A Guide to the Jefferson Randolph Kean Gorgas Medal Collection, 1942-1943 Jefferson Randolph Kean Gorgas Medal Collection MS-69

A Guide to the Jefferson Randolph Kean Gorgas Medal Collection, 1942-1943

A Collection in
Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
Accession Number MS-69


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Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Historical Collections
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
University of Virginia Health System
1350 Jefferson Park Avenue
P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville, Virginia 22908-0722
USA
Phone: (434) 924-0052
Phone: (434) 982-0576
Phone: (434) 924-5444
Email: jre@virginia.edu
URL: http://www.hsl.virginia.edu/historical/

� 2015 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Historical Collections Staff

Repository
Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia
Accession Number
MS-69
Title
Jefferson Randolph Kean Gorgas Medal Collection, 1942-1943
Physical Description
1 box with the dimensions of 5.5 inches x 10 inches x 15.5 inches, 3 folders
Creator
University of Virginia
Location
Housed with small manuscript collections in the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library.
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Use Restrictions

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Jefferson Randolph Kean Gorgas Medal Collection, Accession #MS-69, Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Acquisition Information

The items were donated in 1990 to the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia by the grandson of Jefferson Randolph Kean (1860-1950) who shares his name.


Biographical/Historical Information

Jefferson Randolph Kean (June 27, 1860 - September 4, 1950) was a U.S. Army physician who was a leading authority in sanitation, public health, and tropical diseases. Later in his career, Kean became widely recognized for his role in organizing and administering medical services for the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I.

Jefferson Randolph Kean completed the medical program at the University of Virginia in 1883. He joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1884, and after forty years in the service, retired with the rank of Colonel. Congress awarded him a promotion to Brigadier General, retired, in 1930. He spent the early years of his career in medical postings in the American West. Kean became an expert in tropical diseases and sanitation during his five-year assignment in the Florida tropics, an expertise which served him well over two terms of service later in Cuba. During the Spanish-American War and subsequent U. S. occupation of Cuba, Kean was Chief Surgeon for the Department of Havana, then Superintendent of the Department of Charities -- from 1898 to 1902. He was an early convert to Carlos Finlay's mosquito theory of transmission, which experiments by the Yellow Fever Board, headed by Walter Reed in Cuba, ultimately proved true in 1900-1901. After four years as an assistant to the Surgeon General in Washington, D.C., Kean returned to Cuba as an advisor to the Department of Sanitation from 1906-1909.

In addition to his career as a sanitarian, Kean organized the department of military relief of the American Red Cross, and during World War I served as Chief of the U.S. Ambulance Service with the French Army and Deputy Chief Surgeon of the American forces. He received a Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. government and one of three Gorgas Medals awarded from the Association of Military Surgeons in 1942. A great, great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson, Kean also was on the government commission established to build the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. He held a charter membership in the Walter Reed Memorial Association and remained active in its affairs until his death.

Scope and Content

The collection includes the Gorgas Medal given to Jefferson Randolph Kean on December 15, 1942. According to an accompanying pamphlet titled, The War Doctor, the medal was given "for exceptionally meritorious services to preventive medicine for our armed forces." Also in the collection is the invitation to attend the luncheon for the presentation of the medal.

Arrangement

The items are arranged in chronological order.

Contents List

Box-folder 1:1
Invitation to attend the luncheon for the presentation of the Gorgas Medal, 1942
TD with AN.

The invitation is from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States for a luncheon at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., December 15th, 1942 for the presentation of the Gorgas Medal, founded by John Wyeth and Brother, Philadelphia, to Rear Admiral Edward Rodes Stitt, U.S.N.; Brigadier General Jefferson Randolph Kean, U.S.A.; and Brigadier General Frederick Fuller Russell, U.S.A. A handwritten note states, "Dear, save this."

Box-folder 1:2
The Gorgas Medal, 1942
silver plated medal, 3" in diameter, in a maroon and cream case marked, "The Bailey, Banks & Biddle Co."

The obverse of the medal shows the head and shoulders of William Crawford Gorgas with the words, "The Gorgas Medal." The reverse side has the words, "For distinguished service in preventive medicine for our armed forces, established by John Wyeth & Brother, Awarded to by The Association of Military Surgeons of the United States." The place for the name of the recipient is blank.

Box-folder 1:3
The War Doctor, John Wyeth and Brother, Incorporated, Philadelphia, Vol., 1. No. 10, February 1943
1 journal.

Of interest are pages 16 and 17 which describe the presentation of the Gorgas Medal.