University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Dr. Charles Sajous Papers

1870 - 1932

Manuscript Collection Number: 253
Accessioned: Gift of Moyerman Family, 1972.
Extent: ca. 2000 items (2 linear ft.)
Content: Letters, postcards, telegrams, maps, financial statements, ledgers, wills, receipts, newspaper clippings, advertisements, photographs, notebooks, manuscripts, journal articles.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: February 1992 by Neva J. Specht.

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Charles Eucharist de Medicis Sajous (1852-1929) was born December 13, 1852 to Count Charles Roustan de Medicis-Jodoigne and Marie Pierrett Curt. His father died when he was two and his mother later married James Sajous. Charles took the name of his step-father.

Sajous came to the United States at age nine after four years of schooling in Paris. He received further education from private tutors before attending the University of California and Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He was graduated with a medical degree from Jefferson in 1878 and later, in recognition of numerous achievements in the medical profession, Sajous received the equivalent of bachelor in arts and sciences from the University of France.

As a physician, teacher, author, and editor, Charles Sajous became a prominent name in the late nineteenth-century medical profession. After two years as resident physician of Howard Hospital in Philadelphia, Sajous held numerous teaching appointments. In 1881, Dr. Sajous was appointed professor of anatomy and physiology at the Wagner Institute of Science, lecturer in the Philadelphia School of Anatomy, and clinical assistant in the laryngology department of Jefferson Medical College. After a six year leave to Paris where he researched and wrote on the physiology and therapeutics of ductless glands, Sajous returned to Philadelphia in 1897 and became dean of the Medico-Chirurgical College. Upon the reorganization of Temple University in 1909, he accepted the Chair of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He worked hard to transform Temple University Medical School into a Class A Medical program and helped raise funds to outfit the Medical College with excellent facilities and faculty.

Sajous published and edited numerous books and articles. In 1885 he published Hayfever and Its Successful Treatment by Superficial Organic Alteration of the Nasal Mucous Membrane, and in the same year, Lectures on the Diseases of the Nose and Throat. From 1888 to 1896 he edited the Annual of the Universal Medical Sciences, published by the F.A. Davis Company of Philadelphia, and during the nine years of its existence not only edited but contributed countless articles to the forty-five volumes of this work. In 1898, Sajous assumed the editorship of a similar project published by the same firm, at first called the Annual and Analytical Cyclopedia of Practical Medicine and later, Sajous's Analytic Cyclopedia of Practical Medicine. Ten editions (six to eight volumes each) of this work were issued before his death.

Dr. Sajous was also the author of The Internal Secretions and The Principles of Medicine (two volumes, 1903-07), in which he reviewed all the available literature on endocrinology and set forth his own views on the subject which were controversial at the time.

From 1911 to 1919, Sajous was managing editor of the New York Medical Journal. He was the first president of the Association for the Study of the Internal Secretions; a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Therapeutic Society, and the American Philosophical Society; and a fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. In 1926 he published The Strength of Religion as Shown by Science.

On January 30, 1884, Sajous was married to Emma Christine Bergner of Philadelphia. Their only child, Louis Theodore de Medicis Sajous, was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1909 and worked closely with his father on his studies of endocrinology. Both Charles and his son Louis died in 1929.


Dictionary of American Biography. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 11 v., 1958-1964.

National Cyclopedia of American Biography. New York: J. T. White, 1974.

Scope and Content Note

The Dr. Charles Sajous Papers contain over 2000 items dating from 1870 through the 1920s, and include letters, postcards, receipts, and financial statements; manuscripts of articles, speeches, book reviews, editorials, and journals; and newspaper articles that belonged to Dr. Charles Sajous and his family. The bulk of the material dates from the first two decades of the twentieth century.

Dr. Sajous' career, as documented in the Sajous papers, reflects the growing professionalization of medicine in the late nineteenth century. This collection illustrates the contributions of medical schools, professional associations, and journals in making that professionalization possible.

Also in this collection, the personal papers and correspondence with friends and family offer glimpses of American middle-class lifestyle of the period. For example, the Sajous family's annual summer vacation to Lake Placid was a typical venture for Philadelphians who could afford to escape the heat of the city. Other items in the collection offer clues to the types of food eaten by the family, and renovations made to the Sajous home during the late Victorian period.

The papers of Dr. Charles Sajous are arranged in five series, by either type or topic of material. Series I, Correspondence, is the largest series in the collection and is arranged chronologically. A majority of the early correspondence (1880s) is written in French and consists of letters from the Belgian Consulate and other acquaintances still in France. Topics discussed in the correspondence from the 1880s and 1890s include settlement of his brother-in- law's estate, a disputed patent for a cream separator invented by his brother-in-law, travel preparations for an extended stay in France and Germany, and details about publishing his book on hayfever.

