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Medical and Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye Part IV / ANATOMY, LEGAL ASPECTS. A group of 6 items

LOT 1005
A group of 6 items:
20 – 29 June 2022, 12:00 EDT
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A group of 6 items:
1. BIGELOW, HENRY J. 1818-1890. Autograph Letter Signed to Levi Lincoln. 3 pp, Boston, October 9, 1859. Bigelow writes: "I endeavored in our conversation a few days ago, to explain to you our difficulty. I am loath to trespass on your valuable time, or on that of the Governor, and have endeavored in doing so to be concise. It would seem desirable to give these local authorities a hint that the Anatomy law is not a dead letter, dependent for its administration on the good will alone of a superintendent, who, if conciliated, may supply a friend or any important applicant; - and it seems also very desirable to infuse a little courage into some of these incumbents, who sometimes have, as I must think, a feeling that they are endangering their places, by meddling in a matter, which though legal, is not usually ventilated at court. The truth is that Bridgewater could probably furnish a very fair supply of subjects, from the wholly friendless 'Kanaka' sailors of New Bedford, who die there of phthisis. We cannot remonstrate with nor urge the autocrats of these institutions, as every South Sea savage would then forthwith have friends, who would request his burial. Our policy is, therefore, for obvious reasons, wholly conciliatory; and in this view my present letter to Gov. Banks might be suicidal* to our school, except that I have full confidence, in his good judgment as to the propriety of moving at all, in the matter; and especially in his great ability to determine the most judicious move to make. With many thanks for your civility.... [P.S. "*This is also the reason I have not specified in the letter [to Governor Banks], the fact that subjects are sent out of the state - but have only alluded to it." Henry J. Bigelow was an 1841 Harvard medical graduate who "became the leading surgeon of New England during his lifetime....and one of the pioneers in the study of surgical pathology, being one of the earliest microscopists in the country....He was elected professor of surgery at Harvard in 1849, holding this position until 1882." (Kelly Burrage, pp 95-97.) Levi Lincoln (1782-1868) was a Harvard College graduate who served as governor of Massachusetts from 1825 to 1834, when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving until 1841. "Between 1849 and 1868 Lincoln devoted himself to philanthropic, charitable, and community affairs.... Lincoln was a stable and highly respected public official during a politically chaotic time." (ANB 13:678-679.) Fold creases, browning.
2. ---. Autograph Letter Signed to Nathaniel Prentiss Banks. 4 pp, Boston, October 9, 1859. In this long letter Bigelow writes, in part: "Sir, I take the liberty respectfully to call your attention to one or two points connected with the administration of the present Anatomy law; a delicate subject concerning which it has occurred to me that a word or two from yourself, should your judgment dictate it, would greatly subserve the interests of medical education.... Last year, at the opening of the winter course of lectures here, (Nov. 1st) a period when students, by their robust health, are best prepared to encounter the fatigues of dissection, and when subjects are on that account, by far the most needed, no subject was to be had for some time. Afterwards they were procured. It is well understood that one great object of country students in attending lectures in cities, is the facility there afforded for the pursuit of this essential branch of medical education. In New York the illegal supply is generally abundant, often prodigal, but in this state where the illegal procuring of subjects is now unheard of, the working of the legal enactment is sometimes very uncertain and the law, which if enforced and carried out as was designed, would furnish an ample provision, is sometimes greatly restricted in its operation by the sort of local influences, to which I have ventured briefly to avert. I leave this subject without further suggestion, fully aware that your excellency will determine its bearings, and the general propriety or expediency of any action in relation to it, better than I should be able to do."
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks (1816-1894) was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1848 and resigned in 1857 when he became governor of Massachusetts. Abraham Lincoln appointed him Major General in the Union Troops in 1861. "During the 1820s the problem [of an inadequate supply of cadavers that were acquired legally] was agitated quite extensively before the public. A movement to legalize the supply of anatomical subjects was advancing contemporaneously in Great Britain....In this atmosphere, following a riot in New Haven in 1824, Connecticut authorized the delivery of unclaimed bodies of convicts dying in Newgate to the medical institution at Yale....Later in the decade, however, Massachusetts took the lead in this movement....As a result of this agitation the Massachusetts General Court in 1831 passes America's first real anatomy act." John Blake, "The Development of American Anatomy Acts," Journal of Medical Education. 1955. 30:431-439. Fold creases, browning.
3. Address to the Community, on the Necessity of Legalizing the Study of Anatomy. Boston: Perkins & Marvin 1829. Pamphlet (27 pp). Disbound, removed from a bound volume. WORTHINGTON HOOKER'S COPY (signature on title page). FIRST EDITION. The committee that published this pamphlet included George C. Shattuck and John C. Warren, who played a major role in securing passage of the Massachusetts Anatomy Act of 1831. In 1846 Warren performed the first major operation under ether anesthesia, which Henry J. Bigelow announced to the world through his article in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. Worthington Hooker (1806-1867) was an 1829 medical graduate of Harvard who became a leading physician and medical teacher of his generation. Scattered foxing.
4. DRAPER, JOHN W. 1811-1882. Petition of the Medical Faculty of the University of New York, to the Honorable the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York, for the Legalization of Anatomy. Also, an Introductory Lecture, Delivered at the Opening of the Medical Department of the University, for Session 1853-4, and Entitled an Appeal to the People of the State of New York, to Legalize the Dissection of the Dead. New York: 1854. Pamphlet. Printed wrappers. FIRST EDITION. John W. Draper received his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1836, and accepted the chair of chemistry at the University of the City of New York three years later. He co-founded the medical school at that institution in 1841. In 1850 he became Professor of Physiology and President at the Medical College. Light wear and browning.
5. "On the Importance of the Study of Anatomy." Boston: Wells & Lilly, 1825. Pamphlet (12 pp). Self-wrappers. Small library stamp on front wrapper. SIGNATURE OF REVEREND JOHN ANDREWS ON TITLE PAGE. FIRST EDITION The final lines in this pamphlet read, "The number of medical students in Boston the last season was about one hundred and thirty. If anatomy could not be learnt at home more than one hundred of these students would remain ignorant, for want of means to go to foreign countries. What miseries would their ignorance produce?" Library markings, light chipping to edges, scattered browning.
6. BLAKE, JOHN. "The Development of American Anatomy Acts." 1955. Offprint. Wrappers. Light toning.

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