Original Repository: Howard University. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Charles R. Drew Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
"My Chief Interest Was and Is Surgery"--Howard University, 1941-1950
Letter from Charles R. Drew to John Becker (January 1, 1945)
Dear Mr. Becker:
Find enclosed as requested a photograph and a brief factual biography. I'll make no further comment on the Plasma Bank
than the following three quotations:
1. A copy of the telegram requesting me to accept the position as Director of the British Project from Mr. John F. Bush, President
of the Blood Transfusion Association of New York City.
"The Board of Medical Control of the Blood Transfusion Betterment Association at its meeting this afternoon decided to
create a position of full-time Medical Supervisor to act as liaison officer between the Board and the Hospitals engaged in
procuring plasma for shipment to the British Red Cross. I am requested to offer this position and all it involves to you as
being the best qualified of any one we know to act in this important development. I am sure your University will feel under
the wartime circumstances it will grant you a leave of absence at least until the first of the year to help us in our efforts
with the American Red Cross in establishing this vital medical relief. Will you please wire or telephone me if you can arrange
the matter and in so doing just how long you can remain and what you feel under the circumstances would be the proper monthly
compensation to be paid you. I cannot tell you how much depends upon your University and yourself giving us a favorable reply.
I await your answer with the utmost interest." John F. Bush, President Blood Transfusion Betterment Association.
2. Copy of a telegram from Doctor John Beatty, Director of Research, Division of Royal College of Surgeons in England, physician
in charge of transfusions and shock treatment for the R. A. F. during the blitz on London in 1940.
"Could you secure five thousand ampoules dried plasma for transfusion work immediately and follow this by equal quantity
in three to four weeks. Contents each ampoule would represent about one pint of whole plasma." Beattie
3. A copy of the statement presented for engraving on the plaque of a portrait done by Betsy Graves Rayneau which was written
by Doctor John Scudder, Director of the Blood Bank, Presbyterian Hospital and my associate and immediate supervisor in the
experimental work which led to my later appointment in charge of the first Blood Plasma Bank for the American Red Cross.
"Charles R. Drew. A brother of mankind and a lover of freedom and truth.
He labored industriously from 1938 - 1940 on the problems of blood preservation in the Department of Surgery at the Presbyterian
Hospital, New York.
He was recalled from Washington to act as medical supervisor of the Blood Plasma for Britain. He was appointed the director
of the first American Red Cross Blood Plasma Bank at the Presbyterian Hospital. The success of this trial bank made possible
the great undertaking of the American Red Cross in furnishing plasma for the Armed Forces of the United States." John