Stanford University School of Medicine and the Predecessor Schools: An Historical Perspective
Part IV: Cooper Medical college 1883-1912

Chapter 29. The Ellinwood Affair 1905 - 1907

Planning for the Construction of Lane Medical Library

In November 1902, three and a half months after the death of Mrs. Lane, the Board of Directors of Cooper Medical College purchased the land on which to build the future Lane Medical Library.

It was not until about a year later, in September 1903, that all claims against Mrs. Lane's estate were settled in Superior Court of San Francisco and awards were made to the beneficiaries of her will, one-third of the estate to Cooper Medical College and two-thirds to C. N. Ellinwood, President of the College. Also in September 1903, the Board of Directors established the Lane Medical Library Fund to receive and disburse funds required for the planning and construction of the Library.

There followed a period of two years during which President Ellinwood cooperated with the Board of Directors in selling off some of the unproductive Lane real estate properties (which comprised most of the Lane bequest) in order to acquire funds for the construction of Lane Medical Library. One third of the amount collected from the sale of the land went to the Lane Medical Library Fund which on 1 July 1904 showed a balance on hand of $32,415. Two-thirds of the receipts from the land sales went to the personal bank account of Dr. Ellinwood whose verbal statements led the other members of the Board to assume that he intended in due course to make these funds available for construction of the Library. On the basis of this assumption, Dr. Ellinwood was reelected President of the Board for the ensuing year at the Annual meeting of the Board in August 1904 . The other incumbent Directors were also reelected. [1]

At the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors on 6 September 1905, President Ellinwood delivered his Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 1905. His Report included no reference to planning for the Lane Medical Library, but it did show that the Lane Library Fund had increased to $40,000. Again, President Ellinwood and other members of the Board were reelected for the ensuing year. [2]

The minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors for the years ending 30 June 1904 and 30 June 1905 again contain no comment on Dr. Ellinwood's intent regarding disposition of the Lane bequest.

Nor is the subject so much as mentioned in the Regular Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors on 27 November 1905. Fortunately Dr. Rixford, Secretary of the Board, kept copious personal notes on this and other meetings dealing with Dr. Ellinwood's evolving attitude toward the Lane bequest. Rixford's notes were quoted extensively by Professor Hans Barkan in his vintage article on Cooper Medical College in 1954. These notes have since been lost. Thus we are fortunate to be able to draw upon Professor Barkan's transcription of them for the following information: [3]

Dr. Rixford's Personal Notes
27 November 1905 11:20 PM [4]

I have just come from a most interesting meeting of the Board of Directors of Cooper Medical College at which were also present Drs. Ellinwood, Barkan and Gibbons, and of which the Regular Minutes of the Board record nothing but one or two items of routine business. The discussion which took place may mean much for the future of Cooper College and I think should be preserved with as much accuracy as possible in case it may hereafter be quoted.

It came about through some supposed error of the Treasurer in not recording any draught from the Lane Medical Library Fund during the year 1904 that Dr. Ellinwood asked whether the income of the Lane Medical Library Fund was being expended for the purposes of the College Library and said that there were legal relations in regard thereto which had best be seen to. I replied that the expenditure had been authorized by the Board, the understanding being very clear that the College Library was to be considered the nucleus of the Levi Cooper Lane Library of Medicine and Surgery; that furthermore the Directors had authorized me as Librarian to incorporate the Library of Dr. Lane with the College Library.

I then went on, there being no business before the Board, to state that the time seemed ripe for a beginning to be made in planning for the Library; that after the fundamental questions of size and character of the Library, and its relations to the College and to the Medical Profession had been determined, a beginning should at once be made because (collections of books and journals) are rapidly getting more rare in consequence of the development of a large number of medical libraries in the United States, all of which are hungry for the very material required by the Lane Library. I further stated that Libraries are not purchased outright but grow; that the logical plan for the creation of the Lane library would be to gather together the books and when a sufficient collection had been secured to build the building; that if the building were to be built first the running expenses would have to be met and the interest of the investment would be lost.

I then said that in as much as Dr. Ellinwood had promised this Board that the 2/3 of the Lane estate in his possession should be available whenever "you gentlemen get ready to build the library building" (meaning the Board of Directors) it was time to begin planning for the library. Dr. Ellinwood denied having said the above. I asked "What did you say ?" "Not that; go on and finish." Dr. Gibbons and Dr. Barkan both corroborated my statement but Dr. Ellinwood persisted in his denial and finally said he expected to cooperate with the Board in building the Lane Library. . .

Dr. Ellinwood then entered into some criticism of the Faculty and the Directors for treating him discourteously by voting him down on pretty much all occasions. When he denied having said that he would "see that the money was forth-coming," each of those present in turn stated that he had so understood Dr. Ellinwood and had acted under that understanding. . .

Dr. Gibbons asked what reasons he had for not coming more directly forward and taking the members of the Board into his confidence? Dr. Ellinwood vouchsafed no answer beyond intimating that his reasons were sufficient - that this money had been given to him by Mrs. Lane unconditionally and he was prepared to use it in the way Dr. Lane would have used it - to the best of his (E's) knowledge.

I said that Dr. E's complaint that the Faculty and Directors had not given him the support that should be given the President of the College, had no foundation - on the contrary, both Faculty and Directors had given him an amount of support and cooperation truly extraordinary in view of his treatment of them - that he had persisted in repelling all confidence on the part of his associates and had grievously hurt the feeling of all of them - and particularly of myself.

Dr. Barkan said: "Dr. Ellinwood, you complain of the lack of respect shown you. I assure you your present course is not calculated to increase my confidence or respect." Whereupon Dr. E. hung his head and had nothing to say.

During the evening he said that it was not reasonable to suppose that Mrs. Lane had given him two-thirds of her estate without some instructions as to how it should be expended.

Again he said that when he took the Presidency of the College he had expected for that reason to meet antagonisms, and was not surprised; that he had been asked by Dr. Lane to take the Presidency and had said to him that he foresaw certain difficulties, and asked his advice; that thereupon Dr. Lane had said that he had had such difficulties to contend with and that he had met them by listening to all that people had to say and then using his own judgment. Dr. E. said further that he had gone to Dr. Lane again with a statement of other difficulties and had been met with the advice.: "Listen to what they have to say and act on your own judgment."

From all these statements it was evident to the members of the Board that Dr. Ellinwood intended to administer the Lane bequest in his own way. I afterward stated to Dr. Barkan that while I was hurt, I felt that Dr. Ellinwood would give the money to spend it for the library and I could not see but that he had a right to do so, and that to that I would not object.

Dr. Rixford's Personal Notes 19 January 1906 [5]

Dr. Ellinwood, Dr. E. R. Taylor and myself were appointed at the Board meeting on 27 December 1905 as a committee of the Directors of the College "to draw up a comprehensive plan for the Levi Cooper Lane Library of Medicine and Surgery, and to report at the next meeting of the Board.." Pursuant to this charge we met on the evening of 19 January at the residence of Dr. Ellinwood.

Dr. Taylor stated that after mature deliberation we must admit of the precarious present position of the College, and of the fact that medical education is becoming so costly that independent medical schools cannot exist and maintain a high standard of scholarship without great endowment. He stated that he had come to the conclusion that the Lane Medical Library should be so endowed as to insure its permanency because of the possibility that the Library might be the only surviving monument to Dr. Lane.

Dr. Taylor further stated that in his judgment, in the event of the College being absorbed into Stanford, the Library should persist as an independent institution; that entangling alliances of all sorts should be avoided; that no one should be given a voice in the management of the Library outside this Board; and that the question of endowment is fundamental and only when that issue is settled will it be possible to make plans for the building.

When it came my turn to speak, I stated that on the understanding that the remainder of the Lane Estate after the Lane Lectures were founded should go to this Library, the Library would be of monumental dimensions and, if administered in a broad spirit, would be a great monument to Dr. Lane. . .

I further stated that it should be seriously considered whether the present lot is large enough - whether either the adjoining lot of 30 x 100 ft. should be purchased or at least the building so designed that it could eventually be extended in that direction.

Dr. Taylor said that these matters were interesting and very proper but were matters of detail to be worked out by a committee on architectural program, and that the important thing before us was to determine as nearly as possible the amount of money available for the building, and for the support of the library. He then asked Dr. Ellinwood for his opinion in the matter.

Dr. E., who had made notes from time to time, replied that the 1/3 of the estate would probably amount to $200,000, and that when the plans were worked out he would see how much of his 2/3 he would devote to that purpose - that he wanted it definitely understood that the idea shared by several members of the Board (this with a queer little smile) that this money was left in trust for the College was erroneous; that the money was left to him unconditionally by Mrs. Lane and he proposed to use it as he saw fit and he would make no promises in regard to the matter. He said he agreed in the main with the suggestions made by me but thought I had planned the institution on a larger scale than the funds would permit of. He said he would advise that the Board draw up a plan of what the library should be and then turn it over to him with the $200,000 - the 1/3 willed to the College - for him to execute.

Dr. Taylor asked him what he meant by "executing it" - whether that meant that the Board was to have nothing to say in regard to the administration or the plan of the institution? Dr. E. replied, "I did not say that."

I said that Dr. E. had said at a meeting of the Board that he "wanted to cooperate with the Board in the building of the Library" but that his present interpretation of the word cooperate would scarcely be found in the dictionary.

Dr. E. said that he was not actuated by any selfish motives but purely by a sense of duty - his present position was not of his seeking and he would get out of it if he conscientiously could. He had been selected by Mrs. Lane to do this thing and he proposed to do it. Dr. Taylor said that Mrs. Lane made a will shortly before the one under which the distribution had been made in which she gave the 2/3 to Dr. Lane's cousin, young (William) Cooper, and I said if Mrs. Lane had intended Dr. E. to administer the whole of the property she would have willed it all to him instead of giving all that the law would allow to the College.

Thereupon Dr. E. said there was nothing to be gained by talking of what dead people intended to do or what they were supposed to have said.

I asked "did Dr. Lane tell you that he wanted you to do this thing?" and he answered "no." "Did Mrs. Lane tell you?" and he answered "I am not saying anything about what Mrs. Lane said or did not say to me."

"Well," I said, "this matter is fundamental. What shall this committee report to the Board?" Dr. E. answered, "You should report your general plans outlined for the Library together with my recommendation."

I said Dr. Ellinwood is chairman of the committee, meaning that it would be proper for him to make the report. I said further that the matter was at this state very simple - the determination of whether the library should be a College library with the $ 200,000 which would build a modest building. . . or whether it should be a monumental library dedicated to the medical profession; that this determination rested solely with Dr. Ellinwood and, until he vouchsafed a statement of what funds he would furnish, the desirable monumental library was out of the question.

With that Dr. Taylor and I said "good night." On the way home T. said, the Directors ought to have a meeting before Monday night. I said "no, I would prefer to have this denouement made in the Board meeting with Dr. Ellinwood present - it would be of at least considerable dramatic interest." I further said that if I were to act on my present feeling I would tell Dr. Ellinwood to take his 2/3 and leave the school.

Dr. Taylor said as we parted, "Did you ever hear anything so preposterous? To make the devoting of E.'s money, and only an indefinite part of it, conditional on the Board's giving him complete control not only of his 2/3 but also of the 1/3 belonging to the College. It is a direct insinuation of incompetency and an insult."

