A Story of His Life By a Man Who Has Never Gotten Anywhere: Robert Lincoln Watkins, M.D., 1863-1934. An Ode to Music Teacher Max Treumann.

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At this point I will say something of one of my singing instructors and a very close friend, Max Treumann. We came home from the Liederkranz one Tuesday evening at 11 o’clock, after stopping at a restaurant for some flapjacks. The next night but one his wife phone me that he’d died sitting in his chair that Wednesday night.

Since I could not attend the funeral in the morning, I went to the undertaker’s that night at one o-clock to view the remains, which were to be cremated at his request.

The last song he played as my instructor, and we sang together, was “Pagliacci.” He always insisted that we had the same range of voice, baritone, wide range, two and a half octaves, depending on the weather and how much we had been singing the day before. I could sing lower if I had been singing the day before.

[Background: here’s the preface, forward, and notes from the editor of R.L.W.’s memoir; here’s his account of his upbringing through medical school;  here’s when he self-inoculated with tuberculosis and went off to Paris with a charlatan; here’s where he  treated typhoid, learned to dance, theorized, and sutured guinea pigs together; here’s where he contracts cholera and hooks his uncle up with testicular juice; here’s his misadventures in self-publishing while treating a slow-motion suicide-by-drinking; here’s where he hangs out with a magician and a vaudevillian; and here’s a piece I wrote for New York Press upon first reading the memoir.]

The way I became acquainted with Max was this: we both sang second bass in the Liederkranz. He had been a member years before, had dropped out and come back again. I noticed that the seemed to sing everything that come down the pike, and I nudged along till I got next to him one night and whispered, “How’s this, you sing everything right off the reel?”

He replied, “Why shouldn’t I? That’s my business.” I said, “Where’s your office and what’s your price.” He said, “Metropolitan Opera House, and (rather hesitatingly) if you’re not a Vanderbilt – well, suit your own pocketbook.” I said, “I’ll be down next Sunday.”

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I went down and found he could sing anything in any language. I said, “I’m twelve or thirteen years your junior and can only sing hymns and nigger songs; teach me an opera,” at the same time handing him the sheet music of “Vision Fugitive” from the opera “Herodias” in French.

We lost no time discussing things, but started right in, for Treumann was no windbag, but modest and an artist. And his system, at least for me, was as I desired: imitation. He would sing and then I would sing, Chinese style, copying him. We would keep it up for two hours, more often longer than that, occasionally all day at a stretch. When the phone would ring he’d say, “My girl wants to speak to me.” That was before I knew he had a wife.

He said that Theodore Thomas induced him to come over here from Germany years ago and then turned him down. He was out of a job, and after a time became discouraged and was going to shoot himself when a young lady came along and, noticing his depression, asked him in German (for he spoke no English, and she, although English, was fluent in several languages) what was the matter. Well, they got married – and lived happy ever after. She looked after him well all his life, and he used to tell me that she was a better musician than he, though I never heard her play or sing.

He must have taught me ten or twenty songs in different languages. Perhaps the prettiest one I learned purely from memory, using no copy, but just going over it repeatedly. This was “Musica Proibita” in Italian, the only one he said he never learned, or could remember to sing, without the music.

The story is about a young girl who hears a young fellow singing in the street, or going through nearby woods (as I understand him to explain it, for I not understand Italian, but can sing it), and the girl goes out on the porch to see and hear him. Her mother remonstrates and tells her it is not a nice song, but before long the mother herself goes out, she likes the music as well. I got the song all right after a while, but I’ll bet the folks in the house were sick of it long before that. And Treumann died before I learned the accompaniment.

It seems Thomas advised him to change his name from Knitel to Treumann, thinking it would take better. He was a short, stout, jolly man, in his youth – and even at the time of his death – very muscular. He served his time in the German Army – and was called by the Gymnasium students Hercules, because, he said, there was a tree in front of the building that obstructed the view, so the boys could not see the girls as they passed in the street below, so one day he went out and pulled the tree up by its roots.

At the time of his death he was 69 years old, and had a head that made one think of Darwin. Those who knew him in his younger days say he was a handsome, red-faced, jovial fellow. I never knew him to get tired of teaching.

One of his great stunts was Russian Bass. When he’d get on that subject it was hard to stop him. I have told many a music teacher about his Russian Bass – they all laugh and say there is no such thing. In fact, some teachers so scoffed at the idea that I was really ashamed to to tell who told me about it. But Max knew there was, and so did his pupils.

He liked to sing better than anyone I ever heard of, with one exception. He was almost like a child. He would sing a song over with me so much that I would sometimes have to stop him and say, “Give me a chance at it alone, and see if I really have got it.” He always said when he got so he couldn’t sing, he would want to die. But he could sing, and teach too, for he was teaching the very day he died, which was as he would have had it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Story of His Life By a Man Who Has Never Gotten Anywhere: Robert Lincoln Watkins, M.D., 1863-1934. A Physician Rubs Shoulders with Magic and Vaudeville.

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In my continual search to find remedies for stubborn diseases, I ran across a Magician. He used various names, sometimes it was Walter Cody, sometimes it was something else, but he was always an M.D. under some name, though. At this time, he had drifted to the stage, a kind of rival of Kellar and Hermann the Great.

He certainly was a magical chemist, claimed to have been in government employ at one time, in the secret service. Had practiced in Missouri, and had originated and sold the formula for Listerine to the Lambert Brothers for $75.00.

He was a big man with brown eyes. It was always difficult for me to pick out the truths from the falsehoods he would tell me in his intense enthusiasm. But since then, I have met other people that way.

He was broke when I met him, and lived in a small upper flat on 17th Street with his wife. He had married a circus magician’s chief performer, whose name he told me was Baldwin. They had one grown-up son, and she had a sister 18 years old, one of the prettiest brown-eyed girls I ever saw. He was teaching her magic, out of books and other ways, while she was in town looking for some light office work.

[Background: here’s the preface, forward, and notes from the editor of R.L.W.’s memoir; here’s his account of his upbringing through medical school;  here’s when he self-inoculated with tuberculosis and went off to Paris with a charlatan; here’s where he  treated typhoid, learned to dance, theorized, and sutured guinea pigs together; here’s where he contracts cholera and hooks his uncle up with testicular juice; here’s his misadventures in self-publishing while treating a slow-motion suicide-by-drinking; and here’s a piece I wrote for New York Press upon first reading the memoir.]

