It may be One of Those Letters

W. T. Parker
1896 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  
In looking over files of letters, in the old leather trunk that did service for two generations of students, at Dartsmouth and Brunswick colleges, I find a number of letters, written by Dr. Mussey, one also by Dr. Alcot of Boston, to my father saying that Dr. Mussey had referred him to Dr. Blaisdell for help, on a book he was then preparing on Vegetable Diet. The letters show him, Dr. Mussey, to be so much like the character given him by Dr. Hamilton, that I can plainly see how true the article
more » ... ow true the article is, as written by Dr. Hamilton ; the letters show that he did not regard the practice of medicine the only duties of a doctor, but that there were moral and social duties that were required at his hands, and the letters show how ready he was to give credit for moral and religious worth, as found in his students, and to help them, as he best could by showing their good points to advantage, by calling the atten¬ tion of those, who were able to judge liest in these matters ; he must have been a big hearted man, one whose conflict with life had not made him hard or selfish. I find among other papers, a part of a temperance lecture, which must have been delivered shortly after my father had left the medical school;· it was about the time Neil Dow was beginning his temperance work in Maine, some sixty years ago. The lecture met with much favor, it would appear, in the rather scholarly town in which he had located. I was surprised, to see how fearless as a young doctor, he handled his subject, neither having fear of foe, or quoting favors, showing plainly the action of alcohol in its various forms on the human system, and its moral and political influence throughout the broad land of ours. It appears to me, although some sixty years have gone by, that he handled his subject with as much skill and force as those of this later day, and now I can see how fully he was prepared to battle with that great evil of all times, intemperance, by having the example and teaching of that great and religious man, Dr. Mussey, who labored so faithfully for the moral good of his students. How much pleasure it no doubt would have afforded Dr. Mussey, could he have then known in life, that in years long after, when life's work was over, he should be so well remem¬ bered, as he is in the article given us by Dr. Hamilton, and it does seem good in these times of rush and push, on and on, when one is forgotten ere he is hardly gone, that one yet finds some, like Dr. Hamilton, who appreciate moral worth, and are willing to bring it before those who are about coming on to the field of action in life, and to whom it will be an incentive to do right, because it is right, without fear or favor. Very truly, Irving C. Blaisdell, M.D.
doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430710041013 fatcat:exrtm2iarbfrnfgbn7echipr3q