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J Anesth Hist. 2015 Jan;1(1):9-13. doi: 10.1016/j.janh.2014.11.010. Epub 2014 Nov 27.

C.T. Jackson's Sealed 13 November 1846 Letter to J.B.A.L.L. Élie de Beaumont: Translated (1847), Back-Translated (1861), and Accurately Transcribed for the First Time (2014).

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Honorary Curator, Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Schaumburg, Illinois; Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Schools of Medicine and of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:


Besides the famous London-bound Bigelow-to-Boot letter dated November 28, 1846, the mail bags of the steam paddler Acadia also carried, from Boston to Liverpool, additional correspondence reporting W.T.G. Morton's public demonstration of surgical etherization. Paramount among these other letters was the wax-sealed English language missive of Charles T. Jackson to the French Academy of Science's J.B.A.L.L. Élie de Beaumont, which was dated November 13, 1846. Unfortunately, Jackson made no copy of this original letter. In 1847, Élie de Beaumont published portions of the letter in the French language, extracts that Jackson back-translated to English by 1861. The original Jackson-to-Élie de Beaumont letter resurfaced in a Parisian auction (2005) and then a New York sale (2006). Remarkably, this original 13 November 1846 Charles T. Jackson-to-Élie de Beaumont missive-a landmark letter staking Charles T. Jackson's claims over W.T.G. Morton's to discovering etherization-was not transcribed completely and accurately, for publication, until this past year (2014).


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