We did work out together some new applications of remedies which I afterwards found to be more valuable than I thought at the time. He charged very little for his work. I recollect that he had a bottle out of which he could apparently pour anything one would call for – whiskey, beer, cider, a perfume, etc.  He claimed that he could hypnotize anyone, and that his wife in a trance would see the future and the past.

I sent him on a job once – he was such a braggart about hypnotism – to have him straighten out by hypnosis an affair in which a certain party claimed, contrary to my idea, that I owed him money. I gave Cody $10 for expenses, but he came back with the affair more mixed up than ever.

This man that Cody went to see was erratic, as well as smart, in many ways. I suppose he, like myself, had troubles of his own. It was related of him that he had a fad of purchasing Holstein or blooded cattle. The young men in town, hearing this, succeeded in selling him a red cow that they had colored black and white with dyes. In time the cow had a calf, and when the owner went to the barn and recognized the deception, he took his shotgun and shot the cow.

I learned many things from this doctor-genius-jack-of-everything, and pretty good at them all. “Take the U.S. secret service, for instance,” he would say. “If they want to find out anything about you, even if they tap your telephone, it will be done so perfectly and silently that you will wonder how they did it, and probably never know.”

This fact was proven during the World War, for to my knowledge the district attorney had the names and pedigrees of Pro-Germans, possible enemies of the U.S. that called at a certain English doctor’s office I knew. They even had me down because I belonged to a German club, and had belonged for years, like other pro-Allies.

One night I gave Cody his price, $5, to put his wife in a trance to tell me things. Taking Dr. Girdner’s son with me to his little flat, he hypnotized her in our presence. She went off into a dazed condition, but nothing astonishing was revealed. She spoke in her trance about houses and green fields moving past her vision. But as my companion could verify, this magician had a fund of riffraff information which it would be difficult to find anywhere else.

He casually mentioned one time a most wonderful singer on the vaudeville stage, Joe Norcross. For, as I have said, he was a public performer at this time, when he could get an engagement. He thought I ought to have heard of him, but I had not. I had reasons beside the love of music for wanting to meet him, for I had an idea that I might get my work going in some uncommon way.

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I set out to find Joe Norcross, the pedal bass, as I afterward learned to call him. After a time – for it was some time before I found anyone who knew, or had ever heard of him – through Keith’s exchange at the Palace Theatre I located him as being in Philadelphia. (Afterward, it seemed as if everyone knew him.)

I lost no time when I was on the scent of something I wanted, and I had money in my pocket – none in the bank, but in my pocket. I phoned to Proctor’s Theatre in Philadelphia. He was there, the answer came back, and if I would hold the wire he would answer when he came off stage.

I waited. Soon a deep voice said, “Hello.” I said, “Joe Norcross?” He said, “Yes.” “When are you coming to New York?” “I’ll be in Newark tomorrow.” I said, “In what theatre?” He answered, “You find out.”

I got Cody and his wife, and the next day we went to Newark and got there just in time to hear Joe and his wife coming off the stage of Proctor’s amidst great applause. I asked Cody to introduce me, but he refused, saying he did not know him.

So the next day I went myself to his boarding house. His wife was home, a handsome old lady with white hair. She was 65, he 76. So I made the acquaintance of “The Oldest Actor on the Stage.”

It was a lasting friendship, and I became their physician till they died, ten years later. He often used to laugh over the way I became acquainted with them, although I did not tell him for some time. He never heard of Cody.

Through him, I had the entrance to many stages of many shows. And the most interesting experience I ever had was when, for the first time, I stood back of the curtain as the play went on, noting the different expressions, some smiling, others sober, old and young, and of all nationalities. I did not realize before I was told that the effect on the audience of his act could be marred or made good by the previous act.

Joe, as he made me call him, had always acted in vaudeville after he left the minstrel shows of which he was a pioneer, but which had had their day. Joe’s bass reached low C, and it was bass, pedal bass. He never took any lessons, and began in a circus when a boy of 16. Up to the last year of his life he was before the footlights.

One day he brought me some new songs his new manager had given him to learn, and said, “Doc, you learn them.” I only sing what I know, but I did learn one called “The Hermit.” Have never heard it sung in public, but it was a good one, went down to E flat. I know that song to this day.

One day I said, “Joe, when you are dead and gone, I would like to tell that I sang on the stage with you. So the next opportunity you get at rehearsal, let your wife be the audience, and you and I will sing a song.”

The chance came when he was at Union Hill, N.J. We learned “Larboard Watch,” which he knew, and separated into two parts. It worked well. But another slight opportunity came one night in Brooklyn at the Bushwick Theatre. One of the company becoming sick, Joe thought like lightning and came back and said, “You fill that in here, back of the curtain.”

It wasn’t much. I did, although there was a snake charmer back there, an Egyptian woman with the snake about her neck, trying to induce the performers to pat him on the head. I didn’t do that, though it was said the reptile had had its fangs removed. I was frightened just the same. Joe and his wife used to act in a sketch he originated with the song “Little Maggie May” in it, and it always brought down the house.

She came from a nervous, erratic family, and while he watched her closely latterly, she managed to cut her throat one day and died before his eyes in their home in Springfield, Mass. That broke the old man all up. He acted one year alone, and then passed away with the asthma which he had been fighting all his life.

A Story of His Life By a Man Who Has Never Gotten Anywhere: Robert Lincoln Watkins, M.D., 1863-1934. A Young Doc in New York Survives Self-Publishing While Treating a Spree-Loving Bon Vivant.

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I had a book in mind for some time, and it was only because the book didn’t accomplish anything like what I thought, i.e., arouse interest by the profession, that I thought of constructing elaborate machinery, apparatus, etc., in addition. Up to the time of making the Migraf, which I considered a perfect machine, I had made 20 or 30 toy machines.

I was very lucky in having a patient, Mr. E. W. Clausing, who was of a mechanical turn of mind and had a small machine and carpenter shop in the cellar of his house. Here, both of us worked at odd spells. One day when he moved to smaller quarters we had to get rid of the junk he built for me. We put it in a heap before destroying it and made in interesting photograph.

This genius of a baker, carver, and mechanic came from a baron’s family in Germany. He never made over $13 a week in his life, but brought up a family of five children, and with the skill of his wife was able to clothe and feed them till they grew up, and did much better in a financial way than he ever would have dreamed possible.

She was one of those even-tempered women, and a better match I never saw. He used to relate how she was a governess in a family. They had had some words, and separated, but one day he was in a barber shop getting shaved and spied her on the sidewalk with a a baby-carriage. With the lather all over his face he left the chair, ran out, made up, and gave her a kiss on the spot. They were my first patients, and one of his daughters, now a widow after being twice married, is the hack writer on this book.

