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Jennie DorseyDorsey
diseases
WV
1910s
tuberculosis
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Scranton
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Jennie B. Dorsey
Amanda Dorsey
Amanda Watkins
Amanda J. Watkins
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Lackawanna County
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A Picture of My Niece Who Has the Consumption

A Picture of My Niece Who Has the Consumption
A picture that tells a sad story (either in the photo or written on the back) for the Vintage Photos Theme Park.

The woman at left on the front of this real photo postcard is Jennie B. Dorsey, who was visiting her aunt (her father's sister), Mrs. Amanda J. (Dorsey) Watkins, in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1911 (mouse over the image above for a close-up view of the women).

As Amanda wrote on the back of the card, "This is a picture of my niece who has the consumption," which was another term for tuberculosis, an incurable infectious disease at the time. On the front of the card, Amanda added, "She has been failing ever since she returned to her home in Scranton, Pa."

Sadly, Jennie did pass away the following year on April 3, 1912. She was only 24 years old, and her death certificate listed the cause of her death as pulmonary tuberculosis.

This real photo postcard was postmarked in Columbus, Ohio, on July 13, 1911. It was addressed to Miss Lizzie Seitz, Post Office Box, Muncie, Ind.

Message on the front of the postcard:

Jennie Dorsey & Mrs. Watkins in Clarksburg, W.Va. She has been failing ever since she returned to her home in Scranton, Pa.

Message on the other side:

Dear Miss Seitz,

This is a picture of my niece who has the consumption and I on our lawn, and this is the house we live in. We are at the camp for 2 days. We are not very well in body. Will write more in a letter soon. We all send love.

So sorry about your eyes. Use salt water diluted and get the juice of a grape vine. Be careful, don't use strong medicine. Be careful and rest them all you can. I cured mine with salt water.

Smiley Derleth, * Ren.Art * have particularly liked this photo


Comments
 Deborah Lundbech
Deborah Lundbech club
Very sad. She looks so frail in this picture - especially next to her aunt who looks like an interesting no nonsense character.
Did you verify this on a census, Alan, or did you have knowledge of her death through family connections ?
2 years ago.
Alan Mays club has replied to Deborah Lundbech club
Thanks, Deborah! I actually used a library edition of Ancestry along with the details I had (Jennie Dorsey, Scranton, Pa., niece, consumption, Mrs. Watkins, Clarksburg, W. Va., 1911) to fill in the story. Jennie was unmarried, and I found her death certificate fairly quickly after searching on her name and location (Scranton). I then determined that her father had one sister, Amanda, who married a James G Watkins. The 1910 census records indicate that Amanda Watkins worked as an evangelist with the Salvation Army. By the time of the 1920 census, she was widowed but still worked for the Salvation Army as an "adgritant" (probably meaning "adjutant"). It's amazing what information is available in that database.
2 years ago.
 Deborah Lundbech
Deborah Lundbech club
That's very impressive, Alan! Such a wealth of information. And Amanda really does look the part of a moral, strong but kind woman.
By the way, I'm enjoying my ILL of "The Hidden Mother very much - although I don't love the layout. I wish that the photos were larger, and identified on the same page. (spoiled by Flickr and Ipernity!) The variation in subjects, settings, date, etc. makes it pretty fascinating though - she has put together a really amazing collection!
2 years ago.
Alan Mays club has replied to Deborah Lundbech club
Thanks, Deborah! Glad you're enjoying The Hidden Mother, too!
2 years ago.
 RicksPics
RicksPics club
Exellent example of the theme, Alan, and your research is fascinating.
2 years ago.

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