Skip to main content

Full text of "Dr. Lyman Spalding, the originator of the United States pharmacopia, co-laborer with Dr. Nathan Smith in the founding of the Dartmouth medical school, and its first chemical lecturer, president and professor of anatomy and surgery of the College of physicians and surgeons of the Western district, at Fairfield, N.Y."

See other formats

















W. M. LEONARD, PrBiismi; 

1 9 1 6 

Copyright, 1916, 
By W. M. Leonard 

Stanbope JPress 



To the Memory of 

who would have been* pleased to know 

as much about his illustrious 

Father as time has at 

last enabled me 

to discover 


When my father, Lyman Dyer Spalding, was a boy of 
eleven (1821) his father, Dr. Lyman Spalding, died, leaving 
to his widow, Elizabeth Coues Spalding, all of his papers. 
When she died in 1838, they were laid aside by his eldest 
daughter, Miss Elizabeth Parkhurst Spalding, and after her 
death they fell into the hands of Pay Director Joseph Foster 
U.S.N. , Rear Admiral Retired, a son of Mrs. Adelaide Spald- 
ing Foster, the last surviving child of Dr. Spalding. Eight 
years ago he gave me these ancient documents to look over, 
and, on unfolding them, I found a treasure for illuminating 
American Medical History in the form of letters to my 
Grandfather from the leading physicians of his time. 

I now propose to print a selection from these papers in 
order to show what part Dr. Spalding took in the advance- 
ment of American medicine. Much to my regret, none of 
his own letters have been discovered, but I have before me 
a few copies of those which were probably sent to various 
friends. Interweaving these, with anecdotes of their writers 
and of the chief personages named therein, I propose to recall 
to memory the career of a distinguished man in medicine. 
An occasional abruptness in the narrative depends upon my 
inability to discover after so long a lapse of time the missing 
links of the story, or upon the interruptions of medical 

Grateful thanks are due to Lieutenant Colonel Walter C. 
McCaw, U.S.A., of the Surgeon General's Library, to Mrs. 
R. M. Thompson of the Boston Medical Library, to Mr. 
John S. Brownne, Librarian of the New York Academy of 
Medicine, for much assistance in reconstructing the lives 
of the personages of this story; to Mrs. Emily A. Smith of 
Baltimore for anecdotes concerning Dr. Nathan Smith, to 
Dr. Frederick C. Shattuck of Boston for letters from Dr. 
Spalding to his Grandfather, Dr. George Cheyne Shattuck, to 
Rear Admiral Foster for many hints on family history and 
to Dr. Walter L. Burrage of Boston who with great patience 
reviewed my MSS and suggested many improvements. 

The Author. 
Portland, Maine, 
August, 1916. 


Chapter > ' 

I. Family Notes and Early Years 1 

II. Lecturer on Chemistry and Materia Medica at the Dart- 
mouth Medical School, 1797-99 12 

III. Six Months of Medical Practice at Walpole, New Hamp- 

shire 29 

IV. Thirteen Years at Portsmouth. New Hampshire, 1799- 

1812. Bills of Mortality. Surgeon's Mate in the United 
States Army. Final Lectures at Dartmouth .... 37 

V. Introduction of Vaccination, 1800 63 

VI. New Acquaintances and Old Friendships. Marriage. 

1800-1802 63 

VII. Public Tests of the Preventive Value of Vaccination. 

1801 88 

VIII. Fever Epidemic. Vaccination Experiments in 1802 . . LOO 

IX. Medical Life at Portsmouth. 1803-1806 110 

X. American Edition of Willan, "On Cutaneous Diseases." 
Benjamin Fay, an Episode in the Life of Dr. Nathan 

Smith 126 

XI. Letters to Baron Alibert, and the Bells, in 1808. Visit to 

Dartmouth as Demonstrator for Dr. Alexander Ramsay. 148 
XII. Visit to Philadelphia and New York, 1809-1810. . . . 166 

XIII. Events and Letters Received in 1809-1810 180 

XIV. Lecturer on Anatomy and Surgery, and President of the 

Fairfield Medical School. 1810-1812 102 

XV. President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the 

Western District of New York. 1813-1817 .... 229 
XVI. Review of Events between the Return from Philadelphia 

and the Removal to New York. 1810-1813 .... 2-13 

XVII. Last Year in Portsmouth. 1812 - 1 

XVIII. Four Years in New York Previous to the Proposal for 

Establishing a National riiarmacopceia 876 

XIX. Beginnings of the Pharmacopoeia. The Barber Family. 
Chair of Anatomy in the Pennsylvania Medical School. 
Dr. J. L. E. W. Shecut, Gov. Plumer, Dr. Trevett, 

Dr. Usher Parsons 



Chapter Page 

XX. The Case of James Cann, and the Pamphlet on Scutellaria 

Lateriflora in Hydrophobia 819 

XXI. A Brief Summary of what Dr. Spalding accomplished in 
New York City, with Notes on some of the Physicians 
with whom he was most Intimate. 1813-1821 . . . 329 
XXII. The Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America: its 
Origin, and Collaborators. Accident to Dr. Spalding. 
Return to Portsmouth and Death. 1817-1821 ... 334 



Family Notes and Early Years. 

Lyman Spalding, later on to become a Doctor of Medicine, 
Lecturer on Chemistry and Materia Medica at the Dart- 
mouth Medical School, President of the College of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York, 
and Originator of the United States Pharmacopoeia, was 
born in Cornish, New Hampshire, June 5, 1775. His father, 
Dyer Spalding, was born in Plainfield, Connecticut, No- 
vember 14, 1732, and was a descendant in the fourth gener- 
ation from Edward Spalding, who is supposed to have come 
from England to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. When that 
settlement was destroyed by the Indians, Edward removed 
to Braintree, Massachusetts, where he is first recorded as a 
citizen in 1640. Dyer Spalding was a soldier and officer in 
the Colonial Wars, a friend of General Israel Putnam in 
whose Rangers he served, and he had from George I. a com- 
mission, which I recall as a tattered parchment in my 
youthful days. He moved to Cornish in 1766 in company 
with Moses and Samuel Chase, who after the Township had 
been granted to Reverend Samuel McClintock of Greenland, 
New Hampshire, called it Cornish, in honor of Cornwall, 
whence the Chases had emigrated to America. After pre- 
empting land with Thomas Wilson of Plainfield, who had 
married his sister, Lois, Dyer Spalding returned to Con- 
necticut and married March 11, 1767, Elizabeth Cady 
Parkhurst, daughter of Timothy and Elizabeth Cady Park- 
hurst of Plainfield. Of my great grandmother I only know- 
that she was born July 7, 1734, was an excellent housewife, 
brought to her husband three children and died June 3, 1816, 
aged 82. 

The Spaldings returned to Cornish on their honeymoon, 
and lived there quietly until the Revolution, when Dyer 



took an active part in Town affairs. Twice during the War 
he served as Quartermaster, and was present at Ticonderoga 
and Saratoga. He was entitled "Major" and later "Colonel " 
after serving as Lieutenant Colonel in the XV Regiment of 
New Hampshire Militia in 1788. He helped to found 
Trinity Parish in Cornish, often served as lay reader in the 
Church in the absence of the Rector, and accumulated 
a little money, leaving at his death some $4000 and an 
arable farm of 500 acres. He lived to be 82, dying April 
27, 1814. 

Cornish has always borne a celebrated name amongst 
New Hampshire towns, many political conventions were 
held there during the Revolution, it has given birth to many 
celebrated men, and in our day, it is a famous summer re- 
sort. Cornish farms were talked about in the XVIII Cen- 
tury and Cornish Gardens are famed in the XXth. Amongst 
the renowned men of Cornish were three of International 
Fame; Right Reverend Philander Chase the First Bishop of 
Ohio, Dr. Nathan Smith, the founder of Medical Schools at 
Dartmouth, Yale and Bowdoin and Dr. Lyman Spalding. 
With the Bishop this book has little to do except to print 
a few of his letters. With Dr. Smith the Story begins, for 
without his directing influence, Lyman Spalding would prob- 
ably not have reached his lofty medical position. 

Nathan Smith was born at Rehoboth, Massachusetts, 
September 30, 1762, and was taken by his parents to Vermont 
where he drifted into manhood as a farmer. He happened 
to see Dr. Josiah Goodhue of Putney, operate, asked that 
physician to make a Doctor, too, of him, and after studying 
English for a year and following Dr. Goodhue's practice he 
settled in Cornish as a physician in 1786. 

After a year or two of practice he recognized his defective 
medical education, attended lectures at the Harvard Medical 
School and obtained there his degree of M.D., in 1790, pre- 
senting a Graduating Thesis " On the Causes and Effects of 
Spasms in Fever." In looking over the Town Papers of 
Cornish I find that in January, 1791, he handed in a petition 
for a Lottery of the value of £100, the proceeds to be de- 
voted to purchasing a medical library for the instruction of 
medical students and practitioners of medicine in that part 
of the Country. 

Whether this succeeded or not, I have not discovered. 


He married in succession two daughters of Colonel Jona- 
than Chase, Elizabeth and Sarah, and soon took notice of 
young Spalding, who was seven years of age when Dr. Smith 
settled in Cornish. Knowing the advantages of education, 
he induced Colonel Spalding to send his pretty boy to 
Charlestown Academy, not far away, where he studied 
English and Latin, and was there graduated July 14, 1794. 
In honor of the occasion the students acted Sheridan's " She 
Stoops to Conquer," as an old play bill before me shows. 
"Pretty" I have called my grandfather, for Benjamin 
Waterhouse called him " Beauty" Spalding, and John Neal, 
a Famous American, granted that grandfather was good 
looking enough, but vowed that his wife, Elizabeth Coues, 
was the most beautiful woman he ever saw. 

Of Colonel Spalding's other children it may here be men- 
tioned, that Silas, the elder son, a simple farmer as his 
letters show, was born May 5, 1772, and died September 20, 
1844. Esther, the eldest child, was born May 5, 1769, and 
married in Claremont, near by, a farmer by the odd name of 
"BILL" Barnes, who also kept a tavern which stands to 
this day. Esther, who was his second wife, lived to be 94, 
and I can remember seeing her bent over a wash tub when she 
was over 90. 

I do not understand why young Spalding did not go to 
Dartmouth like other boys from Cornish, but immediately 
after leaving the Academy, he rode about seeing patients 
with Dr. Smith, and first attended lectures at the Harvard 
Medical School in the Winter of 1794. Diaries of various 
horseback rides to Cambridge and return are still extant, 
and from them I take a few interesting biographical notes. 

The first journey was made in company with Dr. Smith 
and Dr. Alexander Augustus Dame, later a member of the 
New Hampshire Medical Society. Dr. Smith evidently 
went with his pupil in order to introduce him to the Faculty 
as well as to renew with them his former acquaintances. 
Riding through Fitchburg, Spalding finally lodged for the 
Winter with Mrs. Moore of Cambridge, who charged him 
sixteen shillings a week for board and two for a room. 
The tickets for lectures from Dr. Waterhouse 1 and Dr. 

1 Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse (1754-1846), Professor of Materia 
Medica and the Theory and Practice of Physick, studied medicine at 
Edinburgh and obtained his degree at Leyden. He settled in Cam- 


Warren 1 were $14 each. After Dr. Smith had set off for home, 
Spalding hired a chaise into which he hitched his horse, and 
drove to Boston where he spent money on nuts, dried peaches 
and velvet for a waistcoat. He " gave a dole to a blind 
beggar," took a look at an elephant, and went to Long 
Wharf where he saw a French Man of War. Before re- 
turning to Cambridge he saw Dr. Dexter, 2 and paid him $14, 
also, for a Chemistry Ticket. 

bridge and was appointed Professor at the time of the foundation of 
the Medical Schools. He wrote a good deal publicly on Botany, and 
Natural History, but in 1800 began and continued for years a vigorous 
campaign in favor of Vaccination, being the First Physician in America 
to vaccinate as a preventive against the Small Pox. After failing to 
obtain a monetary reward for his services in the introduction of vac- 
cination, he was appointed Surgeon to nine Medical Posts in New 
England, and later still became Surgeon General to the Military De- 
partment of New England. A circular Letter of his addressed to the 
Surgeons of the Department in 1817, directs them in the diagnosis and 
treatment of dysentery amongst the soldiers. 

Dr. Waterhouse retired from practice in 1820 and spent much time 
on "The Letters of Junius" which he ascribed to Chatham. He was 
a fertile writer on medicine, always in hot water in the Newspapers, 
irascible, pugnacious and argumentative. He embraced at one time 
the Thompsonian-Lobelia treatment for all diseases, and was for this 
threatened with expulsion from the list of honorary members of the 
New Hampshire Medical Society. 

Dr. Edward Jenner was his God. His letters here first printed 
throw new light on the introduction of vaccination into America. 

1 Dr. John Warren (1753-1816) was graduated from Harvard in 
1771 and began the study of medicine with his brother, Joseph, who 
was killed at Bunker Hill. John practiced first at Salem, but at the 
opening of the Revolution was appointed Surgeon's Mate in the Army, 
rose to a full Surgeoncy, and at one time had sole charge of a large 
Hospital. After the War, he settled in Boston and became a great 
man. He was Professor of Surgery for twenty years in the Medical 
School, and his most famous operation was an amputation at the 
shoulder joint. He did more than any other physician to cause the 
removal of the School to Boston as a better field for clinical instruction 
than at Cambridge. Eloquent as a speaker he wrote but little on 
medicine. He was famous for speed, and it is said that funeral pro- 
cessions would open for him on his furious way to his patients. Dr. 
Warren was much of a public man, did considerable surgery, had an 
extensive practice and was regarded as the best man in Boston. 

2 Dr. Aaron Dexter (1759-1829) was graduated A.B. from Harvard 
in 1776, and obtained from Harvard an Honorary M.D. in 1786. He 
was Ship's Surgeon during the Revolution and was captured but soon 
released. The only paper of his that I have ever seen was "On the 
Use of Blisters in Medicine." He belonged to the State Medical 


On a second journey to Boston, Spalding was accompanied 
by Ithamar Chase, a brother of the Bishop, and on a third 
he bought chemicals and apparatus for the Dartmouth 
School. Upon his return from this last journey Dr. Smith 
took him in to board and lodge in his own house in Hanover. 
The note book which covers this last tour to Boston men- 
tions boarding with Mrs. Cooper on the corner of Wing's 
Lane and Brattle Street, Boston, at $5 a week, which he 
calls " Very Dear," whilst in May, 1797, he lived " Hand- 
somely " with Dr. Waterhouse at Cambridge for $4 a week, 
room included. 

I also own the note books used by Dr. Spalding at the 
Harvard Medical School and from them I find that he at- 
tended regularly and made abundant notes of lectures, but 
as the information which they contain has ceased to be of 
interest, it may be omitted here. 

The important results of the attendance at the Harvard 
Medical School were: the best of instruction; and personal 
acquaintance with the three Professors. 

The number of students at the Harvard Medical School 
being small, each one had a chance of personal acquaintance 
with the Professors; this intimacy in the case of Dr. Spald- 
ing resulting in life-long friendship with these elder men. 
When the School advertised for pupils, Dr. Spalding at the 
request of Dr. Waterhouse inserted the Notice in the " Dart- 
mouth Eagle" and it so happens that in a Number for 
August, 1796 we read a " Notice of a Fall Term of Lectures" 
containing this curious item: 

" Students will find the course in the Harvard School most 
desirable, and they can attend the private practice of the 
Professors, Gratis, in Boston, Cambridge and elsewhere." 

" Curious" it is, for it shows the earliest form of Clinical 
Instruction at Harvard. Dr. Spalding also wrote about the 
Mineialogical Cabinet belonging to Dr. Waterhouse, and of 
his Lectures on Natural History which then played an im- 
portant part in Medical Teaching. 

Similar intimacy with the other Professors will be noted 
as this book proceeds. 

Society, and to many scientific societies, and taught the solid founda- 
tions of chemistry at Harvard for many years. He was also much 
interested in agriculture, and was for a Long time President of the 

Massachusetts Agricultural Society. 


Let us now return to Dr. Nathan Smith, who after ob- 
taining his degree received pupils in his offices at Cornish 
and Windsor, and finally decided that a Medical School at 
Dartmouth should be established. He obtained the desired 
permission in 1796, and then having in view a voyage to 
Europe, went to Cornish where he intended to discuss his 
plans with young Spalding. Finding, however, that he had 
gone to Boston, he left with Colonel Spalding the following 

"Cornish, November 19, 1796. Dear Sir: I expect to set out 
tomorrow on my tour to Europe and am not certain that I shall go 
by the way of Boston, and therefore I write you a few words to 
leave with your father. I believe it is the wish of many people in 
this neighborhood, that you would stay in this town until I return, 
which I wish you to do if you think it will be consistent with your 
interests. I have left a number of accounts unsettled, which I 
wish to have appropriated to pay what I owe to your father and 
you. The principal accounts which are not settled are Mr. Bingham 
of Lebanon, Mr. Braynard, Mr. Ward and Mr. Torrey for board 
and instruction. 1 I have also a number of Notes, some out and 
others out next Fall and Summer, which if I should not return may 
be applied to pay you and j^our father, if those above mentioned 
should fail. . . . Respecting my Voyage, I am not so well pro- 
vided as I could wish, but must put my trust in God and not in 
filthy lucre. I know of a case of Stone in the Bladder. The 
patient is a boy of 17, a good patient, and the family expect me to 
operate as soon as I return. 2 I have settled the greater part of my 
business pretty much to my mind. Our business at the College 
increases very fast, 3 and I hope will succeed better than we feared, 
and I wish you to attend to my family if you should stay in Cornish, 
and if they should be sick. If any dispute should arise about the 
settlement of my accounts and which I have left with the Attornies, 
I have directed them to call on you, and hope you will attend to it 
as you are better acquainted with my business than any other 
man. . . . Your friend and Servant. . . N. Smith. 

1 The creditors whom Dr. Smith mentions were students who owed 
him a tuition fee of $133 a year. Dr. Torrey is probably Dr. Augustus 
Torrey who obtained his medical degree at Dartmouth in 1801. The 
others I have failed to discover. 

2 The "case of stone" suggests that with the fee he could pay the 
borrowed money, but how much he had from the Spalding family I 
have never discovered. It was probably enough to pay his expenses 
to Europe and return. 

3 "Our business at the College" means that all was going on well 
with the plans for the new Medical School at Dartmouth. 


P. S. The wart which appeared on your mother's face before 
you left has not proved so innocent as I could have wished. I 
pulled off the top of it, which was killed by the ligature and found 
a matter that resembled the matter in a strumous tumor. I dipped 
some lint in vitriol and applied it, which removed the tumor level 
with the skin, but after a few days it appeared to be rising fast 
around the edge of the scar. As I could not have an opportunity 
of removing it with the knife, I applied a pretty large caustic of 
Lapis Infcrnalis, which has destroyed the parts some distance be- 
yond where the skin was affected with the disease, which I think 
will prove a cure. I would wash the sore with corrosive sublimate 
until it is healed up. . . . N. S." 

Mrs. Spalding being then 60, there was cause for anxiety lest 
the growth should prove to be malignant, but as she lived 
many years more, Dr. Smith must have effected a cure. 

Immediately after his arrival in Boston, Dr. Smith wrote 
again to Spalding, who had returned to Cornish. 

"Boston, Dec. 11, 1796. Dear Sir: I was very sorry that I did 
not have an opportunity to see and talk with you before I set out 
for Europe, but it so happened that I was obliged to go to Putney, 
and there I sold my horse, which obliged me to go in the stage. 
Therefore I missed of seeing you. I left a line with your father for 
you, in which I desired that you should stay in Cornish till I re- 
turned. 1 have a still greater reason now to wish you to do BO 
than when I wrote before, for I conversed with your father and 
found that he was very much opposed to your going away this 
Winter, and I think that you had better comply with his request 
than disoblige him if it does not altogether accord with your own 
sentiments. Your father is kind to his children, and wishes you to do 
that which is best for yourself, and if it does not appear so to you, 
you had better sacrifice a few months this Winter than offend him. 

I am waiting for a passage on the Bark "HOPE," which will sail 
for Cdasgow in a week. The information I have received here re- 
specting the success of my project is flattering. Those gentlemen 
who have been in England think very encouragingly. ... I am 
your sincere friend. . . . N. Smith. 

P. S. Please give my love and respect to your family, and all 
who inquire after me." 

About this time also, Dr. Spalding forwarded to Dr. 
Smith by a patient the news from home, and to this Dr. 
Smith replied at once. 

"Boston, Dec. 1796. . . . Dear Sir: I received your letter by 
Mr. Rosebrook 1 who came to Dr. Warren with the tumor on his 

1 Mr. Rosebrook was a patient from Cornish. 


neck. Dr. Warren has extirpated the tumor, and the sore looks 
promising at present, but I have my fears respecting the final termi- 
nation of the case. I wrote the day before I received your letter. 
In that I informed you that I should sail to Glasgow. I am still 
waiting but expect to sail tomorrow. I have obtained a number of 
very good letters from gentlemen in this town to gentlemen in 
England. Drs. Smith and Bartlett 1 have given me Letters of 
Credit, and through their means I can import such preparations of 
the Human Body as I shall want. I think my prospects of success 
are very good at present. I shall persevere with confidence and 
submit the ISSUE to God and my own good judgment. I did not 
find Mr. Dame here. 2 I wish you to send at your first opportunity 
to Orford and get the money for the $30 Note which I have against 
Dame, and pay it to your father for me. I think Mr. Dame has 
not conducted like a man of honesty or honor. I wish you to do 
what you can toward settling of my accounts while I am gone. I 
am glad to hear that you are at my house, and hope you have 
enough business to make you contented. I wish you to inform my 
family and friends that they may write me as often as they have 
an opportunity, and direct my letters to Mr. Robinson's, Book- 
Seller, 3 Pater Noster Row, London, and he will transmit them to 
me. Your Ob'd't Serv't. N. Smith." 

From this time on until Dr. Smith's return in the following 
year, young Spalding carried on Dr. Smith's practice, but 
business being dull in February, 1797, he made a horseback 
journey of 300 miles in Vermont, partly on business for 
others and partly in looking about for a place to settle in 
practice. He went first to Vergennes and from there, ac- 
companied by Dr. Crosby of that town, he went to Rutland 
where the Assembly was in Session, and received from 
Colonel Sheldon and Judge Marvin, 4 commissions in other 
parts of the State. 

1 Doctors Smith and Bartlett were a firm of Chemists and Apothe- 
caries in Boston. 

2 Mr. Dame was afterward Dr. Augustus Dame. 

3 George Robinson (1737-1801), "The King of Booksellers," came 
to London about 1760, made a fortune in his business, took into part- 
nership his son and his brother, in succession, and died in his house 
over his own book shop, where Dr. Smith met him. Robinson gained 
great publicity and a heavy fine at one time for publishing Tom Paine's 
"Age of Reason." 

4 Colonel Sheldon was a famous politician of those times, and Judge 
Marvin, formerly a physician, was now Judge of Probate and, later, 
Chief Justice of Vermont. 


From a Diary which Dr. Spalding kept, I quote these 

"Dr. Pomeroy J of Burlington asked me to breakfast and took me 
to see a case of Caries of the Tibia." 

"Burlington: Meeting Colonel B. Sumner of Middlebury and his 
son "BILL," a friend of hi.s and a brother, and they desiring a cup 
of cyder, I told them that Captain Gideon King had some, but on 
repairing there he was unwilling to let us have any, but when we 
made ourselves known, he let us have all we wanted. When we 
offered to pay, he said it was nothing, but that he had just had a 
glimpse of a very fine Oration by Josiah Dunham, 2 delivered at 
Hanover on St. John's Day, and it was the greatest piece of oratory 
he had ever seen, and that if I would hand him a copy, he would 
call it pay for the cyder." 

As Spalding continued on his horseback tour through 
Vermont, he mentions the various physicians whom he met. 
One he says "is a Poor Galenist"; another "is a good 
physician, but too dirty for a surgeon"; of a third "Very 
capable, but too fond of the cup"; whilst of the last he met 
on his long journey he says "There is a man for you! Careful 
and scientific. Would that I could know about him from 
meeting him oftener." 

From an item of Sunday, March 5, 1797, we get an idea 
of the people and of the times: "I have not seen an Episco- 
pal Church, or indeed any sort of a Meeting House, since I 
left Rutland. The people work on Sunday just the same as 
on any other day. Indeed in some places they do even more 
bargaining on Sunday than on any other day in the week." 

1 Dr. Pomeroy was the founder of the Medical Department of the 

University of Vermont, some years later, and must have been glad 
enough now, to get an opinion from a scholar of Nathan Smith. 

2 Colonel Josiah Dunham, U.S.A. (1769-1844) was gradual. 
Dartmouth in 1789, taught for some years in Moure's [ndian Charity 
School at Hanover, served in the Army from 17'.>!i and through the War 
of 1812, and was a Colonel, by title, the rest of his life. He took part 
in a "Dialogue in Poetry" upon the day of his graduation, and de- 
livered Masonic and Political Orations on many public i Boons at 

Hanover and elsewhere. He was very active on the University side 
of the College in 1816-18, at the time of the establishment of tin- 
University of Dartmouth by the State of New Hampshire, denouncing 
the College Trustees in unmeasured terms. Latex <>n, he was Secre- 
tary of State for Vermont, and in his old age removed to tin- West and 
died in Louisville. When stationed at Fort Constitution, near I' 
mouth, Captain Dunham and his wife were very intimate with the 


Although he looked in at every settlement along his route 
from Cornish around by Burlington and home another way, 
Spalding found no promising chance for practice. All of the 
best villages had at least one physician, and it was not con- 
sidered courteous to try to rob a fellow practitioner by set- 
tling in his town. One doctor in a place was then regarded 
as enough. 

He then resumed practice in Dr. Smith's office until it 
was time to go to Cambridge to obtain his degree in medicine. 
Arriving in Boston about the first of May, 1797, he remained 
there a few weeks, and then boarded with Dr. Waterhouse 
in Cambridge. On the 24th of June he was examined in 
Arithmetic and Natural History by the Academic Faculty 
of Harvard, and on Monday, July 19, 1797, in company 
with his friend, Samuel Brown, 1 he was examined for his 
medical degree by the President and Medical Faculty. 
During this examination he defended his Thesis "On Animal 
Heat," which was dedicated to his Preceptor, Dr. Nathan 
Smith. A young man of 22, who could advance the Theory, 
that Animal Heat depended on the combination and de- 
composition of blood and air in their passage through the 
lungs, evidently had a future before him. In addition to 
the degree of M.B., then given to him, Dr. Spalding was 
later honored with the degree of M.D. from Harvard, and 
with both an M.B. and M.D. from Dartmouth. 

After he had obtained his degree, Dr. Spalding attended 
Commencement and listened to the essays of his friends, 
John Collins Warren and Horace Binney, of whom we shall 
hear later. He also, at Harvard, made the acquaintance of 
James Jackson and Mathias Spalding, from whom we shall 
read friendly letters. 

Dr. Spalding then practiced in Cornish until the return 
to Boston of Dr. Smith, who arrived from Europe on the 
11th of September and wrote to him that same evening. 

"Boston, September 11, 1797. Sir: I return you my hearty 
thanks for the two letters which I have received from you since I 
left Cornish. One I received in London and have ordered the 

1 Dr. Samuel Brown (1768-1805) was graduated from Harvard 
University in 1793 and from the Medical School in 1797, presenting a 
Thesis "On Bilious Malignant Fever." He afterwards practiced in 
Boston, and as Dr. Waterhouse hints in a later letter, may have been 
"hooted out of town," for he died in Bolton, Massachusetts. 


skeletons } r ou desired, 1 which will be sent to Dr. Bartlett of Boston 
by the "Galen,'' Captain Markee, and will be here the last of this 
month. The other I found at Dr. Bartlett's. You may depend 
it was very grateful to me to hear of the Welfare of my Family and 
Friends after so long absence, as I have received no letters or other 
intelligence from them but yours. I am also happy to learn from 
Doctors Warren and Dexter that you have taken your Bachelor's 
Degree at Cambridge with a good deal of eclat, and much to your 
Honor as well as mine. I wrote you from Edinburgh, but con- 
cluded that the letters were lost, as the vessel had sailed that I 
aimed at to write by from Greenwich, before the packet of letters 
arrived. And I have not heard of any of my letters which were 
sent with it. I have written to Mr. Hedge 2 to send me some money 
as I am in want of some to pay a part of the expenses of my voyage 
and freight for my goods before I can honorably leave town. If 
you can do anything that will forward the business, I wish you to 
assist Mr. Hedge. Please to give my respects to your Honored 
Parents, to your Family and to all friends. Your Ob'd't Serv't, 
N. Smith. 

Dr. Lyman Spalding, as he was now entitled to be called, 
was at this time 22 years of age. After a plain English 
education at Charlestown Academy, he had attended two 
courses of lectures at the Harvard Medical School, and 
studied French with Tutor Nancrede 3 at Cambridge. 

1 The skeleton remained in the Spalding family many years and 
my father used to tell me of trying to frighten boys in New York by 
holding it up to the window for them to gaze at, if they chose. 

2 Mr. Hedge was a lawyer of Windsor, opposite Cornish, and at- 
torney for Dr. Smith. He met with a tragic fate. 

3 Paul Joseph Nancrede (1769-1841) came from France with Count 
Rochambeau to aid in the cause of Independence, and was wounded at 
the battle of Yorktown whilst serving as a Lieutenant of Infantry. 
He drifted gradually to Cambridge, where he taught French, edited a 
French Newspaper in Boston, and sold foreign books. He finally 
became a publisher, gained a considerable fortune, and left a name 
which still illuminates American Medical History. 


Lecturer on Chemistry and Materia Medica at the Dartmouth 
Medical School (1797-99) 

It has been many times said, and said with truth, that the 
Dartmouth Medical School was founded by Dr. Nathan 
Smith, and there can be no doubt that to him alone belongs 
that honor. It has, however, as many times erroneously 
been stated that for years he worked at Dartmouth alone. 
Without in the least detracting from Dr. Smith's extraor- 
dinary ability, some small credit should be given to Dr. 
Spalding, the younger man of the two, who assisted Dr. 
Smith for the better part of three years in establishing and 
carrying on the school to a successful foundation. 

Dr. Smith's natural associate in the task was, of course, 
Dr. Spalding. It is plain from the previous letters that Dr. 
Smith looked for the aid of his pupil as an integral part of 
his original design. Chemistry and Materia Medica were to 
be taught by Dr. Spalding, whilst Dr. Smith lectured on all 
the other branches of medicine and performed the surgical 
operations which presented themselves to the classes. In 
point of fact, "The Medical Repository," of which we shall 
hear much later on, contains an advertisement in 1799, 
Volume 2, page 339, in which the "officers of the institution" 
are named as Nathan Smith and Lyman Spalding. 

The first lecture at the Dartmouth Medical School was 
given by Dr. Smith, Monday, November 20, 1797. Al- 
though the catalogs show but few graduates for several 
years, yet old lists of students contain the names of as many 
as fifty attending the lectures from the first, some of them 
being from the Academical Department, whilst others were 
physicians in actual practice, but who now took vacations, 
in order to learn medicine and surgery from books, and 

The first study in which Dr. Spalding showed intense 
interest was that of chemistry, and finding that text 
books on the Nomenclature of the materials needed for ex- 
periments were obsolete, he discovered one in French, 



and translating it, published it under the title of "A New 
Nomenclature of Chemistry" based on treatises by Morveau, 1 
Berthollet 2 and Monge. 3 This "Nomenclature" was a 
student's manual of 20 pages, printed on rou^h brownish 
paper about 12 inches by 10 in size, the pages being divided 
into four columns, with the new names of Chemicals placed 
opposite their former names. The publication of this 
trifle was well received, and brought to the editor consider- 
able reputation. 

The lack of books in early American Medicine was often 
compensated for by correspondence between physicians. An 
instance of this I find when Dr. Spalding writes to his friend, 
Dr. Samuel Brown, "If you would like to establish a cor- 
respondence with a plain countiy practitioner I promise you 
that I shall not be lacking on my part to write you about my 
medical practice." Books being scarce, nothing served bet- 
ter as a means of education than to report interesting cases 
and their treatment to brother physicians. 

Dr. Spalding was also fond of writing to the Newspapers 
on public health and items of Natural History. Such 

1 Guyton-Morveau (1737-181G), Louis Bernard by name, who in 
his youth was a politician and lawyer, but betook himself to Chemistry 
and became famous by a new method of Fumigating against the Platiue 
which broke out at Dijon in 1771. His muriatic Acid Fumigations 
were also highly thought of in the West Indies, and in America early 
in the XlXth Century. 

Guyton-Morveau issued his "Methode d'une Nomenclature Chemi- 
que" with Lavoissier, Laplace, Berthollet, Fourcroy and Monge in 
1787, and it is probably this very work which grandfather utilized in hifl 
"New Nomenclature." Guyton-Morveau was famous as a Fire Bal- 
loonist, very prominent in the National Convention, and although In- 
voted for the death of Louis XVI, he managed to pull through the 
Revolution alive. 

2 Berthollet, a collaborator in Guyton-Morveau's work (171^ 1812), 
was very intimate with Napoleon, and a polemical writer of ability. 
Being of a gouty temperament, he lived outside of Paris, so that in 
walking to and from his lectures in the city he might cure his bodily 
tendencies. Of his chemical writings but little lias aurvived. 

3 Gaspard Monge (1746-1818) was Napoleon's right-hand man 
Military Engineer. Many anecdotes concerning their intimacy can 
be found in the Biographical Dictionaries. Once when Monge had 
asked from the Emperor some money to aid Berthollet in his experi- 
ments, Napoleon sent Monge quadruple tin- money asked for and 
added in his handwriting, "Half for Berthollet and half for you." 
Monge probably did nothing more to the work which Dr. Spalding 
translated and edited than to revise the text. 


essays were common in those days and not regarded as ad- 
vertisements. It was an outlet for an active physician's 
thoughts. The pendulum has now swung to the other ex- 
treme. Patients by the thousand can be "advertised" as 
undergoing operations in one physician's Private Hospital, 
but it is unethical to say a single word about patients oper- 
ated upon in another physician's "office." 

Amongst various papers thus issued by Dr. Spalding, I 
find one " On Resuscitation of the Apparently Drowned," 
and another " On the Lassitude of Spring," in which he 
argued that this condition is due to diminished oxygen in 
the air. 

Another was a Review of "The Life and Adventures of 
Stephen Burroughs" printed by Benjamin True at Hanover 
in 1791, and now much sought after by bibliophiles. Of 
this curious book, exhibiting the writer as a swindler, idler, 
rowdy, counterfeiter and thief and fond of whipping young 
girls, robbing his friends and boasting of his conquests over 
women, Dr. Spalding wrote an amusing critique, for some 
small sum as a support for his expenses of living. 

Three important events occurring at Dartmouth during 
Dr. Spalding's Lectureship of Chemistry and Materia 
Medica were: the beginning of a life long friendship with Dr. 
Samuel Latham Mitchill, a renewal of correspondence with 
Dr. Waterhouse, and a difficulty with Dr. Daniel Adams. 

Dr. Mitchill (1764-1831) was one of the most able and 
versatile men that the Nation has ever produced, for he 
enriched the world with one hundred and eighty-nine dis- 
tinctly new ideas. He was born on Long Island, obtained 
his medical degree at Edinburgh, and was, in turn, Professor 
of Botany at Columbia, of Natural History in the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons, a Physician to the New York 
Hospital, Vice-President of Rutgers, Member of Congress, 
Commissioner to the Iroquois Indians and United States 
Senator from New York. He was a friend of the Indian 
Chieftain Tammany, and from him we have Tammany Hall 
of today. Dr. Mitchill learned the Indian Language, and 
translated Indian Songs into English. He lectured on 
Public Health, and on Chemistry and Natural History, de- 
livered addresses in their symbols to deaf mutes, made the 
first Mineralogical Survey of New York State, wrote on fish 
and on earthquakes, and a "Life of Thomas Emmett." 


His memory was wonderful and as a public speaker he was 
famous. In medical history, Dr. Mitchill will long be re- 
membered as the originator of "The Medical Repository,'' 
a magazine of great value to physicians of that era. 

Dr. Mitchill is also well known in the Poetical History of 
America, and we find many allusions to him in the works of 
Dr. Drake, who wrote "When Freedom From Her Moun- 
tain Heights" and of Halleck, whose "Marco Bozzaris" is 
perennial. Drake and Halleck 1 wrote a set of poems, by 
" The Croakers," as they styled themselves, and in thie 
find many " HITS" on Dr. Mitchill. One of these poems is 
dedicated "To the Surgeon General of the State" (Dr. 
Mitchill) with the Motto: "Why, Tom, he knows Every- 
thing," and in it he is called "Lord of Flints," suggesting 
Mineralogy, " Friend of the Fish," alluding to his artificial 
Fish Ponds at his country-seat, "Plandome," on Long 
Island, and "Steam Frigate on the Waves of Physic" to re- 
call his generous aid to Robert Fulton. 

1 Dr. Joseph Rodman Drake (1795-1820), born in poverty ami the 
eldest of a family of five children, wrote verses as a mere child and as 
he grew to manhood was considered the Finest Gentleman in New 
York. He was taken up as a general favorite by everybody of dis- 
tinction, studied medicine with Dr. Romayne, and then in Europe, 
but he had hardly made a beginning in practice in New York, when he 
was carried off by tuberculosis. His "Culprit Fay" was the rage and 
it was as a Threnody of Dr. Drake that Halleck wrote those verses 
beginning: "Green be the Turf above Thee." 

Fitz Greene Halleck (1790-1867) is another name famous in Ameri- 
can Poetry. He was at first a bookkeeper, then a school teacher, 
finally he became the Prot6g<5 of John Jacob Astor and was much re- 
nowned for his poem, "Fanny," which had an enormous success. 

With both of these poets Dr. Spalding was to meet on most friendly 
terms at the homes of Dr. Mitchill and of Dr. Hoeack. 

Dr. Nicholas Romayne (1756-1817), the instructor of Dr. Drake, 
and also an intimate friend of my grandfather, may be mentioned here. 

He studied medicine at home and abroad, and enjoyed an excellent 
practice in New York. He was the first President of the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons and his Inaugural was "an honorable speci- 
men of his diversified talents." He became entangled ID Blount's 
Conspiracy (1797) to drive the Spanish out of Louisiana, but although 
imprisoned for his share in that offense, he was never consider. 
dishonored. Bulky of bone and immense in adipose tissue, Dr. Ro- 
mayne nevertheless skipped about with amaimg Qimbleness. Ab- 
stemious in drink, he was an enormous eater, without, however, ever 
impairing his mental ability. Clever, versatile, learned and facile 
with his tongue and pen, he was the model of an energetic, ambitious 
and unwearied practitioner of medicine. 


The last verse of this Poem reads: 

" It matters not how low or high it is, 
Thou know'st each Hill and Vale of Knowledge; 
Fellow of Forty Nine Societies, 
And Lecturer in Hosack's College." 

With this very celebrated man Dr. Spalding was now to 
begin a correspondence, and through him was to be intro- 
duced to a wide circle of friends in New York City. Amongst 
them it is pleasant for his descendants to know that he was 
to meet the two poets whose verses we have just mentioned. 

Dr. Spalding's first letter to Dr. Mitchill, a copy of which 
has come down to me, is laconic, but shows his early interest 
in literature. 

"Hanover, N. H. February 1, 1798. Sir: Not long since I saw 
an advertisement of yours in a paper from your city, respecting 
the publication of a Volume, j^early, to contain Medical Facts and 
News. It was mentioned that subscription papers would be sent 
to different parts of these United States. I have impatiently 
waited to hear farther from your intended publication but have 
not. Situated so far in the country as we are, it may be that the 
publication is going on, or at least, that subscription papers have 
been issued. If this should be the case, please give me information 
and send a few papers into this part of the World, and all that can 
be done here shall be done, cheerfully, in support of the publication, 
which I am confident will succeed if attempted. Your Ob'd't 
Serv't, Lyman Spalding. 

P. S. Enclosed I send you a Dissertation, and in return I wish 
you to send me a publication of yours on 'Azote.'" * 

Writing from Albany, New York, on the 28th of March, 
Dr. Mitchill replied as follows: 

"Dear Sir: Your letter from Dartmouth was forwarded to me 
at this place, from New York. How long it lay at my house be- 
fore it was sent on to me, I know not. Probably a week or two, 
or else I might have acknowledged the receipt of it sooner. I have 
been in this place, which is now the seat of our State Government, 
since last December in attendance upon the Assembly, as one of 
the Members from the City of New York. Thither I expect to 
return in about three weeks, when adjournment will take place. 

1 "The Dissertation" was a copy of Spalding's Graduating Thesis 
"On Animal Heat." "Azote" was the fashionable Germ-Killer of 
the day. 


There is such a publication as j'ou allude to, announcing an in- 
tended medical work to be published in quarterly numberB. After 
issuing the Prospectus, the Editors, Dr. Smith, 1 Dr. .Miller 2 and 
myself, according to their promise proceeded in making up and 
sending forth the collection of pieces. The work is called "The 
Medical Repository" and three numbers are published and ready 
for delivery to subscribers. It gives me pleasure to find that you 
are curious to see the performance. It is to be had of the Messrs. 
Swords, 3 the publishers of "The New York Magazine." I am also 
pleased to learn of your willingness to procure subscribers. I have 
no subscription papers with me here, but can inform you that the 
first number costs One Dollar, and subsequent numbers, half a 
dollar to subscribers. And, as four numbers come out in a year, 
the four when bound will make a handsome and large octavo vol- 
ume of more than four hundred pages. As the "Repository" de- 
pends wholly upon the support of the subscribers, every sub- 
scriber that you procure will add materially to the encouragement 
and ultimately, success of it. The publication embraces a wide 
field of Science and Speculation, not being confined merely to 
Medicine, but extending to Natural History, Agriculture, and all 
the kindred subjects of Knowledge. It exhibits also, a summary 
of foreign and domestic news on those subjects and a Review of 
American Publications. 

1 Dr. Elihu Hubbard Smith (1771-1798) was Co-Editor of the 
"Repository"; born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of Dr. Reuben 
Smith, he was graduated from Yale, studied medicine with his father 
and in Philadelphia, settled in New York and although dying in a day, 
as it were, from Yellow Fever, he has come down to us as the Medical 
Hero of his time. He was a remarkable conversationalist, a medical 
writer of much promise, a composer of music, the writer of an Opera 
Libretto, and the author of a Tragedy, entitled, "AndreV* At the 
age of 25 he was a physician to the New York Hospital, and in his 
brief life explored medicine more deeply than most physicians after 
years of practice. 

2 Dr. Edward Miller (1760-1812), another editor of the "Reposi- 
tory," and whose death influenced the removal of Dr. Spalding to New 
York, went out during the Revolution as Surgeon's Mate on a Priva- 
teer, studied in Paris and returning obtained his degree in Philadelphia, 
He practiced in Maryland and in Dover, Delaware, and delivered I 

the Delaware Medical Society its first Oration. He removed to New 
York in 1796, and soon obtained a high position in medicine. He was 
a profuse letter writer, earning an extensive correspondence at home 
and abroad. He died suddenly, leaving the memory of a superior 
man in medicine, and his works in two volumes were issued after bifl 

3 "The Messrs. Swords" were descendants of Lieutenant Swords, 
who came from England in 1759. The family is still represented in 
New York. 


I thank you for your Graduating Thesis. I also consider your 
Report l as a mark of politeness, and in return for it, I would gladly 
eend you the publication you write for, but it has long been out of 
print, and I have been too much engaged in other pursuits to give 
out a second edition of it. Your Ob'd't Serv't, S. L. Mitchill." 

" The Repository " arrived in due season, and in May I 
find another letter to Dr. Mitchill. 

"Hanover, May 20, 1798. Dear Sir: I acknowledge the receipt 
of four numbers of "The Repository" together with a note from 
Dr. E. H. Smith, who desires to be favored with such facts as may 
present themselves relative to Canine Madness, and an authentic 
account of the disease said to have prevailed at Hanover amongst 
the Geese. 

To the First, I would observe that there has not been a case of 
Canine Madness within the circle of my particular acquaintance 
since I have been engaged in medical pursuits. As to the Last, I 
suppose that the gentlemen has seen the Papers, or an extract from 
the paper published in this place, which contained such a hint. I 
would inform him that it has a ludicrous Editor, and that the 
fatality was wholly confined to the College Yard, whose pump- 
trough the geese frequented. The mortality may be attributed to 
fractured skulls by the bloodees (heavy canes) of the scholars. 

With my name as a subscriber, you will be pleased to place 
Roswell Leavitt, Physician at Peacham, Vermont, and Ebenezer 
Knowlton, 2 Hanover, a Mechanic, to your list of subscribers. Mr. 
Woodward 3 the bearer, will pay you four dollars for these two 
gentlemen, for which you will send them the numbers already 

I send you a "Treatise" by Dr. Allen, 4 I forbear giving you my 
opinion of the merits of the work, as you have the same data, and 
a better capability of judging than I have. Sir, with sentiments 
of esteem, I am, Yours, etc., Lyman Spalding." 

1 "Your report" was a paper on an Epidemic of Malignant Fever 
from which Dr. Spalding personally suffered at Hanover, and which 
he read before a local Medical Society founded by himself at Dart- 
mouth, and later, printed in the 'Repository.' 

2 "Ebenezer Knowlton," a Hanoverian, was very prominent in 
church matters during the disputes between the Villagers and the 
College concerning the status of the Church at Hanover. 

3 "Mr. Woodward" was William Woodward, who acted as Attorney 
for Dr. Spalding at various times, and of whom we shall hear later 

* "Dr. Jonathan Allen" lived in Royalton, Vermont, but I have 
failed to discover the title of his essay. He lectured, later on, at the 
Castleton, Vermont, Medical School. 


Another letter in the correspondence with Dr. Mitehill 
may be inserted here, although written when Dr. Spalding 
was practising at Walpole in 1799. 

"Dear Sir: Since I wrote you, we have had many instances of 
Canine Madness, but I can make no observations of any cases in 
MAN, as the disease has been wholly confined to the dumb beasts, 
as dogs and hogs cattle and horses. These animals are always de- 
stroyed as soon as certain evidence has been obtained of their 
being affected. The disease has been seen in several adjoining 
towns. Any farther particulars which I shall be able to communi- 
cate shall be forwarded cheerfully, if requested. 

Enclosed is my paper on "Bilious Remittent Fever," of which 
you are at liberty to make use of in part or TOTO as pleases you. 
Also a Two Dollar Bill; the one-half of which is to complete the 
payment of Dr. Stern's 1 subscription for "The Repository" and 
the other parts 3 and 4 for Dr. Smith, he having subscribed. You 
will in future send mine to Walpole. If any number has gone to 
Hanover for me, Dr. Smith will receive it. In concluding, I wish 
you to give me a particular statement of the TREATMENT of the 
Bilious Fever in your City. I am yours, etc., L. S." 

After Dr. Spalding had practiced a few months at Walpole, 
and then at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, he delivered an- 
other course of Chemical Lectures at Hanover and from 
there sent this brief note to Dr. Mitchill. 

"Hanover, October IS, 1799. Dear Sir: I contemplate spending 
a few weeks in New York the present Autumn, or ensuing Winter, 
and should be much gratified in attending your Chemical Lectures. 
Therefore, I wish you to write me a short account of them; as 
when they commence, and how long continue. I enclose you $2 
in advance for "The Repository," which kindly place to the balance 
of my subscription. With Esteem, Lyman Spalding. 

P. S. Please write by the next mail so that I may make my 
arrangements accordingly." 

Dr. MitchhTs reply is valuable to our Medical History. 

"New York, Oct. 31, 1799. Dear Sir: I acknowledge the receipt 
of your favor with the $2 in New Hampshire Bank Paper which it 
contains as subscription money for the "Repository." My I Sourse 
of Chemistry will commence on the second Tuesday of November, 
and will continue to the first of March. The lectures will be given 

1 Dr. Thomas Stern practiced at Amherst, New Hampshire, as a 
Licentiate of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Harvard gave him 
an honorary degree of M.D., in 1812 and he survived until 1854. 


five times a week, and one hour at a time. I should consider myself 
honoured by having Dr. Spalding for one of my hearers. I am 
persuaded that the passing of twelve to fourteen weeks in New 
York during the ensuing session will be a matter of no regret to 
you. Dr. Rodgers l will also give Clinical Lectures at the same time 
on Select Cases in the New York Hospital. 

There is an Act of the Legislature relative to the practice of 
Physick and Surgery, but it is a poor stupid thing, and I believe 
few pay any attention to it. I have it not by me, or I would give 
you an abstract. However, I can inform you, that the qualifica- 
tion to practice in the State, and of course in the City, is very easy; 
Two years previous study with any practitioner and no examina- 
tion required. If a person has been a student the requisite time, 
he will get a certificate from his master, and file it in the office of 
the County Clerk, and then he is a Practitioner. I am not, how- 
ever, sure, that I am correct in my account of it, but this I know: 
that when I last attended the Legislature, I endeavored to obtain 
the repeal of a Statute which seemed to me ridiculous, and dis- 
graceful to the Profession, but I did not succeed. 

To avoid the pestilential air, (Yellow Fever) I withdrew from 
the City in August to my farm on Long Island, and returned but 
the day before yesterday. It seems healthy now, and business 
grows brisker. The necessity that the Publishers also were under 
of leaving the City, has retarded the present number of "The 
Repository," but the materials are compiled, and they are now 
going on as rapidly as they can. Come and abide a few months 
in New York. Your Ob'd't Serv't, S. L. Mitchill." 

From Dr. Spalding's inquiry concerning the laws for 
practice in New York, as suggested in Dr. MitchilPs reply, 
he may even then have been planning to settle in that city. 
He was, however, unfortunately unable to visit Dr. Mitchill 
and wrote to that effect: 

"Porstmouth, November 30, 1799, Dear Sir: It is with regret 
that I inform you that I cannot spend a few weeks in New York 
as I had before proposed. I have taken a Stand for the practice of 
the healing art in this place, and my presence here is absolutely 

1 John Bayard Richardson Rodgers (1757-1833) was a Surgeon on 
Washington's Staff during part of the Revolution. After obtaining a 
degree at Edinburgh, in 1786 he settled in New York, was a Professor 
of Obstetrics at Columbia, Port Physician for many years, and Grand 
Sachem of Tammany, which met in those days in what was called by 
its deriders, "The Pig Pen," a hall in the lower part of the City. Dr. 
Rodgers stood very high in medical and political circles and was, during 
his career, President both of the County and of the State Medical 


required. However, I still cherish the idea of attending your 
Chemical Lectures at some future day. 

At the Commencement held at Dartmouth on the 28th day of 
August, the degree of M.D. was conferred on Nathan N< 
Newbury; Dissertation "On Febrile Heart," Daniel Adams, 2 
Townsend, Massachusetts; Dissertation, "Principles of Anima- 
tion" and Abraham Hedge, 3 Woodstock, Vermont, "Medicinal I - 
of Water." It is the law of the College that every dissertation 
shall be published within six months after delivery. If you will be 
so polite as to furnish me with a copy of those delivered at Columbia, 
I will enclose those of Dartmouth to you, when printed. 

Enclosed I send you a Nomenclature and a Dissertation. The 
former was published under many disadvantages. That the Gable 
of Chemical Nomenclature is founded on just principles is more 
than I can vouch for, and still I have no other voucher than myself. 
This arrangement has struck me very agreeably. I have there- 
fore introduced it into the School. 

You will direct my Repositories to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 
In the next one I wish you to send an abstract of Dr. Smith's and 
my own account, respecting the "Repository." Your friend, L. 

As we have already seen, Dr. Waterhouse of Cambridge 
took a great fancy to Young Spalding, boarded liini in bis 
own mansion, and had financial dealings with him. 

1 Nathan Noyes (1777-1842) was born at Newbury, Massachm 
and was graduated A.B. at Dartmouth in 1796. He then attended the 
Medical School and later settled in his native town. He lectured mi 
Theory and Practice at Dartmouth in 1813, and finally removed to 
Charlestown, Massachusetts. His letters show him industrious and 
ingenious as a physician. 

2 Daniel Adams (1773-1864) was graduated academically from 
Dartmouth in 1797, medically in 1799, practiced first in Leominster, 
Massachusetts, and later on in Mount Vernon and Keene, New Hamp- 
shire, where he was an active member of the State Medical Society. 
He taught in the public schools, and was the author of very valuable 
books on Arithmetic and Geography which ran through frequent edi- 
tions, and are now much sought after by bibliophiles in mat hematics 
and geography. Dr. Adams also issued in lsoii an interesting maga- 
zine entitled "The Medical and Agricultural Register," replete with 
instructive papers bearing upon these topics of value to the people and 
to the Profession. 

3 Abraham Hedge came originally from Windsor, Vermont, then 
opened a Drug Shop in Woodstock and later on, when studying medi- 
cine at Hanover, carried las drug- and his business to that town, and 
in that way earned his lecture fees and hoard. He settled in Chester, 
Vermont, as we shall soon discover, and after long sufferings from 
tuberculosis, died at Chelsea, Vermont, in 1808. He was a clever man, 
as his letters show. 


The following letter from Dr. Waterhouse to Dr. Spalding, 
then at Hanover, offers personal touches of value: 

"Cambridge, October 5, 1797. Dear Sir: Mr. Hedge 1 has just 
called on me with the note I gave, and I am sorry that from my 
paying away considerable last week, it has exhausted me, and my 
period of receiving cash does not arrive till December. I under- 
stood we spoke of Winter, for the payment, although this time or 
any other would have been agreeable had I not been run out. Re- 
specting the saddle, 2 it just suits Master Andrew, 3 and on that 
account I should like to take it. I consulted a person who judged 
it to be worth five dollars. As to the bridle, it would be difficult 
to put a price on it, as it is so totally worn out. I was glad to find 
from your letter that you were happy among your friends. Mrs. 
Waterhouse and all the rest of them join in kind remembrances to 
you. Daniel still talks of "Beauty" Spalding, but Mr. Hedge is 
waiting for this and is in haste to be gone. Your friend, Benjamin 

Some months later, Dr. Spalding sent pamphlets to Dr. 
Waterhouse and with them this brief letter. 

"Hanover, July 12, 1798. Dear Sir: Some time since I sent you 
a paper of mine "On Fever" and immediately after their printing, 
I directed the printer to send a number to your care, but through 
neglect he kept them all on hand. I now send you by Mr. Spar- 
hawk 4 three for your own use and one I wish you to present to the 
President of Harvard and another to the Library for the use of the 
students. Mr. Dunham delivered a very Federal Oration on July 
4th. It is in the press and as soon as it is out I will send you a 
copy. Your Ob'd't Serv't, Lyman Spalding. 

P. S. We have just completed our Second Course of Medical 
Lectures. I have been frequently called to add my poor moiety 
by composing and reading lectures when Dr. Smith was absent on 
Practice, and even when he was present. The future prospects are 
good, but what the circle without ends may roll up, is at present 
an Arcana. My best wishes to all your family. L. S." 

1 Mr. Hedge was Abraham, just mentioned, and from a later letter 
we shall learn that the two men had it hot and heavy about this note, 
and also be glad to know that it was ultimately paid. 

2 The saddle had been left at Cambridge when graduating. 

3 Masters Andrew and Daniel were probably children of Dr. Water- 

4 "Mr. Sparhawk" was John Stearns Sparhawk (1778-1799) of 
Roxbury, who was graduated from Dartmouth in 1796 and was at this 
time a medical student at Dartmouth. He died early, from tubercu- 


From the context of the next letter from Dr. Waterhouse 
it would seem that there had been more trouble about the 

"Cambridge, August 12, 1798. Dear Sir: I received a line from 
you last week, and in consequence of it, called on Mr. Cooper. 1 
There seems to have been a misunderstanding, and I suspect that 
I myself have made the blunder. I had been expecting to hear 
from you respecting that note, and wondered when you wrote to 
me that you mentioned nothing of it. A little before I received 
your letter, I met with Mr. Cooper, who told me that he had the 
note, and that he thought I knew it. As the matter is now per- 
fectly understood, you need give yourself no farther thought about 
it, as I will see that it is taken up almost immediately. 

Dr. Chase, 2 I am told, has quitted Baltimore and gone farther 
South. You may possibly hear terrible accounts of the Yellow 
Fever in Boston, but you must not believe one-quarter of it. A 
few violent cases have given rise to this unreasonable alarm. Your 
Ob'd't Serv't, B. Waterhouse." 

The third important episode in the life of Dr. Spalding at 
Hanover was his disagreement with Dr. Daniel Adams, who 
on his way to Hanover in the Spring of 1799 called on Dr. 
Spalding, then at Walpole. Soon afterward he wrote from 
Hanover to this effect : 

"March 8, 1799. Dear Sir: I lately received the favor of your 
letter. I was not in town, however, when Mr. Bellows 3 came on 
the Plain 4 bringing your letter. When I returned, General Brew- 
ster 5 said that Mr. Bellows had gone. I got the glass from the 

1 "Mr. Cooper" was the landlord in Wing's Lane where Dr. Spald- 
ing boarded in Boston. 

2 Dr. Chase was Dr. Heber Chase of Cornish (1769-1798) who 
was graduated at Dartmouth, Academically, in 1791, and obtained 
his medical degree at Harvard in 1794. This letter shows that he 
had practiced in Baltimore but then went out as a Ship's Surgeon 
"father South," which we find to be as far as Dementia, where he 
died. The Dartmouth Catalog gives the date of his death as 1797, 
but from the letter of Dr. Waterhouse, this date should be changed 
for 1798. 

3 Mr. Bellows was one of that family from which Bellows Falls, 
Vermont, takes its name. 

4 The Plain means the high level portion of the town of Hanover on 
which the village and the College stand. 

6 General Brewster was Ebenczer, who is often mentioned as 
"Colonel" in the "History of Dartmouth College," was a Tavern 
Keeper and Steward of the College for several yeare. 


Chemical Room and went to Mr. Lang's, 1 but he had gone to New 
York. His brother said that he did not have any of the Parsnip, 
but if he had, however, it was in his chest, which was locked and 
must be broken into, which he did not choose to do. 

On Saturday I saw Mr. Bellows in Lyme. I desired him to call 
and take the Glass, which I supposed he would do, and did not 
know to the contrary until after the mail was gone. I expect I 
can forward it to you this morning by Mr. Howe, 2 the bearer of 
this letter. If I cannot, I will send it by the next mail, if no op- 
portunity presents sooner. I came through Windsor when I came 
up the river, but the books were not yet bound. As soon as they 
shall be, I will send you the one you wished for. The 2d Volume of 
the Review came safe to my hand by B. Gilbert, Esq. 3 

The politics of Hanover are on much the same establishment as 
formerly. The same may be said of economics, hymeneutics and 
other "tics." In short it is the same thing, without change of 
shadow or substance. Miss Rachel Chase went from us last even- 
ing, her course due South for Cornish. We are now left in statu 

Mr. Howe, I am informed, is going. I cannot be allowed to pro- 
ceed farther. With Sentiments of Friendship, I am, yours, etc., 
Daniel Adams." 

Now it happened that when Dr. Spalding resumed his 
lectures in October, he found a copy of Dr. Adams' Thesis, 
and believing that his own ideas had been plagiarized, he 
wrote sharply to Dr. Adams, then in Leominster, Massa- 

"Hanover, October 24, 1799. To you, Darnel Adams, or to any 
other man, I had hoped never to be called upon to mention so dis- 
agreeable a subject as that of Plagiarism, which I now conceive you 
are guilty of as to the foundation of your Dissertation. When I 
saw you at Walpole, I gave you the History of a treatise which I 
told you I was writing upon "Animation." I told you of some use- 
ful experiments made by Monro, Cruikshank and others. I sent 
you a book by Esquire Gilbert, with papers at their places. 