[Background: here’s the preface, forward, and notes from the editor of R.L.W.’s memoir; here’s his account of his upbringing through medical school;  here’s when he self-inoculated with tuberculosis and went off to Paris with a charlatan; here’s where he  treated typhoid, learned to dance, theorized, and sutured guinea pigs together; here’s where he contracts cholera and hooks his uncle up with testicular juice; and here’s a piece I wrote for New York Press upon first reading the memoir.]

One time his boy, 19 years old had a fit of refusing to work. For some years he was stubborn. Some of the sons-in-law and I were thinking of shanghaiing him, for he would sleep all day and loaf about at night. But on consulting the father we decided not to ship the boy out because he said the mother would cry all night, and never stop.

All the family stuck to their mother, ever after getting husbands. This boy, after five years or so, finally put out by his sister for not working, obtained a job and today has a most responsible position in Jersey City and made good in every respect. He was even at one time a saloon keeper, and on the police force.

But to come back to my subject, my mind was always on the idea of driving my views down the throats of the profession whether they wanted them or not. I was wrong, but young and stubborn.

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I got a well-known New York published interested in the book I was writing, and as the manuscript was gathered over a space of 4 or 5 years, would submit it to him, one of our good Methodist brothers. He had published in his Annual a description of my bullet probe, and a medical article on the blood which I afterwards felt was not quite accurate.

So the manuscript of the whole book was one day submitted to him in typewritten form, ship-shape, according to Hoyle, with 160 plates gathered during the whole of practice, 10 years perhaps.

It would be the first book on the subject according to my plans, but fate was against me. For after a limited time the manuscript was returned, neatly done up, with the common note, “sorry but we cannot publish the book.”

It was the first real shock that I remember having up to that time. So I went to work to arrange for the publication myself. A publisher of a medical work, and probably others, pays only 10% as a rule, if the author is well-known, to the author. And if he is not well-known, the author has to pay him a good bunch of money to produce the book. In fact, there are all kinds of contracts, but the publisher never loses.

I went to see Paul DuChaillu, author of The Land of the Midnight Sun, at this time, and he said that contrary to the experience of so many, when he submitted his book to the publisher (Harper & Brothers) they published it right away with no comment, and it took well.

After that, I was author, proof reader, printer, and publisher. Having obtained the New York Herald as printer, and secured the services of a reporter and friend as hack-writer and aid, in time the book was printed, 1,000 copies. Then the book-binders, a separate business (and pay in advance, for me anyway, as I had no credit, not being in business), get ten cents a piece for the bindings. No sooner was the binding done than the demand was made to come and get the books or we will dump them out.

One going to the bindery, another surprise was in store for me. There was a  wagon-load of books. What was I to do with them? I had not thought of that.

There was no room in my office, and room in New York costs money. A friend in the electro-therapeutic line was in time thought of, and an arrangement was made with him to store the books in a loft that he happened to have, and to help sell, wrap in paper, and deliver the same for 4 cents a piece.

He had ideas that helped me out, for we decided toggle a certain number of them as an advertisement to libraries throughout the United States if they paid the express charges, for if the books came back the expense would be doubled. This we did by consulting a library directory.

I recollect one we sent to a town up in the Rocky Mountains. Word came back, as the directory was occasionally wrong, that there was no library there. We went word, give it to the doctor in town. No doctor in town, came the reply. Give it to the minister, we wrote. No minister in town, was the answer. We then said to the express agent there, take it yourself and pay the express. We never heard any more about it.

Previously we had advertised in medical journals both here and abroad that advance orders would be delivered for two dollars; the book sold for $5.00. From these notices we received many orders, especially from England.

After a year or more we succeeded in disposing of the whole lot, and even after 10 years would occasionally receive an order. Some even went to China, and one to the island of Malta.

I often thought if a real publisher had only handled it how it would have sold. As it was, while they were all sold, there was no profit. On account of the delay of two or three months, a Boston man, writing a book about the same subject but from a different standpoint, and having a regular publisher, got in ahead of me. The first in the field of a subject or thing i demand, generally does best, financially speaking.

Some time before this, when I was getting together material  for a book on diseases of the chest (heart) while I was assistant to the late Dr. Katzenback in the Polyclinic, a middle-aged, well-dressed, fine-looking man with an equally good-looking young lady came in, apparently needing prompt attention.

The lady said, “He has been intoxicated, is now under the influence of a narcotic (chloral), and was going to shoot himself,” producing the pistol. I gave them prompt attention, and seeing that they were not accustomed to going to dispensaries, directed them to my office.

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His name was A. A. Brook, and the lady claimed to be his niece. It turned out that he had recently been (or was) a prominent lawyer in Washington, had served in the Civil War as confidential messenger to the various chiefs of staff, and was afterward Assistant Treasurer of the U.S. under President Grant. On some of the old one-dollar bill his name could be found.

But he had periodical sprees, and on one of these he ran away to New York with a woman, a demi-mondaine, and her maid. This one he called his niece. When he spent, or when she got, all his money, the woman left him, but the maid stuck. She liked him, she said, and was sorry for the man, for one of his education and qualities – tall, dark, with black curly hair (I have his picture today), erect, and always, drunk or sober, well-dressed. I never saw him stagger, although he would drink a whole glass of whiskey straight when on a bout.

He went on a spree almost regularly every three months, except one period of two years that I recollect when he and the maid joined the Catholic church. The girl obtained a position as cashier in Child’s Restaurant at 130th and Broadway, and supported him much of the time. She was there in the restaurant for years.

He often would say, “When I get rich I’m going to build you a laboratory” – and do many other things for me he knew I talked about, for I had looked after him much, and showed him the picture of a building which I paid an architect $25 to plan for me. (Under this paper institution I afterward wrote, “A dream that never came true.”)

Through his Wall Street connections, for he loved to play the market, he obtained a position as a kind of private secretary to a man of wealth. I accidentally learned that once or twice he would receive extra checks of from $2,000 to $5,000. Then he would buy fine new clothes for the two of them, and I would not see him for some time. Neither did I receive much, if any, compensation for services rendered to him, but he would always pay me for services rendered to her.

He used to put his employer’s yacht in commission every year, take his family to the theatres or opera, keep track of his and his maiden sister’s accounts, and advise them in legal matters.

