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The William Osler Papers

Letter from W. A. Johnson to William Osler pdf (3,628,665 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from W. A. Johnson to William Osler
Johnson hopes Osler's connection with McGill will prove an advantage to him in many ways. He sends Osler a specimen that he has not been able to identify. He also sends a copy of Taylor's "Holy Living." He does not think that Bovell will return to Weston this year.
[Description courtesy of McGill University.]
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. Many of the original documents were returned to the owners. The originals that were retained, together with 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.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
4 (3,628,665 Bytes)
1870-10-20 (October 20, 1870)
Johnson, W. A.
Osler, William
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.
Exhibit Category:
Medical Education and Early Career, McGill University, 1870-1884
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
20 - Oct. 1870
My dear Osler,
Your kind letter was duly received & gave me much pleasure. I hope your communication with McGill will prove an advantage to you in many ways. The size of the city & its various opportunities may prove of service alone, & the change of ideas together with seeing & knowing different persons ought to be of great service too. Jimmy tried the examination & failed not in things of any importance, but as the examination was suited chiefly for aged schoolmasters & such like, who might not have been within reach of early opportunities of knowledge & the rudiments of a liberal education, yet in this age of advancement ought not to be shut out, it was chiefly on English grammar from one book used in the common schools of which Jimmy did not know anything. I was glad of it, as you may suppose, because
as the matriculation examination with then carrying on at Trin. Coll.: I went to the Provost who told me to send [ . . . ] the [ . . . ] and is now at Trin. Coll. The Provost tells me they will certainly have a school of medicine in connection with the Coll. Next year & for the present he may take lectures where he pleases & they shall count. I send you by this mail a little bottle which you will get it easily by picking away the quarks with your penknife at both ends & the bottle will drop out. It contains specimens of my stranger. Vaginiscola?[?] I suppose but can not find anything in my illustrations like it. The two that are attached, one by a green leaf, the others a dry, were free when I put them into a saucer, but soon attached themselves to something. The others are four to a head, a case. [ . . . ] all in glycerin in which they show well. They put up well in [ . . . ]
too, but are less distorted [ . . . ]. No doubt some naturalist will tell you the name, if so, let me know. The tentacles are very like those of hydra. I believe the specimens to be [ . . . ] insect myself and if it could be watched[?] use might soon know all about it. I say larvae because they are formed of [ . . . ] the case and the tentacles only. The body and the booklets[?] gone. How I formed the tentacles only some years ago. I send you also a copy of Taylor's Holy Living. I have returned [ . . . ] as a joy of reading a few lines of it every morning before going downstairs & not a little [ . . . ] to see in it the origins of all my religions. [ . . . ] is practically religious ideas. It is a little book well worth using as a [ . . . ]. Its teaching is [ . . . ]
I trust & pray it may long be your friend & companion. We have not anything new done here. The Dr. (Bovell) is not likely to return this year. Poor Mrs. Howland longs to see him. I have been obliged to persuade her to send for Dr. [ . . . ] The [ . . . . ] attending her now. Dr. Ogden did attend her but he said he could not do anything for her & that she must eat & drink all she could. It was a hard life for her after attention such as Dr. Bovell paid to her every want & [ . . . ] promised me he would not neglect her & seems to be very attentive. She is mending again a little, though very low. We have fever of all kinds round us here & I understand you have plenty of it in Montreal too. Remember me very kindly to your Sister & all us who you find in Montreal to talk to about religious or Church matters, as well as scientific. Let me hear from you frequently. It is a sort of duty I would like to exact from you, as well as great pleasure to me. Hoping it will please God to bless you with health of mind & body & a strong zeal for others' welfare believe me and very affectionately yours
W. A. Johnson
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