Accession: 139.23.005
Editorial Title: Lucinda M. Reeves to Mary Baker Eddy, December 18, 1881
Author: Lucinda M. Reeves 
Recipient: Mary Baker Eddy 
Date: December 18, 1881
Manuscript Description: Handwritten by Lucinda M. Reeves on lined paper from Washington D.C.
Editorial Note: Reeves writes that she is grateful for the information contained in Mary Baker Eddy's letter of December 12, 1881 (not extant), and is happy to hear that Eddy will be coming to Washington, D.C., soon. Reeves writes about starting her Christian Science healing practice in D.C. and the various attitudes she encounters. She writes of treating the cook of Melinda Smith and about a pregnant African-American woman she mentioned treating in an earlier letter (139.23.004Click link to view 139.23.004 document in new window), who is now well. She would like Reeves to be with her when her baby is due in a few weeks. Reeves has been looking for new housing, but she is finding everything to be too expensive. She is challenged by finding patients willing to pay for her work, as she has found that when payment is involved people would prefer to hire a medical doctor. The only patients Melinda Smith has gotten for Reeves are her cook and an African-American man who works for her. Reeves has not yet ventured into the African-American community to find patients, but she has taken them when asked for Christian Science treatment and has helped them all. Her cases have primarily come from her own circle of friends, and they have involved chronic illnesses that have been hard to overcome.
Related Topic: 139.23.004Click link to view 139.23.004 document in new window, 139.23.012Click link to view 139.23.012 document in new window
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Original Document

139.23.005
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My much loved Teacher:

Yours of the 12Editorial Note: This letter is not extant. at hand. I am very grateful for the information and suggestions contained and very pleased to know you are to come so soon; I must say that I hardly know what to think about getting up a practice here, the Spiritualists don't quite relish the idea that I am not controlledAs Written:controled by "a spirit," and it is hard for others to think that anything but drugs can heal one party has too many gods and the other too many spirits.—the last time I called at Mrs. Smith's she did not make her appearance (she was too deeply engaged in a row with one of her servants making so loud a fuss I could not help hearing it) but her cook came in for her treatment and I gave it, and told her Mrs. S. told me if I would continue to come she would pay me each week, (fifty centsEditorial Note: $0.50 in 1881 is equivalent to $12.89 in 2017. a week was all she would agree to give) and that was the second week. but she did not have any money and Mrs. S could not be seen so I told her I could not afford to go anymore,—my "conjured" woman says she is well and wants me to be with her in her confinementEditorial Note: Confinement is an archaic term referring to the time just before and during childbirth. which will be in a few weeks, when I first saw her she could not even take a drink of water or coffee without severe vomiting and would throw off green stuff, her feet and legs were swollenAs Written:swolen out of all shape, and she could not sit up after sun-set; now she can eat and drink whatever she pleases the inflammationAs Written:inflamation and pain is all gone the swelling in her feet is all gone and she sits up and sews until 9 and 10 o'clock nights, she says "it is not because she has grown any lighter, for if she was not so heavy she could do hard work."—I have been looking for a houseEditorial Note: Reeves was looking for a house for herself and her niece and for Mary Baker Eddy and Asa Gilbert Eddy to possibly rent together during the Eddys upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. but it is impossible to get a rent any where we would want to go with out paying fifty dollars a month or more—I never saw such a time before it seems like everybody has taken a house and got rooms to rent and when I have looked for rooms they charge as much for 4 or 5 rooms as they pay for the whole house, and about every other house has got out a sign "rooms for rent" —it cannot always go on this way, for they wont rents all of their rooms and some will be obliged to give up their houses.