One day his employer was taken with paralysis, but later recovered all his faculties except that of speech. My friend certainly had a position of responsibility then, for he alone knew all his employer’s affairs.

Still, the sprees kept up. But the family were accustomed to him and could find no substitute, to would seem. Or else he kept things so tied up that they couldn’t. They were afraid to employ me as a physician, I suppose because they thought I might be in league with him.

We could most always tell when he was getting ready to go on his spree, for he would get very religious, and so would have an excuse to take some wine, which he claimed was harmless. I have seen him so wild with drink in his little two-roomed flat that he would throw bottles all about, and at the maid. But she never flinched, nor left him.

He would generally wind up so bad that we would send him to the hospital. If he couldn’t walk it, he would only go in a taxi, never in an ambulance. St. Vincent’s was the favorite place. They seemed to treat him better, and he recovered quicker there. Paraldehyde was their favorite remedy. He claimed he met there at one time an ex-president of the U.S. in the same predicament.

Once or twice he got into Bellevue by accident, when all places were crowded and he had to be taken somewhere. At those times, by luck, I was not at hand. He used to say, “Bellevue is awful, they give me morphine, Doc. Never give a drunken man morphine, it makes him crazy. It’s awful.”

One day his employer called me to his office to take him home. We had to cross 5th Avenue. He was well-dressed and had on a silk hat; he could walk, but he was terrible. He insisted on accosting every lady, very gentlemanly, just, “How do you do.” And then looking for every saloon we passed.

The girl could handle him pretty well up to a certain point. This day when I got him home she took care of him and sobered him up. And she stuck to him till she had more grey hair than he did.

I understand he lived to be 75, and died in the place he dreaded, Bellevue Hospital. The girl stuck with him to the end, finally working her way up till she was a private secretary in a big insurance company.

But before they parted, she acquired the old disease that most all of that class sooner or later get, that so often contagious affection that is seldom wiped out of the system, and is passed on if opportunity presents to the next generation.

A Story of His Life By a Man Who Has Never Gotten Anywhere: Robert Lincoln Watkins, M.D., 1863-1934. A “Martyr for Science” in Paris Procures “Testicular Juice” for His Ailing Uncle.

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This episode which I am about to relate should have been put in before my trip to Paris with Dr. Brodnax, for it occurred two to four years earlier.

My uncle, a man about 65, was threatened with what his upstate doctor thought was softening of the brain, and a trip abroad was advised. I was elected to go with him and he became my patient. His mind was weak: he had some property for which he was offered a good price, but one day he would say he would sell, the next he would change his mind, and cry, and spend sleepless nights over it. It broke him all up nervously, and he could not control a naturally calm and beautiful disposition.

We sailed on the New York for Liverpool in August, 1892. It was the maiden trip of the Inman Line, the first American line of transoceanic passenger steamers. It was said on board that when we reached Queenstown we were now an American line. (I shall never forget the peculiarly agreeable impression of the emerald green of Old Erin.) On reaching London by train from Liverpool, we went immediately to a boarding house in Russell Square, previously arranged for.

My patient followed me everywhere, and on the steamer would sometimes crawl into bed with me because he was either homesick or lonesome, although he never complained. Sleeplessness, which was one of his principal troubles, was only relieved by a small dose of whiskey. One night after the theater we were lost in a London fog and had to procure an omnibus to get to our quarters. My uncle was awfully homesick all of the time, and no sooner had we arrived than he wanted to go back. He would read over and over daily the letters from his wife.

[Background: here’s the preface, forward, and notes from the editor of R.L.W.’s memoir; here’s his account of his upbringing through medical school;  here’s when he self-inoculated with tuberculosis and went off to Paris with a charlatan; here’s where he  treated typhoid, learned to dance, theorized, and sutured guinea pigs together, and here’s a piece I wrote for New York Press upon first reading the memoir.]

The first improvement he had was one day after many days in London, when we took a long walk to the home of some relative of his wife in the largest city in the world. Here, he fell asleep in the rocking chair while we were visiting. He never wanted anyone to know that he was not well, so I quietly told the people to let him sleep. They did. He wrote to his wife the next day that he had just thad the best sleep since he struck that blasted country.

The cholera was raging in Russia and France. I wanted to go. He wanted to go with me, so he suggested to me that we go to se our ambassador Robert Lincoln before we go, to see if it was safe. We had no difficulty in obtaining an audience. He shook hands with my uncle and my uncle said, “I voted for your father, and expect to have a chance to vote for you for President some time.” Then, turning to me, my uncle said, “This is my nephew, Robert Lincoln Watkins, named after you.”

But he advised us to stay away from Paris, as one can never tell what a Frenchman may do, often changing their minds, and they might quarantine us there longer than we wanted to stay.

We went, however, and noticing by the newspaper soon after getting settled that a man by the name of Dr. Hafkin at the Pasteur Institute had discovered a serum for the cure of cholera, had tried it out successfully on rats and guinea pigs, and wanted to try it on human beings, I decided to lend myself for the purpose immediately.

My uncle went along as usual, and there we met another man similarly inclined as my self, a Mr. [Aubrey] Stanhope of the Paris Herald. Dr. H. injected us both, first with the dead cholera germs, and a week later with the live ones. He gave us a chart to keep track of the symptoms that might arise.

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After the second injection I was as sick as a horse, and before we could get back to the hotel, I was so faint that, spying the sign of an English doctor, Dr. Chapin, we went in. It seems he was in Paris, too, trying out his theory of checking cholera with ice bags.

After explaining wha had happened, I fell over unconscious on his couch, and when I came to, the old man (he was a big man, about 70, I should judge), was at my feet and remarking “a martyr to science.” My uncle leaned over from behind my head and said, “Well, Robert, I thought you had turned up your toes that time.”

I was soon all right in feeling, but had a high fever that night. Not so bad, though, as to be unable to make a microphotograph of my blood the next morning by the light of the sun with a camera and a new microscope I had purchased in London.

Stanhope went to Hamburg, slept in the beds with the cholera patients, and didn’t get the disease. I worked away by myself in the hospitals of Paris after my own notions.  Stanhope was given a big dinner when he got back from Hamburg by the Herald, while Dr. Hafkin and the Pasteur Institute were there to take the honors.

I understand that serum was never accepted as of any special value by the profession in later years. My idea (or one of them) was that I would be able to take some of it back to New York and be the first, if it had panned out, to introduce it. In fact, I did send some of it over to the Academy of Medicine, but was afterward told they never received it. I might remark that the serum left a deposit in one of my finger joints which never disappeared.

