This prominent New York physician, a close friend of William Jennings Bryan, was brought in as a consultant after the assassination attempt on President Garfield and was the last survivor of the four physicians brought in to attend the president; he took part in Alexander Graham Bell's disastrous attempt to use metal detection to pinpoint and extract the bullet, causing a fatal infection; later he developed the Girdner telephonic bullet probe, supposedly plagiarizing the concept from Bell; in 1869 he was the first physician to use cadaver skin to cover a burn wound on a 10-year-old child. Item #31730
TLS, 1p, 8½" X 11", New York, NY, 1912 March 22. Addressed to Charles White of the New York Hall of Records (later a noted Abraham Lincoln scholar). Very good. Moderately age toned. Chatty note to the tax commissioner on his medical office letterhead, reading in part: "I regret as much as you can that we do not see more of each other, but I have got an endless job on my hands which requires all my time sleeping and waking." Of his profession, Girdner remarks: "You remember I used to want to reform other people and things: well, one day I looked myself over, and I have been a busy man ever since, and the end of the job is not in sight. You call me a 'rich physician' and so I am, but my wealth is not of the kind your office recognises as taxable, fortunately for me. I think you do yourself an injustice when you speak of having 'slipped back'. You know the old Methodist doctrine that one 'cannot fall from grace' and I am certain that when I knew you you were so well grounded in the faith that not even the temptations etc. of your present occupation and environment can drag you down....." Bold full signature. Most unusual.