To the Editor.
—May a nonphysician offer humble corrections to the article on Oliver Wendell Holmes?1As a onetime history major who now finds himself an editor for a magazine for physicians, I remember I could pass college science courses only when they took a historical approach. It seems fair to return that favor now by presenting my historical corrections in surgical terms. Your column speaks of "South Carolina Senator Henry Clay's Fugitive Slave Act." The removal of South Carolina from the US body politic is a procedure that has been recommended at least twice, and performed once. (Unfortunately, the patient almost bled to death.) Henry Clay, however, could not have been extracted using this operation. That would have required a Kentuckiectomy. Similarly, you fail to account for the migration (metastasis?) of what you term "the New Hampshire senator" Daniel Webster. Born in New Hampshire, Webster was elected to
Kelley T. Correction: Henry Clay and the Great State of Kentucky. JAMA. 1995;273(18):1420. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520420032029