Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from Sheldon A. Jacobson to Joshua Lederberg Annotation pdf (154,630 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Sheldon A. Jacobson to Joshua Lederberg
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (154,630 Bytes)
1946-01-21 (January 21, 1946)
Jacobson, Sheldon A.
Lederberg, Joshua
Courtesy of Joshua Lederberg.
The National Library of Medicine's Profiles in Science program has made every effort to secure proper permissions for posting items on the web site. In this instance, however, it has either not been possible to identify or contact the current copyright owner. If you have information regarding the copyright owner, please contact us at
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence A
Box Number: 6
Folder Number: 3
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1925-1947
Folder: 1946-1947
Jan. 21, 1946
My dear Lederberg,
Your letter was a most welcome one; that it went so long unanswered is attributable to the rapidity with which events have followed one another and my increasingly nerve of strain, rather than to any indifference to your missive or its writer.
I had a very interesting tour of duty as Staff Medical Officer to the Rear Admiral who was Commander, Werter Carolines Sub Area (headquarters, Peleliu) I had the general direction, infection and coordination of all medical, dental and sanitary activities (the largest a 1000-bed hospital of army, navy, marine and coast guard units in the Sub Area. It was far afield from pathology, but, as long as there was work to do, I enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, I discovered that I was one of the many who cannot live in the tropics. Asthma developed and became severe. I hung on for months, until the activity
having outlived its usefulness was to be disestablished. It was too long. I turned in in a state of collapse and was sent back, eventually, to St. Albans as a patient. By throwing around the weight of my stripes I got myself surveyed back to full duty, but have not yet actually recovered my erstwhile robust health.
As one of the first in (Sept., 1940) I rated early release. Surveying the civilian field, I inclined more and more toward a naval career, and had made application when the post of pathologist at this institution became vacant. It was just what I had always wanted, and my USN commission was, and would long continue to be, a bird in the bush. There was a terrific and unforeseen emotional conflict from which I am also far from recovered, but here I am. My promotion two days after I had had my orders canceled was an irony in which I took no joy.
I am and have been at work here since mid-December, being on terminal leave. The hospital is progressive, and has even let me engage a biochemist (Ph D). There is no doubt that it's a good set-up, and small town living has long been my dream.
Hope your finances was out O. K. Then the Columbia crew rows on the Housatonic, who don't you go see the race and visit me on the way back?
Good luck!
Cordially yours,
Sheldon A. Jacobson
P.S. Know a good bacteriology or general lab technician?
Metadata Last Modified Date:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples

Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW: US Navy; St. Albans;

"Jake" was my commanding officer, in charge of the hospital laboratories
@ USNH St Albans, where I served as a hospital corpsman 1944, between
terms as a V-12 premedical student.  He would have given anything to
continue a career in the regular Navy (he had USNR status during
WW-2.)  Unstated here, Harry Zimmermann was next in command.

jl  8/23/98