Morton Corcoran Eustis, the third child and only son of William and Edith Eustis, attended a boarding school in Cornwall, Connecticut during the influenza pandemic in 1918. In October of that year, he sent the following letter to older sister Margaret:
Thank you so much for your nice long letter which I received almost 4 days ago. I know that I should have answered it before but I have been in Bed for a week I got up two days ago and went to Bed again yesterday. There are about 15 boys sick in the Infirmary and as there was no more room there I am over in a single room. Yesterday they closed the School for a few days as there were so many sick boys. It was just my luck to have to go to Bed again during a Holaday. I didn’t no till today that I have had “Spanish Influensa” only I had a very mild case so they say. I started it going in the School. Two masters are sick also with Influenza They think. Also the Boys have it over at the Infirmary and one boy is very dangerously ill and has a special trained nurse with him. Today they think he has Pneumonia. They take the Tempetures of all the Boys every afternoon now, and as I had 99.3 I had to go to bed. It was precaution so that I wont get a cold and get Pneumonia which I would very likely get if I got even a slight cold but Im alright so don’t worry and tell Mother not to Maybe they will have to close the School intirely Hope Helen is better Best love Morton Am in bed now.
P.S. Hope no Influenza at Foxcroft
Thirteen-year-old Morton survived his flu, as did his four sisters. The letters between them mention concern over wearing masks, being isolated from their friends, and fears over schools closing.
*Historical transcriptions are precise- grammatical errors, mistakes, misspellings, and all.