Three-page folded letter from Dr. Seth Andrews of Kailua to his parents in Pittsford, N.Y., dated June 15, 1841, sent via Mexico and backstamped with bold double-line oval in black, "FORWARDED BY WM. SCARBOROUGH & CO. MAZATLAN"
, partial Mexican datestamp of October 26 also on back, red "New-York Ship Jan. 13" receiving cds, forwarded to Michigan and re-rated to "45-3/4." Contents include comments on school, politics, religion ("The churches in general remain much as when I wrote last i.e. exhibiting no unusual interest in religion"
) and an important description of Kapiolani
: "Another chief has fallen. Kapiolani the widow of Naihe, applied to me in March last to examine tumour in her breast which had been growing for some months. It proved to be a cancer. I of course prepared an operation as it did not appear to have advanced so far as to present an unfavorable case. As I could command no medical council here & not willing if it could be avoided to assume the responsibility of operating alone I advised her to go to Honolulu to Doct. Judd. Doct. J. in the presence of a physician resident at H. removed the breast. The wound healed speedily and she was on the point of sailing for another island to attend the national assembly of which she had been just appointed a member when she was attacked with erysipelas of which she died in a few days. She was one of the brightest ornaments of this nation, both as a christian and in point of civilization."
etc.; some silking at folds and tiny filled-in area of Pittsford cds, waterstains affect address panel only slightly, otherwise a Fine and rare usage. The route via Mazatlan and Vera Cruz came into heavy use from 1842 to 1848 when it was discovered that it could shorten the transit time by as much as four months, although this letter, not leaving until Aug. 5th, on the Joseph Peabody
, took 82 days just to reach Vera Cruz
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