Background: This letter was sent between the letters of Becoming a physician 1 & 2.
24 May 1791 from Louisa, Virginia – Andrew Todd to John McCulloh
My Dear Brother,
Yours by Capt. Berret came safe, which gave me the pleasing information of the welfare of your family. As to the organ which I requested you to inquire of, I have the pleasure to inform you that I am supplied with a very good one, having three slopes & good tone. It is a second hand one, is supposed to have cost L80 or L100 pounds originally. Stood me in L50.
I was very anxious for Samy’s making a choice of a profession & ad a predilection for Physick in hopes if that should be his choice I should have the pleasure of his living more or less with me at those times when he would loose least by his absence from Philadelphia. I conceived Samy was loosing much time for altho we ought to embrace every opportunity of acquiring knowledge of various kinds yet our principal pursuit ought to be our professional study & others occationally only. By Samy’s letter to me he had determined to study Physick & I expect is now engaged therein. A tolerable share of application with the great opportunities that are now enjoyed in Philadelphia cannot fail to make him a good Physician. But I would wish him to prepare with the greatest application & determine on nothing short of arriving at the head of his profession which with education he has had & opportunities he now has may be accomplished.
My aged father is in good health, tho gradually I think, pretty fast bending downwards to the grave. We have but two children, our eldest a boy about 2 1/2 years old, our youngest a girl about 11 months. Both as most children are in the Eges of their parents promising. We had nearly lost our little boy last winter by the cotanhal fever previous to the close of which he was attacked with the measles & both together nearly carried him off. We are at present by the blessings of God in good health.
My father and Mrs. Todd present their good wishes to you, Mrs. McCulloh & family with other inquiring friends. After presenting my own to your family I desire to be remembered to Drs Rush, Mead & White with the last of Samy can aquire an intimacy he may learn a good deal of Practical Chemistry. Samy will please to excuse my not writing to him at present as the bearer of this, Johny Todd, is now waiting for it. He is on his way to Carlisle college. I shall expect Samy to come as soon as Dr. Hutchinson shall think it prudent for him so to do.
I am your dear brother with much esteem, Yours Andrw Todd
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 324