomedical Library, History and Special Collections for the Sciences cage manuscript
Language of Material: Collection materials in English

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Biomedical Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish if the Biomedical Library does not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Collection of personal narratives, manuscripts and ephemera about the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, 509, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences , University of California, Los Angeles.

Scope and Content

A small collection of autograph letters, diaries, brochures, and a photograph album which mostly pertain to a personal view of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic in the United States and the American Expeditionary Force abroad.
The collection is organized into the following series:
  • Series 1. Personal Observations.
  • Series 2. Official Communications.
  • Series 3. Miscellanea.

Related Material

UCLA Biomedical Library Manuscript Collection #176: Papers of Rose Alexander Bowers, U.S. Army contract surgeon, 1918-1919 [contains daily official notices from the commanding officer of an Army Hospital dealing with influenza patients].

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Influenza -- History -- United States -- Archival resources
Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919 -- Archival resources
Influenza, Human -- Personal Narratives
World War, 1914-1918 -- Health aspects
World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, American

Genres and Forms

Diaries
Letters (Correspondence)
Postcards


Container List

 

Series 1. Personal Observations.

Box 1, Folder 1

Autograph letters signed Lambert, a cadet at U.S. Army Balloon School, Arcadia, California, to Mama. 1918 October 15, 1918 November 8

Physical Description: 8 p. (4 sheets); 20 x 26.5 cm; photograph, 7.5 x 5.2 cm

Scope and Content Note

Two letters, both showing concern about threat of influenza for the family in "the east", and mentioning status of the disease in Southern California; one photograph of nine cadets [no identifications]

Note

"...the best thing you all could do would be stay on the farm until the Spanish Influenza has subsided....Camp Dick has hundreds of cases, is quarantined totally, and had seven deaths in one day recently. Can you believe this, tho? Arcadia hasn't any! Los Angeles is full of it, so is Pasadena, but we have escaped so far."
Box 1, Folder 2

Autograph letters signed Leo, a student, and typed announcements signed by George L. Jones, Principal, Westtown School, Westtown, Pennsylvania, to Mrs. Henry L. Hunter, Pleasantville, New York. September-December 1918

Physical Description: 15 p (5 half-sheets, 3 folded, 1 full sheet); 25 x 20 cm. folded to 12.5 x 20 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Three letters from the student to his mother; three typed announcements from the principal to parents; four envelopes

Note

Leo, writing to his mother: "Sep. 23. There are 45 cases of the Spanish influenza...45 cases on the boys side alone and about 15 or 20 on the girls side." "Sep. 30. Well, I had a slight attack of this influenza but was not very sick." "Nov. 7. Well I guess the war is over altho there has been no official report received here....I was very sorry to here that father has such a bad case of influenza..." The principal advising parents: "Oct. 5. The epidemic of "Spanish Influenza" at Westtown appears now to have run its course. We have had in all about a hundred and fifty cases...a few of them serious." "Oct. 24. We are glad to announce that permission has been given by the State Board of Health for the re-opening of school." "Dec. 12. "We have been discussing the problem of how best to make up the five weeks lost at the time of the epidemic of influenza."
Box 1, Folder 3

Autograph letters signed Amy, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to Dearest Mother, Mrs. Henry L. Hunter, Pleasantville, New York. 1918 October 2, 1918 November 14

Physical Description: 4 p. (2 sheets); 13 x 20 cm.; 6 p. (2 sheets, one folded); 27 x 17 cm., folded to 13.5 x 17 cm.

Scope and Content Note

two letters, from sister of correspondent in previous folder, and envelopes

Note

Oct 2: "...went...to see the doctor and she sent me to bed because I had a fever....I have been in my room all the time as both the Infirmary and Metcalf House are full....The maid...said there were nine people in their rooms here, and several girls went to the infirmary before." Nov. 14: "The quarentine is just being taken off now so we can go to Poughkeepsie again...."
Box 1, Folder 4

Autograph letter signed Caddie, Boston, Massachusetts, to Tilda dearest [Mrs. Henry L. Hunter], Pleasantville, New York. 1918 November 13

Physical Description: 4 p. (1 sheet, folded); 22 x 14 cm., folded to 11 x 14 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope; commiserates on influenza in recipient's family and comments on excitement in Boston streets after Armistice announcement

Note

"We saw Mary Biddle Sunday and she told me both Henry and Amy had had influenza. I am so very sorry for you all. Dear Henry has surely had enough to bear without an added straw's weight."
Box 1, Folder 5

Autograph letters signed Bugler J. C. [B. J. Cappeggan], from Camp Custer, near Battle Creek, Michigan, to Francis [Miss Frances Murray], Bloomington, Illinois. 1918 September 31 (sic), 1918 October 11, 1918 October 21

