Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Basil Norris Autograph Letter Signed "Basil Norris MD / (Surgeon USA)", one page, 7.5" x 9.5", Washington, D.C., 3 April 1881, to Judge Edwards Pierrepont in New York. Norris transmits (present) a 7.5" x 9.5" printed copy of a letter William H. Seward had written him in 1870 praising "the surgical skill and care with which you treated me in . . . 1865, when I fell under the blows of an assassin . . . while . . . lying helpless in my bed in my own house at Washington. . . . It seems to me to be an important duty . . . to record . . . the gratitude I owe you as a savior of my life." Norris asks Pierrepont to "bring the letter to the notice of solid men of New York", suggesting particularly that "influential members of the Union League" might "make a substantial acknowledgement" of his services "materially, professionally and socially." Evidently feeling slighted, and taking a bit too much credit, he closes with the comment: "I performed all the surgery in Mr. Seward's case, bound up his wounds, and attended him . . . when all other prominent men went to the bedside of the dying President." Doctors Verdi and Norris both gave testimony at the trial of the Lincoln conspirators. Norris was official physician to presidents Johnson and Grant and was one of the cadre of doctors who cared for Garfield as he lay dying. Both letters have folds and are fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 917

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold on Nov 20, 2008 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 September 25 - 26 Including the Mahoney Collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons. Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search