Emma Spaulding Bryant wrote these ten letters to her husband, John Emory Bryant, in the summer of 1873. They recount Emma's activities during that summer when she and her daughter, Alice, were visiting relatives in Illinois and Ohio while her husband tended to his political affairs in Georgia.
In particular, the letters describe Emma's visits to a doctor in Cleveland for "uterine difficulties" that had been ailing her for some time. Although we do not have her husband's letters to her from this period, it appears that he accused her of adultery with the doctor and berated her for not being obedient to him. Many of Emma's letters from this period have markings in red pencil, presumably made by John to highlight the sections of her letters that he found suspicious. Emma's responses to John's accusations are indignant, and she rebuts each of his points eloquently and emphatically.
Because these letters are unusually frank for this time period, they reveal much about the relationships between husbands and wives in this era, and shed light on medical practices that were often kept private.
Features ten letters written in the summer 1873 from Emma Spaulding Bryant to John Bryant, her husband and a politician in the Georgia Republican Party after the Civil War. The letters, taken from the John Bryant Papers at Duke University, are accompanied by images and background notes. These documents are "unusually frank for this time period," according to the author of the site, and they "reveal much about the relationships between husbands and wives in this era, and shed light on medical practices that were often kept private." Presented by Duke's Digital Scriptorium, which provides "access to historical documentation through the use of innovative technology and collaborative development projects with Duke University faculty, students, and staff."