I think it would be well to postpone all action in the matter of building the Library until matters are a good deal clearer. I do not believe it would be in the best interests of the College to permit E. to have the 1/3 (1:45 AM, Jan. 20)

Acquisition of New York Academy of Medicine Collection for Lane Medical Library

The behind-the-scenes negotiations within the Lane Medical Library Committee described above did not impede Dr. Rixford's continuing efforts to expand the holdings of the existing Lane Medical College Library. We have already mentioned his acquisitions from the Surgeon General's Library in Washington. After Mrs. Lane's death, the Lane Medical College Library was further enriched by the addition of Dr. Lane's private library consisting of some 2,000 volumes, including many medical classics and some valuable historical material. This addition raised the total number of volumes in the Library to 10,000, exclusive of duplicates. [6]

At a meeting of the Directors on 22 January 1906, Dr. Rixford reported that he had entered into correspondence with John S. Brownne, Librarian of the New York Academy of Medicine, regarding a valuable collection that Mr. Brownne would like to sell. Dr. Rixford had received the following letter from Mr. Brownne: [7] [8]

New York Academy of Medicine
Undated

Dear Doctor Rixford:
Your letter of the 3rd ultima received. I have been so very busy that I have not had time to answer it. Will write later. Would like to talk the matter over with you.

I have the N. Y. Hospital Library that I could let you have at a very low figure if you would take the whole collection - about 30,000 volumes - contains a fine collection of periodicals: French, German, English, etc.

Yours most respectfully,
John S. Brownne, Librarian

Dr. Rixford's Personal Notes
26 December 1906

The following commentary by Dr. Rixford on the subsequent purchase of the New York Academy collection is from his personal notes: [9]

In the winter of 1905-1906 I began to correspond with Mr. Brownne, Librarian of the New York Academy of Medicine, looking to purchase of the great collection of duplicates of the Academy, the bulk of which was the former Library of the New York Hospital of about 25,000 volumes, rich in periodicals.

I had Dr. Joseph O. Hirschfelder, Professor of Clinical Medicine at Cooper Medical College, examine the collection and he reported that it was worth a great deal of money, could not be duplicated in his opinion in the open market for $ 100,000. He suggested that we make an offer - say $ 5,000 - to start negotiations.

Dr. Ellinwood came to me one day and said that if I would turn over to him the correspondence he would pay for the books. I agreed and the Library Committee concurred. He paid $6,000 for the collection, had it shipped to San Francisco and at the Directors' meeting on 17 July 1906 presented it as a "personal gift.' to Cooper Medical College as a part of the Levi Cooper Lane Library of Medicine and Surgery, on condition that the College pay the freight charges from New York to San Francisco (which later proved to be $ 864. 25). [10]

Dr. Barkan moved that the gift be accepted from Dr. C. N. Ellinwood, President of Cooper Medical College, which was carried. At a subsequent meeting on 29 August 1906, after some debate, the resolution was reconsidered and on Dr. Ellinwood's request as to the wording of the resolution, the words "President of Cooper Medical College" were omitted.

Dr. Ellinwood took this occasion to say that he desired definitely to disabuse the minds of the Directors that the money left him by Mrs. Lane was in any way a trust, that it was no concern of any of the Directors where he got the money (to pay for the New York Academy of Medicine collection).

I stated that it was inconceivable to me that anyone in the position of Dr. Ellinwood could make a gift to the Lane Library out of the money left by Dr. Lane without mentioning Dr. and Mrs. Lane. His failure to do so made it evident that the gift was as he had stated - a personal gift - and therefore out of other moneys than those left him by Mrs. Lane; and that therefore the Directors ought to accept the gift and thank Dr. Ellinwood therefor.

Everyone of the College staff to whom I expressed the above interpretation of Dr. Ellinwood's action scoffed at the idea.

Ellinwood Correspondence with the New York Academy of Medicine

Dr. Ellinwood's correspondence related to the purchase of the collection from the New York Academy of Medicine illuminates the strained circumstances under which this valuable asset was acquired by Cooper Medical College.

On 24 February 1906 Dr. Ellinwood took over Dr. Rixford's correspondence with John. S. Brownne, Academy Librarian, and made the following offer to purchase the collection: [11]

San Francisco
24 February 1906
Mr. John S. Brownne, Librarian
New York Academy of Medicine

My dear Sir:
Referring to your previous letter I beg to say that we are desirous of obtaining the New York Hospital Library mentioned in your letter, of which our secretary, Dr. Rixford, has had some correspondence with you, and Dr. Hirschfelder of our College has also conferred with you in relation to it.

We desire this library to become an important addition to our Lane Library which is being established as a factor in medical education and freely available also to the medical profession in general, to be maintained, we hope, in such way as to contribute most to the progress of Medicine.

Please be good enough to submit to your Academy trustees an offer of $ 5,000 as the purchase price of the library (emphasis added). Hoping to hear from you at an early day and hoping for your continued good offices in our behalf, I am,

Sincerely,
C. N. Ellinwood.

Responsibility for negotiations on behalf of the Academy was at this point assumed by Dr. Abraham Jacobi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Academy, to whom Dr. Ellinwood made a second offer in a letter of 10 April 1906: [12]

San Francisco
10 April 1906
Dr. Abraham Jacobi, Chairman of Trustees
New York Academy of Medicine

Dear Doctor and Sir:
Replying to yours of the 1st inst, I beg to say that our proposal to pay $5,000 for the New York Hospital Library which the Academy of Medicine is seeking to dispose of, was made, not with a view of estimating its commercial value, but with the desire on our part of doing the best we could to secure it, with our limited means as an acquisition to our new library, which is being organized in the interest of progress in the science and art of medicine, in aid of medical education, the medical profession and a beneficence to humanity.

. . .With us the library will be kept undivided and permanently housed in such way as to start a foundation on which we hope to build and so make and maintain a complete public medical library.

Will you kindly present this view of the matter to your Board of Trustees of the Academy and if you desire that we add another thousand dollars to our proposal, making it $6,000 in all, to include labor and expense of packing, ready for shipment, of the library, we will try to provide the additional sum (emphasis added).

C. N. Ellinwood, President
Cooper Medical College

Not having heard from Dr. Jacobi in response to his second offer, Dr. Ellinwood addressed to him the following third and final offer on 22 May 1906: [13]

San Francisco
22 May 1906
Dr. A. Jacobi
New York Academy of Medicine

My dear Doctor and Sir:
Notwithstanding the great catastrophe to our City from earthquake and fire (18 April 1906), Cooper Medical College survives and is going on undaunted in its work, and duty to medical education and the medical profession.

I have not heard from you as I expected, since you proposed to submit my last proposition with your approval to the Academy Trustees for the purchase of the New York Hospital Library, in which I offered to add one thousand dollars, if you so desired to my former offer of $5,000, this to cover the cost of packing and shipping the books (emphasis added).

Hoping to hear from you with the kindly interest of the Trustees of the Academy of Medicine expressed in our behalf, I am

Sincerely yours,
C. N. Ellinwood.

The difference between the second and third offers is critical in that the second offer included only "the expense of packing, ready for shipment; " whereas the third offer specified that the total payment of $6,000 is "to cover the cost of packing and shipping the books " (emphasis added).

As we shall see, according to the Treasurer of the New York Academy of Medicine, the Trustees of the Academy approved only the second offer and Dr. Jacobi approved the third offer on his own initiative - assuming that the Trustees would honor his commitment to include the shipping costs within the overall payment of $6,000. The implications of this assumption were not readily apparent and Librarian Brownne proceeded to pack and ship the New York Hospital collection to Cooper Medical College. On 6 July 1906 he advised Dr. Jacobi that the shipment consisted of 269 cases of books, weight 81225 lbs. (41 tons), and that the ship would leave Brooklyn on 20 July 1906, to arrive in San Francisco in sixty days. He quoted the cost of shipping and insurance as $864.25. [14]

Dr. Jacobi wrote on 23 July 1906 to inform Dr. Ellinwood of the shipment of the books: [15]

New York Academy of Medicine
23 July 1906
C. N. Ellinwood
San Francisco

Dear Professor Ellinwood:
Mr. Brownne has informed me that your books have been packed and sent off. The work has been done carefully and expensively, so that I feel certain the library will arrive in a good condition. May it contribute to enlarging and warming the West and the Phoenix of the Pacific. I beg to propose to you to deduct 864.25 dollars freight and insurance from the six thousand. Our expenses here, have amounted to $496. 20 which I shall advise our Trustees to settle out of the balance (emphasis added).

With my good wishes and congratulations, I remain,
Yours very sincerely,
A. Jacobi, Chairman of Trustees
N. Y. Med. Academy of Medicine

The books arrived in San Francisco in late September or early October. Thinking to close his account with the New York Academy of Medicine in accordance with the advice received in Dr. Jacobi's letter of 23 July 1906, Dr. Ellinwood wrote to him as follows on 9 October 1906: [16]

San Francisco
9 October 1906
Dr. A. Jacobi, Chairman
N. Y. Academy of Medicine

My dear Sir:
Herewith I enclose to you my check on the Bank of California, certified and made payable by Laidlaw & Co., New York, for the sum of $ 5135. 75 the amount named by you in your letter of July 23 in payment for the books which the Academy kindly sold to us (emphasis added)..

The books arrived in good order and they are now contributed to and constitute a valuable acquisition to the Levi Cooper Lane Library of Medicine and Surgery, available for the use of the medical profession, and devoted to the advancement of science and progress in the art of medicine.

I beg to thank you sir for your kindly interest in our behalf and also Mr. Brownne your Librarian.

Sincerely yours,
C. N. Ellinwood.

Dr. Ellinwood's facts and arithmetic were accurate. In a letter dated 23 July, Dr. Jacobi had specifically instructed him to "deduct 864. 25 dollars freight and insurance from the six thousand"(emphasis added). Dr. Ellinwood did so and obtained the correct remainder of $ 5135. 75 which he duly remitted to Dr. Jacobi on 9 October 1906 and considered the transaction complete.

Some two months later Dr. Ellinwood was surprised to receive the following letter from the New York Academy of Medicine: [17]

New York Academy of Medicine
1 December 1906
Charles N. Ellinwood, M. D. President
Cooper Medical College, San Francisco, Cal.

My dear Sir:
I am in receipt of your check for $5135.75 and note that you have deducted from the purchase price of $6000, the amount paid by (us) for freight and insurance, viz. $864.25.

I enclose copies of your letters in regard to the purchase of this library, in which you will note that the final offer which the Trustees of the Academy of Medicine accepted, was for $ 6000 in all to include labor and expense of packing ready for shipment (emphasis added). I also enclose a copy of a letter from our Superintendent Mr. Brownne to Dr. Jacobi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, which gives in detail the expense of packing the library, and in which he has included the expense of carting from the Academy to the dock, viz. $168.00, which should be added to the cost of freightage and insurance, making a total of $1032.25 still due for expenses of shipping the books.

I feel sure that you did not have a copy of your letter at hand, and from recollection presumed that the cost of sending the books was to be deducted from the purchase price, but as you will see from reference to the enclosed copies of the correspondence, the latter simply stipulated that the Academy pay for the labor and expense of packing ready for shipment (emphasis added). .

As I would like to include this transaction in my annual report, I will be greatly obliged for the early remittance of this amount.

Reginald H. Sayre

(Note: Dr. Ellinwood later complained in his letter to Dr. Jacobi dated 8 April 1907 that the above letter did not identify Dr. Sayre as an officer of the Academy. Furthermore, Dr. Ellinwood objected to the unexplained intrusion of Dr. Sayre as a third party in negotiations that had been exclusively with Dr. Jacobi.)

The following is Dr. Ellinwood's tart response to Dr. Sayre's rather peremptory letter: [18]

San Francisco
8 December 1906
Dr. Reginald H. Sayre, Treasurer
New York Academy of Medicine.

My dear Sir:
Yours of the 1st inst. is received and I must express my surprise at its import.