1 Mr. Lang was Richard Lang of Hanover, a merchant of the town, 
real estate owner and a man prominent in church and college affairs. 
His brother, I take to be Major J. S. Lang, who at a later date lived in 

2 Mr. Howe was Abner, a student in the Class of 1801, who later on 
had a degree of M.B. at Dartmouth and practiced in Beverly, Massa- 

3 Benjamin Joseph Gilbert (1764-1849) practiced law for years at 
Hanover and was called "Baron" Gilbert on account of his ponderosity. 
He was very prominent in the Dartmouth College Case. 


When I last saw you at Hanover I asked you if you were writing 
upon this subject. You said you were not. I told you I had 
somewhat of a Pamphlet completed on the subject, which I meant 
to offer to the public this Winter, but now you have ordered yours 
printed without my knowledge, and if I had not accidently learned 
the subject-matter and repeatedly asked your friends for it, I 
should never have seen it till I had paid my 20 cents. That you 
should have done all this without the least mark of an acknowledge- 
ment, is more than I conceived of. If you have the least gratitude 
you will order one, still to be made, as you have rendered abortive 
my labours in writing my treatise. If you do not consider an 
acknowledgement due for the subject matter of your Dissertation, 
I forbid your making it, unless you aim to insult me. L. S." 

To these complaints and others in a second letter which 
has not been preserved, Dr. Adams thus replied: 

"Leominster, November 14. Dear Sir: I have made use of no 
man's arguments to support my subject, for in truth I have seen 
none, and although I have called in to my assistance some experi- 
ments and sentiments of different authors, they were made by 
them with different views than those for which I have used them. 
None of these authors have supposed oxygen to be the principle of 
animation. My treating the subject was on a plan entirely my own. 

These, Sir, are my sentiments on the subject of your first letter: 
I have written to j r ou with that candor and openness I think which 
becomes a friend. If you are satisfied and have not made im- 
pressions of what you have there accused me on the minds of 
gentlemen at Hanover, the subject will not be thought of again, 
but if I find hereafter, any impressions of that nature abiding with 
them, I shall vindicate my character at the expense of anything 
whatever, truth only, excepted. 

Your second letter comes now to be considered: You mention a 
mistake I made in my experiments in substance or in terms. I 
acknowledge it, in the latter. I did not give it the right name ac- 
cording to the New Nomenclature. For your noting of this mistake 
you have my thanks. I shall ever be no less ready to acknowledge 
a kindness than resent an injury. There is no greater office of 
friendship than for a man to be informed of his errors with a view 
to prevent these being exposed to the World. 

(After a long account of his experiments modelled on those 
of Munro and Cruikshank 1 which may be omitted, Dr. 
Adams goes on to say :) 

1 Dr. Munro whose experiments are here mentioned will be an- 
noted later, whilst of William Cumberland Cruikshank (1745-1800) 
this may be said: Besides studying medicine at Glasgow and Edin- 


Thus, Sir, I have noticed the principal points in your letters and 
answered your inquiries. If you will correct the terms in my Dis- 
sertation, I shall consider it a kindness. With your last letter I 
received a Nomenclature of Chemistry, improved by yourself. 
At present, I can make you no other rewards than to assure you I 
am extremely obliged to you for this honor. Without any design 
to flatter, I think it a thing much wanted by chemical students, 
and well calculated to answer their necessity. 

Now, Sir, I have nigh done. Important advantages may be 
derived from correspondence amongst professional men who are 
engaged in pursuits of truth and philosophical acquirements. This, 
we have heretofore in some degree enjoyed. I should be happy if 
it might continue, and increase. Should this be agreeable to your 
sentiments, your next will point out the manner in which it shall 
be carried on. Yours in Sincerity. Daniel Adams." 

With this letter the quarrel ceased and the two physicians 
remained firm friends for years. 

We now return to the year 1798 and note a letter to Mr. 
Nancrede which shows what Dr. Spalding was then studying. 

"Hanover, July 5, 1798. Dear Sir: I acknowledge the receipt of 
the pamphlets and catalogues and I wish you to send me by the bear- 
er, Beaum^'s "Manuel Du Chemie," 1 Beddoes "Factitious Airs" 2 

burgh, he became so proficient in French and Italian as to make enough 
money by teaching them as to carry him through to his medical degree. 
He moved to London on the invitation of Dr. William Hunter to be- 
come his assistant, and after Hunter's death, he continued in the same 
position with Dr. Baillie, Hunter's nephew. Cruikshank was a good 
physician but too nervous to be a good surgeon. He wrote much on 
the "Absorbents," and his Essay, "On the Insensible Perspiration of 
the Human Body" issued as a pamphlet in 1795, is probably the one 
from which Dr. Adams obtained his information. Cruikshank was 
physician to Sam Johnson on his death bed, and when he seemed timid 
in scarifying the legs of the Sage, to relieve him from dropsy, Johnson 
exclaimed, "Oh you sweet blooded Doctor. I want life, but you are 
afraid of giving me pain; cut deeper, man!" 

1 Antoine Beaume (1728-1804) became well known and distin- 
guished, in spite of many obstacles, and his various inventions com- 
pelled attention to his great learning even before he was of age. His 
famous "Manuel du Chemie" was issued in 1753. He made money 
by manufacturing Sal-Ammoniac and by perfecting Porcelains, Bleach- 
ing and Gilding. He lost his fortune during the Revolution, began all 
over again and was once more prosperous when he suddenly died. 

2 Thomas Beddoes (1760-1808) was graduated at Oxford and there 
delivered lectures on Chemistry which were largely attended. He 
wrote fluently on many medical topics but his works do not seem to 
have produced any permanent effect on medicine. Southey, the 


and Townsend's "Guide to Health," 1 the second volume only, 
as I purchased the First one last year when at Cambridge. If 
you do not have the Second Volume for sale independently, with- 
out the First, I do not wish you to send both volumes. You will 
be pleased to place these books to my account, and send me a bill, 
together with whatever is due for books taken up before these. 
Sir, I am yours, etc., L. Spalding." 

Dr. Spalding had now been living at Hanover from Octo- 
ber, 1797, to Christmas, 1798, when he went back to Cornish 
and made a journey farther down the river to Walpole, 
where he settled for practice. 

Before setting out, however, he sent to President Wheel- 
ock 2 by his friend Ithamar Chase of Cornish the following 
request for a letter of recommendation, and obtained an 
enclosure, which has been irretrievably lost. 

"Cornish, December 24, 1798. Mr. President: My abrupt de- 
parture from Hanover was unavoidable. My father had ordered 
a sleigh for me sooner than I expected. I intended to have called 
on you again, with Dr. Smith, but could not. We have agreed to 
continue the lectures as formerly. 

Sir, I spoke to you some time ago of the probability of my re- 
siding at Windsor, but as yet I am not determined. I now SEE 

famous poet, once remarked, that he had hoped for more good to Man- 
kind from Beddoes than from any man of his acquaintance, but that he 
had been grievously disappointed. 

1 Joseph Townsend (1739-1816) was a noted Mineralogist, Medical 
Writer and Theologian, studied medicine at Edinburgh, travelled widely 
on the continent, and settled down as Rector of a Country Parish and 
Chaplain to the Duke of Athol. His "Guide to Health" a pondernii- 
work was first published in 1795, ran through many editions, and of 
these Dr. Spalding seems to have bought the volumes of the First. 

2 John Wheelock (1754-1817), second President of Dartmouth, \va-< 
a very able man, the son of Eleazer Wheelock, the First President of 
the College. Graduating from Dartmouth, he was in succession Tutor, 
Professor of History and President. During the Revolution he served 
in the Army with much renown. He was elected President in 177!', 
and labored faithfully and energetically until his resignation in In Pi 
owing to political quarrels. A great deal of hitherto unknown material 
concerning John Wheelock can be found in Professor John Kirke 
Lord's recent excellent "History of Dartmouth College." 

President Wheelock was very fond of my grandfather, took him in 
to his own house as boarder and lodger during part of the three yean 
which he spent in Hanover as Lecturer on Chemistry and Materia 
Mcdica, and favored him with a number of letters, two of which have 
been preserved. A Commendatory letter in 1810 is a charming 
specimen of handwriting and politeness and will be inserted in its 
proper place in this life. 


and FEEL the need of a few words that can be spoken in my 
favour from so distinguished a character as the President of Dart- 
mouth College. If you will be so polite as to give me a letter 
(recommendatory) to Esquire Woodward, he will transmit it safe 
to me. This will put me at once in possession of the confidence of 
men, for which I must otherwise wait, and perhaps in vain. I am, 
Sir, your most obedient and very humble servant, L. Spalding." 

By the hand of William Woodward, 1 Esquire, Dr. Spalding 
soon received this brief note: 

"Dartmouth College, January 4th, 1799. Dear Sir: I have re- 
ceived your favor and in return herewith forward a testimonial, 
and I shall rejoice to render any service for your public usefulness, 
and in every event that may add to your personal felicity. I am, 
with best wishes, dear sir, Your Sincere friend and very Ob't 
Servant, John Wheelock." 

Although Dr. Spalding's connection with the Dartmouth 
School was not yet ended, he could not obtain enough 
practice at Hanover to make a living and with this end in 
view he settled in Walpole at New Year's, 1799, moved to 
Portsmouth in June, lectured again at Hanover in October, 
and then resigned his position. He regretted to leave Dr. 
Smith, he missed the stimulus of preparing for his lectures 
w T hich had kept him in pace with recent medical improve- 
ments, but the distance between Portsmouth and Hanover 
was too great and the loss of practice at Portsmouth could 
not be made up by fees from lectures at Hanover. Dr. 
Spalding had lived in Hanover two years, had carried through 
four courses on Chemistry and Materia Medica, and acted 
also as Demonstrator of Anatomy, and thus laid the founda- 
tion for a knowledge of Anatomy and Surgery which ten 
years later brought the invitation to the Professorship of 
Surgery and Anatomy at the Fairfield Medical School. 

1 William Woodward, later known as William Henry Woodward 
(1774-1818), was a man of great prominence at Hanover, and in the 
affairs of Dartmouth for many years. He succeeded his brother 
George as Treasurer of the College, and was Chief Justice of the Court 
of Common Pleas for several years. A letter from Mr. Woodward to 
Dr. Spalding, later on, shows their intimacy and very friendly relations. 


Six Months of Medical Practice at Walpole, New Hampshire. 

Walpole was, in 1799, a country town of about a thousand 
people, and a famous center for farm produce and lumber. 
Armed with his letter from President Wheelock, Dr. Spald- 
ing soon found patients, and friends. He boarded with 
General Benjamin Bellows and Major Grant, in turn, as an 
old diary informs me. Bellows was a big man, physically, 
and big hearted, too, and his Revolutionary Title clung to 
him even in those days. He marched to Ticonderoga and 
Saratoga, filled many town offices and died, in 1802, at the 
age of 62. "Sam" Grant, a Major in the Revolution, came 
to Walpole from Watertown in Massachusetts about 1775 
and after a long courtship, interrupted by Army Service, 
married General Bellows' daughter, Phcebe. On the death 
of her father, she came into possession of a large farm, called 
the " Seven Barn Farm," and it is pleasant to recall that 
while grandfather lived in Walpole he stabled his horse in 
one of those barns. 

A diary left by Dr. Spalding, in Walpole, mentions cases 
of a farmer with ribs broken in a wrestling match; pleurisy, 
and accidents from scythes and adzes, necrosis of the bones 
of the leg, then very common, also, and supposed to be due to 
walking in long, wet grass and marshy woods and over badly 
made roads. 

In his leisure moments, he wrote for the " Farmer's 
Gazette" a notice of Dr. Samuel Brown's Graduating Thesis 
" On Fever," a paper on "Vernal Debility" and other popu- 
lar medical topics. 

Among the documents which illustrate this portion of Dr. 
Spalding's life is a copy of a letter which he sent to his friend 
Judah Dana (1772-1845) of Fryeburg, Maine, who was 
graduated at Dartmouth in 1795 and taught three years in 
Moore's Indian Charity School connected with the College. 
He then settled in Fryeburg, where he obtained a fine prac- 
tice as a lawyer, and was chosen Judge of Probate, Judge 
of Common Pleas, and finally United States Senator from 



Maine. Judge Dana was prominent in obtaining the long 
desired Separation of Maine from Massachusetts, finally 
accomplished in 1820. 

"Walpole, February 12, 1799. My friend Judah Dana: I can 
write you nothing more agreeable than a sketch of the amusements 
of this place or the methods which the lads take to worry dull care 
away and to kill cares. Morning from six till ten, sleeping, wak- 
ing, rising, dressing, etc., much like other folks. Ten till eleven 
breakfasting, barbering 1 and the like, just like Hanoverians, only 
lounge an hour after the teatable. 2 From eleven till three em- 
ployed in business according to their several occupations, long 
Christian faces with a sharper's eye. All kinds of business are 
executed with despatch, but the tongue has cleaved to the roof of 
the mouth. No man accosts you, passes in silence. If you accost 
them on any topic, he answers you "MUM," and drives on, leaving 
you in the lurch. These are the hours for business, and you are 
sure of no interruptions, for if you knock at a friend's door, he cries, 
"Busy," and you make your escape. 

At three the table is laid, they are all changed in the twinkling 
of an eye, from silence to sociability. After dinner, Merry goes 
the nutclack, the Porter and the wine. From this till twelve is 
spent in reveling, driving dull cares away. Your friend, L. S." 

Another letter from Dr. Spalding to Mr. Josiah Dunham 
has its historical value. 

"Sunday Morning. . . Not yet at Church. 

(Dr. Spalding then goes to Church and returns and 
resumes the letter.) 

You well know, Dunham, that I prefer a LAY to a CLERICAL 
Sermon. I just called in to hear the former and while the preacher 
was thumbing his Alkoran, for the text, I cast my eye into the 
"Monthly Magazine" for July, 1798, published on the banks of 
the Thames in St. Pauls. Under the Title of Literary and Philo- 
sophical Intelligence I recognized this anecdote : 

"The epidemic which has lately ravaged a part of the United 
States of America has not been confined to the human species a- 
lone. The foxes in some parts of New Hampshire and Massa- 
chusetts have fallen in great numbers by disease; and in some 
parts of the Eastern States GEESE have been afflicted in a very 

1 "Barbering" which then consisted in shaving the face and hairy 
scalp and arranging the wig took much time daily out of a man's life. 

2 "Tea" at ten in the morning then so fashionable has long since 
been driven out by "Four o'clock Tea." 

This letter is amusing as a sketch of the times in a country town. 


Singular Manner, many have been seen to sieze some object with 
their Bills and to adhere to it till they died." 

A great day for Dartmouth Sophs. So Literary and Philo- 
sophical are they in all their movements, even to that of killing a 
goose, that they are noticed by the great Sir Joseph Banks, before 
the Royal Philosophical Society, in the great Emporium of the 
East. Unfortunately this affecting malady happened before the 
establishment of the Dartmouth Medical Institution, otherwise, 
the world would have been favored with the Professor's report 
officially on the subject. Was not this the forerunner of the Yel- 
low Fever which prevailed at Hanover last Summer? It has been 
unjustly attributed to Gerry's dog. I think it would be well to 
inform the public that Gerry did not kill the dog, but the dog was 
peaceable and had never died of the Yellow Fever, BEFORE . . . 
Dear Sir. I am yours, Spalding." 1 

The following letter to Dr. Samuel Brown gives some idea 
of Dr. Spalding's labors at Hanover. 

"Walpole, April, 1799. Dear Friend: Looking over a pile of 
unanswered letters I find one from you in which you expressed a 
wish to know how I was going to dispose of myself. Under it I 
marked with my pencil "Desideratum." 2 I will now inform you 
how the Fates have disposed of me, as I am, myself, a mere 
object, rather than an active agent. In November I was in 

1 It will be recalled, perhaps, that in a letter from Dr. Mitchill, Dr. 
Spalding had been asked for information concerning a curious disease 
reported far and wide as affecting geese at Hanover, and that a true 
account of the affair would be mentioned later on. 

It seems, then, that geese were drinking at the watering trough in 
the college yard at Dartmouth, when they were attacked by Sopho- 
mores and that in resisting, they seized hold of the students' canes 
("bloodees" as they were then called) and so holding on were beated 
to death by canes in the hands of other students. The incident was 
mentioned jokingly in the "Dartmouth Eagle" as "a new disease 
amongst geese," and from that item the gossip spread over the civilized 

Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820) was a dullard in school but famous 
the rest of his life. He used an inherited fortune to explore New 
Foundland, and then to accompany Captain James Cook on one of 
his voyages around the world, during which he observed the Transit 
of Venus in 1769. He risked his life at one time by disguising himself 
as a negro, and attending the funeral of a Cannibal King, so as to note 
the customs of the natives. Sir Joseph was very intimate with King 
George, and was often caricatured by Gilray. He was rather domineer- 
ing, but possessed the gift of obtaining information from others, and 
thus greatly enriched Natural History. 

* "Desideratum" may be translated as "Worth Answering." 


town, 1 called more than twenty times at your lodgings, once at the 
• Medical School and several times at Dr. Warren's, but I could not 
find you at all. You must since, have heard of my object. Since 
that time I have resided at Dartmouth till a few weeks ago, I estab- 
lished myself in this little town for the practice of Physick and 

While in Hanover, I prepared all the Chemical Experiments and 
dissected the subject for Dr. Smith's lectures in the Fall of 1797. 
In the Spring of 1798 the College requested Dr. Smith to deliver 
a second course, in which I took an active part, composing and 
delivering one-third part of the Chemical Lectures. Of these, in 
the Autumn of 1798 I had the whole management, and profit. I 
now expect to continue in this branch. 2 

Practical observations concerning medicine, you must not call 
upon from me. If, in conclusion, it should meet your eye to 
establish a correspondence with a country practitioner, I promise 
you I shall not be wanting on my part. . . . L. S. 

P. S. I thank you, even at this late date, for your Graduating 
Thesis. I have directed Mr. Nancrede to deliver you some copies 
of mine. If you have not received them you will be pleased to call 
upon him for them." 

The next letter to Mr. Nancrede shows further medical 

"Walpole, February 4, 1799. Dear Sir: You may be surprised 
to find me cantoned in this little village. However, I flatter my- 
self that it is ultimately for the best. The books sent by Mr. 
Hedge, came safe to hand, though as yet I have not received a bill 
of them. Sir, I wish you to procure for me, " Medical and Chyrurgi- 
cal Review" — B. Bell's "System of Surgery" 3 — Russell "On 

1 "In town" refers to Dr. Spalding's visit to Boston at that time 
to buy apparatus for his lectures, and instruments for Dr. Smith. 
When he returned with a debit balance against Dr. Smith of some 
$20, Dr. Smith repaid it by taking Dr. Spalding to board in his home. 

2 "To continue in this branch" means, that although he had left 
Hanover, he intended to return in due season for other lectures, as he 
actually did. 

3 Benjamin Bell (1749-1806) was born in Dumfries, and educated 
medically at Edinburgh where he soon obtained a position at the head 
of the Infirmary which he held for nearly thirty years. His book "On 
Ulcers" ran through seven editions and was translated into various 
languages, whilst his "System of Surgery" which Dr. Spalding was 
now ordering covered six volumes, was issued in seven editions and 
was likewise translated into foreign tongues. Bell was a very 
skilful operator, went largely in later years into agriculture, and being 
of a careful disposition saved the money which he had made in his 
practice, and left a fortune. 


Necrosis" 1 — Robinson's 2 "Medical Extracts" — Johnson's "In- 
troduction to Midwifery" 3 — Townsend's "Guide to Health" — 
Lavoisier 4 and Chaptal 5 "Chemistries" — Rush "Medical In- 
quiries and Observations," and give me notice when ready for de- 
livery. Sir, I am, Yours, etc., L. Spalding. 

P. S. I can inform you nothing respecting Joan of Arc, 6 Mr. 
Hedge having the subscription paper." 

This letter was carried to Mr. Nancrede by Roger Vose, 
Esquire (1779-1841), who practiced law at Walpole, served 
two terms in Congress and was Judge of Probate the re- 
mainder of his life. He is the first man of whom I have 
heard, that "he liked living near a burying ground, for he 
had quiet neighbors and could from his windows see beyond 
the grave." 

A note to Dr. Bartlett of Boston throws light on Dart- 
mouth and shows the writer busy with his experiments. 

"Walpole, April 11, 1799. Dear Sir: You will recollect that I 
gave you letters from Dr. Smith and Mr. Hedge in 1797. Since 

1 Alexander Russel (1715-1769), physician and Naturalist, travelled 
largely abroad and visited Aleppo, where he learned Arabic and wrote 
"A Natural History of Aleppo" which had great vogue and made him 
famous. Russell sent home the seeds of scammony, and introduced 
that, plant, as well as the Arbutus, into English Medicine. 

2 Robinson's "Medical Extracts" seem to have been collected by 
Nicholas of that name (1697-1775) who obtained his medical degree 
at Rheims, and was a profuse and diffuse medical writer and compiler. 

3 Robert Wallace Johnson (the merest sort of a shadow in English 
Medical History) published in London in 1769 "A New System of 
Midwifery" in four parts, which seems to be the work for which Dr. 
Spalding was inquiring. 

4 Lavoisier (1743-1794) will remain famous so long as history en- 
dures as much for his extraordinary discoveries in chemistry as for 
being guillotined amidst the busiest time of his life and learning. He 
gave his energies, his fortune and his life to improvements in chemistry, 
and was also distinguished as a physiologist. 

6 Jean Antoine Chaptal (1755-1832) of whose "Treatise on Chem- 
istry" my grandfather was very fond, was eminent in France where he 
made his discoveries useful to the Arts and beneficial to the industries 
of that country. His lectures were entitled "Elegant" in delivery and 
diction, and his style as "Classical." Under Napoleon, Chaptal's 
career was wonderfully useful to France. Cruel reverses of fortune 
embittered his old age and much that he had done for the Empire was 
frivolously wasted. 

6 "Joan of Arc" was an American Edition of Voltaire's Poem, which 
Mr. Nancrede was introducing, as he had already introduced into 
America the "Helvetia" of Mallet du Pain. 


that time Dr. Smith has entrusted to my care the management of 
the Chemical Department at Dartmouth College. As you were 
concerned in the importation of Dr. Smith's apparatus, he has 
highly recommended you as an agent to procure supplies for 
me. Now, Sir, I wish you to import for me, 1/4 cwt. Exeter 
Manganese, 2 ounces of Phosphorus, 5 pounds Purified Soda, or 
Mineral Alkali, Barytes and Ponderous Earth, 2 pounds each of 
Fluor Spar, Fluorine, and Bi-Metallic Platinum and Bismuth, 
Nickel and Zinc, small specimens of each in a Regulin (PURE) 
State, and 5 pounds of Oxygenated Muriatic Acid. With Esteem, 
L. Spalding." 

One of the friends whom Dr. Spalding made in his horse- 
back journey through Vermont in 1797 was Dr. Ezekiel 
Porter of Rutland, a physician of prominence in the State, 
and the First President of the Vermont Medical Society. 
To him whilst at Walpole Dr. Spalding wrote the following 
letter, concerning what we now call Typhoid Fever: 

"Walpole, April 7, 1799. Dear Sir: Humanity requires every 
physician to exert himself to investigate the cause and a means of 
eradicating from the United States a fever which has for several 
years spread devastation throughout the country. To investigate 
the CAUSE, requires the history of its origin in many separate 

The most popular theory is, at present, Dr. Mitchill's, of Septon 
or Azote, afforded by the putrefaction of animal and vegetable 
substances. This theory had its origin in the City of New York, 
where there is always filth enough to generate a fever, if putrescence 
be the source, but, in the country, the air is salubrious and un- 
contaminated with the effluvia from ships, markets, docks, quays, 
reservoirs and so on. Here, is the place to search for its origin and 
Cause. These motives have induced me to solicit the assistance 
of a man whom I scarcely know. Mr. Meacham, however, your 
student is an intimate acquaintance of mine and to his care I 
direct this epistle. 

Hearing that this fever was prevalent in Rutland, I shall be 
much obliged to you for a History of its origin in that town, con- 
taining the situation of the houses IN WHICH, and the TIME 
where it first appeared, if any putrid substance were near, such 
as dead animals, compost heaps, yards of manure, uncleaned 
putrid meat, outhouses, ponds of filth: in a word, every possible 
source of putrefaction. 

Note the quality of the drinking water and soil, the number 
affected and the deaths. If, evidently contagious, what cases 
seemed so, particularly; what class of people were first attacked, 


or which suffered the most; did it occur amongst merchants, or 
travelers who had recently visited infected towns; in what part of 
the town was it most prevalent, the compact or the isolated; what 
was its APPARENT origin, or in what consisted the remote or 
occasional cause, and other particulars that you can suggest. 
With high esteem, L. Spalding." 

I do not find any news from Dr. Mitchill during these 
months at Walpole but an old scrap book contains an ad- 
vertisement inserted in "The Walpole Farmer" by Dr. 
Spalding, calling attention to the " Repository" for which all 
should subscribe, "For," as he says, "Physicians can see at 
a glance the practice of physicians in every part of the 
world, whilst the General Information column will be useful 
to all classes of readers." 

About this time also, Dr. Spalding, like an enormous army 
of other citizens, clergy, and physicians, bought one of 
Perkins' Patent Tractors (No. 4285) consisting of two 
pieces of metal, Steel and Copper, tapering to a blunt point. 
The "FLUID" generated by the apparatus was claimed to 
"DRAW" diseases from the body. Tractors sold, by the 
way, at $20 a set with a discount of $4 to any reputable 
physician or to traders buying by wholesale. 

Dr. Elisha Perkins (1741-1799), the inventor of these 
tractors, was born in Plainfield, Connecticut, in the same 
town with Dyer Spalding, and for that reason, amongst 
many others, Dyer's son felt unusual interest in the now 
machine. Elisha, the son of a physician, studied medicine 
with his father, and after many experiments, invented his 
"Tractor" which he used; "At so much a Tract," and which 
for sheer success throws all the "Pathies" of this present 
era into the shade. By the terms of sale of the Tractor, it 
could be leased to one other person in case of the death of 
the original purchaser, but after the death of its second 
owner, its virtues suddenly ceased. 

A single pamphlet on "Tractorism" in my possession 
contains five thousand authenticated cures of diseases 
Twenty-four physicians and nineteen surgeons in England, 
reported additional thousands of cures, whilst ; " one MIL- 
LION of people utilized Tractorism, successfully, on infants, 
adults and animals alike." 

The absurdity of Tractorism makes us laugh at the gulli- 
bility of our ancestors, yet generations to come will laugh 


to scorn our present day legislatures for legalizing optometry, 
osteopathy and other forms of human folly. 

Dr. Perkins, in his old age, invented a preventive against 
Yellow Fever, experimented with it during an epidemic, but 
fell himself a victim to the scourge, and his son continued 
the Tractoration Business, with much success for many 

One single example of medical writing by Dr. Spalding, 
when at Walpole is to be found in "An Open Letter" to Dr. 
Abraham Hedge, "On a deficiency of the Red Globules of 
the Blood," (The Pernicious Anaemia of today) valuable 
and suggestive in its thoughts though brief in contents. 

Dr. Spalding's twenty-fourth birthday happened to fall 
on Wednesday, the 5th of June, 1799, and he decided on 
that day that Walpole was too small a place for him; so he 
set off for Portsmouth, arrived there on Friday, at noon, 
and established himself in medical practice. 

Portsmouth was the largest town in New Hampshire, con- 
tained six thousand people, Dr. Hall Jackson, one of the 
leading physicians had lately died, many of Dr. Spalding's 
Dartmouth friends had already settled there, and in addition 
to looking for a share of public patronage, he hoped to obtain 
a position as Contract Surgeon or Surgeon's Mate (Assistant 
Surgeon of today) to the Army Garrison at Fort Constitu- 
tion in Portsmouth Harbor. 


Thirteen Years at Portsmouth, New Hampshire — 1799-1812. 
Bills of Mortality. Surgeon's Mate in the United States 
Army. Final Lectures at Dartmouth. 

I have always thought that my grandfather planned, 
originally, to settle in New York, but that he felt that his 
means for sustaining himself in the metropolis, until he could 
build up a paying practice, were too small. For that reason 
Portsmouth seemed an excellent center, with a considerable 
population, and but few able physicians. Immediately 
upon his arrival he called on these gentlemen, inserted a 
card in the papers, and went to Boston to lay in a supply 
of drugs such as physicians then compounded and carried 
to their patients. Whilst in Boston he called on Dr. Dexter, 
who gave him the Magazine of the Massachusetts Agri- 
cultural Society in which he found a Prize Essay "On Slug 
Worms" by his friend, William Dandridge Peck of Kittery, 
of whom a word later on, with his letters to Dr. Spalding. 

Dr. Spalding at once became a leader in New Hampshire 
Medicine. Just as at Hanover he had established a local 
Medical Society, so in Portsmouth he called the physicians 
together, read the first paper, showed a patient and induced 
others to show theirs, exhibited anatomical preparations 
and brought forward opium and lettuce which he had grown 
in his own garden. This local Society finally became the 
Eastern District Branch of the New Hampshire Medical 
Society, to which he was, in 1801, elected a member, and in 
succeeding years, Censor, Secretary, Librarian and Treas- 
urer, and in 1811 Vice President. The Records still pre- 
served show in his excellent hand-writing, that as Secretary 
he found large arrears of dues, a treasury filled with counter- 
feit money, and the books in disorder. He was present at 
every meeting, caused many influential members of the pro- 
fession outside of the State to be enrolled as Honorary 
Members and tried to prevent quackery by asking for 
legislation that no one should practice medicine without a 
diploma, examination, or references. Persons failing thus 



to qualify could not collect pay for services. He once took 
part in a Debate on the Question: "Is There an Idiopathic 
Worm Fever" which he opposed and in so doing introduced 
many medico-literary allusions. He presented to the 
library a copy of the Massachusetts Pharmacopoeia, a gift 
from Dr. Warren, caused it to be officially accepted as 
authoritative in New Hampshire, and as Necrologist, wrote 
a Eulogy of Dr. Joshua Brackett (1733/1802) founder of the 
Society. 1 

After settling down for the Winter, Dr. Spalding gave 
much time to dissection and to the formation of an Ana- 
tomical Museum, which was famous in Portsmouth for 
several years. 

About this time, also, originated his Bills of Mortality of 
Portsmouth which he issued from 1800 to 1813, and which 
being widely quoted, made his name well known in America 
and Europe. 

These Bills will be often mentioned as we move along, for 
their aim was to increase public interest in tuberculosis, as 
well as to establish the average of longevity for purposes of 
Life Insurance and annuities. Dr. Spalding also induced his 
medical friends to follow his example, amongst them being 
Dr. Noyes of Newbury of whom we shall soon hear, and Dr. 
John Drury of Marblehead, a man of learning as his Book- 
plates prove. Dr. Drury's Bill of Mortality for 1808 shows 
18 deaths by drowning out of 117 in all deceased. 

The position of Contract Surgeon to the troops at the 
Fort in the Harbor, which Dr. Spalding obtained soon after 
his arrival in Portsmouth, widened his acquaintance rapidly. 
Although his actual Commission as Surgeon's Mate in the 
Army did not arrive until two years later, the appointment 

1 This excellent physician was born in Stratham, New Hampshire, 
and graduating at Harvard, studied divinity, and preached a little, 
but with failing health he studied medicine and practiced at Ports- 
mouth, where he was loved as a man and skilful obstetrician. He 
wrote little if any on medicine, but his well-filled Case Books were al- 
ways open to inquiring students. Dr. Brackett gave to the State 
Medical Society a Thousand Dollars for Books and his Widow Five 
Hundred more. At Dr. Spalding's suggestion the Society caused to be 
printed in Golden Letters the name "Brackett" on all the gifts from 
the fund. Those books no longer remain in honor of their Giver, a 
Collection, as they should be in the Library of the State at Concord, 
but are scattered here and there along the shelves, and many of 
great Medico-historical value lost. 


may be mentioned here because the first letter belonging to 
the year 1799 in Portsmouth refers to the affair. 

Foremost in the list of friends who aided this scheme, I 
find the name of Hon. Arthur Livermore, 1 son of the Honor- 
able Samuel Livermore, 2 who happened to be leaving Ports- 
mouth at this time to visit his father in Holderness, New 

Dr. Spalding gave the son a letter for his father, asking 
him to send a recommendation to forward to Washington. 

When Mr. Livermore reached home, he wrote to this 

"Dear Sir: I did not arrive here until last evening, being delayed 
longer on my journey than expected. I immediately gave your 
letter to my father, who observed that the certificate from President 
Wheelock, General Bradley, 3 Governor Langdon 4 and Doctor 

1 Hon. Arthur Livermore (1769-1857) was a distinguished citizen 
and Jurist and Chief Justice of New Hampshire. 

2 Hon. Samuel Livermore (1732-1813) was one of New Hampshire's 
famous men. He was Attorney General of the State, Member of the 
First American Congress, Member of the United States Congress, 
United States Senator from New Hampshire and finally Chief Justice 
of the State. 

3 Stephen Rowe Bradley (1754-1830) was very prominent in Ver- 
mont State affairs, on most friendly terms with the celebrated Ethan 
Allen, and extremely active in politics during the Revolution. He was 
the first United States Senator from Vermont, a General in the Militia, 
and finally Chief Justice of the State. He probably did more than any 
other man to obtain statehood for Vermont at a time when New Hamp- 
shire and New York were disputing for its ownership. The pamphlet 
which he published on this topic is now a very valuable item to bibli- 

General Bradley was one of the first "Bosses" in American Politics 
and wielded immense political power in New Hampshire and Vermont. 

4 John Langdon (1741-1819) rose from the calling of a Captain in the 
Merchant Marine to become a member of the Continental Congress, 
Navy Agent at Portsmouth and Member of the Provincial Congress, 
over which he presided. He served in the Revolution Navy and as 
United States Senator from New Hampshire notified Washington, 
personally, of his election as First President of the United States. 
Langdon was repeatedly elected Governor of New Hampshire and for 
years maintained a lofty position in the Nation by his gracious and in- 
sinuating manners, his sociability and his entertaining qualities as a 
man. He early employed Dr. Spalding as his physician, and was one of 
his staunches! friends. 

The certificate from Mr. Wheelock is the missing document of 
January 4, 1799, and is probably in the Archives at Washington to 
this day. 


Smith, and the information he had before, of you, convinced him 
of the justice of your claim to the position, but said he could not, 
now, write another commendatory letter as there is in his opinion 
probability that the appointment will not be made until the Senate 
meet. Utterly unknown by all who have a part in the Executive, 
it would be presumption in me to say anything on this occasion, 
though from the information I have had of your character, I most 
heartily wish the appointment may be yours. 

I am, Dear Sir, Your Ob'd't Serv't. Arthur Livermore. 

New Holderness, July 29, 1799." 

Captain Josiah Dunham, recently appointed to the Army 
and now on recruiting service at Hanover, also assisted Dr. 
Spalding in his efforts to obtain an Army Appointment, and 
enclosing a certificate wrote as follows : 

"Hanover, March 22, 1802. Sir. Your favor did not reach me 
till the 20th instant (having been absent). I immediately sat 
down and gave the Secretary of War 1 a copy of the attached letter. 
Happy shall I be, my friend, if you get the berth you solicit. I 
shall see you in 10 or 15 days, if the bad roads will permit. I re- 
gret haste, but am, Dear Sir, Your Ob'd't Serv't, J. Dunham, 
Captain, etc." 

The "letter attached" mentions Dr. Spalding's services at 
Dartmouth as well as whilst Contract Surgeon at the Forts, 
and his devotion to medicine. It is directed to Honorable 
Henry Dearborn, Esquire, Secretary at War, and is signed 
"J. Dunham, Captain 2d Regiment Artillery and Engineers." 

When the appointment as Surgeon's Mate finally arrived, 
most unexpected conditions were found attached to it. 

"Washington, April 9, 1802. Sir. The President has been 
pleased by and with the consent of the Senate to appoint j r ou a 
Surgeon's Mate in the Service of the United States. You will im- 
mediately signify your acceptance or non-acceptance thereof, and 
in case of the Former, you will proceed without loss of time to 

1 Henry Dearborn (1751-1829) was the son of a physician in Hamp- 
ton, New Hampshire, studied medicine and was practicing at Notting- 
ham Corner, New Hampshire, but immediately after Bunker Hill 
Battle he obtained an appointment in the Army as Lieutenant and 
rose to be Major General. He served throughout the Revolution as 
well as during the War of 1812, was Ambassador to Portugal, Collector 
of the Port of Boston and lived several years at Hallowell, Maine, 
where he farmed a little, practiced a little and then returning to Massa- 
chusetts died there. Henry Dearborn was a man of permanent national- 
historical fame as a Physician, Statesman and Soldier. 


Fort Jay, near New York, to which you are hereby appointed, and 
report yourself to the Commanding Officer. 
Respectfully your Obedient Serv't, H. Dearborn." 

Such an order was, however, far from Dr. Spalding's plans. 
He had already been serving at the Forts in Portsmouth Har- 
bor as Contract Surgeon, and had been hoping that in time 
of peace he could obtain an appointment in the Regular 
Army, yet remain in Portsmouth and continue general 
practice also. He may have replied to this effect, but his 
letter is lost, and his hopes were shattered by a second letter 
from the Secretary. 

"Washington, May 3, 1802. Dear Sir: Your favor has been re- 
ceived, and I have to reply that it will be necessary that the gentle- 
man who shall be appointed Surgeon's Mate for the Garrisons in 
Portsmouth Harbor, will be obliged to reside constantly on the 
Island of New Castle. Consequently, the transfer of yourself to 
Fort Constitution, instead of Fort Jay, cannot produce the effect 
which you desire. Your Ob'd't Serv't, Henry Dearborn." 

Dr. Spalding then offered a further solution of the problem 
in this way: 

"Portsmouth, May 30, 1802. Sir. In consequence of the in- 
formation contained in your favor of the 3d instant, that it will be 
necessary that the gentleman who shall be appointed Surgeon's 
Mate should reside constantly on New Castle Island, I must beg 
leave to decline the appointment of Surgeon's Mate in the service 
of the United States, and that, wholly from motives before stated 
to you, for I should take great pleasure in the Service. 

In conformity with Captain Stoddard's information to you, I 
sliould feel myself highly honored in serving my Country as Acting 
Surgeon to the troops that may be stationed in the harbor. Those 
sendees I will engage to perform for S30 a month, provided neverthe- 
less, that when I am obliged to go by land, which is seven miles 
around, and which I am sometimes compelled to by stress of 
weather, I shall receive a reasonable compensation for horse hire. 
Sir, I have the honor to be, etc., L. Spalding." 

Some agreement was finally made with the War Depart- 
ment, as proved by documents in my possession; one of 
them in 1803 showing a quarterly payment of 8300, which 
must have been welcome to a young physician. 

Dr. Joseph Goodhue, a son of Dr. Joseph Goodhue the 
teacher of Dr. Nathan Smith, was then appointed in Dr. 
Spalding's place, and stationed at Fort Constitution. He re- 


mained some years in the Army, retired about 1824, went 
to Alabama for his health and died there. Those who are 
interested in old Army Lists will find Dr. Lyman Spalding, 
still "attached to Fort Jay in New York Harbor." 

While this Army affair was underway, many other let- 
ters were received and shall now have proper attention. 

It will be remembered that in November of the year 1799, 
Dr. Spalding had expected to attend the Chemical Lectures 
of Dr. Mitchill in New York but was disappointed, and so 
informed that distinguished physician. After some months 
I find Dr. Mitchill's reply. 

"New York, March 23, 1800. Dear Sir: — Though I have not 
answered your letter of November 30, 1799, I have not been negli- 
gent of the matters it contained. Always desirous of favoring the 
scientific researches going on in America, I have taken care that 
your Edition of the Nomenclature should be advantageously 
noticed in the "Repository" and to render the review more at- 
tractive, there are introduced some new Speculations on the Com- 
position of light and Oxygenous air. You will also find Adams' 
Dissertation mentioned there too, after the manner of a Brief 
Abstract, as long, however, as the subject deemed to require. 
Your "Nomenclature" makes you talked of. It is no longer than 
yesterday that a physician from Connecticut who called on me for 
some advice relative to the medical education of his son, inquired 
of me where Spalding's " No?nenclature" could be got. I showed him 
the Copy you sent me, but told him that I did not know there were 
any for sale in New York. I hope that the Booksellers have at- 
tended to the forwarding of your Numbers of the M.R. The last 
are no respect inferior to the best of the preceding ones. The 
Work is highly valued in Europe, and the Editors strive to render 
it as much Original and American as possible. The Editors of the 
"Philosophical Magazine" and of the "Medical and Physical 
Journal" take largely from it. In the last number for February, 
there are some facts in corroboration of our Doctrine of Septic 
Acid, which are wonderfully instructive, and very pointed. In 
the one now in the Press, and to be published May 1, there will be 
more, and in succeeding numbers more, until the opposition shall 
be hushed. Your Article of College Intelligence shall be attended 
to. My Course of Lectures is just finished. Chemistry was never 
so much in vogue before in America, for even the ladies attend to 
it. Including these fair votaries of Science, my audiences amounted 
to more than forty, which is double the number that ever attended 
at one before. We have a piece of the Rock of Gibraltar here. 
It, you know, is a mass of Calcareous earth filled with animal 
bones. This neutralizer of Septic Acid has kept away Pestilence 


from that fortress, though it has sustained so many sieges. Think 
of it, and so near to the Coast of Barbary, too! Bath in England 
is also constructed on Calcareous earth. Is not much of its salub- 
rity owing to this Material? So is Kilkenny in Ireland! ! You see, 
we are just on the Threshold of Inquiry. The Circle of facts is too 
wide and too vast to be embraced by an individual. The Town 
of Campechy on the Isthmus of Darien is built upon a Limestone 
Rock, and there is a hot climate, and surrounded by low lands and 
marshes, yet can only one Physician procure a subsistence. Yours 
with Much Regard, Samuel L. Mitchill." 

Dr. Nathan Noyes of Newbury, Massachusetts, who was 
graduated Academically and Medically from Dartmouth as 
we have seen was very intimate with Dr. Spalding for 
several years and wrote to him interminable letters. In 
order to save postage, Dr. Noyes would begin on a sheet of 
foolscap and write till he was tired, and later on add enough 
to fill the sheet which was then forwarded by some friendly 
hand. I will now insert one of these letters, but abbreviate 
it as occasion demands. 

"Newbury, April 17, 1800. Friend Spalding: I have just now 
had the pleasure of receiving a letter and a number of the Medical 
Repository. I am sorry, Sir, to hear you say, that "businef 
very dull." I am sorry for two reasons; it informs me of your ill 
fortune, and reminds me of my own. Spalding, I cannot conceive 
how it is, that you so gallantly compliment and congratulate me 
upon success I never met. Why, Man! I can assure you that I 
have hardly earned a bare subsistence. But you seem to have 
very early learnt the Portsmouth Politeness and received the - 
Port Polish. Pray do not outchesterfield the practice of flattery. 
When I wrote you my sentiments on Kittridge 1 1 considered myself 
as a pleader, rather than a Judge telling my own story. If you 
make proper allowance for prejudice, perhaps you may yet find him 
rather better than a "Poor Devil." No, not much better, neither, 
for the Devil is certainly as good as his humble servant, — I am 
pleased with the rank which you hold in the esteem and friendship 
of Dr. Mitchill. 

As for the books you mention, I should be glad to purchase them 
if the means were in my power, but, as you have not mentioned the 
expense, it is impossible for me at present, absolutely to d< 
This, however, is certain from the number of Volumes, that unless 
they are small and come low, I shall be unable. Perhaps it may be 

1 "Dr. Kittridge" puzzles me to annotate, and would puzzle any 
antiquary considering that there were about this time a dozen Dr. 
Kittridges practicing in New England. 


worth your while to mention the price in your next, and, if this 
should prove beyond my means, possibly you may be accomo- 
dated in another way. I feel now under a necessity for purchasing 
some System of Chemistry. Now, Sir, if you can find it in your 
heart to part with your friend Fourcroy 1 or Chaptal, till you may 
find it convenient replacing him, you shall receive what merchants 
call a Generous Price. The bargain may possibly oblige us both, 
for to confess the Truth, I have sent to Boston twice this Winter 
for those books. If you intended offering me the "Annals" and 
"Review" yearly, there will one inconvenience attend the plan; the 
necessity of their coming from Europe by way of Boston and Ports- 
mouth would destroy half their value in the loss of their novelty 
For you know that the excellence of a periodical medical publica- 
tion consists in its handing immediately, a few improvements 
amidst a World of rubbish. 

(A week later the letter continues :) 

I hope, Sir, you will pardon my neglecting to send your "Re- 
pository" and the other books last week. I received it on Monday 
and was kept in one continual hurry till Thursday, when I in- 
quired at Davenport's 2 a few moments after Bagley had started 
for Portsmouth. I have just received a letter from Dr. Smith. 
He has operated several times with the trepan, with varying suc- 
cess; has amputated one limb, and operated again for the Stone; 
successfully as to the operation, but fatally as to the patient. He 
has also a young daughter which he says is "As Handsome as 
Ryno" and has a red head. 3 

Spalding! I want advice. Dr. Smith has recommended it to 
me to publish my Dissertation. I am, however, somewhat sus- 
picious that it will not be more for my literary than my pecuniary 

1 Anton Francois Fourcroy (1755-1809), whose "Collection" Dr. 
Noyes wished to purchase, devoted his life to Chemistry, and lectured 
on that and allied topics with an inexhaustible gaiety of spirits. Two 
years before his death he was shocked by the appointment of a rival 
to the Chemical Chair in the Imperial University, a position which 
seemed to all, as belonging only to Fourcroy. From that time he was 
a broken man, and just as Napoleon created him a Count of the Em- 
pire, he died, as it were, from too late a recognition of his merits. 

2 "Davenport's" was the Tavern from which the stage set off for 
Portsmouth; and "Bagley" was the stage driver. 

3 It is a pity that Dr. Smith's letter on trephining is lost. Dr. 
Smith never concealed his failures in surgery, though many of them 
must have been due to unpromising cases, surgical shock and sepsis. 

"Ryno" was the name of a son, born some time before, and named, 
as I have believed, from a mythical fairy-like creature in the Poems of 
Ossian, of which Mrs. Smith was fond. The young daughter was 
Sally Malvina. 


advancement. Now I know that you did not use to sacrifice 
friendship to flattery and if you can for a moment lay aside your 
newly acquired polish so as to give your real opinion of said Dis- 
sertation, and its publication, you will be entitled to my gratitude. 
But, remember, that a character for good judgment is of more im- 
portance than a character for politeness to a Professor of Chem- 
istry, and that politeness is measured by true benevolence rather 
than flattery, with your Humble Servant, N. Noyes." 

A second letter from Dr. Noyes shows surgical invention 
and ingenuity in an Emergency Case. 

Newburyport, July 13, 1800. Sir. You will see by the enclosed, 
that your command of Tuesday was complied with as soon as pos- 
sible, but the fatality was, that Davenport through excess of busi- 
ness forgot to put the book on board the stage according to promise. 
I am very sorry, Sir, for the accident, but hope that it will all end 
well yet. . . . Since writing so far, an accident has occurred which 
may serve to give you some idea of the present state of the practice 
of physick in Newbury. ... I was called in the night to visit a 
patient affected with ischury. The tension of the bladder and 
abdomen was so great that he could not lie nor sit, and his im- 
patience such, that he would not stand half a minute in any one 
position. He said, that he had strained himself when at labor and 
had passed a great deal of bloody water. Blood was drawn by 
me till faintness came on, and his water began to flow. 

The patient being now at ease a more strict examination wis 
commenced. The blood, he confessed, flowed first, and then the 
water followed. This led to the discovery of his having a disease 
three years before, from which time a difficulty of making water 
had gradually increased till a fortnight ago, when a perfect ischury 
came on. This induced him to pass a goose quill, till a hemorrhage 
came on. Our best physician was then sent for, informed of the 
circumstances, bled him, bathed his feet in warm water and left 
him to his fate. I found that his bladder had not been completely 
evacuated for a fortnight and with my fingers discovered an ob- 
struction in the passage. A Bougie was now to be sought for : the 
apothecaries had none; the physicians had wanted none; a physi- 
cian who died here four years ago had said that even the great 
Swett 1 had been unable to make them. However, undismayed by 

1 "The great Swett,' Dr. John Barnard Swett (1741-1798), was in- 
tended for the ministry, but after graduating from Harvard in 1771, 
happened to attend a Necropsy and was attracted at once to medicine. 
He studied abroad with Dr. Cullen, went to sea as Ship's Surgeon on a 
voyage to the Falkland Islam Is, and served during the Revolution on 
the ill-fated "Penobscot Expedition." He then settled in Newbury, 
and died during an epidemic of Yellow Fever. The epitaph upon his 


these discouragements I went home, took up my lead ladle, and 
returned to my patient with a set of leaden bougies. One was in- 
troduced without much difficulty, and when withdrawn, was fol- 
lowed freely by the water. After the introduction of the second 
one, the patient declared himself as well as ever he was in his life. 
But, here is the Point. Why had our Apothecaries never been 
called upon for bougies? Why had our Physicians never wanted 
them? But stop! I have not perhaps done perfect justice yet. 
I did not call on ALL my medical brethren, and one of those on 
whom I did, had some old pieces of waxen bougie, which had 
been given him by a patient and one which he had introduced. . . . 
Please to communicate to me whatever you hear from others, or 
observe yourself concerning the practice of our profession. It 
seems to me that there is not yet sufficient freedom of Communi- 
cation between physicians. We are traveling a rough and crooked 
road, and find it sufficiently difficult, if we assist each other all we 
can With Esteem and Respects, I remain, Yours, N. Noyes." 

A letter next in date to the one from Dr. Noyes came from 
President Wheelock of Dartmouth and was handed to Dr. 
Spalding by a very famous Hanoverian, Peyton Randolph 
Freeman 1 as Dr. Spalding's endorsement shows. 

It would seem from President Wheelock's letter that Dr. 
Lynn, who I am unable to identify, has asked through Dr. 
Spalding how to send a son to Dartmouth. Parents of 
today will be surprised at the infinitesmal expenses of the 
students of that era. 

"Dartmouth College, June 3, 1800. Dear Sir: I embrace the 
earliest opportunity to acknowledge your favour of the 17th ult. 
which has just come to hand on the subject which the worthy Dr. 
Lynn communicated to you respecting the education of his son. 
As his letter was directed to you, and as I have not the happiness 

tomb-stone says: "This accomplished, learned and amiable Physician 
was torn from a Bleeding Family, and an extensive circle of Lamenting 
Friends, falling a Sacrifice to his fidelity in the exercise of a Laborious 
and Hazardous Profession." 

1 Mr. Freeman (1775-1868) was graduated from Dartmouth in 
1796, was clerk of courts and practiced law in Portsmouth for more 
than forty years. He then retired to Hanover, where he had been 
born. Little did I think when I was at Dartmouth in the Class of 1866 
and saw "Old Freeman" slouching across the Campus, that he was a 
contemporary, attorney for, and a personal friend, of my grandfather, 
and could have told me a great deal about him, had I only had common 
sense enough to ask him some questions concerning the past. Grand- 
father was, however, much farther away from me in 1862 than he is 
fifty years later. 


of a personal acquaintance with him, I have thought it might not 
be improper to communicate to you an answer to bis queries. 

The preparatory studies for the Junior Standing at this Uni- 
versity, are the English Language, Kaim's Elements of Critic 
Virgil, Tully's Oration, the Greek Testament; one or two books of 
Homer, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, etc., Geography, Logic and 
Tully De Oratory. These are the regular Classics (together with 
composition) attended to here, as the primary studies in reference 
to the object in view; though there have been some instances of 
our receiving members to that Standing who have not attended 
according to our rules to all those identical authors, provided that 
they had obtained from other writers, and instructions, an equiva- 
lent knowledge, in the different branches referred to. 

Our Commencement is on the Fourth Wednesday in August; a 
vacation extending from Commencement, 4| weeks, and another 
vacation beginning the first Monday in January and extending 
8 and \ weeks. We have only these two vacations a year. 

We occasionally admit youth to the Standings to which they 
shall be judged on examination to be qualified at the different 
seasons of the year but our ordinary and Stated times for admission 
are on Commencement week, and on the first week in October; at 
one of which times it will be most for the literary advantage of youth 
who are to be received. . . . Besides the classical studies which I 
have noted, there are Public Instructions, Lectures and Exercises in 
common to the different classes. . . . Particular regard is paid to 
the Application and Moral Condition of the members. 

In regard to the annual amount of the expenses of individual 
members. The tuition, 16 Dollars which sum is divided into three 
terms of payment. The members all board in private families of 
good morals, and the price is from SI to $1.50 cents per week, ac- 
cording as they shall choose to agree. The whole annual ordinary 
expenses of an individual student including board, tuition, room, 
wood and contingents may amount to about S100, excepting 
clothes and traveling and pocket money, which will be but trilling. 
I fix the estimate on a decent economical plan, though some spend 
more and some, by frugality, go through with less. 

Sir, I have answered the questions that naturally arise from 
your communications in behalf of Dr. Lynn and have been more 
particular that any query might be solved, that should arise in 
detail under the respective heads. You will please to make such 
use of the contents of this letter as you may think proper for the 
information of the respectable gentleman who wrote to you. And 
should he conclude to send his son to this university to finish his 
literary education, I shall with the greatest pleasure do everything 
in my power for his usefulness and happiness. 

I remain with best wishes, Dear Sir, Your most obedient and 
humble Servant, John Wiuselock." 


The Autumn of 1800 was now near at hand and Dr. 
Spalding was called upon to decide an important question: 
Should he continue to lecture at Dartmouth two months in 
every year, and sacrifice his practice, or should he resign 
and lose the opportunities for study attached to the lecture- 

Whilst meditating which step to take, Vaccination was 
introduced into the United States, and had much to do with 
his decision to resign the Lectureship and to devote his 
time to the advancement of the great discovery. Before, 
however, substantiating what he did to promote vaccination, 
the letters showing the severance of his connection with 
Dartmouth may here find place. 

The first letter in 1800 concerning the Lectureship is from 
Dr. Smith, and suggests that Dr. Spalding had made some 
sort of an offer to deliver lectures as before. 

"Hanover, September 8, 1800. Dear Sir. In consequence of 
your communication to President Wheelock made a few days be- 
fore our late Commencement, he presented the Honorable Board 
of Trustees with your proposals, who were unanimously of opinion 
that they could not agree to your proposals respecting Lecturing 
on Chemistry. They however agreed to help me to pay you for 
the money expended on the Apparatus. I am now in haste at this 
moment, being called in a very urgent trepaning case, but as 
Captain McClure 1 was going direct to Portsmouth could not omit 
giving you the earliest information of what the Board had de- 
termined. But, you must not accept this as the whole of what 
I have to write you as soon as I can sit down, which I have 
not quietly done for several weeks. I will then make you a long 
letter on particulars. ... I am with respect, Yours etc., Nathan 

On the following day President Wheelock wrote on the 
same subject. 

"Dartmouth College, September 9, 1800. Dear Sir. Your 
favor of the 2d ult. came to hand before the setting of the Board. 

1 Captain Samuel McClure came to Hanover from Hebron, Con- 
necticut, about the beginning of the Revolution, and was the Village 
Barber, a position of great consequence in those days of wigs, and daily 
shaving. McClure commanded a company of soldiers during the 
Revolution, and took part in many expeditions. When the war was 
over he served as Postmaster at Hanover, and finally left the town 
about 1807. I do not find his name in Army Lists, and think that his 
title was from his Revolutionary services only. 


They were fully satisfied and approved of your former attention, 
as Lecturer in the Chemical department, and washed, that you 
could have found it consistent to continue in the manner proposi < 1 . 
They were of opinion, that four weeks, or less, would be too short 
a time to go through the whole course of fifty lectures, with experi- 
ments and explanations; as the members would not have sufficient 
opportunity to attend them with their classical studies. 1 They are 
sorry that it cannot comport with your business to spend longer 
time here with the students in that branch, but as you have found 
it inadmissable, they wish so far as they can consistently, to facili- 
tate your desire, and accordingly they have directed their agent to 
assist, so soon as the finances of the College will possibly admit, 
the medical Professor 2 in paying a sum, which, in addition to Fifty 
Dollars, will amount to the cost you have been at in your apparatus 
as laid before them by the Secretary. The said Fifty Dollars the 
medical professor said he had made arrangements to settle. Thus 
the Board, in consequence of your application, have done what 
they could consistently to accomodate matters agreeably to you. 
I shall be always happy to hear of your health, and with best 
wishes for your prosperity, I remain, Dear Sir, Your Sincere Friend 
and Humble Servant, John Wheelock." 

A few days later, Dr. Spalding went a step farther toward 
resigning and wrote to his friend and Attorney, William 
Woodward as follows: 

"Portsmouth, September 17, 1800. To Wm. Woodward, 
Esquire, Dear Sir: I am dead, not unto sin, but unto Dartmouth 
College. Dr. Smith has written me that "the Honorable, the 
Board have agreed to help me ("Dr. Smith") to pay you, for the 
money expended on the apparatus." I cannot construe this other- 
wise than that the money is to pass through Dr. Smith's hands. 
To this I have no objection. You will therefore receive and re- 
ceipt for the amount of the bills by you presented, and transmit 
it by mail to me. You will also wait on Dr. Smith and with or 
without him, take an inventory of every article, the quantity, etc., 
that is contained in the Laboratory; this you must be very par- 
ticular in doing to the satisfaction of all. Whatever money you 
have collected and not appropriated, you will forthwith transmit 

1 "Their Classical Studies" means that the college students at- 
tended the lectures on Chemistry. 

2 "The Medical Professor" was Dr. Smith, whose salary, by the 
way, was $200 a year, with tickets extra. 

The low state of the College finances is worth noting here, for all 
that Dr. Spalding expected from the college in addition to the SoO from 
Dr. Smith was $81; and even that the College was unable then to 


to me. All the papers, pamphlets, etc., which are to be found in 
the Laboratory you will carry to and preserve in your office, for 
Your friend and obedient servant, L. Spalding." 

On the very same day, however, after forwarding this 
letter to Mr. Woodward, Dr. Spalding seems to have changed 
his mind as appears from the following draft of a letter to 
President Wheelock. 

"Portsmouth, September 17th, 1800. Sir. Yours of the 8th 
instant is before me. The resolve of the Honorable, the Board of 
Trustees of Dartmouth College is not only agreeable to my wishes, 
but favorable to my interest. I shall just observe that having 
made arrangements, both in business and in my MSS lectures, for 
delivering the ensuing course, the term of "four weeks" will not 
be so strenuously insisted upon for the present year. I will consent 
to tarry so long as shall give satisfaction to my hearers, and au- 
thority; provided that the term be anything less than ten weeks, 
for at that term I should be a great loser. After this course I have 
not the most distant wish to spend ten weeks at Hanover every 
year and will then cheerfully give place to the man who is in- 
finitely better qualified to give Chemical Lectures than myself. 

If these ideas should be perfectly agreeable to yourself and 
others in authority, I should be gratified in delivering the ensuing 
course of Chemical Lectures, but if otherwise, I have not the most 
distant wish to disoblige you in any particular. I shall await your 
answer to this, and be governed wholly by it. In the meantime I 
shall suspend arrangements. 1 

Sir, Your Obedient Servant, L. Spalding. 

P. S. I have written to Mr. W., my agent, to call on Dr. Smith 
to assist in making an inventory of all my furniture, ingredients for 
experiments, etc., in the Laboratory at Dartmouth College, for 
many things are not mentioned in the bills presented. To the 
Honorable Board, I shall look for the amount of those bills pre- 
sented, and not to Dr. Smith. Of you, I shall expect payment for 
all the other articles contained in the Laboratory. Also, you must 
conceive yourself under obligations to be accountable for the 
Chemical Ware which Dr. Bartlett has sent on my account. I 
have noted these Generals 2 that you may see what my expecta- 
tions are." 

