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The Henry Swan Papers

Letter from Henry Swan to Florence R. Sabin pdf (1,214,912 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Henry Swan to Florence R. Sabin
Number of Image Pages:
1 (1,214,912 Bytes)
1951-11-28 (November 28, 1951)
Swan, Henry
[Sabin, Florence R.]
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
The Cold Heart: Hypothermia and Cardiac Surgery, 1949-1962
Box Number: 18
Folder Number: 1
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Personal and Biographical, 1936-1995
Folder: [Scrapbook, 1950 Apr-1951 Dec]
28 November 1951
Dear Doctor Florence,
Collecting and binding this volume of letters has been one of the most enjoyable and inspiring projects I have ever done. I had thought that I had a special monopoly on the degree of affection and esteem that some one could have for you, but you will see, this deep regard proves to be almost universal. To have meant so much to so many people, to have influenced their lives to be more productive and more satisfying, and in the meanwhile to have added so much to the storehouse of scientific understanding, is to have built the most beautiful and enduring personal monument within the scope of human capacity.
I believe I know the two-fold wells from which this magnetic power springs. First, you long ago learned, and your life has been the unimpeachable proof, that the really important values of human life lie in the realm of ideas. The curiosity to wish to understand, the drive of intellect keen to learn, and the recognition that principles derived from thoughtful analysis and tempered by human understanding form the soundest and most compelling basis for action, these will result inevitably in the calm internal satisfactions which comprise the serenity of impeccable moral integrity. Second, you have sought in action nothing for yourself. That individual who fights with purposes above and beyond himself with no personal gain in view stands impregnable. This innate potential almost unique to the professions is seldom fully achieved, but you have ever accomplished it - in teaching, in research, in public health, and in everyday human counsel. These are the sources of inspiration which have led all who knew you to consider themselves your debtor, although you consciously gave them nothing. I am proud to have been one of this fortunate many.
Eighty years is but a milestone. I know that for many moons to come you will wake up feeling "fine as silk", your eyes will sparkle as you ask "now don't you think that that is interesting", and from time to time you will get "hopping mad" because there is still injustice and unreasoning prejudice in our world today. May God continue to preserve you for our sake.
With deep esteem,
Henry Swan II
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