In reply I beg to say that if you will kindly complete the correspondence of which you send me a copy in part and supply letter of your chairman bearing date of July 23rd to which I referred in my letter of remittance covering the amount named in full payment of the library, I trust that you will find the proper sum has been remitted to you and that all interested will be satisfied.

It just occurs to me that perhaps your chairman has forgotten to furnish you with a copy of his letter to me bearing date as above and which was the final word in the negotiation and my remittance to you completed the transaction which I hope is now happily closed.

Yours very respectfully,
C. N. Ellinwood.

The remainder of the troubled history of Dr. Ellinwood's role in the purchase of the New York Hospital Library from the New York Academy of Medicine is best told in the following six letters by principals with whom we are now familiar. [19]

San Francisco
25 December 1906
Dr. A. Jacobi, Chairman of Trustees
New York Academy of Medicine.

My dear Sir:
Yours of the 15th inst. is received and as you request I enclose to you a copy of your letter of 23 July 1906.

With the compliments of the season,
I am sincerely yours,
C. N. Ellinwood.

New York Academy of Medicine
20 February 1907

Dear Doctor Jacobi:
I enclose a draft of the letter (dated 20 February 1907) to be sent to Dr. Ellinwood regarding the sale of the Library. Please make any alterations or additions which seem wise to you, and return the draft to me and I will then communicate with Dr. Ellinwood.

Yours Sincerely,
Reginald H. Sayre, Treasurer

Notation:

Dear Doctor Sayre:
That letter is surely correct and in accordance with the resolutions of the Trustees.

Yours truly,
A. Jacobi

New York Academy of Medicine
20 February 1907
C. N. Ellinwood, M. D., L. L. D., President,
Cooper Medical College, San Francisco, Cal.

My dear Sir:
At the last meeting of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Jacobi made the suggestion of which he spoke to you in his letter of 23 July 1906, viz., that the Trustees should pay the expense of forwarding the Library to the Cooper Medical College, and of insuring it in transit.

The Trustees do not feel that they are empowered to accept the suggestion made by Dr. Jacobi as the proposal laid before the Academy last Spring, and accepted by them, was that the library would be sold to the Cooper Medical College for $6000, the expense of packing ready for shipment to be borne by the Academy. The Trustees feel that it is beyond their province to alter the conditions of agreement, and as the cost of

  • freight - $819. 25
  • Insurance 45. 00
  • carting - 168. 00

making a total of $1032.25, I would be much obliged if you would oblige me a draft for this amount.

Yours very truly,
Reginald H. Sayre,
Treasurer

San Francisco
3 March 1907
Dr. A. Jacobi, Chairman of Trustees
New York Academy of Medicine

My dear Doctor and Sir:
May I ask if you are cognizant of and approve the letter of your Treasurer to me of February 20th, expressing disapproval of your negotiations and sale of the books and refusal of the Trustees to confirm your action.

When you opened correspondence with me in this matter you informed me that you had been authorized by the Academy to act for it.

I remitted to you my check for the amount which you stated as the purchase price of the books and I so stated in my letter of transmittal with the check.

The Treasurer by his endorsement acknowledges the receipt of the money and for the purpose expressed. If now your authority has been abrogated and the Academy refuses to confirm the sale, then ethics and fair dealing would have demanded a return of the money and further negotiations.

But no, after months have elapsed without a word of dissatisfaction your Treasurer makes a new price for me to pay for which I had not agreed to.

You shipped the books to us 9 July 1906 and told me what to pay. I paid it and hold the Treasurer's receipt.

Hoping that you and your confreres may approve our course.

I am sincerely yours,
C. N. Ellinwood.

New York Academy of Medicine
29 March 1907
Dr. C. N. Ellinwood

Dear Sir:
I requested you to send me a copy of my letter in order to convince myself and my Colleagues that I had not exceeded my authority. You were good enough to transmit it. I never could determine the policy of the Trustees, and was not authorized to "act for them." You were sarcastic enough to ask me if I am cognizant of and approve of the action of the Treasurer, Dr. Sayre, who received his order from the Trustees, that is self-understood, as I am only one of the Trustees.

Let me ask a question, if the Treasurer would have returned your check, would you have returned the Library?

I apologize for sending this reply to yours of March 3rd, so late. The cause of my delay is my wish to read your letter to the meeting of the Trustees, which took place night before last.

Very truly yours,
A. Jacobi.

San Francisco
8 April 1907
Dr. A. Jacobi
New York Academy of Medicine

My dear Sir:
I am surprised and pained that you should regard my letter as "sarcastic" when I had no idea of making it so.

It was to me inexplicable that Dr. Sayre whom I had no knowledge of as an officer of the Academy, should address me such a letter after the negotiations had been concluded with you and full payment made and the transaction closed. Kindly disabuse your mind of any sarcasm in my question.

Sincerely yours,
C. N. Ellinwood.

This letter of 8 April 1907 concluded the correspondence between an uncompromising Ellinwood and the New York Academy. The state of affairs at this point was about as follows. Ellinwood was now legally in possession of the collection. His intransigence he attributed in part to the offensive tone of the letter of Treasurer Sayre who without prior introduction preempted the business relationship between Drs. Jacobi and Ellinwood.

As far as the embittered Dr. Jacobi was concerned his generous effort to respond to the needs of a promising western medical school, and his trustful informality in the contractual relationship with Ellinwood, left him technically in debt to the New York Academy of Medicine for a sum of $1032.25.

Unaccountably, Ellinwood did not see fit, when the issue of shipping costs was raised, at once to inform Drs. Jacobi and Sayre that, as a condition of the gift of the collection to Cooper Medical College, he had obligated the College to pay the shipping charges (of $864.25). Prompt arrangement by Ellinwood for the College to pay this amount to the Academy would have left a relatively minor and negotiable residual expense of only $168 for carting the shipment from the New York Academy to the dock in South Brooklyn. However, Dr. Ellinwood was not interested in conciliation and in protecting the good name of Cooper Medical College for after February 1907 he was, as we shall later see, no longer a member of the College.

After the removal of Ellinwood from the Faculty of Cooper Medical College, the unresolved status of the New York Academy of Medicine collection of duplicates did not come to the attention of the Board of Directors of the College until about the first of July 1907 when Dr. Barkan returned from abroad via New York. While in New York, Dr. Barkan saw Dr. Jacobi who gave him the Ellinwood correspondence. At a special meeting of the Board of Directors on 16 July 1907 the correspondence was read to the Board who took action forthwith: [20]

Whereas, Dr. Charles N. Ellinwood while President had purchased the Collection of Duplicates from the New York Academy of Medicine in the name of Cooper Medical College, as is evident from the aforesaid correspondence, and presented the Collection to the College as his personal gift on condition that the College pay the freight charges which amounted to $864.25. The College having accepted the gift on these conditions, paid the freight charges, and

Whereas, at this time Dr. Ellinwood understood that the said freight charges were to be paid by the New York Academy of Medicine and in his payment had deducted the amount of said freight charges from the sum agreed upon by the Trustees of the Academy, and

Whereas, Dr. Ellinwood also refused to pay the charges for cartage in New York amounting to $168.00.

Therefore be it resolved that the College pay the total amount of the purchase price agreed upon by the Trustees of the New York Academy of Medicine to wit: $ 6000 and in addition thereto $ 168, the amount of cartage charges, and request the Trustees to return to Dr. Ellinwood the money paid by him for said books, and be it further

Resolved that the Treasurer be and he hereby is authorized to draw from the Lane Medical Library Fund the sum of $6168 for the purpose of this resolution.

The resolution was adopted unanimously and a check for $6168 forwarded to Dr. Sayre, Treasurer of the New York Academy of Medicine, on 22 July 1907 in the following letter: [21]

San Francisco
22 July 1907
Dr. Reginald. H. Sayre, Treasurer
New York Academy of Medicine

Dear. Doctor Sayre:
I have the honor to inform you that at a meeting held 16 July 1907, the Directors of Cooper Medical College unanimously resolved to tender to the Trustees of the New York Academy of Medicine the sum of six thousand one hundred and sixty-eight dollars ($6,168) being the amount, which according to the correspondence copy of which was kindly furnished by Dr. Jacobi, the Trustees agreed to accept for the Collection of duplicates sent last year to Cooper College together with the amount paid for the insurance and cartage, and I enclose Treasurer's draft for that amount.

The Directors of Cooper Medical College reluctantly accepted these books as the personal gift of Dr. Ellinwood on condition prescribed by him that the College pay the freight, but because of a number of acts of Dr. Ellinwood in this matter for which the College cannot stand its sponsor notably the attitude taken by him in this aforesaid correspondence together with his having retained the amount of the freight bill after he had understood from Dr. Jacobi's letter of 23 July 1906, that the Academy would remit the amount of the freight - and the fact that the Directors were compelled to depose him from the Presidency of the College in February last, desire to have returned to Dr. Ellinwood the money paid by him for these books and the sale made to Cooper College in fact as it was understood by the Academy to be.

The Directors therefore request the Trustees of the Academy to return to Dr. Ellinwood the amount paid by him and would suggest that this action be put upon the ground (which is indeed the proper one) that the Academy and Dr. Ellinwood having failed to come to an agreement as to the total amount owing to the Academy for the books and Cooper College now having remitted the whole amount of the purchasing price including cost of insurance and cartage no recourse is left the Academy except that of returning to Dr. Ellinwood the amount paid by him as requested by him in his letter to Dr. Jacoby of 3 March 1907.

The Directors of Cooper College have instructed me to express to the Trustees of the Academy their grateful appreciation of the fact that the Trustees have made great concession in price for this collection of books to the College and to the medical profession of San Francisco.

I have also written Dr. Jacobi of this action of the Directors of Cooper College.

Very truly yours,
Emmet Rixford, M. D., Secretary
Cooper Medical College

The letter to Dr. Jacobi follows: [22]

San Francisco
22 July 1907
Dr. A. Jacobi
New York Academy of Medicine

Dear Doctor Jacobi:
I have the honor and I may add the great pleasure to inform you that the Board of Directors of Cooper Medical College met 16 July 1907, and after hearing the correspondence in the matter of the collection of duplicates of the New York Academy Library which you were good enough to send by Dr. Barkan, unanimously resolved to tender to the Academy the sum of six thousand one hundred and sixty eight dollars ($6,168) being the amount which the Trustees agreed to accept for the books plus the amount paid for insurance and cartage with the understanding that the Trustees will on receipt of draft return to Dr. Ellinwood the money paid by him as requested by him in his letter of 3 March 1907.

I have written as above to Dr. Sayre, Treasurer of the Academy, enclosing Treasurer's draft for the stated amount.

In grateful appreciation of your interest and favors in behalf of our Medical Library,

I am,
Sincerely yours,
Emmet Rixford, M. D. Secretary
Cooper Medical College.

The following letter from Dr. Sayre, Treasurer of the New York Academy of Medicine, brought an historic transaction for Lane Medical Library to a favorable conclusion in spite of C. N. Ellinwood's prior involvement. [23]

New York Academy of Medicine
30 September 1907
Dr. Emmet Rixford, Secretary
Cooper Medical College

Dear Dr. Rixford
From Dr. Stillman who called upon me the other day I learn that my letter of August the 15th has not reached you. I received yours of July 22nd enclosing a check for $6168.00 in payment for the Library sent last year, including the cartage. I have returned Dr. Ellinwood the money advanced by him, $5135.75, with a letter informing him that as he had not completed the contract the Trustees desire to return his money, and complete the arrangement originally entered into with the Cooper Medical College.

