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Letters sent to Brewster, Mabel


Date: 
November 20, 1914
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler sends a line to say that all goes well, except the heart-ache for friends whose boys have been killed. Oxford is one big camp and hospital with 1000 beds. The 15 Belgian professors and their families are doing well. Civilities.


Date: 
December 14, 1914
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler hopes that Mabel Brewster and her family are in good form. Enjoins her not to do too much on the Primrose Path. Longing to see her baby. Mentions that they are struggling through winter in fairly good spirits and everything looks more hopeful. They see too much tragedy to make life very happy. Mentions the Belgian Professors' wives who sew every morning from 9 to 1 in their drawing room. Details about it. Commiserates with their tragedies. Grace, after having helped them, bosses one of the big laboratories with fifty of the University women working for the soldiers. Admiration for the New England women. Revere had been in the Oxford Training Corps, but has not had enough for a commission. His heart is not set in the military life. He prefers literature, books and arts. Mentions that they are so congenial mentally. Details about his etching. Mentions an awful picture of him in the Journal "Canada". Good comments on Uncle Neds book. He has given copies to Asquith, Edward, Grey, Harcourt and Haldane, and to the secretary of the publicity department. Sad about all his good German friends. Wonders where the Truth is. Civilities. Asks her about Lois' baby. Mentions that Grace had raised 15 000$ from America for the Belgian Professors.


Date: 
December 31, 1914
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler comments on a picture of Mabel Brewster's baby. They had a house full for Christmas. Lists their guests. Details of their Christmas. Grace has not had time to think of anything, but the Belgians and she is acting as a distributing agent for American presents. It is wonderful. They received big packages every week. Word about Revere's devotion to books. Deplores that his son has to interrupt his studies, but Revere goes on with the military training and will take a commission when ready. His library grows apace. His brother gives him money to meet his extravagances, as he knows that the medical and scientific books are being collected for Canada. The weather is awful. The raids and bombs are doing much good, except to the poor sufferers, in rousing the country. The American Commission in Belgium is doing a marvellous work. Civilities.


Date: 
January 4, 1915
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler thanks Mabel Brewster for her gift. Asks her if she ever read Lucians Dialogues. Revere is leaving college and going into the University and Public School Regiment. Mentions that he hates to have him go, and deplores that his training in Oxford is interrupted. Sends her a proof of his bookplate with his own design. Explains that he is still waiting until he find someone who can put in a moderate space something distinctive of the four Universities with which he has been connected. Mentions that he has been talking with 600 soldiers on health, camp, and field. Sends her a proof of a letter to the Journal of the Medical Association. Civilities.


Date: 
March 7, 1915
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler writes to Mabel Brewtser. The German blockade seems a farce, and they are hoping for a peaceful solution of the neutral shipping question. They are preparing for large numbers of wounded. Revere has a commission in the Canadian contingent, and has been assigned as orderly officer. He will join the McGill Unit when it comes over in April or May, and will be Birketts' orderly officer in France. Mentions that he has four nephews at the front and five relatives are also coming over in the 3rd Canadian contingent. It will cause them anxiety. Mentions a memorial service in memory of the Oxford men who died at war, several among them they knew quite well. It seems to him a mockery to hold services, but it must be a comfort to the relations. Mentions that he could not help thinking of the nice German women singing at the same time , as he used to hear them in the Cathedral in Berlin. Thanks to Uncle Ned for his articles in Life. Civilities.


Date: 
April 8, 1915
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler writes to Mabel Brewster that all is well, glad to be busy, as these are not days for thinking. Word about their week at Torquay, where he saw the American Hospital. Details about it. Everything looks hopeful. Revere is happy at Cliveden. The McGill Unit with which he will go to France does not come over for a month or six weeks. W.W. Francis and Campbell Howard are with them. Deplores that Revere's education has been interrupted. Grace is working in her shop, with forty university ladies at work. Her New England energy is a revelation to them. Uncle Neds articles in Life are A.1. He has been reading Osborn Taylors new book with pleasure. Mentions Sylvia and the baby. Mrs. Chapin comes visit them this week. They are anxious about the submarines. Wishes he could be with them for a month at Mt. Kisco. Asks about Lois' baby. Civilities.


