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Cholera Epidemics in the 19th Century

The Great Plague of London, 1665

The Boston Smallpox Epidemic, 1721

“Pestilence” and the Printed Books of the Late 15th Century

Spanish Influenza in North America, 1918–1919

Syphilis, 1494–1923

Tropical Diseases and the Construction of the Panama Canal, 1904–1914

Tuberculosis in Europe and North America, 1800–1922

The Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia, 1793

General Materials

Notable People

Related Links


Beecher–Stowe Family Papers

The Beecher–Stowe Family Papers consist of materials from members of this famous New England family, including Lyman Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher, Catharine Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Calvin Stowe, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and others. The full collection at the Schlesinger Library consists of over 18 boxes and contains correspondence, miscellaneous writings, clippings, and memorabilia from 1796 to 1956.

Among these materials, noted below, is a “Private, Confidential” letter from Florence Nightingale to Harriet Beecher Stowe, who is predominantly known as the author of the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). The letter is a long answer to a request from Harriet for information on nurses’ training in England and for advice on how to direct attention to this matter in America. Nightingale discusses the problems of securing the right sort of nurses and of keeping and maintaining standards. Nightingale also sent Harriet a copy of a speech, which she wrote in her sickroom, for delivery to a graduating class of nurses, in May 1872. This 22-page manuscript makes reference to Stowe at the end.