I need hardly tell you that the Trustees of the Academy feel the directors of Cooper Medical College have been most honorable in this entire transaction and are not in the least to blame for any misunderstanding which may have arisen on account of Dr. Ellinwood's conduct. Regretting that my previous letter informing you of the action of the Trustees has failed to reach you, I am

Very truly yours,
Reginald H. Sayre
Treasurer

The discredited name of Dr. Ellinwood as a donor of the most extensive single collection ever acquired by Lane Medical Library was thus erased.

At the dedication of the Lane Medical Library building in 1912, Dr. Rixford referred briefly to this episode: [24]

In 1906, through the goodness of Dr. Abraham Jacobi of New York, we were enabled to purchase at a most advantageous price the great collection of duplicates of the New York Academy of Medicine - the bulk of which was the former Library of the New York Hospital - which added some 28,000 volumes to our stacks, exclusive of duplicates, and made the Lane Medical Library the largest west of Chicago and the seventh in size in the United States.

San Francisco Earthquake, 18 April 1906

The devastating earthquake of 18 April, followed by a great fire that destroyed most of San Francisco, caused city-wide property loss estimated at over $500,000,000. It also resulted in temporary paralysis of business and prolonged impairment of public confidence. From such calamities all enterprises, pecuniary and beneficent as well as educational and social must necessarily suffer.

After the catastrophe the College Buildings were still largely functional and the American National Red Cross was provided the use of Lane Hall for its activities. On the other hand, the effect on Lane Hospital was severe. Hospital services were interrupted by earthquake damage to the hospital building which cut off water supply and power, heat and light. This together with the general consternation which prevailed caused the removal of nearly all the patients from Lane Hospital, most of them being admitted to the U. S. Hospital at the Presidio and Harbor View where they were well cared for by the officers in charge there, aided by the efficient and self-sacrificing services of Lane Medical Staff and the Nurses from Lane Hospital Training School.

The net result was marked temporary loss of patient income which, in addition to costly building repairs, put a serious strain on the budget of the College. It was of special significance that the disaster occurred at a time when income from student fees was declining and annual budget shortfalls were beginning to occur. These circumstances heightened the interest of the Directors in a liaison with Stanford. [25] [26] [27] [28]

Fortunately, Lane Hospital was repaired and its occupancy rate revived during the year following the disaster so that Dr. Taylor, the Acting President of the College, was able to report at the Annual Meeting for the year ending 30 June 1907 that receipts of $ 90,000 during the year had exceeded expenditures of $79,000 by $11,000. [29]

President Ellinwood Opposes the Lane Medical Lectures

John C. McVail, M. D., D. P. H. , of Glasgow, Scotland, had been invited to give the annual Lane Medical Lectures on 20 August 1906. Upon hearing of the great earthquake and fire, Dr. McVail. wrote to President Ellinwood expressing sympathy for the great loss suffered by San Francisco, and enquiring whether local conditions were such as to warrant giving the course of Lane Lectures this year.

At the meeting of the Directors on 9 May 1906 President Ellinwood read Dr. McVail's letter to the Directors and seriously questioned the advisability of giving the lectures: [30]

In view of the conditions which obtain here and must obtain necessarily during the next three months, I am convinced it would be wise to suspend the Lane Course of Medical Lectures one year because of these conditions. I see the failure of the course to produce the effect we normally hope for and I believe it would be better to suspend the course than to have only a partial success. I am simply one of this Board. If the Board decides to give this course I shall do all in my power to make it a success.

Dr. Rixford reported that the Directors strongly opposed having an hiatus in the lectures, claiming that even if the audience should be small the lectures would probably be enough of a success to warrant their being given. The lectures were given and though the audience was not more than half the usual size, the lectures were appreciated and in the opinions of several whom he consulted they could not be called a failure. [31]

In his Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 1906 President Ellinwood made the following reassuring statement regarding the future of the Lane Medical Lectures: [32]

The Lane Course of Medical Lectures was inaugurated by Dr. Lane in 1895 and the honorarium of the lecturer was paid by Dr. Lane during the several years prior to his death. Apparently from his announcements he intended to provide in his will for the continued payment of the honorarium of the Lane Lecturer but he omitted to do so.

For the past several years (including the lectures by Dr. McVail to begin on 20 August 1906) it has been my pleasure to meet this expense and I hope that in the near future I may be able to make a permanent endowment for this course in honor of Dr. Lane for the advancement of the Science and Art of Medicine and the welfare of Cooper Medical College.

Chronology of Lane Course of Medical Lectures [33]
YearLecturerTopicExpenses Paid by
1896MacEwenBrainDr. Lane
1897HeathAneurismDr. Lane
1898AllbuttHeartDr. Lane
1899SennGen. SurgDr. Lane
1900FosterPhysiologyDr. Lane
1901MorrisDermatologyDr. Lane
1902BallRectal DisLane Estate
1903AllisJointsEllinwood
1904WelchInfectionEllinwood
1905MansonTrop DisEllinwood
1906McVailPrev MedEllinwood

(Note: The Lane Lectures were not held during the years 1907 through 1909, but were resumed in 1910 with the support of an endowment, the Lane Lecture Fund, under which they have continued to the present day. )

In spite of President Ellinwood's encouraging remark in his Annual Report for 1905-1906 about a "permanent endowment" for the Lane Medical Lectures, the other Directors were increasingly impatient with his failure to make a specific commitment of funds from his Lane bequest to endow the Lectures. A crucial meeting of the Board of Directors was convened on 20 October 1906 to address the issue. Those present were President Ellinwood, and Drs. Taylor, Gibbons and Stillman. Drs.. Barkan and Rixford were absent. [34]

The President brought up for discussion the subject of a summer course for Post Graduate Instruction in Cooper Medical College, urging the advisability of the same and offering to pay the expenses for a lecturer on Tropical Diseases and another in Anatomy if the plan met with approval.

The matter was discussed but no actions were taken, it being the general opinion that the matter should first be laid before the Faculty.

The President then brought up the subject of the Lane Medical Lectures. He stated that in his opinion the course was a failure and that instead of being an advantage to the school, he regarded it as a positive disadvantage; and that he felt discouraged in attempting the course in 1907; that he had protested against the course being given in the present year, but that in deference to the wishes of the balance of the directors he had consented to it and had done what he could to make a success of it and had given the money to pay for it, but that he did not feel disposed to do so any more.

Director Gibbons stated that it was not a matter of options with the President, that Dr. Lane had founded the Course and had caused to be placed on a slab in the lecture hall the statement that the course had been endowed by him, and had imposed upon the Directors the duty of selecting the lecturers and that furthermore the President had himself stated that it was the intention of Mrs. Lane that the endowment should be provided out of the sale of the Broadway property.

The President stated that whatever Dr. Lane may have intended, he had failed to provide for the endowment as he had stated in his Annual Report and he said "furthermore I will do in this matter exactly as I please, so you might as well understand it right now. If it is the wish of the Directors to provide such a course they must provide the means to pay for it, there was no money given to me for that purpose."

Dr. Rixford's Personal Notes
26 December 1906 [35]

Subsequent to the Directors' Meeting of 20 October 1906, a private meeting was held at Dr. Taylor's home. Those present were Taylor, Gibbons, Stillman and myself (Rixford). Dr. Barkan was absent in Europe. Our purpose was to determine whether the present unsatisfactory state of things could longer be endured. Dr. Taylor called attention to the fact that Dr. E's attitude as expressed by him toward the use of the Lane money for College purposes had materially changed during the last three years - that at first he had promised to endow the Lane Lectures out of the proceeds of sale of the Broadway and Scott street lot - and that the remainder of the 2/3 should go to the Library. Little by little as we (the Directors) had let him slip by, he had retracted one promise after another and now had refused point blank to continue to provide for the Lane Medical Lectures or to carry out their endowment.

Dr. Gibbons was of the opinion that the present state of uncertainty could not continue - he read a statement of the various incidents that have happened in this matter - accusing Dr. E. of hoodwinking his associates with one pretext and another to the end that he might keep all the 2/3 of the Lane estate. Dr. Stillman said he was unwilling to continue longer to put himself in so humiliating a position as he was forced to as a member of the Directors of Cooper College.

It was therefore agreed that Dr. Taylor should at the next meeting ask Dr. E. to once and for all make clear his intentions in regard to the Lane Money, Dr. Ellinwood refusing, Dr. Gibbons to read his paper which was in the nature of a personal arraignment.

I am greatly troubled as to what is right to do. Dr. Barkan is away - and an unwarrantedly large responsibility rests on me. I pointed out at this meeting that if we carry out this plan and refuse longer to cooperate with Dr. Ellinwood - to put him out of the Presidency - we would play into his hands if he desired to keep the money and would make it practically impossible for him to give any of Dr. Lane's fortune to the purposes which we all know were dear to him. Dr. Stillman said: "Of course we know that but the School without Ellinwood is better off than if it had all of Lane's money with Ellinwood as President." It seems to me now that we ought to have a clear statement from Dr. E. and that it would be right to ask for it. I certainly shall insist that no demand be sprung without his being given time to answer. I think we ought to demand the continuance of the Lane Medical Lectures till it is definitely evident that they are a failure whereupon the money ought to go to some other perhaps similar purpose for the benefit of the College, and I shall act accordingly.

It has been said by many men in the Directorate and Faculty that the College is suffering because of the retention of Dr. E. in the Presidency. Dr. William Fitch Cheney (Professor of Medicine and Secretary of the Faculty) said to me he would have resigned long ago had he not felt it his duty to remain because of his honor and obligation to Dr. Lane. Dr. Hirschfelder (Professor of Clinical Medicine) whom I consulted said he desired to bolster up my hands in bringing the matter of the moneys to a focus - that he was convinced that Dr. E. intended to keep the money. Dr. George B. Somers (Professor of Gynecology) said to me that he thought we as Directors ought to demand a full statement of his intentions and in event of its not being satisfactory to discontinue Dr. E. as President.

Directors' Meeting, 9 January 1907

The now urgent subject of Dr. Ellinwood's stewardship of the Lane bequest was next addressed at this meeting of the Directors. Those present were President Ellinwood, and Drs. Taylor, Gibbons, Stillman and Rixford. Dr. Barkan was still in Europe. [36]

Director Taylor asked Dr. Ellinwood whether he intended to endow the Lane Medical Lectures and also whether he intended to make such contribution to the Lane Medical Library as would enable the Corporation to erect and maintain such a library as would be of a memorial character in honor of Doctor and Mrs. Lane.

Dr. Ellinwood in reply as to the Lane Medical Lectures referred the members of the Board to his last annual report as President and asked that that be read, which was done.

Dr. Taylor then drew Dr. Ellinwood's attention to his statements in regard to the Lane Medical Lectures as disclosed by the minutes of the meeting of 20 October 1906. Dr. Ellinwood then stated that the minutes did not correctly state what he had said and that he wished the minutes to be corrected so as to show that his statements in regard to the Lane Medical Lectures were limited entirely to the year 1907. The Board thereupon having refused to change the minutes of October 20th deeming the minutes to be a correct statement of what took place at said meeting, Dr. Ellinwood was given permission to make such statement of what took place at the meeting above mentioned according to his own recollection and to have said statement spread upon the minutes.

Dr. Rixford's Personal Notes
15 January 1907

The following are Dr. Rixford's recollections of the Directors' meeting held six days previously on 9 January: [37]

At the meeting of the Directors held January 9th, Dr. E. R. Taylor, after stating the unsatisfactory condition of affairs in the College with reference to the Lane Lectures and Library, demanded of Dr. Ellinwood on behalf of the Directors a clear and unequivocal statement of his position and his intentions in the matter of the Lane Lectures and Library.

