Feb 25, 2021 - Sale 2559

Sale 2559 - Lot 41

Price Realized: $ 6,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
"I CONSIDER MISS JONES THE BEST CHRISTIAN TRAINER OF NURSES I HAVE EVER KNOWN" (MEDICINE.) NIGHTINGALE, FLORENCE. Autograph Letter Signed, to "My dear Mrs. Fowler" [wife of Dr. Richard Fowler?], attesting to the selfless and devoted character of Miss Jones, superintendent of nurses at St. John's House, and in the postscript: "I am bound to add that both K[ing's] C[ollege] Hospt and St. John's Ho: have behaved with the utmost liberality to us--that they lose by their bargain with us--whereas rich St. Thomas' gained immensely by this bargain--with us--and that at this moment almost the greatest wish I have is to increase the funds of St. John's Ho: which is very poor, in order to enable it to set up a Convalescent Hospital at Hampstead." 12 3/4 pages, small 8vo, written on 4 folded sheets; faint scattered bleedthrough, minor toning to some leaves, horizontal folds; cloth chemise and 1/4 morocco slipcase with gilt-lettered spine. Np, 30 October 1861

Additional Details

"I have known Miss Jones, the Lady superintendent of St John's House, for 7 years--and have been very intimate with her for the last 4--I consider that she has done the greatest work (in charity) which has ever been done in England, by bringing together a religious Society (St. John's Ho:) in joint management with a Secular Institution (King's Coll. Hosp.) the first time you will observe this has ever been done in this country. I consider her as far as possible therefore from those Religious Societies instituted for their own salvation. At Paris you continually see the large secular Hospitals nursed by Religious Orders. King's Coll. Hosp., as far as I am aware, is the only one in London. . . .
"I consider Miss Jones the best Christian trainer of Nurses I have ever known in any country; and certainly one of the most 'upright' persons I know. . . .
"As to 'vows,' Miss Jones' laxity is all the other way. I never would be bothered as she allows herself to be, with 'Sisters' coming in for 3 months and going away for 9. Two of her 'sisters' married--no great proof of 'vows.'
"As for Miss Jones being a 'puseyite,' I cannot conceive where that notion originated. She is staunch Church of England. But the farthest possible from those religious Societies who have made the fatal mistake of thinking they could do good by separating themselves from 'the world.' . . .
"Both she and I are earnestly desirous of some new arrangement by which her nurses can be raised to be 'Sisters,' if they wish it. But neither the funds nor the statutes of St John's Ho; (not made by her) allow of this at present.
"You will say that all this rests upon my assertion. But, after all, if my life has not proved to the world that I prefer a system involving collision, however painful, with secular authorities, to ruling supreme over a 'Puseyite' Religious Society, and that I would not hastily form an alliance with any Supt. without knowing her as myself and knowing that she has proved herself of the same mind as this, I don't know what I can prove."
Published as "Letter from Florence Nightingale," The Johns Hopkins Nurses Alumnae Magazine 29, no. 2 (1930): 50.