Special Collections Department
Dr. Charles Sajous Papers
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.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
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
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.
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
Series 1. Correspondence, 1881-1932 1 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) 1 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 2 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, 1886-1929 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, 1921 F109 University of Florida, 1890 F110 Pennsylvania National Guard, 1921 Series IV. Travel, 1912-1927 2 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
Back to the UD Special Collections Home Page