Physical Description: 3 p., 3 p, 3 p. (1 sheet each, folded); 26 x 16.5 cm., folded to 13 x 16.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

three letters with envelopes, discussing influenza, quarantine, and personal matters

Note

Sep. 31: "We are all in strict quarentine now for the Influenza which is pretty bad. I hear that there is about two thousand cases of it here now." Oct. 11: "I am sorry you had this horrid Influenza. What I am telling you we have it here...There is something 50 die every day from it. We lost one man out my co....We are still under strict quarentine...." Oct. 21: "The influenza has all most stoped in this camp. I guess the large cities are somewhat dull since the epidemic started."
Box 1, Folder 6

Autograph letter signed Roy Peterson, Camp Logan, Texas, to My Dear Friend [Miss Frances Murray], Bloomington, Illinois. 1918 March 1

Physical Description: 3 p. (3 sheets); 15.5 x 23 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter with envelope, mostly personal

Note

"We played another funeral today one of the lads from Co. I died, I knew him real well."
Box 1, Folder 7

Autograph letter signed Harold, Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, to Dearest Frances [Miss Frances Murray], Bloomington, Illinois. 1919 March 5

Physical Description: 8 p. (2 sheets, folded); 25.5 x 16.5 cm., folded to 13 x 16.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope, mostly personal

Note

"There are an awfull lot of people dying just now on account of the flu. A little girl next door was buried today and theres a lady up the street a ways that is pretty sick and my little sister is just getting over it, so I guess it is pretty near my turn for every one in our family has had it but me."
Box 1, Folder 8

Autograph Christmas postcard signed Hardy, from Douglas, Arizona military base to Dearest Ones, Mishawaka, Indiana. 1918 December 21

Physical Description: 8.5 x 14 cm.

Scope and Content Note

postcard with illustration of soldier in uniform and "Christmas Joys" quatrain

Note

"Am sorry the quarantine cuts out X-mas gift, but accept my love to all."
Box 1, Folder 9

Autograph letters signed Private Harvey Hire to Dear Folks, New Paris, Indiana 1918-1919

Physical Description: 27 p. (19 sheets); 13.5 x 21 cm., 16 x 23 cm.

Scope and Content Note

two letters from U.S. bases, three letters from France, with envelopes; content is mostly general descriptions of camp life, enquiries about folks at home, talk about food

Note

Nov. 18: "some where in france....how is the influenza getting till this time it about all over here it must been pretty bad in the states the way they say..."
Box 1, Folder 10

Autograph letters signed Art, a soldier stationed near Washington, D.C., to Dearest Elsa, Jersey City, New Jersey. 1918 October 9

Physical Description: 2 p. (1 sheet); 20.5 x 26.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope

Note

"Death list is getting high in Washington and we have discontinued drilling, as six of the boys have died this week at the University. We will get our overcoats this week, on account of the cold, and I'll be safe from the 'flu' little girl, for I've had enough this year, but you be careful dear, till this is checked."
Box 1, Folder 11

Autograph letter from Margaret, [in Colorado?] to Dearest Elmer, in France. 1918 November 29

Physical Description: 8 p. (2 sheets, folded); 16.5 x 26 cm., folded to 13 x 16.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter

Note

"I am still home and maybe until Jan. 2nd as the "flu" is quite bad in Littleton and Denver too. You probably remember Vivian Phillips, I heard she died with the "flu" and Sheriff Burden's little daughter died too, my but it sure is taking quite a few people, so far, we have escaped it and believe me, we are not looking for it."
Box 1, Folder 12

Autograph letter signed Maurice, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, to Prof. F. A. Harrington, Macy, Indiana. [1918 September 26]

Physical Description: 2 p. (1 sheet); 15 x 23. cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope, from Marine Corps "boot camp", describing conditions and recruits' moods

Note

"We were quarrentined on account of the Spanish Influenza and everyone is mad."
Box 1, Folder 13

Autograph letter signed Mrs. B. F. Hendricks, Sterling, Illinois, to Dear friend Anna. 1919 April 27

Physical Description: 4 p. (2 sheets); 20 x 25.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter

Note

"We came home [from Florida] about three weeks earlier this year then we generally do as there was so much sickness that we felt as if we ought to be nearer the children. The "Flu" hit all three of the children and their families. They were all quite sick for a few days but all were careful and got along without any serious results."
Box 1, Folder 14

Autograph letter signed Your Middle Boy [Pvt. Vernor M. Sackett], Ballendar-near-Neuweid, Germany, to Dear Folks at Home. 1918 December 20

Physical Description: 4 p. (4 sheets); 15 x 22.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter

Note

"I am away from the company at present watching a prisoner in the hospital here. He is charged with treason and we must not let him escape. His ailment is the Influenza so we have to do our shifts in this ward with the rest of the patients in order to keep an eye on him at all times. We have to wear a little gauze mask all the time we're in the room which protects us from the disease."
Box 1, Folder 15

Telegram signed [Hon.] Edward Rainey, [San Francisco Mayor's Office], to Hon. Harvey Neilson, Santa Barbara, California Mayor's Office. 1918 October 31

Physical Description: 2 p (2 sheets); 10 x 16.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Western Union Telegram

Note

"If you have not already taken such steps strongly urge universal wearing of masks to prevent or check influenza epidemic. Cases here rose steadily from two hundred per day October Six to over two thousand October Twenty-fifth. On Twentieth, some our people wore masks, on Twenty-first on recommendation Health Board, Mayor [James] Rolph issued proclamation calling for everybody wearing masks. Nearly whole population complied. Red Cross backed with advertising and two days later supervisors passed ordinance requiring wearing by all persons. Practically whole population in masks. By Twenty-third, five days after first masks appeared or three days after use became general new cases dropped approximately fifty percent. Deaths at peak 194, yesterday only 103, many of these having been sick for some days. New cases decreasing daily. Health authorities say San Francisco probably get through with far less distress and death than Eastern cities which started with about our figures but kep on going up while ours went down. All agree masks largely responsible. Sending this for your information because I have seen the whole terrible effect of epidemic here, because masks have saved untold suffering and many deaths, and because Santa Barbara my old home city. Portland, Seattle following San Francisco lead."
Box 1, Folder 16

Typed and autograph letter signed Carl [Carl D. Renne], France, to Dear sister Hazel [Miss Hazel M. Streifler], Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 1918 August 1

Physical Description: 2 p (2 sheets); 20.5 x 27 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope

Note

"You know about twenty-five percent of the regiment is sick with the "Fluey" (Influenza)....It hasn't got me yet, but I'm fighting it hard; felt pretty shaky this afternoon, but keep spraying my throat and possibly I'll get by without it. In our office force of eleven in this department, seven are sick and this condition prevails all over the entire plant, several departments have been compelled to shut down due to the men being sick."
Box 1, Folder 17

Autograph letters signed Julius (Jude), Bourges, France, to Dear Father [J.H. Stump], California, Missouri 1918 November 23, 1919 January 06

Physical Description: 10 p. (4 sheets, 2 folded), 6 p. (2 sheets folded); 27 x 20.5 cm, folded to 13.5 x 20.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

two letters to family, one envelope, with inscription "Dad's Xmas Letter"

Note

Nov. 23: "Bertha is still working at the Baltimore, and tells me "The Spanish Influenza" is very bad at K.C. Well it was pretty bad over here but they have it stopped at present." Jan 6: I am sorry to hear that about Adolf Klatt being missing but it may not mean he is dead for they make so many mistakes and have so many hospitals to report that it is 3-4 months before they can locate them. I just looked for his record but could not locate him....I am glad to hear every thing is ok and you are well and have not had the "Flue"...."
Box 1, Folder 19

Autograph letters signed Clarence, Camp Finiston, Kansas, to Dear Mother [Mrs. Aaron Loyd], Walker, Missouri. 1918 August 10, 1918 October 13

Physical Description: 8 p. (4 sheets); 15 x 23 cm.

Scope and Content Note

two letters and envelopes, describing conditions in camp, effect of vaccinations, ravages of influenza, feelings about imminent end of war

Note

"It sems as though the influenza is killing several down there the same as it is up here....I heard that Seth T. died, I don't know whether it is true or not...it sure has killed lots of the soldiers."
Box 1, Folder 20

Autograph letter from soldier, somewhere in France, to Dear Mother and all 1918 October 27

Physical Description: 4 p. (1 sheet, folded); 27 x 21 cm., folded to 13.5 x 21 cm.

Scope and Content Note

only the first sheet of a longer letter

Note

"...yes we have had the Influenzy some over here but not near as bad as it it at home - does not seem to be so bad or they have it under check more - will not amount to anything - am sorry they have had it so bad at Camp Sherman...am well pleased that it is about all over here now not very many cases now. The French people have a way of treating it, they make some kind of tea of some kind of leaves...."
Box 1, Folder 21

Autograph postcard from Monica Lichtenberger, Buffalo, New York, to Dear Uncle Menno. 1918 November 10

Physical Description: postcard, 9 x 14 cm

Scope and Content Note

postcard showing little girl and live turkeys, with caption "Thanksgiving Wishes"

Note

in childish handwriting: "I thought I would writ a few lines to you how are you feeling me and otto had Spanish ineluenza"
Box 1, Folder 22

Autograph letter signed Gilmore, Somewhere in France, to Dear Mother [Mrs. J.R. Manning], Cleveland, Ohio. 1918 October 3

Physical Description: 2 p. (1 sheet folded); 23 x 15 cm., folded to 11.5 x 15 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope, from "almost nine miles outside of an old French city."

