Dr Elizabeth Ross, Letters from Persia, Nov 1907

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A letter from Dr Elizabeth Ross, sent to her mother in Tain, telling of her arrival in Persia, modern-day Iran, where she had taken work as a Doctor.

Nov. 1907


My dear Mamma,

            We have at last arrived in Persia. We stayed at Baku till Thursday as cholera was bad & if we had left before we would have had to go by the mail boat which puts you down for quarantine, five days in a little house mixed up with all sorts of people.

We went by a Persian ship which was rather horrible as though we did not know it crowds were going for a pilgrimage. The decks were crowded with pilgrims not an inch of space! We got a cabin to ourselves with difficulty. The noise had his head in the window all night, the row of all the Mohamadian’s & Turks was awful. We were two nights in the ship, the doctor would not let us go out of the cabin because of the charming purs..ights . There were two more persons on board, the consuls from Belgium & Constantinople & their staff.

We were supposed to quarantine at Custnow but cholera was very bad there & so they sent us on to Enzeli. A French doctor was in charge there & he was very nice, he arranged to make the hotel a quarantine station for us, the Persian ??? & families & a French man woman & child, and thus saved us from the horrible mixed quarantine station.

There are some women missionaries stopping here & they are mad at us only as they are afraid. We are enjoying ourselves very much now we are onshore but we should all have collapsed long ago if it were not for your tea basket it held all we had to eat on the ship as we could not touch their filthy stuff. You would laugh to see us here, ?? are at the door to prevent us leaving. However, we hope to proceed in two or three days- B?e of the ??? was meant to meet us but we could not get to him or him to us. You might all be dead & buried for all I hear of you, our last English paper is Nov 6th. I hope to get some news at Pesht if you have not quite forgotten me. The Dr amused me in Baku by buying me some more instruments & I think we shall have enough.

            We are now sitting on the balcony of the hotel about two yards from the sea, it is very hot & there is a range of mountains quite close covered with snow.

I do not think I have more news at present.


                                                            E. N. MacBean. Ross