You doctors have a serious responsibility

Dr William Bamford (1820-1881) was an English physician, educated in Canada, who had worked in East Oakland since 1867.

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 3, 694.]

To Dr William Bamford [Colvin 1911, 1, pp. 332-333]

written on the half-title of a copy of Travels with a Donkey

[East Oakland] April 1880

[…]

My dear Sir,

Will you let me offer you this little book? If I had anything better, it should be yours. May you not dislike it, for it will be your own handiwork if there are other fruits from the same tree! But for your kindness and skill, this would have been my last book, and now I am in hopes that it will be neither my last nor my best.

First American edition of ‘Travels with a Donkey’, 1879 [https://ia600506.us.archive.org/]

First American edition of ‘Travels with a Donkey’, 1879 [https://ia600506.us.archive.org/]

First American edition of ‘Travels with a donkey’, 1879 [https://ia600506.us.archive.org/]

Dr Bamford's House, 1235-9 East 15th Street, Oakland.

Dr Bamford’s House, 1235-9 East 15th Street, Oakland.

You doctors have a serious responsibility. You recall a man from the gates of death, you give him health and strength once more to use or to abuse. I hope I shall feel your responsibility added to my own, and seek in the future to make a better profit of the life you have renewed me. – I am, my dear sir, gratefully yours,

Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr Bamford’s grave, Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland [http://image2.findagrave.com/]

Dr Bamford’s grave [http://image2.findagrave.com/]

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