Note

"It certainly is too bad about Irene I hope she pulls through all right. It seems that she ought to be able to take better care of herself. I heard that there was sort of an epidemic of Influenza and Grippe in the States I was wondering how true it is."
Box 1, Folder 23

Autograph letter from R. E. Hearn, Kiefer, Oklahoma, to Corporal Basil C. Thompson, USA General Hospital None o. 11, Cape May, New Jersey. 1918 November 5

Physical Description: 4 p. (4 sheets); 22 x 14 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope, from civilian friend describing events in home town; also included one typed sheet from Capt. Ira B. Phillips to Thompson: "...the ticket agent, through error, issued you a round trip ticket....I am asked...to have you mail the return portion to me, in order to save a charge against the agent."

Note

"I suppose the picture shows and all places of amusement will open up next Sunday. everything sure seems dead. The "Flu" caused about five thousand deaths in this state. Myself, wife and baby all had it and I sure thought I was going to croak and the worst part was every body was so scared over it they would not go to see any one."
Box 1, Folder 24

Three letters signed Albert, to Dear Mother [Mrs. Mary Harbolt], Ironton, Ohio. 1918 October 6, 1919 March 26, 1919 April 8

Physical Description: 6 p. (4 sheets); 15 x 23 cm., 15 x 24 cm., 20 x 16 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one autograph letter, two typed letters, and two envelopes

Note

Oct. 6/18: "The University is under quarantine now, and no one is allowed in or out without a pass...We probably would have left here this week, if it was not for the quarantine....A good many of the boys from Ironton are either sick or in the hospital....P.S. Watch so none of you do not get that disease, as it is dangerous." Mar. 26/19: "I noticed in Colletts paper you sent me that the Flu seemed to be increasing in Ironton." Apr. 8/19: "I wrote Walter Sites a letter a few days ago. I really believe he wanted to come over, and probably would if he had not got the Flu."
Box 1, Folder 26

Autograph letter signed Jack [Corporal John C. Morse], France, to Dear Mill. undated

Physical Description: 4 p. (2 sheets); 20.5 x 27 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter from a soldier to his family, sometime soon after November 18, 1918; he explains the meaning of several terms in his postal address [and correspondence?]

Note

"I was very sorry to hear of all the deaths by influenza. Especially Miss Poor though she didn't die of it. It was queer but just before I got the letter just after I had been telling one of the fellows what a good Math teacher I had in High School....I am feeling fine as usual. The Flu didn't hit near me so I am all right."
Box 1, Folder 27

Autograph letters signed Rowland [Gunner R.L. Gandy], France, to Dear Mother [Mrs. Barten Gandy], St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. 1918 June 30, 1918 July 7, 1918 July 14

Physical Description: 8 p. (8 sheets); 13 x 20.5 cm., 15 x 23 cm.

Scope and Content Note

three letters with two envelopes; Gandy describes a little about his unit's position at the front, and "Canadian Corps Sports" festivities on July 1, 1918; also included in one of the envelopes was a booklet of 15 p., "Sacrifice--the Price of Victory", an address delivered by Captain Frank Edwards, Royal Fusiliers, at the Convention of the Minnesota Bankers Association, Minneapolis, June 28, 1918

Note

Jun. 30: "Quite a few of the boys are sick with a kind of fever which is very much like grippe, some of them have a temperature of 103 and 104. We have a cellar fixed up as a hospital and also a big canvas affair for the convalescents. I have been working there most of the day with the medical orderly. While they are running a high temperature they get nothing to eat but have a hot drink once in awhile. Our medical orderly has had three years experience at one of the base hospitals and I'll bet he could teach some doctors a thing or two.... Jul. 14: "Nearly all the boys have recovered from the Influenza, we fought our own cases out right here. It appears that it was very common in all the European countries." [from notes by the seller of this letter: Gunner R. L. Gandy, 6th Canadian Siege Battery, arrived on the Western Front in Sept. 1916 and participated in the late stages of the fighting at the Somme. He was involved in every major battle in which the Canadian Corps participated from then on, including Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.]
Box 1, Folder 28

Autograph letter from Blanche H., Waverly, Iowa, to Dear Friend Barbara, Waverly, Iowa. 1918 October 8

Physical Description: 3 p. (3 sheets); 14 x 22.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope; comments to a friend in hospital with a new baby girl

Note

"They are talking of closing the schools on account of influenza I hope they don't because I will not know what to do with myself."
Box 1, Folder 29