Sajous received numerous letters from the United States Counsel in Venezuela, Eugene H. Plumacher. Topics of these letters include the instability and problems of the Venezuelan government, earthquakes, and gifts of coffee and tea in exchange for Sajous' help with Plumacher's financial matters in the United States. Correspondence from Emma Sajous's father and the firm of Phillip and Townsend address financial difficulties resulting from the economic panics of the 1890s and how these problems affected Sajous's investments. In 1893, Dr. Sajous wrote to those in charge of the Chicago Exposition warning them about the risk of a cholera outbreak from the expected foreign crowds who would be attending the fair in Chicago.

A large portion of the correspondence series consists of letters between Dr. Sajous and C.T. Crandall, manager of F.A. Davis Co., Dr. Sajous' publishing company. These letters span from the 1880s through the 1920s, and discuss financial business such as salary and royalties. The correspondents also discuss the best strategies for promoting the various editions and volumes of the Cyclopedia and Internal Secretion. Crandall and Sajous wrote consistently about new ideas, missing information which needed to be addressed in future editions, and deadlines. Most of the correspondence was on publisher's stationery which bore advertisements for Sajous' book on the verso.

When Dr. Sajous assumed the managing editorship of the monthly New York Journal of Medicine, he engaged in regular correspondence with editors of the journal. Letters from 1912 deal with various personnel problems of the journal and it is possible to follow the disputes between staff and Dr. Sajous's resolutions. Correspondence concerning the New York Journal of Medicine also contains information about competing journals such as the American Medical Journal; the most current medical literature; and solicitations to prominent doctors requesting submission of publishable materials, including a letter to Dr. William J. Mayo, co-founder of Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota 1889.

Only a small amount of the correspondence from 1914-1918 mentions World War I. A letter from a family friend in May 1915 asking about Louis Sajous' wedding included discussion of the war and its implications. Letters from Sajous's brother Louis, mentioned efforts to secure a military deferment for his son Edward in May 1917. In spite of his father's wishes, Edward enlisted and sent several letters to his uncle from France where he served in the medical corps. Other war-time news includes a 1917 solicitation from the Belgian Children's Relief Committee of Pennsylvania and a May 1917 article Dr. Sajous wrote about Temple medical students entering the army. Also in May 1917, Dr. Sajous recommended a young woman for a resident physician position, a situation which may have reflected war-time staffing shortages.

A small group of letters from Emma Sajous are addressed to her secretary and housekeeper, Miss L. Weisgerber. The letters were posted from Lake Placid when the Sajous family was on vacation, and concern domestic details for the household in Philadelphia. A particularly detailed letter of July 1917 discussed Miss Weisgerber's purchase of embroidery patterns and fabric for Mrs. Sajous's sewing projects.

Series II, Financial and Legal Documents, contains the will of Sajous' brother-in-law, as well as other estate documents. Also in this series are two account ledgers showing various transactions including home and office improvements, and Sajous's accounts with clients and his publisher. Other noteworthy items include publishing contracts, financial statements, and receipts for numerous purchases for business and home.

Series III, Medical and Teaching Career, consists of notes and drafts of articles, lectures, and editorials. Several items in this series detail the development and growth of Temple University Medical School from its establishment in 1907.

Series IV, Travel, includes correspondence and papers related to the annual Sajous family summer vacation at the Lake Placid Club in New York State. This series documents travel plans and vacation expenditures, club activities, and maps.

Series V, Louis Sajous, contains the papers of Charles and Emma Sajous's son, Louis Sajous. Letters to his parents discuss Louis' work on editing the Cyclopedia, and four letters from the summer of 1919 mention his pending divorce. Also included in this series are a notebook with class notes and anatomical illustrations, and a laboratory notebook recording animal experiments from Louis' time as a medical student.

