Letter from Florence R. Sabin to Ella Strong Denison
In this typewritten letter to her good friend, Sabin describes her rush to finish up projects at Hopkins before leaving on
summer vacation, and news of her official appointment as a member of the Rockefeller Institute.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (242,421 Bytes)
1924-06-20 (June 20, 1924)
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
June 20, 1924.
My dear Mrs. Denison,
I telegraphed to Mary last night and intended to write to her this morning but fear that the letter would not arrive in time.
I did write to her immediately on receiving her letter but in my grand rush of work it did not get mailed. I have not worked
so hard in years; we have gotten three long papers done this spring and the fourth is almost ready for the final typing and
to do it I have worked at the laboratory until twelve and even one o'clock every night for about six weeks. That explains
why I have not been more energetic about Miss Traverse. I went over and asked about her just after your letter came and was
told that she was all right. It seems that she kept having colds this spring and they decided that it was due to tonsils,
so they have waited until the throat was in a condition to be operated on. In her case they think that it was a simple case
of tonsillitis but I will follow the matter up carefully. The doctor is away just now but all the tonsils removed are studied
carefully with reference to a possible tuberculosis. There were no physical signs of tuberculosis whatever and there will
be a final report on the sections of the tonsils. Miss Lawler advised Miss Travers to take her entire vacation at this time
but she herself preferred to take but a week or two weeks now and come back for July and go west in August. She went to the
country near here with some friend and was to have come back yesterday be she wrote that she would take another week. I will
see her when she comes back and try to persuade her to take her vacation now if the doctor thinks it wiser. I think that
she is not quite so happy in her work as she was at first. I am told that she has come under the influence of a small group
of nurses who are very disgruntled at the discipline. I don't know what the justice of the matter is but I expect that
the discipline is pretty rigid. I know that Miss Lawler, who is at the head, is a very fair-minded woman but it may be that
some of her assistants are pretty strict. It's true of all hospitals and the head nurses say that with so much very responsible
work to be done they just have to be strict.
I have received my formal appointment as a Member of the Rockefeller Institute and have accepted it. That is their highest
title under the director and is the full equivalent of the headship of any department in a University. I am very happy over
it. It means that I can put every bit that's in me into the problem that interests me most. I am exceedingly happy over
another thing. I had felt pretty badly over not having Dr. Cunningham in New York, he got the appointment at the now Vanderbilt
University before the New York plans were completed and Dr. Flexner could not bid against an Institute the Rockefeller Board
was building up. Dr. Cunningham had become so interested in our joint work that he hated to give it up. This spring our
work involved a study of the lesions in tuberculosis as well as leukemia and I was asked to go to the meeting of the Society
of Tuberculosis. I turned it over to Dr. Cunningham and he did awfully well and the Committee in charge decided to back him
in a study of tuberculosis giving him a grant of $3000.00 a year for expenses. The work has really grown out of our joint
work, one point he got and the other I found and we can get him well started in it here next year and I am exceedingly happy
about it. Please do not say anything about this to any of the people out there, for instance not to Dr. Sewall because the
matter has not been formally ratified by the Board and it is courtesy to let the Boards announce all these matters. I thought
that you would be especially interested and I will explain all the scientific points involved when I see you.
I fear that Mary will find our Eastern weather pretty bad. Washington is an impossible place for the N.E.A. to choose for
a July meeting. We have had a very cool and rainy spring but now it's scorching. I am glad that the heaviest part of
my work is done. We have still one more paper to write and a little more work to do on it, but it is a paper that can wait
until fall. The others could not because there were going to journals that come out one a year and we should have had to
wait another whole year if we hadn't finished up now.
Florence P. Sabin.
[Handwritten note: My but I'm anxious to get to Denver -- At the Rockefeller the buildings are closed for July and August
and I can relax when I please -- Am sending some tea to-day.]