Autograph letter signed Florence and Oscar, Niles, Ohio, to Our Dear Folks [John Ries], Perrysburg, Ohio. 1918 October 14

Physical Description: 4 p. (1 sheet, folded); 26 x 16.5 cm., folded to 13 x 16.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter and envelope perhaps written by newlywed daughter to her parents; the letter carries no date or location but the envelope is postmarked Niles, Ohio, Oct. 14, 1918; however, according to the content, the letter was written from Pennsylvania

Note

"After to-night everything here will be quarantined, churches, schools, lodges, any public meeting place, on account of influenza, the whole state of Pa. is quarantined."
Box 1, Folder 30

Autograph letters signed L., West Lafayette, Indiana, to My dear, [David Blake Stivick ?], Wellington, Ohio. 1918 October 16, 1918 October 19

Physical Description: 7 p. (4 sheets, 2 folded); 26 x 16 cm., folded to 13 x 16 cm., 21 x 27.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

two letters and envelopes from wife to husband [?]

Note

Oct. 16: ""I do hope you all miss the epidemic. It is certainly taking a heavy toll around here. And its usually all over in two or three days. You remember the Mr. and Mrs. Gosina...? Their two year old boy died (influenza) last Sunday - sick two days. Mrs. G. and the baby (5 mo. old) are both very ill. There is a very sad case at St. Eliz. Mother of the first "Camp Purdue baby" is very ill with typhoid. The father was sent for - he had been transferred south a short time before the baby arrived - and had never seen it. He got here and the next day took sick -"flu" and now they are both dying." Oct 19: "Honey, please don't over do - you know its very easy to get this "flu" if tired and run down...."
Box 1, Folder 32

Autograph letters signed Buddy (Pvt. L. A. Cutuer [?]), Camp Hancock, Georgia, to Constance Hyams, New York, New York. 1918 October 7, 1918 October 13, 1918 October 14, 1918 October 16

Physical Description: 10p. (6 sheets); 20 x 26 cm., 15 x 23.5 cm

Scope and Content Note

four letters with envelopes, mostly regarding camp conditions and happenings

Note

Oct. 7: "Don't be worried about influenza dear, very little of it here and they are taking all conceivable precautions seem to have the situation well in hand by now." Oct. 13: "They are controlling the influenza and not nearly as many deaths lately as heretofore....a few of the boys in our company have returned. They only had severe colds, but as I wrote the doctors took no chances and sent them to the hospital." Oct. 14: "Talking to one of the medical corps this morning he said they are rapidly controlling the influenza expected the quarantine to be lifted in a week." Oct. 16: "They are gradually clearing out the hospital of the influenza cases, but there are a lot of patients here with varied complaints. Its the former that have filled up the wards."
Box 1, Folder 33

Autograph letter signed Charlie [Pvt. Charles Orcutt], France, to Dear Lottie [Mrs. Charles Orcutt], Leominster, Massachusetts. 1918 November 5

Physical Description: 4 p. (2 sheets); 17 x 22 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter with envelope, describing writer's billet, the town, living conditions, and some personal news

Note

"Well I am glad to hear that they are getting the best of the Influenza at home and hope they succeed in stamping it out entirely. May and two of the young ones in Campton had all had it but were all over it, and I certainly hope that no one else gets it as from all I hear I guess it is bad dope."
Box 1, Folder 34

Autograph letter signed Albert [Pvt. Albert F. Wolf], Bordeaux, France, to Dear Edwin. 1918 December 10

Physical Description: 8 p. (3 sheets, 1 folded); 13 x 20 cm., 26 x 16.5 cm., folded to 13 x 16.5

Scope and Content Note

one letter; includes description of troop trip from Ft. Leavenworth to Bordeaux

Note

on board ship "Things went fine the first three days and then I had to come down with the Influenza and spoiled the rest of the trip which lasted 13 days....Landed at Liverpool and believe me it was a dreary old day, rainy and cold and me with the old Influenza. They took my pack from me and i managed to get to the camp....About 40 of us who had the influenza were not allowed to hike with the rest, so we rode by train and for a week we were trying to catch up. This was the first place where I carried my own pack and things gradually became better."
Box 1, Folder 35

Autograph letters signed B. C. Walker, Camp Wheeler, Macon, Georgia, to Dear Brother and family [Ernest E. Walker], San Antonio, Texas, and one letter from E.E. Walker to B.C. Walker. 1918 August 30, 1918 September 24, 1918 October 05, 1918 October 12, 1918 October 21

Physical Description: 16 p. (15 sheets); 15 x 22.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

five letters from B.C. Walker to E.E. Walker, and one letter from E.E. Walker to B.C. Walker, with envelopes; considerable discussion of personal finances and taking care of their mother; the E.E. to B.C. Walker letter is dated Nov. 3, 1918, and addressed to Camp Upton, Long Island, where B.C. was awaiting transfer to France

