Friday, February 25, 2011

2.25.11 Bicentennial Corner

John Adams/p>

On Feb. 25, 1811, “An act to incorporate certain persons by the name of the Massachusetts General Hospital” was enacted in the Massachusetts General Court. Among those “certain persons” were former president of the United States, John Adams, and his son, future president John Quincy Adams, who was serving as the American ambassador to Russia and living in St. Petersburg. John Adams was nominated to serve as the moderator at the first meeting of the hospital corporation on April 23, 1811. The following is an excerpt from a letter to his good friend Dr. Benjamin Rush, describing Adams’s reaction to his nomination:


“The Legislature, of Massachusetts in their last Session, created a Corporation for the purpose of establishing a Public Hospital and were pleased without my knowledge to appoint me, a most Useless and unworthy Member of it. I know of but [one] Service I can possibly render to this honourable Institution and that is by presenting [them] with your learned and experienced Lecture up[on] this human and noble Subject.”

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