Letter from Grace Osler to Harvey Cushing [Transcript]
Osler had to cancel his meeting with the Harvard men. Lady Osler is disappointed that the Johns Hopkins has not done enough
to help in the war effort. She reflects on the role of women in the war, and regrets that she is not a trained nurse. She
comments on the abundance of war casualties, and hopes that Revere will be spared a similar fate.
[Description courtesy of McGill University.]
About this transcript: Soon after Osler's death in 1919, Lady Osler asked their good friend Dr. Harvey Cushing to write
a biography. For this project, Cushing gathered a wide variety of material, including a substantial amount of Osler correspondence
and other memorabilia borrowed from Osler's family, friends, and colleagues. He employed three secretaries to transcribe
these documents, and later donated the transcripts (along with his other working materials) to the Osler Library. Because
many of the original documents were returned to the owners, the Cushing transcripts constitute the largest and most accessible
collection of Osler's correspondence.
Harvey Cushing's "Life of Sir William Osler" was published by Oxford University Press in 1925, and was awarded
a Pulitzer Prize in 1926.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (553,998 Bytes)
1916-09-07 (September 7, 1916)
Transcriber: [Cushing, Harvey]
Original Repository: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University. Osler Library Archive Collections, P417: Harvey Cushing Fonds
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Sir William: Regius Professor at Oxford, 1905-1919
(Letter to Dr. Cushing from Lady Osler)
13, Norham Gardens, Oxford
Sept. 7th (1916)
I have been too sorry not to see Dr. Jones--but he has promised to come on his way back from France. We have had a wild goose
chase--Sir William has been on a rampage lately and we had to break an engagement with the Harvard men as he was called away--he
saw him yesterday in town and had a nice chat. I am so proud of the Harvard men and so ashamed that the Hopkins has shown
such a mean little spirit--when it might have done so much good. Goodness--I wish you could come again! Surgery seems to me
to grow more wonderfully interesting everyday - but I suppose the kind I see - or the results would not interest you so much
- about just now there are so many heads bound up - that I daresay there would have been cases for you.
I have but one regret and that is that I am not a trained nurse. It is so wonderful too--you the evolution of the V.A.D.--The
work those girls do is simply wonderful and it will I am sure necessitate a reorganization and nursing in nursing methods
when the war is over--The women orderlies are conspicuous now-- and the Army cook in military hospitals is being replaced
by women. There will be a high old time suppressing the women if the war is ever over. We've had a delightful visit from
Dr. Welch--he is in France now--and I hope will be able to see much. Sir William is in Newcastle just now for the British
Assoc.--and to see Revere--who may go off at any time now--in the Artillery--He is very well & likes the work--in a way.
Do you suppose he will be spared to us? It is all too horrible to write about. The streets are full of legless & armless
men. We have our officers hospital now, about 260 beds and it is pathetic to see men who we have known in College--so full
of life--now on crutches or being pushed about in chairs. Somehow--the legless Scots are the saddest of all --for they look
so tough--but they are all merry & say "Thank God I am out of that Hell."
I am so glad our adopted children has made such good impression at L. B. H.--I wish you could find a place for Campbell H--
in Boston, it is a crime for them to be in Iowa and have those children go out there. You and Dr. Christian might concoct
something for him--very much love to you & Kate.