December 30, 1915
FROM POCAHONTAS TO WHITE HOUSE MISTRESS
An American of Americans is the forthcoming mistress of the White House, by virtue of an American ancestry unsurpassed in age, says a writer in the Boston Evening Transcript, who continues:
It is a far cry from Pocahontas and John Rolfe to Mrs. Edith Galt and Woodrow Wilson; from the first “society wedding” in America to that which is about to occur. Yet if it had not been for the former match, the latter could never have been made. There might indeed have been a Woodrow Wilson, but there would have been no Edith Bolling Galt. For the latter is a direct descendant of the famous Indian princess, through one of the most important branches of the distinguished family.
Pocahontas and John Rolfe were married on April 5, 1614. For a time, they lived on their plantation of Variana, near Jamestown, and then, in the fall of that year, went to Rolfe’s ancestral home, Heacham Hall, in Norfolk, England. There the following year their only child, Thomas Rolfe, was born. He married Jane Poythress, whom he took to live at Variana. To them, also, only one child was born, a daughter, to whom they gave the mother’s name of Jane. This only grandchild of Pocahontas became, in time, the wife of Capt. Robert Bolling, of London, England, whose family name descended directly to the President’s fiancee.
by Susan A. Price, M.D., Williamsburg, VA.
Eastern State Hospital
Needless to say, it gives me pleasure to read this short paper before the Medical Society of Virginia and to make this feeble effort to interest you in the topic that your Secretary and Chairman so kindly allow me to present to you this afternoon, namely, “The Woman Physician.”
It is a pleasing contrast today from the lonely days of the past, when it was looked upon as a questionable experiment for a woman to study medicine, when discussion was aroused as to the propriety of a woman searching for information to acquire wisdom of matters medical – although so vital to her well-being, her happiness and often her life itself – and to have insight into the laws of nature from the simple to the most profound, to these prosperous times when there is a better, and I may say, a universal understanding and more harmonious feeling toward the medical woman.
There are now few accessible parts of the world to which the woman physician is not penetrating, and with success, steadily holding her own with that tenacity of purpose generated in that trying period of her first days in the modern medical college. These were far from being days of pleasure, of misleading glamor, of social successes – for so many ages considered vital to the happiness and contentment of woman – but days of struggle and unceasing sacrifice, when the student must give every force of which she is capable to laborious patient research, sacrificing much pleasure, often comfort and encouragement and recognition, mental and physical health, sometimes life itself.
All through the ages woman has been most closely connected with the healing art. Ages ago, it is recorded in that sacred and supreme textbook for physicians, a woman had a box of ointment and anointed the head and feet of her Lord, and did not that Master Physician approve and say that wherever the Son of Man should go, that act would be a memorial to her? A psychologist makes the statement that without memory there can be no imagination. We remember that incident of the woman with the box of ointment, and I imagine that woman has always taken a most active and honorable part in the art of healing. An authority on the history of medicine was surprised to find that, to woman, the field of medicine is a lost heritage. The first hospital in the world was built by a woman in Rome in the fourth century A.D. In the sixteenth century it is said that woman had the obstetrical field to herself, and a woman of Paris wrote a book on that subject, which was an authority in those days, and no doubt could be relied upon at the present day to some extent…
Dr. Florence Bruce Sherborn, President of the Iowa State Society of Medical Women, says, “… The world has long taken the stand that a good woman must know as little as possible of the hidden things of the world, but to the medical woman there is little hidden. The skeleton in the closet may escape the eye of the friend, the relative, the priest, but there comes a time when, to the physician, the door must open and she beholds its hideous face, gibbering, mocking form, and does what she can to heal the venom of its wounds. She then, goes forth with sealed lips and learns in time to go from scenes which stagger her philosophy and weigh down her soul, with a serene brow and a calm word for the next sufferer…”
FROM A LOVER OF BOOKS
Advice and instruction as to their Proper Usage Which is Well Worth Consideration
We are exercising an office of piety when we treat books carefully, and again when we restore them to their proper places and commend them to inviolable custody. We deem it expedient to warn our students of various negligences which might always be easily avoided and do wonderful harm to books. and in the first place as to the opening and closing of books, let there be due moderation, that they be not unclasped in precipitate haste, nor when we have finished our inspection to be put away without being duly closed. For it behooves us to guard a book much more carefully than a boot. But the handling of books is specially to be forbidden to those shameless youths, who as soon as they have learned to form the shapes of letters, straightway, if they have the opportunity, become unhappy commentators, and wherever they find an extra margin about the text, tarnishes it with monstrous alphabet, or if any other frivolity strikes their fancy, at once their pen begins to write it. There the Latinist and sophister and every unlearned writer tries the fitness of his pen, a practice that we have frequently seen injuring the usefulness and value of the most beautiful books…moreover, the laity, who look at a book turned upside down just s if it were open in the right way, are utterly unworthy of any communion with books. Let the clerk take care also hat the scullion does not touch the lily leaves of books, all unwashed, but he who walketh without blemish shall minister to the precious volumes. Whenever defects are noticed in books, they should be promptly repaired, since nothing spreads more quickly than a tear, and a rent which is neglected at the time will have to be repaired with usury. From the Philobiblon of Richard de Bury, King’s Classics Edition