I can get a plenty of patients, if I don't charge anything, but I think that when there is money in the question they would prefer to employ a regular M.D. all the patients Mrs. Smith has ever got for me was her cookEditorial Note: This is likely a reference to Harriet Briscoe, a servant in the household of Eldridge J. Smith and Melinda H. Smith in Washington, D.C. and a colored man that works for her, he told me that he could not pay me for Mrs. S. does not pay him any wages and his wife told me the same she the colored man's wife takes dressmaking to support her family

I shall try a while longer before I give this up in despairAs Written:dispair—I have not yet made any effort among the colored people, to get patients, I have taken those I have been asked to, and have helped them all, I have not advertised-the cases among my own friends have been such old chronic beliefs that they were hard to overcome—I will be so glad to see you for I can tell you much more than I can write—I hope Mrs. Day and the other Students are all doing well—we are having very fine weather.

my health is first rate every one tells me how well I am looking, which I think should be a first class advertisement.

hoping to hear from you soon and what is far better to see you I remain faithfully yours
L. M. Reeves
139.23.005
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My much loved Teacher:

Yours of the 12Editorial Note: This letter is not extant. at hand. I am very grateful for the information and suggestions contained and very pleased to know you are to come so soon; I must say that I hardly know what to think about getting up a practice here, the Spiritualists don't quite relish the idea that I am not controledCorrected:controlled by "a spirit," and it is hard for others to think that anything but drugs can heal one party has too many gods and the other too many spirits.—the last time I called at Mrs. Smith's she did not make her appearance (she was too deeply engaged in a row with one of her servants making so loud a fuss I could not help hearing it) but her cook came in for her treatment and I gave it, and told her Mrs. S. told me if I would continue to come she would pay me each week, (fifty centsEditorial Note: $0.50 in 1881 is equivalent to $12.89 in 2017. a week was all she would agree to give) and that was the second week. but she did not have any money and Mrs. S could not be seen so I told her I could not afford to go anymore,—my "conjured" woman says she is well and wants me to be with her in her confinementEditorial Note: Confinement is an archaic term referring to the time just before and during childbirth. which will be in a few weeks, when I first saw her she could not even take a drink of water or coffee without severe vomiting and would throw off green stuff, her feet and legs were swolenCorrected:swollen out of all shape, and she could not sit up after sun-set; now she can eat and drink whatever she pleases the inflamationCorrected:inflammation and pain is all gone the swelling in her feet is all gone and she sits up and sews until 9 and 10 o'clock nights, she says "it is not because she has grown any lighter, for if she was not so heavy she could do hard work."—I have been looking for a houseEditorial Note: Reeves was looking for a house for herself and her niece and for Mary Baker Eddy and Asa Gilbert Eddy to possibly rent together during the Eddys upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. but it is impossible to get a rent any where we would want to go with out paying fifty dollars a month or more—I never saw such a time before it seems like everybody has taken a house and got rooms to rent and when I have looked for rooms they charge as much for 4 or 5 rooms as they pay for the whole house, and about eyevery other house has got out a sign "rooms for rent" —it cannot always go on this way, for they wont rents all of their rooms and some will be obliged to give up their houses.

I can get a plenty of patients, if I don't charge anything, but I think that when there is money in the question they would prefer to employ a regular M.D. all the patients Mrs. Smith has ever got for me was her cookEditorial Note: This is likely a reference to Harriet Briscoe, a servant in the household of Eldridge J. Smith and Melinda H. Smith in Washington, D.C. and a colored man that works for her, he told me that he could not pay me for Mrs. S. does not pay him any wages and his wife told me the same she the colored man's wife takes dressmaking to support her family

I shall try a while longer before I give this up in dispairCorrected:despair—I have not yet made any effort among the colored people, to get patients, I have taken those I have been asked to, and have helped them all, I have not advertised-the cases among my own friends have been such old chronic beliefs that they were hard to overcome—I will be so glad to see you for I can tell you much more than I can write—I hope Mrs. Day and the other Students are all doing well—we are having very fine weather.

my health is first rate every one tells me how well I am looking, which I think should be a first class advertisement.

hoping to hear from you soon and what is far better to see you I remain faithfully yours
L. M. Reeves