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JQA Diary, volume 30 1 July 1816
JQA Neal Millikan Recreation Health and Illness African Americans
20 July. 1816.

1. VII:45. Monday. Wrote a short Letter to Coll: Aspinwall, and Journalized upon the 13th: of last Month— Mrs Adams, went with our Sons John and Charles, to fish in the Paddington Canal. I was writing until past six O’Clock, and then walked as far as Ealing Church— In the lane just beyond General Dumouriez’s house, I met a man with a very wretched and squalid appearance, with a girl of about twelve, equally miserable— He had an empty pint Bottle, in his hand, and accosting me, asked if I could give him a little Elder Wine— He said he was a blacksmith by trade, and had been in comfortable circumstances and lived well— But he had been unlucky—had met with losses; times were hard down in Staffordshire where he had lived; and he had set out with his wife, and two children, all that survived of eleven that he had had, to walk to London, and see if he could get some work to do.— He had come from Stone, 160 miles from home; and when he got as far as Brentford, his boy, a fine boy about seven years old was taken sick—he complained his feet were sore and that he could not go any farther— At first he thought he had overwalked the poor boy, for they had walked as much as twenty miles a day; but he had taken him in at Mr Baker’s, who kept a public house at Brentford, and there he broke out with the small-pox, and was lying with it, very bad— The parish at Brentford had allowed him a Doctor to attend the boy—but the Doctor gave him very poor encouragement for the poor child— He the father had been round to every house in Brentford to see if he could get any work, but without success— He was obliged to pay eight pence a night, for the chamber where his boy lay, now entirely blind— He had sold most of his own Cloaths, and the gown off of the girl’s back— The Doctor had told him that Elder wine, would be good for the boy to keep his lips moist, and give him some sustenance, and he had now come out to see if he could beg any. I told him I had no elder wine, but gave him a shilling with which he could buy some; and passed on— As I was returning from my walk, in the lane just before my house I overtook again the same man, with the girl— He thanked me very gratefully for what I had given him; told me his Story over again; said he had not got any wine; but since I saw him he had met a Lady, who had given him six pence, and told him she would come and see the Child— I told him that I understood wine was a very doubtful and dangerous medicine for the small-pox— But he said the Doctor had ordered it, and said any kind of wine would do; as it was only to keep his lips moist, and give him sustenance— I called the man into the yard; had his bottle filled with wine; and asked his name, which he told me was William Cook— After dinner I walked with Mrs Adams and George to Brentford, and after being directed to three other houses of persons named Baker, we finally found that where this poor man and his family were— We left George below as he has only passed the process of vaccination— Mrs Adams and I went up into the chamber, where the boy lay, covered in a fearful manner with the small pox. The chamber was not twelve feet square, with only one small window which was shut, and they had a fire at the foot of the boy’s bed, to make tea for him— Mrs Adams directed them to open the window, to have the fire put out, and to keep the child cool, without exposing him to take cold— And she told the man to call at our house again to-morrow— It was between nine and ten when we came home.— By this Morning’s Post I received—A Note from Lord Castlereagh, with information that a Bill has been brought into Parliament, for the exportation of Machinery for the use of the Mint of the United States— A Note of invitation to Mrs Adams and me to Countess Lieven’s party, last Evening— It was dated on Friday; came doubtless to the Office on Saturday, too late to be sent out that Evening, and was thus kept until this morning— A Letter from Mr Prince Sanders; enclosing a Card of invitation to our Son George to dine with him next Friday; and a Card of Mr Sanders “at Home” for Mrs Adams and me, the same Evening— In the Letter he says he hopes we will come, as the celebrated Mrs Opie, and Mrs Marriat, authoress of Conversations on chemistry have promised to be there, and he hopes to have a pleasant, and intelligent Conversation.— By the Evening Post Letters—from Mr Maury at Liverpool—from George Dentzel, a petitioning sailor—and from J. A. Smith to Mrs Adams, with information that a box, which she has been expecting from Paris, is at the Kings warehouse in the Customhouse—and enclosing Mr Grubb’s Bill that I had left with him, receipted.