The next letter from Dr. Smith is unusually felicitous. All 
of his letters were written hurriedly and many sentences go 
begging for Capitals, but they are very legible, although most 

1 "Suspend arrangements" would mean that he would do nothing 
until hearing from Hanover. 

2 "Generals" hints at "Particular Items" to be mentioned later on. 


of them look as if he had plunged a bit of wood into the ink- 
bottle and written by the light of a tallow candle. 

"Dear Sir: — Yours of the 17th instant has just come to hand. 
I am happy to learn that you are not disappointed in what the 
Honorable Board of Trust for Dartmouth College have done re- 
specting your proposals made in your letter to President Wheelock. 
From what I had previously learned of your increasing business at 
Portsmouth, I had concluded that their determination would not 
militate against your wishes or interest. Respecting your property 
in the Laboratory it is necessary that I give you some information. 
When the Bill of your expenses for the Laboratory was presented 
by William Woodward, Esquire to the Honorable Board of Trus- 
tees, they called on me for an explanation of the business. The 
first inquiry was: whether either you or I had any legal right to 
tax them with the expenses of the Laboratory. On this point I 
was obliged to acknowledge we had not, but observed that it was 
reasonable that the College should do something to support such 
an important Institution, and that I felt myself under obligations 
of honour to see that you did not suffer in your property, on ac- 
count of what you had done for the Institution by procuring a 
Laboratory, providing that you should not continue to use and profit 
by it, and therefore, hoped for some assistance from the Honorable 
Board, as it would be very inconvenient for me to make out the 
money to pay your Bill. I readily engaged to repay you for the 
Glass Apparatus which you purchased of me, which would reduce 
the Bill to S81, which the Honorable Board have given me en- 
couragement of receiving from them by a Loan, to be repaid when 
called for. This is all the College have done about paying your 
Bill, and by this statement you will see, that it is I, who purchase 
the Laboratory. 

Now, Sir, you see the situation of the business between us and 
the College and between you and me. 

Respecting your last proposal, I will observe (and choose you; 
of three things). That you are at liberty to continue in the business 
of lecturing according to the Institution; or you may relinquish 
the business now and receive pay for your Laboratory ; or you may 
deliver the ensuing course of Lectures on Chemist ry and then 
relinquish the business. But, in the latter case I shall not hold 
myself under any obligations to purchase your Laboratory or any 
part of it. Perhaps I may want some part of it, but will not be 
obligated to do it. 

I presume you will at once see the propriety of my proposals, 
and the necessity of a speedy decision on the subject, as the time 
for commencing the present course of lectures is at hand, and we 
have much need of time for making preparations for it. I am very 
happy to hear that you have by dint of merit acquired a good share 


of honest fame in your Profession and that your business is grow- 
ing lucrative. I am, with sentiments of Esteem, your Friend and 
Servant, Nathan Smith. 

Hanover, September 30, 1800. 

P. S. I have no objections to being accountable to Dr. Bartlett 
for the Chemical Ware, which he may procure for you, if it does 
not amount to a large sum, beyond my abilities to pay, if you re- 
linquish the business now." 

Before this letter reached Portsmouth, Dr. Spalding was 
again writing to President Wheelock. 

"Portsmouth, October 1st, 1800. Dear Sir. Yours of the 9th 
ult. was duly received, and although it does not require an answer, 
yet Mr. Peyton Freeman being in town, I do myself the pleasure 
of returning you my grateful acknowledgements for the many 
favors conferred on me. I shall think myself highly honored in 
the Friendship of the President of Dartmouth College. 

The resolve of the Honorable Board was communicated to me 
by my friend, Dr. Smith, in his letter of the 8th ult. to which I 
have replied and presume you must have seen it. 

I have ordered W. Woodward, my agent, to receive of the Finan- 
cier the sum due me for fitting up the Laboratory. 

I here enclose the "New Hampshire Gazette" containing a Card 
of mine on the Kine-Pox. This inoculation bids fair to become 
general among us. I have inoculated a number of the first families 
in the town. You see I have had the infection but one day. No 
one doubts its being a preventive of the Small Pox; a fighter disease, 
and not contagious. With due Respect, Yours Sincerely. Lyman 

Dr. Smith's former letter of the 30th September reached 
Dr. Spalding on the 12th day of October. Vaccination newly 
introduced into America was urgent in its demands. Dr. Smith 
had offered him three alternatives and on the 14th he thus 
resigned his Lectureship in the Dartmouth Medical School. 

"Portsmouth, October 14, 1800. Dear Sir. Yours of the 30th 
ult. was duly received. I can only thank you for these and your 
repeated acts of friendship and hope that I may long remain sensi- 
ble of your gratitude. The conditions of my resignation are these : 
that Dr. Smith pay to me the expenses which I have been at in 
fitting up the Laboratory in Dartmouth College, as proposed in 
his letter of the 30th ult. 


Be it known, that I, Lyman Spalding, do this 14th day of October 
A.D. 1800, resign the office of Lecturer on Chemistry and Materia 
Medica in Dartmouth University. Lyman Spalding." 


Introduction of Vaccination. 

Just as soon as Dr. Spalding learned from the newspapers 
that Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse had received from Edward 
Jenner late in July, 1800, the first supply of "Infection" 
ever arriving in America and with it had vaccinated the 
children with whom he had played at Cambridge, his in- 
terest was excited, and he wrote to Dr. Waterhouse for a 
supply. He also suggested that persons once vaccinated 
should be exposed to small pox patients in hospitals, and to 
this suggestion Dr. Waterhouse replied as follows: 

"Cambridge, September 6, 1800. Dear Sir. This is the first 
leisure I have had to answer your letter of the 25th ult, You say 
you are about opening a Small Pox Hospital, and that you wish to 
inoculate also for the Kine Pox. Now my advice to you is not to 
attempt bringing the two diseases together in the same or con- 
tiguous buildings, for the reasons adduced in my Treatise on the 
Kine Pox. Mr. Xanerede, who published the work, tells me that 
he shall send some to a Bookseller in Portsmouth by Monday 
next. That work contains all I know on the subject/ Will you 
ask Judge Livermore 1 whether he wishes his son to have the Kine 
Pox in the approaching vacation with several others? Ten or 
twelve days carries them through the whole. He expressed a wish 
to me to that effect. Please to remember me to Colonel and Mrs. 
Brewster, 2 and tell them I shall write to them next week and send 
the book I promised. 

In haste, I remain your Humble Servant, Benjamin Water- 

1 Judge Livermore was Edward St. Loe Livermore (1762-1832), a 
dit-tinguished resident of Portsmouth, whose name is perpetuated 
to this day by Livermore Street which bounds the Haven Park. He 
had an honorary degree from Dartmouth in 1S00, was, like others of 
his name, very prominent at the New Hampshire Bar, in Congress and 
on the State Bench. The son, whom Dr. Waterhouse wished to vacci- 
nate, was Solomon Kidder Livermore, a sophomore at Harvard in the 
class of 1802. He died in 1859 after an excellent career al the Bur. 

2 Colonel and Mrs. William Brewster kept the famous " Bell" Tavern 
in Portsmouth and were highly respected personages in their time. 
Colonel Brewster belonged to a very old family, and died in 1818, aged 
77. He was an old-fashioned Landlord, a friend to all of his guests. 



Dr. Spalding made immediate answer to Dr. Waterhouse 
and had by return post this second letter: 

"Cambridge, September 6, 1800. Dear Sir. I have only time 
to say that I have received your second letter and that I will ac- 
comodate you with the "matter," etc., at the same pay which has 
been offered to me, but I declined, namely, for One Quarter of the 
profit arising from the inoculation, and the contract to remain for 
14 months from this time. Abandon the idea of inoculating for 
small pox and throw all your attention to the Kine Pox. If this 
idea suits you and Dr. Cutter, 1 you shall be accomodated at once, 
for half a dozen practitioners stand ready to jump at that offer, 
and two of them are not a very great distance from you. In haste, 
I am, Yours, etc. Benjamin Waterhouse. 

P. S. Sam B. 2 is in a fair way of being hooted out of Boston." 

On a scrap of paper I find a copy of Dr. Spalding's reply 
to this last letter: 

"Portsmouth, September 10, 1800. Dear Sir. The terms are 
accepted, and I promise that you shall have One Quarter Part of 
the next profit arising from my inoculation with the kine pox for 
the space of 14 months, provided it be not made public before that 
term expires, and then the contract to remain in full force only to 
the time of its becoming public. However, on your part it is 
expected that the like privilege will not be granted to others in my 
vicinity. Yours, etc., L. Spalding." 

In other words, we have here a "Vaccination Trust." 
No wonder that the younger man accepted the offer coming 

1 "Dr. Cutter" may be either the distinguished father, or the well- 
known son of that name, both noted physicians of Portsmouth. 

Ammi Ruhamah Cutter, the father (1735-1820), was graduated 
from Harvard in the class of 1752 with Sir John Wentworth, Royal 
Governor of the Province, and whose intimate friend and body physician 
he remained for years. Dr. Cutter served with great distinction during 
both the Colonial and Revolutionary Wars and then settled in Ports- 
mouth, where he practiced the rest of his life. More intimate details 
of his life may be found in Kelly's "Cyclopcedia of American Physi- 

"Dr. William," Cutter, his son, practiced in Portsmouth. He was 
charming, witty, much given to persiflage and to flirtations with his 
women patients, who "made a great deal of him," as the saying runs. 

Dr. Waterhouse was, as we can see, opposed to giving "matter" to 
Dr. Spalding, the youngest physician in town, and insisted on a part- 
nership with an older man. 

2 "Sam B" (Brown) was Dr. Spalding's classmate at Harvard, but 
what he had done to be hooted out of Boston, I have so far failed to 

iA~-cA~-*j0 frK' ~A^^/^*. a^ye^t^. faux. c^is£*>>u&ip y/Zu~>^/C 

Jji^-6z: y^ „ /^ui^ h^t^. 


*~ .rfdU*~y 'fcrrlksZ. +*?& */\ 



from the Professor of Theory in the Harvard Medical 
School, for up to that date he alone possessed the "Infec- 
tion" direct from Jenner. 

The next letter from Dr. Waterhouse shows that Dr. Sam 
Brown had been following up the patients vaccinated by 
Dr. Waterhouse with a view to discovering if "scabs" from 
their arms could not be utilized to vaccinate his own patients 
as efficiently as to wait for a supply of the genuine "infec- 
tion" from Dr. Jenner. 

"Cambridge, September 12, 1800. Yours of the 19th informs 
me that you accede to my proposal "provided it be not made public 
before that time expires." Now that is too vague to proceed on. 
Sam Brown may steal it before a month expires, and then in -ix 
months it may be diffused over Boston, or it may not. I therefore 
propose, that the term shall be for twelve months and that will 
leave you to yourself during the three autumn months of 1801. 
You, however, will have got the start of all others, so much that no 
one can rival you entirely; besides it will fix you in business. My 
fee is Five Dollars. You must engage not to supply any other 
practitioner. Your acceeding to this will fetch the infection next 
post. If you wish to come and see the disease, and my practict , 
you shall have that in the bargain. Yours, B. Waterhouse. 

P. S. I have a similar application from Amherst in your State 
and another from a young Doctor going to settle at Hampton. 
But, if Dr. Cutter and you and I make the contract proposed, this 
gentleman shall not be supplied. I will supply none within twenty 
or thirty miles of you, and perhaps further." 

To and fro the letters fly, the older man hanging off for 
more pay and anxious that an older physician shall join 
hands with Dr. Spalding in order that the percentages to 
Dr. Waterhouse shall be larger, whilst Dr. Spalding is eager 
to be the only vaccinator in Portsmouth and so to increase 
his own renown by being first in the field. 

Here we have an undated letter from Dr. Spalding. 

"Dear Sir: When I wrote you last I had not seen your letter in 
the "Centinel." I applaud your policy of making a few Guineas 
for yourself, considering what pains you have taken in procuring 
and experimenting upon the Kine Pox. Now, Sir, far from in- 
oculating gratis, or endeavoring to procure the Infection by stealth, 
if you will permit me to inoculate, I will give you ten per cent upon 
the fees received for it, till you shall, or by other means, and not 
through my carelessness, it shall be made public. If these terms 
coincide with your ideas, you will forward the infection IMME- 


DIATELY, for "Now is the appointed time" and I promise you 
shall receive your premium without the least shadow of fraud. 
With Fidehty, Lyman Spalding. 

P. S. Pray how do you obligate your patient to prevent the in- 
fection being taken from their pustules! ! 

N. B. I expect that the same privilege will not be granted to 
any other person in this vicinity!" 

When Dr. Waterhouse saw from this note, that nothing 
was said about Dr. Cutter, as a partner, he insisted upon 
that physician taking part in the work or the chance would 
be given to the Doctor from Hampton. 

"Cambridge, September 15, 1800. Dear Sir. I wrote you a 
few lines in great haste on Saturday, since which it has occurred to 
me that although your first letter on the subject mentioned your 
being connected with Dr. Cutter in the business of an Hospital, 
yet nothing was mentioned of him in your last. Now I presume 
that Dr. Cutter and you are together in this intended inoculation 
of the Kine Pox, for it would make a material odds, were you to 
set out alone in the operation, whereas with Dr. C. you would 
certainly inoculate Portsmouth and its neighborhood very thor- 
oughly. Besides, "he that is not with you" as the Bible says "will 
be against you." Were you to be alone, I should prefer a specific 
sum, but if you are united, the Quarter Part would be the most 
righteous. The Doctor, about settling at Hampton has been with 
me, himself, this morning, but I will listen to none within 30 miles 
of you. Yours, etc., B. Waterhouse." 

Dr. Spalding's answer to this is missing, but in the fol- 
lowing from Dr. Waterhouse we see outlined a scheme to 
divide New England into Vaccination Districts, to dis- 
tribute the infection for cash, and to frighten others from 
obtaining humanized virus by insisting that the skilled 
physician alone could tell when the scab might be scien- 
tifically used. 

"Cambridge, September 18, 1800. Dr. Spalding, Dear Sir: I 
am sorry, very sorry that you did not come in person to negotiate 
the business of inoculation instead of doing it by letter, because 
every day brings me fresh applicants on the same subject. I have 
had three physicians from New Hampshire with me these two 
days, and during their waiting for my determination, I received 
what I absolutely waited for, your letter, which when read I was dis- 
appointed in finding no mention made of Dr. Cutter, whose name 
you mentioned as connecting in your plan in your first letter. As 
these gentlemen could not tarry any longer, I finally concluded and 


exchanged bonds, of which the enclosed is a transcript (Mutatis 
Mutandis) to inoculate the three counties of Strafford, Grafton and 
Rockingham, excepting the town of Portsmouth, Xewington, Rye, 
Kittery, Greenland and Dover, on an intimation that Dr. Cutter 
practiced considerably in the last-named town. Thus, have I en- 
deavoured to do what I conceived right, just, and honorable towards 
you, Dr. Cutter and them. I wished exceedingly that you had been 
present, but pressed as I have been on all sides I feel as if I had 
done for the best. I have reserved from our agreement Hanover 
and six miles around it in Grafton County, because I thought the 
physician, whoever he might be in that quarter, should have his 
chance under the same patronage I gave to others. 

I have sent the enclosed form, which is just like the one I inter- 
changed with Dr. Rowe in Vermont, and Doctors Stowe, Ranney 
and Dr. Billings of Bristol County, Massachusetts and Three Dr. 
Bartletts in your State, 1 for three seasons with the reserve, that if 
you do not close with my proposals, Portsmouth, Dover, etc., etc., 
icill be included in their district. If you and Dr. Cutter feel dis- 
posed to sign such a paper as they have, I will, on receipt of yours, 
send another properly executed and with it the matter for inocula- 
tion. B. W r ATERHOUSE. 

The sum of $150 mentioned when Dr. Spalding returned 
The Bond, duly executed is the only hint that I find of the 
price demanded by Dr. Waterhouse for vaccine virus on a 
bit of linen thread. 

"Cambridge, September 25, 1S00. Dear Sir. On my return 
from Dracut whither I went to inoculate, or rather to set the busi- 
ness going, I found your letter and have taken the first leisure to 
answer it. I confess, I have been disappointed and have hardly 
known how to act, since I have been informed that you are going 
alone, without any of the old established practitioners. To give 
you, a young man, and a stranger, the Matter, to the exclusion of 
these old physicians is not altogether pleasing to my feelings, in- 
dependent of my interest. I should, therefore, like that you 
should be connected with some of them, lest some of them should 
think hard of me. I, nevertheless, send you the Matter, although 

1 Of the physicians mentioned, Dr. Rowe practiced in Dummere- 
town, Dr. Thomas Stowe Ranney in Brentwood, Dr. Levi Bartlett at 
Kingston and Dr. Ezra Bartlett at Haverhill. 

Dr. Josiah Bartlett (1769-1835) was graduated both from Harvard 
and Dartmouth, practiced at Stratham, near Portsmouth and was a 
member of Congress for several terms. He was very fond of Dr. 
Spalding as shall be presently seen. 

Dr. Benjamin Billings (1770-1852) practiced at Marshfield and was 
a friend of Webster. 


it is very different from my first view of the business. I included 
Dover, merely because I was informed that Dr. Cutter (who I sup- 
posed was to be connected with you) had considerable practice 
there. Had you have taken a ride up to Cambridge we could have 
come to a perfect understanding, which it is almost impossible to 
do by letter, more especially in my constant hurry. I shall there- 
fore make no objection to the bond you signed excepting the chang- 
ing of the First of September to the 1st of October . . . because when 
the first period was mentioned I had in view an expectation that 
Dr. C. his son, and yourself would inoculate Portsmouth and its 
adjoining towns, which would most certainly have made a material 
difference to me. I have had $150 for a district not containing 
more inhabitants than Kittery, and the contract I made with Dr. 
Manning, the Bartletts, etc., was for three Seasons. They wished 
very much for Portsmouth etc., but I told them I was under a sort 
of promise to Doctors Cutter and yourself, and they said no more 
about it. Had I known that you were to go alone, in the business, 
I should have bargained with you for a specific sum. I reserved 
from my engagement, before mentioned, a certain district round 
Hanover and so down the river. 

Young Doctor Manning 1 has the matter and will be as close with 
it as any of you, by what he says to me by letter. I send you as 
much thread as I received from England. Yours, B. Waterhouse. 

P. S. I take it for granted that you are not going to quit 
Portsmouth to go up to Dartmouth College this season, for the 
business should be entered into directly, and unremittingly pursued, 
in order to effect anything capital. As I do not feel quite satisfied 
at having my hands tied from supplying those old established 
practitioners among you, I again repeat that I hope you will con- 
trive it so as to admit them and thereby extend the practice through 
Portsmouth, and its neighborhood, remembering always to date 
from the first of October, instead of the first of September. I have 
no doubt but the inoculation will do very well all through the 
winter. I mean, at least, to try it. You must be very attentive 
to collecting matter from the arm, for I cannot supply more than 
the first thread. Procure the "MERCURY" of 25th instant 
and republish the piece in it on the Cow-pox in your Newspapers." 

The above suggestion that Dr. Spalding should abandon 
the Dartmouth Medical School and throw his whole heart 
into vaccination, probably induced him to resign his lecture- 
ship as we have already seen. 

1 "Young Dr. Manning" was Dr. Samuel Manning (1780-1822), a 
graduate from Harvard and a practitioner at Cambridge. He ap- 
parently had obtained some infection from Edward Jenner. We shall 
hear of him again concerning vaccination, and his promise. 


It must have been discouraging to physicians of that era 
to find that in return for $150 or a Bond for a certain per- 
centage of their gross income from vaccination they were to 
receive nothing but a bit of linen thread alleged to have 
been dipped in pure vaccine infection. Nothing loath, how- 
ever, Dr. Spalding utilized his linen at once and in one d iy 
vaccinated thirty patients, and made public announcement 
of the fact. Having, however, trouble later on with some 
of his patients, he wrote a note of inquiry to Dr. Water- 
house, as we may imagine, and obtained the following 

"Cambridge, October 12, 1800. Dear Sir. I write imme- 
diately to inform you that you must take the matter from the in- 
oculated part in its limpid state, before purulency comes on (*) 
and never from the pustules which very rarely occur. I find great 
difficulty in procuring matter for my own inoculation. 

I have had applications from Portsmouth and from its neighbor- 
hood, and do most strenuously recommend that you offer the matter 
to Dr. Brackett, and Cutter. With their assistance you will make 
it more profitable to yourself as well as to me. I never was, you 
know, satisfied with our bargain, and I never shall be unless those 
old established practitioners are included. Dr. Jackson has not 
the matter. 1 He applied to me for it last week. He brought some, 
but it failed. In haste, I am, etc., B. Waterhouse. 

P. S. The febrile symptoms are the criterion." 

Some old newspaper cuttings inform me that Dr. Spald- 
ing shared his thread with the younger Dr. Cutter and that 
together they vaccinated many persons. I do not find in 
Dr. Spalding's papers any mention of the sum which he 

(*) About 9th or 10th day. 
1 As we have just read of Dr. Waterhouse crowing, aa it were, over 
the poor luck which Dr. James Jackson had been having with vaccine 
brought with him on his return from Europe, only a few days b< 
this is the place to annotate his career as a great physician. Born in 
1777 and living ninety years, Dr. Jackson studied medicine first with 
Dr. Oliver of Salem, then at Harvard and finally in Europe. He had 
what was then called a "Handsome" practice and assisted materially 
in founding the Massachusetts General Hospital, and in bringing fr >m 
Cambridge to Boston the Harvard Medical School in which he was 
Professor of Theory and Practice. His later years wen- darkened by 
the sudden and early death of a son who promised in medicine even 
greater things than his distinguished father had accomplished. Dr. 
Jackson's permanent medieoliterary fame is based on his famous 
"Letters to a Young Physician." 


paid under his Bond to Dr. Waterhouse, but that paper 
became worthless so soon as it was found that the virus 
could be passed from patient to patient, the favorite method 
being to accompany a vaccinated person to the house of a 
patient desiring the process, and taking the lymph from the 
part affected. This personal interview assured the new 
patient of the "neatness" of the person vaccinated. 

At this date, the active correspondence between Dr. 
Waterhouse and Dr. Spalding ceased, but in December, 
Dr. Spalding probably finding himself in difficulties asked 
once more for advice and received from Dr. Waterhouse 
the following note: 

"Cambridge, December 18, 1800. Dear Sir: Did you know what 
a multitude of letters I daily receive and how much my time is 
engrossed, you would not wonder that I am a forgetful corre- 
spondent. Had you acceded to my proposal at the beginning, viz., 
to have come to Cambridge as several others did, you could have 
seen the cases you wish, have known the disorder and the mode of 
conveying it. It would require many sheets of writing to desig- 
nate every criterion, and it is not in my power to answer with the 
requisite precision every correspondent. I shall, therefore, publish 
again on the subject. Hundreds have been and still are inocu- 
lating with spurious matter; that is, matter that has been good but 
degenerated, or not taken at the proper time. I have stopped in- 
oculating myself. I expect to receive fresh matter from England, 
every 4 weeks for a year to come, after next March. The vaccine 
matter appears to me to be nearly worn out in this country. I 
shall publish something in the course of a week or two. 

I am with esteem, Yours, etc., Benjamin Waterhouse. 

Can you send me Dr. Bartlett's description of the Kine Pox?" 

Dr. Bartlett just mentioned is probably the same physician 
who at this juncture wrote the following notes which show how 
Dr. Spalding was becoming well known from his campaign of 

"Stratham, October 9th, 1800. Sir: Having no personal ac- 
quaintance, yet seeing an advertisement notifying your inoculating 
with the varioloid vaccine, I write, wishing to know the Method 
you take to prevent persons from inoculating with Matter from 
your patients. From the little experience had in the business as 
yet I am much pleased with similarity of the Kine, to the Small 
Pox, three patients having passed through the former under my 
care with little disturbance except the arms, one having about two 
hundred pock, but no pustulation, the other a less number. If it 


will not trouble you too much, I wish you to write and inform me 
respecting the Matter. With Esteem, your Humble Servant, 
Josiah Bartlett." 

After using a scab, which Dr. Spalding had sent, Dr. 
Bartlett replies by the hand of Mr. George Wingate: 

"Doctor Bartlett's Compliments to Doctor Spalding, and would 
inform him that the Kine Pock scab produced a spurious tumor in 
one case and in others, where inserted, did not take or produce any 
effect. If you have some on a thread will you be kind enough to 
let me have some if you think it is not effete or if it is fresh? Pardon 
my frequent applications and the trouble I give you. The bearer, 
George Wingate, 1 Esquire will take the virus to me. Accept my 
Respects and good wishes, Josiah Bartlett." 

Soon afterward Dr. Spalding asked for Dr. Jenner's book 
on inoculation and was answered thus by Dr. Bartlett. 

"Stratham, October 30th, 1800. Dear Sir. Your inquiries con- 
cerning Jenner received. Doctor S. Ranney of Brentwood now has 
the Book. I will endeavor to get and send it to you next week. 
We could find only tins, (one) that we purchased in Boston when 
visiting Dr. Waterhouse. By a late letter from him I find that the 
failure within his practice is equal to ours. I frequently inoculate 
in both arms at the same time; in general, on the 5th day (tho' 
sometimes not till the 9th or 11th) after effectual inoculation, there 
is a circular ridge around the puncture, which is pretty certain to 
produce a good inflammation. We find, that producing a slight 
irritation by friction on the arm, before inoculation will tend to 
accelerate the absorbtion of the virus. I wish, Sir, when you 
write me you would inform me of any symptoms that occur out of 
the common fine in this disease, and we will do the same by you. 
I am Sir, with Esteem, Your Ob'd't Serv% Josiah Bartlett." 

A few days later Dr. Bartlett sent Jenner's pamphlet, and 
with it a letter showing how the "Vaccination Trust" was 

"Stratham, November 3d, 1800. Dear Sir. Jenner's publica- 
tion you herewith will receive. After you have sufficiently p srused 
it, please to return it. The Kine Pox is now inoculated by many 
Physicians within our neighborhood, although I believe the Matter 

1 George Wingate, the "Bearer" was a tiller of the soil it Stratham. 
He was a son of the famous Paine Wingate, Clergyman, Congressman, 
Senator and Judge, was graduated at Phillip's Exeter Academy and al 

Harvard whilst Dr. Spalding was studying there. Wingate spent 
rest of his life at Stratham as a Fanner and survived until 1S52. 


was procured in a clandestine manner, and it appears that Dr. 
Dwight 1 is endeavoring to push himself by inoculating all, in- 
discriminately. I believe that Doctor Manning has spread the 
Matter in this State, by way of Newbury. If he received the 
Matter from Dr. Waterhouse, as I heard that he did, and has 
spread it (as is reported of him) openly, Dr. Waterhouse ought to be 
informed of it. I wish you success, and am with Respect, etc., 
Josiah Bartlett." 

1 Dr. Josiah Dwight of Portsmouth (1775-1855) was born in Belcher- 
town, Connecticut, and after studying medicine with Dr. Babbitt of 
Stourbridge, Massachusetts, settled in Concord, New Hampshire. He 
happened to be in Portsmouth on a visit, saw there the ocean for the 
first time and took so strong a fancy to its beauties, that he settled in 
Porstmouth for life. His obstetrical Case Books are still extant and 
contain an account of more than 2000 births at which he officiated. 
Judging from the period which they covered, we might calculate that 
in his entire life he officiated at as many as Six Thousand births. These 
note books contain special mention of the Presentations, Convulsions 
and Instrumental Deliveries. Dr. Dwight lost his sight from Glaucoma 
in his seventieth year, but almost to his dying day was in high repute 
as a consultant. 


New Acquaintances and Old Friendships. Marriage. 

Vaccination quieted down in the Autumn of 1800, owing 
to lack of virus and the fear that the operation could not be 
successfully performed in winter. Before the renewal of the 
Campaign of 1801-2 a few letters received in the interval 
may find mention. 

The excellent clientage which Dr. Spalding soon obtained 
in Portsmouth is shown by this note from "Sir John" Went- 
worth, a Lawyer and Magnate living in the old Went worth 
House at Little Harbor. He was educated in England, then 
practiced in Portsmouth and finally returned to England 
where he died. The first Sir John Went worth, the Royal 
Governor of the Province of New Hampshire, had long since 
retired to Nova Scotia, whilst this "Sir John" was thus 
quoted, in writing, to tell the two men apart. 

"July 26, 1800. Dear Doctor. Mrs. Wentworth has by an 
accident broken the fore tooth that the travelling dentist dis- 
composed. She requests that you will at once bring a substitute, 
if you have any prepared, and has sent the chaise for you. 

I am sorry that I have a return of my rash, or it may be the 
effects of a cold. You can judge best when you come. I shall 
take the medicine again, tomorrow in case I do not see you today. 

Yours with Esteem, John Wentworth." 1 

One of Dr. Spalding's scholars and early medical friends 
was Abraham Hedge who settled in Chester, Vermont, from 
which place he wrote two pleasant letters which may be in- 
serted here. 

"Chester, October 25, 1800. Dear Sir: I received yours of a 
late date mentioning the manner in which I may get my pay, 
which will be very agreeable to me. I expect to go to the College 

1 This letter is endorsed "Sir John" in grandfather's handwriting. 
Mrs. Wentworth thus suffering with her teeth was a daughter of Colonel 
Michael Wentworth and the widow, Benning Wentworth (Martha 
Hilton), the heroine of Longfellow's poem. Dr. Spalding, as we shall 
later see, was named Executor of the estate of the Michael Wentworths, 



in a few days. If agreeable to Dr. Smith I will leave your Note 
with him. Your not mentioning anything about being at the 
College this Fall, leads me to suspect you have withdrawn from 
that lucrative employment. I am sorry, as I had anticipated the 
pleasure of seeing you there. Why are you so laconic in your 
scripts ! I fancy your time is wholly taken up with your profession 
or feats of gallantry. Your mind being fallow on these subjects 
you could only pop the question to me, whether I was yet married. 
But no, my good friend, I am simply cloistered in my room like a 
Phoenix in the dust three fourths of the time. 

The access that I have to a good library makes this an agreeable 
retreat. My professional business is small, tho' flattering, as it 
has been very healthy ever since I came here, and as I have been 
entrusted with some operations in surgery which I should never 
have had so near Dr. Smith, as Woodstock was, I am infested with 
niggardly quacks, who never fail to exert their abilities in defaming 
me, but some important victories have lessened their influence. 

In your mention of the kine pox I perceived some of the same 
spirit in some of your medical brethren. But, by the by, what is 
the matter I can't obtain some of the vaccine matter? Are you 
under such restrictions as to be unable to help me to it! ! Or, will 
not Dr. Waterhouse grant me help to it? For love, I think it 
likely, he has none for me, knowing nothing more about me, than 
that I dunned him pretty sharp for your money. Do inform me 
how I can obtain it, as it might now be of great service to me, and 
could not injure him or you, being at such a distance. It will soon 
doubtless become general, when it can be no object. Do write, 
and if in your power send me some of the matter. It may be done 
up in a bladder, and conveyed in a letter if you see fit. Let me 
know how you succeed in this as well as your other business ; whether 
Cupid troubles you any; and what is the state of politics. By 
the way, our Assembly are now sitting, who are Federal, and will 
choose such Electors as will vote for Adams, President and Pinkney, 
Vice. This may be depended on. . . . You say a correspondence 
would be agreeable. Well then let me have a letter every week 
or at least as often as can be of advantage to you in writing or 
me in reading. To relate every Case in our practice might be of 
mutual sennce. But, till I receive another from you, shall remain 
your friend and Humble Serv't, Abraham Hedge. 

N. B. There is a post office in this town, so you may be at no 
trouble but to lodge your letter in your office, as I will do here." 

To this the recipient must have replied at once, for in the 
following month he received a second letter from Dr. Hedge, 
written much like the other without punctuation and largely 
void of capitals. 


"Chester, November 18, 1800. My good friend: Yours of the 
10th this day received and likewise a blank containing matter for 
inoculation. Your description of the disease is of more consequence 
to me than the matter as I have already obtained it from two 
different quarters, but the disease was so light in those I inoculated 
as gave me doubts whether it was the genuine cow pox. However, 
it answers your description in two cases out of about a dozen in- 
oculated. I find much difficulty in making it take, but more in 
convincing people of its being a sufficient barrier to the small pox. 
I have an Article in the warrant for town meeting to see if the town 
will grant me permission to try experiments for their further con- 
viction, by inoculating with the small pox, some who have had or 
shall have the cow pox. For, unless I can use more effectual means 
of convincing them, than by reading experiments performed in 
England, or even in Boston, I shall not inoculate 20 in this town. 1 
The price you or your friends set on the infection sent me would 
have been gladly paid, had not I already received a supply which, 
that you may not think I act the rogue, I will inform you where I 
got it. While I was at Dartmouth College, from which I have 
just returned, there came a Doctor More, from Dummerstown, 
there, with the infection from whom Dr. Smith obtained it, 
and I from Dr. Smith. When I returned I found some more 

infection left with Mr. Hubbard by my friend, Captain of 


Dr. Smith had just obtained a subject for dissection, and as I 
had no urgent business here, I tarried there a few days. 2 His 
lecture rooms were much crowded, he having more, he told me, 
than ever attended before. Some who had attended your lectures, 
said that Chemistry dwindled in your absence, which I verily 
believe. Tho' I consider Doctor Smith as a great and universal 
genius, and possessed of more virtues than generally fall to the lot 
of one man, yet I think him wanting in accuracy as a public in- 

I left your note with him, after making some small endorse- 
ments on the back, for sums paid by Danforth's note. 3 I also left 

1 Medical historians of today might give time to discovering if 
anything in favor of "vaccination-tests" was accomplished in the 
Town Meetings of 1800-1805 as surest ed in Dr. Hedge's Inter. 

■ The glimpse of a subject at Dartmouth and Dr. Eedge riding so far 
to dissect a "part" throws light OO early medical history. 

3 "Danforth's note" was given to pay for a Course of Chemical 
Lectures, by Dr. Isaac Danforth (1763-1851) who with Dr. Goodhue, 
the instructor of Dr. Nathan Smith, attended lectures al Dartmouth 
in order to obtain a degree in medicine, without which they had both 
been practicing medicine. Dr. Danforth was graduated M.B. in 1S00, 
and practiced many years at Barnard, Vermont. 


with him Chisholm's "Yellow Fever" 1 and some Dissertations, all 
of which I suppose you have minutes of. I am trying the effects 
of Foxglove in the Phthisis Pulmonalis, 2 so highly recommended, 
and find it to have the effect in lessening the frequency of the 
pulse, but have no hopes of curing the complaint. I have reduced 
the patient's pulse from 130 to 40 in a minute, and if a cure is ob- 
tained, you shall have the particulars . . . from, Your very 
Humble Servant, Abraham Hedge. 

Another letter arriving at this time at Portsmouth shows 
great eagerness to understand vaccination and to be early 
in the field. Dr. Samuel Gerrish, the writer (1773/1809), 
was graduated at Dartmouth in 1793 and was a member of 
the State Medical Society, though rarely attending the 

"Sanborntown, New Hampshire, November 12, 1800. Sir. 
Since I saw you I have received a letter from the quarter I men- 
tioned, and the matter was effectual in the first instance, but on a 
second and third trial failed, and none was taken from the boy 
first inoculated. The Doctor is not certain of procuring the matter 
until he will go to Boston about a month or six weeks hence. It 
has become the topic and rage in this quarter, and I think it prob- 
able that I may inoculate a larger number, and make more, even 
under Doctor Waterhouse's restrictions, than to omit till Spring. 
That only, induces me to submit to his restrictions. I think that 
his method of restricting New Hampshire will answer his expec- 
tations but a short time. I will thank you to supply me with the 
matter as soon as you can, consistently, which I suppose may be 
in a few days, and send it wrapt securely in three or four separate 
papers taken from different patients and enclosed in a letter to 
Concord Post Office, which may be brought directly to me by a 
regular post to Sandborntown in ten or twelve days, I hope from 
this time. I will also thank you to write the incumbrances under 
which I take it, and I will be accountable. 

I shall probably see you in two or three months. If you please, 
write a line by the Post, who will come to Concord next week, how 
many days before I can probably have it, and with the matter, favor 

1 Dr. Collin Chisholm's "Essay on Malignant and Pestilential 
Fever appearing in Guinea in 1793-4," and based on his experience in 
British Guiana, was published in 1795 and was much in vogue at that 
time, as the latest thing out. After leaving South America, Dr. Chris- 
holm practiced very successfully in Bristol, England, and then retired 
to London where he died in 1825. 

2 Judging from the rumor in 1801 that Dr. Hedge was dying from 
Pulmonary Hemorrhage, it would seem as if he were here his own 
patient and experimenting with Foxglove. 


me with what directions you may think necessary from your own ex- 
perience. If you cannot supply me in 12 to 15 days, be so good as 
to write, that I may procure it from some other quarter. Pudding 
Time I fear will be short. 1 Your Servant, Samuel Gerrish." 

Bridgehampton, on Long Island, was far from Portsmouth, 
yet Dr. Spalding's paper on vaccination must have caught 
the eye of Dr. Samuel Haines Rose of that village, for at 
this time he wrote concerning the new cure for small pox. 

"Bridgehampton, New York, 17th November, 1800. Doctor 
Spalding, Sir: Although personally a stranger to you, I have taken 
the liberty to address you at this time, having lately heard that 
you are inoculating with the Cow or Kine Pox, which, ever since I 
first heard of its discovery in London, and of its security against 
the infection of the Small Pox, I have been anxious to have it in- 
troduced in this Country, more especially in this place, where a 
very large proportion of the inhabitants have never had the Small 
Pox. As I wish to do all which lies in my power to eradicate that 
dreadful disorder, the Small Pox, and being pleased with promoting 
new and useful discoveries, my request to you, Sir, is that you 
would forward me by the Mail, (as soon as convenience will per- 
mit) some of the Contagion of the Kine Pox, either in Matter or 
whatever form you preserve it, and inform me by Letter with 
your mode of inoculating with it, and management through the 
complaint, whether it is necessary to give any medicine, or confine 
them to any particular diet, and how long after the inoculation 
before the Symptoms or Eruption appear, or any other items you 
may think proper or necessary to communicate — for all which 
trouble, Sir, and for your obligedness if you will forward your Bill 
to me, I wall make you ample satisfaction by transmitting you the 
Balance by the Mail, and you will forever merit the esteem and 
lay under the most lasting obligations, Sir, Your Obliged Friend 
and Humble Servant, Samuel H. Rose, Physician. 

If there should be danger of Frost injuring it, please to secure it 
against it. Excuse haste, the Mail is waiting. S. H. Rose. 

P. S. Please to direct your letter, etc., to Samuel H. Rose, 
Postmaster, as my letters are Frank'd. S. H. R." 

In leaving Dr. Rose, I regret to say that I find no reply to 
his interesting requests. 2 

1 "Pudding Time" probably means "The Soft TSung" for which Dr. 
Waterhouse was looking in making money from his District-echeme. 

2 Dr. Rose (1761-1832) was educated in New Jersey, served as 
Surgeon's Mate in the Revolutionary Army, then returned to Bridge- 
hampton, his native place and practiced there the rest of his life, acting 
also as Postmaster and Village Storekeeper. 


As November had now arrived and Dr. Spalding had 
heard nothing concerning payment for his Apparatus at 
Hanover, he asked his Brother, Silas, to make a personal 
inquiry. The letter which Silas wrote on his return from 
Hanover is difficult to comprehend owing to poor punctua- 
tion, but this much can be made of it. 

"Cornish, November 11, 1800. Dear Brother: I went to Han- 
over as you requested, but did not make out according as you 
wrote to have me, for there was not any money in the Treasury, 
and I could not get any, but Esquire Woodward was not at home. 
He was gone to Court at Chelsea, and I could not stay on un- 
certainties till he should come home, for they could not tell when it 
would be. He had collected thirty or forty dollars on your notes, 
and I got Dr. Smith to see Esquire Woodward and get that, and 
send it by Esquire Gilbert to you. Dr. Smith told me it was un- 
certain when you could get the money from the College, except it 
was in the Treasurer's hand, and then the Trustees has purposed 
for him to give you a note for the same. Likewise, the Doctor has 
taken up notes against you to the amount of fifty dollars, as he 
told me; the one you have of Hedge, and the other he had of Dr. 
Adams from Walpole or Keene, I do not remember which he told 
me. The Doctor wishes to see you to settle, for he does not know 
what is due for your things which I got fetched up for you last 
winter, and cannot settle for them until a bill is sent up, and, he 
had no money till he had left off lecturing. There was about forty 
attended, which he calculates will afford six hundred dollars profit. 
He wants you there, for there is nobody taking your part, and I asked 
whether if you had a mind to come next Fall, whether he would be 
fond of it. He told me, yes, he should. Your parents think if you 
can do without the money, you had better let it be, and come and 
lecture next Fall, and settle your business yourself. For, you can do 
it better than others for you. All well at Cornish with us and the 
rest of your friends. I shall write again by Ith Chase when he goes 
to Court, concerning other matters. Silas Spalding." 

This letter emphasizes the poverty of the College, whilst 
the mention of Forty Students has its historical value. 

Ithamar Chase, brother of the Bishop, was a school mate 
of Dr. Spaldings; together they founded a Town Libary in 
Cornish. As Mr. Chase would soon be attending the 
General Court, he would be glad to carry a letter to his friend 
in Portsmouth, as we have seen. 

Soon afterward, Dr. Noah Spalding wrote from Hanover 
as follows. Noah Spalding (1772-1836) was not related 
to Lyman, but liked him so much as to name a son for him. 


Noah was graduated at the Dartmouth School in 1800, 
practiced in several places in the East and after moving 
West, died at Delaware, Ohio. 

"Hanover, November 20, 1800. Sir. I am happy to learn that 
your success in your profession is increasing, and that you are be- 
ginning to reap the fruit of industry and perseverance. I have not 
been a little disappointed that you did not come to give Lectures 
this term, for although the business has not yet met with great 
encouragement, it is not doubtful that perseverance would have 
made it more lucrative, and I am supported in this opinion by 
many good men in this place, but, as business increases with you, 
it might not be an object worthy your attention. You may, per- 
haps, have expected to see me or to hear from me in some other 
quarter, but I was obliged to spend so much time in the study of 
Latin and Natural Philosophy that I had not leisure to read Rush's 
works, and Gregory's "Oeconomy" 1 without staying this term. — 
Medical Lectures will close for this term in less than two weeks, 
when it will be necessary for me to shift for myself. I have had 
Newbury in contemplation, but find that Dr. Kinsman 2 is not 
likely to leave the place, which will put a stop to my intentions. 
From your account of Castine, I still entertain a favorable opinion 
of it, but as I cannot make a tour that way sooner than 3 or 4 weeks 
from this time, I should be obliged to you to inform me whether 
you know of any material change in the State of affairs relative to 
physicians which might render it improper 3 to attend further to 
that matter. 

You were pleased in your last, to tax me with the neglect of writ- 
ing respecting your Laboratory. The truth is, I could write no 
good, and therefore chose to write nothing, for Day 4 and March 5 

1 Gregory's "Oeconomy," a famous test book in its day, was written 
by George Gregory (1754-1808), Preacher at the Foundling Hospital in 
London and Rector of the Parish of West Ham. His celebrated work, 
"The Oeconomy of Nature Explained" appeared in 1796, and was soon 
widely adopted for College instruction. 

2 Dr. Kinsman of Newbury was probably the same physician who 
afterwards practiced in Portland, Maine, and died there in 1S08. 

3 "Improper" referring to Castine simply means that it was held 
to be so in those days, to go to a town where there was already at least 
one physician. 

4 Dr. Sylvester Day, the other medical student, practiced in Middle- 
bury, Vermont after obtaining his M.B. in 1S01, then was appointed 
Surgeon's Mate in the United States Army in 1S07, served meritoriously 
in the War of 1812 and died as Army Surgeon in 1851. 

6 John March (1774-1834), the student who helped to break North's 
apparatus, was graduated A.B. and M.D. at Dartmouth in 1797 and 
1801 and practiced at Londonderry, New Hampshire, and in Eden, 
New York. 


had burst the foot piece of North's apparatus 1 into a thousand 
pieces by a mismanagement of the gas. I have nothing new. If 
I had, you would be presented with it. 
I am, Sir, Respectfully yours, N. Spalding. 

We have now to return to two valuable letters from Dr. 
Nathan Noj^es. The first one begun in September did not 
arrive until November 10th. Though rather long, I give it 
as it stands: 

" Newburyport, September 22, 1800. "See the graves open!" 
and shall not my mouth open too? It shall, for though my lips 
have been as it were, sealed, my heart has been like the belly of 
Elihu, like bottles of new wine, ready to burst for want of com- 
munication, (Job xxxii-19) — to burst with vexation, at the influ- 
ence which grey hairs bestow upon medical ignorance. But the 
mystery to you now is, wherefore my lips have been so long sealed. 
Have I been so much occupied with business that I have not found 
time for writing? No. Have I been insensible to the bonds of 
friendship and forgetful of the duties of a correspondent? No. 
The reason is merely this : last Fall we agreed not to incur the ex- 
pense of communication by mail and when I have had oppor- 
tunities for private conveyance, fortune has rendered it absolutely 
impossible for me to write. At last, taught by experience, I have 
determined to write beforehand, and preserve the letter till an 
opportunity for sending it should present. 

Since writing you before, I have been at Hanover, just cast my 
eye upon the Indian Charity School, and spent four or five hours 
on the Plain. I could hardly command my feelings to tarry longer, 
for things seemed strangely altered since we walked its streets 
together. The scholars were gone, every one his way. The in- 
habitants were many of them sick. The Ditties 2 were no where to 
be found. Nabby Smith was just married, Nancy Fuller 3 was 
published to Davis: S. B. 4 looked as if she had just arisen from a 
sick bed; H. B. looked as though she might be recollecting the 
commencement of the Christian Era to settle the dispute about 

1 Dr. Elisha North (1771-1843), the inventor of the broken ap- 
paratus was a physician and maker of Chemical Apparatus, practicing 
at Goshen, and later at New London, Connecticut, where in 1817 he 
established one of the earliest Eye and Ear Institutions in America. 
He also wrote copiously on medical topics. 

2 The word "Ditties" therein mentioned means the young ladies of 

3 Miss Fuller was a daughter of Caleb, prominent in the Church at 

4 S. B. and H. B. were of the Brewster family, whilst Nabby Smith 
I have not discovered as yet. 


the close of the Century. Wealthy Brigham, and others all gone! 
But DEGENERACY seemed written in the most striking char 
on the Medical School, though the Law Shop was entirely closed. 
Bartlett 1 had obtained a degree! and Torrey 2 was called the most 
promising man in the School! ! ! Of what was it then composed? ? ? 
Doctor Smith was as usual very good and very busy. The Tru- 
refuse to give him support, and he is obliged to seek it where it is 
to be found. He is one of the Best Men in the world, and ought 
to meet success on every hand, but, Alas! he is too venturesome 
(in the language of Old Women). While he laughs at the people of 
New Hampshire for their spirit of enterprise, he is leading in the 
van! But, perhaps I am saying these things at the wrong time, 
for he has lately refused to perform the operation of lithotomy, on 
account of the unpromising condition of the patient. 

I believe that I mentioned to you some time since a species of 
fever which has been prevalent in the lower part of this town, and 
that its appearances, though pretty uniform, differed a little from 
those of any fever I had ever before seen. I have since had an op- 
portunity of learning its name to my cost, or at least to my vexa- 
tion. Accident, as it were, threw into my hands every case of this 
kind that happened in the first month or two, except in two families; 
in those, two persons died, and four others were sick five or six 
weeks apiece. My patients all recovered under the treatment 
already mentioned, and all, except one BEGAN to recover some 
time in the first week. This success at length recommended me to 
a man who has always employed, and whose wife was still much 
attached to, Dr. M. S., 3 Member of the Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, etc., etc., etc. The Patient grew very sick, and on the 
seventh day was taken with copious sweat and then very faint. 
The wife was alarmed, sent for me, and thought she must see her 
Old Doctor. I pronounced the patient better but consented to 
have advice. 

The Old Doctor came, gravely and solemnly advanced to feel 
the pulse, desired me to pull aside the window curtains, and staring 

1 Dr. Bartlett, who conies in for a little sneer, was Joshua, Ioiir un- 
known to the Dartmouth Catalogers, but. who is now known to be 
Dr. Joshua Bartlett who practiced at Unity, New Hampshire, and 
obtained from Dartmouth University in 1818, at the time of the cele- 
brated Quarrel between the Trustees and the State, the degree of 
Doctor of Medicine. 

2 Dr. Torrey was Augustus who practiced many years in Chelsea, 
Vermont, and died in 1858. 

3 Dr. Moses Sweat, the "Old Doctor" had an honorary degree from 
Harvard in 1790. He was famous for "A Medical Journey" on horse- 
back as far south as Charleston, South Carolina, in search of facts, 
drugs and experience in medicine, which he published not long after 
his return. It is amusing to hear him called "old" at 6G. 


the patient in the face assured him that he had the Old Fashioned 
Fall Fever, which could not begin to abate in less than seventeen 
days. The patient frightened almost into a syncope sighed out, 
"I am exhausted." You will probably be at a loss to account for 
the terror of the patient, but if you knew as well as he what havoc 
this same Fall Fever has made here, you could no longer be at a 
loss. Dr. S. thinks it a fever peculiar to this town and neighbor- 
hood. Now, why had I not thought to call this epidemic of JUNE, 
a FALL Fever? ! It would have been a lucky hit! But my evil 
genius would have it otherwise, and the good lady determined that 
I knew nothing of the disease. It was therefore necessary, that the 
Old Doctor should attend with me. The next day not happening 
to meet with him, I left a note. He now had an opportunity of 
reading some circumstances that he would not deign to hear the 
day before. Then, it burst in upon him, like a new day, that the 
fever has already past its Crisis! And, therefore ought to be 
treated with rhubarb and columbo to evacuate and correct the 
putrid bile. The cathartic I deferred for a day or two, but what 
was my surprise when within twelve hours this father of medicine 
insisted upon evacuating biliary calculi from a patient who never 
had had one symptom of jaundice, who was now reduced with 
fever, to a state of almost continued faintness. In vain was he 
told that the patient had never borne more than half so violent a 
cathartic. He could assure me that it was absolutely necessary, 
and he had given the same dose an hundred times. Finding it a 
hopeless task to attempt convincing a man whose ideas were bar- 
ricaded by grey hairs, and whose opinions were built upon the pure 
basis of his own experience, I had nothing else to do but to agree 
in dividing and assessing the property of our patient, or ask my 
own dismission. But, Alas! how imperfect is even that knowledge 
which is founded on experience! ! ! 

This same OLD Doctor has I believe had but three patients with 
this fever since; one of them is dead, another is hourly expected to 
die, and the other has been but lately attacked. 

Toward the beginning of this tedious story I mentioned a family 
in which the fever ran out to a prodigious length; in the fatal case 
many weeks. Toward the close of the business, I was called in 
and explained to their physician my manner of treating the disease 
with Calomel. Whether he has designed to follow my advice or 
not I can not say. But if not, he must have discovered some 
remedy as good for he has since met with the very best success. 

(After going at this point into very minute detail of all 
the symptoms which he had seen in all his cases and which 
would be tedious to note at this point in full, Dr. Noyes 
continues his letter.) 


I was called in a while ago to a boy who had been affected a few 
hours with most of the symptoms, but especially great action of 
the carotids, and stupor. The stupor was almost equal to that of 
an apoplexy. I gave him calomel and aloes. The next day I found 
him in a chair. I mention therefore the use of calomel in the first 
stage, and could state some other things to the same purpose. If 
the disease be suffered to run through the first week without in- 
terruption, it brings on diarrhoea. If the physician should still 
fear to turn the course of the disease, it continues without much 
abatement with pyrexia, and then leaves the patient either in the 
arms of death, or with a slight yellowness of the face to a long 
train of nervous complaints, the pyrexia gradually subsiding for 4 
or 5 weeks more." 

And with these words and no salutation, the long letter ends. 

The second letter from Dr. Noyes is in answer to one 
handed to him by Rev. Joseph Willard, who was Rector of 
St. John's, at Portsmouth, a graduate from Harvard, and 
later on officiating in Newark, New Jersey, where he died. 

Undated but post marked October 14. 

Friend Spalding: Three days ago I had the pleasure of receiving 
a letter by the Rev. Mr. Willard, (or rather by a BOY) with word 
that Mr. Willard had gone out of town. Now this has been the 
case with all your "friends" whom you have sent except one — 
and when she came I was obliged to go immediately out of town. 
As for my friends who have gone your way, they have all given me 
the slip. But I have written a letter almost as large in bulk as 
the whole that you have sent since my last. It is too heavy in 
matter and too light in spirit to go by mail. 

You mentioned in your last, having begun to inoculate with 
Cow Pox. If you have now or shall soon have infection to spare, 
and will venture it with me, you may oblige your humble servant 
by sending it by the stage driver. If you send the infection, I 
would thank you to communicate what you know of the manage- 
ment of the disease; whether you inoculate your patients at their 
homes; what restrictions you lay them under; what are your fees, 
etc. for though I have seen much written on the subject, I have 
not yet obtained satisfactory information on these points. 

While you are increasing (in this way) the catalogue of diseas ■-. I 
am endeavoring to add to the long list of the Materia 
They seem indeed, already as much overgrown as Sauvage's "list 
of Human Infirmities" 1 but many of their articles deserve as little 

1 Francois Sauvage (1706-1787) was a physician in B >r 1 mix, 
France, and a monster of erudition, writing hundreds of pamphlets 

Treatises. His first essay was written at the age of 20 on this odd 
topic "Love; Can it be cured by medicines made from Plant-'.'" 


attention. LETTUCE has been mentioned by writers as a nar- 
cotic, but in so slight a manner that I was entirely ignorant of it, 
when first led to make experiments on the milk that exudes from 
the stalk and leaves, when cut. This milk, perfectly dried and 
swallowed in quantity of f of a grain when going to bed acted 
pretty powerfully as a hypnotic. Two grains, inspissated, perhaps 
equal to 1 grain, or 1^ grains dried, taken at 11 a.m., first raised the 
pulse, and then depressed it, produced great coldness of the body, 
removed headache, then brought on vertigo succeeded by a sense 
of fulness and heavy dull pain in the head. All the experiments 
that I have yet made with it, have been upon myself, and with me, 
who am a dyspeptic, it has always greatly increased hunger and 
considerably the power of digestion. It has seemed to increase 
rather than diminish the excretions; in a word to produce in the 
alimentary canal, effects nearly the reverse of those of opium. 
The lettuce-juice milk is easily and abundantly procured by cut- 
ting the stem of garden lettuce any time after its running up to 

With much respect, I am sincerely yours, N. Noyes. 

P. S. I think there is in one of your Repositories an account of 
Fowler's method of preparing and using his "Mineral Solution" 1 
for periodical headaches and agues. If you can turn readily to 
the place I wish you would write me a short abstract. Yours N. N." 

This letter from Dr. Noyes was followed by a note en- 
closing a very long document, parts of which are worth 
printing. The note says: 

"I have this moment an opportunity of sending your book and 
an old letter. Baynton's Method of treating ulcers 2 I have tried, 
but without success. N. N." 

The "old letter" says: 

"Newburyport, November 21st, 1800. "May the name of 
Noyes and Lettuce be glad tidings to the sick man's ear." Even 
so let him be! For, notwithstanding your ridicule, Sir, the Lettuce 

1 "Fowler's Solution" of arseniate of potash was invented by Richard 
Fowler (1765-1863) who, though delicate as a child, lived to a good old 
age. He was graduated at Edinburgh, was a Licentiate of the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons of London, and practiced at Salisbury, 
England. He wrote many medical papers and was interested in Deaf 
Mutes, his "Physiology of Thought in Deaf Mutes" being a curious 
work. His "Solution" is as useful today as it was a century ago. 

2 Thomas Baynton (1769-1829), a practitioner of medicine in Bristol, 
England, wrote, in 1799, a very famous treatise: "A New Method of 
Treating old ulcers of the Leg," which had great success and made a 
sensation in surgical circles, like any fashionable XX Century remedy. 


Gum deigns not to hide or bow her head or even becloud it with a 
blush. It cannot, indeed, pretend to an equality with Lockyer's 
pill, 1 or the Patent Tractor, but promises nevertheless to be a 
pretty useful remedy, and in many cases, claims a preference to 
opium. This preference is grounded chiefly on its different effect 
on the alimentary canal and on Animal Heat. The refrigerant 
effects of l| grains were so considerable in my own case as to 
oblige me to retreat to a blazing chimney in the midst of one of the 
hottest days in July. But that was considerably too large a dose 
and more than has been ventured on since. In one other case in 
which the medicine was used nearly as liberally, similar effects were 
produced. This was a case of extreme debility following a Men- 
orrhagia, attended with watchfulness, violent pain in the side, 
pain, and bearing down in the pelvis. Opium was inadmissable, 
both on account of costiveness, and in its having already, when 
used, left the patient disposed to syncope, winch had sometimes 
continued with very short intervals for several hours. The Lettuce 
Gum was administered at night. The next morning I found that 
the patient had slept some, was free from morbid heat and pain, 
except a little in her head. The Lettuce was continued two or 
three nights longer when she was too well to need a physician, 
though she had before been sinking under the use of the most 
powerful tonics, and had sunk very fast when cathartics or saline 
refrigerants had been used. But what sets off the Lettuce here in 
a still more favorable point of view is, that the disease lasted but a 
fortnight whereas an exactly similar one had a few months before 
withstood, nearly five weeks, the powers of cinchona, bitters, 
chalybeates, myrrh, guaicum, etc." 

(Dr. Noyes goes on from this point to note in tiresome 
detail (easily omissible) other instances in which lettuce had 
proved its value and from these he proceeds to a diffuse 
account of headache cured by arsenic in mint water, after 
cinchona and iron had failed. 

Farther along, after profuse details concerning asthma 
and cough treated successfully with lettuce, he quaintly 
asks: "Now, why did the period of coughing in the first 
case follow the Lunar Day and in the other, the Solar Day! 

1 Dr. Noyes' fling at Lockyer's Pill (1600-1672) suggests that Dr. 
Spalding was still using that ancient remedy, of which we find mention 
on Lockyer's monument in St. Saviour's, Southwork, London: 

"His Virtues and his Pills are so well known 
That Envy can't confine them under Stone; 
But they'll Survive his Dust and not expire, 
Till all things else in th' Universal Fire.'! 


Was it because of the latter case being related in any way 
to the Remittent Fever of which there have been several 
instances in this neighborhood?" 

He also says, "The expectorated matter yielded to the 
Darwinian Tests, 1 appearances of pus.") 

At this point in his exceedingly long letter, Dr. Noyes 
laid it aside, and taking it up again two months later, he 

"December 15. Your favor came soon to hand, but the books 
which you have mentioned have not yet arrived. Mr. Elliott 2 
has however promised to bring them. He called the 5th day after 
inoculation when there were considerable tumor and redness about 
the wound and soreness in the axilla. He has not called since. 

