HODGKIN, THOMAS, 1798-1866.
Thomas Hodgkin Letter to John Ross, 1827, 1837

Emory University

Historical Collections

Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library

1462 Clifton Road, NE

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/rrr43

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hodgkin, Thomas, 1798-1866.
Title: Thomas Hodgkin Letter to John Ross, 1827, 1837
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 018
Extent: 0.20 linear ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Contains one letter from Thomas Hodgkin to John Ross as well as one letter from John Ross to Elliott Cresson.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Given by Clyde Partin through William Thibadeau, 2016.


[after identification of item(s)], Thomas Hodgkin Letter to John Ross, Historical Collections, Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, Emory University.


Processed by Clayton McGahee, 2016.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

One of the most prominent pathologists of the 19th century, Thomas Hodgkin is most known for his first account of Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphoma and blood disease, in 1832. Thomas Hodgkin's work marked the beginning of the active involvement of pathology in the clinical process, establishing him as a pioneer of preventive medicine. In addition to his distinguished career in medicine, Hodgkin had interests in ethnology, arguing that languages constituted philological evidence of man's origins, and should be preserved in cases where they are in jeopardy. Hodgkin was also interested in the colonization of Africa and was a supporter of the American Colonization Society, which believed that repatriation of free blacks was preferable to widespread emancipation of slaves.

Born in 1790 in Alabama, John Ross served as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1828-1866. During this tenure, Ross influenced the Indian nation through tumultuous events such as the relocation of Indian territory and the American Civil War, in which the majority of Cherokee people sided with the Confederate army despite Ross urging his people to remain neutral in the conflict. Following the Civil War, Ross was tasked with negotiating the Reconstruction Treaty with the United States, which is at the time when Ross died on August 1, 1866.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of two letters written on two pages. The first, written on January 12, 1827, was to John Ross from Thomas Hodgkin. Hodgkin was devoted to the abolition of slavery and sought to reduce the impact of western colonization on indigenous people around the world. The letter written to John Ross expresses these sentiments, stating "as a resident in a distant country, my heart has ached at the consideration of these things, what must be the feelings of a Philadelphian, and a Friend, when he witness [sic] the approaching extermination of the race..." This letter was written one year before Ross assumed the position of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, during this time Ross was a member of the National Council of the Cherokee Nation.

The second letter consists of a brief letter written by John Ross to Elliott Cresson. Dated April 10, 1837, the letter suggests that Cresson sought John Ross's signature for philanthropic purposes, specifically to create an album of signatures from distinguished individuals to support the cause of Ethiopian liberty. Cresson himself was an American philanthropist and was a strong supporter of the Philadelphia branch of the American Colonization Society.

Also included in the collection is a reproduced photograph of John Ross.

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Box Folder Content
1 1 Letters (2) and photograph, 1827, 1837