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Mason Cogswell To James Cogswell, January 29, 1794

From: Letters By Mason Cogswell
Creator: Mason F. Cogswell (author)
Date: January 29, 1794
Publication: Father and Daughter: A Collection of Cogswell Family Letters and Diaries (1772-1830)
Publisher: American School for the Deaf
Source: Yale Medical Library

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To the Rev'd James Cogswell, DD




Hartford, January 29th, 1794.


Dear and Hond Sir --


I returned last evening from a very cold ride of about ten miles which I had been to perform an operation on a child in a very critical situation, and happily succeeded. I should have not gone in the present state of my practice if it had not been a case of life and death, and there was no one around here who would perform the operation. On my return I find your two letters brought by Mr. Dorrance, whom I met in the street before I got home. He told me he should go out of town immediately or in the morning. Soon after I met Dr. Backus who told me he should not go till very early in the morning. Last evening I was almost sick for want of rest. Now I have risen with the day to write until Dr. Backus calls.


True, my kind Parent, I gave you encouragement that I would come and see you soon and I fully intended to long before now. But I cannot resist the decrees of Providence. It's very singular that immediately after the Governor left Hartford I performed an operation which involved the most serious and alarming consequences. For twelve or fourteen nights in succession I slept in the room with the patient without once plucking off my clothes. That case was succeeded by one accident and that by another and another in such quick succession that it has been impossible for me to leave town a single day unless in direct opposition to the most positive calls of duty. I have felt extremely anxious on account of Betsey Breed and nothing short of the circumstances I have stated would have prevented my visiting her before. I certainly shall leave home as soon as possible, and hope I may be an instrument in the hands of Providence of doing her some good.


In answer to your first letter, I hardly know what to say, I wish my heart was a more yielding one than it is. I find it sometimes so unwilling to do as it ought to that I cannot believe but that it must be a very bad one. On this subject I hope to converse with you soon. I thank my Mamma for her affectionate remembrances. Her love for me is not unfelt, or unreturned by her dutiful and affectionate and your only son,


Mason F. Cogswell