Date: 
May 15, 1915
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler wishes to spend a quiet fortnight at Avelon. Things are getting pretty hot but they are trying to keep their heads cool. Explains that every week now the losses are hitting them in the young Oxford men whom they know. Mentions young Howard, who was one of their special boys, and numerous Canadian friends have been killed. Grace is at Torquay to bring back a wounded nephew. Revere is waiting for the McGill Unit and meanwhile is working at Cliveden. Sends a photo taken by Sue Chapin of the father and the son in uniform. He is busy all the time and hopes to be less busy. Comments on the sinking of the Lusitania. Sue Chapin was to have returned on her. He lost several friends, among them Dr. Pearson. Civilities.


Date: 
June 11, 1915
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler comments on the photographs Mabel Brewster sent. Wishes that he could have a quiet time with them at Mt. Kisco. One gets fed up with this tragedy. Admires the pluck of the women, and the burden of the loss comes on them. Mentions the American note which they had hoped to see in the morning papers. Hopes that the USA will stay neutral as they can do so much that way. Revere is now at Southampton. They expect to cross this week. Revere is very interested in his work. Civilities.


Date: 
August 24, 1915
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler writes that they are off for a few days in one of these Anglican paradises. Still, he wishes it were Avelon. Seems ages since he was in America and wonders when he shall be able to get away. His opinion on war is that if the USA comes in the complications will be worse. They are very anxious. They are all depressed about Russia. Comments about the Russian Army and the English Army. Their house is full with wounded nephews. Grace is hard at work although the hospitals are empty. Revere writes cheery letters from Etaples. Hopes to go shortly to see the McGill Unit. They are thankful Revere is not in the East. He is away very often at Cardiff, Paignton and Folkestone. Their chauffeur, butler and secretary are gone. Comments on the latter. - He adds words on the 28th : They are back home. Camac, Morris, Van Dyke and Yates Thomson came. They had a new Belgian professor asking for help. Tomorrow the Pages will come to lunch. Good comments on the work of the ambassador and on his staff, particularly Squier. Civilities.


Date: 
September 7, 1915
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler relates day after day his experience at the McGill Unit. Description of the site, of the men, of the hospitals. Revere is assistant quartermaster with 40 men to control. He sometimes feels that he should be off in the fighting line, and wishes that his parents would not oppose it. The nurses are all from the Royal Victoria or the Montreal General Hospital. Law, the quartermaster is an old family friend. The Harvard Unit and the Chicago unit are close to them. The patients come from the Ypres district. On Sunday, He , Campbell Howard, W.W. Francis and Revere went to eat at Hardelot. The Indian troops are at Montreuil. Description of his itinerary on the road to the Front. Details about his experience there. Description of the receiving of a convoy at the hospital. Mentions typhoid and paratyphoid cases. He enjoyed his experience and wishes he could have stayed longer, but he has to to be in Leeds October 1st, to give two addresses. Grace is taking her first holiday for a year. Will send her a copy of his father's journal and papers. Wishes he could be with them at Mt. Kisco. Does not believe this horrid business will ever be over, but they are keeping up their courage. Civilities.


Date: 
(September 7, 1915?)
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

(Postcard) Osler is there with Revere. It is the first stopping place of Sterne on his Sentimental Journey. Will send Mabel Brewster full account of his trip.


Date: 
December 10, 1915
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler sends Mabel Brewster his address "Nerve and Nerves" and another address. Thanks her for the cheque that she and her husband sent for the Belgian professors. Word about the things people sent. Revere is joining the Field Ambulance as he felt that his hospital job was too soft. He loathes the war. Osler understands him. Mentions that he and his wife shall have to take their worries with the others. Details about the fire in the dining-room. Lost only the Vernon Plaque which melt. The country is at last awake. Details about the war. Notes that the English are awful pessimists. Civilities. Christmas greetings.


Date: 
July 10, 1916
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler is anxious to know if the new baby will be a boy. He is spending a week-end here to see Revere who is in the Royal Artillery Barracks getting his training. News of Revere. Mentions a great day they have in Durham. Revere will go to Shoeburgness in a few weeks for gunnery, and then may be drafted for France. Osler hopes it will not be for several months as they would be too anxious. His brother Frank lost his only son. Six other nephews are at the Front. The losses are heart breaking, but they must go on to the bitter end. It will be a long business. News from Grace. Jokes about the New England women. He is away very often and is now with the Royal Commission on the Welsh Universities. Mentions their inspection of the colleges at Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth. He is concerned with the proposal to establish a national Welsh Medical School. Comments on this nation. Sends her Hilaire Bellocs book on Lafayette. Love to Uncle Ned. Good comments on the latter's work. Civilities.


