Date Published: 1890 to 1898
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding
Edward Solon Goodhue letter collection contain 17 items dating from 1890 to 1892, specifically, 16 ALS (74 pp.) to Dr. Peter C. Meengs and a 4-page promotional leaflet promoting “The Poems of E.S. Goodhue” no date.
Group of 16 handwritten letters from Goodhue to his friend and medical colleague, Peter C. Meengs. 15 of the letters date from April 1890 to June 1892. The last letter is dated April 5, 1898 and was sent from Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii. Goodhue and Meengs were classmates at Rush Medical College (circa 1890-1). Meengs completed his studies in 1891, a year before Goodhue received his MD degree.
Included with this group of letters is a publisher’s 4-page promotional leaflet for “The Poems of E.S. Goodhue” from the Pacific Press Publishing Co, Oakland, California, full of praise for his poems by national newspapers and literary figures such as John Greenleaf Whittier. An excerpt from the Toronto Globe states that Goodhue’s “rank among Canadian poets should be high” (none of his works is listed in Watters’s A Checklist of Canadian Literature and Background Materials, 1628-1960, however).
Many of the letters were written from “Rose Hill” or “Home in the Woods”, Balbec (Indiana), Chicago, or from cities in Ohio. The letters reflect the intimacy of good friends, often laced with good humor and a great literary tone. [April 1, 1890] “My Dear P.C.: Well you are now a father and I shall have to address you as such. Allow me, my dear Sir, to offer my condolences. I pity Mrs. Meengs more than I do you, however, though you may have to spend a few sleepless nights and carry a musical body from one corner of the room to another. You will learn how to be patient which is a great thing, you know, for a physician.” He goes on to write, “You can look through the eye of your mind and see that pretty nine-pound girl baby of yours a charming young lady. You are sedate – a physician independent and gray, with much money and experience. The wife, a matronly person sits by you, and in the front parlor your daughter’s beau sits courting her. He will be in presently to ask you for her hand. There will be a sort of satisfaction therein too. By and by you see through the mists that your daughter has become a mother and you, poor dilapidated Meengs, are a grandfather. Shake old fellow! Your head is gray and you have retired from a long and honorable career! When you get into reveries like the above, don’t let the squalling baby bring you down into the prosaic present. Stay up in these imaginative heights & let the baby squall.”
When traveling in Ohio, Goodhue often gives interesting accounts of his observations. Back in Chicago to attend medical college, he writes about finding a place to live [September 4, 1890] “… we found a most delightful place on Winchester Avenue, just a short walk from College, up near Taylor St. The block is new – never had occupants, and perfect in all its arrangements. It is store front and elegantly finished in & out. We took a flat of 7 rooms in it, with the expectation of renting rooms to a few “chosen friends”… There are quite a number of students here already coming in slowly. Hoping to see you soon…” In subsequent letters he writes about his studies and problems with instructors and fellow students, including a misunderstanding with Meengs. He also writes about his work on the periodical Corpuscle and the various committees he must work with to make it successful. On talking about his internship [June 13, 1891], Goodhue writes, “On both sides of me are two women whose husbands are expecting heirs soon. One of them has spoken to me of his wife who is 40 & over & is greatly troubled by her pregnancy – menopause complications, falling of womb, &c. I am in mortal fear that I shall get called over there. May all the Goddesses of the Greek mythology come to my assistance if I do. My knowledge has not much muscle yet.” In several letters he mentions the comedian writer Bill Nye, who was a friend. In his December 6, 1891 letter he suggests the Meengs should consider going to southern California and start a medical practice there. A year later, Goodhue followed his own advice and returned to Riverside, California to set up his practice. The last letter, dated April 5, 1898, written on Malulani Hospital stationary (Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii), mentions his plans to go to New York and then on to Europe. He also writes, “Since 1895 I have not done any night work, as I cannot stand it. I made up my mind to do other practice indeed after our return. I think I shall restrict myself to one or two branches, if not a specialty. I am going East particularly to place in publishers hands a work on Hawaii, which we want to get out when annexation comes. But my heart is on “The Iodine Stain”, a story of our college life at Rush, which I hope to finish in France this year.”
Edward Solon Goodhue was born in St. Christoph, Athabasca, Quebec, on 29 September 1863 to American parents (James Goodhue and Miriam Miranda Emerson), E.S. Goodhue was a descendant of Benjamin Goodhue, senator for Massachusetts to the first Continental Congress. Through the Goodhue line he was related to Mrs. Calvin Coolidge and prominent families in Vermont, Minnesota, and New York. On his mother’s side, he was descended from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American poet and philosopher. Goodhue was educated at McGill University (St. Francis College) and at Rush Medical College, Chicago, which granted him his medical degree in 1892. In 1899 he married Lula Mae Rosser of Chicago; they had two children. From 1895 to 1900, he served the Republic of Hawaii and the Territory of Hawaii as the government physician and medical superintendent of the Koloa Government Hospital, as well as the attending surgeon at the Eleele Hospital. While practicing medicine on Kauai, he initiated the first campaign against tuberculosis in the Hawaiian Islands and organized the Hawaii Anti-Tuberculosis Association. He had a life-long interest in leprosy and its cure, and was appointed by President Taft as a delegate to the International Congress on Leprosy, which met in Norway in 1909. In addition to writing numerous articles and treatises upon scientific and medical subjects, he was a prolific poet who wrote many poems about Hawaii. He also had a keen interest in civic and political affairs, was an active worker in the Republican party for many years, and was a very good friend of Theodore Roosevelt.
P.C. (Pieter Cornelis) Meengs was one of at least 13 children of Hendrik and Arentje Van Regenmorter Meengs. He was born on October 15, 1858, and baptized into the Dutch Reformed Church in December of the same year. Peter C. Meengs courted Sarah Josephine Hall while the two lived in Bolivar and Sherman, Texas, 1885-1887; the two married in 1887. Meengs attended Rush Medical College in Chicago from 1889, graduating in 1891. He went to work as a physician in Holland, Eastmonville, and Coopersville, Michigan. On October 4, 1896, he received a patent for his improvements in Rectal Irrigating Dilators. Peter and Sarah Meengs had at least three children, Edna, Herbert, and Raymond. The family moved to Ukiah, Oregon, in 1901, where Peter C. Meengs died in 1906. quoted from William L. Clements Library University of Michigan Meengs collection
Collection on consignment with LDRB.