Letter from Florence R. Sabin to Ella Strong Denison
In this letter to Sabin's good friend Ella Denison, she details her plans for service during World War I. Sabin became
friends with Denison and her children when she tutored the children in science during summer of 1895. Denison was very active
in the support of education in Denver, and later established a medical research foundation in honor of her son, Henry Strong
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
7 (322,943 Bytes)
1917-03-27 (March 27, 1917)
Sabin, Florence R.
Denison, Ella Strong
Original Repository: Smith College. Sophia Smith Collection. Florence Rena Sabin Papers
Reproduced with permission of Geraldine F. Swan.
On the Faculty at 'The Hopkins', 1902-1925
Box Number: 10
Folder Number: 2
My dear Mrs. Denison,
I have just finished signing up my card of registry for service in the war. The University [Johns Hopkins] as I understand
it has offered its entire equipment and each member of the staff is asked to say what he will do. I have put down:
1. Teaching in the medical school
2. Working in a clinical laboratory
3. Making supplies and dressings
I put down that I had had training as a physician and a chauffeur [ambulance driver] and could speak German. Ouch, I should
hate to be sent to Germany as a spy--I said to someone that I should be afraid that I should talk against the Germans--and
the reply was I should only need to "look." The Hopkins will be made a base hospital and I think that the laboratory
may be used for teaching part of the time and for making serums and supplies the rest of the time.
I have gotten over thinking that the end is in sight. One of our men who has just come back from England says that the English
have become so efficient that they don't need us.
I am enclosing a poem by one of the most distinguished of the English doctors, a neurologist, which seems to me quite thrilling.
He has probably given us our very best analysis of the sensory side of the nervous system and has done a lot of medical work
in the war, and this was probably written on one of his days of respite for the terrible strain. This week's New York
Times has a very fine account from the medical standpoint of the nervous wrecks of the war.
A letter from Carla [Denison] sounds as if everything was really all right out there. I was sorry that I told you about Edith
for it seems that it wasn't anything serious. I was myself much worried over what Mary had written. Carla's letter
would make me long to go to California to see the roses if we weren't having such exciting times right here.
The kimono is a beauty. It was a great surprise, I couldn't imagine what the box was that I found on the stairs one day.
If the Mexicans and the Germans don't march right through this summer what good times we shall have--unless the last two
lines of Head's [?] poem come true for us.
The German retreat is very puzzling. I feared that they might have mined the whole zone, but everyone here says that it would
be too expensive.
Mrs. Horace Rilly [?] has just been here. She says that Baker, the Secretary of War, is an ardent pacifist and Dr. Weed says
that he bankrupted Cleveland, so it may be well if he resigns.
Dr. Cowdry is going to China with the new Rockefeller medical school [Peking Union] He is the Canadian who has been assisting
me of whom we were talking. It's a fine opportunity for him and we are all glad for him. Our staff will probably be cut
down one half next year.
I wish you were here now to hear all the discussion about the war.