Date: 
October 10, 1916
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler is pleased to be asked to be Godfather of Mabel Brewster's son. Susan Chapin is sending him a Paul Revere porringer. Wishes that he could see them at Avalon. Reassures her on the infantile paralysis. Revere is home for three days before going to the front. They are boon companions. They will be terribly anxious but the cause is worth the sacrifice. News from Grace. He is away a great deal with the Hospitals work and the Royal Commission on the Welsh Universities. Civilities.


Date: 
November 24, 1916(?)
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler asks after Brewster's family and thanks her for making a donation to the Belgians. Susan Revere Chapin has been visiting with the Osler's. He reports on Revere's activities at the front.


Date: 
December 5, 1916
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler hopes his Christmas greetings will not be late. Mentions the cheery letters from Revere who has never been so happy since the war began. Details on the life at the front. Sends her an anthology of the Ages of Man. Reflections on war. Mentions the many wounded they have, even without big battle. Mentions that he is expecting a group of 68 American doctors next week. They have asked for 250 young men who will be placed in the Military Hospitals. Comments on the US help they receive. Asks her to tell Uncle Ned (E.S. Martin) that America is doing more than he knows. Civilities.


Date: 
December 25, 1916
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler wishes he could be at Avalon today. They have their house full but their hearts are empty with Revere away. Mentions his bronchitis which allowed him to keep some rest. Grace and Susan Chapin are helping with the Christmas dinners at the Hospital. Praises them. Good comments on Uncle Ned's (E.S. Martin) editorials in Life. Comments on Wilson's Peace Kite. Glad that Abraham Lincoln is often quoted in England and serves as a model. Says that they must fight to a finish now. Best wishes for 1917.


Date: 
December 31, 1916
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler thanks Mabel Brewster for the book received on Christmas eve. Mentions the coincidence that he is deep in this period, reading the Malade Imaginaire of Molière, 1763. Mentions Boileau. Comments on the latter's books. Sends her a book. Mentions a nice letter from Uncle Ned (E.S. Martin). Worried because they have not received any letters from Revere for eleven days. Best wishes for 1917.


Date: 
April 3, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Details about their excitement at the news of the USA coming with the Allies. Wilson's speech is A.1. Uncle Ned ( E.S. Martin) must be glad. Comments on the American Women War Hospital and of Lady Harcourt. They had no word from Revere for five days. Mentions the death of one of their protégé. Hard days on the heart. Civilities.


Date: 
April 8, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Acknowledgement of her photo. Mentions that he has spent the first unhappy Easter of his life. They have had no letters from Revere for ten days. Glad of the turn of events in USA. The moral support will be immense, and they will need all the financial and physical support before the war is over. Looking forward for E.S Martin's editorial in Life. Comments on Martin and on Life. He disapproves of the writers who malign his beloved profession. Will send her a book worm plate and his article on it. Will send her a postcard when they have news from Revere.


Date: 
April 11, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

(Postcard). They received two letters from Revere, dated a week ago. They hope for the best.


Date: 
May 15, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler announces that Revere is home for a ten days leave. Details on the physical changes in his son. Details on the actions of his battery. Mentions that Revere's nerves are A.1, but it is not easy to get him to talk much about his experience. Wishes to be in Avalon to play with Mabel's children. Civilities. P.S. He is forgiving "Life" everything for the sake of Uncle Ned's (E.S. Martin) splendid articles.


Date: 
July 3, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

They are here for rest and change, at the Isle of Purbeck where they spent two summers when Revere was young. News of Revere. The latter is full of admiration for the men who stood 48 hours of incessant pounding before getting through. Details on his battery. Delighted with the American Hospital Units, with men from Columbia, Harvard, Cleveland and Philadelphia have been with them. Opinion on the issue of the war. The final decision rests with the USA. Civilities.


Date: 
August 25, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler gives news of Revere and details on the battle beyond Ypres. Hopes that his son could get another leave. They are anxious but hold on and hope for the best. Mentions Grace and Susan Chapin assisting with the parade of the American troops in London. Asks her to let them know if any of her friends come to war. Mentions a stream of American visitors. Wishes to have a peaceful visit with them at Avalon. Love to Uncle Ned (E.S. Martin). Civilities.


