What did Dr. Amos Windship do after leaving the Continental Navy? I actually told the next chapter of his saga back here.
That trading voyage to London wasn’t a total loss for the doctor. While he was in London, he made the acquaintance of a leading British physician, Dr. John Coakley Lettsom (1744-1815, shown here courtesy of the Medical Society of London).
Windship returned to America with some medications, which he ended up never paying for (apparently because Bell’s creditors were seizing any money they could). The doctor kept up a correspondence with Lettsom, who offered to make him a corresponding member of the London Medical Society.
Of course that too led to trouble. Dr. Ephraim Eliot later explained:
Doctor Letsom now found that he had gone too fast in regard to our Doctors election, as the requisite qualification was, that the candidate must be a Batchelor or Doctor of Physic, to neither of wch. had he been admitted.Lettsom read the report from Windship at a meeting on 31 Mar 1788. The volume recording that event made its way to America, and Dr. Abijah Cheever (1760-1843) recognized the patient as one he had treated in 1786, and described in a paper for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on 31 Jan 1787. Eliot said of Windship, “probably he had no idea of its being published” in London.
To save himself his friend Letsom advised that he should immediately go thro’ the courses of Lectures, requisite to obtain one of them, & if the expence should be more than he could spare, he gave him authority to draw upon him for it thro’ Mr. Crawley of London to the amount of fifty pounds sterling, after the object should be obtained.
He [Windship] complied. & when a diploma was taken out, he forwarded it to Letsom, together with the description of a dissection which he pretended he had made of a subject in which there were some uncommon appearances & some facts discovered which were not usual.
Doct Letsom supposing the communication to be designed for the society, presented it, & it was printed in their transactions.
Dr. Windship nevertheless made another voyage to London about 1790, and renewed his acquaintance with Dr. Lettsom. And on that trip Lettsom introduced the American doctor to the family of the late Maj. John Pitcairn.
TOMORROW: Meanwhile, back at Christ Church…