University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Warm Springs: Letter from John Baylor to his son John, August 26, 1805

Excerpt from Baylor’s letter

Mr. Baylor, writing early in the nineteenth century from Warm Springs, describes his visit the day before to the Sulphur Springs which probably refers to the White Sulphur Springs. He states that the dining hall and huts for families were made of logs. He also comments on the offensive smell of the water. For more on the Baylor family click on the Complete Guide to the Baylor Family Papers. See also the Diary of John Baylor.

Papers of the Baylor family of Newmarket, Caroline County, Va, Accession #2257, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.

Warm Springs Bath County

My dear John,
Augt: 26, 1805
Your brother George and myself returned home yesterday from the Sulphur Springs distant from this place thirty eight Miles …
… From the unfair experiment which I made of the Waters at the Sulphur Springs, I cannot boast of any great things towards one curing any malarial [unclear] for the better, I took cold at the hot Springs five miles distant from this place on my way to the Sulphur Spring which prevented me bathing and using the waters, as I should have done my neck is perhaps something better, I walk one mile or two before breakfast, I have a good appetite, and rest well, I am now getting the better of my cold, and shall go into the bath morning and Evening — the Situation of the ground about the [sulphur] Springs is capable of greater improvement than at these, the general dining Room for the Company is built of Logs, the universal fashion of this Country a number of log huts for Families – your approach to the Springs at the distance of forty yards, you are struck with the offensive smell of the waters, resembling more the [ ] of a dirty Barrel of a gun, the Spring is very cold and transparent the walls of which are covered with sulphur, and every thing. But it falls on very [unclear] this spring emties into Howard’s Creek about one hundred twenty yards from where the waters was drank, and connect with green briar, and New Rivers, the waters of the western part of our hemisphere There are evident marks about the Spring of the Stones being burnt by fire. There must have been some volcanic eruption years ago.…

Your very loving and affectionate Father John Baylor

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