Date: 
August 30, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Cushing has wired them this afternoon that Revere was dangerously wounded and this evening the War Office telephoned that he had died at 12. Explains that they have been preparing for the blow. Osler was sure the fates would hit him through Revere. He has escaped all these years without a great sorrow, and has had so much in life, so much more, than he deserved that he has all along felt they could not escape. Describes his relationship with his son. Compassion for Grace. They are going to be brave. Recollects the nursery in Baltimore. Civilities. Mentions that it is a mercy for them that Cushing was with Revere, as they were friends.


Date: 
September 13, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler writes that they have stood the hard blow far better than they could have anticipated. Supposes that their long period of apprehension had prepared them. He never saw a wounded man without thinking of Revere, every telegram has been opened with dread. The difficulty for him is to realize that they will never see him again. Repeats that the fact that Darrach, Brewer and Cushing were there is a consolation. Details on Revere's wounds. He is copying an extract form Major Davidson's letter. Mentions that they came to Dorset for a couple of weeks of rest and change. - Extract of Davidson's letter who praises Revere.


Date: 
December 26, 1917
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

It was a Christmas with desolation in their hearts. The house was full with friends, a nephew, Futcher and Susan Chapin. They had 17 American doctors who are stationed in Oxford in the evening. Mentions their difficulty hiding their sadness. Wonders how Grace stands the double life. Comments on the picture of her children. Susan Chapin is in charge of the American Red Cross distribution work in London. She only visits them during the weekends. U.S. troops are pouring through. Opinion on the ending of the war. Asks her if Uncle Ned's boy is over yet, as they would like to help him. Their house is a regular distribution depot for comforts.


Date: 
January 8, 1918
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler thanks Mabel Brewster for the Robin Hood volumes. Memories of his mother repeating many stories of the very ones in this edition. It moves him and he cried as he thought how Revere would have loved them. Mentions Revere's interest in ballad literature. While he was looking at the book, Grace uttered a cry of grief as she learned of the death of young Ely of Rochester, New York. Details on their relation to Ely. Kissel, one of the latter friends, is knocked out by the news. The Oslers sympathize with these young boys far away from their home. Asks her to let him know of any in whom she is interested. P.S. Grace reports him that at the big service at the Cathedral, the Bishop read as a part of his sermon Lincoln's Gettysburg speech. Comments on how Lincoln is inspiring them.


Date: 
August 16, 1918
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler just received Mabel Brewster's letter of June 3rd, which had been censored. Mentions a tragic ending for E.S. Martin. Asks which regiment his son is in, as they are trying to keep in touch with their friends' sons. Grace and Susan Chapin have lists of them. Such thrilling days. Details on his visit to the American Hospital in the South of England. States that USA will settle the war and hopefully dictate the terms to Germany. The presence of American troops has roused enthusiasm. Susan Chapin has just gone to Paris with Mrs. Whitelaw Reid to the Red Cross work and to get it coordinated with the London branch. Word about their constant stream of visitors. They get on very well with the rations, and Grace manages wonderfully. Mentions the wedding of Phoebe Wright with Reginald Fitz. Details about it. They are on the Dorset coast with a niece from Toronto and her daughters, the Wrights, the Hartys with two children, the Ogilvies with two children, and a Boston Gardner girl, war widow with a child. Wishes he was in Avalon with her children. Hates to think of missing them at this fascinating age. He has no chance of coming in America. Mentions that he was asked the other day (Flexner's letter). Civilities. P.S. It will be one year since Revere's death. It has been a bitter experience and has hit him hard. Details about his sorrow.


Date: 
December 25, 1918
From: 
Osler, William
To: 
Brewster, Mabel
Abstract: 

Osler thanks Mabel Brewster for the Browning, which will be a companion volume. Her husband came last eve and they will have a busy Christmas. His brother Frank and his wife, Susan Chapin, Susan Revere, Jason Mixter, W.W. Francis and Gwyn will be there. Wishes that she would be there with her children. Discussion over her case as she thinks her hearing is less acute. Love to E.S. Martin. Mentions the enthusiasm in England about the USA and Wilson. There may be at last a great peace. Sad about Revere. Civilities.

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