To commemorate Veterans’ Day, we bring you a letter from our collections written by Florence Nightingale in 1855 to the family of a solider who passed away in Scutari (now Üsküdar in Istanbul) during the Crimean War. Accompanying the letter is a document that appraises the Nightingale letter and provides a bit more back story written by a rare book dealer, J. W. Todd, Jr. in 1975.
The Florence Nightingale letter was donated to the archives by Zina Mirsky RN, EdD in 2012. One of her former students, Darlene Anderson had given her this letter. Early in her career, Mirsky served on active duty as a Navy Nurse and later spent over 40 years at UCSF.
Very interesting to compare with my own letter and note that Miss Nightingale didn’t delegate such sad tasks. One wonders how many of these letters she had to write given the death rate at Scutari.