LETTERS READ: Hermann & Grima Family Letters

Thursday, June 29th, 2017, 6:30-8pm,
Tickets limited: 30 guests maximum
Ca. 1830 to the American Civil War
Hermann-Grima House
820 St. Louis Street, NOLA
Tickets at the door are $10 Regular Admission / $7 Seniors / $5 Members

LETTERS READ is an ongoing series of live events in which performers read historically important personal letters vital to the culture of New Orleans. A collaboration between Nancy Sharon Collins, stationer, Antenna, and venues such as the evening’s Hermann-Grima+Gallier Historic Houses (HGGHH).

June 29 readings are by thespian and burlesque historian Ashton Akridge, Big Easy Award winner Richard Mayer, along with a relative newcomer on the New Orleans theatre scene, Aaron Richert, currently performing in Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre.

This event gives a special glimpse into the personal lives of a few, well to do, French Quarter residents from the antebellum era to battlefield accounts during the Civil War. Readings also include: a love triangle resulting in a duel, antiquated healthcare techniques such as blood letting with leeches and home made small pox remedies—and—the occasional personal request (heavily paraphrased here) “dear brother…while you’re out and about during your Parisian stay, would you mind picking up for me a little opium?”

In addition to HGGHH staff, several institutions and individuals are instrumental in making this Letters Read segment possible: Jenny Dyer, Education Director, HGGHH, Nicole Horne, Tulane University doctoral candidate for translating, editing, and notating some of the letters, Tulane University Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and The Historic New Orleans Collection Williams Research Center (WRC) where some of the letters are housed. Thanks also to M. L. Eichhorn, Senior Reference Associate at WRC, and Dr. Adrienne McFaul helping formulate the evening’s introduction.

Shown as this page background is the pocket surgical instrument case, used by Dr. Victor Grima (1837-1877). Charrière, Paris, circa 1860-65. Courtesy of the Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, Gift of Joseph Grima Bernard. Dr. Victor Grima was a medical practitioner, who was an early “specialist” in ophthalmology in the United States and who, with others that studied in France, played his part, in shaping the “French period” in American medicine. It is certain that after qualifying he studied for some time in Paris where in 1868 he presented a thesis on Traumatic Cataract for the M.D. of the Medical Faculty of Paris. On his return to the United States, he was appointed surgeon to the Eye Wards of the Charity Hospital of New Orleans and Lecturer on Eye Diseases in the Medical Department of the University of Louisiana.
Scroll to Top