With regard to your resignation from Dartmouth, I do not know 
that I heard it mentioned by any of the Authority, but Dr. Smith, 
and he mentioned it only at the moment of our parting. The chief 
of what I have heard has come from the students. Some of them 
appear to have been desirous of having our friend Adams for a 
Lecturer. They thought that he would treat them with more 
familiarity, would be more original and eloquent in his lectures, 
now that he had been armed with a diploma, seal and ribbon. I 
believe, Sir, (and you seem to have required of me to speak plainly) 
that you did not pay quite enough attention to the LANGUAGE 
of your lectures, for that was almost the only thing about them of 
which the scholars in general were capable of judging. I believe, 
too, that there were considerable exertions made by several persons 
for a change and that at the moment most favorable to their wishes, 
you brought forward your motion for curtailing the period of your 
lectures. Now, Sir, I must observe to you, as I have done to Dr. 
Smith, and to several of the scholars, that I consider your resigna- 
tion at this time as an unfortunate thing for the College. Nor 
can I yet see, that it will be of any advantage to yourself. I fear, 
as well as 3 r ou, that the Medical Institution has been so nipt in the 
bud, that it will never unfold those fair flowers which we had hoped 
would spread their fragrance far. Where now is our Dartmouth 
Medical School! I fear that your friend Mitchill's SEPTON has 

1 The "Darwinian Tests" may have been introduced by Erasmus 
Darwin (1738-1802) or Robert (1756-1848). Erasmus practiced in 
Sam Johnson's town of Litchfield, was a huge, unwieldy personage but 
a practitioner of great mental acumen. Robert obtained a large 
practice in London. He weighed 340 pounds, wore knee breeches and 
gaiters to the last, had great success in medicine but hated to operate 
and never stopped a woman when she began to cry. 

2 Mr. Elliott was probably Rev. John Elliott of Boston. 


struck it with a mildew, a necrosis, a yellow fever, or some other 
of its magic ills. 

In a week or fortnight I expect to go to the Westward with a 
sleigh. If you have any Commissions for me I shall discharge them 
with pleasure." 

Under this Dr. Noyes, upon his return writes with differ- 
ent pen and ink: 

"The journey is performed." 
On another line he dates: 

"Tuesday, February 10, 1801. Mr. Prescott 1 has this moment 
called for your books. I find this old letter on hand, but have not 
time to add more than my acknowledgements for the loan of your 
book and that I remain, Your friend, N. Noyes." 

Many of the letters of this Collection treat of Masonic 
affairs, but as I plan in this Life to depict only the medical 
career of Dr. Spalding, they must be omitted. It may be 
said, however, that Dr. Spalding was for several years 
Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire, 
and that owing to this office he enjoyed a very wide ac- 
quaintance throughout the State. 

I find in this connection that associated with the Rev. 
George Richards, 2 a Universalist preacher in Portsmouth, he 
contributed to the First American Edition of Preston's 
"Illustrations of Masonry" (1770), "A History of Masomy 
in New Hampshire" which remains permanently valuable 
with its lists of historical names of Portsmouth citizens and 
Masonic officials. He also laid, with Masonic Rites, the 
Corner stone of St. John's in Portsmouth, June 24, 1807, 

1 Mr. Prescott was George Washington Prescott (1776-1817), who 
was graduated at Dartmouth in 1795, obtained a commission in the 
Army, was repeatedly Judge Advocate at Courts Martial at the 
Forts in Portsmouth Harbor, and later District Attorney for New 

2 Rev. George Richards, who officiated at the wedding of Dr. Spald- 
ing, here deserves annotation. I find him after the Revolution, a 
teacher in Boston, and occasionally preaching. He was pastor of the 
Universalist Church in Portsmouth from 1793 to 1809, and then re- 
moved to Philadelphia where he died about 1814. He was a profuse 
Masonic writer, with Odes, Poems and Orations, and was very patriotic, 
delivering an Oration on Washington anil transl'm-minn the Declaration 
of Independence into a Poem which he published at Faust's Statue, 
45 Newbury (now Washington) Street, Boston, in 1793. 


placing beneath it a box with gold, silver and copper 
coins. 1 

When Dr. Spalding heard from his friend Noyes that the 
Dartmouth Medical School was languishing, he meditated 
another course of lectures at Hanover and wrote concerning 
the subject to his brother, Silas, from whom he had this 

"Cornish, January 7, 1801. Dear Brother: I will inform you 
that I have seen Dr. Smith and asked him some questions about 
the business that you wrote, and he said that for his part he should 
be fond of having you come and lecture next Fall. Then I asked 
him how long you would be obliged to stay if I should take an op- 
portunity to write to you concerning the business that he and I 
had talked of. He thought ten weeks, but could not tell; that was 
not for him to say, but the Dr. was in haste and did not get off of 
his horse, and I did not ask him so many questions about it as I 
should have done if I had time. But he told me to write for a Bill 
of those things that you bought, and he would make out to pay 
for them. I wish you would write the longest time that you will 
stay, and I will state to the Doctor whether his proposals will do 
with yours. 

Mr. Chase 2 has brought forth a demand against you for ten 
dollars borrowed money and about eight dollars out of the store, 
and wished I would write to you about the matter and what you 
would do about it, for he wants it. Likewise I write to know how 
or whether you have laid out any way for to settle it, and you must 
write back by the bearer hereof, because Mr. Chase said he must 
have it. We received a fine present from you by Captain Chase, 3 
and a letter which pleased your parents. The shoes please the boy 
greatly. 4 If you have any old stockings that you can't wear I 
should be glad that you would let me have them to cut for the boy, 
and I will allow you for them, when I see you. Don't send them to 
injure yourself about the matter. If you can get a lobster and 
send up, I should be glad, for it would be quite a sight to some. I 

1 Sometime before this event Dr. Noyes of Newburyport had written: 
"The coins which you wrote for cannot be procured here in any 

quantity, nor can a Gold Medal of Washington. A Silver one has been 
kindly offered, and a dozen of Tin (Gratis) which may be enclosed in 
wax to prevent oxidation. In such a manner they were placed under 
St. Paul's Church here." 

2 Mr. Chase kept shop in Cornish and was one of the many Chases 
in that town. 

3 Captain Chase, probably Ithamar, was a member of the State 

4 The Boy was Sanford Spalding, at that time almost a year old. 


have sent by Mr. Kimball 1 twenty dollars in money for fear that 
you can't get in your money and pay your bills for Board as fast as 
your bills arise, and so you may pay me when you collect yours at 
Hanover. If you have any old hat that you don't wear, you may 
send it up for it will do me some sendee for every day. My parents 
have sent two cheeses as a present to you and my wife 2 can't 
send any on account of being carried but she wishes you well. 

Silas Spaldixg. 
N. B. They do say that there is a man by the name of L. 
Spalding that is a going to be married, to, we do not know who. 
Therefore I wish you to write the name and whether that you are 
going to keep house by yourself, because that my wife will, if she 
can, send you some butter, for Mr. Kimball is going down again. 
See Mr. Kimball and come up with him if you can make it con- 
venient to have him carry you back again. Adieu." 

The gossip in the end of the letter may be deciphered in 
this way: 

When Dr. Spalding reached Portsmouth in 1799, he made 
the acquaintance of Captain Peter Coues, to whose daughter, 
Elizabeth, born December 16, 1779, he was at this time en- 
gaged. Peter Coues, the FIRST of that name, so far as 
known, was born in St. Peter's Parish in the Isle of Jersey 
about 1705, and was in all probability, originally known as 
Pierre Le Caux. He emigrated to America and we find that 
on November 4, 1735, he married at Portsmouth, Miss Mary 
Long of Plymouth, a descendant of the Drakes. Peter Coues 
was a Merchant Mariner out of the Port of Portsmouth the 
rest of his life. He had previously served in the Royal 
Navy as a Petty Officer, a position which he had gained from 
his wife's relation to Sir Digby Dent, Admiral of the Fleet. 
His son, the second Peter Coues, was born in Portsmouth, 
July 30, 1736, was also a ship master, was married three 
times, and had thirteen children, most of whom died young. 
Dr. Spalding and Miss Coues were married October 9, 1802, 
and had five children: Elizabeth Parkhurst (1803-1878) 
who died unmarried; Adelaide Coues (1805-1898) who 
married Captain Joseph Foster of Gloucester, Massachu- 
setts; Lyman Dyer (1810-1892), my father; Alfred Peter 
(1815-1844) a master mariner, lost at sea from the Ship 

1 Mr. Kimball was the stage coach driver from Cornish ami date* 
mont to Portsmouth. 

2 "My Wife" was bora Theodosia Holton, of Windsor, Vermont, 
and lived to be 92. 


"Normandie"; and Edward Jenner, who died in 1833, 
aged 14. 

Captain Peter Coues, my great grandfather, died in 1819 
at the age of 82, and Mrs. Spalding, his daughter survived 
her husband Dr. Spalding several years, dying June 2, 1838, 
at the age of 59. 

A few days after the meeting with Silas Spalding just 
mentioned, Dr. Smith followed up the question of the 
lectures in this way: 

"Cornish, January 24, 1801. Dear Sir: I received your favor by 
Mr. Woodward; respecting your proposals, I will make another 
overture. I think you did wrong in writing as you did to the Presi- 
dent last Summer. I do not think that the President or the Board 
of Trust have or ought to have any control over your lecturing. 
It was I who employed you, and they had no business with you 
respecting it, nor do I think till they give us some money for our 
services that they ought to set bounds to our performances, pro- 
vided we do not injure the Institution or the University. Now I 
will say this to you in confidence: that you are at liberty to come 
and deliver the Chemical Lectures at what time and as long or 
short a Course as you please, or you can make it advantageous to 
yourself, and I will give you all the support I can. Study your 
own advantage in the case and I will be responsible to the Board 
for the rest. If you should think of lecturing, let me know of it 
and I will conduct myself accordingly. 

Respecting the Notes that I hold against you, if you should 
keep your apparatus, they may remain in my hands unpaid till 
you come up to deliver the next course of lectures. 

I have only hinted these things to you, being at Cornish, and 
finding an opportunity to send direct. I will write you again, 
when at home, and will be more particular. I am with Respect, 
your Friend and Servant, Nathan Smith." 

From a letter of Dr. Noyes, next in date, we hear more 
concerning this topic. 

"Newburyport, March 29, 1801. Dear Sir: I have the pleasure 
of being able to acknowledge at once, the receipt of two letters from 
your pen. The one which you did me the honor of introducing 
your Friend Peck, 1 I was so unfortunate as not to have time for 

1 Your friend Peck was William Dandridge Peck (1763-1822), then 
living in Kittery, Maine. He had been graduated from Harvard in 
1782, but was now carrying on salt works at Newcastle for his father, 
who had lately retired from the profession of a naval architect. 

Professor Peck, as he later on became, was an ingenious man, made 
his own microscope, and composed a list of birds seen in Kittery. He 


opening, till after his departure. Indeed his hurry would not permit 
him to take a seat, so that I had no chance of showing him any other 
civility than receiving and returning his hat in the same moment. 

From an expression in your letter, I am led to fear that I have 
excited ideas concerning our friend, Adams, a little different from 
what I ought to have done. I do not recollect ever to have heard 
him say or to have heard of his saying that he wished to be a Lec- 
turer in Dartmouth. No, Sir; What I have known of being done 
to effect that has been done by those friends, a part of whom you 
had to encounter at Hanover, the winter before last. As for the 
affair of Mr. Prescott, 1 I believe that he partly misunderstood my 
expression. I did not say, or did not intend to say that you were 
obliged to resign the office of Lecturer. This, Sir, was my idea: 
that you could not carry your plan for contracting the term to 
four weeks, and this I retained, till I received your last letter. I 
took the idea from the plan having been rejected by the Board of 
Trustees, last August, and their not having met since; and, thought 
that the conversation of Dr. Smith tended to confirm it. There- 
fore, when Prescott told me that you were about returning to your 
office, I concluded that it might be agreeably to the old establish- 
ment. With regard to the question whether you had better re- 
turn or not return, I can hardly presume to give advice. I have 
told you already that I considered your resignation as a misfortune 
to the College, but still doubt how far that evil may be repaired by 
"4 Weeks Absence from Portsmouth." I suspect that in order 
to make the business profitable for yourself and for the College 
more time might be devoted to the College, for four weeks are al- 
together inadequate to the purpose of giving any considerable 
knowledge of Chemistry to persons busied in half a dozen kinds 
of other exercises. 

For yourself, if you adhere to your old plan, the Authority 2 will 
be soured, the alienation of the scholars will be probably increased, 
and you will find yourself in a disagreeable situation. For, at 
Hanover, my friend, there are few resting places between Zenith 
and NADIR. 

Even Dr. Smith, I am pretty confident, does not LIKE your 

visited the White Mountains in 1803 and published an account of the 
Flora of that region. He won a gold medal for an essay "On Slug 
Worms" and was famous for his account of the Sea Serpent which he 
saw off Portsmouth Lighthouse. After being appointed Professor of 
Natural History at Harvard, he spent the rest of his life in Cambridge. 

1 The Affair of Mr. Prescott refers to mere gossip brought from 
Dartmouth by him, concerning the Lectureship. 

a The Authority simply suggests that those in Authority would be 
peevish at him. 


The other clay I had the pleasure of announcing a new remedy; 
now I have the pain of announcing a new disease. New, I mean 
to the Materia Mcdica, and Nosology. I have indeed heard the 
words Daimonophobia, but nowherewith any appropriate mean- 
ing, or if with any, for a merely mental affection. But, here, 
ALAS! we find this affection combined with diseased sensation 
and muscular motion. Yes, in a most horrid manner. Two 
patients of mine have had, I believe, as many as a hundred par- 
oxysms of convulsions in a day! This you will perhaps say is no 
new disease. First hear the whole history, and then judge whether 
the convulsions are more than a mere symptom. 

You have probably heard of the STIR, the AWAKENING or 
REFORMATION that has happened among us this winter. It 
has amongst a certain class of people put almost an entire stop to 
business, and made MEETINGS the order of the day! ! Yes, and 
of the Night! These, have been the work shops of disease: there, 
heated imaginations have been heated higher, by the reaction of 
expression. There, the continual blowings of sympathy have in- 
flamed the passions to a degree resembling the combustion of 
hydrogen. The effects show, how well-persons, affected with 
PARTIAL MANIA may agree when their hallucinations are the 
same. Had the man who fancied his limbs were glass, met with 
a Society who had similar notions, how careful would they have 
been in handling each other's brittle bodies! and how would they 
have reprobated the rest of mankind for their foolish temerity! 
You see that I consider my townsmen as maniacs. I am confident 
that if one of our present fashionable speakers had appeared in 
public in any common time, he would pretty generally have been 
taken for a madman. This disease in its milder forms first mani- 
fests itself by a crying out in public generally in the midst of some 
Prayer or Speech. It is a sort of howling such as you have probably 
heard from women of great irritability when in the midst of a 
rapid labor. It seems to me a mixed expression of pain and hor- 
ror. More or less of this peculiarity of one seems to run through 
all the different stages of this disease. The cry is often attended 
or preceded by various gesticulations and convulsive twitching ac- 
cording to the severity of the case. In one, the disease was 
ushered in by swooning followed by convulsive tremors, and then 
the cry! A never failing symptom is a violent pain at the scrobic- 
ulus : craving at the stomach, pulse slow, soft, and languid. The 
breathing commonly corresponds. The countenance exhibits a 
peculiar kind of maniacal wildness. 

As to the convulsions, the patients first fall into a kind of syn- 
cope, presently the limbs would begin to twitch and then to be 
violently agitated, whilst the neck and bodies would be bent back- 
ward. As the convulsions left the extremities, they would seize 


upon the thorax and heave it like the waves of a pond, forcing out 
the breath in groans and cries. A violent palpitation comes on at 
the same time, together with an attempt to bite the attendant. 
The fits come 10, 20, in quick succession, and sometimes amount 
to HUNDREDS in the 24 hours. In the first case these con- 
vulsions lasted several weeks. One patient had just suffered from 
a concussion of the brain, but, as it acted just like the other, the 
symptoms convinced me, that concussion was not the SOLE cause. 
Various remedies were of no avail, the paroxysms increased in 
frequency and the friends were convinced that the patient had 
not long to live. In what seemed a new disease I tried a new 
remedy; weighed out a grain of Lettuce gum which soon produced 
an hour of quiet sleep. This induced me at the next visit to pre- 
scribe 4 grains to be given in two equal portions, at intervals of .-ix 
hours. This had the desired effect, and until the operation of the 
second dose had ceased there were no more convulsions, or delirium. 
The gum has been continued several days and the progress of amend- 
ment has been evident. The pupils of the eyes have however been 
more dilated. I am convinced therefore to entertain a pretty 
favorable opinion of the ANTISPASMODIC power of Lettuce 

According to your request I shall inclose a specimen of the gum. 
It would give me pleasure to send you more, if in my power. If 
you have occasion to use any of it, I wish that you would weigh the 
doses and write me the results. For, I begin to have some serious 
thoughts of stating my experiments on the subject to Dr. Mitchill. 
I think the medicine too useful to be concealed. 

You published if I mistake not, last year, an account of your 
having extracted considerable proportions of magnesia from the 
Specimen of Green Stone 1 which you took from our neighborhood. 
I would thank you for a short sketch of your Process, and some 
account of the results. For, I have been experimenting some time 
on this stone and can in no way obtain any magnesia worth reckon- 
ing. When shall we hear from the "Annals" or "Review?" The 
money is in the purse! Do well, Farewell, and be assured that you 
arc still growing in the esteem and friendship of Ego Je."- 

With this letter from Dr. Noyes all mention concerning 
the Lectureship at Dartmouth ceased. 

1 The Green Stone still abounds in Newburypoit, but I have never 
yet heard that it had been exploited for magnesia, something which 
from Dr. Spalding's experiments mighl seem worth the while. 

2 Dr. Noyes* account of Religious Mania ensuing upon Revivals, 
has medico-historical value, because the same syndromes are in these 
days known in Russia as Kilkushisin, and are treated with Hypnotic 
suggestions by Bogdanoff. 


Some time in the year 1797 Dr. Spalding with Ithamar 
Chase established in Cornish a Town Library, and soon 
after arriving in Portsmouth, he tried to revive the Ports- 
mouth Library, a private Institution, by means of new sub- 
scribers. Once elected Librarian, the position brought him 
many acquaintances and one morning in 1801, at which 
time we have now arrived, he received a letter addressed in 
this odd style: 

"To Doctor. A Gentleman who formerly had his lodgings at 
Mrs. Moore's and Mrs. Frazier's in Pitt St., and afterwards took 

up his abode by Parson Assistant Minister to Dr. Haven. 

With a Pies of the Famous Eye Root used by the natives of Guyana. 
Portsmouth. New Hampshire." 

On opening it, he found a communication from Mr. 
Nicholas Rousselet, one of the most interesting men who 
ever lived in Portsmouth. The first trace that I find of 
him from an old Cash Book of his in my possession is of his 
being in Boston in 1787, at which time he sold flax seed and 
oil for a Musical Society and Charity Convention in that 
town under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Stillman and Rev. 
Mr. Parker. 

I next find him in Demerara, in 1796, and then in Ports- 
mouth at the end of that year, where he remained until 
after the death of his wife, in 1800, when he returned to 
Demerara whither his daughter, Lucy Adrianna, followed 
him and where I presume that they both died. 

He offered himself to Miss Katharine Moffatt of Ports- 
mouth in St. John's Church by handing her a Bible opened 
at St. John's 2d Epistle, "And now I beseech thee, lady, not 
as though I wrote a new commandment, but that which was 
from the beginning, that we love one another." She, it is 
said, returned him the Bible opened at Ruth 1: 16, with this 
text: "Whither Thou Goest, I will go." 

Mr. Rousselet owned considerable real estate, and col- 
lected a fine Museum in Portsmouth, remnants of which may 
still be seen in The Athenaeum. 

Here is his letter, exactly copied, word for word: 

"Sir. I sent you the Root of a Tree; the Juice of it, is used by 
the natives of the Country for the cure of Sore Eyes Inflammation 
etc. You please to Scrape the Root and Squeeze the Juice, for I 
suppose it will be dried up before you get it — inform me of my 
friends and acquaintances and ask Parson (I forgot his name) if 


he will be so kind to Instruct my Daughter at Mrs. Purcell, the 
french language. I will pay him handsomely and if she writ me a 
Small Letter in the french language in twelve months, from the 
day of his Tuition, I promise to pay him as a Compensation for 
his particular attention Twe and twenty Dollars: Cash. 
I remain D'R S'R Your Most Ob; Servant. N. Rousselet." 

Not long afterward Captain George Boardman, a Master 
Mariner of Portsmouth brought another letter from Mr. 
Rousselet thus directed: 

"To the Gentleman Secretary of the Portsmouth Library. 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Sir: the best gift a Father can give his Child is a good education, 
under that Head I understand Every Improvering Of the mind. 
As Literature is a Essential part of the improverment, I have sent 
my Daughter Lucy Adriana Rousselet Twenty Five Dollars in 
Specie to purchase a Share in the Portsmouth Library; You be 
pleased to admit her a Member and to give the Deed in her Name 
and Heirs after her, or So as other members have receive it ... it 
may occasion other Misses to follow Lucy Rousselet's Example for 
those Misses will become in time mothers and by that means the 
Aggrandisement of the Portsmouth Library will insensibly take 
place and become in few years a Extensive Collection; I remain 
with Respect, Sir, Your Most Ob Servant: No. Rousselet." 1 

Another acquaintance now formed was with Dr. David 
Ramsay (1749-1815) who was graduated at Princeton and 
at Pennsylvania University, served as an Army Surgeon 
during the Revolution, and was a Member of the Conti- 
nental Congress. Numerous medical papers, a "History of 
South Carolina" and a "Life of Washington" attracted 
much attention. He introduced pure water into Charleston, 
and worked indefatigably for twenty hours out of every 
twenty-four. He was killed by an insane person for some 
fancied grievance. Dr. Ramsay's hand-writing is very 
difficult to read, but his two letters of the year 1801 are 
worth the eye strain involved in deciphering them. 

1 I print these notes as they read. If they look odd, so do our at- 
tempts in writing letters in a foreign language look odd to natives in 
that language. I believe from frequent use of Dutch words, and 
mentions of Dutch Sea Captains in Mr. Rousselet's Cash Book, that 
he came from Holland. 

"The Eye Root" may be the Jequirity plant of the XIX Century, 
an infusion from the seeds of which is much used in the cure of trachoma, 
a contagious eye disease of today. 


"Charleston, South Carolina. April 14, 1801. Sir. I received 
your Syllabus of Lectures on Chemistry, and have perused it with 
great pleasure. You have in some respects improved on the 
arrangements of your predecessors. It gives me much pleasure 
that your University has paid so much attention to the important 
topic as to establish a Professorship for instructing our Youth in 
Chemistry, which is but a novel study in America. I was among 
the first pupils who attended Dr. Rush, the first Professor of 
Chemistry in America. That was 30 years ago, but we knew little 
of the matter at that time. Botany and Chemistry appear to me 
to be among the most important studies in our young country. I 
am also pleased that you are drawing attention to this, and par- 
ticularly to our vegetables and minerals. 

I feel myself obliged for your letter and present, and would gladly 
receive every Literary Work that our Country produces. If any- 
thing of mine was deemed worthy of acceptance or exchange, I 
should consider myself the obliged person. 

You mention the Extract of Lettuce used as an Opiate. I would 
be much gratified by hearing farther from you on that subject. 
How is it prepared? In what dose is it used and what are its 
specific effects? I regret I have no acquaintance with any of the 
Gentlemen of your University. The brother of your President was 
my Classmate at Princeton in 1765, 1 but I have been informed that 
he is dead. I have heard that your President was here, leaving an 
elaborate work "On the Rise and Fall of Nations." 

I rejoice to hear of every Literary undertaking that bids fair to 
raise the reputation of our new Country. We are making rapid 
advances in wealth, population and commerce. If we can see to it, 
that our improvements in Science and Virtue are equal to our other 
improvements, we shall be the First People in the World. You will, 
herewith, receive a copy of my "Review of the Eighteenth Century," 
which I beg you to accept, and to believe that I feel myself highly 
honored by your attention. I am with Great Regard, etc. David 

In replying, Dr. Spalding forwarded some Lettuce-gum 
by a friend from Portsmouth and in due season was favored 
with this second letter from Dr. Ramsay. 

"Charleston, November 20, 1801. Sir. I received your favor 
of September 30, by Mr. Folsom with whom I have also had the 
pleasure of forming an acquaintance. He has also been my patient, 
and the very last I had with the Yellow Fever. The practice which 

1 The allusion to the "Brother of your President" and "Your 
President" are obscure for no Wheelock appears on Princeton Catalogs 
nor did any Wheelock write the book mentioned. 


I found successful in other cases, succeded with him. The principal 
part of this was salivation. In every instance where the patient 
salivated freely, he recovered. Mr. Folsom took ten grains of 
calomel every two hours until my object was attained. I then 
pronounced him safe. In some other cases I have given 180 grains 
of calomel without effect as to salivation. In those cases death was 
the consequence. 

John Hunter's position 1 that two actions cannot exist at the same 
time in the System is the foundation of this practice : perhaps of all 
efficacious practice in medicine. This is a great and luminous idea, 
which in the course of time will, I doubt not, greatly lessen the 
number of incurable diseases. 

I thank you for your communication in relation to oxygen. 2 I 
believe it to be a remarkable medicine, but many experiments are 
necessary to ascertain its precise virtues and effects. A few have 
been made here with various success. 

In the proper Season I shall have some extract of lettuce prepared 
in the manner you direct. If it produces no constipation, and no 
affection of the head, it will be a very valuable addition to the 
Materia Medica. 

On my reading your letter to Mrs. Ramsay, 3 who had resided 8 
years in France, she informed me that during her residence there 
she had often known French Physicians to prescribe Lettuce Tea in 
Catarrhal and even in Consumptive complaints and with good 
effects. This must have been in consequence of its anodyne powers. 

Have you ever used Rhubarb in powder as a dressing to old sores? 
I have used it in cases in which the process of granulation seemed to 
be at a stand, as it appeared to me to assist nature in renewing that 
process, especially where the sores are covered with a black slough! 

Your Fellow Student in the Republic of Medicine. David 

1 John Hunter (1728-1793), idle as a boy, became a famous physician. 
His writings were enormous in quantity and stimulating in quality. 
As a lecturer he was not successful, but as a writer, investigator and 
original thinker he stood alone. 

2 The oxygen mentioned in Dr. Spalding's letter to Ramsay was a 
favorite remedy with which he had made many experiments at Ports- 

3 Mrs. Ramsay before her marriage was Miss Martha Laurens, 
daughter of Honorable Henry Laurens, Minister to Holland and a 
signer of Peace between Great Britain and this Country. Miss Laurens 
was very generous to the French peasants during her long sojourn 


Public Tests of the Preventive Value of Vaccination. 1801. 

Although Dr. Spalding had vaccinated many people in 
Portsmouth, most of the population held aloof from fear of 
introducing a poison into their system or from dread that 
the new disease would be worse than the old. Progress in 
vaccination was also slow, because no proof of its value as 
a preventive against Small Pox had been shown in America. 
At most, vague rumors to that effect had come from abroad, 
although it was known that Dr. Waterhouse after vacci- 
nating his children had "taken them through" a Small Pox 
Hospital, without subsequent harm. In a later essay he 
claimed that the first public tests of the preventive effect of 
vaccination were made at Noddle's Island, in Boston Harbor, 
in 1802. Documents now before us, however, show that 
similar public tests were made by Dr. Spalding at Ports- 
mouth in 1801. 

On the 29th of June, 1801, Dr. Spalding published in the 
"Portsmouth Oracle" a CARD, in which he stated that he 
was forming a Class for Vaccination Tests, so that when a 
case of Small Pox should occur, the members of the Class 
could go and live with the small pox patient in the hospital 
used for that purpose and be inoculated also with the small 
pox virus from the patient. Four persons accepted the in- 
vitation to what seemed a rash experiment and after vacci- 
nation, waited until August 1, when a man with small pox 
entered the hospital. The Class, including Dr. Spalding, 
joined him and remained one week, when a second case ap- 
peared and with these two patients the class lived on intimate 
terms and were inoculated with the actual virus. When the 
members of the class all came off scot-free of the small pox, 
the efficacy of vaccination was believed in, and large numbers 
were successfully vaccinated. 

This Historic Class consisted of Silas Holman, a merchant 
on Pier Wharf, Henry and Eliphalet Ladd, the sons of 
Colonel Henry Ladd, all of Portsmouth, John Gilman, the 
son of Mr. John Gilman of Exeter, and of Dr. Spalding. 



Until an earlier date is proved by documents, it would 
seem that Dr. Spalding was the First Physician to vindicate 
publicly the preventive value of vaccination against Small 

Flushed with his success he sent the "infection," as the 
scabs were then called, to Dr. Smith, who thus replied: 

"Hanover, August 25, 1801. Dear Sir: I have to acknowledge 
the receipt of two letters from you since I wrote you last. I am 
under great obligation to you for the kine pox infection, which I 
received in your first letter. I have always been of opinion that we 
should arrive at such a degree of knowledge about the business of 
kine pox as to make it a substitute for the Small Pox, and I have 
attributed the failure of it in several instances to our ignorance of 
the disease, and the proper mode of communicating it. I have used 
some of the infection, which you sent me, but it is not yet time to 
determine anything certain respecting it, as I have never submitted 
any of my patients to the infection of the small pox, which I intend 
shortly to do, and will then write you of the result. 

Respecting medical affairs I have nothing very important. 
People will die with the consumption and cancer in spite of Arsenic 
and Alkalies. You have doubtless heard of the famous cancer 
curers in Philadelphia and New York. We have lately had 
melancholy proof of their power, in this part of the country. A 
Mr. Goodwin of Putney had a large tumor on his left side below the 
axilla, which was of the cancerous kind. I extirpated the tumor and 
charged him and his physician to watch, and if any new tumor 
arose, to have it extirpated immediately. About six months aft or 
the operation a small tumor appeared in the site of the former. He 
came to see me on the subject after it was as large as a walnut. I 
urged him to let me extirpate it, as it was quite circumscribed. He 
promised to come and have it done soon, but went to New York, 
where something was done, which caused the tumor to mortify, 
either by internal or external means. I do not know the particulars, 
but it left half a dozen behind, worse than at the first and in a short 
time so injured his health, which was good when I saw him, that he 
returned cancerated, and in complete despair of a cure. I purpose 
to learn the particulars of the treatment, and will then publish the 
Case for the benefit of the New York Cancer Curers. 

I have lately on a well known principle of the Animal Occonomy, 
been very successful in curing debilitated limbs, such as arc emaci- 
ated and with flabbiness of the muscles. I direct the patient to 
plunge the limb into the coldest water possible for a minute or two, 
as the case may be, and then plunge it into water heated above an 
hundred degrees. This repeated for some time has been abundantly 
useful, more so than any other ever before employed by me, and 


finding this treatment successful with a part of the body, I have 
applied it to the whole, and with advantage. 

I have had a very singular case in Claremont, where a tumor was 
formed in the uterus which weighed two pounds, 9 ounces. It was, 
after producing what the woman termed a "bearing down" for six 
years, expelled by the contraction of the organ and action of the 
abdominal muscles, so that when I was called, I found it attached by 
a cord or rope similar to the umbilical cord of the foetus. I sepa- 
rated the tumor by tying the cord above where I cut it off. The 
tumor had no appearance of organization but was entirely of the 
steatomatous kind. The woman has recovered her health to a 
degree. The growth of the tumor affected the breasts and she had 
milk in them like a woman who is pregnant. 

I lost a patient a few days since where I amputated the thigh. 
The case went well until the 11th day from the operation, when he 
was attacked with intermitting fever (having been exposed to the 
contagion of it before) and he died on the 7th day from the attack 
of the fever. The sore was nearly healed when he died. 

Respecting our settlement, it will be quite impossible for me to 
close my business with you so as to send it by the bearer, as it is now 
past midnight and he goes tomorrow morning, early, and I, in no 
preparation to do it so soon. But, you may rely on it, that I will 
not neglect you much longer, and think you may depend on some 
communication from me about the 1st of October. I have been too 
busy this Summer for my profit, as I have been obliged to neglect 
collecting entirely. My bills have amounted to a moderate sum, 
but it does not help me at present. 

I have just heard that Dr. Abraham Hedge is dead. 1 He died by 
bleeding at the lungs. He was in Chester. He sent for me, but I 
was at Walpole, and did not see him. I have written much, I fear 
too much for your patience. If you get out of business, let me know 
and I will write again. I have not read what I have written, nor 
have I time to do it, so you must take it as it is and pick it out. 
With High Esteem, your friend, N. Smith." 

Another letter from Dr. Smith may here find place; un- 
dated, but probably written in September, 1801. 

"Dear Sir: I have just received your letter with the enclosed 
infection which I will immediately make trial of. The other which 
you sent me did not succeed in producing the disease, and I did not 
much regret it, as my business has been very pressing here this 
season, so that I could not have given it a proper degree of atten- 
tion. But, for the future, I will attend to it, and expect to have it 

1 Dr. Hedge did not die at this time as we shall see from a later 
letter from him. 


in my power to put it to the test with the infection of the small pox. 
The people here want to have the efficacy of the kine pox proved, 
over and over again. I have received your other letter, asking me 
to write to General Bradley, which I did immediately and in us 
pressing terms as possible, and I hope that it will have effect. 
John Langdon and Nathan Smith, will, I think, have some influence 
with the General. 

My business in practice has been, as usual, more than I could get 
pay for, though I have lately done better in that respect than 
formerly. I believe I wrote you about my operation for the Stone, 
or rather STONES, as there were 217 extracted, which proved 
successful. I have had no capital operations of late, more than an 
amputation of the arm. I have lately performed an operation for 
a large hydrocele on Mr. Bellows of Walpole, which is progressing 
toward an entire cure. I lately heard from your brother. Your 
father's family are all well. Mr. Winthrop is here. I was acquainted 
with him in London. He is the second person I have seen from 
London since I left there. With Esteem, Nathan Smith." 

A little note from Dr. Spalding to Dr. Crawley of London 
is worth inserting now because it shows how physicians then 
imported their own drugs. 

"Portsmouth, August 1, 1801. Dear Sir. Some time since I 
wrote you by Captain Evans 1 of and from this Port, but I now find 
that he sailed for Hamburg, and will not be in London soon. There- 
fore I repeat my wish, which is to import a few medicines for my 
own use. I will therefore thank you to mention your terms, and to 
send a general catalogue by the bearer, C. Bayley. If agreeable. I 
will by the Spring Ship send you a Bill of Exchange for your medi- 
cines. I remain Your Ob'd't Serv't, Lyman Spalding." 

Whilst awaiting a reply to this letter, a welcome message 
arrived from Dr. Noah Spalding, begun at Royalton, Ver- 
mont, and finished at Hanover, August 22d, 1801. 

"Sir. The whispers of friendship now move my pen to inform 
you of my present prospects. Since I saw you I first spent about 
two months at Cornish in Pedagoging, after which I made a tour to 
Newbury, Vermont, where finding a young man had taken the stand, 
had been well recommended, etc., I did not think proper to attempt 
dividing the business with him. Accordingly, having heard that, 
Royalton was soon to be deprived of its first physician, Dr. Allen. I 
made my way to see for myself, but on my arrival I found anol 

1 Captain Estwick Evans who went to Hamburg was a sea captain 
of Portsmouth and Captain Cazneau Bayley was also a sea farer and 
Grand Marshal of the Lodge of Masons by whom he was buried with 
high Masonic ceremonies, January 27th, 1S0S, at the age of 41. 


Doctor on the ground, but being tired of relinquishing the field 
without a contest I took residence in the same street, and in about 
two weeks he left the town. Dr. Alien has not yet left the place, 
but I expect he will do it in about four weeks. My business has 
been as good as I could expect, considering the general health. 
Prompt pay is out of fashion with us, but you may expect to receive 
a share in the first fruits of my labor. 1 Nothing worthy of your 
reading has occurred in my practice, save that in what business I 
have had, I have been very successful. I have had the pleasure of 
hearing of your welfare, repeatedly, but have received no line since 
your present of Mr. Alden's Sermon, 2 for which accept my thanks. 

Dr. Smith is doing business at a great rate. We have lately had 
the sad news of Mr. Lemuel Hedge's 3 suicide, and of Dr. Hedge's 
death by consumption, but in such a way that we hope it is not true. 
Miss Hannah Brewster 4 was yesterday joined to the pale nation of 
the dead by the consumption. The exercises at Commencement are 
few and poorly performed, or else I am no judge of talents. 

A. Torrey takes a stand at Chelsea, S. Day at Middleburg, and I 
believe that J. Marsh takes a residence at Londonderry. 

I hope for the pleasure of a farther correspondence, and should you 
hear of any good vacancy open, you will oblige me by giving in- 
formation as this place, Royalton, is thinly inhabited and not very 
prosperous. Yours, Noah Spalding." 

Captain Bayley not only took a letter to Dr. Crawley, as 
we have seen, but one still more important to Dr. Edward 
Jenner, and here is the place to insert Captain Bayley's 

"London, November 1, 1801. Brother Spalding: Agreeable to 
your request I delivered your letters, according to the directions. 
Doctor William Crawley is a man of great respectability in this 

1 "Share in the first fruits" may mean that Dr. Noah still owed Dr. 
Lyman Spalding some money. 

2 "Mr. Alden" was Rev. Timothy Alden (1781-1839) with whom 
Dr. Spalding lodged at one time. He was graduated at Harvard, 
then taught, and later on was assistant to Rev. Dr. Haven, Pastor of 
the South Church in Portsmouth. Mr. Alden opened in Portsmouth a 
Female Seminary which caused him to be so well known as an instruc- 
tor, that he was called to the Presidency of Alleghany College in Penn- 
sylvania. Every Antiquary admires Mr. Alden's delightful series of 
"American Epitaphs" with their valuable biographical data, concern- 
ing deceased American Worthies. 

3 The rumor of the death of Dr. Hedge was sad enough, but sadder 
still the reality of the suicide of Honorable Lemuel Hedge (1765-1801), 
a very prominent Member of Congress from New Hampshire. 

4 Miss Hannah Brewster was a charming daughter of a noted 
Hanover family. 


place and very much of a gentleman. He is a large shipper of 
articles in your line, and supplies all the principal houses in Boston. 
His usual term is 12 months, with good letters of recommendation, 
or if you cannot obtain THEM, a good bill of exchange at 30 or 90 
days sight, will answer the same purpose. A letter from Doctor J. 
Jackson of Portsmouth, 1 Doctor Morse or Bartlett of Boston will 
get you what articles you may want. He keeps no printed list. 
Make out your orders for what you may have occasion for, and he 
will fulfill it. If you write him, direct, William Crawley, No. 32 
Spittal Square, London. 

Your other letter to Doctor Edmund Jenner, I left at his house in 
Bond Street, the number I have forgot. He was gone into the 
Country. I left my address so that should he have anything for 
you, he would know where to find me. But I have not heard any- 
thing from him. I have mailed you a catalogue of Books, from one 
of the greatest Book Stores in Great Britain. 

I have nothing particular to write respecting news, as you have 
long since heard of Peace. The definitive Treaty 2 has not yet been 
signed, but it is expected to be finished about the 10 or 12 inst. I 
think from the debate in Parlement, that it is all Debtor to Great 
Britain and no Cr. 

My respects to all my friends, and Believe me to be Yours, On 
the Square, Cazneau Bayley. 

N.B. I wrote you above, that I had enclosed a Catalogue of 
Books, but that was before I had purchased it. It is so large that 
I have sent it to Boston to be forwarded by a private opportunity. 
I have charged you 1/6 sterling for it." 

Before inserting the reply from Doctor Edward Jenner 
(1749-1823) it may be said: that he studied for two years 
with John Hunter, and assisted him materially in his medical 
investigations. He was also employed by Sir Joseph Banks 
to study Natural History in the Country. He practiced ex- 
tensively in Berkeley in Gloucestershire going about in blue 
coat and small clothes, top boots with silver spurs and a 
silver handled whip. He obtained membership in the Royal 

1 Dr. John Jackson (1745-1808) was closely related to Dr. Spalding, 
his two sisters having in succession married Captain Peter Coues, to 
whose daughter, Elizabeth, Dr. Spalding was now engaged. Dr. 
Jackson was Surgeon on the Frigate "Rahleigh" and took part in some 
actions during the Revolution. He next practiced in Portsmouth, but 
finally retired and opened an Apothecary Shop, doing a good business. 

1 am glad to be able to state that the number in Bond Street, Lon- 
don, of Dr. Jenner's house which Captain Bayley forgot, was 136. 

2 "The Treaty" was that of Amiens, ratified in 1802, but in 1803 
the nations were fighting Napoleon again. 


Society and a degree of medicine from St. Andrews in 1793. 
The anti-vaccinationists of today are so fond of sneering at 
Jenner, as "A so-called Doctor Jenner" that it is well worth 
while to emphasize at this point his studies and his actual 
degree in medicine. 

Jenner's first public vaccination was performed in May, 
1796, although he had long carried the theory in his mind. 
His first paper on the subject was published in 1799. His 
idea which has so greatly benefitted the Human Race was: 
"Cow Pox protects the Human Constitution from Small 
Pox." Jenner moved at one time to London, because from 
that metropolis as a center he hoped more effectually to 
spread abroad his views, but patients did not patronize him 
extensively, politics interfered with his ingenious idea, his 
expenses prove to be more than he could provide for, and he 
returned in a few years to Berkeley where he practiced suc- 
cessfully the rest of his life. The government granted him a 
pension, which was, however, small in comparison with the 
enormous benefits to mankind which his idea procured. 

"Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, November 10th, 1801 Sir: I 
have been favored with your letter relative to Vaccine Inoculation, 
and feel myself happy in the opportunity of sending you the en- 
closed Virus, which I hope may reach you possessed of its full 
powers. You will receive two parcels, one upon Glass, the other 
upon Thread. When you use the former let the point of a lancet be 
dipped into Water, so that a sufficient quantity be taken up to 
moisten it, or rather to reduce it to a fluid state. The thread may 
be divided into a great number of portions, and each may be lodged 
upon a slight scratch made upon the skin. Either is sufficient to 
inoculate a great number of persons. If you succeed in producing 
one perfect pustule you need not ever be at a loss again for vaccine 
matter, for be assured it does not show the least tendency to de- 
generate on this side of the Atlantic, nor will it on your side, if you 
attend to the rules laid down in the enclosed paper. That marked 
thus* is of great importance. 

It is very gratifying to me to observe how rapidly the Cow Pox- 
inoculation is spreading over the world. From its ready adoption 
it must necessarily soon check the ravages of the Small Pox, and 
finally extinguish totally that horrid disease. 

The little PAPER I enclose 1 will perhaps furnish you with valu- 

1 "The enclosed paper," now in my possession, is a statement on a 
single folio sheet regarding the art of vaccination. The section marked 
(*) says that "Arm to arm matter should always be taken between the 
6th and 9th day." 


able intelligence. Tho' it does not come from me, it had my sanc- 
tion, with a few trifling exceptions. A publication is about to come 
forth which will convey, I am told, an immense Mass of Information 
on the subject, and which I hope will be largely imported into 
America. It comes from the pen of a Mr. Ring, 1 a Surgeon of 
eminence in London. 

Accept my thanks for your very ingenious Chemical Work, and 
permit me to request that you will favor me with the result of your 
practice with the Virus you will now receive. 

Wishing you every success, I remain, Your Very Faithful Humble 
Serv't, Edward Jenner." 

What gratification this letter must have given to the 
young Physician in Portsmouth, and how proudly we can 
imagine its being handed about as: "A letter from Dr. 
Jenner himself, about vaccination, and some genuine virus 

In spite of the rumor that Dr. Hedge was dead, the letter 
next arriving after that from Dr. Jenner brings news from 
him. What a picture of the times : an impecunious physician 
working on the roads; yet it did him good, prolonging his 
life until 1808. 

"Chester, Vermont, November 11, 1801. My good old Allie. I 
will appear to you once more, not as one from the grave as it seems 
you had placed me, but as large as life with some vigour, and will tell 
you some of the things of this life as practiced by me since I wrote 
you. Know then that for hire I undertook labour which brought on 
me a tedious cough and an expectoration of blood from my lungs 
which continued to an alarming degree, but by fervent prayer and 
profound medical skill, Mors was kept at a distance and I am now in 
my usual health and spirits, except somewhat worn down in accom- 
plishing a job of work on the Turnpike, which runs through this 
town that I had taken, and which I believe, when completed will 
enable me to leave this place with some stuff in my trousers. For 
one that has already gone through with the rough work, and is 
ready to encourage the more polished workman, my constitution 
will not allow me to serve a long apprenticeship in this place, for I 

1 "Honest John" Ring (1752-1821), at the time of Jenner's Dis- 
covery a noted surgeon in London, came forward as his ardent eham- 
pion and travelled all over Great Britain to investigate every case in 
which vaccination had been reported as injuring the person vaccinated. 
Feeling rose so high at that time, that Ring always went heavily armed 
for fear of assault. He also wrote widely on medical topics, composed 
poetry of no mean value, and as a surgeon was second to none of that 
era in London. 


prefer digging to begging and one of them must give me a sub- 
sistence, if I tarry here, for professional business. There is no 
money nor inclination in the people of this place to satisfy a Physi- 
cian for his services, and as old gospel times are now out of fashion, 
and physicians and priests expect a little "rino" 1 to help on the 
glorious work, I wish never to live in a country where this expecta- 
tion cannot be gratified. Tell me how it is in your country and 
whether you know of any vacancies, for I am determined to leave 
this place so soon as I shall have accumulated property sufficient to 
support me a year or two in a place more to my liking. 

You will accuse me of being fickle and unsteady, but this accusa- 
tion will not justly apply to me. FOR, who would live in a place 
where they were obliged to labour for their daily bread ! Not I nor 
you, unless you like work better than I do, which I know is not the 
case. My business is barely sufficient to support me, if I could get 
my pay, but as I cannot, it is really worse than none, and as to 
pleasure that is None. ... In my practice such as it is, I cure all 
disorders with mercury and opium, but I have not time to mention 
particulars. . and Am with esteem, your sincere friend, Abrm. 

Soon after this note from Dr. Hedge came one from Cap- 
tain Dunham, now on recruiting service at Windsor. It 
suggests that there may have been a duel in the Fort where 
Dr. Spalding was Contract surgeon. 

"Windsor, Nov. 12, 1801. Sir: Your very polite and obliging 
letter of the 3d inst. I have received. I feel highly gratified by your 
accurate detail of the Portsmouth campaign of 1801. From your 
own, which corresponds with other statements, I have received, I 
believe I have a pretty just idea of the whole business. I hope it 
may finally terminate without loss of reputation on either side — if 
not without loss of life. Military gentlemen you know, Sir, ought 
to hold life in contempt when brought in competition with honor. 
This principle we are very fond of seeing brought frequently into 
operation in our own corps, especially by those whose commissions 
outrank our own. Besides setting a good example to subordinate 
officers, it also sometimes makes ROOM FOR PROMOTION. As 
to passing the winter in this part of the country, it is my present 
expectation. I am indeed in rather an unpromising state of health. 
I have been troubled with spasmodic affections, and an unpleasant 
dizziness in my head. I have been considerable time under the care 
of Dr. Smith, who has been bleeding, and catharticating me, till I 

1 "Rino" which should be spelled "Rhino" means cash down, and 
probably originated from the Phrase "Paying through the Nose" 


am almost dead. Calomel and Cortex (bark) have constituted for 
some days, half of my rations; and water-gruel with an entire 
abstinence from every kind of ardent spirits has made up the 

I am now trying to enure myself to the exercise of GUNNING 
upon a moderate scale, when the weather is pleasant. I find benefit 
from it whilst Dr. "Bram" 1 is curing himself of BLEEDING, by 
hard knocks on the turnpike. He is now hearty. Mr. Adams 2 was 
so good as to call here on his way to Haverhill, and take a dinner and 
a little wine with me. Mrs. Dunham joins me in compliments to 
Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Sparhawk, with the Charming Eliza 3 and the 
rest. Your Friend and OB'D'T Servt. J. Dunham, Capt. 2d Regt, 

Post Script. I have no doubt you will take good care of the Gar- 
rison and see to their health and comfort. I hope you will be honor- 
ably paid. 4 I am concerned for the Charming Mrs. Walsh. 5 Pray 
do not permit her to die till I come. 

P. S. I will thank you to inquire at the Stage Tavern where we 
lodged the night before we left Portsmouth (not far from your 
lodgings) for a great coat and pair of socks of Mrs. Dunham's. 
They were lambskin originally. J. D." 

Mr. Richard Evans of Portsmouth, brother of Captain 
Estwick Evans, the writer of a former letter, had removed to 
Philadelphia, and about this time Dr. Spalding must have 
asked him for books as is suggested by the reply: 

"Philadelphia, Nov. 8, 180E Dear Doctor: I shall forward by 
Captain Rugg, 6 who sails on Wednesday the books you wish for, 

1 "Dr. Bram" was a nickname for Dr. Abraham Hedge. 

2 "Mr. Adams" was Nathaniel Adams (1756-1829), author of the 
priceless "Animals of Portsmouth," a graduate of Dartmouth, one of 
the founders of the New Hampshire Historical Society and for many 
years Clerk of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, the duties of 
which office carried him throughout the entire state and obtained for 
him a wide acquaintance. Everybody knew "Nat" Adams. 

3 "The Charming Eliza" was Miss Coues. 

* "Honorably paid" refers to Dr. Spalding's claim against the 
government for professional services. The Fort-Contractors referred 
the payment to the government, and the government referred the pay- 
ment to the contractors; and the hill remains unpaid to this date. 

5 "Mrs. Walsh" was the wife of an officer and a Belle of the Fort 
and of the town, as was also " Mrs. Sparhawk " her name then being 
pronounced " Sparrock." This name is now refined in Boston, into 
Spar-Hawk, so that Portsmouth people open their ears, when they 
hear that hyphenated word, and wonder what family people are talking 

* Captain Rugg who brought the parcel to Portsmouth was a Sea 
Captain from New Castle, New Hampshire. 


and which Mr. Woodward the bookseller will cheerfully supply. I 
enclose Mr. Dennie's receipt for "The Port-Folio" for $4 for a year. 
I consider Mr. Dennie 1 a very polite man, and one who is attentive 
to the etiquette of fashionable manners. I have called on him 
several times without ceremony. 

Your former letter was wanting in everything: contained things 
I could not read, yet more than I could understand. In the last 
letter you have not explained the obscure passages, agreeably to my 
request. You "walked with the charming "E." She burnt her 
finger with hot candy and you kissed it." Too Sweet! Too Sweet! 
Oh, Doctor, when shall I participate in your joys and tryals? 

I am happy that Mr. Alden's merit is justly appreciated, but I 
should regret the necessity which might occasion his removal from 
Portsmouth. Mr. Sewall's POEMS 2 are now in the hands of the 
Publishers, and so soon as they shall determine the value, I will give 
you immediate advice. He and his family may depend on my best 
services. I am sorry that I could not complete your order for all 
of your medical books, though trying every book store in this city. 
You can pay my brother the sum due for the books whenever con- 
venient to you. 

With kind regards, your OB'DT Servant, Richard Evans." 

The end of the year brought a letter from Dr. Waterhouse, 
concerning Vaccination : 

" Cambridge, December 7, 1801. Dear Sir: As I expect shortly to 
publish a report on the progress of the vaccine inoculation during 
1801, I could wish to have a more particular account of the persons 

1 Joseph Dennie (1768-1812) was a friend of Dr. Spalding, at Wal- 
pole, where he had edited a newspaper, "The Farmer's Weekly Mu- 
seum" which had large circulation. Dennie was a Harvard graduate, 
was very neat and nice as a man, dressed very elegantly in a pea green 
coat, small clothes with silver buckles and was suave, courteous and 
very polite. He was now editing "The Port-Folio" which was as suc- 
cessful as "The Museum" and out of old friendship Dr. Spalding sub- 
scribed for the magazine. When Dr. and Mrs. Spalding visited Phil- 
adelphia, in 1809, Mr. Dennie introduced them to the first people of 
the city. 

2 Jonathan Mitchell Sewall (1748-1808), whose poems are here 
mentioned, was Register of Probate for Grafton County, New Hamp- 
shire, and then Clerk of Courts at Portsmouth. He was also famous as 
a poet, though some of the titles of his verses are curious. What can we 
think of "An Eulogy on Two Female Steeds" or "To the Twin Sisters 
who died at Exeter?" Mr. Sewall was also a Dramatist; his "No 
Pent up Utica Contracts our Powers, For the Whole Boundless Con- 
tinent is Ours" remains memorable to this day. He converted Wash- 
ington's "Farewell Address" into a poem, whilst his "War and Wash- 
ington" was a "John Brown's Body" army song of the Revolution. 


you have TESTED WITH THE S-POX, than has yet appeared. 
I wish to know not only the numbers, but if you have no objections 
the names and the circumstances of their trial of the S-Pox, how 
long they remained with the infected patient, the appearance of the 
inoculated part, etc., etc. I have a number of other cases to bring 
forward with it, and wish to have every fact clearly stated as may be. 
I have not had six spurious cases the whole season, and my cases are 
at this moment as perfect as those I first commenced with. Did you 
see the case of Dr. Fay 1 in the "Ind't Chronicle" of about a fort- 
night past? 
Yours with Esteem, Benjamin Waterhouse." 

1 The case of Dr. Fay was the vaccination of Dr. Cyrus Fay by Dr. 
Babbitt of Stourbridge, Massachusetts, who utilized for that purpose 
the liquid obtained by washing a piece of the shirt sleeve worn during 
the stage of discharge from the pustule by a patient who had been 
vaccinated by Dr. Waterhouse. Both physicians being doubtful of 
the result, consulted Dr. Waterhouse who vaccinated Dr. Fay in the 
proper fashion, and was rewarded with a perfect result. 


Fever Epidemic. Vaccination Experiments in 1802. 

Old fashioned "consumption" was at that time causing a 
large percentage of deaths, and believing that it might be 
prevented or at least that its frequency should be properly 
studied, and having also in mind an investigation of Lon- 
gevity with a view to Insurance and Annuities, Dr. Spalding 
began in 1800 to collect and tabulate all deaths occurring in 
Portsmouth. His first Bill of Mortality, a large Broadside 
showing in bold figures the number of inhabitants, deaths, 
age, disease, and causes of death, was printed in 1801, and 
continued for eleven years during which period they were 
sent to prominent personages in the United States and in 
Europe, so that Dr. Spalding became widely known. I find, 
for instance, that on Washington's Birthday, in 1801, and in 
1802 he sent a Bill of Mortality to Thomas Jefferson and to 
John Adams with a note to this effect: 

"Sir: Will you please accept the humble offering of a Faithful 
Citizen of the Republic of Science? If you deem it worthy of the 
attention of the American Philosophical Society, I should feel my 
self honored by their acceptance of a copy. I am Sir, your Ob'd't 
Servt. L. Spalding. ' ' 

Mr. Jefferson's answer is missing, but from The Sage of 
Quincy came this note. . . . 

"Quincy, February 28, 1803. Sir: I have received the favor of 
your paper (on Meteors) and have sent it, together with your Bills 
of Mortality of Portsmouth for 1801 and 2 to the Recording Secre- 
tary of the Accademy to be communicated to them at their annual 
meeting. I am, Sir, Your Humble Servt. John Adams." 

Another valuable letter due to sending a Bill of Mortality 
to a famous physician may here find a place. Dr. Benjamin 
Rush 1 the writer (1746-1813), was a personal friend of my 
grandfather from 1809 until his death. 

1 Of this great man this brief record may say that he descended 
from a Captain in Cromwell's army, was graduated at Princeton, 
studied medicine at home and obtained his degree at Edinburgh. He 


£<u» S~i J -^ J^r <&& * -**>&* f~r 


"Philadelphia, February 9, 1802. Dear Sir: Accept of my thanks 
for the copy of a Bill of Mortality of the town of Portsmouth. It 
is an ingenious improvement of that Species of publication and 
calculated to add to the certainty of our knowledge upon several 
medical subjects. I wish a similar mode of ascertaining the 
and diseases of persons who die, and the months in which their 
deaths occur, could be instituted in all the towns and cities in 
America. Its advantages to our Science would be incalculable. 

Several things struck me in reading your publication: the small 
number of deaths compared with your population; the great 
number of persons above fifty out of the hundred who died in your 
town in the course of the last year; the great proportion who died 
of the pulmonary consumption being 1/5 of the whole number, also 
their ages, most of them being above 50 years of age; the connection 
of palsy with a tendency to old age, eight out of the twelve who 
died with that disease being above fifty. 

A Dr. Daignan 1 of France has published two very interesting 
volumes upon the subject to which you have devoted a part of your 
time. They are well worth your reading. I have derived many 
important facts from them, which I have occasionally introduced 
into my lectures. They were put in my hands many years ago by 
Mr. Jefferson. 

With great respect. I am,. Dear Sir, your friend and brother in the 
Republic of Medicine. Benjamin Rush." 

A copy of a Bill of Mortality having been sent to Dr. 
Mitchill, then a Senator from New York in Washington, he 
replied to this effect. 

studied also on the Continent and finally established himself in Phila- 
delphia, where he had a large practice and also lectured on Chemistry. 
He served as a Surgeon during the Revolution, on land and on sea, was 
Professor of Theory and Practice in the University of Pennsylvania 
Medical School, and Surgeon to the Pennsylvania Hospital. 

During an epidemic of yellow fever he is said to have attended six 
thousand patients, and to have had a high percentage of cures. 
Crowned heads of Europe saw fit to reward him for his remarkable 
services to medicine and to humanity. He wrote much and left an 
unfinished MSS "On Medicine in the Bible." The name of Benjamin 
Bush is written indelibly in American Medical History. Portraits show 
him with small delicately chiselled features, clean shaven, leaning his 
head on his left hand and with his spectacles pushed up on his forehead, 
he p;azes genially at the observer. 

1 Dr. Guillaume Daignan (1732-1812) was a Military Surgeon at the 
early age of 24 and during the French Revolution served on the Com- 
mittee Of Public Health. Be wrote fluently on medical topics, and the 
work to which Dr. Rush refers is probably " Pictures of the Varieties of 
Human Life." He also wrote "On the Preservation of Health" and a 
queer book, "On the Secret Toilets of the Demi-Monde of Parid." 


"Washington City, February 25, 1802. Dear Sir: I have the 
pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of your two late favors. The 
Bill of Mortality for Portsmouth is an instructive Record. That 
one-fifth of the inhabitants should die of the Pulmonary Consump- 
tion is a remarkable and unexpected fact. I wish we had other 
Registers of Deaths kept with equal correctness. Something of the 
same kind has been undertaken in the City of New York by order 
of the Common Council. I have forwarded the Bill to Dr. Miller. 
I have cheerfully complied with your request in respect to your 
application at the War Office, and have signified to the Secretary my 
opinion of your professional worth, and desserts. I hope it may be 
serviceable, tho' I dare not flatter myself of having any influence in 
these matters. 

I remain with much sensibility and esteem. Yours Cordially, 
Samuel L. Mitchill." 

Dr. Waterhouse having been similarly favored sent a very 
characteristic criticism of the Bill of Mortality. 

"Cambridge, March 18, 1802. Dear Sir: Your letter of the 11th 
inst. came duly to hand and I have endeavored to comply with your 
request, so far as to send you some matter on the point of a quill. 
As to the thread, it is full a month old, but was from a very perfect 
case and has been kept in a proper degree of temperature ever since. 
I am now so in the habit of taldng the vaccine fluid from arm to arm, 
that I am not so constant in preserving it on the thread or otherwise. 
Considerable attention and patience are required in the first use of 
an old thread. It ought always to be moistened with the vapor of 
hot water. 

You mention my not having answered your last letter. I have 
received no letter from you since you wrote to me in answer to one 
of mine. I received a printed bill of mortality, 5 or 6 weeks ago, 
but no written line whatever with it and I have had no letter from 
you for 4, 5 or perhaps 6 months past. 