Dr. Ellinwood replied that he had stated in his Annual Report that he hoped to endow the Lane Medical Lectures. He denied having made the statement read from the minutes to the effect that the Lane Lectures were a failure. He said that his statement referred only to the lectures of 1906, and that he had not refused to furnish money for the lectures of 1907. He demanded that the minutes be corrected, and he finally asked each one present in turn whether he felt competent to interpret the wishes of Mrs. Lane - to which Dr. Gibbons said "no." Dr. Taylor said "yes;" that he had talked with her enough about them. I said I did not feel called upon to answer such a question and Dr. Stillman said he knew she wanted a library to be built - a memorial library. "For which she gave the College 1/3 of her estate" interjected Dr. Ellinwood, "and which" said Dr. Stillman "the one-third will not pay for janitor service, light and heat after the building is built."

A day or two later Dr. Gibbons asked that we write out a statement of the facts that have transpired in this matter in the form of resolutions. This I have done tonight. It fills four letter pages of typewriting.

Impeachment of President Ellinwood
Directors' Meeting, 5 February 1907

The following were present at the meeting of the Directors on 5 February 1907: President Ellinwood and Drs. Taylor, Gibbons, Stillman and Rixford. Dr. Barkan was absent in Europe. [38]

The meeting was called to order by President Ellinwood who assumed the chair.

Dr. Stillman moved, seconded by Dr. Taylor, that President Ellinwood be requested to resign his office of President of Cooper College in the best interest of the College.

President Ellinwood thereupon refused to resign.

Director Taylor then offered the following resolution which was seconded by Director Gibbons:

Whereas, there has arisen great disharmony between Dr. C. N. Ellinwood, the President of this College, and the members of this Board and of the Faculty;

And whereas, the members of this Board and of the Faculty do not any longer possess that confidence in Dr. Ellinwood as such President which is conducive to the best interests of this College;

And whereas, said Ellinwood has declined to resign such Presidency:

Now therefore, be it resolved that said Ellinwood be and he hereby is removed from the office of President of this College.

President Ellinwood ruled the resolution out of order.

Director Taylor thereupon appealed from the decision of the chair. The President refusing to submit the appeal to the Board, Vice President Taylor was called upon to put the motion.

Vice President Taylor thereupon put the motion "Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?"

The Board having voted in the negative the resolution offered by Dr. Taylor was then submitted to the Board.

The Resolution to remove Dr. Ellinwood from the office of President of Cooper Medical College was adopted - all the Directors voting for it with the exception of Dr. Ellinwood. The Vice President thereupon declared the motion carried.

Dr. Ellinwood thereupon presented the following protest against this action of the Board:

"Director Ellinwood files his protest against this action of the Board as not authorized by the Bylaws and Articles of Corporation" - and the same was ordered spread upon the minutes.

Directors' Meeting, 11 February 1907

Those present were: Vice President Taylor in the chair, Directors Gibbons and Stillman, and Secretary Rixford. Directors Ellinwood and Barkan were absent. [39]

On motions of Director Stillman, the Secretary was directed to communicate to the Faculty at its next meeting the proceedings of the Board of Directors at the meeting held 5 February 1907 as disclosed by the minutes.

On motion by Director Stillman, seconded by Director Gibbons, the committee appointed at the meetings of February 6th 1906 and October 12th 1906 in the matter of the proposed consolidation of Stanford University and Cooper Medical College was discharged and the following committee appointed instead: Vice President Taylor, Directors Gibbons and Stillman, and Drs. Ophüls and Rixford.

Faculty Meeting, 18 February 1907

A Regular Faculty Meeting was convened on 18 February 1907. Those present were Professors Ellinwood (President of the Faculty), Cheney (Secretary of the Faculty), Ophüls, Gibbons, Gardner, Hirschfelder, Rixford, Garrey, Somers, Stillman and Hanson. [40]

A communication was presented by Professor Rixford, Secretary of the Board of Directors, informing the Faculty that Professor Ellinwood was no longer President of the Board of Directors. Professor Ellinwood then read the following communication and asked that it be spread upon the minutes:

"This communication from the Board of Directors of Cooper Medical College just read informed you of my summary removal from the office of President during the term for which I was elected, thus ignoring and in defiance of the Bylaws under which Cooper Medical College is governed.

"The Bylaws provide that the President shall be elected for one year from the time of his election and until his successor shall have been chosen and qualified; thus establishing a definite term of office which cannot be abrogated by the Board, and I am advised that I am now and will remain legally, the President of Cooper Medical College during the remainder of the term for which I was elected; and that Courts of Law, if appealed to, would sustain my position and invalidate the action of the Board in removing me.

"I filed my protest and refused to acquiesce in the unwarranted proceedings of the Board.

"I accept the notice from my confreres in the Board of Directors that my usefulness is at an end, with the best grace I can, considering the way of its presentation.

"My long service and perhaps over zealous devotion to what I thought best for the College, ever remembering the views of Dr. Lane as to his policy and management, have brought me many disappointments and some enemies which I sincerely regret.

"When Dr. Lane asked me to succeed him as President of the College, he expressed his apprehensions that the developing characteristics of the men he has raised and reared in the institution, would divert it from his hopes and aspirations.

"He said, speaking of himself, 'If I live long enough they will put me out of the College and the same fate is in reserve for you.'

"Time, the wisest of things, will reveal to us the wrongs and the rights in the administration of Cooper College.

"My abiding hopes and best of wishes are for the success of our loved Institution.

"Now, asking that this my response to the communication from the Board of Directors be spread upon the Minutes of the Faculty, I respectfully withdraw leaving the matter entirely at your disposition."

Upon the withdrawal of President Ellinwood, Professor Hirschfelder assumed the chair. On motion, it was decided to spread the communication of President Ellinwood upon the Minutes as requested by him.

On motion of Professor Cheney, the action of the Board of Directors in removing Professor C. N. Ellinwood from the Presidency of the Corporation of Cooper Medical College was approved by the Faculty unanimously.

The following resolution was then presented by Professor Stillman and was adopted unanimously.

"Whereas, the Board of Directors of this College has removed Dr. C. N. Ellinwood from the Presidency thereof, and whereas, this Faculty no longer reposes that confidence in said Ellinwood which is conducive to the best interest of said College; and whereas great disharmony has for some time existed and still exists between said Ellinwood and this Faculty; now therefore, be it resolved, that the office of President of this Faculty, now filled by said Ellinwood be, and the same hereby is, declared to be vacant."

On motion of Professor Somers, the following was unanimously adopted: that the Board of Directors of Cooper Medical College be requested to declare vacant the Chair of Physiology at present held by Professor C. N. Ellinwood.

On motion duly made and seconded Professor Gibbons was elected President of the Faculty for the remainder of the College year.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.

Directors' Meeting, 20 February 1907

The recommendation by the Faculty at its meeting on 18 February 1907 that Dr. Ellinwood be removed from his position as Professor of Physiology was approved by action of the Directors on 20 February 1907 as follows: [41]

To the Directors of Cooper Medical College from the Faculty of the College:

Gentlemen: At a meeting of the Faculty of Cooper Medical College held February 18th, 1907, the following motion was unanimously adopted: That the Board of Directors of Cooper Medical College be requested to declare vacant the Chair of Physiology , at present held by Dr. C. N. Ellinwood.

Signed by the Faculty

Whereupon Director Stillman offered the following resolution which was seconded by Dr. Gibbons and was unanimously adopted:

Resolved that in pursuance of the request of the Faculty, the Chair of Physiology now held by Dr. C.N. Ellinwood be and the same hereby is declared to be vacant.

Summary

By the above actions the Board of Directors and the Faculty of Cooper Medical College removed Dr. Charles. N. Ellinwood from the following positions:

  • 5 February 1907: removed as President of Cooper Medical College
  • 18 February 1907: removed as President of the Faculty
  • 20 February 1907: removed as Member of the Faculty.

Dr. Ellinwood continued to hold his position as a Director of Cooper Medical College until the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors on 12 August 1907 when he was not reelected to the directorate which was reorganized on that date as follows: [42]

Board of Directors
Effective 12 August 1907
  • Edward R. Taylor President
  • Adolph Barkan Vice President
  • Henry Gibbons, Jr. Treasurer
  • Emmet Rixford Secretary
  • Stanley Stillman

San Francisco Newspapers Feature the Ellinwood Affair
20-24 February 1907

The ousting of Ellinwood from the Presidency and Faculty of Cooper Medical College in February 1907 at once became public knowledge, sparking a lengthy and acrimonious exchange of views in the San Francisco newspapers.

One of the first reports of Ellinwood's dismissal was published in The San Francisco Call for 20 February 1907 under the following page-wide headline: [43]

Dr. Ellinwood Charged with Retaining College Funds

Charged with withholding more than $500, 000 in cash and property said to have been intended for the benefit of Cooper Medical College and the Lane Hospital, Dr. C. N. Ellinwood has been deposed as president of the two institutions. The money was left Ellinwood in cash and real estate by Mrs. Lane, widow of the founder of the school and sanatorium, four years ago, the residue of her estate after she had willed one-third of her property, then valued at $600,000, to the twin institutions. The probate laws precluded a larger endowment, and it is claimed that Ellinwood was to be the medium for the transmission of the entire property. This, it is claimed, he has failed to do, and at a stormy meeting of the faculty and trustees, held Monday night, he was deposed and Dr. E. R. Taylor was chosen to fill the place.

Dr. Ellinwood says that his removal was inspired by jealousy on the part of his associates and denies any understanding that the money was left him by Mrs. Lane for the college.

Dr. Henry W. Gibbons, dean of the college, made a reluctant affirmation of the truth of the report last night. "Yes," he said, when seen at his home on Washington street, "the differences over the withholding of the fund received by Dr. Ellinwood from Mrs. Lane's estate had some influence in bringing about his removal. But relations had been strained for some time and the faculty had lost confidence in the doctor. The matters were brought to a climax when he failed to advance funds for the continuance of the Lane Lectures, which he had pronounced failures."

Dr. Rixford, another faculty man, was equally reticent in discussing the case.

It is believed by the faculty of the college that Dr. Lane had intended that his entire estate should go to Cooper College and the hospital which bears his name and which stands on the block bounded by Sacrament, Clay, Webster and Buchanan streets. When Lane retired from the active practice of medicine he had money in the bank and property on Broadway which was unimproved and consequently produced no income. It was his intention to sell the Broadway property and endow the college, but he died before his hope was realized. The estate was bequeathed to his wife, who understood the plans and was devoted to the objects of her husband's benevolence.

Mrs. Lane died suddenly four years ago, leaving the property still unsold. Under the probate laws of California but one-third of an estate can go to charity, so Mrs. Lane left that fraction to the hospital and college and the balance to Dr. C. N. Ellinwood, old-time friend of her husband, who for years had been head of the two institutions. At that time the estate was worth $600,000 and the two-thirds which Ellinwood received in the will as residuary legatee was valued at $400,000. That residue has increased in value to approximately $550, 000, of which sum between $ 90, 000 and $ 100, 000 is money in the bank.

For two years after the death of Mrs. Lane there was harmony in the faculty, Ellinwood, as president, promising continually, it is said, to deliver his share of the endowment to the college. The matter had to be but tacitly understood, for an open avowal of the purpose of the Lane bequest would have meant a violation of the probate law. Two years ago the feeling became dominant among the faculty that their president was too leisurely in fulfilling the implied conditions of his legacy. The welfare of the college was a vivid thing with the physicians and others who had given the best part of their lives to it, and they grew fearful of Ellinwood's procrastination.

The corporation of the college and hospital cannot recover the money said to have been intended for them through any process of law. While the Broadway property had not been sold, it was known that Ellinwood had nearly $180,000 in cash which he could have used in aiding the two institutions. So the storm broke.

