Thursday, January 6, 2011

Letter of the Day: January 6

This is one of the earliest letters in the collection that documents the acquisition of the Gibson collection. Other letters regarding the purchase of the Gibson collection arrive two years later, in 1868: April 22, May 1, and August 16.

Office Medical Surveyor,
Richmond, Va., January 6th, 1866


In accordance with your note of Dec 29th, 1865, I visited in company with Dr Gaillard of this city + Col. I Simons U.S.A Mw.[?] Director of the Dept. the collection of the late Dr. C. B. Gibson + now offered for sale I have the honor to transmit herewith a catalogue of the same. The great bulk of this collection was made by Prof William Gibson Emeritus Professor of Surgery University of Penn. + which for a long time was used by him in his lectures + well known for its completeness + great value.

The forty two (42) oil paintings aside from their professional are of great value as works of art.

The osteological part of the collection I consider unique. Enhancing I think every known fracture + disease of bone + showing the powers of nature in the repair of the same. A number of specimens are from Waterloo -

I think that this part of the collection would be of great value in filling a gap in the Army Museum which must necessarily exist (ie) showing reunion after fracture, sabre cuts, + repair from disease. The wax preparations are elegant specimens of art the leather ones though not much used now are the finest that I have ever seen.

The whole collection is in good state of presivation [sic] - specimens well mounted + enclosed in upright cases-

The college at N.O. and at this place + some parties in Philadelphia have been asking about the price +c. Mrs. Gibson proposes in regard to price the following which I consider very liberal. She will appoint one professional man the other party to appoint one + they to appoint a third + she agrees to be bound by the decision of the three.

I have the honor
Very Respectfully I am
Your Obedient Servant
John H. Janeway
Bvt. Maj. + Asst Surgeon, U.S.A

[To] Bvt. Maj. + Asst Surgeon
A.A. Woodhull U.S.A.
Surgeon Generals Office

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