I have just received "Observations on the Cow Pox" from 
Dr. Lettsom. 1 I shall probably publish a second pamphlet in a 

1 JohnCoakley Lettersom (1754-1815) was born in the West Indies, 
but educated in England. He practiced first in the Colonies, made a 
fortune by speculations in sugar, and then settled in London where he 
obtained most of the clientage of the late Dr. Fothergill. His genial 
ways and perseverance soon won f or h m a very large practice. He 
was however always financially embarrassed. He married a fortune, 
and lost it, made another and dissipated it, and in his old age inherited 
still another which he was unable to squander before he died. He 
founded the London Medical Society, left money for the Fothergill 
Gold Medal, and the Lettsomian Lectures, wrote a great many medical 
works, and carried on an extensive correspondence writing many of his 


month or so, being practical observations, etc. In the mean- 
time I sent a few, to the Medical "Repository" for their next 

I am glad to find that you attend to the occurrences of Mortality. 
Excuse me for making a few remarks on the one you were so obliging 
to send to me. 1. Did Aphthae kill the infant, or was it a symp- 
tom of another disorder, or in other words: was it sympathetic or 

2dly. We very rarely see consumption in patients above 50 
years of age, more rarely above 60 and very rare indeed at 70. 
There is a chronic cough and emaciation, and great expectoration 
in old people, but it is not the true Phthisis Pulmonalis. 

3dly. Is not Debauchery rather a VAGUE term for a general 
Head? Does it mean Drunkeness exclusively? 

4thly. I never yet saw a very young child with Epilepsy. There 
is a wide space indeed, between the convulsions of infants, and that 
truly wonderful disease, Epilepsy. 

5thly. Mortification: Was it in the bowels or the feet? As they 
are widely different in their cause. See Pott on the Latter. 1 

6thly. Death from Scrofula is very uncommon. It predisposes 
to fatal diseases. 

7thly. Paregoric : Does that mean that the Child was poisoned 
by that composition? If so, had it not better been by Opium as 
Paregoric means a Mitigator. 

You will excuse these hasty observations that occurred on the 
perusal. They have not originated from a disposition to criticise 
but from a desire to have them free from every exception. Yours 
Steadily, B. Waterhouse." 

Dr. Waterhouse was immediately thanked for his frank 
criticism and presented with some Salt Fish for which 
Portsmouth was famous. Some time later a reply to this 
effect followed. 

letters in his carriage en route to patients. He is said to have com- 
posed this distich which may be passed along for another generation: 
"When people's ill, they comes to I, 

I physics, bleeds and sweats em; 

Sometimes they live, sometimes they die; 

What's that to I? I let's em." 
1 "Pott on the latter" was Percival Pott (1714-1786) whom we re- 
call on account of his own accident, for which, whin amputation of his 
foot was proposed for a fracture at the ankle, ho invented a splint and 
saved the foot. He was Surgeon for years at St. Bartholomew's, and 
did great service in ridding that Hospital of the barbarities of the 
nurses towards the patients. His treatise "On Diseases of the Spine" 
("Pott's Disease") remains a monument to his fame. 


"Cambridge, June 8, 1802. Dear Sir: Some time ago I received 
a box containing some good salt fish, but having no line nor any 
direction whatsoever with it, I was at loss to know whence, or from 
whom it came, until Mr. Bartlett informed me not long since, that 
it was sent to his care from you. I am disposed "to return thanks 
and ask a continuance of like mercies" when I know to whom I must 
address them. I suspect some letter was sent by a private hand, 
which never reached me. 

Two years ago I inoculated Mrs. Smith, originally of Portsmouth, 
who lately removed from Boston to your town again, but her case 
was spurious. I called to re-inoculate her the very day after she 
left Boston. I write this therefore, to ask you to call upon her, and 
to ask her if she is willing that you should inoculate her, and if she 
prefers it, I will send her some matter for that purpose. Although 
her symptoms were very violent and her arm very sore, her disorder 
was of the spurious kind. If she therefore, wishes it, I would thank 
you to inoculate her for me. 

The credit of the vaccine inoculation is advancing and maintain- 
ing its credit among us, in spite of vile tricks to impede it. 

I am with Esteem, yours, etc., Benjamin Waterhouse." 

The people of Portsmouth were terrified at this time by 
an epidemic of malignant fever simulating Yellow Fever. 
Patients died in a day and a panic seemed imminent. 

At this juncture Dr. Spalding printed "An Appeal to the 
Board of Health" asserting that they were neglecting their 
duty in not enforcing household sanitation. The Selectmen 
called a Town Meeting; Dr. Spalding was put on the Board, 
vigorous sanitation followed, daily bulletins stating number 
of deaths and numbers affected were issued by him, and in 
the course of two months the worst was over and healthy 
conditions prevailed. 

In spite of much time given to this epidemic, Dr. Spalding 
completed a second public proof of vaccination as a pre- 
ventive against Small Pox, for on the 22d of July he issued 
a Bulletin stating that three weeks before, his Class of five 
vaccinated persons had boarded in the Small Pox Hospital 
with two patients afflicted with that disease, were all in- 
oculated with the small pox virus, and after remaining ten 
days in contact with the patients came off safely and had up 
to that date showed no signs of contagion. "This second 
public experiment," he says, "gives public proof and sufficient 
testimony within our own borders, that the Kine Pox is a 
sure and efficient preventive of Small Pox." 


A copy of this Bulletin was sent to Dr. Waterhouse, who 
in "The Palladium" of May 31, 1802, had complained that 
no public tests of the efficacy of vaccination had yet been 
made in America, forgetting the tests communicated to him 
the year before by Dr. Spalding. Acknowledging the com- 
munication, Dr. Waterhouse wrote to this effect, utilizing 
for this letter the reverse of a Broadside from Dr. Jenner 
with full directions for Vaccine Inoculation. 

"Cambridge, Ju'y, 1802. Deir Sir: Accept my thanks for the 
printed account of your second experiment respecting the prophy- 
lactic power of the Kine Pock. 1 

I thought it would conduce to good, to give it to the public 
through "The Centinel." I wrote a few lines on the same paper, 
to the printer, personally, which he also printed. 

I mean to publish in "The Centinel" this week a piece on the 
absurd notion, now industriously disseminated, that the Kine Pock 
will only secure a person for a short time. 

Perhaps it would answer a good purpose amongst you, to have it 
copied into one of your Portsmouth papers, for, this doctrine is 
spread far and wide, and discourages inoculation. 

The Mrs. Smith I wrote to you about inoculating is the mother of 
William P. Smith, and as he has lately been unfortunate, I could 
wish not to be lacking in attention to her, or him, who employed me. 
Will you please to tell her that I called at her house the day after 
she left Boston, and finding she was gone had desired you to call on 
her in my behalf. If I can reciprocate this service, please to com- 
mand, Your Humble Servant, Benjamin Waterhouse." 

One of the famous men of that era to whom the vaccina- 
tion tests were sent was Charles Caldwell (1772-1853), who 
obtained his degree of medicine in Philadelphia, in 1785, and 
acted as Surgeon in "The Whiskey Rebellion," a riotous 
popular protest in Western Pennsylvania against taxation 
of domestic spirits. Caldwell was Professor of Natural 
History in Philadelphia, but quarrelled with his colleagues, 
and became a Professor in Transylvania University in Ken- 
tucky. He next founded the Louisville .Medical School, 
quarrelled again, with his colleagues, and in his old age had 
the Chair of Theory and Practice pulled out from under 
him when he refused to resign. He wrote hundreds of 
medical works in a flowery style and an "Autobiography" 
which would be worth a good deal more than it is if it had 

1 In the Singular, because it has but one pock; the X being plural. 


only been indexed. His chief works were "A Treatise of 
Practice" and a "Life of General Greene." Insufferably 
egotistical, he said that he had never entered for a literary 
prize without winning it. He detested Dr. Rush, and ac- 
cused him of plagiarism, yet dedicated to him a Translation 
of Sanac "On Fever." 

Personally, Dr. Caldwell was a man to turn around to 
look at. Tall and commanding in figure, dignified in counte- 
nance and with a flowing beard he recalled the patriarchs 
of old. Fearless and outspoken he remained, to the last, an 
example of mental activity in prolonging life. Venomous of 
tongue, when once interrupted by shouting students, he 
shrieked at the top of his voice: "Three VERMIN, only, 
HISS! Enraged Cats, Vipers, Geese! Which of these three 
are YE!!" 

Soon after receiving the news from Portsmouth, Dr. 
Caldwell sent the following reply, in his usual style, belittling 
others, and lauding himself. 

"Philadelphia, July 22, 1802. Dear Sir: Accept under the same 
cover an acknowledgement of your favor of the 16th inclosing an 
account of your experiments on the efficacy of the vaccine disease 
in preventing Small Pox, and also of that received some months 
ago, covering a Bill of Mortality for the Town of Portsmouth. 
Such communications will always experience from me a welcome 
reception, as, besides the information contained in them, they be- 
speak a remembrance and attention which must always be pleasing. 
Independently of the evidence received both from Europe and 
different parts of the United States, in favour of Kine Pox, the 
Personal experience of many of the physicians of Philadelphia is 
sufficient to convince them of the power of this disease (if it deserve 
so harsh a name) to eradicate from the System a Susceptibility of 
Small Pox. The experiments made on this subject by five or six of 
the younger practitioners of this place (myself among the number) 
amount to, at least, one hundred; in each of which the result has 
been perfectly favorable to the Jennerian discovery. Our only 
reason for not giving them to the public, has been (I speak with 
confidence relative to my own motives) their similarity to experi- 
ments previously made and published elsewhere. Having nothing 
new in them, and the point to which they related being in mind 
established beyond question, they did not appear to me worthy of 
being conducted through the press. 

One case occurred here in the course of last Spring, of death, by 
casual Small Pox after vaccination, which for a time affected the 
public mind with uneasiness and distrust. But, these sensations 


were readily removed, as it appeared on examination, that the acci- 
dent had happened in the hands of an unskilful practitioner, and 
that the vaccine affection had been evidently spurious. 

I presume that before this time you have been reached by the note 
of alarm produced by our intermeddling newsmongers, announcing 
the re-invasion of our City by pestilence. Never have I known an 
effect so enormously disproportioned to its cause as in the present 
instance. Our Citizens have been driven to secure for themselvt s 
retreats in the Country, on the most exorbitant terms (for with our 
Benevolent Neighbors, pestilence is an object of profitable specula- 
tion) country merchants will be prevented from resorting to our 
City for their autumnal supplies, and our vessels, being denied Bills 
of Health, will be subjected to quarantine in foreign parts — For 
What? For a mere phantom!!; the very coinage of the fears of 
timid minds or the self conceit of others, who overrate their powers 
of foretelling the future from present appearances. What ever may 
be the issue of things in the approaching Autumn, we have as yet, 
had no grounds for Serious and extensive alarm. 

The true outline of the Matter is as follows: On the 4th of the 
present month, a malignant fever made its appearance in a remote 
corner of our city, or rather in what we denominate the Northern 
Liberties, being without the limits to which the police of our cor- 
poration extends. Since that period, about thirty-seven persons 
have been attacked by the disease, of whom about 9 or perhaps 10 
have died. The others are well or on the recovery. The <ii 
has been exclusively confined to one neighborhood, no instance of 
contagion or even of the suspicion of it, with medical men has 
occurred, nor has any new case appeared since the 16th, making the 
space of a week all but one day. Several cases of this fever were 
marked by all the malignant symptoms of our epidemic in former 
years. Notwithstanding this, from a combination of many cir- 
cumstances, which I have not room to detail, most of our physicians 
who paid due attention to the subject felt a conviction that it would 
not become general at this period of the Season. A similar con- 
viction they endeavored in private conversation to impress on the 
minds of their fellow citizens, but the clamors of their fears were too 
loud to suffer them to listen to the voice of reason. Accept an 
assurance of my respectful consideration. Ch. Caldwell." 

Two letters from Dr. Waterhouse bring the correspon- 
dence for the year to a close and are of the greatest historical 

"Cambridge, October 13, 1802. Dear Sir. Will you as speedily 
as you can put me up scaled in a quill, some of your freshest Small 
Pox matter and transmit it in a letter by the next mail? We want 
it to test the Kine Pox Patients who were inoculated before the 


board of health (at Noddle's Island) and Dr. Aspinwall 1 has not, he 

says, a particle in his hospital You have had, I hear, a 

recent case at Portsmouth. Can you send me some of it? Your 
attention to this business will oblige, Your Friend and Humble 
Servant, B. Waterhouse." 

The second message says: 

"Cambridge, November 4, 1802. Dear Sir: Agreeably to your 
request, I here enclose a small portion of vaccine matter. I cannot 
send more at this time, having just sent some to Philadelphia, 
where it is extinct. I have just received a similar request from New 
York where it is also extinct! And I have reason to think that there 
is none in Boston, my own cases excepted!! Neither, it seems, is 
there any in Portsmouth. . . . How can practitioners be so in- 
attentive? I am obliged to hire children, and others, to be inocu- 
lated in Cambridge in order to keep up a continuity of matter. I 
have just received some quills from Mr. Ring. Dr. Jenner has just 
sent me some in a silver box, inlaid with gold of exquisite work- 
manship, with a complimentary inscription by Mr. Ring. 2 You 
will find on reading Coxe, that he has published in haste. He sent 
me the work in sheets. I sent him the colored engravings of the 
pustule in all its stages, contrasted with small pox. He has, you 
see, copied it, but it falls vastly short of the original. Dr. Coxe 3 

1 William Aspinwall (1733-1823) served as a surgeon in the Revolu- 
tionary army, and then established a Small Pox Hospital at Brookline. 
He gained great reputation, by inoculating, with the Small Pox virus, 
more people than all the other neighboring physicians combined. 
Perceiving, however, that vaccination would prove the safer and surer 
preventive he vigorously advocated the new procedure. In his old 
age, Dr. Nathan Smith, much to his personal regret, operated unsuc- 
cessfully for cataract upon Dr. Aspinwall. 

2 The silver gilt box was brought from Dr. Jenner by Dr. Matthias 
Spalding (1769-1865) who was a graduate from Harvard and after 
studying in Europe, settled in Amherst, New Hampshire. He was for 
many years President of the State Medical Society. Fertile in re- 
sources and in obstetrical emergencies, and genial as a man, he was an 
unusually successful practitioner. 

3 John Redman Coxe (1773-1864) studied abroad and was practis- 
ing in Philadelphia as early as 1795. He was a Surgeon to the Penn- 
sylvania Hospital and occupied the Chairs of Chemistry and Materia 
Medica in the Medical School. Discords and jealously arose, and it 
became a burning question: Is there need of separate Chairs for these 
two topics, and is Dr. Coxe capable of filling either? He was finally 
compelled to resign from both, but he lived long enough afterward to 
prove the absurdity of the charges of incapacity brought against him. 
He knew enough, but was too pedantic to be interesting. His " Phila- 
delphia Medical Museum" was an excellent paper of its kind, and he 
was also for a time in the Surgical Instrument Business. 


has just written to me for a fresh supply of matter. Yours, etc., 
B. Waterhouse. 

P. S. If you could procure me another quintal of fish such as you 
sent me last autumn, you and I will settle the amount of it when we 
next meet, or before, by sending the Bill of it. We can get the 
ordinary fish in Boston, but the best kind of large fish is not easy to 
be found. 

Our experiment stagnates for want of pox matter." 

These two notes illustrate the Noddle's Island test of 
vaccination as a preventive of Small Pox, w r hich was begun 
in August, 1802, by vaccinating several persons, with the 
idea of inoculating them when occasion served, with Small 
Pox virus. When, therefore, Dr. Waterhouse asks for Small 
Pox virus, and says, "Our experiment Stagnates," he means 
that the Noddle's Island test had lasted since August, and 
was not then completed. 


Medical Life at Portsmouth, 1803-1806. 

In order to throw light on Dr. Spalding's career at this 
time I must rely mostly on scrap books and newspapers, 
which show that he was making flying visits to Boston, and 
obtaining a fair practice. I find on a bit of paper, and 
written in French: "I spent this year $300 more than I 
made." His marriage with Miss Coues took place in 
October, 1802, and they went on their honeymoon to Cornish 
and Hanover. 

He resumed vaccination in the Spring of 1803, constructed 
a Galvanic battery and used it medically, compounded 
oxygen gas and utilized it for asthma and built his own soda 
fountain, manufacturing mineral water for his patients and 
the public. The battery and the fountain seem to have been 
the first made in New Hampshire. He wrote medical 
papers, and read them before the medical society or printed 
them in the newspapers of the day. One of these on quacks 
showed the people the misery inflicted by these travelling 
wretches, especially upon the cancerous. He was much in- 
terested in Ergot, experimented with it largely, at first 
denied its efficacy and finally acknowledged his mistake. 
Another paper on "Interlocked Twins" attracted attention. 
He dissected daily during cold weather, became a skilled 
anatomist and surgeon, and obtained a considerable practice 
in this branch of medicine. He operated for cataract, hernia, 
necrosis, did many amputations, and a good deal of minor 

The following instance of his surgical conservatism is 
worth inserting: Without informing Dr. Spalding that am- 
putation of the leg had been advised by a capable surgeon 
in a case of necrosis of the tibia, he was called in to look at 
the patient and thereupon he said that the leg could be 
saved. He was told then that arrangements had been made 
to amputate it that afternoon. He retired from the case, 
and being sent for refused to attend except in consultation. 

This being arranged, he showed what he proposed to do, 



did it, and in a few weeks that patient who had been bed- 
ridden for years was walking without a cane or a crutch. 

Amongst the accidents which he mentions in his papers 
were one of suffocation in a theatre during a panic following 
an alarm of fire. Another one was of ptosis (falling of the 
upper eyelid) after a stroke of lightning affecting a woman 
sitting at an open window during a thunder shower, but 
which was relieved after using the electric battery which 
Dr. Spalding had built. 

He once reported a case resembling spontaneous com- 
bustion; an old lady was left at home one Sunday morning, 
all the rest of the family having gone to church. Upon their 
return nothing was discovered of the woman but a heap of 
ashes. Dr. Spalding was called, and looked at the ashes 
and noticed the vile smell of burning flesh. Nothing else 
in the house was in any way injured. As the family 
claimed that when they left home there was no fire in the 
house, we can but speculate upon this phenomenon. Was 
it an accident from a tinder spark or was it spontaneous 

The public esteem in which Dr. Spalding was now held is 
proved by his being named as an Executor of the Will of the 
Widow "Martha Hilton" Wentworth. She had first mar- 
ried Governor Benning Wentworth, as Longfellow relates, 
and later on Colonel Michael Wentworth, not a relation of 
the Governor, but a hero, by his own right of having fought 
at Culloden and Fontenoy. He came to Portsmouth about 
17G0, practiced law, married the Governor's widow and died 
September 25th, 1795. The inventory of his estate mentions 
a handsome Chariot and six horses, a portrait of King George 
III, the personal gift of his Majesty, and much elegant 
furniture. His widow to whose estate as I have said, Dr. 
Spalding was named as Executor, although he declined the 
Trust, left him four handsome silver spoons made, as the 
Hall Mark shows, by John Gorham of Gutter Lane, London, 
in 1759. 

The first letter belonging to 1803 reads as follows: 

"Cambridge, April 24th, 1803. Dear Sir: Agreeably to your 
request I here enclose some fresh vaccine virus matter which was 
taken from a child on the 8th day from vaccination and is not more 
than 20 hours old. My late publication has at last set forth the 
History of the practice in America in its true point of light and cor- 


rected several ill grounded notions. I am, Sir, Your Humble 
Servant, Benjamin Waterhouse." 

About the same time also Dr. Spalding received official 
notice of his election to the State Medical Society. 

"Kingston, N. H. June 8, 1803. Sir: I am directed to notify 
you, that at the annual meeting of the New Hampshire Medical 
Society held at Exeter on the 25th of May, last, you were unani- 
mously elected a Fellow of said Society, and that the next annual 
meeting will be held at the house of Ezra Hutchings 1 in Exeter on 
the last Wednesday of May, 1804, at which time and place your 
attendance is requested. I am your Obedient Servant, Levi Bart- 
lett, Secretary." 

Dr. Thomas Manning (1775-1854), the writer of the next 
letter to appear, belonged to the Massachusetts Medical 
Society, and to a family, many of whom were physicians. He 
seems to have bought, sold, made over, repaired, leased, 
mortgaged and rented more Mansions, than any physician 
whose career I have ever investigated. He was at this time 
living in what had been the Parsonage of the First Church. 
He was practicing in Ipswich as early as 1799, and as late 
as 1830, and then retired to enjoy a green old age. 

"Ipswich, September 6, 1803. Dear Sir: I am favored with the 
opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your last year's Bill of 
Mortality of Portsmouth. I assure you that your communication 
will always meet with a warm reception when put into my hands. 
As I am writing permit me to congratulate you on the material 
March, which you have gained on me in the birth of your child. 
But, why are you so laconic in your communications, and why will 
you not accompany them with some additional remarks on Chemis- 
try, in the future? Call now to recollection your past omissions and 
so preclude farther accusations from me. 

Although I have not yet the pleasure of an acquaintance with Mrs. 
Spalding, I presume to request you to make my respects to her, and 
tell her that I wish that she may find continual joy in the life of your 
mutual darling. 2 Your very obedient servant. Tho's Manning." 

After Dr. Spalding had completed his galvanic battery, he 
communicated the fact to Dr. Smith, who in his turn made 

1 Ezra Hutchings was not a physician, as stated in the "Records" 
of the New Hampshire Medical Society, but simply the Landlord of 
the Tavern where the society meetings were held. 

2 "Your mutual darling" was Elizabeth Parkhurst Spalding, born 
August 11, 1803. 



-rr-vt^ <>W 

y . a 



various experiments, but with poor success. In the emer- 
gency he applies to his former pupil for information by- 

Hanover, November 7, 1803. Sir: I wish you to inform me by a 
letter, where, and how you obtain the Zinc of which you make your 
Galvanic Pile. I have been disappointed at several attempts to 
obtain it. I wish also that you would give me a short account of its 
operation, and its effects on the body and you will oblige, Your 
Friend and Servant, Nathan Smith. 

N. B. I shall be at Hanover during this month." 

The only letter at hand for 1804 is from John Eliot (1754- 
1813), a founder of the Massachusetts Historical Society and 
a graduate of Harvard and Edinburgh. He had married 
into the Portsmouth family of the Treadwells, and was well 
acquainted in that way with Dr. Spalding. Eliot's "Bio- 
graphical Dictionary' of Eminent Men in New England" was 
highly thought of. Mr. Eliot had sent some "Collections of 
the Massachusetts Historical Society" to the Portsmouth 
Library, and Dr. Spalding as Librarian had returned thanks 
and enclosed a Bill of Mortality and a copy of his "Chemical 
Nomenclature." Here is Mr. Eliot's reply: 

"Boston, March 9th, 1804. Dear Sir: I received your polite 
letter of acknowledgment of the Books, and am very glad to learn 
that your Portsmouth Library is in a nourishing condition, and that 
you are the Librarian. I feel interested in everything that concerns 
it. The founders of it were my particular friends, and did me the 
honor of desiring me to write a list of books, which were sent for 
among the first their subscription afforded. The Historical Collec- 
tions, which I send you, are a good addition. I would not have 
parted with them to an Individual, but hope they will be read by 
many in Portsmouth and that they will find entertainment in dry 
antiquities, as they appertain to their own country. 

Your present to our Historical Society, I received and thank you 
in their name. Such Bills of Mortality in every town would be 
useful, but professional men are generally lazy. It is the fault of 
some of our most eminent physicians in Boston. 

Your new Nomenclature will be useful. It shows how much you 
have attended to that Science, which will be among the fashionable 
studies here in a few years as it is now in Europe. I studied Chemis- 
try with Priestly's "Nomenclature" 1 and cannot break off my 

1 Priestly's "Nomenclature" was one of a largo number of con- 
tributions to science by the Rev. Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) who had 
lately died. This great ecclesiastic and greater chemist was born in 


prejudices suddenly. I call them prejudices, from the habits of 
study when I was better able to attend to such things than I am 
now. I feel my attachment increase, since that great and good man 
has died in the same opinion. Great, he was, in everything. . tho' 
wrongheaded in some, and perhaps it may be in his deductions from 
his experiments concerning the phlogistic principle. Allowing this, 
yet his Nomenclature seems to me very expressive. Or, being more 
used to it, I may, as said before, be more prejudiced. 

Were I on the Committee of Publication this year, I should put 
your Bills of Mortality in the 9th Vol. of our Collections. It would 
not be foreign to such a kind of publication, but part of the History 
of the place. The use that will be made by comparing them with 
those of other towns in the state is one thing. I wish to put them 
into the Collection, as Illustrations of the state of a town whose 
history we want more complete. 

With due esteem and respect, Your Most Obedient Servant, 
J. Eliot." 

The first letter for the year 1805 is from Dr. Mitchill in 
reply to one from Portsmouth. 

"Washington, February 7, 1805. Dear Sir. Your Bill of Mor- 
tality for 1804 has reached me, and I thank you for it. What a 
dreadful calamity the Pulmonary Consumption is! I believe, so 
far as our Bills extend in New York, that one fifth of our deaths are 
by the same fatal malady. I hope you will continue your obser- 
vations. We shall preserve it, and extend the circulation of it in the 
"Repository." I find that Dr. Miller has got out the 31st No., 
which is the 3d part of Vol. 8. I received it a few days ago from the 
booksellers, by mail. It is full of original and valuable matter. I 
have observed that your Bill of Mortality for the last year has been 
reprinted in London. With Great Regard and Esteem, Samuel L. 

A note from Dr. Caldwell shows us that Dr. Spalding had 
been obtaining subscribers for his translation of Desault's 
"Surgery" and from it we find him obtaining a Set, as a gift. 

England and died in Pennsylvania, having been driven from home by 
mobs who thought that his views on Reform were wrong. As a man, 
Priestly was rapid in his gait, and in his repartee. His sermons were 
friendly talks with his people. He wrote on Theology, Philology, 
History, Polities and Sociology. As a Chemist he discovered Oxygen 
Gas, and Soda Water preparations, and in Chemical Science he stood 
upon the Heights. Although offered a Chair in Chemistry in the 
University of Pennsylvania on reaching America, he preferred to live 
in the country, where he worked to the last, dictating a Treatise, a few 
minutes only, before his death. 


"Philadelphia, June 13, 1805. Dear Sir. Accept my sincere 
thanks for your attention to the interest and circulation of my 
Translation of Desault's "Surgery." 1 The number of copies of 
that work directed in your polite letter have been forwarded to you 
at my request, together with one attached for yourself, by W. P. 
Farrand and Co. Booksellers in Philadelphia to whose order you will 
have the goodness to pay the subscription money. I am, with High 
Regard, Your friend and obedient Servant, Ch. Caldwell." 

I have not been able to discover at this place how a patient 
of Dr. Spalding could be at Hanover, unless he had operated 
upon her for cataract whilst taking a vacation there and had 
left her in charge of Dr. Smith, who now writes concerning 

"Hanover, June 25, 1805. Dear Sir: Mrs. Peirce, your patient 
has been attended to. But her case is of that kind which forbids 
my giving her any encouragement of receiving her sight. She seems 
to be afflicted with a degree of inflammation and soreness of the 
eyelids, which might possibly be mended. For that purpose I 
would wash them once or twice a clay in a solution of corrosive 
sublimate, in the proportion of two grains to a pint of water. The 
Thebain tincture of Sydenham 2 may also be tried to const ringe and 

1 Pierre Joseph Desault (1744-1785) was set to study theology in 
the country but escaped to the more attractive Medical Schools of 
Paris. He lectured later in that city with much success despite the 
jealousy of the regular faculties. He had charge of the Dauphin 
(Louis XVII) during the Revolution, is said to have denounced an in- 
tended substitution, and to have been poisoned to get him out of the 
way. It may be added, that Chopart (collaborator with Desault in 
medical works and originator of "Chopart's amputation" of the foot) 
was called into consultation with Desault in this case and agreed with 
him that substitution of children had been performed. Chopart also 
died of a rapid fever, ami ho, too, is said to have been poisoned. 

2 Thomas Sydenham ( 1624-1 089), though living long before the date 
of this letter, is worth annotating as a Hero in Medicine. He fought, 
with Cromwell, obtained the Sinecure of Comptroller of the Pipe, and 
at last discovering that he knew nothing about medicine studied in 
France, and settled in London where he obtained an excellent practice 
chiefly owing to the fame obtained by printing an account of his own 
case of Gout. Most of his works appeared in Latin, but whether so 
written or translated from English is still disputed. Be was a 1 litter 
talker and many stories are told concerning him. He once sent a 
grumbling patient all the way on horse back to consult a "Dr. Robin- 
son" in Dundee. When the man arrived there and found no su< h 
physician, he set off furious to London. Arriving there he had high 
words with Sydenham who appeased him in this way. "1 sent you to 
Dundee with something to think of on your way: that a new doctor 


strengthen the vessels of the eyes. As Internal Remcdic I would 
give her iron, and some of the stimulating gums. The following 
pills I have found useful; Bf Gum Guaiacum, Saponis Castillensis, 
Sal Martis, aa. Take two at night and in the morning. I would also 
recommend the use of diuretics, such as tincture of cantharides, 
and terebmthinate medicines. I cured a patient where there was 
a considerable collection of matter about the knee, by the help of 
issues applied to the part; iron and strong diuretics, internally. I 
write in great haste, being called this moment to attend a patient 
afflicted with gangrene. With respect and affection, I remain your 
sincere friend and very humble servant. Nathan Smith." 

The end of the year brought another delightful letter 
from Dr. Jenner. 

"Berkeley, Gloucestershire. November 12, 1805. Dear Sir: 
Your letter, though rather laconic, of the 27th day of May last 
affords me great satisfaction. I beg that you will accept my 
thanks for your kind attention, in sending me your Bill of Mortality 
of Portsmouth for the previous years. You may also easily con- 
ceive what gratification it is to me to hear that the powers of 
vaccination have so clearly manifested themselves in your experi- 
ments, as to have eradicated that Horrid Pest, Small Pox, from any 
particular district. Information similar to that which you convey 
has reached me from various parts of the world. Vienna exhibits a 
curious instance. The bill of Mortality has there shown that the 
average number of deaths by small pox had exceeded eight hundred 
for a number of years past, but that in the year 1804, five years only, 
after the introduction of Cow Pox by my disciple, Dr. De Carro, 1 
TWO INDIVIDUALS only fell victim to that disease. 

I now request all vaccine inoculators to be particularly cautious 
in the examination of the progress of the pustule in those who are 
affected with an Herpetic Skin, under whatsoever form this affection 

would cure you. Knowing that there was no such man there, I knew, 
again, that on your way home you would have but one thing to t hink 
of, and that was to be mad at me. Now you are cured; and what more 
can you do than pay a fee to me, and to the other doctor who cured 
you." Sydenham died from a calculus, but his Tincture is still with 

1 Jean De Carro was born in Geneva, in 1770, and graduated at 
Edinburgh. He was practicing in Vienna in 1799 at 983 Rauherstein, 
when Jenner brought forward vaccination, and was the first to extend 
its use by dipping ivory points into the lymph when ready. He also 
sent to Moscow, Persia and India lymph imbedded between plates of 
glass, which were then covered with layers of wax until the parcel re- 
sembled an ordinary ball of wax. In this way the lymph arrived safely 
and proved effective. De Carro's only regret in life was that he never 
met Dr. Jenner. 


may appear. My reason for enjoining this precaution is this: I 
clearly perceive it to be by far the more common than any other 
cause, of the Spurious or Imperfect vaccine pustule; that pustul 
which does not guard the patient from future infection. I have 
discovered too, that this has been the cause of insecurity obtained 
from variolous inoculation. We have abundant instances of per- 
sons taking the Small Pox after a supposed security due to small pox 
inoculation. Your country doubtless affords similar examples. 
your obedient servant, Edward Jenner. 

P. S. If you have any case of small pox after small pox in- 
oculation, pray communicate them, or any observations on 
Herpes, which I presume is as common in the New, as in the 
Old World." 

This is now the place to introduce another life long friend 
of Dr. Spalding, Philander Chase (1775-1852), born in Cor- 
nish, educated at Dartmouth and first serving as a Mission- 
ary Preacher of the Episcopal Church in New York. He 
then became Rector of churches in New Orleans and Hart- 
ford, Connecticut. He was the first Bishop of Ohio, 
President of Kenyon College, of the Theological Seminary of 
Ohio, of Jubilee College and last of all Bishop of Illinois. 
He was a Militant Churchman, and an intense hater of 
Negro Slavery. 

From his letter arriving in the Spring of 1806 we learn of 
the state of affairs in Louisiana soon after its purchase by 
the United States. 

"New Orleans, March 8, 1806. My dear friend: I believe, if 
either of us were asked why we have not kept up a correspondence 
with each other, no satisfactory reply could be given. For my own 
part, I have been ashamed of neglecting, so lona;, an early friend, 
and one whom I so sincerely esteem. The tidings of your fame in 
the exercise of your professional functions have frequently reached 
my ear, and made glad my heart; and lately as it is, I am now 
happy to let you know something of myself. . . . Till last October 
I resided at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., engaged in the arduous cares of a 
Parish Minister, and Principal of Dutchess Academy. The Bishop 
of New York, having received a letter from the Protestants in New 
Orleans, requesting a Clergyman might be recommended to them, 
was pleased to pitch upon me, for that purpose. I obeyed, and 
leaving my family in Poughkeepsie, came on, and found things 
to answer for the most part, my expectations. I think I shall for a 
while take up my residence in this city. For this purpose 1 shall 
if it please God go on for my family in May; in doing which 1 shall 
take the opportunity of visiting my friends in general. On my way 


to Portland, Maine, to see my Brother Salmon l I intend to have 
the pleasure of once more joining hands with you, and happy shall 
I be, in finding your friendship as unimpaired as mine. As to 
News, you know more than I do, being so far from the Seat of 
Gov't; The Spaniards threaten hard, but have done nothing ma- 
terial as yet, by land. The Gov't of the State will probably declare 
war ag't the U. S., for interdicting our commerce with them. The 
difference with Great Britain will end, we are afraid, in something 
almost too unpleasant to think on. In trying "to see who will do 
the other the most harm," both must be but too successful. God 
avert this great Calamity!! 

My health never was better. The Climate of this Country has, 
as yet, proved pleasing beyond description. We have had but 6 or 
8 days of freezing weather, this winter. The roses are now in full 
bloom, and the time of the singing of the birds has come. 

May God bless and preserve you. My respectful compliments 
to Mrs. Spalding. Yours Sincerely, Philander Chase." 

Dr. Spalding was often consulted by seafaring men, who 
would sail away, leaving their bills unpaid. In his en- 
deavors to obtain payment, he had occasion in 1806 to in- 
quire the whereabouts of these patients from friends in 
Portland, Maine. Amongst many letters concerning such 
disagreeable disputes, I choose one or two from Dr. William 
Frost, 2 and Mr. Kinsman 3 of that place. 

1 My Brother Salmon (1761-1806) was a Dartmouth graduate and 
a lawyer in Portland. He was "All at sea" with a Jury, but so brimful 
of facts and cases that he was known as " The Law Book." His nephew, 
Salmon Portland Chase, the gifted Secretary of the Treasury, in 1861, 
was named after his Uncle Salmon, but to honor him, particularly, the 
nephew was given the middle name of Portland, where his uncle had 
practiced law. 

2 William Frost (1781-1S23) was the sixth son of Gen. John Frost of 
Kittery who had served in the Revolution and was blessed with a 
large family. He served as surgeon's mate in the Navy, was a physician 
in Portland and died in the West Indies on his 42nd birthday. Whether 
he was in the Tropics as a Ship's Surgeon at that time, or in search of 
health, I have not discovered. In looking over some old books, I 
lately found a few of his which testified to his good literary taste. 

3 Nathan Kinsman (1777-1829) was graduated at Dartmouth in 
the Class of 1799 when Dr. Spalding was Chemical Lecturer; they 
roomed together at one time and were great friends. Kinsman came 
from Lincoln, Maine, and settled in Portland, where he had an ex- 
tensive law practice. He is said to have had more "Embargo Cases" 
than any other lawyer, and it was facetiously remarked, that if you 
only spelled "Embargo" backward (O grab me) you would understand 
why lawyers were so anxious to be retained in such profitable cases. 


In his first letter Dr. Frost asks for Vaccine. 

"Portland, March 10, 1806. Dear Spalding: I have had re- 
peated occasions to apply to you for favours and again have the 
presumption to request another. 

I have had several applications of late to Inoculate for the Kine 
Pock and am under the necessity to apply to you for some of the 
vaccine matter, presuming you have some fresh and genuine or can 
procure some, as you generally Inoculate at this season of the year. 
If you have any you can rely on as genuine, be so obliging as to 
put up a small quantity in the manner you usually transport it, 
and forward it by Mail, and I will satisfy you in whatsoever may be 
the price of it, and convey it to you through the same medium. 
. . . Also, the volumes on Surgery (Deasult's) that I subscribed 
for last summer; if they have been sent on to you. If you will let 
me know what the price of them was, I will remit you the money 
at the same time. If the Postage of the volumes of Surgery isn't 
more than 2/ or 2/6 to Portland, you may send it with the Vaccine 
matter, and directed to Portland. But if the Postage is more, you 
you may keep it, until you have a favourable opportunity to forward 
it, or wait until I come to Portsmouth. Excuse the liberty I take, 
and permit me to Subscribe myself, your Sincere Friend and Serv't., 
Wm. Frost." 

In his second note, Dr. Frost writes about the bad debts. 

"Portland, July 9, 1806. Dear Spalding: Your letters, one with 
the Kine Pox matter and the other including the Bills for Collec- 
tion, both came safely to hand. The consequence of my being 
obliged to go to Boston a day or two after I rec'd your Present of 
Vaccine virus: it was out of my power to inoculate with it until 
since my return, which has been only about two weeks. Soon 
after my return I inoculated with it, but the period has not yet 
come to determine whether it has not been injured by age. . . . 
I something expect it is. 

Your bills against patients I have settled in the usual way of 
settling Doctor's bills nowadays, by taking Notes of hand, in pay- 
ment: which you will receive enclosed. They would not give the 
Notes for a shorter time. Sawyer tried to plead off 1> 
"He had sworn out of jail lately, and did not know that he ever 
should be able to pay it," but I at last persuaded him to give th I 

Mr. Chase informs me he has collected one account, and will | 
it to your order. It will be as well to direcl him to send it by mail 
as ii will go - ier. Your Obliged Humble Servt., Wm. Frost. 

P.S. If this vaccine should not prove good, I presume that I 
shall once more intrude on your goodness tor a little more." 


Mr. Chase died about this time, and the bills were then 
left with Mr. Kinsman who wrote to this effect about col- 
lecting them. 

"Portland, Nov. 19, 1806: Dear Sir: On settling one of your 
accounts I recollect a request in a letter from you, that whoever 
the attorney might be, some information on the subject should be 
forwarded to you, and, was it not Court Week, I could give you 
more information on the topic, of your accounts handed me by 
Dr. Frost. But, the evening is the only time I have to answer 
letters, and at my house. I, therefore, can only say that this man 
paid $15, and Costs. So soon as the Court rises I will forward the 
money by post, or in any other way that you direct. Shall be very 
happy to obey your commands should any more of your patients 
stroll down this way. In Friendship; Your OBDT Servt, Nathan 

Writing again in February, 1807, Mr. Kinsman says: 

"The only apology I can make for not acknowledging your last 
letter and the one before it, covering sundry demands for col- 
lection, is, that the unusual calls on me of late in the line of my 
profession has caused me to forget answering them. I have at 
last attended to some of the accounts, but have collected only $10. 
I offered one man to take a Note at 12 months, but he is such a 
poor drunken fellow, that no one will endorse him. Another is 
dead, and his wife, if he ever married her, has no property as I am 
informed by the constable." 

In a final letter Mr. Kinsman writes: 

"Enclosed you have the $19, the balance due you after I charged 
off my commission. Your Friend, Kinsman." 

I will now go back to 1806 and introduce two new friends 
of Dr. Spalding, Mr. Brackett of New York, a well-known 
lawyer and Hon. Silas Dinsmoor, a distinguished politician 
of that era. Joseph Warren Brackett (1775-1826) came 
from Greenland, New Hampshire, was graduated at Dart- 
mouth in 1800, and settled in New York, where he practiced 
law and acted as attorney for Dr. Spalding when he moved 
to that city. 

Silas Dinsmoor (1766-1847) was born in Windham, New 
Hampshire, and died in Kentucky. After graduating from 
Dartmouth he went into politics, and was now Government 
Agent for the Choctaw Indians. He later served as Quarter- 
master General and Colonel in the War of 1812. After 


visiting Dr. Spalding, in 1806, with a letter of introduction 
from Mr. Brackett, he travelled into Maine to study Indian 
conditions in that State, and on his return renewed the 
Portsmouth friendship and continued it many years. 

The early autumn brought a most unexpected letter from 
Dr. Noyes who had long been silent. 

" Newburyport, August 30, 1806. My Good Friend: With what 
expectations hast thou opened this letter? Didst thou expect 
some Present, Information, or Sentiment? If thou didst, thou art 
not disappointed. Didst thou expect some petition? If thou 
didst, I shall be glad, for thine expectation will be fulfilled. But 
what is your petition? Why; that thou wouldst send me some 
kine pox infection. Please to take it on pointed quills and divert 
it to Dr. Francis Vergnies, 1 or Nathan Noyes. We have no news. 
The season is very healthy. I have bought the last edition of 
Rush's "Enquiries," and will send them to you if you wish. N. 

This same season appears to have witnessed a fresh cam- 
paign of vaccination in Maine, for Dr. Spalding had many 
requests for virus from that State. One of them was from 
Dr. John Church of Wiscasset, who later was drowned, and 
another from Dr. Cyrus Johnson of Cape Elizabeth, who 
mentions a famous man Dr. Jeremiah Barker. 

"Portland, Oct. 12, 1806. Dear Sir: Dr. Barker 2 informs me 
that he has several times received from you some Kine Pock Mat- 
ter, and doubts not but I could obtain the same favor by applying 

1 Dr. Francis Vergnies de Bonchiere (1767-1830) was born ami 
educated in France, but practiced in the island of Guadeloupe. Exiled 
from there during a Negro Insurrection, he arrived in Newburyport 
almost simultaneously with an epidemic of Yellow Fever, during which 
he was of so great assistance to the afflicted that he was publicly thanked 
at a Town Meeting in 1797. Cheerful, charming and polite, he had 
the misfortune to lose his eyesight from glaucoma, but continued cheer- 
ful to the last. He left to the library of the Massachusetts Medical 
Society his valuable medical books in several languages but they have 
long since been scattered. 

2 Dr. Jeremiah Barker (1752-1835) has been broadly depicted hy 
me in a monograph read before the Maine Historical Society in 1910. 
He was born in Seituate, Massachusetts, served on a Privateer and on 
the Penobscol expedition during the Revolution, and then practiced in 
Gorham and in Portland, Maine, and finally retired to Qorham. He 
was a most industrious practitioner, and writer, and ardent in the cause 
of Temperance, Vaccination and Alkalies in Fever. His detailed 
accounts of the Weather and of Epidemics in Maine possess much 
medico historical value. 


to you. If you have some fresh matter and will be kind enough to 
send me a small quantity, you will Very Much Oblige, Yours to 
Serve, Cyrus Johnson." 

The Galvanic Battery invented by Dr. Spalding also made 
him well known and brought him many inquiries concerning 
its use. One of this sort from Dr. Abel Blanchard of Pitts- 
field, New Hampshire, may serve as an example of many 

"Pittsfield, New Hampshire, Nov. 10, 1806. Sir: I have sent to 
you for 1 lb of Zinc and 1 oz Ipecac, which I will thank you to put 
up, or direct the bearer where he may procure them. The Zinc I 
want for the purpose of constructing Volta's Pile. I once made 
the attempt and failed. I took plates of Zink, Silver and pieces of 
pasteboard, placed the three successively and so on. I wet them 
with a solution of various salts, but could produce no effect. If 
not too much trouble I will thank you for information on the sub- 
ject. Must the edge of my plate be dry? Must the Pile be in- 
sulated? Or, did I fail in some other particular? How many 
plates, the size of a Dollar will answer in all cases of Disease where 
Galvanism is useful? 

Not having any personal acquaintance with you, it is with re- 
luctance I request of you information on the above subject, but 
presuming I shall thereby be enabled to form a Volta Pile, which 
shall be effectual, I take the liberty. I am Sir, Your Obdt. Servant: 
Abel Blanchard." 

Leaving now New England friends aside, we find by the 
next letter from Dr. Shadrack Ricketson of New York, that 
Dr. Spalding's acquaintance was extending far from home. 
Dr. Ricketson was a physician of good standing in the pro- 
fession, had written, as we shall see, a Popular Work on 
Health, and at this time is asking Dr. Spalding to obtain 
new subscribers. 

'' New York, 8 Mo. 9th. 1806. Dear Doctor: I sent thee some 
time past one of the Prospectuses of my Work, announced, on the 
"Means of preserving health and preventing Diseases," which is 
now in the press, and will shortly be completed. The plan of the 
Work, will, I apprehend, be understood from what has already 
circulated, but as it is designed for popular use as well as for the 
Faculty, it is not dressed in Medical Garb but written mostly in 
as plain and intelligible a style as could be well consistent with its 
nature, and in order to render it still more so to every capacity, I 
have prepared a glossary of the technical Terms that have un- 
avoidably occurred by which its utility and acceptance will I hope 


be increased. As the public have been fatigued and crowded with 
Subscriptions, I have proceeded to publish without, for which 
reason it will be more necessary to pave the way, and diffuse in- 
formation of the publication in order that the sale may defray the 
expense of printing. I have, accordingly, asked the favour of my 
Medical Friends and Correspondents to spread Information of 
this Work. 

I have consulted a great number of the most eminent of the 
Faculty on the acceptance and utility of the work, who generally 
speak encouragingly of it, and wish to see it published. 

I wish that Information may circulate in Portsmouth and other 
parts that way, of the Work, and that it is intended for general 
use, and consequently important, and interesting to all. I wish 
to be informed of the reception of this, with thy Prospect of the 
sale of the Work, that way, and any observation that may occur, 
respecting it. Please to mention what trusty Bookseller or Agent 
in Portsmouth would be suitable to commit some of the books to. 
I judge that every Work designed for popular use should not only 
be as intelligible, but as concise and cheap as possible. I have 
accordingly, condensed mine into a 12 Mo Vol. tho it contains as 
much as some in 8 vo. The price is not fixed, but it will not exceed 
150 Cents, bound, by retail, and a 13th will be allowed Gratis to 
a purchaser of 1 dozen, as if published by subscription. In Haste, 
Thine; Shad Ricketson." 

Dr. Spalding agreed to sell a few copies of the work, and 
with them came this second letter. 

"400 Pearl St., N. Y., 10th. mo. 18th. 1806. Dear Doctor: I 
acknowledge the receipt of thy letter and am much obliged by thy 
attention to my requests respecting my books which are now out 
of the press and ready for Sale. 

I herewith send Thee 26 of them for sale at 125 cents, each, re- 
serving one to Thyself for disposing of each dozen. As C. Pierce l 
is a stranger to me, I think best of committing them to Thy care. 
The expense of publication, having far exceeded my expectation-; 
and the calculation of the printer, I was almost induced to sell it 
higher, but desirous of adapting it to the ability of every purchaser 
and the capacity of the reader, as I have endeavored to do by 
the language and a Glossary, I have concluded to Bel] as Low, as 

Although the Recommendations printed in the book arc from 
the first Physicians in the City, yet as their names may not be 

1 Charles Pierce (1779-1851) was a Portsmouth Journalist and 
Bookseller, who published for several years a local newspaper entitled 
"The Oracle of the Day" and "The United States Oracle of to Day." 
He left Portsmouth after a successful career and died in Philadelphia. 


known to the public at large, That Way, 1 I thought it might in- 
troduce and expedite the sale, if thou were to add a short recom- 
mendatory paragraph to accompany the advertisement in the 
Papers, in which, if another influential physician in the town were 
to join, it might be well. I wish to be informed of the reception of 
the books with the prospect of their scale, That Way, and whether 
any more will probably be wanted. 

I note thy work "On Cutaneous Diseases," which will be ac- 
ceptable to the World. 

Thy Bills of Mortality were also acceptable, and I herewith send 
Thee a copy of the Proceedings of our Med. Soc, of the Committe 
of Correspondence of which I am one. 

Thy Respectful and Obliged Friend. Shad. Ricketson." 

The last letters belonging to this year are from Dr. Thomas 
Burnside (1787-1815) of Plymouth, New Hampshire, and 
reveal, not only his intentions to practice surgery, but Dr. 
Spalding's kind disposition. Dr. Burnside obtained ■ his 
medical degree at Dartmouth, in 1805, but died early. 

" Plymouth, December 10, 1806. Dear Sir: I hope you will not 
be surprised at receiving this from one with whom you are un- 
acquainted; tho' almost a stranger, yet I have had the pleasure 
of seeing you at our Lodge at Haverhill, and accompanied you to 
visit Mr. Webster who was then unwell at that place. I have at- 
tended two courses of Medical Lectures at Dartmouth, and have 
been in tins town about a year as a practitioner in Physic and Sur- 
gery. My pecuniary circumstances are rather low, having ex- 
pended considerably for my education. I now want very much 
Surgical Instruments for amputations, Trephining, Couching, etc. 
My motive in writing to you, was to beg you to inform me whether 
I could get them in Portsmouth, and what would be the expense of 
each set. And, if I should send by a friend, whether you would be 
good enough to pick them, that I might not pay for useless instru- 
ments. . . . Your Most Hble. Serv't, Thomas Burnside." 

In his second letter, dated Feb. 12, 1807, he continues the 

" Dear Sir: Your kind letter I have just received. I know not 
how to acquit your kindness. The amputating instruments you 
mention, I would buy, provided they will answer my purpose, and 
will be sold for their real value. On you, I must depend for this, as 
I cannot come for them. If they were a good set, are unhurt, and 
you are persuaded they will answer my purpose, I would be glad to 
purchase them. A full set, I take it, will contain an amputating, 

1 " That way " means " In your town." 


a spring saw, two or three different sized knives, a tourniquet, a 
tenaculum, and perhaps some other things which I now do not 
think of, together with a case in which they are kept. I expected 
these are all constructed according to Mr. Bell. 1 I am determined 
to procure a good set, if any. . . . The instruments of midwifery 
I do not want, but if you will procure and send with the rest a 
catheter of elastic gum, I would be very glad. The man by whom 
I shall send for those instruments will go to Portsmouth in two or 
three weeks. I therefore, wish you to inform me further respect- 
ing them, as soon as may be, that I may agree with him to procure 
them; if so shall send him to you. Your Humble Servt. Thos. 

Finally on February 27, 1807, he writes: 

"Dear Sir: I am happy in receiving yours of the 20 Inst. The 
instruments according to your description will meet my appro- 
bation. Please to deliver them to Esq. Russell, the bearer of this, 
for which he will pay you. Be good enough to send the catheter 
such as you mentioned, by him. I am told that those of the elastic 
gum, which are preserved on a straight wire are preferable, but 
send such as you can procure. 

The unwearied pains you have taken in this business is more 
than I could expect. If I can ever be of any service to you in any 
respect, I shall be happy. I hold myself under the greatest obliga- 
tions to you, and am Ever, you very Hmble Servant, Thos. Burn- 

1 "According to Mr. Bell" means John or Charles Bell of Edinburgh 
the famous surgeons." 


American Edition of Willan on Cutaneous Diseases. Benjamin 

Fay, an Episode in the Life of Dr. Nathan Smith. Post 

Roads in New Hampshire. Letters 1807-1808. 

The mention of "Thy work on Cutaneous Diseases" in 
Dr. Ricketson's letter reminds me of the fact that at this 
time Dr. Spalding became interested in diseases of the skin, 
from seeing several Parts of Dr. Robert Willan's elaborate 
work with colored plates, entitled "The Description and 
Treatment of Cutaneous Diseases." 

Dr. Robert Willan, the author (1757-1813), was educated 
at Edinburgh, and on removing to London obtained an ap- 
pointment in the Public Dispensary, from which he retired 
after twenty years of duty, honored with a set of silver. 
Willan was the First English Dermatologist and his classifi- 
cation of skin diseases is still practically used for all 
diagnostic purposes. His work on skin diseases issued in 
Parts, was first published in 1798, but not finished in his life 
time. He also wrote a "Life of Jesus," and published an 
illustrated treatise on "Vaccination." Becoming dropiscal, 
he journed to Madeira in search of health but died there. 

Amongst the various letters which bear upon Dr. Spald- 
ing's American Edition of Willan, the following seem worth 
printing to show his intentions which, however, failed owing 
to his inability to find any person who could print impressions 
in colors. 

The first artist employed to engrave a Plate from Part IX 
of Willan's book was Dr. Alexander Anderson (1775-1870) 
who was born in New York, but was early taken into Con- 
necticut by his Father who feared conscription into the 
British Navy, during the Revolution. Although Anderson 
showed talent as a draughtsman at an early age, his father 
insisted upon his studying medicine, and it has been asserted 
that the son was for a while a House Physician in the New 
York Hospital, but soon abandoned medicine. 

Anderson was at this time all the rage with his wood cuts 
and surgical engravings, and was for that reason engaged 



for the new Willan. The only letter which I find from him 
is the following, in which he asks for payment and offers to 
forward the finished Plate. 

"New York, April 8, 1806. Dear Sir: I wrote you some time ago 
by a vessel which, I understand, has met with some accident, and 
since my letter may not have reached you, I thought it necessary 
in this one, to state the contents. 

I mentioned in it, the difficulty of drawing, for the $50 you 
offered me, and supposed that some opportunity might offer for 
sending the Plate. As I have to pay that sum the 1st of May, if 
you could make it convenient you would much oblige. . . . Yours 
Respectfully, Ale'x Anderson." 

As it seemed from this and other letters, that Anderson 
could engrave a plate, but could not pull from it colored im- 
pressions, Dr. Spalding directed it to be sent to Philadelphia 
by his cousin, John Jackson, then in the Insurance business 
in New York. With his letter, Dr. Spalding enclosed a 
draft for $125, from which Mr. Jackson paid Dr. Anderson a 
final $20, and held the remainder to Dr. Spalding's credit. 

The plate was sent on to Mr. John Vaughan, another Son 
of Portsmouth then living in Philadelphia, with directions to 
hand it to Mr. David Edwin a second celebrated engraver 
of that era, to see if he could print from it in colors. 

Mr. David Edwin, a son of John Edwin, an English Comic 
actor of wonderful repute, was born in Bath, England, and 
in his 10th year was apprenticed to an engraver in London. 
David, however, ran away to sea and settled in Philadelphia 
in 1797, where he acquired much renown as an engraver of 
portraits. After twenty years of great success, he lost his 
eyesight and retired from his arduous occupation. 

A letter at this point from Mr. John Vaughan throws a 
little more light on the Willan Plate, and carries the story 

"Philadelphia, 24 December, 1806. Dear Doctor: When your 
friend Richards 1 was here, I was on Jury Duty, and so continued 

1 Mr. Richards was the Universalist Clergyman, and prominent 
Mason from Portsmouth, before mentioned. He was now "On Trial" 
with the Universalist Church in Philadelphia. He always spoke of 
Mrs. Spalding as "Lady" Spalding, and predicted fame for Dr. Spald- 
ing, saying: "I expect to see the time when Lyman Spalding's head, 
instead of being on his shoulders will be acting as Support of the Greatest 
Medical Journal in the World." 


near six weeks, which made attention to him, impossible. He has 
given great satisfaction; they have invited him, and seem disposed 
to exert themselves to make his situation agreeable and to put him 
in the way, by teaching, of adding to the salary they can afford to 

Your Plate has not been many days here. I put it at once into 
the hands of Edwin, but he has not yet returned it. The vessel 
you mentioned arrived yesterday. I shall take care to send it by 
her, with the Impressions from it which I may receive from Edwin. 

I remain Yours Sincerely, Jn. Vaughan." 

When the impressions of Anderson's Plate from the press 
of David Edwin reached Portsmouth, and were found de- 
fective in color, being very pale and indistinct, Dr. Spalding 
entered into correspondence with a third engraver of national 
fame, James Akin, then of Newburyport, Massachusetts. 
Mr. Akin will long be known to collectors by his prints 
of "Wolfe's Tavern" in Newbury, and by a frontispiece 
of "King David with his Harp" as depicted in a "Set of 
Sacred Hymns" published by Amos Blanchard of Exeter, 
New Hampshire, in 1805. Akin's "Perpetual Almanac" 
published by G. Goold, of Portland, in 1805, is excessively 
rare and prized by connoisseurs. 

I have not discovered when Mr. Akin was born, but he 
was still flourishing in 1833, and I have traced him through 
his long career as a druggist, restaurant keeper, lithographer, 
caricaturist, and engraver of Portraits (amongst them the 
familiar one of Dr. Rush) and of book plates. 

With the year 1807 we hear farther news from Mr. Akin 
concerning the impressions for the American Willan. 

"Newburyport, May 12, 1807. Dear Sir: This morning your 
note was put into my hands by one of the Portsmouth Stage Drivers, 
by whom it was my intention to have forwarded this answer. I 
do not particularly recollect how Dr. Noyes understood me, nor do 
I sufficiently recollect whether I wished "Some Physician Present," 
when I should experiment for you. Certain, I am, at this moment, 
however, that it would be wholly unnecessary to require your at- 
tendance at the distance between Portsmouth and Newburyport. 
I am not unwilling to let any person see the process who should de- 
sire it, but I cannot suppose that a gratification of this kind would 
animate you to leave your business. 

If you will forward me the Plate, I will, either in your absence 
or presence endeavor to produce such impressions of it as will 
satisfy you of my competency to such a business, requiring nothing 


more than what can reasonably be expected for the loss of ray time, 
and the cost of such ingredients as I shall be necessitated to procure. 

If the experiment is conformable to your ideas, and affords 
satisfactory produce to entitle me to an engagement for the entire 
work, I shall then be ready to converse farther with you upon the 
subject, and afterwards determine about the price. 

I remain with perfect Respect, Sir, Your Ob'd't, Serv't. James 

P.S. Week after next will suit me. J. A." 

As it happened that neither Dr. Spalding nor Mr. Akin 
could leave his business, the matter rested until June when 
Mr. Akin wrote again. 

" Newbury port, June 6, 1807. Sir: The business which would 
draw me to Portsmouth can at present be terminated without my 
presence there, and of course I shall not (now) see you as I con- 
jectured. It would be almost impossible to give you a direct 
answer respecting Willan's Plates. The number of impressions to 
be printed, ought first to be known, and the different plates in- 
spected as to the quality of the work required to each. You 
probably will be in Newburyport before a great while, and as you 
appear so much pleased with my competent abilities as to wish 
for an answer, I give the preference to an interview with you upon 
the subject, as a great liability exists that our letters may be multi- 
plied without accomplishing any object for which we should write. 

The expensive and tedious process of printing in colours could 
not be undertaken, unless something of consequence was expected 
from the number to be printed off each plate. I remain Very 
Respectfully, Y'r Ob'd., Serv't, James Akin. 

P.S. The paper you sent me can be bought here; tho' excellent 
of its kind, it is wholly unfit for the purpose of printing in Colours." 

Soon after the date of this letter Mr. Akin became in- 
volved in a quarrel concerning some drawings for Bow- 
ditch's "Navigator," and fearing a law suit, he decided to 
leave Newbury as the following letter shows. 

" Newburyport, October 27, 1S07. Sir: I received your box and 
Plate when I was in great bustle and confusion of packing up and 
selling my furniture in preparation for a Departure out of this 
Commonwealth, but as I had to print about 300 impressions off 
another Plate, I supposed that it would be in my power to strike 
off a few Proofs, in colours, for you, and kept the plate for that 
purpose without saying anything to you upon the subject, tho' I 
requested Dr. Noyes to let you know my intention, and delivered 
him your letter at the time. It has, however, been wholly out of 


my power to do anything of the kind, because my tenancy expired 
before I was able to complete what business I had for some time 
past been engaged in. I therefore, send you back your Plate, as 
I ree'd it; am very sorry that it has not been possible for me to 
gratify your wishes. 

