Three Days of Plantation Life
[ February, 1839]
Today I have the pleasure of announcing to you a variety of improvements about to be made in the infirmary of the island. There is to be a third story--a mere loft, indeed--added to the building; but, by affording more room for the least distressing cases of sickness to be drafted off into, it will leave the ground floor and room above it comparatively free for the most miserable of these unfortunates. To my unspeakable satisfaction, these destitute apartments are to be furnished with bedsteads, mattresses, pillows, and blankets; and I feel a little comforted for the many heartaches my life here inflicts upon me--at least some of my twinges will have wrought this poor alleviation of their wretchedness for the slaves when prostrated by disease or pain.
I had hardly time to return home from the hospital this morning before one of the most tremendous storms I ever saw burst over the island. Your Northern hills, with their solemn pinewoods, and fresh streams and lakes, telling of a cold rather than a warm climate, always seem to me as if undergoing some strange and unnatural visitation when one of your heavy summer thunderstorms bursts over them. Snow and frost, hail and, above all, wind, trailing