In this letter, Cushing gives his perspective on the full-time clinical faculty debate at Johns Hopkins and the how the administration
at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston is handling the question. He also talks extensively about Maxwell's Vesalius
and other book-buying matters.
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2 (1,618,994 Bytes)
1913-12-16 (December 16, 1913)
Original Repository: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University. Bibliotheca Osleriana
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Sir William: Regius Professor at Oxford, 1905-1919
December 16th, 1913.
Dear Sir William: -
I'm glad to have heard from you and to know that you have possession of another copy of Maxwell's Vesalius. I had
not sent in a bid for it, and indeed shall in all likelihood have to curtail on book-buying if this academic post business
goes through here in Boston as it has in Baltimore.
The General Education Board are after Mr. Lowell, and I have had a number of conferences with him. I wish I felt more sure
of the local situation, for Halsted's acceptance of the scheme is a little different I think than would be ours here,
in view of the more definite hospital and university association in Baltimore. Under present conditions, though overworked
with administrative things I nevertheless feel that I am a freelance, whereas on the other basis I apprehend that it might
be very easy to become enslaved by the institution and to be exploited by it. Flexner says that he heartily approves of just
what I'm doing here, but thinks that as an example to others it would be necessary to go on a fixed salary. On this basis
the returns of course would go to the hospital; and I cannot for the life of me see why the institution, as it is at present
administered, would not be just as likely to be led away by the temptation to make money out of me as I am likely to be led
away by the temptation to give most of my time to making money out of patients.
Have you, by the way, any copies of your letter to Mr. Remsen? If by chance you have and can spare one I should be very glad
to have it.
All this, however, is a far cry from Maxwell's Vesalius. I cannot imagine a better place to put this extra copy then in
Sudhoff's hands. I shall be interested to know what he says about the proposed re-issue.
I have had a long letter from Heger, in which he tells me that they have determined to publish a memorial volume containing,
first series of the portraits, second of the metals, third a biography, fourth the three papers which will be read at commemoration,
and fifth in bibliography. We shall all look forward with interest to the publication of these things. My suggestion that
I collaborate with him in putting together the portraits does not seem to have met with his approval, for he says that he
has had the good fortune to find a Mr. M. H. Spielmann of London, who has made a collection for him of photographs of the
twelve portraits. He wishes to know if the republication of the Tabulae Sex could in any way be merged with their memorial
volume. He feels, however, that it would be a difficult thing to do, from several points of view, and particularly as the
Government is going to subsidize the memorial volume, and he thinks that on the whole it would be better for us to republish
the Tabulae Sex independently.
We are all well and flourishing, I am glad to say, and the children grow apace. They would all greatly like to see you.
The best greetings from the New York from all of us to all of you,
[Handwritten note] We enjoyed the [?] hugely. They proved delightful visitors and everyone like them. Our Harvard Historical
Club seems to have found a receptive group. Streeter is a great [?]. We are taking up the diseases associated with individual,
seriatim - Parkinson, Hodgkin, [?] etc. - as we have cases in the hospital. Rather good for the students to show the case
with the original description and also letters or photos or whatever else may be at hand at the [?]. [?] used to do in Balto.