Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2016.02.0073
Object Name Letter
Date 1820
Title 1820 Nov 18 Orlando Brown to Samuel Brown
Scope & Content Letter from Orlando Brown (Frankfort, KY) to Samuel Brown (Lexington, KY). Orlando discusses Samuel's son, James Percy's sucess with his studies and his own decision to study medicine (if he can overcome his laziness). Orlando also reports on news from Frankfort, including a banking bill.

[Transcription]

Frankfort, November 18. 1820

Dear Uncle
In your letter to Father you expressed a hope that James was master of the art of memory & that I had become thoroughly acquainted with Cuvier's theory of the Earth. My mnemonic tables were unfortunately misplaced but James displayed a wonderful quickness in understanding the intention of the hierogliphicks. After I had explained to him the connexion between the idea and the figure, in a few minutes he was able to repeat twelve words in any order they were mentioned. This was much more than many of the students comprehended in a day with the advantage of a skilful instructor. His memory is at the same time so quick and retentive that it does not require any foreign aid. In [illegible] he is first in his class although the manner of marking does not give him that stand for they take into consideration grammar and Corderic. As to Cuvier I was not able to obtain it until a few days ago and since that time I have not devoted much attention to it. Since my return every pond has reminded me of your conversation on the "Valley of the Mississippi" and I find your theory too well substantiated by facts not to believe it. "Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur cum illis." My eloquent notions are all abandoned and sick ones have taken their place. In other words I have determined to study medicine. On Monday I intend taking the first dose but will not apply myself severely to it until after New Year. That choice is satisfactory to my parents who would rather see me doing anything (even preaching) than being idle. Uncle Preston has offered me the use of his books and the aid of his instruction for which I feel very grateful. Next year you will have me enrolled in the number of medical students, and should I ever vanquish laziness perhaps, hereafter the place you now occupy may be filled by one of the same name. Such at least are my ambitious views: to look higher would only blind without encouraging.
Mrs. Foster died today at 2 o'clock and they intend burying her at Harrodsburg. Until a few hours of her death General Adair could not be convinced but that she would recover. The new bank bill is at present before the Senate, there are some doubts of its passing. Clay and Wickliffe are both opposed to it - if they were in the legislature perhaps they might check the career of a mad politicians.
Today it was moved to strike out Harrodsburg and insert Frankfort as the seat of the [illegible/page torn] :this after some discussion was lost, yeas 18, nays 19. The seat of government may follow: at last the citizens are afraid of it. During the last week I heard a volley of abuse thrown upon Charles Wickliffe by Fletcher which was a disgrace to our legislature. - Write me soon for we are anxious to hear from you often. All send their love particularly James who is as well and does as well as you could desire.
Orlando Brown.

Mother wishes you to purchase some socks for James as she has not been able to get any that will fit him as they were all small.

[Address Block]
Samuel Brown, M.D.
Lexington
Kentucky

[Postmark]
Frank. K.
Nov 18

People Orlando Brown
Samuel Brown
Georges Cuvier
James Percy Brown
Charles Wickliffe
Henry Clay
John Adair
Search Terms Education
Medicine
Politics
Banking Legislation