When I arrive at the Southward, I shall be glad to afford you all 
the service I can, if at that distance I shall be considered to suit 
your purposes. Upon a Review of my calculations for what I 
did in the first instance, I find a charge of two dollars expended 
for materials to experiment for you, which can be paid to the 
Bearer for me. And I am, Sir, Your Ob'd Serv't. James Akin." 

With this third failure to obtain satisfactory colored im- 
pressions Dr. Spalding abandoned Willan's Plates, and all 
that remains of the American Edition as planned by him, are 
two very rare and probably unique impressions of Plate IX, 
Figs. 1 and 2; of Lepra Alphos, and Lepra Nigricans, pulled 
from the plate engraved by Dr. Alexander Anderson. A 
pale pinkish impression is the one pulled by David Edwin, a 
dark, brownish one represents "the experiment" made by 
James Akin. 

Dr. Spalding's reputation already established in 1801 by 
his vaccination campaign had by the year 1807 so much in- 
creased that he was now receiving many letters, only a few 
of which, however, can be printed for lack of space. One 
on family affairs from his Brother Silas may here find place. 

"Cornish, Jany. 20, 1807. Dear Brother: I have nothing par- 
ticular to write, but we are all well as usual. You wrote about our 
coming down this winter, but it is so far advanced and no snow, 
that I have sent my pork to Boston by waggon and had returns 
from it. It fetched me $20 per bbl. and shall not get another load 
that would pay for transport so far. I talk of going next week with 
a load of rye as far as Amherst and exchange it for salt, if there 
comes snow so that I can have a run down, so far; Grain is plenty 
here, rye at 4/, corn the same, wheat at 7/6 and we hear it is so 
low in the Market that it wont pay, for freight expenses are so 
high. Money is scarce in the Country with us. If I could come 
down and fetch your town (up) or Portsmouth could come up, it 
would be a fine advantage to the country. But in vain it is to 
think any such thing. Mrs. Spalding says we must wait until 
Next winter, and then the children will be older, so we can leave 
them better. I received your letter which mentions your lajdng 
in Nuts and Cider. We have plenty of both but we must content 
our Noble Selves to eat our own this winter. If you love your 
Marm and her cheeses too, if we have a chance to send one down 


we will. Step up some morning Before Breakfast, take Mrs. 
Spalding by the hand and see us. Send a billet, and we will have a 
Turkey for you and ourselves, too. Silas Spalding." 

The first letter of the year from Dr. Smith contains valu- 
able information concerning Dartmouth and an alleged 

" Hanover, March 12, 1807. Dear Sir: I have just now received 
your favor dated 5th February; in what corner of the post office 
it has lurked for more than a month I do not know. I am, how- 
ever, glad to receive it at this late hour. Respecting the Object of 
the N. H. Medical Society, 1 I shall most cordially and zealously 
endeavor to promote it. I am appointed by the Hon'ble Board of 
Trust, for Dart. College to attend the next Legislature in this 
State on business for the College, 2 which will give me a very favor- 
able opportunity to cooperate with the Medical Society in any 
measure that will be conducive to the respectability of the pro- 
fession. Our last course of lectures in this University was a fortu- 
nate one. We had a much larger audience than usual, and I was 
able to pay more undivided attention to the business, so that we 
now stand on higher ground as it respects the medical branch of 
the College, than we have ever done at any former period. 

Last year you wrote me respecting republishing Willan's Book 
on Diseases of the Skin, and since that I have heard no more of it. 
I should like to know what we can expect respecting that work. 

Perhaps you may if you take one of the Walpole Papers observe 
a publication respecting the death of Benj. Fay, of Alstead, who 
was supposed to be poisoned. 3 The piece signed by my name I 
wrote at the request of the friends of the deceased, but did not put 
my name to it, but sent it to them to do as they pleased as to 

1 The object of the Society was a Resolution against Quackery in- 
troduced by Dr. Spalding. 

2 "Business for the College" means an effort to obtain State aid for 
a Medical School building at Hanover. 

3 "The case of Dr. Fay" deserves mention, because it is a hitherto 
overlooked episode in the life of Dr. Smith. 

Sometime in September, 180G, Mr. Fay died and was buried, but as 
rumors arose that he had been poisoned by his Mother-in- Law, Mrs. 
Margery Fay, she was arrested and the body exhumed for examination. 
As most of the physicians present were sure that Mr. Fay had been 
poisoned, they soon found what they called arsenic. Mrs. Fay wan 
then bound over for trial. Meanwhile, Dr. Smith had heard of the 
case, and after investigating it, he wrote a paper, as mentioned in his 

From an old copy of Dr. Smith's communication I note here the 
points which he made against the physicians. 

It was claimed, that the body was found swollen; the pit of the 


publishing it. They, either ignorantly or willfully mistook my in- 
tention as respects signing my name, and put it to the piece. 

You will perceive that some of the learned Faculty are pretty 
severely lashed. What effect it will have or how they will behave 
toward me, I do not know, nor do I much care, being confident that 
they merited the whole of what they have received, and more also, 
as you will see by the history of their conduct. Since I saw you, I 

stomach mortified; that the contents of the stomach tarnished a knife 
blade and when boiled, revealed a metal ball resembling arsenic. 

Dr. Smith argued that were people acquainted with the effects 
of arsenic, nothing could more effectually expose the ignorance and 
folly of the physicians than a bare recital of their opinions. But 
as the assertions of medical men frequently obtain more credence 
than comported with the good of society, he wishes to make a few 

"That Fay died from poison seems to have been inferred from the 
suddenness of his death though he failed to exhibit a symptom of 
poisoning. He died in an apoplectic state without evacuations, con- 
vulsions, pain or distress, being insensible from the moment he was 
found indisposed. Compare this with the effects of arsenical poisoning 
which are, nausea, vomiting, purging, hiccough, pain in the stomach, 
convulsions, twitchings, salivation, asphyxia, and death." 

"That those eminent physicians should find a body "SWOLLEN" 
eleven days after burial, should surprise none but themselves, as all 
other persons know it due to nature. As to "Mortification," on the 
pit of the stomach, how could it have found its way out through the 
integuments of the body, and like a Night Mare have couched itself on 
the pit of the stomach! Introduced into Court it proved to be a mere 
scab, the most trifling thing in the world." 

"Then they diagnosed arsenic from the contents of the stomach 
tarnishing metallic spoons, but the last food the man took, apples, 
bread and milk will tarnish metals just like arsenic. Their last experi- 
ment with a quart of the stomach-contents exposed to a firey heat for 
three hours resulted in a metallic substance in the bottom of the red 
hot kettle, yet arsenic is so volatile that if there had been a pound of 
it in the vessel it would soon have been utterly dissipated with that 
degree of heat. And after all the metallic button was more likely lead 
than anything else." 

"Thus from the fatuity of the Faculty and the credulity of others, 
the whole country has been alarmed with the rumor of a horrid murder 
of which there is no evidence at all. For when the Report is examined 
by the touchstone of legal evidence it vanishes like a scroll, leaving not 
the least evidence that the man was poisoned." 

"The case shows how careful, Judges should be, when life and 
character are at stake, in giving credit to the reports and testings of 
the faculty, at least in matters of opinion depending solely upon their 
professional knowledge. Nathan Smith." 

As a result of this note, the woman was discharged. Expert testi- 
mony of this sort, might be made useful now a days to Judges and 
Juries alike, if only the Law would permit. 


have performed the operation of Lithotomy, successfully on a 
young man in Marshfield, Vermont. 

I am with sentiments of esteem, yours Sincerely, Nathan Smith." 

The following letters from Dr. Frost of Portland reflect 
Dr. Spalding's interest in vaccination, public schools and 

" Portland, April 17, 1807. Dear Sir: I have received several 
letters from you since I last wrote, and among the number one en- 
closing a Bill of Mortality for 1806. It seems that Consumption 
does not cease to make its ravages in Portsmouth, which certainly 
is to be exceedingly lamented, and proves the infant state of the 
healing Art, not only in that malady but in a variety of others. 

Dr. Barker is now writing his observations on Consumption, 
and it is to be hoped they may be useful to the friends of Medical 

By the by, I have been sometime expecting to see your "Treatise 
on Cutaneous Diseases;" but have not as yet had the pleasure. I 
hope it won't be long first. 

The Bills you enclosed to me, I put into the hands of your friend 
Kinsman, who told me sometime since he had collected the money 
for them, all, and presume before this you have rec'd it. 

I was exceedingly sorry that my wife's health was such at the 
time Miss Jackson was in Portland on a visit, as to preclude her 
paying that attention to her we are always happy to pay to any 
of your, or our friends, Dr. Jackson's family, or friends. 

If you have any Vaccine Virus by you at this time, you will 
much oblige me by sending a little enclosed on a thread in the 
manner you did last Spring, as Mrs. Frost wishes to have our 
little daughter vaccinated, and when I come your way, I will call 
and satisfy you for it. 

With respect yours, etc., Wm. Frost." 

A week later Dr. Frost writes again. 

" Portland, April 25. Dear Sir: I have made inquiries of two or 
three of the "School Committee," of this Town, relative to their 
"Rules and Regulations for Public Schools," and I was informed 
by them, that they have never seen any since they belonged to 
the Committee, which has been for several years, but that some 
Rules were drawn out by Judge Freeman, 1 some years ago which 

1 Judge Samuel Freeman (1742-1831) was one of the most remark- 
able office holders ever known. For he was Secretary of the Provincial 
Congress, and Post Master of Portland for Thirty Years and simul- 
taneously Register and Judge of Probate and Clerk of Court- for 

forty-six years in all. In his younger days he published "The Town 


have been either lost or misplaced, so that they are not to be 

Relative to the prices of Tickets at our Public Baths, I am in- 
formed by the owner of it, that they are 25 cts. pr. Ticket and no 
cheaper if you purchase pr. the Dozen. But, the tickets by the 
Season, are $5 to go in as often as you please until winter com- 
mences, when they are not in operation. Your Friend and Serv't., 
Wm. Frost." 

Another correspondent of this year was Dr. Luther 
Jewett (1772-1860) who had a remarkable career. Gradu- 
ating from Dartmouth in 1795 he practiced medicine several 
years, abandoned medicine for the Law and was a Judge in 
the Vermont Courts and Member of Congress. He retired 
from the Law to the Pulpit, preached eloquently for years, 
and finally became the Editor of a newspaper in St. Johns- 
bury, Vermont. It is given to but few men to be successful 
in four professions as was Dr. Jewett. He writes to this 
effect : 

" St. Johnsbury, April 30, 1S07. Dear Sir: I acknowledge with 
gratitude the favor you have done me for several years past by 
sending me your Bill of Mortality for Portsmouth. Should you 
continue (to) publish, you will greatly oblige me by continuing to 
me. I have reason in addition to my wish to return my acknowl- 
edgments for writing this. I want to learn your opinion respect- 
ing the duration of the preventive power of the Kine Pock. No 
person has treated with more levity than I, the opinion maintained 
by some, that it will prevent the small pox for a time, but that its 
preventive power will diminish by time and become extinct. I 
have inoculated several hundred in the course of seven years past. 
Many have been tested satisfactorily. I have lately been inocu- 
lating with the variolus virus. Among a considerable number of 
Kine Pock patients who have repaired to the Hospital to test them- 
selves with the small pox, a few who had the kine pock some years 
since, had arms as sore as is usual with S. Pox patients; swelling 
and soreness of the axillary glands; pain in the back; etc., but no 
eruptions or none which filled. What am I to think of this busi- 
ness? Did these persons have the genuine K.P? Would their 
systems have been equally affected had they been tested j r ears 
ago? Would they now, if not tested till years hence? Your 
answer as speedily as convenient will much oblige, 

Dear Sir, Your Friend, L. jEWErr." 

Officer" one of the earliest books printed in Portland, and in his old 
age he edited Parson Smith's "Journal of Events in Portland in the 
XVIII Century." 


Mention has already been made of the difficulties of col- 
lecting bills in Portland, and here are similar instances occur- 
ring in Bath. The lawyer to whom the bills were handed, 
Nathaniel Coffin (1781-1864), was a friend of Dr. Spalding 
at Dartmouth, and a successful criminal lawyer in Maine. 
His home in Wiscasset, where he practiced for a while, was 
much frequented by young people and so many engagements 
resulted from meetings there, that it was called "The Match 
Factory." Mr. Coffin moved westward and acted as Treas- 
urer of Watauga College in Illinois, where he died. 

The following letters from him explain themselves. 

"Bath, July 15, 1807. Dear Sir: I acknowledged the rec't of 
your Demand received some time ago, in a letter by a gentleman 
from this town. I then informed you that Melcher waa at sea in 
a Schooner, and that the vessel was cast away near Liverpool, and 
that he and others were discharged, since when, nobody here has 
seen him. 

Captain Trefethen was also at sea when I ree'd your account 
against him and is still but is daily expected. When he comes he 
will call or remit. He, no doubt, will pay first call. 

Your Friend, etc., N. Coffin." 

Later on, Mr. Coffin discovered a mistake concerning this 
payment and wrote again. 

"Bath, Dec'r. 15, 1807. Dear Sir: Capt. Henry Trefethen of 
this place has lately arrived and I have shown him your account. 
He says you must have mistaken the person. He says he lived 
with his family in Portsmouth, but that Dr. Cutter was their 
physician. He Says another Captain Henry Trefethen, an old 
gentleman also lived there, and also that a son of the OKI Gentle- 
man, a THIRD Capt. H. T., who lived at Monhegan was fre- 
quently at Portsmouth and your bill might be against one of them. 
If our Trefethen is not the man, as I am induced to believe he is 
not, by this statement and the confidence I have in him, I cannot 
render you any service in this particular. Yon will please write 
me, if you still think him the person and mention some circum- 
stances respecting the place, sickness, etc., which may serve to 
convince him, as, if he can be satisfied the services were for him, 
or his family, he will readily pay. Your Friend, etc., N. Coffin." 

"Who would have thought that there were Three Henry 
Trefethens and all Sea Captains," Dr. Spalding may have 
said as he read Mr. Coffin's note, and we can sympathize 
with him with his bill unpaid for lack of identification. 


As the use of scabs for vaccination increased, physicians 
tested their value and a letter from Dr. Waterhouse bearing 
upon this topic, at that time of much medical importance 
may here find a place. 

" Cambridge, July 22, 1807. Dear Sir: I thank you for your com- 
munication respecting the long life of the scab. I have found the 
scab to communicate the true disease Two Months after it was 
taken from the arm. It seems to be the Christalline state of the 
matter, but I have thought or CONCEITED that it occasioned 
more inflamation in the pustule produced. I would thank you to 
send me some of the matter on a quill enclosed in a letter, that has 
been produced by the scab in question. I should like to compare 
it with some taken at the usual period. I am in the habit of pre- 
serving scabs, but I never use them when I can obtain other fresh 
limpid matter. If you could send me a couple of quills by the re- 
turn of post, you will oblige, Y'r F'd and Humble Serv't., Benj. 

When the Dartmouth Commencement of 1807 approached, 
Dr. Spalding was in the following way reminded by his old 
friend William Woodward, the College Treasurer, of a 
former promise. 

Hanover, Aug. 9, 1807. Dear Sir: You will recall the engage- 
ment you entered into last Fall that you would by some means 
procure the attendance of Governor Langdon, at our next Com- 
mencement, should we give him a handsome election. The Con- 
dition is performed, and I hope you will not cease from your ex- 
ertions to persuade him to attend. He will be cordially received 
and welcomed and his journey, so far as depends on his visit at 
Hanover, will, I presume, be rendered pleasant to him. You must 
not fail. Can you not perform the journey at the same time? 
We cannot at such a season on account of engagedness promise 
anything better to our friends than a license to do very much as 
they please, which to one so much at home as you are at Hanover, 
will be all that would be insisted on. Y'r Friend and H'BTe 
Serv't., Wm. H. Woodward. 

Governor Langdon had just been elected for the sixth or 
seventh time, but Dartmouth Histories do not tell us that 
he accepted this invitation. 

Amongst the friends to whom Bills of Mortality were 
sent this year was Mr. Benjamin Dearborn of Boston, who, 
in 1780, when living in Portsmouth, had founded the First 
Grammar School for Girls, later on an Academy for Misses, 
and finally a Dancing Academy for Youths. He was an 


ingenious man; invented scales and a printing press; and 
finally moved to Boston. He collected statistics of people 
who were struck by lightning when near open windows or 
doors during thunder showers, and issued a Circular con- 
cerning this topic. Mr. Dearborn is connected with the 
medical History of Boston, very intimately, as he left funds 
for the establishment of the Boston Dispensary. 

After receiving a Bill of Mortality Mr. Dearborn wrote 
to this effect, on the overleaf of one of his Lightning-Cir- 

"Boston, 3rd. Sept. 1807. My dear Sir: Judging from your 
voluntary labors in collecting the facts for publishing Bills of Mor- 
tality, I conclude that you receive gratification from being pre- 
sented with an opportunity of furnishing useful information. On 
this ground I take the liberty of addressing the enclosed Circular 
to you, with the hope that it will not be unacceptable. During my 
residence in Portsmouth, the following instances of injury by 
lightning occurred; Deacon Lane of Stratham, struck dead at an 
open door; A woman at the North End (in Portsmouth) struck 
dead at an open window; if I mistake not, her name was (lark; 
Mr. John Melcher's wife, in a room at her uncle Samuel Hill's, 
where a window was open, deprived her of her eyesight, and con- 
tinued blind for some weeks; The house now owned by Mr. Chaun- 
ccy (then Col. Long's) struck while closed, when the lightning 
passed into the cellar doing but little injury. If it should please 
you to collect the minute particulars of those events with any 
others within your knowledge, and communicate them, it may be 
productive of good and will be a gratification to 

Sir, Yours very Respectfully, Benjamin Dearborn." 

Dr. Spalding in due season called public attention to this 
circular and mentioned a case of Ptosis (paralysis of the 
upper eyelid) caused by a stroke of lightning when a woman 
was standing at an open window, and which was cured by 
using galvanism. 

A few days later came this interesting letter from Dr. 
Smith on medical and surgical topics. 

" Hanover, Sept'r 13, 1S07. Dear Sir: Respecting extracting the 
cataract on the right eye, I have performed once only on that eye. 
I stood behind the patient and introduced the knife in the usual 
manner excepting the edge was turned in an opposite direction, so 
as to cut the flap upward, which is preferable to cutting it down- 
ward, as the cicatrix is apt to produce some obstruction to vision 
in looking down on the ground, which is more necessary for all but 


Divines, than looking upward. I should prefer the method I have 
pointed out to either of the methods you propose. 

My pupilage fees are as usual $66 66/100, per year; $40 for one 
course of lecture only. 

I hardly know how to advise in your Case. I am inclined, 
however, that it is a case of morbid excitement of the blood vessels 
of the head. Should think that those remedies which diminish 
morbid excitement would be proper. I have succeeded in several 
Cases of irregular action of the heart and arteries with opium and 
white vitriol. I give a grain of opium with a grain of the Vitriol 
night and morning, varying the dose and proportions of the medi- 
cines according to circumstances. Fowler's Mineral Solution has 
been recommended for nervous headache, but I do not know that 
there is much similarity between the cause of your complaint and 
that of nervous headache or at least I do not know that the analogy 
is such as to warrant the use of so formidable a remedy. The 
opium when given to overcome diseased action should be con- 
tinued at such intervals as to keep the system under the impression 
of it for a great many days. I speak of Chronic disease. I have 
sent you some blood root; all I can find time to write respecting 
it at present is, that it possesses all the properties of other emetics 
with some peculiar to itself. When given in doses of several grains 
it pukes and produces a great prostration of strength; more than 
most other emetics, perhaps nearly as much as Tobacco, or Fox- 
glove, tho' I do not think it so dangerous in overdoses as either of 
those I have mentioned. I give it in Powder, in tinctures and in 
simple watery infusions, and where I do not wish to have it prove 
emetic, often combine opium with it. I repeat the dose three or 
four times each day. In Inflammatory rheumatism I give it so as to 
puke, and repeat it once or twice a day, for sometimes it has proved 
very useful in that disease. I have lately had three successful 
operations on blind patients; two were cataracts and the third 
had closure of the pupil which I opened with the couching needle, 
after several attempts, so as to give pretty perfect vision. 

I am with high Esteem, yours, Most Sincerely, Nathan Smith." 

In the following note from Dr. Noyes, we get a glimpse 
of the skeleton which Dr. Smith brought from Europe for 
Dr. Spalding. 

II Newburyport, Sept. 15th, 1807. Dear Sir: I now hasten to 
comply with your request by taking the first opportunity of water- 
carriage to return your skeleton. I ought also to embrace the 
same opportunity of offering an apology for retaining it so long. 
I kept it a long while in hope of carrying it to Portsmouth myself, 
but at length discouraged and ashamed I determined last Spring 
to return it by Capt. Noyes. But, alas! the frailty of human 


nature. I was once more tempted to trespass on your forbearance 
and I yielded to the temptation!!! In short, my friend, a young 
gentleman from Cambridge applied to me for tuition, and I, after 
a few maiden difficulties yielded to his solicitations, and concluded 
to retain your Skeleton a few months longer. I am, however, 
arrested in the middle of my flight, and, stripped of my borrowed 
plumage, stand exposed a naked Daw. However, this mishap is 
owing to no fault of yours, and therefore I shall not deprive you of 
my hearty thanks for the long loan in which you have indulged me. 
I shall enclose in the box with the skeleton, your "Willan," for the 
perusal of which also accept my thanks. This too I should have 
returned sooner, had I not apprehended that it might be wanted 
by Akin. I sincerehy congratulate you on your success in couch- 
ing, and hope that the other cases which you have engaged will 
prove equally fortunate. Is the Influenza pretty general and 
severe in Portsmouth? It has occasioned one death here; that 
of a lady more than ninety years of age. When combined with 
Cholera Infantum it has been alarming. But children have not, 
I believe, been so generally affected as adults. Your Friend and 
Humble Serv't., N. Notes." 

Lord's "History of Dartmouth College" has much to say 
of Dr. Cyrus Perkins (1778-1844) who was graduated from 
that College both Academically (1800) and Medically 
(1802), practiced in Boston and in Hanover, w r as Professor 
of Anatomy and Surgery in the Dartmouth Medical School, 
and contributed many papers to the medical magazines of 
the day. When New Hampshire politicians quarrelled with 
the College, and established Dartmouth University, Dr. 
Perkins "went over" to the new Institution, but when de- 
feated by W T ebster, he resigned his new Professorship, 
practiced in New York, and finally retired to Staten Island 
where he died. 

Two brief letters from this interesting medical character 
may here be printed, as showing his friendship for Dr. 

" Boston, June 25, 1807. Dear Sir: I have sent to Troy for the 
first volume of Bell. 1 I was out of town on receipt of your other 
letters but Dr. J. C. Warren told me he sent you the Cowpox virus. 
In great haste, Y'r Friend, and H. 0. Serv't, Cyrus Perkins." 

"Boston, Oct. 7, 1807. Dear Sir: I send you with this, your 
Wig. fashioned as near as it can be done according to your direc- 

1 The "Bell" was a book on Surgery by John Bell and "H." "O." 
stands for "Humble Obedient." 


ions. Mr. Rogers the Wigmakcr says the temples will gradually 
recede from each other by wearing. The other faults, he says are 
remedied, as he believes. I send also the Vol. of Bell in sheets, as 
you directed. I obtained it from Troy, N. Y., for which I have 
paid THREE Dols, to Thomas and Andrews who sent for it. We 
have no news of moment — Distressingly healthy — . Yours Cor- 
dially, Cyrus Perkins. 

P.S. The pocket book I lost (but found again) at Dover, con- 
tained 98 Dols, only, instead of some Thousands as reported. I 
had several NOTES, inside to the amount of $3 or 4 Thousand. 
So much for a Story!!! " 

Next we have a brief note from Dr. Jeremiah Barker 
formerly of Gorham, Maine, but now of Portland, at what is 
now called Stroudwater. 

" October 17, 1807. Dear Sir: I take the liberty to introduce to 
you Mr. Hubbard, 1 requesting that you would favour me with a 
little Cow Pox matter or inform him where it can be procured. I 
have taken up my residence in Portland, where I pursue the study 
and practice of medicine, and devote a part of my time to writing 
medical history. I should be glad to hear from you when con- 
venient. I hear that you do well, and hope you will continue to 
alleviate human misery, to your temporal advantage, at least. 
Yours in Sincerity, J. Barker." 

Following this is a similar inquiry from Dr. Samuel Foster 
(1789-1826) of Candia, New Hampshire, who occupied many 
positions of trust in the New Hampshire Medical Society. 

" Candia, Nov. 17, 1807. Dear Sir: Several years ago I procured 
some cow pox matter and inoculated some of my children, and I 
presume they had the genuine disease. Since then I have had 
more vaccine and inoculated others of my family, and a few other 
persons. The unbelief of the major part of the people in this 
vicinity has prevented my keeping matter by successions of vacci- 
nations to this time. I have now two children, and some friends 
to inoculate. These, are, therefore to request you to send me by 
bearer, some cow pox virus, and if you have leisure, to write me a 
line, delineating your manner of inoculation and any other things 
necessarily connected therewith, you will much oblige, Your Friend, 
Samuel Foster." 

The Diaries of Dr. Spalding quoted in the early portion 
of this work show him riding on horseback on the roads of 

1 Mr. Hubbard is Dr. O. Hubbard from whom some capital letters 
shall soon appear. 


Vermont and New Hampshire, and we have reason to believe 
that he had good knowledge of their wretched condition. 
As the agitation for their improvement was now becoming 
acute, he headed a petition from Portsmouth for a Post 
Road through New Hampshire and sent it, to his personal 
friends, the Senator and Members of Congress now in Wash- 
ington, General Storer; 1 Mr. D. M. Durrell; 2 and Mr. 
Francis Gardner. 3 

Of the replies of these friends in Congress, three notes 
from General Storer will give an idea of them all. 

" Washington City, 4th Nov. 1807. Dear Sir: You will perceive 
by the "National Intelligencer" enclosed, that your Petition re- 
specting a Post Road to Concord, is before the proper Committee. 
Be assured that I shall attend to it in every stage. . . . We are 
anxiously waiting the issue of European negotiations, and of course 
have not yet entered on the most important Concerns of the Nation. 
Your Ob'd't Servant, Clement Storer." 

Writing again on the 26th, he adds: 

"Mr. Gardner and myself call on the proper Committee to- 
morrow, for the purpose of urging the expediency of a Post Road 
embracing the whole route from Portsmouth to Charlcstown, via 
Concord, Hillsboro', etc. There is no doubt we shall succeed." 
With Esteem, Clement Storer." 

And finishing up the subject in January of 1808 he says: 

"I am sorry that your anxiety is so much excited for the fate of 
our Post Road. I think that my last report was encouraging. 
The Committee agreed to our request more than a month since, 
and a General Bill is preparing, embracing our object and many 

1 Clement Storer (1769-1830) was a merchant on the Pier Wharf 
in Portsmouth, very much of a politician, having served as Member of 
Congress and Senator, very stately in his fashionably cut suit of blue 
clothes, and very grand on horseback as General of the Militia of the 

2 Daniel Meserve Durrell (1770-1841) was a friend at Dartmouth, 
and now residing in Dover. He was in succession, Member of Congress, 
District Attorney, Judge of Common Pleas, and a successful lobbyist. 

8 Francis Gardner (1738-1814) was the Grand Old Man of New 
Hampshire Politics, at this time. He had been graduated at Harvard 
as far back as 1758, and in all he preached the Gospel for fifty years. 
He was elected to Congress in his G8th year, when XXth Century men 
should long be dead, but students of the proceedings of Congress in 
those days will find Mr. Gardner a clever orator and keen debater. 
Having fought the Devil so long, he was not afraid of War with Eng- 
land now looming large in Washington. 


others. It will take considerable time to get it through. I hope it 
will not be embargoed on the passage. 

Accept the assurance of my respect and esteem. Clement 

We are glad to learn that Dr. Spalding's petition, with 
others, produced the passage of a Law for Post Roads 
throughout New England. 

The Christmas letter from Silas Spalding suggests that 
Dr. Spalding had failed to get satisfaction from a Cornish 
cow driven to Portsmouth. 

"Dear Brother: I set down to inform you that we are all well as 
usual, likewise the rest of your friends in these parts. As for some 
questions you wrote in your last letter about, I am not able at this 
present time to give an answer. About the cow, I never saw her. 
I have seen Mr. York since, and all that he could tell, was that 
she was a good cow for milk. How much she gave at the times 
you wished to know, he could not tell. So I cant inform you any- 
thing for certainty about her, but if you dont like her, perhaps by 
next summer or Fall I can suit you better. Money in this part is 
very scarce, produce of all kinds low, not hardly worth carrying so 
far to market so as to get only six cents for pork and beef. Very 
low, also, is butter, and cheese: likewise there is strong talk of 
war, here, so that our Merchants won't give anything for produce. 
It is bad for those that owe, at this time, as nothing commands the 
Money with us except at a low rate and people are not willing to 
sell. They are waiting for better times. They think this War 
Talk is a Merchant's plan, so as to get all kinds of produce low this 
year, as most certainly they will. . . . Tell Mrs. Spalding I have 
a fine turkey for Christmas. Tell her to come and take supper, 
for there is no snow here at present, so that we cant come there. 
Silas Spalding. 

December 16, 1807 — N.B. I did not put Cornish to the Date, 
and so, I think I shant." 

Dr. Smith's opening letter for 1808 tells us of his Legis- 
lative campaign against quackery started in the previous 
year before the State Medical Society by Dr. Spalding. 

"Hanover, Jan'y. 24, 1808. Dear Sir: Mr. Will'm Graves 1 an 
honest and worthy young man who has been some time in the 

1 Dr. William Graves practiced in Epping, New Hampshire. The 
Records of the State Medical Society show that he was once repri- 
manded by the President for going to a consultation three hours before 
the time appointed, and doing his best to "steal" the case from the 
other doctor. 


study of medicine with me, will hand you this. I wish you to in- 
form him (or write me on the subject) when the next annual meet- 
ing of the New Hampshire Medical Society will be holden, and 
where, I have an intention to attend if possible. I intend to renew 
the effort to obtain an Act of Legislature to discourage quackery. 
You know I am not easily beat down in my projects, and tho' 
sometimes slow in execution, yet keep the object in view. The 
business was not properly managed this year. I was out of town 
when the question was tried, and I am confident that more than 
half of the members did not understand the matter. Several of 
the members have solicited me to renew the application. I shall 
attend the Court solely on medical purposes at their next session; 
I am with sentiments of esteem, Yours Sincerely, Nathan Smith." 

When Dr. Spalding was a student at Harvard he made the 
acquaintance of Dr. John C. Warren, and various letters in 
their correspondence show a life long friendship. Here is a 
scrap of paper undated. 

"As I was prevented from awaiting your return to see me, I 
write to tell you that I am very desirous of the pleasure of seeing you 
before you leave town. Therefore, I will ask you the favor to meet 
me at White's Apothecary Shop at 1/2 past One. The place I 
have mentioned, I have particular reasons for fixing on, as j*ou will 
discover there. J. C. Warren." 1 

After editing the Massachusetts Pharmacopoeia, Dr. 
Warren sent a Presentation Copy to his friend in Ports- 
mouth, and with it this note. 

"Boston, Feb. 12, 1808. Dear Sir: Your distinguished attention 
to medical science has induced me to beg the favor of your accept- 
ing a copy of the Massachusetts Pharmacopeia. Should you, on 
cxjtiiiination, be pleased with it, you may think proper to make 
it known to your booksellers in Portsmouth that its usefulness may 
be extended. 

I have the honor to be, with esteem, your H'mble Serv't. John 
C. Warren." 

1 Dr. John Collins Warren (1778-1856) the writer of this note, the 
subject "f which we should be glad to discover, went abroad Boon after 
graduating from Harvard, and returning in 1802 took up his lather's 
practice, and was for years the leader in Boston Surgery. He helped 
to bring the Medical School from Cambridge to Boston, to found the 
Massachusetts General Hospital, and to establish the New England 
Medical and Surgical Journal. He operated far and wide over New 
I md and practiced even into the days of Ether. A hard worker, a 
Straightforward writer, and a steady friend to all of his colleagues, 
Warren's reputation as a great man was deserved. 


This very copy Dr. Spalding not only showed to book- 
sellers in Portsmouth, but proudly carried it to the next 
annual Meeting of the State Medical Society, where he 
recommended it as the best and only standard for the com- 
pounding of drugs. 

Early in February, 1808, the country was startled by the 
news of a meteor falling in Connecticut, and Dr. Spalding 
must have written to Professor Silliman of New Haven, 
asking for a fragment, as the appended letter suggests. 1 

"Yale College, March 4, 1808. Dear Sir: Agreably to your 
request in the letter which you have done me the honor to write, 
I enclose a very small fragment of the meteor. You, as a Chemist, 
will judge of its value more from the genuineness than from its 
magnitude. I regret that the numerous demands on our small 
collection do not admit of more liberality, especially to one actuated 
by a love of science, and having really a well founded claim arising 
from your former official pursuits. We have distributed most of 
our larger specimens in various parts of America, and Europe, 
and we have very few left except such portions as I send you. 
The pamphlets which you have been so good as to send I have 
not yet received, but beg you to accept my thanks for them. I 
must apologize for my conciseness and haste, as I write in momen- 
tary expectation of being interrupted by company from whom I 
may not be disengaged before the mail closes. 

I am Sir, with the expression of my respects, and all proper 
acknowledgements for the obliging things contained in your letter 
and in much haste, Your Very Obedient Servant, B. Silliman. 

N.B. One of the pieces has a part of the crust upon it." 

The current number of the "Repository" printed a paper 
stating that Chester, Vermont, was filled with "Swollen 
Necked Females" (Goiter). Although Dr. Spalding was 
familiar with the town, he had never heard of such cases, 
and wrote to Dr. Hedge concerning them. Dr. Hedge re- 
plied that of the 2000 people of his acquaintance, he had 
never seen a dozen cases. He mentioned of these a few and 
then continues. "Tuberculosis has got its hold on me. 

1 Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864) was graduated at Yale and studied 
law, but soon decided that he liked Chemistry better, and that he 
wanted to lecture on that topic at his Alma Mater. He obtained the 
coveted Chair in 1808, and lectured on Chemistry everywhere. People 
nocked to hear him talk and to witness his beautifully successful ex- 
periments. He founded "The American Journal of Arts and Sciences," 
was honored all over the world, and deserved abundantly his repu- 
tation as an accomplished, graceful and popular lecturer and Chemist. 


The only relief I can get from severe spells of coughing is to go 
to a Turning shop here, and exercise at the wheel until a 
powerful perspiration is excited, after which I feel better 
for a while. Would a sea voyage do me any good, do you 
think? — A. Hedge." 

The "aneurism" mentioned in the next arriving letter from 
Dr. Smith was seen in consultation at Wells, Maine, by 
Dr. Spalding who operated and wrote a detailed account of 
the case. When opened, the aneurism was found to contain 
an organized blood clot. 

"Hanover, April 22, 1808. Dear Sir: I received your favor a 
few days since giving an account of a very singular case of an- 
eurism. There is one circumstance j'ou neglected to mention and 
that is : whether there was a pulsation in the tumor previous to the 
operation; if not, perhaps the circulation might have taken another 
course, previous to the application of the tourniquet. I should like 
to know the ultimate result of the operation. I have determined 
to attend the next meeting of the Xew Hampshire Medical Society 
at Exeter, where you may expect to see me if my health continues. 
Mr. Graves whom I mentioned to you in a former letter will hand 
you this, and the bloodroot which he neglected or forgot before. 
Yours Sincerely. Nathan Smith." 

In agreement with this letter Dr. Smith went to Exeter, 
then visited Dr. and Mrs. Spalding at Portsmouth, and on 
arriving at Concord on his way home wrote them this 

"Concord, June 22, 1808. Sir: When I was at Portsmouth I 
lost or left an umbrella. Whether I took it from the Chaise at 
your house, and left it there, or whether it went with the Chaise to 
the Stable I do not know. I wish you to inquire and if you find it, 
please to send it to Solomon, of Concord, to be by him forwarded 
to Hanover to me. I have proffered my petition, and have Leave 
to bring in a Bill, which we have no doubt will pass. The Bill will 
provide for the building of a Building 60 by 35, 2 stories highj 1 
which will answer our purposes very well. I am, with sentiments 
of esteem both for you and Mrs. Spalding, your Friend, Nathan 

Hardly had Dr. Smith reached Hanover than he received 
from Dr. Spalding a letter concerning a Lay Reader for 
St. John's Parish. 

1 This Building was the Medical School Building at Uanover, but 
the money was not, 1 think, at this time obtained. 


Now I have to insert his interesting answer. 

"July 21, 1808. Hanover. Dear Sir: I received your favor 
respecting a suitable person to fill the desk in St. John's Church, 
and agreably to your request conferred with the Hon'ble President 
on the subject. We agreed to recommend Mr. Chadbourne, 1 whom 
I conclude has before this called on you with the President's letter 
in his favor. I think Mr. Chadbourne is a promising character and 
will be more likely to answer the expectations of your people than 
any young gentleman of my acquaintance. I conclude his mind 
has not been tainted with the doctrine of Fatalism, (alias Hopkins- 
ism). 2 I have written Mr. Chadbourne asking him to be sober 
minded and of a grave deportment, zealous for the honour and 
good of the Church and the cause of pure and undefiled religion. I 
mean that religion which makes men happy here and wise unto 
Salvation hereafter, such as came down from Heaven, aforetime. 
If he should prosper in good work, and, become honoured among 
your people I shall rejoice exceedingly. If not, I shall be very 
sorrowful. I am greatly obliged to you for your attention in pro- 
curing the books for me. I have received the 2d Volume; With 
much good will, Nathan Smith. 

N.B. I was absent when Mr. Chadbourne left this place, or I 
should have written by him. I have directed my letter to Mr. 
Chadbourne at Portsmouth. If he should not be with you, please 
to give him notice of it." 

The following letter from Dr. Perkins mentions two old 
friends of Dr. Spalding. 

"Boston, 22nd, 1808. My Good Friend: I have made inquiry 
of our little judge, Dawes, 3 concerning the property of (the man 
you mention), but the judge who was acquainted with all the 
circumstances, in his private life as well as public capacity, in- 
forms me that he died absolutely and literally PENNYLESS!! and 
that the good old Doctor has been the sole dependence of that 
family for support ever since they were left. I should not trouble 

1 Isaac Rollins Chadbourne (1787-1855) was from South Berwick 
and Kennebunk, Maine, and had just graduated with high honors at 
Dartmouth. He declined the Call, studied law and practiced his pro- 
fession very keenly and untheologically at Eastport, Maine, the rest of 
his life. 

2 "Hopkinsism" was Eternity-and Damnation-Calvinism, as long 
since forgotten as its discoverer, Samuel Hopkins (1721-1S03) who 
flourished at Newport, Rhode Island. 

3 Judge Dawes (1756-1825) was at that time on the Supreme Bench 
of Massachusetts. 


Dr. Lloyd 1 with any interrogations on the subject, as probably v i 
not be a pleasant topic of conversation to the old gentleman. 

To your CHARGE of passing through Portsmouth "UKE A 
COMET" or like anything else, I plead not guilty. I have not 
been within forty miles of Portsmouth since I saw you, and know 
no reason why you should suspeet it unless you supposed all Boston 
was on the way to Portland a few weeks ago, and of course, I among 
the rest. 
I am Dear Sir; Yours Cordially, C. Perkins." 

1 Dr. James Lloyd (1738-1810) now eighty years of age was highly 
esteemed in Boston. After graduating from Harvard he studied with 
John Hunter and was for years regarded as the most skilful obstetrician 
in Boston. Proud of his skill in delivering women, he was prouder 
still of his ability to drive the fastest and finest horses in Boston. 


Letters to Baron Alibert, and the Bells in 1808. Visit to 
Dartmouth as Demonstrator for Dr. Alexander Ramsay. 

Although Dr. Spalding had failed with his Edition of 
Willan, he continued his studies in cutaneous diseases, 
and wrote to Baron Alibert of Paris, 1 well known at this 
time for his "Treatise on Diseases of the Skin." Dr. 
Spalding may have planned in this way to establish a 
foreign correspondence and publish a translation of the new 

"Portsmouth, New Hampshire: United States. July 28, 1808. 
Sir: My friend, Mr. Cazeaux 2 has been so polite as to give me a 
letter of introduction to you. It is my wish, Sir, to establish a 
medical correspondence with some Gentleman of the Faculty in 
Paris, in order that we may be benefited by the other's communi- 
cations on the Discoveries, Improvements and Reforms in Medical 
Science, which in this country stand much in need of the older and 
more scientific Countries. I enclose with this letter of intro- 
duction, some copies of my Bills of Mortality for the past eight 
years, which is all the numbers that have been published; my 
Graduating Thesis, a "Nomenclature of Chemistry," and a News- 
paper containing a singular account of the conversion of a human 
body into adipocere. 3 Be pleased Sir, to accept these, not from 

1 Baron Jean Louis Alibert (1776-1837) came from the Provinces to 
Paris when very young, and soon obtained a position in the Hospital 
St. Louis, where he devoted much care to diseases of the skin. His set 
of magnificent cutaneous plates made him well known, and he became 
Dermatologist to Louis XVIII. 

Alibert wrote elegantly on tuberculosis and leprosy, but his de- 
scriptions were vague. As a Professor he lacked gravity, but with a 
charming voice he unfolded picturesque descriptions of disease. As a 
clinical improviser he was unequalled. He entertained profusely: with 
a private Theatre and Sunday Breakfasts, receiving his friends of both 
sexes in rooms that were gorgeous with highly tinted butterflies, hum- 
ming birds, and colored illustrations of skin diseases intermingled. 

2 Mr. Cazeaux was French Consul at Portsmouth. 

3 The paper on Adipocere by Dr. Spalding refers to the Case of a 
man who was drowned near Portsmouth in March, 1807. When the 
body was recovered in March, 1808, it was found to be changed into a 
substance resembling spermaceti. 



their intrinsic merit, but from their being all that I have to offer 
you, medically, at this time. 
With sentiments of the Highest Esteem. Lyman Spalding." 

If Baron Alibcrt replied, his letter has been lost, but that 
he sent one of his Works and that Dr. Spalding began to 
translate it, is shown by some pages of MSS in my possession. 

The most interesting friendship in Dr. Spalding's cai 
was that with Dr. Alexander Ramsay (175-4-1824) one of 
the world's most famous anatomists, who was born in Edin- 
burgh and died in Parsonsfield, Maine. After obtaining his 
degree he established a School of Anatomy in Edinburgh, 
but quarrelled with his colleagues and came to America 
where he lectured in various Cities about 1804. He then 
went back to London and Edinburgh and after obtaining 
an honorary degree at St. Andrew's in 1805, (the diploma 
rests now in the Maine Historical Library in Portland), he 
came a second time to America about 1808. After a while 
he set off again for Edinburgh, and remained there and in 
Dublin until 1813, when I find him lecturing on Anatomy 
and Natural History in New York, and Charleston, South 
Carolina. He had previously established at Fryeburg, 
Maine, a School of Medical Instruction from which several 
students were graduated, and which he again continued from 
this time until his death. He was a skilful anatomist and 
made engravings of Preparations with his own hands. His 
skill was wonderful, but his temper was venomous, and he 
suffered from some personal deformity due to an unfortu- 
nate fall in childhood. His great medical idea was cold 
affusions in Fever, and, when himself dying from typhoid, 
he insisted on the use of such treatment. This eccentric 
man exercised much influence upon the career of Dr. Spald- 
ing as we shall later see. 

It happened now that Dr. Ramsay, being in America, 
wandered to Hanover, and was engaged by Dr. Smith for a 
course of Anatomical Lectures. Knowing Dr. Spalding's 
keenness for anatomy Dr. Smith wrote to him to this 

"Hanover, Sept. 22, 1808. Dear Sir: You will see by the ad- 
vertisement with which I am troubling you, 'what I am doing for 
Dartmouth College. I have, at greal expense, engaged 1 >r. Ramsay 
the greatest anatomist in the world to give a complete Coui 
Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology, to instruct in the art of dis- 


secting, making anatomical preparations, etc. I am very confident 
that our ensuing course will far exceed anything of the kind before 
attempted in New England, Therefore, if you have any young 
friends in the medical line be so kind as to send them as soon as 
possible. I wish you to see the following advertisement published 
two weeks in your Portsmouth paper. I shall be in Portsmouth 
this winter and will then settle with the printer, etc. With respect, 
yours, etc., Nathan Smith." 

There then follows on the same sheet a long advertisement 
in Dr. Smith's handwriting to the effect that Dr. Ramsay 
is a wonder, that he will give a Two months course; that he 
will bring from Fryeburg his anatomical museum intact; 
that the smartest students will be admitted to the private 
closet of Doctors Smith and Ramsay, as assistants in com- 
pleting a Museum for Dr. Smith and that; To the Gentle- 
man who shall produce the best dissections of the Organs of 
Vision, Hearing, Brain and Heart, Dr. Ramsay will bestow 
a Gold Medal, to be adjudged by Dr. Smith. 

Dr. Spalding inserted the advertisement in the papers, 
and wrote in behalf of Mr. Taft, one of his pupils. 

To this Dr. Smith replied as follows: 

"Hanover, Oct. 9, 1808. Dear Sir: You may inform Mr. Taft 
that Dr. Ramsay is in my opinon the best Anatomist in the United 
States. I have seen his anatomical preparations, and have heard 
him lecture. You may also inform him, that Dr. Ramsay will not 
commence his Lectures till about the Tenth or Twelfth of Nov'r 
next, and if it should so happen that a number of students should 
apply after the lectures have advanced a few days, I will engage that 
they shall be repeated to them. The whole of my lectures on 
Surgery and Physic will be delivered after the 15th of Nov., so that 
should they come at the time you propose, they will have the 
benefit of the whole of our course, except Chemistry. 

I wrote you before, that what I had undertaken this year would 
require the assistance of all my friends, and I must now make one 
more requisition on you. The plan we have chalked out to make 
me a complete Museum will require a number of subjects, there- 
fore, I wish, if possible, that you would lay by a few for me. An 
infant with the placenta attached would be very agreeable. A 
child from six to ten or from ten to 18 would be very useful, or an 
adult subject, would not come amiss. If any of this kind of gentry 
can be obtained you can preserve them very easily by opening the 
cavities and immersing in new rum; just turn down the scalp and 
saw out a piece of the skull on one side, so as to admit the spirit, 
and so with the other cavities. 


I will cheerfully pay you for any expense you may incur by the 
business. Perhaps you can engage Dr. Cutter and other physicians 
who would willingly oblige you and me to lend you some assistance. 

If so that I could obtain those things, I would send to Portsmouth 
for that purpose. We shall want them through Nov. and Dec. 
and January, as we propose to drive a stroke of business in that 
line; and I am with sentiments of Esteem, and Respect your 
Friend, etc., Nathan Smith." 

A second letter continues the topic. 

"Hanover, Nov'r 8, 1808. Dear Sir: I rec'd your letter with 
the specimen of Virgin Sulphur, which I consider as very valuable. 
It happened to arrive at the right moment just as I was treating 
that subject before my class. 

Dr. Ramsay arrived here last week, and as we had some stuff on 
hand has already made us several very valuable preparations. He 
will commence his Course on Thursday next, but will not get much 
engaged till the beginning of next week. At any tune after that, 
you cannot come amiss for your own advantage. Dr. Ramsay has 
a very extensive and useful collection of anatomical preparations 
which will exceed your expectations. You will also be highly 
pleased with his mode of teaching. If you could so contrive as to 
bring with you a subject, it would be very important to us at this 
time. Dr. Ram'y makes the most of everything, and it will enable 
us to make the present course more perfect as well as contribute 
to our intended Museum, from which you may, at some future 
period be supplied with such preparations as will be important to 
you. We shall commence a new era of anatomy at this time, and 
after being instructed in the best method of dissecting, and pre- 
serving preparations, shall go on improving our stock, and if you 
will contribute raw material we will, whenever we have duplicates, 
give you them, in preference to any other person. With sentiments 
of esteem, Your Friend Nathan Smith. 

P.S. Our present No. of students exceed sixty, besides the 
students of the College, and we are daily adding thereto, such as 
shall be saved." 

Before this letter arrived, Dr. Spalding with his two 
scholars, Mr. Taft 1 and Mr. Langdon, 2 went to Hanover, 

1 Mr. Charles Taft was a favorite scholar of Dr. Spalding's and after 
ing and studying medicine obtained his degree of M.B. from 
Dartmouth in 1811. Dartmouth University, also gave him a d 
of M.I), in 1S17. Afi we -hall see from his letters, he practiced in 
Nixonton, North Carolina, and died in 1823. 

- William Eustifl Langdon (1793-1826) was a grandson of Hon. 
Woodbury Langdon, who built the Rockingham House at Portsmouth 
for the great sum. for those days, of S30,000 in gold, and also a grandson 


leaving his practice in the charge of Dr. James Harvey 
Pierrepont 1 (1768-1839). 

Soon after his arrival in Hanover, Dr. Spalding wrote to 
Dr. Pierrepont and I now insert his reply. 

"Portsmouth, Nov. 24, 1808. Friend Spalding: What an hyper- 
bolic description of the uncouth hast thou presented me. 2 Is it 
possible that thou hast certainly met with this phenomenon, so 
humorously, so wittily, and so energetically described? It must be 
so. You are a scientific philosopher, and will not poetically deviate 
from natural laws. I am pleased that you speak in terms so 
meritorious, and that at present conjecture, you are gratified with 
your journey. I observe that you are a little disposed to eke out 
the whole period of Lecturing with Dr. R., and so I must risk living 
another season. Very well, I am sensible, friends must be indulged 
sometimes. Your patients have generally recovered, Jeffries Ex- 
cepted, 3 who is yet delirious and will take nothing. He is really a 
pitiful object. Today I think to visit Little Harbor, which, asking 
pardon, I had like never to have recollected. Your customers do 
not fatigue me very much. Your friend has now two shares in the 
Healing Art, and horrible to relate has as much time for worse 
purposes as he pleases. Our friend Dr. Jackson has at length paid 
the great debt, expiring with that tranquil and placid temper 
peculiar to him. He was unconscious of a wilful error, and a man 
feeling that kind of innocence; what has he to dread! The ex- 
quisite and beautiful description of Horace, of such a man is only 
true and natural. 

of the Hon. (and Dr.) William Eustis, Governor of Massachusetts and 
Secretary of War. Dr. Langdon studied medicine with Dr. Spalding, 
was graduated at Harvard, and practiced in Portsmouth. In 1822 he 
was appointed Assistant Surgeon in the Army, but soon retired owing 
to poor health, and dying in New York was buried beside St. Mark's in 
the Bowery. 

Dr. William Eustis, I may add, was very intimate with Dr. Spalding, 
and after a consultation with him, when he visited Portsmouth, officially, 
Dr. Spalding reported "A Case of Floating Cartilages in the Knee 
Joint," and mentioned Dr. Eustis as consultant. 

1 After graduating from Harvard, Mr. Pierrepont hovered long be- 
tween Theology and Medicine, but finally studied medicine with Dr. 
Marshall Spring of Watertown, Massachusetts. He practiced first in 
Eliot, Maine, but moved to Portsmouth in 1801, where he obtained a 
high position in the community, as an affable, urbane, social, family 
doctor. He loved medicine, hated obstetrics and surgery, and in his 
leisure hours was immensely fond of Latin and Greek authors. 

2 "The Uncouth" was a case of transposition of the Thoracic and 
abdominal viscera, observed during a dissection. 

3 "Jeffries" was a member of a well known Portsmouth Family, 
ater known as the Jaffreys. 


We succeeded in obtaining leave to open the chest and there we 
discovered the Heart and its vessels in a perfectly healthy con- 
dition, but the lungs were most astonishingly diseased, every part 
of their superficies strongly adherent, and the internal structure 
had assumed as much of the schirrous condition as their nature is 
susceptible of. The liver was pronounced healthy by our Brothers, 
but I believe thay have in some measure forgotten the appearance 
of a healthy liver. ... Is it not singular that such a degree of 
disease should establish itself with so little pain, and with a warn- 
ing so mild and unsuspicious? I am now of opinion that a chronic 
inflamation may exist in certain parts without the sensation of pain. 
I wish you to ponder on the state of our friend. Please to recollect 
all his essential and evident symptoms if possible, so that when in con- 
versation we may observe physiological laws as far as possible. . . . 
Please to write soon, for I assure you I feel some interest in our 
friendly intercourse. With Esteem, James H. Pierrepont. 

P.S. I am a little interrupted, or I should have vexed you with 
a longer letter for I felt it in me so to do." 

So many students attended the Course given by Dr. 
Ramsay, that subjects became rare in spite of those that 
Dr. Spalding had brought from Portsmouth and he con- 
sequently wrote to ask the aid of Dr. Ricketson in this 
matter and received from him an amusing reply: amusing 
for its suggestions regarding the sale of his own works. 

"New York, 12 Mo., 9th, 1808. Dear Doctor: Thine dated 
Nov'r, I rec'd, but various causes conspired to prevent me from 
replying earlier to it; amongst which is a late severe attack of the 
Quinsey from which I have not yet recovered. I have inquired 
for an injected subject, but do not find any to be procured in this 
City. I believe there are very few whole subjects prepared here. 
I have also inquired for an injecting Apparatus, but have not found 
any already made, though I have heard of a person here who makes 
them. I have not heard of the Maker himself, the price, but I 
think otherwise, about $20. Understanding by Bache, 1 that in- 
formation on this particular has gone forward to thee, I judge it 
needless to say more on it. 

Not finding Jackson 2 at Robinson's, I shall probably send this 
p'r mail with my "History of Influenza," which is succinct, but 
the sooner read, and therefore clear, I trust, of one of the faults of 
many publicat's of the present clay. 

1 Bache was a leading druggist in New York. 

2 John Jackson, Dr. Spalding's cousin, was in Robinson's office. 
If he happened to be going to Portsmouth for Christinas, he could save 

Dr. llicketson postage on his letter. 


I ask thy continued and renewed attention to promote the 
diffusion and sale of my "Book on Health," of which several 
eminent Med. Characters, have spoken favorably, among whom is 
D'r A. Fothergill » now of PhiFa. 

As I published a large Edition (with Subscript's) and may pub- 
lish another, I wish the former may be got off of hand as soon as 
may be, and the more I have seen of Books and Bookselling, the 
more I am convinced that their introduction, diffusion and sale 
depend much on the exertions of Booksellers and others who may 
take an active and persever'g part in the business. 

Sinclair's "Code of Health and Longevity" 2 is now published in 
4 vols. 8vo, price about $20, cont'g much information on the sub- 
ject, but all not equally interest'g or practical. It is quite too 
large and expensive for general use, especially in this Country 
where cheapness is one lead'g object in popular works. 

The publication of a new work is announced, entitled, "The 
Med. and Philosophical Journal and Review," by an Associat'n of 
Gentlemen in diff't parts of the United States, to be printed in 
semi-annual numbers by Sword. 3 

I wish Thee to confer with thy Bookseller, there, having my 
Books, and if not sold to essay some new exertions for their dis- 
posal. Remaining willingly to serve thee in anything here, I am 
thy Friend, Sh. Ricketson." 

As I proceed with this book the more difficult it become s 
for me to imagine what my grandfather wrote to his cor- 
respondents, and I am glad at this juncture to find an auto- 
graph copy of a letter to John Bell. 4 

1 Anthony Fothergill (1735-1813) obtained his doctorate at Edin- 
burgh, and practiced for some years in London. He then retired and 
removed to Philadelphia in 1803, but the War of 1812 drove him back 
again to England. He wrote an essay "On American Mineral Waters," 
and "On the Apparently Drowned," and left money to various Phila- 
delphia Charities. 

2 Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835) was a disputatious political writer, 
always at swords points with Sir William Pitt. Sinclair wanted peace 
at any price, and would even cede Gibraltar for peace. He finally 
settled his differences with the Government by accepting a sinecure 
with a handsome salary. He then travelled extensively, and at his 
death was entombed in Holyrood. He wrote many papers on agri- 
cult ure, and his "Code of Health" in spite of its four volumes and 
high price had a wide circulation at home and abroad. 

3 The New Journal, intended as a rival to the "Repository," did 
not last very long, but contained interesting pictures of New York 

4 John Bell (1763-1820) obtained his degree at Edinburgh in 1780, 
and established a medical school in which he boldly attacked the 


"Portsmouth, February 6, 1809. Sir: From the great improve- 
ment which I have received from the perusal of your "Surgery" 
and particularly from the new doctrinal ideas on Aneurism, I have 
been induced to send you my "Report on a Case of Aneurism " 
which I lately had the honour to read before the Eastern New 
Hampshire, Medical Society. I have also in preparation an 
Aneurismal Aorta, nearly as large as a man's right arm, and when 
it is finished, I will give you a description of it and its concomitant 
Case. Be pleased also, to accept my Bills of Mortality for this 
town for the past two years. 

Dr. Alexander Ramsay of your city, as he claims, has been in 
this country lecturing on Anatomy, and publicly laying claim to 
many of the most important discoveries of Anatomy. I shall be 
pleased to learn of his reputation from you. With Great Respect 
to you, for your many and great Improvements in Anatomy and 
Surgery, I am Sir, your obedient Servant, Lyman Spalding." 

Dr. MitchilFs first letter for 1809 throws light on American 
medical literature. 

"Washington, Feb. 11, 1809. Dear Sir: Sam'l Mitchill presents 
his compliments to Dr. Spalding, and returns thanks for copies of 
his medical pamphlets. Consumption, he sees, alas, still continues 
its alarming ravages. Almost one-fifth are cut off by that dread- 
ful disease in New Hampshire as in New York. 

Since I left N. Y., for Washington, for the winter, a New 
Periodical has made its appearance. I agree with you, that 
the setting up of another journal like the "Repository" is 
injudicious. It would have been better to buy the materials, 
patent, and influences that are employed in its support, to aid the 
circulation of the "Repository." However, as you know, men 
are fond of making experiments and of trying their strength. All 
that I have farther to say, is, that they must try for themselves, 
and if they find the Editorship of a "Medico-Philosophical Journal" 
after eleven years as unprofitable as I have done with the "Re- 
pository," they must have something more than pay for their 
labors to stimulate their exertions. Both Dr. Edward Miller and 
myself have worked for absolutely NOTHING, and found ourselves, 
during the whole time that we have conducted our periodical 

stereotyped methods of the day. His brilliant and fascinating stylo 
soon brought him many scholars. His "Anatomy" obtained a ^rcat 
vogue and for twenty years he was leading surgeon in Scotland. 

His "Surgery" had just been printed at the time of Dr. Spalding's 
letter. Personally, he was undersized, impetuous, energetic, and 
beautifully groomed. 

I lis brilliant career was brought to an early close by a fall from horse 


publication. We furthermore have not derived one cent of profit 
from it. With Esteem, S. L. Mitchill." 

A letter from Dr. Smith arrived also at this same time. 

"Hanover, Feb. 12, 1809. Dear Sir: I received your favor and 
your specimen of Arsenic by Mr. Chadbourn. I believe we have 
a small specimen of Bismuth and Antimony, but if you can easily 
procure some of both, we should be glad to have them. I am very 
happy to hear of your success in procuring an Anatomical Museum. 
I hope that your example will be followed by others, and that I 
shall live to see the dearth of anatomical and surgical knowledge 
which has so long hung over our land done away, and those who 
undertake the cure of disease, instead of being the tormentors of 
the unfortunate and the afflictors of the afflicted, become the 
benefactors of Mankind, and justify the gratitude of succeeding 

I have found a plan for my future proceeding as relates to 
Chemistry, which is to procure sixty boxes, and in those boxes to 
put all the preparations in complete readiness to perform 60 lec- 
tures, which shall comprise my next course on that branch. This 
I can cause to be done by my pupils, which will be a kindness to 
them, and will abridge my labours very much. 

