Selected Correspondence of Florence Nightingale

Chronological Listing

UnknownUndatedNightingale informs the recipient of her recent correspondence regarding some "patients". She also discusses whether silk offered any advantages in preventing bed sores. Finally, she offers her opinion on the best option for preventing the sores.
Unknown January 23, 1854Nightingale wrote this letter as an account of her "stewardship" at the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Illness. She provides an itinerary for Miss Varney and Miss Crossthwaite who are traveling to Torquay.
Mrs. Brownlow December 11, 1855Nightingale expresses her uneasiness about the delayed notification of Mrs. Brownlow's arrival in Scutari.
Principle Medical Store-keeper, BalaclavaApril 7, 1856Nightingale requests 6 bottles of tincture of myrrh in this letter, written one week after the Treaty of Paris brought an end to the Crimean War. Balaclava had two years earlier been the site of an indecisive battle which later provided the inspiration for Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade . Nightingale's work in the Crimea was the inspiration for Longfellow's Santa Filomena.
Dr. TaylorMarch 28, 1857This letter, written shortly after Nightingale's return from the Crimea, alludes to her strained relationship with Dr. Andrew Smith. Because of this situation, Nightingale requests Dr. Taylor's assistance in the disposal of the "Free Gifts" which returned with her from the war. She also makes reference to Lord Panmure's statement that she was a "turbulent character".
Lt. Colonel George Higginson August 11, 1857Nightingale is inquiring about the "Model Lodging House" Higginson provided for the Grenadier Guards. She admired the design of the lodging house and asks for specific information regarding the "Expenditures, Receipts and Management". The envelope which accompanied the letter is included.
Unknown November 3, 1858The letter accompanied Nightingale's "Report to the War Office" which she instructed the recipient to keep "confidential".
Colonel Walker November 21, 1858Nightingale wrote this letter to accompany a her "confidential" report to the War Office. She asked Walker to not let anyone else read it since it had not been "laid on the table of the House" yet.
Sir Benjamin Brodie February 13, 1859This letter serves as an introduction of Elizabeth Blackwell, M. D. to Sir Benjamin Brodie. Dr. Blackwell was interested in visiting with Brodie about her "future career".
James PagetUndatedThis letter was probably written sometime in 1861 or early 1862 based on comments made in the letter. Nightingale discuss hospital statistics, specifically at St. Bartholomew and Guy's. She also comments on the state of affairs at the War Office in the aftermath of Sidney Herbert's resignation and/or death.
Mr. Rawlinson February 12, 1861 This letter accompanied a design for a 120 bed hospital. Nightingale also addresses the need for a hospital for women and death by fever among those "living good and temperate lives".
James PagetFebruary 21, 1862Nightingale requests that Paget examine, and possibly admit to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, William Chalklen of New Brompton. Mr. Chalklen's wrist was apparently injured and not healing.
Charles Shrimpton, M. D.May 19, 1862Nightingale responds to a letter from Dr. Shrimpton about pyaemia. She focuses primarily on pyaemic conditions in Paris.
Mrs. ChalmersOctober 2, 1866Nightingale responds to Mrs. Chalmers about the death of William Henry Jones, a young boy she cared for during the Crimean War. Jones and two other boys returned from the Crimea with Nightingale who subsequently placed the boys in homes. Mr. Jones apparently was "corrupted" and asked for Nightingale's forgiveness before he died.
UnknownApril 6, 1871This letter is in response to one written by the recipient regarding James Paget's health.
Sir James PagetApril 27, 1874After thanking Paget for advice sought on behalf of Benjamin Jowett, Nightingale laments the loss of her father, her "best old friend, Mrs. Bracebridge", and her heroes Quetelet and Livingstone.
Miss RobinsonJune 12, 1877Regarding a June 19, 1877 meeting at which Miss Robinson apparently wanted to invoke Nightingale's name for some purpose.
Mrs. RoeMarch 23, 1878Nightingale is responding to a note from Mrs. Roe and describes her current projects (Training of Nurses, Sanitary Reform, and Irrigation development).
Sir James PagetDecember 2, 1881This letter includes Nightingale's wishes for Paget's recovery and an expression of gratitude for two papers sent to her by Paget.