I never since have believed in serums, and one reason is that germs are solid, a foreign body, and have got to be worked out of the system. They practically cause a form of rheumatism and often even paralysis, and even with anti-toxin, one of the first that seems to have done much good. In my judgment, and the judgment of many able men I have known, its good effect has been more likely to have been due to a chemical preservative therein, “trikresol,” a carbolic acid derivative. Chemicals are absorbed easily, germs are not, when put into circulation.

Knocking around Paris and the hospitals, I naturally heard of the celebrated Dr. Brown-Sequard. He had gotten up a remedy that had no germs in it, although it was an organic product called Testicular Juice, good for nervous diseases and especially Locomotor Ataxia. The name implies the source of the remedy: he used bulls’ testicles.

I thought it would be good for my uncle. When I called on the doctor, he received me into his private office immediately on my presenting my card, one reason being I suppose that I was an American physician.

He was much interested in what I had done at the Pasteur Institute, sent representatives to my hotel, got the details, and published the same to his Archives of of Anatomy and Physiology (English title), with the photomicrograph. I recollect he said to me, “You will become a better writer as you get older,” for I had written a synopsis and was not used to writing them.

Prof. Brown-Sequard was a slim man of medium height, with a very dark complexion. He spoke perfect English, and was born on the island of Madagascar, a French possession in the Indian Ocean. He married a woman of wealth for his first wife, it is said, and she would not let him practice for fees, but told him to experiment, be an investigator, in which he delighted. It was he would introduced Potassium Bromide for headache and nerve troubles; that first made him celebrated.

I understand his first wife died, and when he married again, he second wife who was also rich told him the same thing, so he really never had to work, but travelled, and became famous by his lectures and his high connections in France.

The day I was there he said Senator Stanford of California was in his waiting room and had come to consult him about Mrs. Stanford. He was quite wrought up because she had been to see Dr. W. Hammond in New York; he had told her that she had an abscess of the liver, and pretended to operate on her in office. The senator said Dr. Hammond had put her under chloroform and introduced a needle, and when she came to had showed her a cup of pus he had drawn; the bill was $2,000. The senator claimed that this pus was not from her system, but that the doctor got it from somewhere else and made her think it was hers.

(Perhaps I should not say this in print.)

I persuaded my uncle to try some of the Testicular Juice for his trouble. The professor said he did not practice, so sent me to a doctor who charged my uncle $20 an injection. He used it till he got the chills, and could not see that it was doing any good. He remarked that he was sick of having that stuff stuck into his backside.

He was sleeping good from the change, for we went to everything in Paris, but he was homesick. So one day before I could stop him he cabled to his wife that he was coming home on the next steamer. He was practically well now, so I did not stop his cable as I had had to do with some previous ones. He made a good recovery and lived many years in good health.

A Story of His Life By a Man Who Has Never Gotten Anywhere: Robert Lincoln Watkins, M.D., 1863-1934. Return from Paris: Typhus, Dance Lessons, Siamese-Twinned Guinea Pigs, and Microzymes.

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After Brodnax left me in Paris, I got along finely by myself, making as many acquaintances in my line of work as could be done in the short time I stayed. I was invited to demonstrate to Dr. Aubon, who had a special lecture arranged for me at his house.

Little was known in those days about the blood, and what was known of it was in a dry state; that is, they examined blood after it had stood. But I examined it right away, when few changes had had time to take place.

One day I went to see Hayem, the celebrated physiologist. Being unable to speak French, I was much handicapped. But I rang his bell at 11 o’clock in the morning. The butler gave me to understand he was at breakfast and was seeing no one, and started to close the door in my face. Before he could close it, however, I put my foot in the opening, and stuck it out with my argument till both the old doctor and his son came running out, napkins in hand, to see what was the matter.

[Background: here’s the preface, forward, and notes from the editor of R.L.W.’s memoir, here’s his account of his upbringing through medical school,  here’s when he self-inoculated with tuberculosis and went off to Paris with a charlatan, and here’s a piece I wrote for New York Press upon first reading the memoir.]

I gave him my card and said, “I am from America. If you can teach me to see rheumatism in blood I want to take lessons of you.” He son spoke English and said, “My father knows more about that subject than anybody, and NOBODY knows how to do that.” I said thank you, and left. I knew American doctors who claimed they could do this, but I wanted his way and views if he had any.

Soon after this, I cam home, spending perhaps six weeks altogether, and using up my $400.

The next episode in the experimental line away from my office (which I had closed while was away) was when the typhus fever broke out in the city and I went to live on North Brother Island to study from my point of view what was then considered to be the most infectious and contagious of all diseases.

I did not learn much of practical value, but the fact that I saw the dead being carried away in cart-loads and learned to identify the peculiar sweetness of the smell of all who had the disease. Many, or most of them at that time anyhow, before death passed into a talkative dreamy sleep.

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I used to try to attend social functions, as a young doctor especially should, but found myself a wallflower when it came to dancing at these private parties, for dancing was neglected in my youth. So I went to McCabe’s Dancing Parlor on 17th St. off Broadway afternoons. Sister and brother ran this well-known place, charging 50 cents a lesson. I went a year, but was unable to get that waltz step to suit me.

A young man there told me that a man by the name of McGregor on 55th St. near Fifth Avenue would teach me in no time, though expensive. I went, paid him $50 in advance. I said, “Can you teach me? I love music, but can’t get that step.” He replied, “If I can teach the Rockefeller girls, I can teach you.” He gave me private lessons in a big hall.

He gave me a cane, which he told me to put across my back, hooking my arms over it at the elbow to hold, standing perfectly erect and by myself. With a circus whip in his hand, he went to the other end of the hall, giving me orders how to step with the snap of his whip. I got it in about three lessons, and when I quit I said, “Where is the lady to try it with?” He replied, “I don’t furnish ladies, find them yourself. You’ve got it now.”

I had tried many experiments, as my limited means would allow, with animals. Even to trying to make Siamese twins of guinea pigs by cutting out the flesh on the side of two and sewing them together to see if they would grow. They never stayed bandaged together more than ten days at the most, and then on taking off the bandage I found that the wound had sloughed. The X-rays came out that they were not permanently hitched together. I experimented with that considerably and concluded it was not for me.

The treatment with X-rays for disease has not met with my approval as a rule, especially for deep-seated cancers or even epithelomias; besides, I learned long ago that it was dangerous. It has taken many years for the profession to learn how to avoid being dangerously burned by it.

