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Letter from E. Lautenbach to C.D. Spivak, 1911 April 3

Identifier: B002.01.0102.0129.00008


Handwritten letter from Emil Lautenbach to C.D. Spivak. The letter contains five pages and begins with Lautenbach explaining to Spivak that he is preparing to leave the sanatorium very soon. He also wishes to express his sincere appreciation for the benevolent society. Lautenbach tells Spivak that he deems it his sacred duty to return the kindness that the sanatorium provided for him. He explains to Spivak that while the sanatorium has helped him, there are truths and cold facts about the sanatorium that need to be acted upon. He also says he will use any influence he can and publish this letter in the Denver papers and personally deliver it to Governor Shafroth if nothing is done about the problems at the sanatorium. He continues to remind Spivak to make sure he does not get “weak in the knees” and tells him that although it may be possible for Dr. Schwatt to become a superintendent at a dog hospital, it is important to take care of struggling human beings. He then goes into detail about the charges he has against Dr. Schwatt by listing: “murder, tyranny, partiality, unfit, incompetent, and not a man of integrity.” He tells Spivak that a magnifying glass is not needed to see “the murder which that villain commits by injecting that poison, called ‘tuberculin’ into innocent and ignorant patients causing untold pains, sorrows, distress, torture and suffering.” Lautenbach tells Spivak that it is his duty to stop Dr. Schwatt from giving the tuberculin at once. Lautenbach then expresses that Dr. Schwatt is tyrannical like a Russian czar who flies around the sanatorium looking after his army of slaves. He questions why there are so many employees walking around J.C.R.S. at night and tells Spivak that they make is seem like the sanatorium is a penitentiary, rather than a place that should prevail as a commonplace for love, kindness, and freedom. Lautenbach continues a new paragraph explaining the partiality of “his majesty ‘The Czar’” being Dr. Schwatt. He tells Spivak that gambling takes place among the patients at the sanatorium and one patient even gambled $100.00, but Dr. Schwatt does not do anything about it. Lautenbach then explains that Schwatt instead dismissed Mr. La Verne even though La Verne was an honest man that Schwatt did not love. He continues to say that the sanatorium has several impurities as it is common to see phlegm and saliva on the ground. Lautenbach offers to tell Spivak who is gambling and nearly escaping death from tuberculin. He also wonders why he is still alive after taking fifty or sixty injections of the tuberculin medication. Lautenbach then informs Spivak that he is alive to tell people about the sanatorium as he claims that he is an honest man. Lautenbach even collects signatures from patients within the sanatorium that will vouch for his honesty. The list of signatures continues on to page four. After the signatures, Lautenbach asks Spivak if he obtained enough proof that he is an honest man. He then tells the “civilized men” of JCRS to wake up and get some common sense because it is the “’Twentieth Century’, the century of enlightenment, it is absolutely true, ‘that the light is rapidly penetrating through the depths of obscurity.’” Lautenbach tells Spivak that he will provide truth and justice as it should be on this earth. He finishes the letter by telling Spivak that it takes courage to write a letter like this one and is willing to die for the noble cause of writing the truth. He signs the letter, “Your faithful Comrade, Emil M. Lautenbach- Age 24 ‘The man of the hour’” at the bottom.


  • 1911 April 3


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5 Items

Scope and Contents

From the Series: This series of patient records includes medical reports and histories, statistical data of patients, x-rays, and death certificates. The patient files include applications, correspondence and some may also contain photographs and personal items.


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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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Denver CO 80208
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