Dr. Ellinwood denied positively last night that the bequest he received had been left him with any understanding, direct or implied, that it would afterward be turned over to the college and hospital, but asserted, on the contrary, that Dr. Lane had expressed a fear before his death that he was to be deposed from his position in the college.

"The action in removing me was directly due to my unwillingness to continue the Lane Lecture Course this year." Dr. Ellinwood said, "I have paid $10,000 out of my own personal funds for the keeping up of the Lane Lecture Course since Dr. Lane's death and spent $2,000 on it last year, but owing to the scant and discourteous attention given the course by the faculty and the general lack of interest in it, I determined to omit it during 1907. Nobody had been selected for the course and in my annual report to the college I advised the omission and stated that I intended to endow it permanently to the extent of about $60,000.

Dr. Ellinwood stated that he had also contributed a medical library of 25, 000 volumes to the college and declared that there was at present strife and jealousy among the men who had removed him from the presidency of the two institutions and that they were trying to remove him from the Board of Trustees. According to Ellinwood's assertions, Lane would have endowed the college before his death if he had wished the money to go to it, but instead of this, Ellinwood declares, Dr. Lane told him that the men he had reared and trained in the institution had "developed characteristics which would divert the institution from the purpose for which he had intended it," and who would, if he lived long enough, put Dr. Lane out of the college. Ellinwood explained this, he said, at the meeting at which he was removed from the head of the faculty.

When asked how much the estate was worth, Dr. Ellinwood studied a moment and said he thought it would amount to about $200,000.

The San Francisco Bulletin, also of 20 February 1907, received from Dr. Ellinwood a different version of his removal from the Presidency of Cooper Medical College and its Faculty. [44]

Effort to Form Combine of Cooper and Stanford Leads to Bitter Strife

The effort of Dr. Charles N. Ellinwood to secure the affiliation of Cooper Medical College and the Lane Hospital with Stanford University has led to bitter dissension among the Directors, the withdrawal under pressure of Dr. Ellinwood from the presidency, and the utterance of charges against him by others of the Directors that he kept to his own use certain moneys left by the widow of Dr. Lane, and intended by her for the use of the institution. It was all because Dr. Lane, Founder of Cooper College and Lane Hospital, was dissatisfied with the way these institutions were being conducted and sought to effect an affiliation with Stanford that the trouble has arisen. E. R. Taylor, who was vice-president, is now acting president, and has announced that he will forever be a stumbling block in the way of affiliation.

That arrangements were being made for the coalition of the medical school with the University has for some time past been known to those intimate with college affairs, although denied by both Dr. Ellinwood and by Dr. David Starr Jordan at the time. Now, Dr. Ellinwood makes a statement reflecting upon the ability of the Directors , in return for the charge made against him that he failed to deliver the property valued at over $ 300, 000 left him by Mrs. Lane. He denies that he was willed the property on condition that he turn the same over to the college.

"At a stormy meeting of the Directors," Dr. Ellinwood said today, "I told them that Dr. Lane was dissatisfied with their lack of interest, and that he had said that their conduct had made it manifest that the college would not be perpetuated as an independent medical college. Therefore, Dr. Lane began negotiations for a combination with Stanford, asking for my cooperation. Since that time such arrangements have been under way, leading to dissension among the Directors and causing them to put in my place E. R. Taylor - poet, doctor, lawyer, dean of Hasting's Law College, and vice-president of the Cooper Medical College. Taylor promised the Directors that he would be a stumbling block in the way of such a combination."

Dr. Ellinwood states that he had given $10,000 out of his own pocket for the Lane Lectures which were discontinued because of the lack of interest and the lack of courtesy shown to the famous physicians brought from abroad. He adds that he had intended to give $50,000 more. The college library now contains 25,000 volumes presented by him.

Dr. Levi Cooper Lane, founder of the hospital and patron of the college, left his entire fortune to his widow, who in turn left one-third of her estate to these institutions. The remaining amount was left to Dr. Ellinwood in consideration of lifelong friendship without any conditions of any kind, says the doctor, in spite of the charges of the trustees.

The San Francisco Chronicle of 21 February 1907 carried the Faculty's response to Dr. Ellinwood's allegations: [45]

Say Ellinwood Betrayed Trust
Statement of Cooper Faculty
20 February 1907

Dr. Ellinwood, having stated his excuse for his having dealt with the Lane moneys in the manner in which he has and having declared that there was at present strife and jealousy existing among the men who had removed him from the presidency of Cooper Medical College and from the presidency of the faculty of that college, and having perpetrated the libel upon the memory of Dr. Lane, that he, Dr. Lane, had stated to him that the men connected with the college were beginning to develop characteristics which would divert the institution from the purposes for which he had intended it, and that he himself had some fear of being removed, it becomes our duty to state in as brief a form as possible the facts of the case.

Dr. and Mrs. Lane had long intended that all the property they could leave at their death should go to Cooper Medical College, mainly for the endowment of the Lane Course of Medical Lectures and for the building and maintenance of a memorial medical library. To that end they made wills giving all of their property to the college. After these wills were made they were legally advised that only one-third of their estate could be disposed of by will for the purpose intended and that some other disposition for the benefit of Cooper Medical College must be made if possible.

Finally they deemed it best to make mutual and concurrent wills under which each left all of his property to the other. It being understood between them that the survivor would carry out the wishes of both.

Dr. Lane, having predeceased his wife, all of his property became Mrs. Lane's by virtue of his will, made in the manner before mentioned. Mrs. Lane thereupon made a new will wherein for the purposes of carrying out the wishes of the doctor and herself, and so that if possible the moral obligation of seeing to it that all of her property, not only that which she had in her own right, but that which she had derived from Dr. Lane by his will, should be received by the college, she provided in her will that one-third of her property should go to the college for the purpose of a library and the remaining two-thirds to a cousin of Dr. Lane's which cousin at this time was fully informed of the wishes of both Dr. Lane and his wife.

Subsequently by reason of occurrences not necessary to be stated, Mrs. Lane thought well to make another will wherein she substituted as to the two-thirds of the property, "Dr. C. N. Ellinwood, president of Cooper Medical College," in place of the cousin of Dr. Lane, leaving the one-third as before to Cooper Medical College for the purpose of the library. The will last mentioned was probated as the last will and testament of Mrs. Lane and under it Dr. Ellinwood received in money bout $ 90, 000 and in addition other properties worth at least $ 200, 000. More than a year after the reception by Dr. Ellinwood of these moneys and properties left by Mrs. Lane, Dr. Ellinwood was asked by the board of directors as to what he intended to do about the endowment of the Lane Medical Lecture Course - nearly the dearest thing to Dr. Lane's heart at the time of his death.

Dr. Ellinwood replied that Mrs. Lane intended that the lecture course should be endowed out of the proceeds of the Broadway block and declined at that time to make any endowment, although he had at that time in cash nearly $100,000 received from Mrs. Lane's estate; and quite recently he has declared to the directors that the lecture course was a failure (he alone of everybody connected with the college being of that opinion), and that he did not now at least intend to endow that course.

Out of all these great properties received by Dr. Ellinwood he has paid $6000 for the purchase of 25,000 volumes of medical books.

Calls It Imagination

Dr. Ellinwood made the following statement in reply:

The conclusions arrived at in the signed article on the Cooper College controversy are matters of opinion and imagination. Mrs. Lane's will speaks for itself with more force and exactness than any one can do with their imagination. The courts have settled the question years ago and I am not reviewing the case today. The Lane Medical Lectures I have always advocated and maintained since Dr. Lane's death. The course of 1906 did not command the attention of the profession or the interest of the faculty which it ought to have done, and this is probably accounted for by the catastrophe of last April and the conditions following. Over three thousand invitations were extended to the profession to attend this course and only eighty-four answers were received, and of these thirty-four were acceptances.

No Legal Action Likely

There is no possibility that the trustees of Cooper Medical College will take any legal steps to force Dr. Ellinwood to give up any portion of the legacy he received from Mrs. Lane. Dr. Taylor admits that there is no ground for any legal action if Dr. Ellinwood maintains his present position in the controversy. It is claimed by Dr. Taylor that Cooper Medical College and Lane Hospital are in flourishing financial condition and can get along very nicely without any financial assistance from Dr. Ellinwood or any one else.

In the San Francisco Bulletin of 21 February 1907 Dr. Taylor refutes Ellinwood's claim that there was strife in the Cooper Faculty over an affiliation with Stanford: [46]

Taylor Favors Union with Stanford
Replies to Attack of Deposed President of Cooper College

To prevent affiliation of Stanford University with Cooper Medical College was not the reason Dr. C. N. Ellinwood was removed from the presidency of the latter institution, according to Dr. Taylor, now acting president of Cooper College. In an interview given to The Bulletin this morning Dr. Taylor flatly contradicts the statement made yesterday by Dr. Ellinwood and says that such a combination is possible. Dr. Taylor' statement follows:

I want to say in reply to some statements therein of Dr. Ellinwood, which are personal to myself, and as to what is said by him in regard to the alleged proposed combination of Cooper Medical College with Stanford University:

That Dr. Lane's wishes for such combination were prompted by an dissatisfaction of his with his confreres in the service of Cooper Medical College is untrue. The fact is that Dr. Lane had come to realize that medical education had taken on such a wide range and required the constant personal labors of certain of the professors which could only be met by the payment of salaries, that without a large endowment in addition to the fees of students, or without the combination with some university which could afford to pay the needed salaries, an independent medical college, no matter though the one be of as high a rank as Cooper, might possibly not be able to endure. He naturally, therefore, looked to Stanford, which, with its law and other great departments, needed only a medical department of high rank to become a university in the widest sense. He, however, died before anything was done beyond his having a conversation or two with Dr. Jordan.

That I "promised the trustees that I would be a stumbling block in the way of such a combination" is untrue. So far from my being now, or having ever been, or having announced myself as intending to be a stumbling block in the way of any combination of Cooper College with Stanford University, it is owing to me perhaps almost entirely that such a combination can now be made. When Dr. Lane talked the matter over with me (I having been for many years an intimate friend of his and his legal adviser) it was pointed out to him that it would be entirely feasible to release the corporation's property from the strict conditions he had imposed upon it when he first conveyed it to Cooper Medical College; for with those conditions existing the college would have been compelled to maintain an independent existence, in default of which the property would be lost to it and to medicine. These measures advised by me were adopted by him and by reason thereof all of the college property remains in the corporation free and clear of every condition whatsoever. As my wife was the daughter of Governor Stanford's eldest brother, and as one of my sons is a graduate of Stanford, it is hardly likely that I would stand in the way of anything likely to enure to the benefit of Stanford. The fact is I am not opposed and have never been opposed to a combination with Stanford, provided the combination can be made on terms which are just to Cooper Medical College and to the name and memory of Dr. Lane.

Dr. Ellinwood's dismissal from the presidency of the Board of Directors and of the Faculty had no more to do with any "dissension" arising out of the proposed combination with Stanford than last year's violets. There has been no "dissension" much less "bitter dissension." in regard to the combination, but there has been objection to Dr. Ellinwood's assuming to act therein individually when a committee had been especially appointed for the purpose (of which he was one), the members of the committee having been instructed by the board to do nothing in the way of negotiation, individually, with Stanford, and only as a committee.