I examined the blood of many of those who died of burns in the first years, and made the observation that X-rays split up the blood cells. It produces a kind of cancer itself. Under the microscope one can see the red cells broken up; it makes what I call strawberry cells of them. It breaks them up into their individual microzymas, hundreds of which in the normal state compose a red as well as a white blood cell.

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These microzymas, according to their discoverer, Professor Antoine Bechamp, are the physiological element of all life, and when these are seen in a cell or body it means death. The X-raybreaks cells and bodies up into these infinitesimal organisms; I call them the electrons of the body. Germs spread from these physiological electrons, and their presence in the body is never healthful.

I first heard of the microzyma through Dr. Montague Leverson, one of the most learned Hebrew physicians I ever knew. His father was paymaster for the British army in India; he, an Englishman, became an American citizen, studying here first law, then medicine. He spoke and read seven languages, was extremely progressive, and had investigated so many subjects that I used to sit up nights at his house hearing him discourse on various ones.

I became so much interested in Bechamp’s work that a re-enthused Leverson. He translated for me, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, though he had the use of only one eye. (One contained a clot, was plugged up from a miniature stroke.) He afterward translated Bechamp’s book into English, publishing it both there and in England, with a frontispiece by me. He became so enthused that he made up his mind to visit Bechamp at his home in France, and to study at the University of Montpelier.

Bechamp was an old man, 93, then living in Paris. Still possessing all his faculties, though his sight was dim. He had been professor of chemistry and pharmacy in the University of Montpelier, one of the oldest seats of learning in the world, located in the Pyrenees in the south of France. Leverson stayed over there about a year.

He told me when he came back that he used to go to the old doctor’s house every day to take his dictations. He called him Master, for he considered him one of the great investigators of the age, a rival of Pasteur, who he claimed appropriated Bechamp’s ideas, misconstrued them, and made himself famous at Bechamp’s expense. Leverson used to believe that Pasteur succeeded in this because he was a Catholic and Bechamp was an atheist, but he learned later this was not true.

Béchamel and Ester, his assistant, had published many books on what he calls the physiological elements of life, the microzyma, a term he coined which means a small ferment. He claimed these microzymas, perhaps the smallest life to be seen under a microscope, transform themselves into germs, vibrions, bacilli, etc.; that they exist in plants, animals, and perhaps minerals; that they are especially visible in milk or blood, and easily observed by manipulation or technique in all other things, organic or inorganic.

Well, Leverson stayed in Paris till the old man died. One morning Bechamp was in bed, and as Leverson started to take dictation, the old man mumbled something. His voice was so feeble that my friend stooped over to listen. And as he did so, Belchamp pointed to a crucifix at the foot of the bed and said, “My faith,” crossed himself, and died. Leverson, a Jew by birth, said it was the first time he knew Bechamp’s religion. He said he went to the funeral and sprinkled some holy water over the remains.

I had corresponded with the old doctor, and had sent him some money to get me a photograph. He sent me the picture, thanked me, returned the money, saying he was pensioned by the French government. The photograph I had electrotyped and printed, with his autograph. I’ve got them yet.

James H. Salisbury, Ephraim Cutter, and Bechamp, all three hematologists, lived to a ripe old age.

The Cutter family were erratic geniuses and good musicians: the doctor played the bass viol, his wife the piano. They had a son who was musician to the court of the Emperor of Japan. Another son, a boy of 21 with bright red hair ,was an expert electrician. One day he stood before his mother, exclaimed, “I’m no good, and father’s a crank,” took a drop of Prussic acid on his tongue, and dropped dead at his mother’s feet.

James Salisbury was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was easy-going and a natural investigator, a chemist and a recognized naturalist, a good businessman and money-maker. He used to dye his hair black, and in his photographs looks like a wizard, though he was a family man with several children, none of whom took any interest in the work to which he gave his whole attention. He would write the longest prescriptions of tonics, extracts, herbs, and inorganic (mineral) compatible mixtures of any physician I ever knew.

All three of these doctors were highly educated men. Salisbury in his later life never bothered to interest physicians at large in his discoveries, but the other two were always at it, wearing themselves out at the task. When I came on the scene I thought they went at it the wrong way, and tried another, but with the same ill success.

However, having some recent experience as a patient with up-to-date medical examination and treatment, I wish to say that their method, and mine (which is somewhat of a modification of theirs with a few additions), are more simple by far, just as accurate – perhaps even more so – than anything the profession is doing in that line today.

As far as I know, a son of old Dr. Cutter and I are the only ones now living who know anything about the blood research of these three men.

There is, however, a new way of examining for, and treating, disease which has come up in the last few years, and which in my judgment has more of a fundamental basis on which to build therapeutics than any other the profession has ever had. Here I refer to the work of the Arlesheim Institute [founded by Ita Wegman, who with Rudolf Steiner conceived anthroposophical medicine.] But that too needs study in a line heretofore unknown, and will be long in finding its way into conventional medicine.

Insurance companies especially would have to change all over if thoughts I have in mind (but no space in this book to go into) were adopted. In fact, it won’t be many years before medical science will throw out many of its present methods and ideas. However, doctors will not disappear, as some think, nor will their science be done away with.

A Story of His Life By a Man Who Has Never Gotten Anywhere: Robert Lincoln Watkins, M.D., 1863-1934. A Self-Inoculating Doc Goes to Paris.

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A doctor’s studying, especially in those days, was not finished when he hung up his shingle. Private courses, and dispensary work if one could get it, were in vogue. Post-graduate and Polyclinic and laboratory courses were in my line of interest, and I started them all. Besides, it gives prestige to be connected with such work, and to take it up afternoons while the patients are so often many years making up their minds to give the young fledgling a call.

[Background: here’s the preface, forward, and notes from the editor of R.L.W.’s memoir, here’s his account of his upbringing through medical school, and here’s a piece I wrote for New York Press upon first reading it.]

The germ theory of disease was at that time getting under full swing. It was being asserted by the professors that a germ would soon be found as the cause of every disease, and thus its cure would be found. The tubercle bacillus had been assigned the unassailable role of cause of tuberculosis. I could never see this, as I had beliefs learned from those I considered more capable than any French or German physician, an American physician at that.

But the facts were against me, although I did the most foolish thing of my whole life: I inoculated myself with the pure cultured tubercle bacillus. Only if I had died would the profession have believed that I did the experiment. To this day I and many others, except those who have been educated and axiomated to it, do not take stock in this germ, T.B. as it is called, i. e., do not believe this is the cause, but rather the result, of degenerated tissue. And it will not be many years before all the profession will believe this.

