The October 2007 issue of Kentucky Humanities includes a photograph and story related to a letter held in the Manuscripts area of the Kentucky Library & Museum. The letter is dated August 1, 1830 and was written by Rebecca Condict of Warrick County, Indiana, to her sister Mary Condict of Ohio County, Kentucky. In the letter Rebecca writes her sister that she has found a possible remedy for â€œthe sick spells that you are subject to.â€ Rebecca proceeds to explain to her sister how to bathe.
She tells her sibling, â€œthe first time you wash you had better take a little soap and a cloth and rub hard. Have someone one to rub your back where you canâ€™t rub, when you are done washing rub off with a dry cloth every time, you need not use the soap only the first time, but the cloth every time. You must commence at your head, put the water on your head, plenty of it, put it on with your cloth or pour it on if you can stand it. We have tried it all of us and we think it makes us feel better every time we do it.â€
This fun excerpt is only one of a thousand stories that can be abstracted from the letters, diaries, journals, court records and documents housed in Manuscripts & Folklife Archives at the Kentucky Building. The Kentucky Humanities Council publishes Kentucky Humanities semi-annually.