Letter from Featherstone Lake Osler to the Bishop of Toronto [Transcript]
Featherstone Osler asks to be relocated to parish in an area where his children will have access to a good education, somewhere
that would not require constant traveling. Two of his children have already received a good education, but there are six
others that he cannot afford to send to school.
[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 (1,045,902 Bytes)
1854-09-12 (September 12, 1854)
Osler, Featherstone Lake
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.
Sept. 12, 1854
After much serious and earnest consideration I feel it to be my duty to ask your Lordship to remove me where an opportunity
may occur to a change where my children may be reasonably educated and where I may perform my duty without such constant traveling
as is necessary here.
The time was when I did not feel this a labour now it is most painful to me and he almost continual pain in my back warns
me that if I must continue to exercise my ministry and its must be where much less traveling is necessary. Even the appointment
of another clergyman to this section of the country which are Lordship has kindly promised though greatly relieved my mind
will afford very little bodily relief as he ought to reside in Nottawasaga L. Enc. But with one to have charge of those places
a clergyman able to write on horseback may readily perform the duties here. While for my inability now to use that mode of
traveling during the spring and autumn my duties are painfully and imperfectly done. I cannot describe to your Lordship how
heavily this presses upon my mind -- it grieves me to the heart while in another place I might work with comfort to myself
and with God's blessing profit to the people.
Another thing which makes it necessary that I should remove to some other place is for the educating of my children. Tho the
eldest have received good education but there are six others who now require it and I cannot afford to send many from home
to school. I had expected to receive a comfortable income from private property and home (the villainy of an agent deprived
me of it) and though the law condemned him to make good any loss and pay every expense from one who has no visible property
nothing could be obtained. Therefore with the exception of 50 or 60 pounds I am entirely dependent on my clerical income.
Still I am neither in debt or difficulty but I think it right to state to your Lordship who has ever been so kind of friend
to me exactly how I am situated. Mrs. Osler's health too is very indifferent and I think a change might be of service
Your Lordship I trust knows me sufficiently to believe that it is not to avoid work that I seek removal but that I may work
somewhere more suited to my present ability. I am aware that an appointment such as I require may not for some time be at
your Lordship's disposal but I have felt it a duty to state my wish and my circumstances with the hope that where such
occurs your Lordship will add another favour to the many I have received at your hands and give the appointment to me.