DescriptionJohn Marshall Autograph Letter Signed "Marshall." Two pages with integral address leaf, 6.25" x 7.75", Richmond, October 23, 1825. Writing to Dr. Thomas Sewall, Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court, thanks him for "your letter of the 15th accompanying your introductory lecture delivered at the opening of the medical department of the Columbian college . . . I have read it with deep interest and much satisfaction. It is truly gratifying to observe the progress made by our country in science generally, and especially in the very important department of medicine. Allow me to express the hope as well as the belief that the institution at the seat of our government will be among the most flourishing as well as among the most useful in the United States." Dr. Sewall had given the introductory lecture at the new medical school at Columbian College in the nation's capital. Smoothed folds. Very light toning seen on the lower edge. One spot of ink smudging.
Thomas Sewall (1786-1845) was a founding member of the medical faculty at Columbian College (now George Washington University) where he taught anatomy. Six years earlier, Sewall was charged with multiple counts of grave robbing and body snatching (two of the eight bodies were his former patients). Being found guilty, he was forced to leave the state of Massachusetts. He settled in Washington and became professor of anatomy at the National Medical College prior to his position at Columbian College. During the Columbian graduation of 1827 he provided the commencement speech. Ironically, the topic was on good moral conduct in the practice of medicine.
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