Alice HepworthJanuary 8, 1886Nightingale commends Miss Hepworth for bringing "the infants on so satisfactorily" at Lea. She also gives directions regarding two parcels of books to be delivered by Miss Hepworth.
Alice HepworthMarch 9, 1886In this lengthy letter, Nightingale discusses instruction of students in geography and religion. She also details the story of "Bobby", a young boy "brought in cursing & swearing" to St. Thomas Hospital. After a year of care from the head nurse at St. Thomas, Bobby had the "real thing in his heart, the true religion".
Alice HepworthJanuary, 1887Nightingale responds to Miss Hepworth's decision to leave Lea and offers her best wishes.
George Watt, Esq., M. D.March 4, 1887Nightingale strongly encourages Dr. Watt to make an appointment with a Cassell's representative about the publication of Dr. Watt's work Lessons on Elementary Botany.
C. B. N. Dunn, Esq.May 10, 1887Nightingale sends her thanks to Mr. Dunn for his attention to "poor Bratby". Bratby was probably a resident of Lea Hurst, the Nightingale family estate.
General George Higginson June 10, 1888Nightingale provides the itinerary for Sister Constable who was under consideration for Matron at Gordon Boys' Home. Sister Constable apparently accepted the position because, nearly ten years later, Nightingale wrote again to Sir George Higginson about the circumstances surrounding Sister Constable's dismissal
F. H. Butler, Esq.April 8, 1889Nightingale conveys the sentiments of Mr. Burton, the Lea schoolmaster, regarding a collection of rocks sent to him by Mr. Butler.
Mr. BurtonOctober 7, 1889Nightingale offers her best wishes for upcoming examinations (at Lea Board School) and states her thoughts on the "real sense of success". She also updates Mr. Burton on her correspondence with Mr. Butler, a mineralogist.
F. H. Butler, Esq.October 7, 1889Nightingale thanks Mr. Butler for completing a series of geological specimens sent to Mr. Burton, the Lea schoolmaster. She also praises the work of Mr. Burton and tells Mr. Butler of the former's activities which make him "more than a mere School master".
George De'Ath, M. D.October 13, 1892Nightingale states that she is enclosing criticisms about Dr. De'Ath's Missioners form. However, the form is separated from this letter. She also wishes Dr. De'Ath luck on his "Lady Lectures" and asks his advice about how "Cottage Mothers" can repair the "gaping chinks between boards of floor".
Miss LückesJune 19, 1893Nightingale discusses a number of items with Miss Lückes including the current state of the nursing charter, "Sick Cookery", nursing staff patterns, and her thoughts on the human mother.
Arthur Clough January 29, 1894Nightingale offers her critique of Mr. Burton's (of Lea School) "Programme". She laments the decline in music and Burton's choice of operetta for the children.
Mrs. RobertsonAugust 31, 1894Nightingale responds to a request to find hospital care for a mutual acquaintance.
Mr. BurtonFebruary 25, 1895After briefly addressing school issues, Nightingale discusses service to one's country and its relationship to "Local Self Govt". She also addresses the issue of "thrift".
Mrs. LeiterOctober 24, 1895Nightingale offers Mrs. Leiter several pamphlets about the "Health at Home" program. She also discusses whether or not poor women are receptive to advice from Health Missioners.
Mr. BurtonNovember 28, 1895Nightingale offers her moral and financial support to Mr. Burton for his "Lectures". She also encourages him to offer lectures on "Social Economics" to the villagers who "do not understand the very elements of Economics".
Mr. BurtonJuly 30, 1896Nightingale inquires about the closing of the school due to scarlet fever. She advises Mr. Burton how best to disinfect his home. In addition, she expresses her joy over the "Gardening boys".
Mr. BurtonMay 11 and May 13, 1897A number of topics are addressed in this letter which begins with an expression of gratitude to Mr. Burton for a horticultural book. Nightingale then proceeds to "Institute" business. She is especially concerned that boys' interests be considered when selecting periodicals for the reading room. She also observes that gambling is on the rise in England. Finally, she offers Mr. Burton an abstract of an agricultural report about Ireland.
Sir George HigginsonAugust 28, 1897Nightingale is writing in support of Sister Constable, a nurse dismissed from the Gordon Boys Home. She asks that Higginson grant the nurse compensation for her years of service.
Mr. BurtonAugust 30, 1897Nightingale discusses the value and purpose of "scripture examinations".