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John K. Mitchell correspondence

Identifier: MSS 2/263

Scope and Contents

This collection, spanning 1892 to 1914, consists of letters received by John K. Mitchell and some miscellaneous material. Most of the letters concern the publication of Mitchell's book, Remote Consequences of Injuries of the Nerves, and Their Treatment (1895). The collection also contains three letters written by Mitchell, two reviews of his book, a case study, and a signature cutting.

Series 1 contains letters received by Mitchell pertaining to the publication of Remote Consequences of Injuries of Nerves, and Their Treatment. Correspondents include J. M. Da Costa, W. R. Gowers, William W. Keen, George R. Morehouse, Sir William Osler, and H. C. Wood, all of whom comment on Mitchell's book. Mitchell received a great dealjof praise from his colleagues, especially from Osler, who wrote that the book was "first class" and "must remain...the standard authority on the subject". Also of interest is a letter from H. Gowers, who tells Mitchell that Remote Consequences of Injuries of Nerves, and Their Treatment will be quoted as a medical authority in a Supreme Court case in Kings County, New York.

Series 2 contains miscellaneous material. Included is a case study from an operation performed by "Dr. Moston" in 1892, in which a bone fragment was removed from a fractured clavicle. Also present are two reviews of Remote Consequences of Injuries of Nerves, and Their Treatment; one of the reviews mistakenly identifies the title of the book as Injuries and Diseases of the Nerves. A signature cutting from a reprint is also in Series 3.


  • 1892 - 1914


Biographical / Historical

John Kearsley Mitchell, son of S. Weir and Mary Middleton (Elwyn) Mitchell, was born in Philadelphia in 1859. Mitchell earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1883. He was married to Anne K. Williams. Mitchell died in Philadelphia in 1917.

Mitchell was a resident physician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 1883 and at Episcopal Hospital, also in Philadelphia, from 1883 to 1885. After his residency, Mitchell became an assistant to William Osler at the Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases; he later became a visiting surgeon at this hospital.

During his career, Mitchell wrote numerous books and articles. His most valued contribution is Remote Consequences of Injuries of the Nerves, and Their Treatment (1895); in preparing this work, Mitchell re examined surviving patients studied by his father. Mitchell also wrote about the physical effects of massage and the nervous ailments of women. Mitchell belonged to numerous professional societies. He became a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1888, and was a member of the Association of American Physicians, the American Neurological Association, and several local medical societies.


2 folders (23 items)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Small collections

Custodial History

This collection of John K. Mitchell's letters was donated to the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia by Mrs. Mitchell Macdonough on 9 May 1952.

The collection was processed and cataloged in 1992.
John K. Mitchell correspondence
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States