Note

Oct. 5: "We have been under quarantine ever since I have been here and are now under on account of the Spanish Influenza. But so far we have no cases reported here , which I hope we escape and probably we will have a chance to get away once in awhile...."
Box 1, Folder 36

Autograph letters signed Ed [Pvt. E.R. Mather], France, to Dear Mother [Mrs. Mary Mather], Joliet, Illinois. 1918 November 10

Physical Description: 8 p. (2 sheets, folded); 27 x 21 cm. folded to 13.5 x 27 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter with envelope; describes in some detail an evening party of Masons from the regiment, and a military funeral with Masonic rites for a regimental officer, a Mason, who had died from the Spanish Influenza
Box 1, Folder 37

Autograph letters signed Pvt. J.B. Wittel, Ahweiler, Germany, to Dear Sister [Mrs. B.D. Kiehal [?], Lancaster City, Pennsylvania. 1919 February 7

Physical Description: 4 p. (1 sheet, folded); 28.5 x 22 cm. folded to 14 x 22 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter with envelope

Note

"...we are having pretty cold here also but just right for me. I like it a little cold its healthy won't get the influenzey so quick...."
Box 1, Folder 38

Autograph letters signed Gibson [Pvt. A.G. Gibson], Camp Pike, Little Rock, Arkansas. 1918 November 5

Physical Description: 5 p. (5 sheets); 13 x 20 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one letter with envelope

Note

"The flu is a thing of the past in camp now. Am thinking this next draft will start it going again hope not anyway. Am trusting I wont have it cause think it's something severe."
Box 1, Folder 39

Autograph letters sent to Miss Anna Roberts, Ravenna, Ohio by various individuals. 1918-1919

Scope and Content Note

Nine letters with two envelopes (from: Ettie B., four; Mrs. B. F. Hendricks, two; Mrs. B.F. Trescott, Mattie V.F. Dickey, Nann, one each); content focuses mainly on the social scene among a group of winter visitors from the Midwest to the resort communities of Auburndale and Sterling, Florida

Note

Ettie B. writes from Auburndale, Nov. 1, 1918: "School has been closed 3 weeks, but think it will open Monday as we are to have Churches again. There has only been a few cases of flu here with one death, a negro, but so many died in Tampa, some in Winter Haven too. This is the first week their school has been closed. I think they were foolish to keep open so long." Mrs. Hendricks writes from Sterling, Oct. 1918: "Many towns near us have closed their Schools, Churches and have cancelled all gatherings until this epidemic is past. It is reported that Sterling has about four hundred cases only two deaths having been reported. It has been very severe in the soldier Camps and many of the boys have passed to the great beyond. Our soldier boy has been ordered to report at once for overseas duty...but yesterday we received word from his wife that he was being detained to help care for the Influenza cases in camp....Our little Granddaughter is just recovering from the Influenza. The one which her papa is the soldier. It was very hard for her Mamma as she would not let her folks nor any of us help her for fear we would get it, so she and Robert, the little 12 year old boy, took care of the sick, the house, etc. etc."
Box 1, Folder 40

Autograph letters sent to Harry R. Wishart, Winooski, Vermont from his brother, Pvt. Ray O. Wishart, and a friend, George F. F. 1918-1919

Scope and Content Note

ten letters and two envelopes from Ray, Camp Upton, Long Island, N.Y., and Nantes, France, plus two picture postcards of Nantes; three letters and two envelopes from George, Camp Mills, Long Island; content focuses on the daily life in the camps and overseas

Note

Ray writes, Feb. 28, 1919: "Received your letter yesterday telling of your two weeks sickness. Hope you are back on your pins again. I thought all my folks were going to escape the "Flu"." George writes, Nov. 3, 1918: "...new hospital which is being made, a very large one, in fact it consists of 16 buildings but joined by piazzas, this is for the wounded boys who return from across. Now the parts that are finished are used for influenza cases as the camp and the base hospital have been more than crowded. Have kept well and think I was very lucky - there was so much sickness in camp and two of the six in my tent came down with influenza so I was confined to tent for a 5 day period each time. The quarantine on the camp has not been lifted yet. I didn't fear the influenza as much as I did to have to go to one of the hospitals here as those who did come back said they got very little care and as each nurse had from 50 to 60 patients to care for don't see how they could have."
Box 1, Folder 42

Diary of Nelle M. Driggs, Richmond, Indiana. 1918

Physical Description: soft-bound lined booklet; 11 x 18 cm.

