The author of this letter has not yet been positively identified. His signature appears to be L. H. Culler. It appears he spent some time previously in Cleveland, Ohio. He makes no mention of a family.
Culer wrote the letter to Drs. Henry Everett (1819-1854) and Azariah Everett (1821-Aft1875) of Cleveland, Ohio — the sons of Samuel Everett (1793-1858) and Sarah Pheil (1802-1890). A history of Cleveland by Samuel Peter Orth records that Dr. Azariah Everett was an “Oculist” and Dr. Henry Everett a “Euriscopian” or uroscopist — a specialist in the diseases of the eye. Dr. Azariah became the first professor of Opthamology in the Cleveland Medical College.
Addressed to Drs. H. & A. Everett, Cleveland, Ohio
Southport (now Kenosha), Wisconsin Territory
May 24th 1846
It is with pleasure I sit down to improve the first opportunity of writing to you and give you a history of my tour. We were carried by Sheboygan and landed in Milwaukee, found 2 Wisconsians both doing well. (And here I must make an apology for not writing from Milwaukee. It is as follows. I expected to leave for Sheboygan in a few hours which I did and I thought I would write from the latter place, but when I got there — which was on Wednesday the 20th — and found the mails only left once a week, which was on Tuesday, so I could get not letter to you.)
I found Sheboygan a very handsome place situated very much like Cleveland, containing from 250 to 300 inhabitants — all poor. The county contains 1500 inhabitants. There is not 30 acres of wheat in the county so I made up my mind to leave forthwith but could not get a boat until Friday night. Stopped at Racine about 3 hours. Called to see Dr. [Mathias R.] Teegarden but did not. He has a partner — a student of his brother, a young man rather smart. He says if I will go to a place by the name of Galoit [Beloit] or Peru or Ottawa, I can do well. He says there can be no better places. The country is well settled &c. &c. I think Southport is a tolerable good place. It is the best I have seen as yet. There are here about 2,800 inhabitants here. The Botanics do the best business here, but they all make money. I shall either stop here or at Galoit [Beloit]. I shall go out to Galiot [Beloit] tomorrow. So you may ship the medicine to this place. Please send me a small siv___.
It was very unfortunate for me that I went to Sheboygan for it cost me a $1 everyday that I was there and then there was no boat that called for several days but notwithstanding if I was out of debt and had means to live I would not ask a better place than Sheboygan. There is but 1 physician within 6 miles. Then comes Dr. Brainard, the same old sixpence he was in Cleveland. As for his riches, it is all moonshine. He has got some land but it is not paid for or in other words, he borrowed the money to pay for it and mortgaged the place for security. So much for him. He was very much frightened when he saw me. He was down to consult Dr. [Jairus] Rankin everyday that I was in town after he saw me, but I got the start of him for I got an introduction to Dr. Rankin before I had ben in town 2 hours. He was for taking me in for a partner all so fast and showed me his account book &c. He charged a little short of $500 last year and rode all over God’s creation and had not collected more than $100. He invited me over to his house the next day. I saw Dr. Brainard next day morning [and] things all changed very soon. But I went according to appointment and he asked me what system I intended to practice. I told him on the Reformed German Plan. He could not comprehend. Then he asked me if I should examine the urine. I told him as long as I believed it to be the safest plan of diagnosis, I should follow it. I could not get him to say a word against it or for it but was mum. There were several in and saw how mothers stood all expecting him to attack me but I smile at Satin’s sage. He looked as black as a thunder cloud but just at this time in comes Dr. Brainard. He said nothing about medicine but talked about Cleveland &c. He staid in town all day and was in early next morning. I formed several acquaintances here. Some were very anxious to have me stay.
My fare cost me $9.00 on the first bat for freight and all from Milwaukee to Sheboygan $3.50, in Sheboygan $2.50, from Sheboygan to South Port $2.50 making total of $17.50 which leaves me very low in funds. If you can spare me a few dollars, do so. I know you rather let me have it than I had to ask after you have done so much but you know how it stands with me. You shall not suffer me if I have my life spared. I am satisfied that I can make money when I get a location. I thought I had better spend a few dollars. Yours in haste, L. H. Culler
Write as soon as you get this for I can do nothing better till I hear from you. — L. H. Culler