I shall make every exertion for a grant from the State to build a 
House for medical purposes. Shall meet you at the next annual 
meeting of the Medical Society, at Exeter. With Sentiments of 
Esteem, Your Friend, Nathan Smith." 

Early in this year, Dr. Spalding learned that the Soda 
Water fountain which he had personally made, and used in 
his practice, but had failed to patent, had now been patented 
by others and that infringements would be prosecuted. 
Two of his letters to the Hawkins brothers, of Philadelphia, 
patentees, have been preserved, and may be inserted here 
much condensed. 

"Portsmouth, March 1, 1809. Dear Sirs: I observed in the 
"Aurora" that you have a patent for manufacturing mineral 
waters. This was the first knowledge that I had of the affair 
being patented; Although not disposed to infringe the laws, I take 
the liberty to state to you that ten years ago when I had the honor 
to teach Chemistry at Dartmouth, I manufactured mineral waters 
in my own way after North's apparatus had been destroyed by the 
cold. The water was charged with gas by means of a force pump, 
screwed into a cask. This is, however, inconvenient, since the 
pump has to be removed every time that the cask is agitated. 
But since I returned from Dartmouth in 1808, I have invented a 


JOINT, which will permit the cask to be turned for agitation, yet 
let the pump remain attached. 

If any part of my process could advantage you or any other fel- 
low mortal one cent, a special description is at your service. I 
have never made an object of manufacturing Mineral Waters, be- 
lieving that the journey and the Company at the Watering Places 
is of more consequence to the patient than the waters. But, I 
know that there are many fools who would rather pay for artificial 
waters, than to drink such as the God of Nature has supplied to 
them in abundance. If your process is better than mine, I shall 
have no objection to learn your terms, and if your process is as 
much better as the price demanded, I shall have no objection to 
treat with you, always wishing to use the best means in my power, 
for the help of my patients. Lyman Spalding." 

In a second letter he describes his method of making 
carbonic acid gas, conveying it through a set of bladders, 
and then pumping it into a hooped barrel kept constantly 

"This process has answered my purposes fully, but if yours is 
better, I will try it. Before that, I must see your design and if it 
seems better I will pay what is proper. Or, you can set me up one 
of your Founts and be paid from the first money received. I 
rat tier expect to move to Boston, and I should like to include 
Rights to use the Fount in Massachusetts, but I am sure that the 
sum you demand for Rights in New Hampshire is too large, be- 
cause there are only two places, Portsmouth and Hanover, which 
could support the cost of putting it up. L. S." 

Whilst this discussion was going on, Dr. Spalding planned 
to raise native opium. In order to be sure of his poppy 
seeds he wrote to his friend Professor Peck who sent some 
seeds, which being planted and the proper processes carried 
out, Dr. Spalding was able to exhibit Portsmouth-raised 
Opium at a medical meeting in the autumn. 

About this same time Dr. Richard Hazeltine (1786-1831) 1 
sent a friendly note. 

"Berwick, April 28, 1809. Dear Sir: I herewith forward to you 
the Vol, which you were so kind as to lend me, and should have 
returned it before, but have entertained a hope that 1 should be 
in Portsmouth and deliver it myself. Since I saw you, I have 

1 Dr. Hazeltinc, was an early writer on Medicine in New Hampshire 
and Maine. In one of his papen he refers epidemics, to tempestuous 
weather, and in another he speaks of a snow storm in 1807, lasting an 
entire week, and followed with much sickness. 


shown the blank scheme of medical cases to several physicians who 
unanimously concur in the opinion that the one which I showed you 
would be most convenient. And I should now propose to you with- 
out further delay to share the expense with you and employ Mr. 
Sewall 1 to strike off some hundred copies were it not that I expect 
shortly to see some other printer with whom I intend to converse 
on the subject. I must therefore beg, that the business so far as 
respects myself may be suspended for the present. ... I have for 
two years last past received your Bills of Mortality, and confess I 
feel more pleasurable sensations from such trifling notices of at- 
tention, than I will attempt to express. Permit me to assure you 
I feel very grateful for them, and hope I may be so fortunate as to 
be one among those whom you may think proper to direct them in 
future. Your Ob'd't and Humble Serv't Richard Hazeltine." 

The appended note from John Vaughan of Philadelphia 
throws light on Dr. Spalding's studies. 

"Philadelphia 20, April 1809. Dear Sir: I am sorry indeed, of 
your having to abandon the publication of your edition of Willan 
owing to difficulties with the colored plates. 

Being called upon by others to obtain a Set of our Philosophical 
Transactions, I have agreeably to your request also been able to 
obtain a Set for you at the price of §20.50. You could not, I think, 
have procured a complete Set except by my means. Your Bill of 
Mortality for 1808 I presented to our Society, who are much 
obliged by j r our attention. Your kind promise relative to Philo- 
sophical Information will be of use to us. I remain Your Friend, 
etc., Jn. Vaughan." 

We have already seen a letter from Dr. Spalding to John 
Bell, but as no answer came another was sent to his brother 
Charles; 2 and reads in this way from a copy in my pos- 

1 "Mr. Sewall" was Mr. Stephen Sewall of Kennebunk, a printer 
and antiquarian. 

2 Although Sir Charles Bell's reply has not been preserved, the fol- 
lowing Note, concerning him may here find place. 

Charles Bell (1774-1842) was a wonder in Medicine and Surgery, 
who published his famous "System of Dissections" when he was 25, 
followed it up with his epoch-making studies on the Nerves, and wrote 
his marvelous work on "The Hand" when still a young man. He 
drew beautifully and operated rapidly; performing a lithotomy, it is 
said, in 3 minutes and 16 seconds. The French anatomists loved him 
dearly, and always made much of "Sharley" Bell, whenever he visited 
Paris. Dr. Spalding mentions his "Operative Surgery" when he should 
have said "Comparative Surgery." 


"Portsmouth, N. H., U. S. America, May 10, 1809. Sir: I have 
this moment read in your "System of Operative Surgery," that 
although you know of no instance of a spontaneous cure of an 
aneurism, yet in your opinion, there is a possibility of its occurring. 
I am now happy to have it in my power, Sir, to state that I have 
seen a spontaneous cure of an aneurism of the Femoral Artery, 
which in symptoms and appearances most exactly corresponds with 
what you say, may happen. This, more than ever, convinces me 
that your inferences are drawn from anatomical researches, and 
that your "System" is actually founded on the basis of true anat- 
omy. What greater evidence can be given of a perfect knowledge 
of anatomy and physiology, than from these sources to predict 
that a spontaneous cure of an aneurism may take place, although 
an instance was never known, and yet, eventually an instance 
should occur in which the prediction, with all its concomitants, is 
most justly verified. 

This Case came under my inspection in April of last year, and 
in March last I communicated with your brother Mr. Jolin Bell, by 
the way of Halifax, the only route which was then open. But as 
that is a very circuitous one, the letter may have miscarried. If 
it has not arrived, you will do me the honor to advise me thereof, 
and I will instantly transmit a copy of my Pamphlet on the subject 
to you. Your Obedient and very Humble Servant, L. Spalding." 

Dr. Smith had promised to attend the Medical Meeting 
at Exeter this year, and in order to remind him of the ap- 
proaching day, Dr. Spalding wrote to that effect, and made 
other inquiries to which he received this answer. 

"Hanover, May 21, 1809. Dear Sir: I have received your letter 
respecting my intended application to the Legislature. I propose 
to make it in this manner, viz: that I will procure a Deed to the 
State of a parcel of land sufficient to place the building on, to be 
the property of the State forever, for that purpose: that the Build- 
ing shall be built at the expense of the State, and remain the prop- 
erty of the State forever, under the inspection and control of some 
Board, whom the Legislature may appoint, to be used and employed 
for Medical and Experimental Philosophy. I suppose that about 
ten thousand dollars, would be sufficient to build the House and 
furnish the necessary Library, Apparatus, etc. I have high ex- 
pectations that something will be done for me, which will be im- 
portant to the interests of Medical Science, as I have the assurance 
of many members of the House of Representatives in my favor. 

I am with High Esteem, etc., Nathan Smith." 

This money may have been appropriated at this time, but 
the Building was not occupied until 1811. Dr. Smith at- 


tended the Meeting at Exeter, was elected Vice President 
and nominated on a Committee on Mineral Waters, with 
Dr. Spalding. 

I have before mentioned that Dr. Spalding presented to 
Congress in 1802 his Claim against the Government for 
services to workmen at Fort Constitution, but was not then 
paid. After waiting patiently, he wrote this year to his 
friend from Walpole, John Curtis Chamberlain, M.C. (1772- 
1834) and received the two following notes. 

"Washington, 11 June, 1809. Dear Sir: The Post Road to 
Charlestown is now before the Committee; this session will be 
short, and perhaps the consideration of it will be deferred until 

Your business in the hands of Dr. Durrell I am unacquainted 
with. You must inform me what it was, and where to be found 
before I can render you any services. From present appearances 
this session will close in ten days. There appears to be a spirit of 
conciliation in Congress which I hope will be of service to the people. 
Your Friend, J. C. Chamberlain." 

Later on he wrote again. 

"Washington City, 9th, Dec. 1809. Dear Sir: I received your 
letter dated at Philadelphia, and immediately examined the Clerk's 
Files and found your claim and vouchers. It is referred to the 
Committee of Claims. I think your vouchers sufficient, but I 
doubt whether your claim will be considered of the kind which 
Government ought to pay. On this point I will give no explicit 
opinion, but advise you to prepare your mind to hear of its in- 

Yours with esteem, John C. Chamberlain." 

The readers of these letters must already have perceived, 
that Dr. Spalding was an unusually clever physician, and they 
may have thought that he must by this time be chafing at 
his confinement in so small a place as Portsmouth. In a 
letter concerning his Soda Fountain, we saw that he was 
planning to settle in Boston. It is evident, however, that 
he could not feel sure of success in any new field without 
further instruction. Having at this juncture lately met Dr. 
Ramsay at Hanover, it is probable from conversations with 
him that he now meditated a voyage to Europe. Yet when 
he considered this plan, he saw that his income was too 
small to maintain his wife and children during his absence, 
and money was hard to borrow owing to dread of war with 


England, so that the only way in which the voyage could be 
obtained lay in some Governmental appointment. Just 
what his plans now turned out to be, we read in "A Mem- 
orial," at this time forwarded to Washington. 

"To the Honorable Robert Smith, Esq. Secretary of State: 1 The 
undersigned humbly showeth that for fifteen years last pad he has 
made the study of the various branches of Medical Science las sole 
object, that he has visited some of the most celebrated medical 
Schools in the United States, and has publicly taught medicine in 
Dartmouth University for a part of the above mentioned period. 

That he has wholly in view, the improvement of himself in Medi- 
cal Science, that he may thereby be better enabled to instruct 
others and alleviate human ills. That medical Science, particu- 
larly Anatomy and Chemistry have been brought to greater per- 
fection in France than in any other part of the world, and that the 
present relation of our Government with the European powers does 
not readily admit of a passage thither; the undersigned for these 
and other good reasons requests the favor of being employed as a 
public MESSENGER to our Minister in France, to enable him there 
to pursue his favorite studies of Anatomy and Chemistry under 
the most celebrated Professors in the world, and as in duty bound, 
shall ever pray. Lyman Spalding. 

Portsmouth, Xew Hampshire, August 25, 1809." 

This petition was accompanied with an autograph letter 
of John Wheelock; also signed by Nathan Smith; and reads 
as follows : 

"This certifies that the bearer, Dr. Lyman Spalding, a citizen of 
this State is a gentleman of talents, pure moral character, and repu- 
table connexions. He has long applied himself in the pursuits 
of science, and more particularly devoted his attention to im- 
provement in Chemistry, and the professional study of Physic. 
Greatly have his acquirements secured to him the respect and esteem 
of his numerous acquaintance. From regard to his merit, the Cor- 
poration of this University conferred on him the degree of Doctor 
of Medicine, and for some time he officiated as public lecturer in 
the same. He contemplates a tour of Europe to visit different 
philosophical and medical establishments, for the farther enlarge- 
ment of his knowledge and acquaintance, and to open new sources 
for increasing the advantages and extending the usefulness of the 
Chemical Establishment in this Institution. 

1 Hon. Robert Smith (1757-1842) served in the Revolutionary Army, 
practiced law successfully at Baltimore, and was in succession Secretary 
of the Navy, United States Attorney General and Secretary of State. 


From the above considerations therefore we do very sincerely 
and cheerfully recommend him to the civilities, friendly notice and 
consideration of those characters in France, and other countries, 
who, with pure and enlarged views are devoted to patronize and 
promote the interests of Science, Virtue, and Humanity. 

Given under our hands at Dartmouth College in New Hamp- 
shire, in the United States this Twenty First day of August, A.D. 

Signed, John Wheelock, President. 
Nathan Smith, Prof. Med." 

These two papers were forwarded in due season to the 
Secretary of State, but before that time, Dr. Spalding had 
stated his case to Dr. N. A. Haven, M.C. from Portsmouth 
and now heard from him to this effect. 1 

"Washington, June 23, 1809. Dear Sir: I have had no oppor- 
tunity of a personal interview with the Secretary of State since the 
receipt of your favor, until to-day. I acquainted him with the object 
and motives of your request which he considered highly laudable. 
He authorized me, however, to say that at this time no mission to 
France was contemplated, and he thought it improbable if there 
would be any for some time to come: that public notice would be 
given in the papers, as soon as any dispatches were intended to be 
forwarded, and that if any should be sent, previous to the next 
session of Congress, it would be well to remind him, by Letter, of 
this application. He led me, however, to suppose that applica- 
tions were frequently made to him on various accounts, to which 
he could pay no attention. Congress will probably rise on the 
28th, and when I have the pleasure to see you in Portsmouth, will 
be more particular on this subject. I am Dear Sir, Your Ob'd't 
Serv't, Nath. A. Haven." 

At the same time Dr. Spalding also wrote the following 
ingenious letter to Dr. Smith: 

"My Friend: I have it still in serious contemplation to visit 
Europe, and firmly believe that I shall accomplish it. In that case, 
I shall pay the most particular attention to anatomy generally, 
and to the minutiae of every part thereof, to elegant dissection and 
demonstration, to injecting with wax, quicksilver and lime: to the 
preparation of the Lymphatics, lacteals, eye, ear, brain, etc., spar- 

1 Nathaniel Appleton Haven (1762-1831) served as surgeon on a 
privateer during the Revolution, and after capture by the enemy was 
exchanged for an English Surgeon of the same rank at the especial 
request of Washington. He practiced for a while as a licentiate of the 
Massachusetts Medical Society, then went into business and politics, 
and was now in Congress. 

isKste- ^^£~, >*^~<& ^s^^^ 


&£> z&**j£ ^C^r?-*!^ ^/^^y^^r <L^gr. spog'. 

l/Vfrffiw-? €^J^ foffo&t^ 



ing no expense to be admitted to the dissecting and preparation 
rooms in France and England and actually working at all those 
things myself, as I did at Hanover. Also seeing, preparing and 
making every chemical experiment now exhibited in Europe, and 
bringing home with me every kind of instrument and apparatus 
required in Anatomy, dissections, demonstrations, and injections; 
Also all curious, valuable, rare books, plates, plans and engravings 
on our Science. 

Now, Sir, if you will contribute to the expense, you shall share 
with me the profits; i.e., I will spend the term of the first courses of 
your lectures after I return, at Hanover, and will act as dissector 
and chemical experiment maker to you, and will engage to - 
you every anatomical and surgical fact which is now known or 
can be obtained in Europe, and every species and variety of dis- 
section and preparation, and every kind of Chemical Experiment 
and preparation. But, Sir, I will not engage to spend any more 
than one course of Lectures with you, as my business in Ports- 
mouth is such as to render it absolutely impossible for me to leave 
it to the mercy of the waves. It will also be a good opportunity 
for you to procure a library and chemical furniture, and for your 
College to obtain books and philosophical apparatus. 

With Esteem, your Humble Ser't, Lyman Spalding." 

The arrival of this letter could not fail to remind Dr. 
Smith that the Spaldings had helped him to visit Europe in 
1796; his reply is worth reading. 

"Hanover, July 20, 1809. Dear Sir: I have ree'd your letter 
respecting your intended tour to Europe. If on due consideration 
of the subject you are determined to make the experiment, I shall 
acquiesce and render you all the assistance in my power, which I 
fear will be very little. I acknowlege the liberality of your pro- 
posals, and nothing but the want thereof will prevent me from 
affording you pecuniae assistance. My affairs arc at present 
very much embarrassed on account of some purchases of land 
which I made two years since, and the money which I have been 
obliged to expend for the Medical Establishment has reduced my 
finances very low. It will be impossible for me to help you from 
the money granted for a Medical Building, as we do not receive 
any money from the Treasurer till a year from next January, and 
that money is granted for an express purpose, and put into the 
hands of the Committee for that purpose only, so that it cannot 
be touched by me. As you live in the midst of wealth I thought 
it might be possible that you mighl find some person who would 
loan five hundred dollars for two years. If you could, I would give 
them my security for it, and if required would secure the pay] 
by real property worth double the sum. If you should find any 


opportunity to obtain money in the way and manner pointed out, 
I would let you have it, and we would settle it in the way and man- 
ner you have pointed out in your letter. . . . We are in great dis- 
tress on account of money in this part of the country, more so, I 
conclude than you are. At least it is more difficult to procure any 
considerable sum. I should like to hear from you again, inform- 
ing me when you propose to go to Europe. I should suppose it 
would be best to go in Sept'r so as to be there at the beginning of 
their annual course of Lectures which commence in Nov'r. I am 
with sentiments of High Esteem, Nathan Smith." 

Whilst the question of the European Tour was under 
discussion Dr. Spalding came very near losing his life at 
Fort Constitution, July 4, 1809. Col. Walbach, who was 
a former officer in the French Army, had come to America 
and obtained an appointment in the United States Army in 
1801. He had invited some friends to dinner on the festal 
occasion, and in the midst of it there occurred a terrific ex- 
plosion, shattering the floor and ceiling of the room in which 
the dinner was spread, and hurling most of the guests to 
the floor. 

When he regained his senses, Dr. Spalding made for the 
open air, found seven men dead, and many wounded, for 
whom he and Dr. William Cutter cared. 

Although the doubly signed letter from Dartmouth might 
be of value on this side of the ocean, Dr. Spalding felt that 
another, from Dr. Rush, the best known of all American 
physicians abroad would be of greater value still if his plans 
succeeded. With this idea in mind, he enlisted the services 
of his intimate friend Rev. George Richards, as his reply 
now informs us, but of Dr. Rush's letter of commendation I 
find no traces. 

"Philadelphia, September 18, 1809. Dear Sir: I have the 
pleasure to inform you that I arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday 
at 1/2 past 1, and Sunday at 3 p.m. delivered your letter to Dr. 
Rush in person. The venerable sage received it with the most 
flattering remarks of polite attention, and begs me to assure you 
that the certificate shall be forwarded agreably to your requests, 
and that he stands prepared to tender you any assistance in his 
power, and that on all subjects you may freely communicate and 
freely command. Any services in my power are also most cheer- 
fully tendered, and requesting you to inform Dr. Pierrepont of my 
safe arrival; he and you may expect a lengthy letter when I am 
perfectly domesticated. Devotedly Yours, George Richards." 


When the voyage to Europe was abandoned because the 
Government appointment could not be obtained, Dr. Spald- 
ing decided that the next best step was to spend the winter 
at the Pennsylvania Hospital Medical School, and at once 
wrote to that effect to his friend Dr. Perkins who had lately 
attended that school. 

From Dr. Perkins' answer, we also see that Dr. Spalding 
had been having troubles about his wig. 

"Boston, Oct. 18, 1809. Dear Sir: Your favor I received this 
day. Some person, several weeks ago called on me concerning the 
wig, and I informed him that the wigmaker, about the time it was to 
have been finished, took a sudden start for Europe, in other words 
took French Leave. What he did with the measure and sample of 
hair, nobody knew. This information, I expected the man gave you 
on his return to Portsmouth. So, the present state of the business 
is as you wish . . . there is no wig made. I thank you for your 
kind offer. I have no commands in Philadelphia, as I came from 
that city only a few days since. I have a high opinion of the ad- 
vantages there for medical improvements. I was highly pleased 
with Dr. Barton and Dr. James, and with the Pennsylvania Hospi- 
tal. I presume the lectures there are nearly equal to those of 
any of the European School. The Professors are men of great 
eminence and very great ambition. I think you must spend your 
winter there very profitably as well as pleasantly. Dear Sir; your 
friend, Cyrus Perkins." 

Immediately after the arrival of this letter Dr. and Mrs. 
Spalding went to Philadelphia where they spent three 
months, to their great delight socially and medically. Dr. 
Spalding made copious notes of all the lectures and from 
his Note Book I will append in the following Chapter a 
summary of what he heard and saw. 


Visit to Philadelphia and New York, 1809-10. 

I will begin this chapter with some notes concerning the 
physicians whom Dr. Spalding was now to meet very inti- 
mately, for in that way their lectures will seem more inter- 
esting as coming from persons with whom we are already 

Nathaniel Chapman (1780-1853) obtained his degree in 
Philadelphia, studied in Edinburgh, and was practicing in 
Philadelphia as early as 1804. He soon stood in the front 
rank of medical practitioners and instructors. His book " On 
the Elements of Therapeutics and Materia Medica" was the 
most artistic that had up to that time been issued in this 
country. Personally, Chapman was affable, charming in 
manners, popular, renowned for his gaiety of spirits and skill 
in emergencies. He founded "The Journal of American 
Medical Science" and was a famous literateur. He was at 
this time lecturing on Obstetrics and Materia Medica. 

Caspar Wistar (1761-1818) looks at me as I am writing, 
and I can imagine him stepping out of the frame and saying 
with his usual bow to his students, "Good Morning Gentle- 
men." Wistar was a grandson of the first glass maker in 
America, and as a boy he assisted the surgeons at the battle 
of Germantown. He obtained degrees at home and abroad, 
and on his return was made Physician to the Pennsylvania 
Hospital, and Professor of Anatomy and Surgery. He was 
a delightfully social man, and with Mrs. Wistar, the second, 
who was a Mifflin, kept open house for local and foreign 
scients. His "System of Anatomy" caused him to be con- 
sidered America's greatest anatomist. He took a great 
fancy to Dr. Spalding, gave him every opportunity for 
studying anatomy, and they remained on very friendly 
terms to the end of their lives. 

Philip Syng Physick (1760-1837) began with medicine as 
a pastime; then going abroad with plenty of money and 
recommendations, he had the great good fortune to be 
chosen as a pupil of John Hunter's and to live in his family. 



From that time on, medicine and surgery were all the world 
to him. Through Hunter's influence he was made a House 
Surgeon at St. George's, a position of untold value to any 
young physician, and one up to that time never before ob- 
tained by any American. He went from there to Edin- 
burgh where he obtained his degree in 1792. 

He soon obtained public notice in Philadelphia in an 
epidemic of yellow fever in 1793, for which he was rewarded 
with a Silver Service. In due season he became Professor 
of Surgery and on the death of his nephew, Dr. Dorsey, 
Professor of Anatomy. His successful operation for lith- 
otomy, in his 63rd year, upon Chief Justice Marshall, 
brought him additional fame, and multitudinous congratu- 
lations. His equal as a Lecturer and a Surgeon will hardly 
be met with in the annals of American Medicine. 

John Syng Dorsey (1783-1818) was graduated in medicine 
when hardly twenty years of age. He then studied in 
London and in Paris, was on most friendly terms with John 
Hunter and Sir Humphrey Davy, and on his return was 
made associate Professor of Surgery with his uncle, Dr. 
Physick. The death of Dr. Barton promoted him to the 
Chair of Materia Medica, and that of Dr. Wistar to the 
Chair of Anatomy. He delivered the brilliant opening 
lecture November 2nd, 1818, was attacked with typhus on 
the next day and died November 12th. His "System of 
Surgery" was one of America's earliest and most efficient 
treatises on that subject, and as an operator, he must have 
been bold, judging from his success with an Innominate 
Aneurism shortly before his death. With the exception of 
Dr. Physick and of Dr. Valentine Mott of New York, Dr. 
Dorsey, young as he was, was regarded as the foremost 
surgeon of the age. 

Benjamin Smith Barton (1776-1815) inherited from his 
Father a great love for Natural History, and after Btudying 
in Philadelphia he went to Edinburgh where he carried off 
the Botanical prize for an Essay "On Hyoscyamus," and 
obtained a medical degree at Goettingen. He long occupied 
the Chair of Materia Medica :it Philadelphia, and was 
Editor of "The Medical and Physical Journal." His fame 
as a Botanist was world wide, many plants being named 
after him. His lectures were filled with anecdotes, and no 
Professor received so undivided attention whilst lecturing, 


as did Dr. Barton. He was a handsome man, very positive 
and very passionate in his arguments, but owing to a de- 
fective memory, he was sometimes compelled to retract 
what he had said. 

Joseph Parrish (1779-1840) was graduated at Phila- 
delphia in 1805, and it has been asserted that he delivered 
the first course of Chemical Lectures in America, in 1808. 
But Dr. Spalding and Professor Silliman antedated him in 
that respect. Parrish with other medical friends, established 
a Private School for Medical Instruction in Philadelphia, 
and then compelled the older school to improve its lectures, 
and ultimately to unite with his. He was on the staff of the 
Wills, Eye and Ear Hospital from its foundation, wrote many 
medical papers, was Editor of the "North America Medical 
and Surgical Journal," and a considerable contributor to the 
National Pharmacopoeia. 

William Potts Dewees (1768-1841) whose lectures proved 
extremely attractive to Dr. Spalding was one of America's 
greatest obstetricians. Owing to lack of money he did not 
obtain a degree, in course, but practiced for a while without 
one, and then returning to his studies again was duly gradu- 
ated. He was one of the earliest specialists in obstetrics, 
practiced successfully for some time, then retired to Alabama 
owing to poor health. He resumed practice later on, and was 
chosen Professor of Obstetrics in the University of Phila- 
delphia. His "System of Obstetrics" is a perpetual monu- 
ment to his fame, and he remains celebrated as the one who 
first emphasized the danger of Cardiac Thrombosis in lying 
in women. His portraits make him a very handsome man, 
with a winning disposition. 

Thomas Chalkley James (1766-1835) of Welsh descent 
was graduated at Philadelphia in 1787 and went on a voyage 
to China as Ship's Surgeon. Returning by way of England, 
he studied there for three years chiefly on obstetrics, and re- 
turned to Philadelphia about 1793. In the following year 
he went West as Surgeon on a Western Expedition. He 
next established a private course of lectures on Obstetrics in 
Philadelphia, and later on was elected Professor of Obstetrics 
in the University of Pennsylvania. He was Editor of "The 
Eclectic Reporter" a medical journal of high standing, and 
he also issued an American Edition of Burn's "Midwifery." 
He was much interested in the treatment of extra uterine 


pregnancy, and reported a very early case of inducted labor 
in a contracted pelvis. His translation of Gessner's " Idylls" 
was highly praised, and he spent a great deal of time in 
carrying on the Pennsylvania Historical Society. 

With these annotations, let me now pass to Dr. Spalding's 
Note Book. 

Dr. Physick showed us cases of fever from pus collecting 
in the ring of the abdominal muscle: one died before oper- 
ation, the other was relieved by opening the abscess. If 
pus forms in the pectoral muscle, a bougie run into the 
bottom of the sac will drain it out properly. Nov. 15, 
he dissected out successfully a large steatomatous tumor 
from the fascia of the thigh of a man of 40. Three days 
later I saw him extirpate from the neck of a woman a hard 
tumor as large as my two fists. In operating, he exposed 
the carotid and thyroid cartilage on which the tumor lay. 
Both of these tumors were dressed with adhesive plaster 
and charpie. At another lecture he mentioned ossified 
arteries sinrilar to those that I had seen at home. After the 
lecture I mentioned this fact to Dr. Physick who seemed 
pleased to hear it. He reduced a right humerus which had 
been dislocated three months before. Extension and counter 
extension were employed. Physick, Dorsey and Wistar 
manipulating, hauling and pulling one way and another. 
After several vain attempts, several students pulling at right 
angles with a rope, Dr. Physick put a strap under the axilla, 
mounted a chair, and then after more pulling and hauling, 
the bone slipped into place. On another occasion he showed 
us a knife wound of the stomach (permitting food to run 
out) which later on, healed; and a penetrating wound of the 
knee-joint which healed slowly. On one day he removed a 
small tumor beneath the clavicle, did lithotomy on a child, 
extracted a stone from the urethra, and punctured for vari- 
cocele. He did the lithotomy very elegantly, and after ex- 
amining the fluid from the varicocele he used water, only, 
for the injection instead of Port Wine. In amputating he 
uses but one turn of the tourniquet, to avoid puckering of 
the skin, which would prevent a smooth incision. At an- 
other lithotomy he divided a deep vessel, and limited it 
beautifully with a tenaculum passed in beneath. Hemor- 
rhage from the plantar arteries he controlled with a band of 
copper to press on the arteries but nowhere else. He treated 


ulcers of the leg by raising the foot. He is very partial to 
fractures, and pays great attention to splints, being very 
fertile in his suggestions as to their size, shape and position. 
A medullary artery was bleeding profusely, and enveloped 
in its bony case could not be drawn out or compressed, so he 
whittled a bit of wood to shape, forced it between the bone 
and the artery and the bleeding ceased. 

"Do not extract a tooth," he said, "in fractured jaws, be- 
cause you then convert a simple fracture into a compound." 
"With fractured ribs, tighten the bandage all you can and 
let the diaphragm do the breathing." He gave practical 
rules for applying bandages, showing us especially how to 
prevent swelling from too tight a bandage. He was exceed- 
ingly clear in diagnosticating fractures, from dislocations, 
and again showed us how to bandage. 

He was very conservative as a surgeon, saving for instance 
fingers apparently destroyed. He made his fracture patients 
comfortable, by ingenious holes in the bed, and boards laid 
across for rests. He never treated two fractures alike. He 
told us how John Hunter cured a woman with a stiff knee- 
joint by causing her to sit on the edge of a table and swing 
her leg to and fro. 

In a long standing unreduced dislocation of the shoulder, 
he had a Professional Bleeder, at hand, and as the patient 
fell to the floor from loss of blood, he grasped the arm, and 
with a single manipulation he had the bone in place in a few 
seconds. He told us of a girl who sprained an ankle, walked 
too soon, "to make the joint supple," so that suppuration 
set in and the patient died. He mentioned Desault's 
"Fractures," but did not say that Dr. Caldwell had trans- 
lated that work. 

"Dr. Physick was, as I have heard, fond of telling this 
story, winter after winter. A drunken man in Edinburgh 
was picked up unconscious and carried to the hospital as an 
apoplectic. Waking the next morning in a strange place, he 
inquired what was wrong with him, and why he could not go 
to work. "Hush, hush," said the nurse "you have had a 
stroke and they are going to trepan your skull at once." 
"Not on your life," shrieked the man, and picking up his 
clothes he fled with speed." 

Lecturing on cataracts, he said that the capsule should be 
extracted with forceps or a hook. A patient with unreduced 


dislocation of the femur was brought in for reduction. 
After counter-extension, and rotation, the neck of the femur 
broke, to the confusion of the surgeons and to the amazement 
of the class. "I go next," said Dr. Physick, and without ap- 
parent interruption "I go next to speak of Btrangulated 
Hernia, in which a high enema of tobacco is better than 
mere tobacco smoke." 

Dr. Physick takes the greatest care to give no merit at all 
to John Bell, but follows John Hunter "Toto Coelo." "In 
tapping, you may get water and you may get JELLY!"; at 
which the students roared. He then mentioned an actress 
in London who was tapped, so that both the Mother and the 
Infant died: it was a case of pregnancy, not of dropsy. He 
once saw a man drop dead in an instant, from holding his 
hands above his head; the pus from an abscess in the axilla 
had run into the circulation. 

Dr. Rush made much of his lecture on the Mind, men- 
tioned children who could not talk until they were 8, and 
then he branched off into ventriloquism. No action of man 
is voluntary, but became so by use. Man is an automaton, 
driven to and fro like a ship by the wind. People sometimes 
distinguish with their eyes, the taste of things, and yet per- 
ceive colors with their finger tips. " I knew a Mr. Fowler 
of Virginia who could almost instantaneously multiply men- 
tally any twelve figures by any other twelve." 

He also lectured on Natural History, and remarked that 
the branches of a tree which penetrated a warm room would 
remain green all winter, even when the rest of the tree out- 
side was frozen stiff. 

"When they put down a Land Mark in England, they do 
it in sight of a dozen boys, call their attention particularly 
to the fact, and then give them a spanking, so that they will 
for LIFE, remember the landmark by the whipping." 

Dr. Rush said "I remember Dr. Shippen Baying; The 
division of the intestine- is arbitrary. You allow twelve 
fingers' breadth for the duodenum, then trace the jejunum 
along until you are tired and then call it Ileum, until you 
to the Coecum." 

After Dr. Spalding had entered notes of a lecture by Dr. 
Rush on Sleep, he wrote on the margin of his book "This 
topic deserves great attention from me." 


Dr. Rush often talked on Cookery for patients, and gave 
us excellent receipts for Potato Soup and for Green Corn 
Grated, and made into a pudding with eggs and milk. A 
pound of solid meat cut into pieces and put into a bottle and 
boiled is good for invalids. His lectures on the pulse with 
its varities, Synochus Mitis, and Synochus Fortis were 

"The pain of a disease" he said, may be located at an 
entirely different part from its actual seat." 

He was fond of phrases: "When I was in the Army," 
"Mr. White tells me;" "An old lady of Germantown;" 
" Infuse faith in your patient; Tell patients that they can- 
not die of That disease, and their mind turns to other 

He lectured on Patting, Rubbing and Shampooing, as 
practiced by the Chinese. After seeing a case of dropsy 
he said "We cure this with bleeding and purging" and Dr. 
Spalding adds "This is true, for I have seen the patient 
many times. 

Never let a fever patient rest near a wall, but always in 
the middle of the room. Stimulate him with hopeful- 
ness, and drive away visitors who talk about other people 
dying from just such a fever. When a patient is re- 
covering, get him away from everything that can remind 
him of sickness, shave him and cleanse him toward recovery. 

Dr. Rush was enthusiastic over George Cleghorn (1715— 
1789) who was a house pupil of Alexander Monro of Edin- 
burgh. Whilst serving as Army Surgeon in the Island of 
Minorca, Cleghorn paid much attention to a peculiar fever 
which was there indigenous, and his work on "Fevers," re- 
mains a Classic in British Medicine. Many otherwise in- 
explicable statements made by Hippocrates concerning 
Minorca Fever only become clear when studied by the light 
thrown upon them by Cleghorn. Resigning from the Army, 
he lectured on Anatomy at Dublin. Dr. Spalding purchased 
Cleghorn's Work for the Library of the New Hampshire 
Medical Society. 

Dr. Rush thought highly of John Hunter, but damned his 
brother William, with faint praise. 

Here is another quotation from Dr. Rush. "Intermittent 
Fever, may be cured in its initial stage by a gentle purgative. 
I had this, Gentlemen, from the Captain of a Military 


Company during the Revolution, who caused all his soldiers 
to drink a dose of Sea Water, and they escaped the dys- 

"Martha Pass, Gentlemen, is better to day. The air in 
her room is, however, offensive, and I have ordered it to be 
fumigated with muriatic oxide vapor." 

A maniac remembers all that is said to him, a delirious 
person, nothing. 

After ending his lecture and bowing off toward the door, 
Rush would often turn about and say "One Moment Gentle- 
men, I have just to add, that one Principle in Medicine is 
worth a Volume of loose disconnected facts." 

With the following summing up of Dr. Rush by my 
grandfather, I finish what he had to say concerning this 
celebrated man. "His great forte is to prove everything by 
a string of analogies like Sancho Panza's Proverbs. He 
never attempts fair and logical reasoning but supports his 
hypothesis with the idle talk of a Nurse, or of an Old Woman, 
or of a Sea Captain, or of a Lady in Philadelphia, or of a 
Patient in the Hospital. Notwithstanding which, he is the 
ablest practitioner that I have ever met with, he so exactly 
points out the Seat and the State of the Disease, and attacks 
it with such Buonapartean Skill as to vanquish it at once." 

Dr. Coxe's lectures are mentioned but slightly in Dr. 
Spalding's Note Book. One was concerning Thermome- 
ters. He performed some experiments which went off 
fairly well. He produced sound by burning oxygen in a 
tube, and with a Burning Glass melted metal under water. 
I suppose that as Dr. Spalding could perform all these ex- 
periments, himself, they failed to interest him, and he passes 
them by without much comment. 

Barton's Lectures were a commingling of Natural History 
and Materia Medica. Syphilis succeeds lepra and is a 
modified form of the same disease. Gold fishes live in dis- 
tilled water. Gum arabic can alone sustain life many days. 
The best Digitalis grows in the shade. Climate alone has 
changed the negro's skin. If he had been born in a mine, 
he would remain white until he exposed himself to the sun. 

Acetate of Lead was Barton's favorite remedy and com- 
bined with opium, was, in his opinion unexcelled. "Dr. 
Barton takes upon himself," writes Dr. Spalding, "the merit 


of introducing this Composition and for all that I know/' he 
adds in a foot note, "he is entitled to it." Quassia was 
named after a negro who first discovered this Bitter: He 
was created a Prince by the Dutch, and made a great show 
with his gay uniform and cocked hat. 

"London Prescriptions are inordinately long in order to 
favor the apothecaries:" Dr. Barton rarely wrote for more 
than two remedies in the same prescription, did not favor 
Bark, but mentioned his Paper concerning it, in Coxe's 
"Museum." He lectured on Porcupines at one time; "and 
seemed much interested in that animal," writes Dr. Spald- 
ing; " and when I talked with him about it after lecture, he 
begged me to send him the head of one, or if possible, a live 
one for his Open Air Garden." The space between the eye- 
brows, the Glabella, indicates Greatness. Washington had 
the broadest glabella I ever saw. 

Dr. Barton often eulogized John Brown (1735-1781) 1 the 
author of Brunonianism, or the idea that disease was due to 
debility and should be stimulated, not bled. 

Dr. Barton told us of a parrot belonging to Surgeon 
White, 2 who could laugh, talk, cry and even show signs of 

Dr. Spalding was also present when Dr. Barton delivered 
his Eulogy on Dr. James Woodhouse (1770-1809) Pro- 
fessor of Chemistry in the University. Woodhouse served 
in the Indian Wars and did great service to the State by 
demonstrating the commercial value of coal. 

Dr. Spalding's interest in Anatomy has been repeatedly 
mentioned and it is probable that his chief aim in visiting 
Philadelphia was to put himself under the guidance of 

1 Brown was a man of prodigious memory, but unhappily endowed 
with the unfortunate art of constantly putting his colleagues into the 
wrong. His "Elementa Medicinae" made a stir in the world. Freder- 
ick the Great invited Brown to his court, and other monarchs conferred 
honors upon him. Fortune at last smiled on Brown and he was on the 
way to riches when apoplexy killed him. Few physicians have created 
greater strife in medicine than John Brown, the son of a weaver of 

2 Charles White (1728-1813) the owner of this remarkable bird was 
Surgeon to the Manchester Infirmary, and by his original papers on 
obstetrics revolutionized that branch of practice in England. He first 
demonstrated Milk Leg, scientifically, and was also a good lithotomist. 
He became blind in 1S03, and the parrot cheered him in his lonely 


Caspar Wistar. The Note Book shows that he acted as 
Demonstrator for Wistar, and also had a private class in 
Anatomy. From the abundance of remarks on Wistar's 
lectures, I select a few. 

The carotids take a sharp turn in the temporal bone in 
order to break the force of the current rushing into the 
brain. A patient totally paralyzed from injury to the spine 
could speak and reason perfectly. Before each lecture he 
invariably asked a few students something about the topics 
of the previous one. In fractures he observed, that the 
Thumb; erect in the splint; proved that the pressure is 
equal on both bones of the forearm. Clubfoot may be due to 
an abnormal muscle in the calf of the leg. When you dis- 
sect, hold the skin tight, and follow the course of the fibres 
of the muscles. Beginners will start in on the muscles, fol- 
low to the viscera, continue with the blood vessels and end 
off with the nerves. 

One day when dissecting, Dr. Spalding found in the capsu- 
lar ligament of the shoulder joint, two floating cartilages. 1 
On showing them to Dr. Wistar, he mentioned them in his 
lecture and also spoke of a patient who could voluntarily 
dislocate both humeri. 

In lecturing on the Larynx, he used a very large model 
which made every description plain. 

Dr. Spalding had long been trying to inject the lymphatics, 
but did not succeed until December 10, 1809, when he wrote 
in his Note Book "This day I succeeded in injecting a lym- 
phatic with quicksilver. I discovered it in the Saphena 
Vein, just below the knee, introduced the pipe, the mercury 
ran to the thigh, where an unfortunate slash had been made 
and the lymphatic wounded. So rejoiced was I at the dis- 
covery, that I called aloud "Eureka," and they all came 
and looked at it. 

This was the beginning of those unique Preparations of 
the Lymphatics, which made Dr. Spalding's name celebrated 
in the history of American Anatomy. 

Dr. Wistar spoke of cryptic tonsils, and claimed that they 
might cause diseases elsewhere. "Charity begins at home," 
he smilingly said, in mentioning the Coronary Arteries. 

1 These cartilages may be the "Joint-Mice" of to-day, and are 
thought to be due to fracture of the condyles of long bones after violent 


"How soon they are sent off from the heart to nourish that 

Scurvy is due alike to excessive meat or to too many 
vegetables. Death from a blow on the stomach, or large 
amount of spirits, is due to concussion of its nerves. "But 
this explanation" adds Dr. Spalding "is not plain to me." 

At another dissection, Dr. Spalding discovered three in- 
stances of intussusception, in three different parts of the in- 
testines, and later on an instance in which six inches of the 
intestine had sloughed off, and been evacuated, yet the 
patient recovered and died from another cause. 

Dr. Wistar mentioned the toxic effects of bile, and Dr. 
Spalding told him, later, of an instance in which a moribund 
child was cured by an emetic which evacuated an enormous 
amount of bile from the stomach. 

"December 10, 1809" Three Hundred and Fifty One 
students were present at Dr. Wistar's lecture to-day, for I 
counted them." Amongst the friends whom Dr. Spalding 
made in Philadelphia was John Shelby 1 "from the Back- 
woods of Kentucky," son of Governor Shelby and brother 
to Sarah Shelby who married Ephraim McDowell, the first 
American Ovariotomist. Together, they once discovered in a 
child a left Ureter which was larger than the large intestine. 

Amongst other preparations made by Dr. Spalding at 
this time was one of the Cranial Nerves, which will be 
mentioned later on. 

Dr. Wistar said, that when in London, three surgeons had 
tried to introduce a trochar, but in vain. John Hunter 
came to the rescue and did it successfully. Hunter said to 
me "Know well your arteries, then cut boldly." Wistar 
often showed us on the dissecting table, specimens of bad 
surgery, as a warning to operate well; or not at all. 

After Dr. Dewees had finished his lecture, he talked with 
me a long while on Presentations. He had delivered 5300 
women and had only twice found occasion to use a crochet. 
He thinks that the pain of parturition is due to civilization 
alone. He never saw a child born alive after convulsions in 
the mother. 

1 John Shelby (1786-1859) served under General Jackson as an 
Army Surgeon, lost an eye in battle, practiced successfully in Nashville 
and founded a Medical School which still goes by his name. 


Bloodletting often saves life in convulsions. He once 
bled a negress 100 ounces, and she recovered. 

"I am satisfied," remarks Dr. Spalding at this point, 
"that we of New England lose patients by delay and inert 
remedies." "Attack them more boldly, hereafter, shall be 
my motto." 

Dr. James spoke of vicarious menstruation from the 
lungs, and scratches and showed a large hydatid cyst. 

Parturition, says Dr. Dewees, generally begins during the 
hours for sleep. He told us how to talk to a woman with 
child, and how if she refused to acknowledge her condition 
we were to encourage her to come again. He spoke of a 
physician in a lying in room who said to the nurse: "Take 
this bloody cloth and give me another." This boorish re- 
mark cost him much practice. "Don't degenerate into an 
old woman," said Dr. Dewees. "Let the nurse do the cod- 
dling and pillow shaking. Give your orders plainly, for you 
are in charge of the case and not the nurse." "Never mind 
the Doctor," said a nurse to a bashful patient; "he is only 
like an old woman." This remark overheard by the phy- 
sician caused him to cease taking charge of lying in women. 

Dr. Chapman lectured chiefly on Presentation, Touching 
and use of the Forceps. Dr. Dewees was the most enthu- 
siastic and anecdotic of the three Obstetricians: Chapman 
and James were more practical. 

Dr. Caldwell talked in flowery style on Animal Life, and 
after much beautiful language he ended in this way: And 
yet after all that we can say, ' 'Life is Life." He daily argued 
and manifested his spite against Dr. Rush, and Brunonianism, 
talked on the Vitality of the Blood and insisted that debility 
was not the cause of disease, but the Result. 

Dr. Dorsey always walked the Wards with his uncle, Dr. 
Physick, often stood on the platform whilst other lectures 
were going on, and occasionally gave us a lecture of his own. 
His talk on Bronchotomy was clever. "In penetrating 
wounds, apply the dressing so that it cannot fall into the 
cavity." In a gunshot wound of the thorax he bled the 
patient to 180 ounces, in twelve days yet he made a good 
recovery. A bayonet wound of the abdomen was fatal, be- 
cause in Dr. Dorsey's opinion, the liquor which the patient had 
just then been drinking had run into the abdominal cavity. 


Several evening lectures on chemistry by Dr. Parrish and 
Dr. Rogers l were also attended, but no notes of them remain. 

After four successful months of study in Philadelphia, Dr. 
Spalding went to New York and walked the Wards of the 
Hospital with Dr. Valentine Mott 2 then beginning his ex- 
traordinary career. 

Just home from London, as he walked the wards with Dr. 
Spalding at his side, he remarked: "Sir Astley" 3 believes 
this, "Mr. Cline" 4 suggests that, "Benjamin Bell" thinks 

1 Patrick Kerr Rogers (1762-1828), a brilliant Irishman, whilst 
living in Dublin, was foolish enough to print some reflections on the 
Government and had to run for his life. He obtained his medical 
Degree at Philadelphia, lectured privately on Chemistry, established 
a Loaning Medical Library and wrote papers of value on "Silver 
Nitrate" and on "Tobacco, medicinally used," yet despite his industry 
he was always in financial straits. He moved to Baltimore, obtained 
success, rose in the profession and was elected Professor of Natural 
Philosophy and Chemistry at William and Mary College. 

2 Dr. Mott (1783-1865) was the leading surgeon of New York and 
probably of America, for many years. He had great advantages of 
study at home and abroad, and performed every operation that sur- 
gery then accepted. After phenomenal successes he retired to Europe 
for some years, yet on returning, he again dominated American Surgery. 
No one came near him for skill. No one dared to follow his boldness 
in surgery. He ligated the innominate, amputated at the hip joint, 
and removed the clavicle with an immense osteoma attached. He 
performed 200 successful lithotomies, but bis medico literary achieve- 
ments were trifling. 

3 Sir Astley Cooper (1768-1841) filled the largest space in the public 
eye of any surgeon of his time. Unmanageable as a boy, he gradually 
came to his senses, and was early chosen a Surgeon to Guy's. He was 
known everywhere by his "Dislocations and Fractures." He was, 
however, a failure, as a lecturer until he threw Theories to the winds, 
and confined his remarks to Clinical Cases, in which he fascinated all, 
with his wealth of illustration. He was one of the handsomest men that 
ever lived, had a musical and penetrating voice, and at the end of a 
joke, he would laugh, "Ha Ha," and rub his nose with the back of his 
hand. This man dominated the world of surgery, medicine, and medi- 
cal law for years, and his works were quoted and upheld as The TRUTH 
in every malpractice suit of the era in which he flourished. As a 
Jury Lawyer in Maine once said to twelve men whom he wanted to 
convince; "Why Gentlemen, when the KING of ENGLAND is sick, 
he sends for Sir Astley! " and he won his case. 

4 Henry Cline (1759-1827) was an industrious, patient, and per- 
sistent surgeon, who made as much as $50,000 a year, and as Sir Astley 
said, he might have saved something, if he hadn't wasted it on Farms. 
He wrote but little and during the French Revolution was on the most 
friendly terms with the ringleaders. 


thus; and so on, until the young Doctor from Portsmouth 
may have felt that this was as good as seeing those great 
men in person. 

During his stay in New York, Dr. Spalding one day made 
this little note. "Dr. Mott was very kind to me this morn- 
ing, showed me new instruments from London, and some 
especial trephines; he operated twice, especially for me, 
and then he finished his day's work with a lecture on 

The last item in this historical Note Book shows the differ- 
ence in popularity between Philadelphia and New York as 
medical centers; for there were 351 students in Philadelphia 
and only 100 at both schools in New York. 


Events and Letters Received in 1809-10. 

Early one morning when in Philadelphia, Dr. Spalding re- 
ceived a note from Capt. William Yeaton, once of Portsmouth, 
now of Alexandria, Virginia, to the effect that he had 
brought from Portsmouth from Mr. Edward Parry l of that 
place some mineral for analysis, that it had been mostly 
ground to powder during the long voyage, and that what 
was left could be found at the City Hotel, with the bar 

When the ore was found in so unfit condition Dr. Spalding 
wrote to Mr. Parry and soon received an answer to this 

"Portsmouth, Dec. 28, 1809. Dear Sir: I was sorry to find the 
ore I sent by Captain Yeaton got loose in his trunk, and I am 
afraid that you did not get a fair sample of it. I should have sent 
you a box of it, if there was a vessel bound for Philadelphia, but 
there will be none these two months. You observed in your letter 
that Mons'r Goddon 2 would annalyze it for 15 or 20 Dollars. I 
wish you would inform me what it would cost to bring it to a 
Metallic Substance in such manner as I could have a small Bar of 
a few inches long, and what quantity of ore would be needed for 
that purpose. 

Mr. Parsons of York says that this Ore is more valuable than cop- 
per and enclosed you will find a sample of it, after being burnt, which 
he calls Venezzian Red Paint, which I wish you would show to some 
eminent painter and ascertain its value. You will particularly 
oblige me in being particular to find out the real value of this Ore, 
and, if it should be in your power to find out the best method how 
to proceed to bring it to be productive, you would confer an Obli- 
gation, On Your Friend and Humble Servant Edward Parry." 

The following entertaining letters from Rev. Philander 
Chase were also received during the visit to Philadelphia. 

1 Edward Parry a merchant of Welsh descent was a son of a former 
Royal Mast Agent at Portsmouth. 

2 Mons. Goddon, was an analyzing Chemist and Lecturer in Phila- 



New Orleans, Dec. 2, 1809. My dear Friend : Your favor came 
to hand about 2 weeks ago, and as soon as my cares have per- 
mitted, I now give it an answer. I am sorry you had no oppor- 
tunity of conversing with my worthy friend Scott. 1 I know you 
would have liked him, and that he would have been proud and 
happy in being acquainted with you, and in communicating to me 
those nameless minutiae of life which are so gratifying to an old 
friend, and neighbor. Captain Seward 2 did not call on me; the 
packet of which he was bearer containing your FAVOURS, being 
lodged in the Post Office at the mouth of our River. Your Bill of 
Mortality I think a good and useful thing; to the curious, and to 
men of your profession particularly so. The Oration, 3 especially 
its Notes, afforded me much amusement. But, who is your Grand 
Chaplain? You did not remember my being so much out of the 
world, and that an answer to this question would have been a neces- 
sary piece of information to give me. 

Your mentioning j r our visit to the place of our Nativity affected 
me more than from the manner or style you seemed aware of. The 
remembrance of those innocent, healthful and sportful meetings of 
which you speak serve but to deepen the shades of the dismal 
prospects, which in this land of Vice and death are continually be- 
fore me. I felt the contrast and still feel it. This you can easily 
imagine when I tell you that our City was never known to be more 
unhealthy; that Mrs. Chase and myself had little el<e to do but to 
attend on the sick, the dying and the dead, till we ourselves were 
seized with the dreadful Malady. 

Who would not, under circumstances like these feel the full 
force of that contrast which your gentle words raised in our view! 
So many of my friends and warm supporters have died and moved 
from the Country, so many more have failed by the effects of our 
national embarrassment, that I must no longer think it practicable 
to pursue the object on which I was sent hither. The thing is 
fixed, and I shall return to the Northern States in the Spring. The 
Clergy in N. Y., are for placing me in N. Y., but all engagements of 
this nature I think I shall at present decline. I love my native 
State, above all, my native Town. The people there, press me, 
and did I not think the thing burdensome, I should accept their 

As you will have abundance of time to write me an answer be- 

1 Mr. Scott was clergyman from New Orleans. 

2 Captain John Seaward was a revolutionary veteran, a sea captain 
and finally a Customs Officer at Portsmouth. He lived until 1845, was 
over 85 when he died and was the last man in the town to wear his 
hair in a Queue. 

3 The "Oration" was delivered by Rev. Mr. Richards at the laying 
of the Corner Stone of St. John's in 1808. 


fore April, the month fixed for my departure, I beg you will not 
neglect me. Tell me all the news, how your Church flourishes; how 
goes the wheel of State: I think I shall, if it please God, be in 
Cornish about the months of June, July and August. Can't we 
contrive to meet there? When I am again settled it will be for life. 
Ever your sincere Friend Philan'r Chase." 

In his second letter Mr. Chase writes: 

"New Orleans, Jan. 29, 1810. My dear Friend: Capt. Seaward 
has at length done me the honor of visiting and dining with me, 
and although I wrote you in answer to your favor, by him, I can- 
not refrain from telling you again that I am in health and prosperity. 
The time for my visiting my native soil is fast approaching, when, 
among my sincere friends I hope to embrace yourself. God grant 
I may find you in health and happiness! 

My brother Dudley 1 informs me that my sons are quite grown, 
and much improved in literature. How I long to fold them to my 
bosom, and give them a father's blessing. Our winter is mild, and 
although by the date, in the depth of winter, the trees are putting 
forth, and the flowers in blossom. The crops of sugar and cotton 
of our land have been and are uncommonly good, this season, and 
were it not for the restrictions on our trade, we should be unusually 

What shall we do with a War with Great Britain? May God 
defend and watch over our beloved country for good! I believe I 
informed you in my last of the great mortality of our past sum- 
mer. It is generally believed to have been caused by the uncommon 
overflowing of our River, joined with the intense heat of the suc- 
ceeding season. Happy are you, who live in a healthy climate. 
You know not, nor can scarcely conceive, our sufferings; death 
staring us in the face and no retreat. Our people too wicked to 
hope for mercy, and too hardened to repent. Yours P. Chase." 

A pleasant letter also came from William Neil, a genial 
merchant of Portsmouth. 

"Portsmouth, 8, Dec. 1809. Dear Sir: It gave me much pleasure 
to see a line from you handed to me to day, still more to hear that 
you are satisfied with your journey, and that the object you had in 
view; viz; Improvement in Medical Matters is worth your pur- 
suit. I am not surprised at the politeness of the Professors in 
sending you their tickets. I am more astonished that one of the 
number omitted that mark of respect. Tell me; is he an Irish- 

1 Dudley Chase (1771-1846) was graduated at Dartmouth in 1791, 
practiced as a lawyer in Randolph, Vermont, and after a long career at 
the Bar became Chief Justice, and then a Senator. 


man!? The diversified practice you have the means of seeing, will 
no doubt enlarge your Ideas, even if it should not augment your 
medical skill, which, whatever you might think was never doubted 
here. I wish to know when you return. Our politicians or rather 
our Peripatetics who discuss Politics at the Corners, are very high 
at present. War, War, with the English! Down with the friends 
of England, etc. Things, however, look serious, if not gloomy at 
present, and another embargo is dreaded. For deaths, marriages, 
and other local news I refer you to your other friends, not being 
much conversant with Town News. I must, however, mention 
the Death of Mr. Chauncy, 1 our good old friend. Yours with 
Respect, Wm. Neil." 

On the same day Dr. Pierrepont also wrote the News. 

"Portsmouth, Dec'r 8, 1809. Dear Friend: To day a letter from 
you was handed to me by the kindness of Mrs. S. which to me waa 
a very welcome circumstance. Up to the present period of your 
absence you appear to be in good spirits, among good friends, and 
I believe enjoying some literary advantages not to be met with 

From the quantity of matter and the frankness with which you 
communicate it, I should believe you do not think me susceptible 
of envy, and at any rate I will so conclude at present. Although 
you know I deride the political distinctions of society, how do you 
know but my heart rankles at your literary feasts, where all the 
various charms of Science solicit you to taste? I am pleased to 
find you estimate this journey a most fortunate circumstance, and 
that the Philadelphians art' gratified, and take an interest in your 
visit and please to COAX them to develop all that can be developed 
at London and Edinburgh. 

The venerable Chauncy is dead. That cursed case you mention 
was thus: When I arrived at the house the woman was very com- 
posedly in bed, having been delivered of a dead child. As I learn 
from the woman, it was a foot-presentation; the child was rather 
small and puny. 

\\ e have nothing essentially important in the news way. To 
day, the commercial class are dreading an embargo; hurry and 
trepidation drive them to and fro about town, such of them as have 
vessels about to sail. I have attended your patients. We have 

1 Charles Chauncy (1729-1809) was a descendant of President 
Chauncy of Harvard, and obtained at that University his degree. He 
was for a lon^ time confidential clerk to his Qncle, Sir William PeppereU 
of Kittery. Mr. Chauncy was a very small man, hut very erect, alert, 
full of wit, and highly esteemed. He wrote a tjreat ileal for the news- 
papers and early American Magazines, and in that way obtained a wide 


had no Society Meetings, no dissections, and indeed it is as torpid 
and as murky in this place as in the center of a nine days forest, 
nothing to rouse the spirits but that damning phrase: Pay me 
what thou owest. It is a subject of great WONDERMENT what 
has induced you to take this journey. Some say you have an ap- 
pointment. Others say you think of removing, and if informed 
correctly, they are astonished at the Cause. These cold hearted 
fellows would not give their hundred dollars for the peerless mind 
of a Newton or the unrivalled erudition of a Bayle. Enquire the 
opinion of the Philadelphians of "Sinclair's Code of Longevity," 
and conclude how it will do for our Library. From his literary 
connections, and intercourse, I should think it good. Be so good 
as to secure for me the Edinburgh Journal for years 1807-8-9. 
Although I have 3 Nos of 1807, yet it will break the set unless the 
Volume of that year is purchased. In my next, I shall enclose 
cash, or Bills rather, for the payment. Your friend, James H. 


In his next communication Dr. Pierrepont sends additional 

"Portsmouth, Feb'y 12, 1810. Friend Spalding: I have glad- 
ness of heart that you can inform me, yourself, that the journey to 
Philadelphia is not like to disappoint you. You seem to have 
divided your studies so discreetly that there seems nothing for a 
friend to advise, only that you do not let that ardent disposition 
to obtain information diminish. You undoubtedly pass time 
pleasantly in Philadelphia, and it appears you can investigate al- 
most every object contemplated in a London Hospital, unless per- 
haps a more perfect research into the lymphatics. I rejoice that 
you contemplate bringing home some preparations a la mode of 
Philadelphia. By the way, ours are safe in the BOOK CASE, 
which appears well, and will contain a handsome assortment. In 
one of the doors there is a knot larger than I would have put into 
the work, had I been able to attend to the workman, but I have 
been a victim to a violent inflammation in the arm from venesec- 
tion, soon after which operation I used the arm, and of course 
twisted out the little plug of agglutinated blood and lymph which 
filled the Orifice. The inflammation ran to high degree, occupying 
the whole extremity, but it at length subsided. I had had for 4 
or 5 months past, some obstruction about the heart, and lately 
attended with an intermitting pulse. Supposing it might proceed 
possibly from a plethora I determined on Venesection (with these 
results) . 

