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 Jessie F. Harris to Charles R. Drew (September 7, 1948)
September 17, 1948
My dear Mrs. Harris:
I always remember you with a sense of gratitude and with some sense of pride at the very fine impression you made upon my
class at Amherst College when you came there once to lecture and I had the rare privilege of being your guide while on the
campus. Since that time I have followed your work as a writer, speaker and an impressive citizen with great interest.
In spite of the first paragraph, I do not find time at present to write the sort of data which you have requested. I doubt
if I could write it if I had the time, for I do not remember any particularly memorable moment or any feeling of exultation
when the first plasma was flown by clipper plane to Europe. My chief interest was and is Surgery. The search at that time
was for some substance which was capable of restoring quickly a lower vitality of patients following extensive surgery and
severe trauma. That still is my prime interest. The plasma phase of the work became noteworthy because of the great need for
such a blood substitute on the battlefields.
I am enclosing three bits of data which may be of value to you in writing your own story -- the first is a biographical sketch,
which is simply factual; the second is a sort of 'halo' story written by an old fellow athlete; and the third is a
copy of a published report of my role in the introduction of plasma for the use of the Armed Forces of the Allies.
I do not have a photograph of myself at the present time, but if you should care to write to the -- Madlon Studios, 3319 --
14th St., N.W., Washington, D. C. They will be happy, I am sure, to supply you a glossy print of a photograph which they recently
took for the medical society.
Best of luck to you in the series which you are preparing.