The plain truth is that Dr. Ellinwood, having been tried for more than five years as president of Cooper Medical College, has been found wanting in the qualifications necessary to such a position. He had, for a considerable time before his dismissal, lost the confidence of his associates, and it was no longer possible to continue him in office with due regard to the interests of the institution. I have not been put in the place of Dr. Ellinwood, but by virtue of my office of vice-president (which I have held ever since the foundation of the college twenty-six hears ago) I became the acting president on Dr. Ellinwood ceasing to hold the office of president. I have not been elected president of the college, nor do I expect to be, nor do I wish to be. My main work in life lies in the teaching of the law and my paramount duty is to Hasting's College of the Law; but as long as I live I shall do what is possible for me to do to subserve the best interests of Cooper Medical College and to keep bright the name and memory of Dr. Lane. As to Dr. Ellinwood, having received the Lane moneys in consideration of "lifelong friendship," it is tolerably evident that as only one-third could be given to the college under the law, two thirds were given to Dr. Ellinwood by reason of the fact that at the time of the bequest he was president of the college, and it was deemed that a sufficient moral obligation was thereby imposed as would induce Dr. Ellinwood to combine the two-thirds with the one-third in the erection and maintenance of a medical library in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Lane and in the endowment of the Lane Course of Medical Lectures.

Edward R. Taylor

The San Francisco Chronicle of 22 February 1907 carried a lengthy interview with Dr. Ellinwood that was in part an offer to support Cooper Medical College on his own terms, but chiefly a caustic response to Dr. Taylor's disparaging remarks about him on the previous day [47]

Ellinwood Offers to Endow Cooper College
He Denounces Taylor

The Cooper Medical College controversy has resulted in an extraordinary situation, which is not without its humorous features. It has crystallized into a personal issue between Dr. Charles N. Ellinwood and Dr. Edward. R. Taylor, and the bitter personal strife between these men, it is claimed by some friends of the medical college is likely to injure an educational institution of great importance.

Yesterday Dr. Ellinwood, the deposed president of the institution announced that, far from desiring to withhold funds left to him by Mrs. Lane from the College, he was anxious to permanently endow a costly post-graduate course which would make Cooper College the Mecca for medical learning in the West, but that he could not conscientiously make this endowment while the affairs of the institution were conducted by Dr. Taylor as they have been in the past.

Dr. Ellinwood declared flatly that if Dr. Taylor would get down and out he would do more for Cooper College in the way of endowment than the directors of that institution ever expected even in their most sanguine moments.

When Dr. Edward R. Taylor was informed of the declaration of Dr. Ellinwood he laughed scornfully.

"It has taken Dr. Ellinwood a very long time to come to the point, and even yet I have my doubts; but, so far as I am concerned , I wish to have no further dealing with him. I am through with Dr. Ellinwood.

"I cannot say whether the directors would accept an endowment from Dr. Ellinwood upon the terms he mentions or not, but, as far as I am concerned, I would not entertain his proposition."

Dr. Taylor also denies that he tried to prevent the affiliation of Cooper College and Stanford University: but Dr. Ellinwood retaliates with the statement that, while Dr. Taylor has not openly tried to block the negotiations, his position as a member of the board of directors and the faculty of the medical college was of itself sufficient to prevent the successful conclusion of the negotiations.

Ellinwood Accuses Taylor

He says that the trustees of Stanford University would object to have any dealings with Dr. Taylor looking toward affiliation, as he was dismissed from the board of trustees of Stanford several years ago at the command of Mrs. Stanford because he brought suit for his wife, a niece of the late Governor Stanford, and others against her to enforce the payment of certain legacies. Mrs. Stanford, according to Dr. Ellinwood, placed a ban on Dr. Taylor which makes the affiliation of the two institutions impossible while he is interested in one of them.

"Dr. Taylor's imagination has often led him astray," declared Dr. Ellinwood yesterday. "He has made other mistakes which may be attributed to excessive imagination, such as the writing of poetry. I think that he also imagined that he was going to receive a considerable portion of the estate of Mrs. Lane. His actions and expressions have showed that he had such expectations and that he was grievously disappointed when they were not fulfilled. I do not know the precise reason why Mrs. Lane did not leave Dr. Taylor any of her property, neither do I know why she left it to me, but I do know that before her death Dr. Taylor read her a great many of his poems. Whether Dr. Taylor's poetry had any effect upon the making of her will to his exclusion or not, I cannot say"

Says Nature is Low

Dr. Taylor does not deny that he read his poems to Mrs. Lane, but he refuses to meet Dr. Ellinwood in a discussion of this phase of the controversy.

"It is just like Ellinwood's low nature to say such things," declared Dr. Taylor angrily when asked about the matter.

In addition to being the acting president of Cooper Medical College, Dr. Taylor is dean of the Hasting's College of Law, which is affiliated with the University of California, of which Dr. Ellinwood is a regent. Yesterday Dr. Ellinwood declared that he thought the connection between Hastings and the State University should be severed. He said:

"Dr. Taylor is no more popular as dean of the Hasting's College of Law than he is as president of Cooper. He does not command the confidence of either the medical or legal profession, and for this reason, if for no other, he should retire. My reasons for thinking that the Hasting's College and the State University should sever connection is because I think the State University should build up its own law school, which is now getting along very nicely."

Dr. Ellinwood's Retort

Concerning the causes of the present controversy in Cooper Medical College Dr. Ellinwood said:

"For many years every proposal and suggestion that I have made for the betterment of the institution, the improvement of the course of instruction and the management of the financial affairs of the college has been persistently opposed by Dr. Edward R. Taylor. I have always had the interests of the institution at heart. I have felt the same duty and the same affection toward it that my friend, Dr. Lane, did, and knowing his wishes intimately, I planned to carry them all out. But I was always hampered and opposed by Dr. Taylor at every turn. The mere fact that I made a suggestion was sufficient reason for Dr. Taylor to turn it down. I was able to carry out none of my ideas, and naturally, I became disgusted.

"I do not think that anyone realizes better than I do the needs of the institution today. To make Cooper College what Dr. Lane wished it to be there should be a comprehensive postgraduate course, which would enable graduates to specialize in any subject without having to go East to study. I would engage the most eminent anatomist and one of the greatest workers and teachers in tropical medicine as special instructors in this course. Such a course would attract medical men from all over the West. I am ready to endow this course permanently any time but Dr. Taylor and the directors must come to me before I will take another step in the matter.

"This controversy is not over yet. My interest in Cooper College has not been killed by actions which are dictated by mere foolish personal jealously, and I still have hopes that it will come out all right."

There will probably be a meeting of the directors of Cooper Medical College within the next few days to consider a communication from Dr. Ellinwood.

The case against Ellinwood, as viewed by various local and Cooper physicians, was reported in the San Francisco Call for 22 February 1907: [48]

Prominent Men Argue Against Dr. Ellinwood

The Cooper College controversy, in which directors of the institution have accused Dr. Charles N. Ellinwood of withholding funds intended for endowment purposes, has brought to the support of the trustees a large number of men of high rank in the local medical fraternity. The impression appears to be general among them that the bequest made to Dr. Ellinwood by Mrs. Lane was intended eventually for the benefit of the college.

"Why else, " they ask, "would Mrs. Lane have ignored all of her relatives to leave two-thirds of her fortune to Dr. Ellinwood?"

The friends of the accused physician answer, "Because Dr. Ellinwood was a lifelong friend of Dr. Lane."

The directors of the college assert that Dr. Ellinwood's position is undermined by his own words. They claim that at a meeting of the authorities not long after the death of Mrs. Lane, Dr. Barkan made a motion that a committee be appointed to wait upon Dr. Ellinwood to learn what disposition he intended to make of the money. Dr. Ellinwood, who was present at the meeting according to the other directors, arose and indignantly exclaimed, "There is no need of a committee to wait upon me. I intend to use the money to carry out the wishes of Dr. and Mrs. Lane. If you desire, I will put this in writing." The directors thought no such step necessary and the matter was dropped for a time.

Ellinwood's Promises

At another time, in conversation with Dr. Henry Gibbons, Dr. Ellinwood, according to the former, gave full assurance that he intended to devote the bequest to a memorial library.

As Dr. Ellinwood showed no disposition to devote the funds to the college, notwithstanding his statement to the directors, he was reminded at a subsequent meeting of his promise and called upon to make good. Thereupon, it is asserted Dr. Ellinwood in heated terms denied that he had ever promised to use the Lane bequest in the interests of the college.

The matter dragged along, occasional reference being made to the subject at meetings of the directors, but Dr. Ellinwood was never ready to act. There was talk of selling the valuable block at Broadway and Divisidero Streets, in which the college has a one-third interest, and Dr. Ellinwood a two-thirds interest, but, although good offers were made for the property, Dr. Ellinwood always opposed the sale. Finally the directors became convinced that Dr. Ellinwood did not intend to use the bequest for the benefit of the college. He was asked for a final answer. It was not satisfactory and he was dismissed from the presidency. The last vestige of his authority was removed yesterday, when the sign bearing his name was taken from the building.

Defended by Lloyd

Dr. Henry Gibbons, dean and president of the faculty, said yesterday that the incident was closed so far as the college directors were concerned. He said that Dr. Ellinwood's connection with the institution had been severed, that no legal steps could be taken in the matter and that nothing more was to be done.

Dr. Ellinwood is not without supporters. Reuben Lloyd, who, with Thomas I. Bergin, was an executor of Mrs. Lane's will, said yesterday that Dr. Ellinwood was being maliciously assailed. Lloyd asserted that both he and Bergin were convinced that the bequest was intended purely as a gift to Dr. Ellinwood.

"The will of Mrs. Lane was as plain and concise a document as I have seen," said Lloyd. "There can be no doubt as to the intention of Mrs. Lane. She intended the bequest as a pure gift to Dr. Ellinwood. The truth is that Dr. Ellinwood has given liberally from his own pocket for the college, and now the men whom he has aided have turned against him."

The Cooper directors expressed deep regret yesterday that the situation had come to such an unpleasant conclusion. They are men who have grown gray in the service of the college. They have given their time and they have given from their abundant knowledge for the advancement of medical science. They have not derived financial profit from their connection with the institution or from their friendship with Dr. Lane.

For a trustworthy view of Ellinwood and the circumstances leading to his removal from the Cooper Faculty, we turn now to an article in the San Francisco Call for 23 February 1907 quoting the respected Professor Henry Gibbons, Jr., Dean since 1870 of Cooper and antecedent colleges: [49]

The faculty of Cooper Medical College did not wait for a communication from the institution's board of directors to point its action in propelling Dr. Ellinwood along the road of "down and out." As Dr. Ellinwood had been removed from his office as president of the directors of the college, it followed naturally that he should be removed from his presidency of the faculty.

The Cooper teachers - a dozen or more, in addition to several assistant professors - met on Monday and, without discussion unanimously declared Dr. Ellinwood's office vacant. The vacancy was at once filled by the election of Dr. Henry Gibbons, Jr., to act as president of the faculty for the unexpired term of Ellinwood, ending next July. Dr. Gibbons is dean of the Cooper faculty and has held that position in this college and its predecessor, the Medical College of the Pacific, since 1870. Dr. Gibbons' new position has given him an opportunity to appear in the light of adjudicator in the present "irrepressible conflict" of the Cooper institution.

"Dr. Ellinwood's personality became very disagreeable," said Dr. Gibbons yesterday. "His assumption of authority was unbearable. He might have had a most enviable position in the city and in the college - in fact, all of us were ready to hold up his hands and help him forward until we learned to know him. There was not a single dissension in the faculty, the board or the college, or among its friends. "

Bequest of $300,000

"The difference of opinion involving Ellinwood and based upon his attitude in regard to the bequest in Mrs. Lane's will developed two years ago," said Dr. Gibbons. "The preceding two years, following the death of Mrs. Lane, were years of accord in the college and the faculty. Then it became apparent that Dr. Ellinwood and the others in the college management had different views as to the purpose of Mrs. Lane's bequest of $300,000 to Ellinwood.

