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History unwrapped

Manuscript of Trudeau autobiography had been unopened for at least 90 years

November 16, 2013
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer (cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - The original manuscript of Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau's autobiography, hidden in storage for decades, was unveiled Friday night at the biomedical research institute that continues to carry on his legacy.

Local historian Mary Hotaling opened up the package before a crowd of interested onlookers at Trudeau Institute. Hotaling is working on a biography of Trudeau, who turned Saranac Lake into a world-renowned center for tuberculosis curing and research. Friday's reception was a fundraiser for her book, due to be published in 2015.

Addressed to Dr. Francis Berger Trudeau, E.L. Trudeau's son, the manuscript was wrapped in brown paper, tied up with twine and postmarked 1928. Institute librarian Kelly Stanyon said the package had been in the institute's archives for years. Although the words "original Trudeau manuscript" were written on it, no one was certain whether that's what was really inside.

Article Photos

From left, Trudeau Institute scientist Andrea Cooper, former Adirondack Museum director Caroline Welsh and Historic Saranac Lake Executive Director Amy Catania watch as Saranac Lake historian and author Mary Hotaling unwraps the original manuscript of Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau’s autobiography Friday night during a reception at the institute.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

Hotaling carefully opened up the package. Inside was a copy of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences. Underneath it was a thick stack of papers that proved to be the typed manuscript of Trudeau's 1916 autobiography, published the year after his death, with hand-written notations in its margins. Hotaling also found a letter from E.L. Trudeau to his publisher.

"I can't wait to read it," Hotaling said. "It will take a little deciphering. I'm looking forward to spending more time with this."

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