Nightingale, Florence (1820 – 1910)

Writing to a fellow nurse from the Crimean War

A fine autograph letter signed signed by Florence Nightingale,  two pages, October 21st 1856, addressed to Miss Erskine (Mary Erskine). She opens by thanking her correspondent for two  letters, noting her ‘great pain of feeling how little I could do to satisfy your desire (in them expressed) of helping a man to duty, of whose usefulness we are both so much convinced. I mentioned what we both know of him… in the quarters where I thought it might be useful. I was told that he should be remembered when there was anything to give but that (the usual answer) Yarmouth was to be reduced and the Coast Guard stations were all promised.’ She goes on, ‘I did not answer your previous letter, mrerely because I put it off hoping to have something more promising to say. And you will do me great injustice if you think that it was indifference on my part, which has produced failure, if we fail.’ In very fine condition.

Mary Erskine was a volunteer nurse at the Naval Hospital at Therapia during the Crimean war. She nursed Florence Nightingale when she was ill and they reamined friends. Mary Erskine subsequently became superintendent of the hospital at Therapia.