Letter from Barbara McClintock to Charles R. Burnham
McClintock thanked Burnham for assisting her attempts to get Peter Peterson, who would become a noted maize geneticist in
his own right, into a graduate program. She informs Burnham that Peterson decided to attend the University of Illinois.
Writing just months before her first long "memo" to Marcus Rhoades, McClintock also mentioned the "exciting"
direction her research had taken.
Item is handwritten. Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (145,151 Bytes)
9 August 1948?
Burnham, Charles R.
Original Repository: University of Minnesota, University Archives. Charles Burnham Papers
Reproduced with permission of the University of Minnesota, University Archives. Charles Burnham Papers
Breakage-Fusion-Bridge: The University of Missouri, 1936-1941
Box Number: 3
Folder Number: 5
Dear Charlie --
Thank you for both of your letters concerning Peterson. Both of them were very thoughtful. From your first letter, I concluded
you were not in much of a position to take any action and I really did not want to ask unless you felt such a person might
be useful in some way to you. I am not at all sure of Peterson as a student but know he would make an excellent assistant
for cytogenetic work even if he did not work out well enough as a graduate student. In the meantime, Peterson heard from the
University of Illinois that they would accept him as a grad. student on probation -- because of his rather poor undergraduate
work. I had not spoken to Marcus about him at the time I wrote to you and Marcus was in Paris. I have not mentioned it to
him as yet, but Peter went over to see Marcus and after the interview decided to go to Illinois. He has G.I. funds for 5 terms
to carry him along. No one is under obligation except Peterson to prove himself. I suspect he may make a good plant breeder
if he does not do too well in original research. Anyway, his future is settled
[END PAGE ONE]
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for the time being. It was nice of you to respond so generously in thought and I appreciate your consideration so much.
Have been working like hell on an exciting over-all problem in genetics with wonderful results. It gets me up early and keeps
me up late! Hope the body hangs together until the scare [?] is over.
[M---nt] and quite thoroughly your relation to Andy. It is difficult and has caused me much hesitation about working on maize
at Cal. Tech. I can take only so much of it without blowing my top.
Have a good trip home. You will be glad to be back, no doubt.
And, many thanks again,
Tell Roman I appreciated his letter and will send a reply to it as soon as my time is free which should be in a few days.