Scope and Content Note

daily account of the life of this school teacher, with details of interactions with family and friends, notes on current events locally and in the country, and the progress of World War I; also includes newspaper clipping of "Armistice Terms to Germany"

Note

Oct 5, 7, 13: "Mother took Influenza....A Federal and State Order came to close schools on account of Spanish Influenza...All shows, churches, pool rooms...closed." Nov. 4: schools open again after 4 weeks, "Deaths have been terrible. Indiana one of the worst states tho Mass. was in bad condition. Death tolls very large in Army Camps. More than 1,000 at Sherman and more than 700 at Camp Taylor." Nov. 18: "So many children were absent on account of Flu and it had increased so rapidly that the Ban was put on Wayne Co. again until Dec. 1st."
Box 1, Folder 43

"A line a day" diary, by an unidentified man. 1 January 1917-31 December 1921

Physical Description: soft-bound booklet, 1 page for each day of year with space for five years; 12 x 14.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

the owner was a married man of substance [banker, lawyer, financier ?], living within a day's travel of Chicago; main focus of entries is on weather: temperature, wind, humidity, general conditions noted with exact time, up to three times per day; always notes conditions for sleighing; additional notes on social interactions during the day, deaths or illnesses among family and acquaintances, major happenings in government, war, news

Note

Sep. 29, 1918: Flora has influenza; Oct. 15: Spanish Influenza has spread over entire U.S. - 10,000 deaths to date; Oct. 18: Mrs. Bennett across the way died today of pneumonia; Oct. 19: Churches, theaters and all public gatherings in State prohibited on a/c Influenza; Oct. 20: Mr. Andrews, on Ryerson, died. Influenza victim; Oct. 23: Influenza still rampant throughout the country; Oct. 26: Influenza still raging over entire country; Nov. 20-24: Taken with influenza; Lillian and I are both sick, called Dr. Billings in P.M.; sick in bed, Lillian better; In bed all day. Mother in bed with "Flu"; Dr. B. here. I got up and dressed and down stairs in P.M. Dec. 11: Influenza increases
Box 1, Folder 44

Diary of Jeannette Price ((Jeanette Price), U.S. Army nurse. 01 October 1918-26 April 1919

Physical Description: hardcover, lined pages; 10.5 x 17.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

almost daily entries from the time of taking her oath of office as an Army nurse to the day of leaving New York after her return from duty in France; also included: soft-bound book "Tenderly Lift Me; nurses honored, celebrated and remembered", by Jeanne Bryner, Kent State University Press, 2004 - this compilation includes a portrait and short biography of Price, plus a letter written by her in 1929

Note

Nurse Price was hospitalized twice in France for influenza; the illness left her with damaged heart valves and, although she returned to duty, she apparently never regained her full strength; she died at age 46
 

Series 2. Official Communications.

Box 2, Folder 6

Quarantine cards. undated

Physical Description: 23 x 15 cm.

Scope and Content Note

three cards: Notice to Milkmen; Notice re communicable diseases; Quarantine, Poliomyelitis, probably all issued by Connecticut State Department of Health
Box 2

"Spanish Influenza", "Three-day Fever", "The Flu". 28 September 1918

Physical Description: 4 p. (1 sheet, folded); 31 x 22.5 cm, folded to 15.5 x 22.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

brochure issued by U.S. Public Health Service (Supplement no. 34 to the Public Health Reports) to inform the public: "Read this and protect yourself against epidemic"
Box 1, Folder 25

General Orders, no. 16, from Headquarters Minnesota Military Forces. 1918 October 19

Physical Description: 1 p. (1 sheet); 13 x 20 cm.

Scope and Content Note

one printed sheet

Note

"Owing to the epidemic of influenza which now prevails in many sections of the State, military funerals or participation of troops at funerals of persons who have died of influenza or pneumonia, are forbidden. By command of the Governor. W. F. RHINOW, The Adjutant General."
Box 1, Folder 31

Printed letter signed A. H. Ziemer, Pastor, Claiborne Avenue Presbyterian Church, New Orleans, Louisiana, to All our Members and Friends. 1918 October 17

Physical Description: 1p. (1 sheet); 21.5 x 21 cm.

Scope and Content Note

announcement on behalf of the Officers of the Church of the Church closing, but the continuing need for contributions to help meet continuing expenses

Note

"By special order of the health authorities our churches have been closed, together with other places where people congregate in large numbers. Our church officers are co-operating in every way to help stamp out the influenza scourge...."
 

Series 3. Miscellanea.

