Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 26
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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pected to join my family in the United States, and there find a
different kind of work. There must be better chances there for
an education, weren't there? "Yes," he dryly commented, as he
touched my head, "and less likelihood of damaging the essential
organ of it." He looked long and hard at me. "It can be done,
my son," he slowly said. "You can be a doctor. But once you
have set your hand to the plow, you must never let go and never
once look back." He was so intense, in his granite Scottish way,
that the words made a deep impression. I did not forget them.
During this convalescent interim an exchange of letters with
my family in Worcester arranged that I was to go to Boston,
live at my aunt Lavinia Nelson's rooming house and find work
in the city. The opportunity of hitting on something remunera-
tive seemed better there than in Worcester.
It was not too long, therefore, before once again I gathered
my effects together into a bundle, took the train to St. John,
New Brunswick, and from this bleak deep-water port on the
Bay of Fundy engaged passage on the boat for Boston. The trip
took part of a day and one whole night, which I spent lying,
fully clothed, on a bunk in what must have been the equivalent
of the steerage on a liner. I landed in Boston at the India Wharf
early in the morning.
In these days Boston, on the rural Canadian scale, figured as
an immense metropolis. The city's impact on me for weeks was
nothing less than stupefying. Until this time I had never lived,
except for my brief stay at Spring Hill, in a community of more
than three hundred inhabitants. And even Spring Hill gave the
impression of being nothing but an oversized village, because of
the drab uniformity of its buildings, occupation, and social
customs. Now, for the first time, I saw multi-storied buildings,
cobbled streets, paved sidewalks, horsecars, and endless stores
offering a variety of wares such as I had never dreamed existed.
Moreover, in the streets I heard strange tongues and felt the
vibrant workings of a complex and intricately stratified social
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/38/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.