Series Outline

I.   Correspondence, 1881-1932
II.  Financial and Legal Documents, 1886-1929
III. Medical and Teaching Career, 1880-1929
IV.  Travel, 1912-1927
 V.  Louis Sajous, 1908-1925 

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

Series 1.  Correspondence, 1881-1932
     F1        1881-1889
     F2        1890-1891
     F3        1892  Jan-Jun
     F4              Jul-Dec
     F5        1893-1894
     F6        1895
     F7        1896-1899
     F8        1900-1901
     F9        1902-1904
     F10       1905
     F11       1906
     F12       1907
     F13       1908  Jan-Jul 
     F14             Aug-Dec
     F15       1909  Jan-Jun
     F16             Jul-Dec
     F17       1910
     F18       1911  Jan-May
     F19             Jun-Nov
     F20             Dec 1-Dec 14
     F21             Dec 15-Dec 31
     F22       1912  Jan
     F23             Feb 
     F24             Mar 
     F25             Apr
     F26             May 
     F27             Jun 
     F28             Jul-Aug 
     F29             Sep 
     F30             Oct 
     F31             Nov 
     F32             Dec 
     F33       1913  Jan 
     F34             Feb 
     F35             Mar 
     F36             Apr 
     F37             May 
     F38             Jun 
     F39             Jul-Dec 
     F40       1914  Jan-May 
     F41             Jun-Dec 
     F42       1915  Jan-Mar 

               Series I.  Correspondence (cont'd)
     F43             Apr-Jun 
     F44             Jul-Sep   
     F45             Oct-Dec 
     F46       1916  Jan-Mar 
     F47             Apr-Jun 
     F48             Jul-Dec 
     F49       1917  Jan-Mar
     F50       1917  Apr-Jun
     F51             Jul-Sep 
     F52             Oct-Dec 
     F53       1918
     F54       1919
     F55       1920
     F56       1921
     F57       1922
     F58       1923
     F59       1926      
     F60       1927-1932
     F61       Undated
     F62       Undated
     F63       Undated
     F64       Telegrams, 1892-1911
     F65       Postcards, 1895-1915
     F66       Invitations, announcements, and programs, 1892-1920
     F67       Miscellaneous envelopes
     F68       Miscellaneous newspaper articles, ca. 1910-1915

               Series II.  Financial and Legal Documents, 
     F69       Wills and inventories, 1889-1929
     F70       Account ledger, 1886-1889
     F71       Account ledger, 1891
     F72       Mitchell, Fletcher & Co. account statements, 1903-1905
     F73       Publishing contracts, 1886-1920
     F74       F.A. Davis Co. in account with C. Sajous statements, 1903
     F75       Morgan, Drexel, and Harjes & Co. financial statements, 1891-1897
     F76       Bergner royalty and other miscellaneous account statements, 1896-1909
     F77       Cancelled checks, 1888-1925
     F78       Receipts, 1870-1894
     F79       Receipts, 1895-1903
     F80       Receipts, 1904-1908
     F81       Receipts, 1909-1923
     F82       Real estate and other investments
     F83       Closing quote from NY market, 1914 Nov 5
     F84       Medicine, 1886-1894

               Series III. Medical and Teaching Career, 1880-1929 

     F85       Manuscript rough drafts
     F86       Cyclopedia notes
     F87       Advertisements for medical journals
     F88       Medical and science notes, 1910-1920s
     F89       Cyclopedia financial notes
     F90       Miscellaneous lists of names
     F91       Miscellaneous printed medical journal articles, 1898-1902
     F92       Miscellaneous printed medical journal articles, 1910-1928
     F93       Article manuscript, "Secretions as a Remedy. . ." by 
                Henry R. Harrower, M.D.
     F94       Cyclopedia and NY Medical Journal promotions
     F95       Portraits of Jean Martin Charcot (1867-1936) 
     F96       Report on the status of the New York Medical Journal, 1912
     F97       Editorials, ca. 1912
               Temple University Medical School
     F98       Pamphlet and photograph, 1907
     F99       Evaluations, 1908-1912?
     F100      Alumni events and speakers
     F101      Financial notes
     F102      Evaluations and statistics, 1909-1912
     F103      [Lists of students?]
     F104      Curriculum
     F105      Lecture notebook with pencil drawings
     F106      Lecture, "The Conservatism of Thomas Carlyle," 1881
     F107      List for the Institute of Hemadenology
     F108      Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 
     F109      University of Florida, 1890
     F110      Pennsylvania National Guard, 1921

               Series IV.  Travel, 1912-1927
     F111      Lake Placid correspondence, 1912-1927
     F112      Lake Placid Club rules and regulations, 1923-1928
     F113      Lake Placid receipts, 1925
     F114      Lake Placid receipts, 1926
     F115      Lake Placid receipts, 1927
     F116      Lake Placid Club maps, ca. 1920s (some oversized)
     F117      Advertisements and hotel stationery

               Series V.  Louis Sajous, 1908-1925
     F118      Correspondence, 1911-1915
     F119      Laboratory of Pharmacology experiments, 1925
     F120      Lectures on clinical medicine, 1908
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