Morton or Jackson--or Wells?
Following the public notice of W. T. G. Morton’s successful demonstration of surgery under anesthesia, Horace Wells, on December 7, addressed a letter to the editor of the Hartford Daily Courant, outlining his experiments and experience with anesthesia and stating that he had met with Morton and Jackson while in Boston “both of whom admitted it to be entirely new to them. Dr. Jackson expressed much surprise that severe operations could be performed without pain, and these are the individuals who claim to be the inventors.” Wells’ letter also states he had preferred nitrous oxide over sulphuric ether for his experiments as being a potentially less harmful substance.
Horace Wells (1815-1848)
Letter to the Editor of the Hartford Daily Courant, December 9, 1846
Bequest of Dr. John Warren to the Library of Harvard Medical School, 1928