Monday, December 10

A letter to the Doctor 2

Below dear reader, you will find the another letter from the Mail Packet. It would seem to be of a business nature and is addressed to the Doctor. You may see the original copy of the letter and author's comments HERE
Dear Dr. Roberts;
Ship Surgeon,
HMS Acasta

I beg your humble pardon, for we have not been introduced, yet your reputation as a medical doctor and ship surgeon has reached us in the port of Baltimore and environs. (Even in these trying circumstances words fly freely and information still finds a way past the blockade.) Though our countries are again at war, I appeal to you and your sense of honor and your desire to do good for the injured and sick of any nation.

I am the master of a small coastal trading schooner moored in the Patapsico River. Andromeda is an American vessel. You must know that we harbor no deserters from British ships; our crew is comprised of family members and several free black men, born in Maryland. My daughter, who is aboard with me, has taken sick with a putrid fever and I am unable to get a Baltimore doctor to come to our vessel because of the mortars and canon fire. I have some knowledge of medicine and much experience with shipboard doctoring, but this sudden illness is quite beyond me. I fear for her life, yet this is not a surrender, I have no intention of losing my ship.

If my vessel were to be taken it would ruin our family, we are not wealthy merchants, just local traders shipping small amounts of wheat and grain from Baltimore to points south, returning with lumber and tobacco from the plantations of the Southern Chesapeake. Our schooner is small, but to us it is our home and our livelihood.

I am sending this missive via the British prisoner exchange agent who is transported by a local waterman. I await your advice by letter -- or better yet, your presence. I will pay you what I am able for your services. My daughter grows weaker by the hour and I am at a loss.

With everlasting gratitude I am
your faithful and obliged servant,
Master of the Schooner Andromeda 

You too can get in on the fun of writing a letter to your favorite Acasta crew members, to find out how be sure to have a look inside the MAIL PACKET. And special thanks to author Linda Collison for her participation!

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