Box 2, Folder 2

Scientific American, vol. 119, no. 18. 02 November 1918

Physical Description: unbound issue

Scope and Content Note

the issue contains two items concerned with the influenza epidemic: 1. editorial, "A carelessly-guarded gate", p. 350; 2. article, "Spanish influenza: how does it happen that the present epidemic is so fatal?" by Wade W. Oliver, p. 356, 367
Box 2, Folder 3

"Clinical memoranda on pneumonia" by Prof. A. Caille (Caillé). before 1923

Physical Description: 1p. (1 sheet, mimeographed); 20.5 x 33 cm.

Scope and Content Note

summary notes on diagnosis and treatment of acute lobar pneumonia and of broncho-pneumonia; on back of sheet is a crude pencil sketch and notes on how to remove fluid from lung
Box 2, Folder 4

Drug advertisements. before 1923

Physical Description: postcard, 9 x 14 cm.; pamphlet, 16.5 x 9.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

Spanish language postcard advertising "Neumonyl contra bronquitis y gripa!!"; pamphlet titled "Influenza", advertising Pyramidon, Kres Lumin, and Optarson, from H.A. Metz Labs., Winthrop Chemical Co., and Winthrop Chemical Co., respectively
Box 2, Folder 5

Items from Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan. 1917, 1918

Physical Description: 32 p., 13 x 19.5 cm.; 4 p., 13 x 18 cm.; picture postcard, 13.5 x 9 cm.

Scope and Content Note

1) souvenir booklet of 4 text pages, 28 pages captioned illustrations of buildings and activities in the U.S. Army training camp, 1918; 2) program and menu for "Special Dinner and Entertainment, given by 13th and 14th Compnaies, 4th Battalion, 160th Depot Brigade, Tuesday, November 19, 1918, Camp Custer, Michigan"; 3) black and white postcard depicting Medical and Surgical Wards, Base Hospital, Camp Custer, sent by Lewis to Mr. D.B. Pierce, Detroit: "...Pierce, you'd better come out to Camp Custer. It's an ideal place to sooth your nerves. I am in love with the camp...." Nov. 9, 1917

Note

"Camp Custer was occupied by 39,675 troops in the fall of 1918 and 10,728 of them were admitted to medical facilities with influenza or pneumonia. The case fatality rate for pneumonia was over 24% and the total number of influenza-pneumonia deaths was 674." [quoted from "Potential Influenza Effects on Military Populations" by John N. Bombardt, Jr. and Heidi E. Brown. Institute of Defense Analysis, IDA Paper P-3786, 2003.]
Box 2, Folder 7

"1918-19 Flu Facts Historic Papers", collected by Dr. B.J. Palmer. undated

Physical Description: computer disks

Scope and Content Note

compilation of published text and a few illustrations, including: "Fountain Head News, by B.J. {Himself}", Davenport, Iowa, v.8, no.17-18-19, Jan 18, A.C.24; pages from "Preventive Medicine and Hygiene", by Milton Joseph Rosenau, et al., 1st 3d., 1913; "The Pathology of Influenza", by M.C. Winternitz et al., 1920; articles from "The Lancet", 1890, 1891 "The Journal of Infectious Diseases", 1920, 1921; included are some photocopied pages of "Fountain Head News", illustrations, etc.

Note

Bertlett Joshua (B.J.) Palmer (September 14, 1881-May 21, 1961) "was a pioneer of Chiropractic", who strongly questioned quarantine, face masks, and inoculation, as they were recommended at the time, as protection against the flu. He stated "...I do not make light of the doctor, dis-ease or death, but of the efforts of AN ORGANIZATION of doctors TO MANUFACTURE "colds" and "grippe" into AN EPIDEMIC OF "FLU" by advertising broadest FEAR."
Box 1, Folder 18

Souvenir Log of the U.S.S. Mercy. 1919

Physical Description: soft-cover booklet, 32 p., 19 x 14 cm.

Scope and Content Note

complete list of the crew, by job classification; many photographs; text giving a short history of the ship before her commission as a hospital ship in 1918, and more detail of her wartime deployments; Dedication: "This little booklet is dedicated to the crew of the U.S.S. Mercy with apologies to no one. This is my first offense so let me down easy. Robert A. Wilson, Ph.M.-2, U.S.N."

Note

the crew of the U.S.S. Mercy was commended for their work during the Spanish Influenza epidemic; an illustration on p. 13 shows wooden coffins in a stack lashed to the deck, with the caption "During the Influenza".
Box 1, Folder 41

Life at United States Naval Hospital, Hampton Roads, Virginia. 1917-1919

Physical Description: hard cover album; 18 x 13.5 cm.

Scope and Content Note

thirty-seven snapshots and four postcards mounted in album with captions, plus six loose photos, of persons and buildings connected to the hospital; several photos are of Edward M. Vance, a young sailor, and his family

Note

"Edward M. Vance, a loved patient of mine. Stricken with Influenza, developed Scarlet Fever and died of Pneumonia October 2nd 1918."