Practice was slow I’m coming to me. But the above experiment, getting late into the papers, caused a furor, and much worry, and innumerable letters from people both rich and poor. But to me it did harm, for I had started as an investigator, and was “kicking against the pricks.”

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Some years after, I conceived the idea of going to Europe to see what was known about the blood over there. I had saved up a few hundred dollars and was waiting for the chance to go. One day a classmate by the name of [Robert Frederick] Brodnax, who had practiced a short time in the West and had come to town to try his luck, walked into my office. He had been unable to get along here in New York so far, and I said, “B., you are good and quick at making acquaintances, far better than I. Suppose we go to Europe.”

My thought was that together we could accomplish more because of his medical ability and those already-mentioned endowments. And I could save money and time and do things more thoroughly. He replied, “I will go if we have steerage.” So I bought the tickets, over and back so we would not be stranded entirely.

B., it turned out, was a pretty wild boy. I had only known him casually as a classmate. I learned afterward he gambled all the way over, but he became acquainted with everybody on the boat. He used to tell me, “I am not afraid to accost anybody, even Grover Cleveland if he were on the boat. I consider no one better than myself except he be able to show me that he knows more.”

He came to me one day with a passenger list and pointed out that he was listed “Rev. T. Brodnax.” “How do you suppose they made that mistake?” he said. I knew he was thick with a newly married minister on board, and afterward learned from his conversation that his parents had sent him to an Episcopal Seminary where he stayed a short time. Putting things together, I concluded that he had suggested the “Rev.” to the printer on board who made the list.

He was engaged to a wealthy girl here, one of the MacAllister 400. He used to read to me, on board the ship, love letters from her. This kept him I know pretty straight all the time, even in Paris. After we got home, however, the girl found him out and jilted him – for at that time, it seems, she did not know him any better than I did.

We landed in Plymouth on the morning of the 14th of July, anniversary of the fall of the Bastille at Paris, our destination. The first thing we picked up to read was the Paris edition of the New York Herald, owned by Bennett, of course, who lived in Paris because of a well-known scandal.

Here, we noted that the American Chamber of Commerce was to give a dinner that night. I said, “Here is our chance to get acquainted quick with someone who may be able to tell us where we can get our start on the subject we are looking into, and maybe influence as well.” For we practically knew no one. I said, “We can’t both afford it. You get a dress suit and go.” We went to a tailor, hired a suit, and got everything but some shirt studs, which it was too late to find by the time we got ready. He said, “That’s all right, Doc. A Virginian can go any old way. I’ll take a chance.”

It was 2 o’clock in the morning when he jumped into bed at the Hotel St. Petersburg, where we had registered. And he was feeling good from the champagne he had imbibed. He told me his whole life history, especially the part when he was out West, and showed me two bullets – which he made me feel – which were still in his hip joint. He said he fell into a business in Seattle as soon as he got there, soon after graduating – married a Spanish woman and got into a fight with her lover, etc.

At the dinner that night, he flirted with a countess across the table, got acquainted with her, and it was her carriage that brought him back to the hotel – Countess de Cluny, or some such name. She had asked h8m to call the next day, and instructed him (because he was an American and would not know, she said) that when he came to her home he must wear evening dress. I don’t think he went, because we were not very many times on our short trip.

A dentist gave me the privilege of his magnificent offices on the Avenue de l’Opera to demonstrate my work with blood with lantern slides and stereopticon, a case for which my father had made for me – heavy, but compact. This, with a grip, constituted our only baggage on the trip.

No one showed up, although I had sent out many invitations to professional men. Not one of the men invited became known to me through my friend Dr. B., whose expenses I had paid for this very purpose. He was a good mixer, but with the wrong people.

A curious thing happened to me at the dentist’s, as I was rigging up my camera and arranging the negatives. A clear voice out of nowhere said to me, “You have been here and done that before.” As I write, something comes to mind about the heavy black box in which all of my paraphernalia was stored. When the deckhand hauled it out of the hold at Plymouth, I handed him a silver dollar – and very few tips did we give. He threw it down on the deck as if it was not enough. So I picked up the coin and put it in my pocket, and B. and I lugged the box ourselves off the boat.

The next day we took rooms down in the Latin Quarter near the Odean, where we paid a few francs a week for a small dark room. Being exhausted, I laid on the bed and slept for I should say about ten minutes – and astonishing as it may seem, when I awoke, my weakness and tired discouragement had vanished.

Soon after this, B. and I were strolling in the Park and I suddenly sprung what had been in mind. “B.,” I said, “we have been over here three weeks. You have done nothing but loaf around music halls and talk nice about things. You have helped out in nothing whatsoever.” He immediately pulled a gun out of his pocket as if to shoot me, but I quickly said, “Look here, B.” – at the time taking from my pocket a letter – “I wrote to Balabanoff in Seattle before we started, and he told me not to come over here with you. Read that,” handing him the letter.

In the letter, Dr. [Ivan Petroff] Balabanoff had said that if Brodnax ever came to town the police would get him, etc. Balabanoff was a classmate, a Bulgarian who had started out as a missionary, but married an American woman, also a doctor, and instead of going back to his own country had gone to Seattle, where he was much respected, and became an American citizen.

Immediately after reading the letter, B. put up his gun, shook my hand, and said, “Balabanoff is right. I’ll go back on the next boat.” For as he knew, I was about to tell him to go back home when he surprised me with the gun, which I did not know he carried. I gave him his ticket and $5.00. He said that would do.

It was two or three years after I got back to New York that I saw him again. He came from a well-known family in the South, had the delightful southern accent which the women especially like to hear, could play the violin somewhat, was tall, thin, and angular. He often used to boast, “I’m a homely cuss, but I can get on the right side of any woman, and size her up accurately, as quick or quicker than any other man.” He at the time was friendly with such men as Drs. Polk, Loomis, Stimson, and Roger Pryor and all the other southern dignitaries in New York.

Previous to his visit to my office after my return, he had been sick, and had married the nurse that took care of him. But this day he came in he said, “Dr. Fox says I have a hard chancre – syphilis, primary – look me over and see what you think.” I did so and replied that Dr. Fox was right. “Well,” he replied, “I’m going to wait the 45 days for the eruption,” and left. Forty-five days was the old way – “you know dead sure you got it” if the copper-colored eruption appears.

