[S. Weir Mitchell, Collection Related to this Prominent Philadelphia Physician with a compelling ALS concerning abortion malpractice].
With a desperate letter begging to hear of a physician’s innocence, involving a case of a botched abortion
1. Autograph Letter Signed. Philadelphia, March 5, 1901. pp. Small 8vo. Handwritten letter from S. Weir Mitchell on mourning stationary, with transmittal envelope, addressed to fellow physician, Dr. C.H. Hollopeter. Hollopeter was an expert on hay fever and a clinical professor of pediatrics in the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia.
In full: “Dear Doctor - I know that your interest in Mr. Will O. [indistinct surname] to tell you that he has been in a quiet little Boarding house in W. Philadelphia. I heard that he was in the Penna Hospl. for the Insane. I am glad to say that it is not true and that he is slowly mending. Yrs. truly Weir Mitchell”
[With] An intriguing letter that may provide insight into this above individual, and acquired in tandem with the above item, viz.,
2. Autograph Letter Signed, 8vo, 2 pp. Bloomsburg, PA, August 30, 1877. Handwritten letter from a Frank [M. Everett], a bookstore manager, simply addressed to, “Dear Will”. A desperate letter begging to hear of a physician’s innocence, involving a case of a botched abortion.
In part: “Dear Will: I suppose of course you have already heard of the terrible revelations at Muncy, [Pennsylvania]. For friendship’s sake and by all you hold dear answer me truly, Did you know anything of this horrible business before you left Muncy? For fear you may not be informed I will say, Maggie was delivered of a five months child on last Friday. She has been murdered by mal-practice. John has disappeared for fear of arrest, but as of yet has not been arrested though One Hundred Dollars is offered for him. Dr. Rankin is under arrest – and all Muncy is alive with indignation. Do not deceive me Will as I could not bear to lose confidence in you. I cannot think you knew anything of it, as you told me you had turned the case over to Dr. R. when it became necessary to have an examination. It is hard enough to lose confidence in John, so tell me and tell me as you value our friendship, the truth, that you did not know of this hellish piece of business. It is supposed John has gone to Germany though this is only conjecture ... I feel terribly as also does my wife and we are both anxious to know that you are innocent. Yours ever, Frank. Can’t you come up [?]”
3. Mitchell, S. Weir. The Wager and Other Poems. NY: Century, 1900. First Edition. A poor copy. A pencil inscription to front free endpaper (not in Mitchell’s hand) reads: “Gertrude McCall [sic?] from the author” [AND] With an autograph note signed by S. Weir Mitchell, on Mitchell’s stationary, entirely in his hand, that reads: “Dear Miss Gertrude. I like to think that the much loved flowers came from here. I doubt it, but in all events it came from you which I count pleasant. Thanks. Yrs faithfully Weir Mitchell.”
4. Dr. S. Weir Mitchell Calling Card. With Mitchell’s address at 4254 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Old mounting traces to verso.
5. Richardson, Bartram. Original Pencil Drawing, apparently mailed to S. Weir Mitchell in 1880 while he was in London. Landscape format. Mounted. Overall, 11¾ x 8 inches. The image is signed lower left and shows two sarcophagi underground with a barred window. A remnant of a label from Philadelphia is on the verso, as are some other possible clues. It is conjectured that this drawing was for one Mitchell’s poems for a publication, perhaps a periodical. The drawing could have illustrated something along the lines of “Ode on a Lycian Tomb” or “Egypt” with the lines “Yon in the museum mighty Rameses sleeps / For some new childhood swaddled like a babe. Osiris and Jehovah, Allah, Christ, This land hath known…”
Description: [S. Weir Mitchell, Collection Related to this Prominent Philadelphia Physician with a compelling ALS concerning abortion malpractice].
[Various places, dates, formats]. Obtained separately; gathered here. Overall, very good.