MS of Egerton Yorrick Davis, MD, late U.S. Army of Caughnawauga, P.Q.
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Original Repository: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University. Bibliotheca Osleriana
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Philadelphia Years: The University of Pennsylvania, 1884-1889
[Typed transcript of "MS of Egerton Yorrick Davis, MD, late U.S. Army of Caughnawauga, P.Q."] 
MS of Egerton Yorrick Davis, M. D., Late U.S. Army of Caughnawauga, P. Q.
I never could understand about Egerton Y. Davis. He is reputed to have practiced at Caughnawauga, nearly opposite to Montreal,
where his collections were stored in the Guildhall. Some have said that he was a drunken old reprobate, but, the only occasion
on which I met him he seemed peaceful old rascal. One thing is certain he was drowned in the Lachine Rapids in 1884, and the
body was never recovered. He had a very varied life--any U.S. Army, in the Northwest, among the Indians, and as a general
practitioner in the north of London. I knew his son well--a nice, mild-mannered fellow, devoted to his father.
These notes of customs among the Indian tribes of the Great Slave Lake were sent to Dr. Molson *just after he had taken over
the Montreal Med. Journal with Dr. Ross.* One day I was in the job-room of the Gazette office with the Jr was printed, and
Conolly said "Oh there is an awful article for the Journal this month--Peter is in despair about it (P. With the compositor)
and says Dr. Ross will never print it. I went over and found the sheets--all set up. I told Conolly that Davis had not a very
good reputation and to hold the printing until Dr. Ross on the article. Of course he saw at once it was not fit to print.
I heard nothing more of Davis until I went to Philadelphia. I was on the staff of the Medical News, and Parvin, in 1884 in
1885, was very interested in the action of the perineal muscles, and in an editorial article discussed the question of the
constrictor cunni, and the possibility of the old idea of a penis captivus. One day I met Minus Hays, the editor, who said
"by the way, do you know Egerton Y. Davis, who lives somewhere near Montreal. Parvin is delighted as he has sent the report
of a case of penis captivus, just such as he thought possible." I said "Hays, for heavens sake! Do not print anything
from that mandate this. I know he is not a reputable character. Ross and Roddick know him well." "Too late now,"
Hays said "the journals printed off." So the letter appeared in the number, - 1885. It is stated from - . The cases
gone into literature, and is often quoted. Minis Hays was disgusted, as Ross insisted that Davis was a joke, and he and Roddick
hinted that I, of all people! was the only one who knew anything about him. Some went so far as to say that I was Davis, and
the rumor got about Philadelphia. I never once met the man. Afterwards I often use his name when I did not wish to be known.
I would sign my name in the Hotel Registers as E. Y. D., Caughnawauga. Once, Atlantic City, after I had had broncho-pneumonia,
I registered under that name, immediately after Mrs. Osler and Revere. I had been there a week when a man came up to me and
said "are you Dr. Osler? I have been looking for you for a week; your secretary said you were away and not to be got at.
My son is ill here and I wish to see him." He had said to Cadwallader Biddle "who is that fellow, Davis, all the time
with Mrs. Osler?" and was furious when he found that I had registered under that name. They tell me in Montreal many jokes
about Davis, and father many of them on me. I'm only sorry that I did not see more of him, and I never visited his collections
at the Guildhall, Caughnawauga.
Note. For very good variation of the Egerton Y. Davis story see Bayard Holmes, no. - p. 8.
[HANDWRITTEN NOTE: *For an excellent variation of the story, containing all the essentials but the truth, see No. "The
Relation of Medical Literature to Professional Esteem" by Dr. Bayard Holmes. W. O.]