It seems he had gone into the quack business. He was “old Dr. Williams” on 34th St., and then “old Dr. Gary” or “Grandin” farther downtown. He used to take valuable trinkets, jewelry, and watches as pay for treating susceptible people who answered his newspaper ads for the treatment of venereal troubles.

The last time I saw him was on the corner of Broadway and 34th St. He was crossing with a fine looking woman whom he introduced to me as his wife. I said, “I thought you married a nurse.” He replied, “Oh, that was no marriage, she was an octoroon. I practice medicine in the winter, and go to Paris in the summer.” He then pulled up his sleeve, showed me the syphilitic eruption, and said, “You were right, Doc, I’m taking two grains of mercury a day.” And he went on. I never saw him again, but understand he gave the disease to his wife and both died in the insane asylum.

A Story of His Life By a Man Who Has Never Gotten Anywhere: Robert Lincoln Watkins, M.D., 1863-1934. Early Life through Medical School.

IMG_8434I was born in Proctorsville, Vermont, in the month of May, 1863, into a family of long-standing New England extraction. The family consisted of three sons and one daughter, I being the second child. My father had deserted the farming life and was a mechanic and inventor. He was the owner of a factory for making chair seats – Black River Chair Factory – and held basic patents thereon. One night the spring freshet washed away the factory, and we youngsters were roused from sleep to see my father’s fortune completely destroyed by the Black River. Soon after I remember a grey-bearded, good-looking old gentleman came to town and bargained with father for his invention, and we moved when I was six to a factory town, Gardner, Massachusetts, (where father worked for Heywood-Wakefield), in which we all got our schooling and grew up.

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My mother had been a school teacher in a Berkshire County hill town, Peru, Massachusetts. She was one of those dark-haired, dark-eyed beauties true to every virtue of womanhood. Her mother had thirteen children and lived to a ripe old age, visiting around with her children after they were grown and she was a widow. I remember her amusing us as we sat around her on our knees, singing as she knit, “There was a frog lived in a well, with a rink tun billy won’t you kimo,” etc. My earliest recollections are of a puritanical environment where family prayers were party of the daily calendar, and strict observance of the Sabbath was demanded of all.

[Background: here’s the preface, forward, and notes from the editor of R.L.W.’s memoir, and here’s a piece I wrote for New York Press upon first reading it.]

My boyhood was uneventful, but at an early age I was restive under instruction. I had a horror of learning from books that were assigned me, but was eager to get information for myself from nature and from observation. I was one of those difficult boys whose face would get red if he walked before a crowd, and on Declamation Day at school I would run away to avoid getting up on the platform to recite The Nantucket Skipper, or some other simple piece. I recollect a minister’s son in the town who also ran away on those days, though for other reasons than what I did. One time the teacher called on him, and with his hair all over his face he recited: “Speaking pieces hard and tough, I’ve spoke two lines and that’s enough.” His name was Charles Herrick. I’ve often wondered what became of him, for he never seemed to care what he looked like. His parents I remember brought up and educated two Chinamen at home, Pan and Sing their names were.

No doubt Dr. Gates, a well-known minister of the Gospel in New York, will recollect the chemical laboratories we used to work in as boys, he in his father’s carpenter shop, I in the cellar of our house in an old coal box. We used to visit each other an make explosives and other things to which we took a notion.

One day my father was sick in bed and a neighbor came and stayed too long. By luck I went down to the cellar to see how my jug of hydrogen was getting along. Not considering that, on standing, air would trickle in, I touched the the glass painted tube therein with a match to see if I could get the hydrogen tones when a tube was held over the flame. But lo, the jug blew up, the cork striking the floor of the room above, where my father was. The neighbor, Dwight Warfield, left immediately.

In that coal box I had constructed a photophone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone man. That was before his perfection of the telephone. He and a man by the name of Painter – so the Scientific American published (I read that paper religiously in those days) – discovered this apparatus to talk over distances without a wire by means of a ray of light.

Then there was another man who claimed that diamonds could be made by heating in a tube iron filings, carbon, and nickel. For a tube, I used a piece of an old steam pipe, sealed it at both ends in the usual way, put it in the furnace, and left it there, forgetting all about it till a dull thud one day told the story.

My father often asked me what I wanted to be. I as often replied that I didn’t know, but I thought I would like to be a chemist or an electrical engineer. From high school I went to a Polytechnic Institute – Worcester Tech – where I studied for a chemist, and graduated from that institution. It naturally fell in line then, since I did not desire to continue as a chemist for a life profession – my father said, and induced me to believe, that there was only $900 a year in it – that I went to New York City and studied medicine, graduating from one of the best medical colleges in the country (New York University), a full-fledged M.D., and thinking myself lucky to get through.

One day Dr. Draper showed us pictures of blood cells in a small, red-covered English book. I dreamily said to myself, “That’s the place to look for disease, in the blood. When one’s face broke out with an eruption, the ‘old wives’ used to say, ‘It’s in the blood.’ So all disease must be in the blood.” But research work I realized must determine how to recognize it, how to tell abnormalities.

Recollecting that a physician came to our house in the country when I was a boy, to examine my sister who had consumption and died of it at the age of 18, and that he examined a drop of her blood, I scurried around, found that the old doctor lived in Boston, and went to see him. He said, “When you have finished your college come here and I will teach you what I know.” So I took lessons of his, borrowing the money to pay for them.IMG_5898

I was intern for a time in a big hospital – Newark Hospital – where the boys said I was always examining blood instead of doing regular duties. After which, my troubles began.

There was a man by the name of Sullivan, a saloon keeper, who was brought into the hospital unconscious one night. We interns began to try to bring him to by pouring hot and cold water alternately on him, and by flagellation. The operations caused some disturbances in the middle of the night. Some reporters being in the ward, and the man dying afterwards, made a good newspaper story – so the reporters thought. And they were right, for we were all arrested for killing, or for assisting a man into the next world.

We all imagined all kinds of things happening to us, for we were several months on parole, but when the truth was known we were of course liberated. Little did we know at the time that politics was more or less mixed up in the affair. We were all young, and inexperienced especially in political intrigue, which in this hospital was only waiting for a chance to get in its previously arranged schemes.

Practicing medicine out of a hospital, and in, are two different kinds of experience. The first middle-of-the-night case I had was a saloon keeper bleeding from at the lungs on a cold winter night. He lived among the wharves under McCombs Dam bridge. Frightened I was, but gave him some iron, and as luck would have it the hemorrhage soon stopped, and he was only too glad to pay me $2.00 – and respected the young doctor, to boot. I walked home a mile through the snow storm.