"Dr. Ellinwood was very careful to be noncommittal," continued Dr. Gibbons. "Never once did he take the board or the faculty into his confidence on the matter of the bequest. He was always exceedingly careful not to commit himself in writing. The nearest approach to a written committal was in his July report, when he said he "hoped to be able to endow the Lane lecture course."

"The controversy will never reach a legal stage - an airing in the courts. If Ellinwood claims the $300,000 he may keep it insofar as the provisions of the will are concerned - and the probate thereof. It is only a question of honor."

Doctor Did Not Teach

It appears that though Ellinwood was president of the teachers he had not taught for many years and his chair of physiology had lately been filled by Professor Garrey. The members of the faculty are Dr. Barkan (now in Europe), Drs. Cheney, Hirschfelder, Ophüls, Hanson, Stillman, Rixford, Gardner and Somers, with assistant professors Dr. Rigdon, Blaisdell, Grey and Hewlett.

Dr. Ellinwood's published strictures upon Dr. Taylor as a probably preventive of the negotiations to merge Cooper Medical College with Stanford University are not taken seriously by the Cooper directorate or faculty. Dr. Taylor, as vice president of the college, will remain in charge of the college until the July election. As a member of the board he will participate in the negotiations for affiliating Cooper with Stanford. He is a brilliant and active man, and the fact of his having written poetry of high merit is held, among his associates, as a matter of personal ability rather than the subject for an ill-advised fling. What bearing his personality may have upon the Stanford negotiations is held as immaterial, according to Dr. Gibbons, who said:

"If Dr. Taylor is persona non grata with any interest at Stanford it cannot affect our tendering as a gift an institution with property worth three-quarters of a million dollars. And besides Cooper College the tender includes Lane Hospital and much outside property."

The Stanford negotiations were in the hands of a committee consisting of Drs. Ellinwood, Ophüls and Stillman. Ellinwood, says the dean of the faculty, never made a report as to how the negotiations were progressing. Since the present controversy arose, the Stanford matter has been delegated to the whole board of directors and it expects to accomplish results.

The following announcement headlined an article in the San Francisco Call on Sunday, 24 February 1907: [50]

Incident Is Closed Medicos Will Have Nothing Further to Say About Lane Bequest

As far as the directors of Cooper Medical College are concerned, the retirement of Dr. Charles N. Ellinwood as president of the institution is a closed incident. His connection with the college has been terminated for good and all, they say. The only regret that they express is that they did not take action sooner, instead of relying on shadowy promises of future financial aid. The directors have come to the conclusion that Dr. Ellinwood intends to retain personal control of the Lane bequest. That he has the legal right to do this they do not deny.

For the present Cooper College will get along without a president. The duties of the office will be performed by Dr. E. R. Taylor, the vice president, until July, when at the regular annual meeting a successor to Dr. Ellinwood will be elected.

In the meantime nothing further will be done looking to affiliation with Stanford University. When the affairs of the college have settled down negotiations with the Stanford trustees will be reopened. Before the end of the year, it is expected, consolidation will have been effected. The proposal is regarded favorably by the authorities of both institutions. Stanford would at one stroke acquire a medical college and hospital not surpassed in the West, while to Cooper would come the guarantee of permanency.

It is not the intention of the Cooper directors to carry on a campaign of vilification They have received no communication from Dr. Ellinwood bearing on reported promises of endowments, nor do they expect any.

"Dr. Ellinwood has been saying these same things for two years," said one of the directors yesterday, "but when it came to the point of putting up the money and making good he was never there."

Elias Cooper had his Judas in the person of David Wooster who betrayed and maligned him but who did not escape the scathing contempt and public rebuke that Cooper meted out - and the episode was without long range significance.

Ellinwood's betrayal of the Lanes' wishes was of a different order. His deceptions and financial exploitations with respect to the Lane bequest, though within legal bounds, were dishonorable and placed him outside the pale of trust and respect. One searches for the personal merits which gained for Ellinwood the confidence of Dr. and Mrs. Lane who, as we have seen, chose him for their physician. Certainly he thoroughly ingratiated himself to them, but his claim that Mrs. Lane meant to leave two-thirds of the Lane estate as a personal gift to him appears to have been an outrageous fiction.

We should return briefly to the visit of Dr. Lane's Uncle Jacob Cooper to Mrs. Lane during the last sad weeks of her life. It was during this stressful period that she was required to revise her existing will which consigned two-thirds of the Lane estate to William Cooper, son of Uncle Jacob and cousin to Dr. Lane. When William quite unexpectedly refused to accept the bequest Mrs. Lane, disappointed and distraught by this turn of events, substituted for him the President of Cooper Medical College as beneficiary - reasonably expecting that honor and loyalty would lead him to devote the funds to the College and the Lanes' designated projects. It must have been reassuring to Mrs. Lane that Uncle Jacob was greatly impressed with President Ellinwood who had been particularly attentive to him during the visit. Thus, with faith in the integrity of the President, the fatal misstep was taken.

Ellinwood's maneuvers during his transition to pious claimant of the Lane bequest as morally his, are easily traced through the reports in the Directors' minutes and the daily press cited here. With the leverage of the Lane bequest in hand, Ellinwood sought greater executive control of the College, becoming dictatorial and even blatantly usurping the Board's collective responsibility for negotiating with Stanford. He bought time on the library issue by personally arranging for the purchase of the New York Academy of Medicine duplicates, meanwhile being ever more vague in his commitment to fund the Lane Lectures and the Lane library, the two explicit purposes for which Dr. Lane had intended his estate.

But when Ellinwood, in his bid for power, tried to substitute a postgraduate course on tropical medicine for the Lane Lectures, and demanded personal control of the library project, his disloyalty proved intolerable. Subsequent events were well covered in the San Francisco press.

As painful as the miscarriage of his plans would have been to Dr. Lane, he would have been consoled and gratified by the unanimity and vision with which his loyal faculty disposed of Ellinwood, provided for the memorials to Dr. Lane's life of service, and secured the future of his school by uniting with Stanford.

Endnotes

  1. Minutes of Meetings of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 8 and 22 August 1904, pp. 158-175, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5.2, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  2. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 6 September 1905, pp. 204-215, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5.2, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  3. Hans Barkan , "Cooper Medical College: An Historical Sketch," Stanford Medical Bulletin 12, no. 3 (Aug 1954): 165-172. Lane Library Catalog Record
  4. Hans Barkan , "Cooper Medical College: An Historical Sketch," Stanford Medical Bulletin 12, no. 3 (Aug 1954): 165-166. Lane Library Catalog Record
  5. Hans Barkan , "Cooper Medical College: An Historical Sketch," " Stanford Medical Bulletin 12, no. 3 (Aug 1954): 165-168. Lane Library Catalog Record
  6. Emmet Rixford , A Brief Account of the History of the Lane Medical Library and of Cooper Medical College, Leland Stanford Junior University Publications, 1912 Trustees Series No. 22 (Stanford University, CA: Published by the University, 1912), p. 9. Lane Library Catalog Record
  7. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 22 January 1906, p. 227, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  8. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  9. Hans Barkan , "Cooper Medical College: An Historical Sketch," Stanford Medical Bulletin 12, no. 3 (Aug 1954): 170. Lane Library Catalog Record
  10. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 17 July 1906, p. 254-255, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  11. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  12. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  13. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  14. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  15. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  16. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  17. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  18. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  19. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  20. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 16 July 1907, pp. 19-21, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 3 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  21. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  22. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  23. Correspondence re New York Academy of Medicine Collection, Letters 1903-1908, Library - Box 15, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  24. Emmet Rixford , A Brief Account of the History of the Lane Medical Library and of Cooper Medical College, Leland Stanford Junior University Publications, 1912 Trustees Series No. 22 (Stanford University, CA: Published by the University, 1912), p. 9. Lane Library Catalog Record
  25. Minutes of Annual Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 16 September 1905, p. 208, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  26. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 30 April 1906, p. 235, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  27. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 3 July 1906, p. 248, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  28. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 13 August 1906, pp.. 262-263 and 265-266, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  29. Minutes of Annual Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 12 August 1907, p. 25, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 3 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  30. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 9 May 1906, p. 242, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  31. Hans Barkan , "Cooper Medical College: An Historical Sketch," Stanford Medical Bulletin 12, no. 3 (Aug 1954): 168. Lane Library Catalog Record
  32. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 13 August 1906, pp. 267-268, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  33. School of Medicine Catalog, 1994-1995 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 1994), pp. 183-184.
  34. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 20 October 1906, pp. 279-280, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 2 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  35. Hans Barkan , "Cooper Medical College: An Historical Sketch," Stanford Medical Bulletin 12, no. 3 (1954 Aug): 169-170. Lane Library Catalog Record
  36. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 9 January 1907, pp. 3-4, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 3 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  37. Hans Barkan , "Cooper Medical College: An Historical Sketch," Stanford Medical Bulletin 12, no. 3 (Aug 1954): 170-171. Lane Library Catalog Record
  38. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 5 February 1907, pp. 7-8, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 3 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  39. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 11 February 1907, p. 9, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 3 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  40. Minutes of Meeting of Faculty of Cooper Medical College on 18 February 1907, pp. 66-68, Minutes of Faculty of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 3 - Box 6.3, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  41. Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 20 February 1907, p. 11, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 3 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  42. Minutes of Annual Meeting of Directors of Cooper Medical College on 12 August 1907, pp. 34-35, Minutes of Directors of Cooper Medical College, Vol. 3 - Box 5, Cooper Medical College Collection of publications, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford. Lane Library Catalog Record
  43. "Dr. Ellinwood Charged with Retaining College Funds," San Francisco Call, Wednesday 20 February 1907, Collection of San Francisco Newspaper Articles on the Ellinwood Affair, Lane Medical Library, Mapcase Drawer 1. Lane Library Catalog Record
  44. "Effort to Form Combine of Cooper and Stanford Leads to Bitter Strife," San Francisco Bulletin, Wednesday 20 February 1907, Collection of San Francisco Newspaper Articles on the Ellinwood Affair, Lane Medical Library, Mapcase Drawer 1. Lane Library Catalog Record
  45. "Say Ellinwood Betrayed Trust," San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday 21 February 1907, Collection of San Francisco Newspaper Articles on the Ellinwood Affair, Lane Medical Library, Mapcase Drawer 1. Lane Library Catalog Record
  46. "Taylor Favors Union With Stanford," San Francisco Bulletin, Thursday 21 February 1907, Collection of San Francisco Newspaper Articles on the Ellinwood Affair, Lane Medical Library, Mapcase Drawer 1. Lane Library Catalog Record
  47. "Offers to Endow Cooper College," San Francisco Chronicle, Friday 22 February 1907, Collection of San Francisco Newspaper Articles on the Ellinwood Affair, Lane Medical Library, Mapcase Drawer 1. Lane Library Catalog Record
  48. "Prominent Men Argue against Dr. Ellinwood," San Francisco Call, Friday 22 February 1907, Collection of San Francisco Newspaper Articles on the Ellinwood Affair, Lane Medical Library, Mapcase Drawer 1. Lane Library Catalog Record
  49. "Dr. Ellinwood Scored by New President of Faculty, Dr. Gibbons, Jr.," San Francisco Call, Saturday 23 February 1907, Collection of San Francisco Newspaper Articles on the Ellinwood Affair, Lane Medical Library, Mapcase Drawer 1. Lane Library Catalog Record
  50. "Taylor to Act as Head of Cooper until July," San Francisco Call, Sunday 24 February 1907, Collection of San Francisco Newspaper Articles on the Ellinwood Affair, Lane Medical Library, Mapcase Drawer 1. Lane Library Catalog Record
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