Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
College Archives and Special Collections


Coming Soon on @ElizaBTweetin

Posted on September 13, 2013

Thomas Van Duyne '14


Just as things seem to be cooling off around the little town of Norton, things in Eliza Baylies Wheaton’s life are white hot.  Rain is heavy, and as a result Mrs. Beane’s daughter Nellie comes down with a serious cold.  In the early1800’s, this could mean life or death for poor Nellie.  We are talking about a world that had just recently, as of the mid-1800s, recognized the existence of germs.  In today’s world, there are around 13,000 drugs that doctors have the capability to prescribe, but for Nellie, the doctors of her time are equipped with mainly herbal medicines and a few of inorganic compounds.  Even heroine was used at the time as common cures for coughs and colds.  Without the medical advances of today’s world, Nellie is in an incredibly fragile state.

As the fall storms rage on and Nellie falls deeper into her sickness, Mrs. Beane is in utter disbelief of her current predicament.  How could her daughter have been so unfortunate?  How could such a wretched scenario materialize?  Eliza Wheaton decides that the only thing to do is to go see the doctor about Nellie’s condition.  The nearest doctor is Doctor Clarke who is based in Boston. However, misfortune strikes again at a most inopportune time.  The two of them leave on a train to Boston in search of help only to find that Doctor Clarke is on business elsewhere!

The two return to Norton with nothing to show for their effort and hope that Nellie makes it through the night. And to make matters even worse then they already are, within the week Mary Chapin is also bedridden with a cold.  Eliza and Mrs. Beane, now both distressed by the events that have transpired over the last week, sit side by side, uncertain of what the future holds from them, Nellie, and Mary Chapin.


Will Nellie and Mary Chapin make it? Tune in every morning at 9am @ElizaBTweetin to find out...

Comments are closed.