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    Lucretia Mott 1853 Autograph Letter Signed "Lucretia Mott". Two pages, 7.25" x 9.25", Auburn, New York, [April or July] 7, 1853, to Dr. Ellwood Harvey, Female Medical College, Philadelphia. A most interesting letter in which Lucretia Mott tries to remain neutral in a scandal between two doctors at the Female Medical College in Philadelphia. She writes, in part:

    "I received thy letter two weeks since, and but for my reluctance to put pen to paper in the unhappy affairs of the Medical College & Dr. Longshore, I should have answered it immediately. I have written to Harriet A. Judd disclaiming any part or lot in the Penn College or any use that may be made of my name as giving countenance to Dr. Longshore's coarseness. Had I known of the existing difficulties, I should not have become a subscriber to (& in that way only a member of) the Fem. Med. Educ. Society. It was only as one means of woman's elevation that I was induced to give my name; not as expecting intelligently to co-operate with the Society - least of all to have any use made of it to promote the new college attempted to be established...If as thou thinks, such use is make of my recorded name, I should be quite willing to have equal publicity given to my disclaimer - while thou knows my great reluctance to appear as a partisan in your dissensions.. I have known little of Dr. Longshore personally. His labors for years in the Temperance cause when that movement was most unpopular, was worthy of praise, however wanting at time in prudence & good taste. His sister-in-law Hannah Longshore too has shown a perseverance under difficulties & obstacles which few women would have surmounted. For these reasons, I have felt reluctant to appear in any position antagonistic to their interests & temporal well being. If however, the charges against Dr. Longshore can be substantiated, I shall have no objection to a denial of any co-operation with him, appearing in a suitable public print. Thy friend, Lucretia Mott".

    Though the specifics of the "difficulties" Lucretia Mott refers to are unknown, they culminated in a libel suit filed by Dr. Joseph Skelton Longshore against Dr. Ellwood Harvey, both doctors at the Female Medical College. Dr. Harvey pronounced Longshore "guilty of fraud, that he was incompetent, and that he was coarse in language and sentiment". Sadly, Dr. Harvey was found libel but the judge upon sentencing commented "that although compelled to give judgment against him, his conduct throughout the whole affair commanded his admiration. A college that would allow within its walls the teaching of such immoral doctrines as those of Dr. Longshore is no better than a disorderly house, and should be indicated as such." Dr. Longshore was later granted a charter for a co-educational medical school, Penn Medical University, which Mott refers to in her letter. An extraordinary letter, with the usual fold creases, paper slightly tender in the folds, with a 1" x 1" hole resulting from the removal of the stamp on the transmittal page which doesn't affect text, otherwise a legible letter in very good condition. From the Judith Kaplan Women's History Collection.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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