We have had little to do in this place, and I believe you could 
not have spent your time more usefully, for the pecuniary benefit 
here would have been nothing worth boasting of. I have received 


3rd Vol. of Bell "On Tumors" which is all that has been imported 
for our society. I wish we had Fordyce's 1 "Dissertations on 
Fever." Please to think of it when in New York. 

I have noticed in "The Anthology," that Johnson's Dictionary 
is to be printed in Philadelphia; please to inquire into this, also, 
in your rambles over the City. I enclose some money to pay for 
the "Edinburgh Journal," but cannot tell whether it is S6 or S9. 
If the former, I will pay the other to Mr. Taft. I believe Cabanis, 2 
"Sketches" is a Treatise of merit. If you meet with it, notice it, 
and think if our Society will relish it. Our District medical meet- 
ing was celebrated as usual, and eleven members were present. I 
read a Grand Dissertation, which you will not doubt. Drs. Dwight 
and Ranney are appointed to read at the next meeting. Our 
accounts 3 "are too extravagant to be allowed." If you visit 
Washington, deride this paltry spirit of Oeconomy! Yet, I wish 
you to return sooner than you will be able in that case, for I assure 
you it will afford much pleasure to see you "Face to Face." Our 
little Anatomical Institution must become highly valuable, to our- 
selves, at least; must tend to concentrate our mutual love for 

I am with esteem, Your Friend, James H. Pierrepont." 

The following note signed Joshua Brackett is from a 
namesake of the elder Joshua, now dead. The younger 
man practiced in Portsmouth until 1817, when I lose trace 
of him 

"Portsmouth, N. H. Feb. 1810. Dear Sir: You are daily en- 
riching your fund of knowledge, by experience, and yet according 
to promise you have never informed me of your reception, oppor- 
tunities, progress, or friends, which has anxiously been expected. 
Delay no longer! The other day I saw your patient, whose eye has 

1 George Fordyce (1736-1S02) studied with Cullen and with Albinus 
at Leyden, and lectured in London. His "Notes on the Temperature 
of the Human Body" have much value. He preached "One Meal a 
day," which he ate in this way; At i p.m. he went to Dolly's Chop 
House and the servant put on the table a tankard of ale, a bottle of 
Port, and J pint of Brandy. Generally half a broiled chicken, and 
1\ pounds of Steak were provided with vegetables and a Tart. Over 
this Meal Fordyce dallied until 5.45 when he set off for his Chemical 

2 Pierre George Cabanis (1757-1803) a Senator of France and the 
physician of Mirabcau, did a great deal for the Hospitals and Medical 
Schools of France during the Revolution, wrote on "Medical Philos- 
ophy;" "The Immortality of the Soul," and on " Nfirabeau during his 
last illness." 

3 "Our accounts " were for services rendered to the wounded at Fort 


taken a stand from which as you may well suppose it will not de- 
part. It is much diminished in size, and exhibits a great dis- 
figuration. She wishes to have a false one. I wish you to procure 
the materials, and you shall insert it at your return. Your Humble 
Servant Joshua Brackett. To Dr. Spalding; vel Sangrado." • 

If Dr. Spalding forgot Dr. Brackett he did not forget to 
tell Dr. Smith the news from Philadelphia; and was re- 
warded with the following reply. 

"Hanover, Feb. 13, 1810. Dear Sir: I have received a letter 
from you since you arrived at Philadelphia, which I should have 
answered before, but much business together with a little bad 
luck has kept my head and hand busy for some time past. But as 
I now have obtained a Truce for a time, I will be a more punctual 
correspondent for the future. Toward the last of our last Course 
of Lectures, I contracted with a certain person to go to Boston to 
procure, if possible, a Cadaver. But, instead of going to Boston, 
he went to Enfield, as it appears, and found a subject, which was 
taken by an Officer, when about half dissected. The circumstance 
made a prodigious bustle for a time, and gave me great disquietude, 
but I believe we shall survive the accident without material in- 
jury, either personal or to the Institution. 

I should have been glad to have taken your advice and come to 
Philadelphia and spent part of the Winter there, but the circum- 
stance above narrated, with my usual concerns prevented it. I 
think, however, I shall visit that City in the course of the next 
winter. I wish you to procure for me a Gorget for cutting for the 
stone, according to the most improved plans, such an one as Dr. 
Physick will recommend. Though I have operated for the four 
last times with success, I suspect my gorgets are not right. I 
have one according to Mr. Cline's plan, and two according to 
Monro. 2 I wish also that you would make diligent inquiry of Dr. 
Physick respecting his mode of operating on the eyes; what kind 
of instrument he uses; and everything else which will be interest- 
ing to me. 

I am with sentiments of Esteem, your friend and servant, Nathan 

1 Sangrado was a fanciful name given to Dr. Spalding for his learn- 
ing. It came from a Spanish Romance, and was copied later in Gil 

2 Alexander Monro (1762-1817) was the second of that name. He 
studied with his Father and abroad, where his acquaintance with 
Meckel of "Meckel's Ganglion" fame, led him to study finer anatomy. 
"The Foramen of Monro" is his. Monro, like other physicians, 
owned a farm, but unlike other Medical Farmers, he returned to town 
at night, subject to the calls of his patients. 


Among the early letters which Dr. Spalding received after 
his return from Philadelphia was the following from Dr. 

" Newburyport, July 25, 1810. Friend Spalding: Thou art wel- 
come to send for a Bill of Mortality as often as thou wilt by so fair 
a messenger. But will they come? Yes Sir, in future they shall 
come, or rather go to you. Verily I thought that I had sent you 
one, long ago; long before the calling of Miss Jackson. I think 
I sent by Mrs. . . . Plague on it. I have forgotten her name, 
but that is no matter, for she promised to deliver it to you. I sup- 
pose the record of Marriages at the bottom excited her desires for 
I think the list of deaths could not tempt her to retain it. I have 
not sent my Bills of Mortality by mail, of late, for our Post Master 
demanded letter-postage, and that, with the envelope would be 
more than they are worth. But, what am I writing? An 
APOLOGY for inattention to a FRIEND who could pass by my 
door four or five times as you have without calling! I can add no 
more: the messenger has called for the letter: so you must take 
this, or nothing. Yours etc., N. Noyes." 

The context of the appended note from Dr. Dorsey shows 
that Dr. Spalding had asked him for powders and plaster 
but had failed to receive them, owing to lack of a messenger. 
When, therefore, Mr. Samuel Hazard, 1 a resident of Phila- 
delphia was setting off for Boston, Dr. Dorsey sent by him 
this note and the plaster. 

"Philadelphia, 6th Aug. 1810. Dear Sir: After so long neglect- 
ing to reply to your favor of 22nd of May, you may perhaps sup- 
pose that I have forgotten it. This I beg to assure you is not the 
case. An unavoidable occurrence prevented me from sending the 
plaster in time for your messenger who left the town the day after 
I received your letter. Since that time I have had no opportunity 
of forwarding it until the present which I hope will prove a safe 
and speedy one. The "Antimonial Powders" are prepared in 
such a variety of ways, that I know not, without particular in- 
structions, how to order them. If you will take the trouble to 
specify the formula, I will have them forwarded to you as soon as 
an opportunity offers. I rejoice to learn of your success in the 
operations you have performed; may it ever continue! Accept 
my thanks for the Bill of Mortality you were kind enough to send 
me, and believe me, very respectfully your friend, J. S. Dorsey." 

1 Mr. Hazard was a son of a former Postmaster General, and after 
traveling abroad, he spent the rest of his life compiling "Registers" 
and "Annals" of Pennsylvania. 


The little note from Professor Silliman, recalls a long lost 
Memoir by Dr. Spalding. 

"New Haven, Aug. 10, 1810. Dear Sir: It was not till to-day 
that I received your favour which was intended to accompany 
your Memoir on Meteoric Stone, which it seems you intended me 
the honour of sending me. I have to regret that an unfortunate 
accident has deprived me of the pleasure of receiving it. Dr. 
Perkins will explain the matter. I need not say how much I regret 
the misfortune. Should, however, this copy be finally lost, I 
trust we shall still see the Memoir; in the Transactions of the 
Philosophical Society. 

You will find a paper on mineral waters and their artificial 
preparation in the appendix of the new edition of Kenney's Chem- 
istry, now publishing in Boston by Wm. Andrews. I am Sir, Re- 
spectfully yours, B. Silliman." 

We are now introduced to a new acquaintance of Dr. 
Spalding's, Dr. Benjamin Clapp, who obtained his degree of 
M.B., at Dartmouth in 1805, practiced in Gloucester, Mass- 
achusetts, and was now studying in Philadelphia where he 
was graduated M.D., in 1810. He settled in Charleston, 
South Carolina, and died there in 1821, after a successful 

From Philadelphia he wrote this valuable informatory 

"August 19, 1810. My Friend: Your communication was duly 
rec'd, and gave your friends much pleasure in the perusal. I im- 
mediately purchased the sticking plaster as you requested, at 1 
dollar a pound. Dr. Coxe has lately sold out his medicines and 
the other Doctor had left the Hospital, consequently I did not 
apply to either of them, but paid for it myself. Yesterday I re- 
ceived your second note, and am now sorry that I purchased so 
soon, but I presume that you will find a want of it, and it cer- 
tainly comes very cheap. I have seen Dr. Dorsey and he informed 
me that he would send half a dozen copies of Cooper's Dictionary 
to Charles Pierce, for sale, and yours will be among them. There 
are no medical books of importance out this summer, except the 
2d Volume of Astley Cooper, and that is not to be sold at present. 
It is healthy in this city for the season. The Cholera Infantum is 
the only disease that has made much progress for the two last 
months, and that has been very fatal; the deaths in the City and 
Liberties have been from 50 to 60 a week. 

The Professors and families are well. Dr. Barton has returned 
from his tour in Virginia. Dr. Wistar is as polite as usual. Dr. 


Rush and wife, in Statu Quo. They all send much love and good 
wishes. Dr. James and Robert Hare 1 were elected Professors by 
a majority of 10 or 12. Dr. Chapman wisely withdrew his name 
and gave James, his influence. You see by this, that Dr. Rush's 
influence is not as great as it was at Coxe's election. Dr. James 
has likewise been elected; Accoucheur to the Hospital. 

You ask me to explain my object, views, expectations and en- 
couragement bj r coming here to reside. This I will do with pleasure. 
The fortunate termination of my affairs at Gloucester left me com- 
pletely at liberty to consult my own inclination in making an estab- 
lishment in business, where it was most congenial to my feelings. 
I therefore, immediately determined on spending the summer 
months in this City, in studying Botany and Natural History, and 
attending to what business that I could with convenience, and in 
the Fall, when I could with safety to health, go to the South for 
an establishment in business. I shall sail for Charleston, S. C. 
by the middle of October or beginning of November, and shall put 
myself into a place where I shall be able to obtain some property. 
I have always considered it the duty of every man in the early 
part of his life to make such exertions, even at the risk of his health 
and life, as would insure him a living in old age, when he would 
not be able to make them to advantage. This City, you know, is 
filled with the Profession, and it would take a long time to gain a 
respectable standing. Three young doctors of our acquaintance 
are doing nothing, but John Vaughan is Anatomizing upon Miss 
Betsey Pratt to pretty good advantage and it is said that he will 
marry her this Fall. Permit me to congratulate you on the birth 
of a Son. 2 May he possess the industry and Talents of his Father 
and the virtue and amiable disposition of his Mother. Yours 
Sincerely, Benj'n Clapp." 

This trifling note from Mr. Bill Barnes shows how even 
in the quiet life, death suddenly intrudes. 

"Claremont, August 21, 1810. Dear Brother: I ree'd yours of 
April 1st informing us of your return with Mrs. Spalding to Ports- 
mouth, where you had joy to find your children and friends well. 
We were thankful to hear of your return. We have heard from you 
at sundry times since, as well as by yours of the 28th of July to- 
gether with a very agreeable present of pamphlets, masonic and 

1 Dr. Robert Hare (1781-1858) was an expert chemist, and the in- 
ventor of the Oxy-Hydrogen blow-pipe. His experiments during the 
forty years in which he filled the Chair of Chemistry in Philadelphia 
were brilliant, but his lectures were eccentrically and hesitatingly de- 
livered from notes on scraps of paper. 

2 " The Son" was my Father, Lyman Dyer Spalding, born July 
2, 1810. 


other useful information. Your parents enjoy a good state of 
health. Mrs. Barnes wants very much to see you all and par- 
ticularly your new born son. As we have made use of your name 
for OUR son, we should be glad to be useful to you respecting a 
name for yours. I feel myself wounded when I consider how I 
have so long neglected writing to you, but hope you will excuse 
me. Major Deyton was instantly killed the 18th of this month, 
by a dry sapling that had long been bent. It broke and he being 
under, it hit his head. Esquire Stone the Clothier of Wethersfield 
being on the bridge nigh his house when the water swept the bridge 
away was found dead a mile down the stream. Dr. Fitch's wife 
died this day of consumption. This week has been the most ex- 
traordinary for rain and high winds that I can say I remember. 
With Esteem, Bill Barnes." 

The various items contained in the letter now arriving 
from Dr. Ebenezer Lerned of Hopkinton, New Hampshire, 
illustrate New Hampshire Medical History. Dr. Lerned 
(1760-1831) was prominent in the State Medical Society, 
delivered before it an Oration "On the Rise and Progress of 
Medicine," and was a delegate to the Convention to form 
the Pharmacopoeia. 

" Hopkinton, N. H. Aug. 28, 1810. Dear Sir: I received your 
circular and feel happy in hearing of the improvement making in 
our profession, and that the N. H. Med. Soc, is throwing off its 
Torpor and assuming a Spirit of Inquiry. I enclose you the Cer- 
tificates of the two young Gentlemen who were examined and ap- 
proved at our last district meeting. They wish to obtain elegant 
Diplomas. I accordingly enclose their certificates and four Dol- 
lars for the fees as stated in your former letter, and must ask you 
to have them ready for the Bearer on his return to Hopkinton. 
Quere? Would it not be better to write: "THIS" may certify, 
than "THESE" may certify? And is there any impropriety in 
inserting the place of residence after the name, as M. Long, Jr. 1 of 
Hopkinton? The fees for examination are not yet disposed of. 
The Censors conceive it to be their duty to appropriate them for 
the good of the Profession, by the purchase of Books. 

Doct. John Preston 2 of New Ipswich, an associate of the Centre 
District has written to me, stating that he has received a Letter 
notifying him that he is indebted to the Society to a large amount. 
He further states that his Father who has been dead above ten 

1 Dr. Moses Long, Jr. (1787-1858) was a Dartmouth Medical 
Graduate and practiced many years in Hopkinton. 

2 Dr. John Preston, Sr. practiced in New Ipswich all of his life and 
his son, John Jr. (1770-1828) was graduated at Dartmouth in 1792. 


years was admitted an Original Fellow, that he never joined, but 
ever declined joining the Society. He, therefore, declines satisfying 
a demand against his Father, as he conceives there was no contract. 
As he has been dead many years, I think it best to erase his name 
in the Catalogue. 

I return your Book of New York Laws after so long a time. It 
is healthy in Hopkinton. What is unusual I have had three 
patients laboring under Phrenitis Idiopathica l in the course of a 
few months. They have all terminated favorably by the use of 
large Depletion. 

Your Ob'd't Serv't. Eben'r Lerned." 2 

1 "Phrenitis Idiopathica" may be Brain Fever. 

2 The other young gentleman admitted was Dr. Peter Bartlett of 
Salisbury (1789-1868) who finally moved west and died in Peoria, 


Lecturer on Anatomy and Surgery and President of the Fair- 
field Medical School, 1810-1812. 

The month of October, 1810, brought to Dr. Spalding a 
great surprise in the form of an invitation to lecture on 
Anatomy and Surgery at Fairfield Academy, New York. 
Fairfield was a farming centre of perhaps two thousand 
people, ten miles from Little Falls on the Mohawk River. 
The Academy had been founded in 1802, it gradually in- 
creased in educational importance, in 1809 Chemical and 
Medical Lectures were added, a Lottery Grant was ob- 
tained from the State, and Dr. Spalding was now invited to 
go on with the work so well begun. 

Those who had known nothing of Dr. Spalding's career 
may have wondered how a physician from a small place like 
Portsmouth should have been invited to lecture in a Medical 
School in New York when there were men of greater public 
renown in the larger cities. These letters, however, show 
how well known he had by this time become from his lec- 
tures at Dartmouth, his studies with Nathan Smith and Dr. 
Ramsay, his gifted demonstrations of the Lymphatics under 
Wistar, and the very high personal and friendly esteem in 
which he had been publicly held by the leading physicians 
in Philadelphia and New York, in the previous winter. 

As fortune would have it, Dr. Josiah Noyes (1776-1853) 
the Instructor in Chemistry at Fairfield at this juncture 
was a Dartmouth graduate, who had attended Dr. Spald- 
ing's lectures at Hanover, and knew of his studies with Dr. 
Smith and Dr. Ramsay, so that when it was proposed to en- 
large the Medical Department in the Academy, he nomi- 
nated Dr. Spalding for the new Professorship, and was 
directed to invite him to look over the field, which he did in 
this flattering manner. 

"Fairfield, County of Herkimer, N. Y. Oct. 2, 1810. Dear Sir: 
I am authorized by the Trustees of this Institution to give you a 
brief description of the Literary Institution established in this 
place and to give you an invitation to visit it. 



It is expected that the Academy and Medical Institution con- 
nected will take the name of College soon. The instruction at 
present is about the same as is given in the most respectable 
colleges in the United States. The number of students besides 
Medical Students is generally from 90 to 115. The Rev. Caleb 
Alexander • is the Principal. There is, besides, one Tutor and an 
assistant who attends to the lower branches. We have three 
buildings, one of stone called the Laboratory, containing 14 elegant 
rooms. There are two lecturing rooms, one for Anatomy, and the 
other for lecture on Chemistry. These two rooms perhaps are 
better than any others built for the same purpose in the United 
States, except Philadelphia. Our Chemical Apparatus is more 
complete than any in the City of New York, and the Anatomical 
Museum is equal to Dr. Smith's at Dartmouth. 

I have given two courses of Chemical Lectures and Dr. Jacob, 2 
one on Anatomy to between 30 and 40 students. The number this 
year, will probably be not far from 50, which will be more than they 
will probably have at both Colleges in the City of New York. 
This Institution sustains the highest reputation through the State. 

The Legislature granted 5,000 dollars for the Medical Depart- 
ment last winter, and will probably grant more the next winter. 
The situation is pleasant and near the centre of the State. 

The lectures this season will commence the first of November, 
and a contract has not yet been made with any one to deliver the 
Anatomical Lectures. The Trustees are confident that should you 
add the weight of your reputation and talents to their exertions, 
the Institution will not only keep up its character, but will soon 
become much more respectable than it is already. They are 
sensible that the funds at present are not sufficient to afford very 
great encouragement to a Professor of Anatomy, but hope soon to 
have it in their power to offer a handsome compensation. 

I am authorized to suggest a plan, which the Trustees hope will 
meet with your approbation, and which they think will be ad- 
vantageous to yourself and to the Institution. There is no re- 
spectable surgeon in Albany, nor any celebrated physician. All 
who have oeen consulted on the subject, think you would find 
an excellent situation, and many Gentlemen in Albany are anxious 

1 Rev. Caleb Alexander (1757-1S32) the principal of Fairfield, was 
graduated at Yale, served as a Tutor thorn, was a Chaplain in the Army 
in the War of 1812, and afterwards a preacher. Ee published a.s early 
as 1785, "A New Introduction to the Latin Language," which was f >1- 
lowed by an "Interleaved Virgil." He was elected Principal ot" Fair- 
field in 1801, built up that Institution to a high standing and then made 
a turn-coat of himself for political reasons. He finally settled down as 
Principal of Onando^a Hollow Acad 

2 Dr. Jacob was a practitioner at Canandaigua, and afterwards at 
various settlements in New York. 


that some reputable surgeon and physician should settle in that- 
City. An invitation has been extended to Dr. White, 1 the greatest 
Surgeon in this Western District, but he has not yet consented to 
go. I think you would be pleased with Albany. I know of no 
place in the United States which unites more advantages, both to 
the man of business and man of Science. If you should not think 
the encouragement sufficient to induce you to remain permanently 
in this village, this plan is respectfully submitted, for your con- 
sideration, and should you settle in Albany, we think a handsome 
compensation can be made you for Two Months spent each year 
in giving lectures to the students of this Institution. 

If you can be here by the middle of November, or soon after, 
everything will be ready, so that a course of Lectures may be 
finished in six or eight weeks, for which, provision is made to pay 
you five hundred dollars; if you should consider this insufficient, 
they request that you would, if convenient, make us a visit, and, 
provided you should not conclude to settle here, or in Albany, as 
already mentioned, the Trustees engage to defray the expense of 
your journey. 

You would have had a communication on this subject before 
this, had we known that you were in this Country. About a year 
since I was informed that you were about to sail for Edinburgh, and 
did not know to the contrary till a few days since, being in N. Y., 
Dr. Perkins informed me that he had been at your house and that 
you had spent the last Winter in Philadelphia. He was of opinion 
that you would profit very much by an exchange of Portsmouth for 
some City in this State, as the people here, would find the Light of 
a Star from the East very useful to them. 

I wish you to give us an answer by the first mail, if possible; 
Yours Respectfully, Josiah Noyes, in behalf of the Committee of 
the Trustees of Fairfield Academy." 

To this invitation Dr. Spalding replied : 

"Portsmouth, N. H. Oct. 18, 1810. Dear Sir: The request of 
the Trustees of Fairfield Academy conveyed by your note was re- 
ceived yesterday. You surely must know that I am, at present, 
unprepared to deliver an entire course of lectures on Anatomy. 
If sufficient notice had been given me, some arrangement might 
have been made. I am confident that with this notice I cannot 
do justice to myself, and I fear that should neither meet the ex- 
pectations of the Institution, nor give satisfaction to so respect- 

1 Dr. Joseph White (1762-1832) whom we are told had been invited 
to settle in Albany was a licentiate of the Connecticut Medical Society, 
and practiced at Cherry Valley, New York. He was a shrewd poli- 
tician, President of the New York Medical Society, and succeeded Dr. 
Spalding as President of the School at Fairfield. 


able a Class. However, so polite is your request, that I now see 
fit to accept the invitation of the Trustees to visit them, to ch 
their plans, and lecture to the best of my ability about the middle 
of November as proposed. Your Obedient Servant, Lyman 

P.S. In the mean time could you please tell me what books 
and engravings on Anatomy belong to the Academy, or to other 
persons and what apparatus may be on hand for injecting, dis- 
secting and preparing." 

Replying to this acceptance Dr. Noyes sent the following 

"Fairfield, Oct. 31, 1810. Dear Sir: Yours of the ISth I have 
just received and am happy to find that you think proper to comply 
with the request of the Trustees. My lectures on Chemistry com- 
mence tomorrow evening. About 40 students are already here 
and a number more engaged. I shall make arrangements for the 
Anatomical Lectures to commence as soon as you arrive, which I 
hope will not be later than the time mentioned in your letter. If 
you come by stage you will only be five days on the road. 

When you arrive at the Little Falls, which is seven miles from 
this place, please to call on Samuel Smith who will furnish you 
with means to come to this place. I have Bell's "Anatomy," both 
English and American Edition, and Bell's "Dissections" without 
plates, a valuable work, and some other things on Anatomy. 

We have a syringe for injecting, but not made for that purpose. 
If you have one, it would be well to bring it. I would have you 
bring all the engravings you can. Your Friend etc., Josiah 

As soon as he could make his preparations, Dr. Spalding 
set off for Fairfield accompanied by his Sister in Law, Miss 
Caroline Coues, made a stop in Boston, where Dr. Spalding 
consulted with his friend Dr. Shattuck l and persuaded him 

1 George Cheyne Shattuck (1783-1854) was graduated academically 
from Dartmouth in 1803 and Medically in 180G. Whilst there, he 
made the acquaintance of Dr. Spalding and their friendship lasted for 
life. Dr. Shattuck became very eminent in the profession, received 
many honorary degrees, was a Lecturer in the Harvard Medical School, 
President of the State Medical Society, and very charitable to Hart- 
mouth, Harvard, and the Boston Athensum. Ho was a prolific 
writer in Medicine, and more than once carried olT the Boylston Prize 
in Medicine. Dignified in appearance and of pious habits, he was 
much thought of by the community and profession, alike. He prac- 
ticed many years in Boston, and has been followed by d 
illustrious in medicine. The present series of letters throw valuable 
light on his many-tided character. 


to come on, also, to Fairfield and to give lectures on Theory 
and Practice. 

Dr. Spalding reached Fairfield safely, lectured three times 
a day for six weeks on Anatomy and Surgery, and accepted 
from the Trustees a formal offer of the Chair of Anatomy and 
Surgery at a Salary of $500 and expenses. On his way 
home he stopped at Albany, and looked over the medical 
field, but finding no promising opening continued on to 

Dr. Shattuck also delivered his course of lectures, returned 
to Boston, and immediately afterward wrote to Dr. Spald- 
ing then at Portsmouth. 

"Boston, Jan. 13, 1811. Dear Sir: I sent you by the stage 
driver last Monday, fifty catalogues, two letters and twelve dollars, 
and Mr. Ford's 1 receipt inside the catalogues. I have not yet 
been informed whether you have received them. Do be so kind 
as to write me whether they have been received. 

Not having any communication from Fairfield since I left I can- 
not inform you what we are to expect another year. 

With much esteem, yours, etc., Geo. C. Shattuck." 

As the correspondence between Fairfield and Portsmouth 
continues we see Dr. Spalding trying to build up the School, 
endeavoring to obtain money for a voyage to Europe and 
watching the political intrigues between the friends of rival 
institutions of learning. 

A midwinter letter from Mr. Alexander is characteristic of 
the man. 

"Little Falls, Feb. 12, 1811. Sir: By last week's mail I re- 
ceived yours of the 23rd. The Committee also had one of the same 
date. Your nomination of Dr. Shattuck gives universal satis- 
faction, and accordingly, he is appointed to the Professor's Chair 
of Theory and Practice of Physic and Physiology, of which the 
Committee will soon send him notice. 

I wish that your proposal of going to Europe could have been 
as equally satisfactory. We have conferred on the subject, and it 
appears to be the unanimous opinion, that, in our present feeble, 
infantile state, your absence during the next medical term would 
be essentially detrimental, except you send us a substitute as good 
or nearly as good as the original. By your personal acquaintance, 
you know that we are young, feeble, almost tottering, a weak 

1 Mr. Ford, was Simeon Ford of Fairfield, a Trustee and the Treas- 
urer of the Academy. 


sapling not a full grown oak. Besides we have opposers; D 
College is unfriendly. The Trustees of Oneida Academy are 
making the most vigorous exertions this winter to obtain money 
from our Legislature, with intention to rival us. The Trust 
Canandaguia Academy where Dr. Jacob resides, are now petition- 
ing the Regents for a College. From envy, or malice, or selfish n< ss 
or from some other infernal motive, there are some wishing to see 
us tumble into nonenity. Thus circumstanced our growing a I 
would, unquestionably, reel, if a main pillar were removed from 
under the foundation. The Committee will write you by the next 
mail, and express their sentiments. It is the universal desire that 
you should go to Europe. But, this going must not endanger our 
existence as a Medical School. You will take the subject into 
serious consideration, and send us your result as soon as con- 
venient: it may perhaps, be easy to find a substitute. Besides, if 
there were no objection against your going next July, yet we are 
not prepared, and perhaps we cannot be. To be prepared we are 
taking every precaution. A humble petition has gone down to 
Albany praying the Legislature to take measures so that we may 
soon realize the S5,000 granted last winter. Judge Smith writes 
me, that there is a good prospect of succeeding. Should we fail, 
we are blown to the winds. 

Your proposal respecting Major Barrow, 1 or Barnot, or Banor 
(for I cannot tell which by your writing) is pleasing. I will write 
to Judge Smith - who will obtain the most correct information from 
the scientific gentlemen of the Legislature. I will also make the 
trial with my "Diplomatic Skill" on the Philosophical Professor 
at Union College. 

Prior to your going to Europe, you shall be furnished with cata- 
logues of a philosophical apparatus, and a library. 

The new building will be erected next summer, and finished in 
Autumn, 72 by 36, and 35 feet high from the bottom of the un- 
derpinning. Many trials and much exertion were made to raise 
the money by individual subscription. It could not be raised, at 
least, enough to complete the work. The Trustees were convened 
day before yesterday, and agreed to allow the undertaker, $4,800. 

1 Major Micajah Barron of Bradford, Vermont, was a surveyor, 
road builder and politician, but the allusion to him I cannot under- 
stand, nor to the other one concerning John Taylor, who was graduated 
from Yale in 1784, served honorably as Professor of Philosophy at Union 
College and died in 1840. 

2 Jud^e Smith was the second "Nathan" Smith in Dr. Spald 
list of friends, and lived at Fairfield where he was a lawyer and tr 
of the Academy. He was now a Stat.' Senator and one of the Ri gi 

of the University of New York. From him we shall see several im- 
portant letters bearing on the history of the Fairfield School. 


Wm. Smith will be the undertaker and advance all the money. 
The property will be his. It will be rented at nine percent and in- 
sured: A good bargain, both for the Institution and Mr. Smith. 
The rooms are much wanted. We are now extremely crowded 
with 106 students. 

We were much pleased at hearing that you and Miss Caroline 
arrived safely at Portsmouth. Our affections are presented to her, 
and say to her, if you please, that we retain a pleasing remembrance 
of her person and social qualities. My family are well, and com- 
pliment you with their esteem. Tho' unacquainted, yet your 
Lady is saluted with our tenderest love. Accept my Cordiality. 
Caleb Alexander." 

Judge Smith's idea at this time was to get actual cash for 
Fairfield instead of money from a Lottery, and in writing to 
Dr. Spalding he describes his successes. 

"Albany, 9th March, 1811. Dear Sir: Yours of the 23rd Jan- 
uary came safely to hand. I have deferred answering it in hopes 
of being able to communicate to you the result of our application 
to the Legislature for the 5,000 dollars. All I can say at the present, 
however, is that a Bill has been brought in for that purpose and I 
have the utmost confidence that it will pass. 

I have received no communication from the Trustees since I left 
Fairfield, and am therefore unable to say any thing on the subject 
of future arrangements made by them. I regret, however, the 
necessity of suspending lectures 1 for next session, as I think it will 
procrastinate the time that we might obtain a Charter for a Col- 
lege, but I am sensible that to proceed with incompetent pro- 
fessors would be worse than doing nothing. 

You wish to know if we accept Hosick's Garden. 2 I regret that 

1 "Suspending lectures" refers to Dr. Spalding going to Europe. 

2 "Hosick's Garden" was a Botanical Garden established by Dr. 
Hosack (so spelled, but pronounced as Judge Smith writes it). Dr. 
David Hosack (1769-1835) with whom Dr. Spalding often consulted 
after his removal to New York, obtained his degree at Philadelphia and 
settled in Alexandria, Virginia, expecting it to become the Capital of 
the Country. Diasppointed in this expectation he went abroad, and 
on his return in the ship "Mohawk," met with a streak of luck, for 
fever broke out on board, he took charge of the sick, and arriving in 
New York the papers were filled with his great performance in curing 
so many. His name was made. Dr. Hosack was in succession Pro- 
fessor of Botany; Obstetrics; and Theory and Practice at Columbia. 
He entertained profusely, wrote copious letters and many medical 
pamphlets, and reached the summit of his fame by attending as surgeon 
in the duel between Hamilton and Burr. 

In order to illustrate his lectures on Botany, he established in New 
York City his Botanical Garden bounded by (47 and 51?) Streets 


I am obliged to answer you in the affirmative. The Regents have 
now the management of it, but they are at a loss what to do with 
it. My opinion is, that it will in the course of a few years be cut 
up into lots and sold. I will write you as soon as the fate of our 
Bill is known. 

In the Interim. I am respectfully, Your Ob'd't Servant, N. 

Judge Smith's letter from Albany was soon followed by 
one from the Standing Committee at Fairfield in these 
words : 

"Fairfield, March 12, 1811. Dear Sir: Your communication of 
January 23rd came duly to hand and we should before now have 
returned your answer, had circumstances been propitious. You 
are acquainted with our pecuniary resources, and you know that 
the execution of our plans depends very much on our obtaining 
from the Legislature the Five Thousand Dollars granted us in a 
Lottery last session. By petition we have applied to them for an 
Act enabling us to realize this sum. The petition yet lies on their 
table: at least, they have not answered our Prayer, though there 
is considerable prospect that they will. As to your setting out for 
Europe, next July, we feel inclined to favor your views as much as 
may be consistent with the interest and prosperity of this Insti- 
tution. To advance the dignity and respectability of the Academy 
is a primary object. To this, all other schemes and means ought 
to be entirely subordinate. Since your departure from us, we have 
often thought and often conversed together on the subject, and 
the result of our conversation is; that it would conduce to the 
good of the Institution should your voyage be postponed one 
year from next July. For this opinion our reasons are the follow- 
ing: We are an infant corporation, the Academy has not gained 
permanency, there are several Academys which are now exerting 
all their vigor to gain the ascendancy over us, and we have some 

Surrounded with these things, it becomes us to unite all our 
efforts and continue in them to fix our reputation and to gain a 
stability which cannot be overthrown by the blast of envy or 
tongue of malice. Should we in any measure relax our exertions, 
we fear that our antagonists may gain some advantage over US. 
Should you, in this situation be absent from us any considerable 
time, we have our apprehensions thai the Public mind would sub- 
side in proportion it has I teen raised. Your known abilities as an 

North and South and by 5th and Gth Avenues East and Weal . Finding 

it expensive, lie offered it to the Regents for §1000, who hesitated, as 
we have seen to pay this pitiful price. "The .Medical & Philosophical 
Register" for 1811, contains a picture of this garden. 


Anatomist, and talents as a Lecturer have much excited popular 
attention: to keep up this attention we deem very important. 
Besides, your presence in giving another course of lectures next 
Fall, in conjunction with the erection and finishing of the new 
building, will, we are confident produce for us the patronage of 
the Legislature, and the good opinion of the Regents, so that the 
Governor will be induced to grant us the Charter of a College, and 
the other money, so that we may be enabled to prosecute all our 
schemes to advantage. We hope to have the new building com- 
pleted for the use of the Students, next Fall. The fame of this will 
draw Students, the Academical and Medical Instruction will draw 
students. This united Drawing, will draw the attention of the 
Regents and Legislature, and we think we shall not fail in our 

These are our reasons to induce you to postpone your Journey 
across the Atlantic: to your candor and mature Judgement, they 
are proposed for consideration. We wish to know your Opinion, 
as soon as convenient. Allow us to add, that we highly approve 
this plan of your attending the Medical Schools of Europe. We 
shall give it all the concurrence that its import may demand. 
But we think that both you and we can make better preparations 
and arrangements, by delaying for the term of one year. To 
conclude: We are not so fixed in our Sentiments as to be deaf to 
reasons that may throw light on the Subject. 

We are your friends, Jonathan Sherwood, 1 Oliver Ellis, 2 
William Smith : 3 Standing Committee. 

N. B. On your recommending Dr. Shattuck to us as a person 
well qualified to give lectures on the Theory and Practice of Physic, 
and of Physiology, we have appointed him Professor of the same — 
in our Institution." 

Dr. Spalding evidently communicated the contents of 
this letter to Dr. Shattuck at once, as will be seen in reading 
his letter next in order. 

"Boston, April 4, 1811. Dear Sir: Yours of the 27th Ult. came 
to hand two days ago. Delay in answering it has been necessary 
from an indecision of mind in relation to the acceptance or non- 
acceptance of the Professorship with which the Trustees of Fair- 
field Academy have honored me. The news of the appointment 
was to me truly unexpected. Your cautions to me at the con- 
clusion of our conversation in relation to committing myself by 

1 Dr. Jonathan Sherwood was already practicing as a physician in 
Fairfield without a Diploma, but later received one at Fairfield from 
the hands of Dr. Spalding as President of the new Medical College. 

2 Oliver Ellis was a local lawyer of much merit. 

8 Wilham Smith was an architect and contractor living in the village. 


conference with friends on a subject so extremely problematical in 
the event, as my election, quite abated every expectation of its 
taking place. On re-surveying the great and important duties 
which will grow out of an acceptance of the office, the mind is al- 
most overwhelmed by the greatness of the undertaking. If the 
Gentlemen Trustees will so moderate their expectations and re- 
quirements as to make them conform to the feeble talents I pa 
rather than to the merits of the subject, and will allow me the 
privilege of resigning if experiment should prove an incongruity 
between my duties as a practitioner at Boston, and lecturing one 
month of the year at Fairfield, they are promised my best services; 
all inadequate as they may be, to the occasion. Respecting the 
time of year, we may give lectures, and the year on which we shall 
commence giving them, I have a predilection to the Month of 
Nov, and the year 1812. If you and myself should continue to 
reside distant from the Seat of Learning, we should choose to be 
absent from our circle of practice the most healthy month of that 
time which would accommodate the students at Medicine. How- 
ever, decision on this point I will postpone, to listen to further 
discussion. . . . When do you go to Europe? I shall wish to send 
for Books by you. With assurances of my High Respect, Geo. C. 

This letter of hesitation and doubt was followed by bad 
news from Mr. Alexander. 

"Fairfield, April 13, 1811. Sir: I seize the first opportunity to 
announce to you the failure of our petition to the Legislature. 
Judge Smith arrived at home two days ago, from Albany. He did 
all a man could do. The Oneida Representatives, favoring Clinton 
Academy, exerted all their influence against us. They said, that 
they and other Academies deserved Legislative aid as well as we: 
that to grant the prayer of our petition was an unjustifiable par- 
tiality, and they made the Representatives from other Counties 
living near Academies, believe their doctrine. 

We feel disappointed and a little MADDISH. We shall, how- 
ever, go forward with increased resolution and perseverance. 
Judge Smith attempted to negotiate a Loan with some of the 
Banks in Albany. He met with encouragement of receiving assist- 
ance next summer. We mean not to stop here. Both he and I 
have this day written letters to some principal characters in the 
City of New York, to gain their influence to aid us in negotiating 
a loan with some of the Banks of that City. When lotteries are 
granted in this State, they are often sold at a discount to some 
Banking Company. We shall try this plan, and we calculate <>n 
success. As soon as we meet with success it shall be announced 
to you. 


Three weeks ago, Dr. W. Jacob, acted a most ridiculous farce 
in this village. He sued Dr. Noycs and myself to answer on a plea 
of trespass on the Case to the Superior Court. He took a writ of 
replevin and with a Sherriff attempted to break open the Labora- 
tory to take the Anatomical Museum. The doors were barricaded, 
and guarded inside with a sufficient number of men to prevent en- 
trance. We knew the property was ours. We knew that his pro- 
ceedings were illegal. And he, and the Sheriff were told that if 
they entered it would be at the risque of their lives. After threat- 
ening, and swaggering, and going often to the tavern for a quantum 
sufficit of Brandy, he retired. The next day he was as humble and 
as meek as a Spaniel Puppy. He gave up all of his prosecutions, 
and gave to myself, Dr. Noyes and the Trustees receipts in full of 
all claims and demands. I never saw a man who appeared so 
mortified, so chagrined, so ashamed, so dispirited and so much like 
a scoundrel as he. He has gone to Canandaigua. 

I thank you for your letter. The date I have forgotten. Prior 
to the reception of your last letter we had information that the 
Character of Major B was suspicious. We are making vigor- 
ous preparations in expediting the New Building. Esq. Ellis and 
not Win. Smith is the undertaker. He will begin to lay the foun- 
dation on the first of May. Contracts are made on all the materials 
and for all the work, to be finished on the first of next November. 

We are not disheartened by the late failure. All our exertions 
will be used to make this a Respectable Institution. And we de- 
pend on your concurrence and on that of Dr. Shattuck. Patience 
and perseverance, and energy, are capable of doing wonders. And 
a wonder it will be, if a large respectable Medical School should be 
founded in this new World. 

My family and self present compliments to your lady and Miss 
Caroline. Yours affectionately, Caleb Alexander," 

Dr. Spalding must at this time have written to Dr. Shat- 
tuck to the effect that the Lectures from him would be ex- 
pected in 1811, not in 1812, as he had before suggested, for 
Dr. Shattuck now sends the following protest: 

"Boston, April 17, 1811. Dear Sir: You mention my com- 
mencing a course of Lectures on the Institutes of Medicine this 
coming Autumn. I am really afraid that such rashness would 
dishonor the Chair. If it be a possibility with the Trustees to 
hasten your voyage this Summer, I must decline such an immedi- 
ate commencement, of the arduous duties of a Professor. One 
Month, not six weeks, you recollect, is the period within which a 
course of Lectures may be completed. At what time, too, does 
Prof. Noyes begin the Chemical Course? 

Enclosed is the desired vaccine lymph taken from the armbf a 


young lady belonging to a morally correct family, in the Country. 
Should not this parcel succeed, inform me, and I will send you more. 
With esteem, I am, My Dear Sir, your Ob'd't Serv't Geo. C. 

As time went on and it became evident that the money 
for Europe would not be forthcoming, Dr. Spalding laid out 
his plans for the Winter Term of lectures, sent them to Mr. 
Alexander and in August received the latest news from the 
Academy and village. 

"Fairfield, Aug. 19, 1811. Sir: Your letter has been received, 
communicated to the Cabinet Council, and approved. Dr. Wil- 
loughby 1 has been appointed Professor of Obstetrics and he has 
accepted it. To gratify himself, he has determined to repair to 
New York and gain what partial assistance he can, and return in 
time to give a course of Lectures next November or December. 

The new building is covered, and will be ready for occupancy by 
the first of next November. In stone workmanship it is the best 
edifice in the Mohawk Country. Of my own accord I have put an 
advertisement into the Public Papers, when the next course of 
lectures will commence, fixing the tune on the fourteenth day of 
next October. The Academical Term will commence on the tenth 
of the same month. I suppose that Dr. Noyes will commence his 
lectures on the 14th, and that either you or Dr. Shattuck will be 
on the ground about the same time. I wish thai you would com- 
municate with Dr. Shattuck, on the subject and give me the curliest 
information of your result. Dr. Willoughby thinks that it will be 
best to have his lectures terminate the course. Concerning this 
arrangement, you and the other Professors must do as you think 

Since the last winter, Dr. Noyes has spent a considerable share of 
his time in the construction of a Steam Engine for cooking. He 

1 Dr. Westel Willoughby, Jr. (17G9-1844) was born in Goshen, New- 
York and settled in Norway, near Fairfield. He was member, treas- 
urer, and Vice President of the New York Medical Society, served as 
an Army Surgeon in the War of 1812, and was also Justice of the Court 
of Common Pleas in Newport, New York and a Member of Coiil 
He then moved to the town of Lake Erie and became so prominent 
that the name of the town was changed in his honor to that of 
Willoughby. Here he established a Medical School, the Charter of 
which still covers a school in Columbus, Ohio. In composing a 
Farewell Address to the graduating Class at Fairfield in 1S30, Dr. 
Willoughby was so unfortunate as to expose himself to the charge of 
plagiarism from Dr. Thomas Bewail. Those who are interested in 
such [natters can see "The Deadly Parallel" in the Boston Medical 
and Surgical Journal of that year. 


has not been to Philadelphia to attend to Botany as he planned. 
The Smiths and he are not on speaking terms. He now boards at 
a Mr. Baldwin's a silversmith, lately from Dartmouth College, 
and lodges at the Buck Tavern. Samuel Smith has commenced a 
Law Suit against Dr. Noyes for publicly charging him of being 
guilty of perjury. The case is thus; Before Dr. Noyes had finished 
his Steam Engine, Samuel Smith had constructed one, as he said, 
on different principles. They both went to Washington together: 
each swore that he was the sole inventor, and each obtained a 
Patent Right. Whether or not their plans are similar or dissimilar, 
is not for me to decide. Impartial judges say that they are dis- 
similar. The affair has made a prodigious noise in the Country. 
Dr. Noyes has said that Judge Smith connived at the business, so 
the Judge is very angry, and so is William Smith. You must con- 
sider this as an imperfect statement. I do not think that the 
affair will materially affect our Institution. We mean to proceed 
steadily, as if no breaking had taken place. The Dr., as you 
know, is sometimes a little whimsical, amidst all his great skill and 

William Smith is building a house for his Mother, and Polly, in 
which "an elegant room" is preparing for Dr. Spalding. I have 
exerted myself to have the Circular printed and sent around the 
country. It is now written and Dr. Noyes has engaged to go to 
Herkimer today to put it to the Press. As soon as it is printed, 
copies will be sent on to you and Dr. Shattuck. It has been de- 
layed too long. But as it is a subject that does not so immediately 
concern me, and as Dr. Noyes thinks he, only, can prepare the copy 
for the Press, I do not think it would have been prudent in me to 
have interfered in the preparation. 

I shall depend on you and Doctor Shattuck to make your ar- 
rangements, and to give me timely notice. I think it probable 
that I shall soon write to Dr. Shattuck. I hope you will neglect 
no time in writing to him. 

If you have anything new to communicate, send it on as soon as 
convenient. I will do the same. I do not wish that Dr. Noyes 
should know that I have written this letter to you. You see, it is 
written in haste. Accept my cordiality. Caleb Alexander." 

Happening to write on the same day with Mr. Alexander, 
Dr. Shattuck had many interesting questions to put. 

Boston. Aug. 19, 1811. Dear Sir: Having had many concerns 
novel to me, but interesting in their nature, I have hitherto fore- 
born to make certain inquiries of you, which it is important that I 
definitely comprehend. The proceeds of all the medical Lectures; 
are they to be equally divided, or is each expected to receive what 
his own individual popularity may procure him? Is there any 


sufficient Medical Library at Fairfield furnished with the standard 
elementary books, to which I could have access while giving a course 
of lectures on the Theory and Practice of Physic? Do you expect 
to pass the month of Nov., in giving a course of medical instruction? 
My first course must necessarily be very crude. I am seriously 
apprehensive I shall fall far below your expectations, and dis- 
honor my fellow laborers in the field of medical truth. I shall 
really repose much on your disposition to be charitable. To 
acknowledge the truth, my mind this summer past, has been much 
occupied in what necessarily produced a diversion ' from the sub- 
ject of giving lectures. The next time you are in Boston, I hope 
to be so situated as to invite you to become a guest during your 
short stay in town. Should that be the case, you will find me by 
calling at the Corner of Cambridge and Temple Street near the 
Rev. Mr. Loveitt's Meeting House. 

With much respect, I am, Dear Sir, Yours etc. Geo. C. Shat- 

P. S. I have recently perused a part of the translation of Cor- 
visart 2 "Sur les Maladies du Coeur" by Dr. Gates 3 of this town, 
and from the examination I have already made of the merit, both of 
the matter and style in its present English dress, I must pronounce 
it a work entitled to a liberal patronage from the medical public. 

Dr. Channing * has just returned, much improved by his European 
tour. His mind is well stored with the doings of the wise in medi- 
cal science of the present generation. G. C. S." 

1 "The Diversion" of Dr. Shattuck was to fall in love and become 

2 Baron, Jean Louis Corvisart (1755-1821) was a celebrated physi- 
cian; the right hand man of Napoleon, who was excessively fond of 
him. The book just mentioned owes its origin to the fact that the 
Empress Josephine once inquired of Corvisart, in the presence of the 
Emperor, to what diseases Napoleon was mostly exposed in his cam- 
paigns, whereupon he promptly replied; "To those of the Heart" 
(referring to Napoleon's love affairs). The Emperor turned the hint 
aside by saying "And you have written about diseases of the Heart?" 
"No" replied Corvisart; "but I will do so at once;" and this, was the 
promised work. Napoleon used to pull the ears of Corvisart, gently, 
and say: "Well my good old quack, how many people have you killed 
today? My battles kill off a good many, but none of them half so 
many as you kill in your practice." Many anecdotes are reported 
concerning Corvisart, but space permits only insertion of the interest- 
ing fact that he used to cany the cane of Jean Jacques Rousseau for 
which he paid a largo price, and of which he was correspondingly proud. 

3 Dr. Jacob Gates (177 4—1 S3«»), was a busy member of the Massa- 
chusetts Medical Society, and wrote many medical papers. 

4 Dr. Walter Channing (1786-1876) practiced well beyond his 
eightieth year. After graduating at Harvard, be obtained his medical 
degree in Philadelphia, studied abroad, and on his return was chosen 


In his answer to the questions of Dr. Shattuck which we 
have just read, Dr. Spalding must have asked as many, 
again, if we can judge from Dr. Shattuck's next letter, in 
which he says: 

"Boston Sept. 9th, 1811. Sir: Your second arrived while I 
was waiting to get information respecting a system of Anatomy by 
Dr. Gordon of Edinburgh. Dr. Channing says he knows nothing 
of such a system, but told me he would inquire of Dr. Revere x or 
Lincoln, 2 who had returned more recently from Edinburgh than 
himself. But, he has not complied with his promise. I have 
called twice on Dr. Revere with a view to satisfy your inquiries, 
but unfortunately the Dr. has both times been from home. Dr. 
Gates' translation of Corvisart is to be published. I have ex- 
amined a part of it, which I most sincerely recommend. . . . You 
ask my advice respecting performing surgical operations gra- 
tuitously during the Lectures, for the benefit of the Class. My 
opinion is, that policy dictates such a proffer to all the poor. The 
question is, whether an active circulation of such a report by all 
the friends of the Institution would not as completely accomplish 
the object. If it would not, it should be advertised. The Boston 
Professors did attempt this, and I believe on trial they found it to 
answer the desired purpose. 

Respecting my going to Fairfield, I should prefer commencing 
about the 10th or 15th of Nov. But, on that subject, agreeably to 
your advice I will make no decision until you may again write me. 
Mr. Alexander has written me. With Much Respect, I am yours 
etc., Geo. C. Shattuck." 

Dr. Shattuck has just mentioned hearing from Mr. Alex- 
ander and directly afterward Dr. Spalding received from 
him the cheering letter next following. 

"Fairfield, Sept. 21, 1811. Sir: By the last mail I received yours 
of the 6th Inst. Dr. Willoughby has also received his. We have 

Professor of Obstetrics and Jurisprudence at the Harvard Medical 
School. He practiced in Dorchester and occupied a high position in 
the State Medical Society. His "Physician's Vacation" was an ad- 
mirable record of a tour in Europe, and he was noted for early use of 
ether in Obstetrics. 

1 Dr. John Revere (1787-1847) obtained his degree at Philadelphia, 
studied abroad, and practiced for a while in Boston. He then removed 
to Philadelphia where he was Professor of Theory and Practice at 
Jefferson and finally occupied the same Chair at Columbia. He was 
an excellent instructor and lecturer. 

2 "Dr. Lincoln" may have been "Levi" of that name, but he is 
difficult to place exactly, because there have been many Dr. Levi 
Lincolns in Massachusetts. 


conversed together on the contents. Money is very scarce. He 
does not know that he can possibly raise cash sufficient to defray 
the expense of repairing to Philadelphia. He has a very 
opinion of the New Yorkers, and thinks that they are friendly to 
us. Sixteen days ago we had a visit from Dr. DeWitt, 1 Vice 
President of the New York Medical College. He appeared to be 
highly gratified, and at Utica, he spoke in the highest terms in 
commendation of our exertions. In the course of the past summer 
several other gentlemen from New York have called to see us, and 
from other parts. They all appear satisfied. We are yet an in- 
fant, hardly past the obstetric machine. We want swaddling, 
feeding, nursing, nourishing. Your aid must be directed to keep the 
infant from dying. Dr. Nott 2 and his coadjutors seem to oppose us. 
Sometime since, I received a letter from a gentleman of the City of 
Washington, to receive as students his brother and son. The young 
men set out to come here. On their passage through Schenectady, 
Nott and his Sailors threw their grappling irons at the barge, and 
moored it and the two passengers in the Dutch Frog Pond. 3 

Suitable men are procured to have everything ready for you on 
your arrival. It is calculated to have you here exactly in four 
weeks after the I4th day of next October, which is the day that 
the medical course begins, as you may see by the Circular sent you. 

I would suggest whether you could not make it convenient to 
prolong your course through five weeks instead of four. It is now 
a very critical time with the Institution. The more noise we make 
next winter, the better for us. The eyes of the whole State are 
fixed on this Institution. It is best to do all in our power next 
winter and give as good a Course as possible. We must sacrifice 
time and money and convenience to build up this Seminary. Re- 
member the Quaker Sermon; "Hold on and hold out, and you 
shall have a dram by and bye." 

Should you determine to prolong your lectures five weeks, it 
would be no detriment, but a great help to have Dr. Shattuck, 
giving his lectures one week before you end. It would, I consider, 

1 Dr. Benjamin De Witt (1774-1813) Professor of Theory and 
Practice in Columbia, wrote papers on "Oxygen," and delivered many 
(nations before the learned societies of which he was a member. 

2 Eliphalet Nott (1772-1866) who was robbing Fairfield of students 
was graduated at Brown, preached at Cherry Valley and then at 
Albany, where his eloquence, piety and ability attracted BO much at- 
tention, that he was chosen as the First Presidenl of Union, a position 
which he held for sixty years. He was world renowned as the inventor 
of the base-burning Hard Coal stove. 

3 The Dutch Frog Pond was Lake Schenectady near Union College. 
Mr. Nott actually assisted Fairfield at another time by engineering 
legislative lotteries for five Institutions, Columbia, Fairfield, The 
African Church, Hamilton, and a New York Medical School. 


add much to the Celebrity of the Medical Department by leaving 
a good impression on the minds of the medical students, and when 
they dispersed home they would, unquestionably, blow the Silver 
Trumpet. I pretend not to dictate. You must consult your own 
convenience, in conjunction with the fame of our Academy. 

It is calculated to have Dr. Shattuck commence his lectures in 
eight weeks after the 14th of next October. Of this, you will give 
him notice. I wish he would write me, if he has anything special 
to communicate. Write me yourself. You see that I am in a 
great haste, and your Friend, C. Alexander." 

Mr. Alexander's letter was followed by one from Dr. 
Willoughby, in which he defends his proposed visit to New 
York in order to prepare for his lectures. 

" Newport, N. Y. Oct. 10, 1811. Dear Sir: I have had the pleasure 
of receiving your letter of the tenth of September, and should have 
answered it before this, had it not been for absence from home, at 
the time your letter reached Fairfield. Permit me, Sir, to return 
you my sincere thanks for the polite manner in which you are 
pleased to approbate my appointment as Professor of Obstetrics 
at Fairfield Academy, and be assured of my best exertions to main- 
tain your confidence and that of the Trustees who have seen fit to 
appoint me. The honor of the Institution shall be my primary 
object; whether my feeble exertions are to be crowned with suc- 
cess is yet to be determined. While you applaud my exertions, to 
improve my obstetric knowledge, you cannot approve the means: 
or, in other words, while I propose going to New York, you prefer 
Philadelphia, for two reasons; Fust: because the New York 
schools view us with jealousy; and Secondly, because they are 
not so competent. I cannot fully persuade myself that the first 
objection is correct, but am sensible of the weight of the latter, 
and should certainly go to Phila' rather than N. Y. if my circum- 
stances would allow it. Although I possess property I cannot 
command much cash. At N. Y. I shall not be at any expense for 
instruction whereas at Philadelphia I should. In N. Y. I am per- 
sonally acquainted with several of the professors, and am on terms 
of intimacy and friendship; particularly with the former profes- 
sor of Obstetrics, to wit, Dr. Rogers, and the latter Dr. Hosack. 
I have had personal views with Doctors De Witt, Romayne, 
Mitchill, and Stringham 1 ; they have always spoken very respect- 

1 James Sykes Stringham (1775-1817) at this time Professor of 
Jurisprudence in Columbia was born in New York, but died in the 
Island of St. Croix, where he went in search of health. He studied 
Theology originally, but abandoned it for medicine. On his return 
from medical studies in Edinburgh he settled in New York and was 
chosen Professor of Chemistry. He wrote chiefly on the Absorbents. 


fully of our Institution, and have always pledged themselves to 
render us whatever assistance was in their power. I have this day, 
received a letter from Dr. Hosack congratulating me on my appoint- 
ment as one of the professors, and promising me every assistance 
in his power, whether by his public lectures, or private interviews. 
The above, is the evidence which gives me some reason to believe 
you may labour under a mistake as to the opinion formed of some 
of the N. Y. Professors on the score of RivaLship. But, Sir, your 
superior opportunity in forming an opinion, would incline me 
strongly to give up mine and follow your dictates, if it was in my 
power at this time, but as it is not, I must do the best I can, and 
perhaps I may in future go to Philadelphia. Will you be so good 
as to write me in N. York, your opinion of the best writers on the 
Obstet: Department? 

Mr. Alexander and Dr. Noyes are to advise the time when your 
lectures are to commence. With much respect, your Ob'd't. Sert. 
Westel Willoughby, Jun." 

A few days before setting off for Fairfield Dr. Spalding 
informed Dr. Shattuck of his plans and must have been glad 
to receive this interesting answer. 

"Boston, Oct. 16, 1811. Dear Sir: I will endeavor to be at 
Fairfield the Wednesday preceding the 9th of December. The 
Albany Stage leaves Boston on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fri- 
days at 6 O'c, a.m., and at this season of the year arrives at Albany 
the third day after its departure from Boston. I shall say nothing 
of our obligations for your kind congratulation on our marriage, 
but refer the exercise of that duty to the time when we shall have 
the pleasure of seeing yourself, with or without Mrs. Spalding, as 
may be the case, at our house, where you may be certain of a hearty 
welcome from Mrs. Shattuck and myself. 

With much esteem, etc, Geo. C. Shattuck." 

Dr. Spalding spent an October day with the Shattucks, 
proceeded to Fairfield where fifty students attended and a 
number of operations were performed by him. Dr. Shat- 
tuck as before followed on, and gave his course of lectures 
and for a second year in succession wrote, upon his return, 
to Dr. Spalding who was now home again. 

"Boston, January 5, 1812. Dear Sir: In consequence of an 
anxiety among our Fairfield Medical Students to return to their 
homes on or before New Year's Day, I was requested to meel the 
class three times a day which completed my term of giving lectures 
last Saturday. In so doing I gratified three fourths, and did not 
disoblige the remaining fourth. Respecting Fairfield, nothing 


prospective has to my Knowledge yet transpired. Rev. C. Alex- 
ander sends his respects, says he shall write to you as soon as the 
fate of the contemplated Oneida project 1 shall be known. On the 
arrival of the next mail from Albany I expect to learn the result. 
This is certain, that General Piatt 2 is engaged with great zeal in 
promoting the undertaking. I left this impression on their minds; 
that, should the Fairfield Medical School go completely down, and 
another more flourishing Institution be built on its ruins, we should 
probably feel disposed to co-operate with them; otherwise, we 
should retire. I collected Manter's bill, 3 and by the bearer send 
the amount. Two dollars of counterfeit money, which Mary 
Smith 4 said she received of you, I exchanged for other money, and 
this gives you but 110.50/100 of good money. The bills of the 
remaining delinquents I left with the Treasurer and send his receipt. 

About an hour after your departure from Fairfield, a letter came 
to you by mail. Agreeably to the advice of the Hon. Nathan 
Smith and of Wm. Smith, I opened it to learn if its contents ren- 
dered it necessary to send it by express to you at Little Falls. Not 
finding any necessity for taxing you with so much expense, I re- 
tained the letter and now send it to you. A number of the printed 
Catalogues I now forward. 

I will send you, hereafter, the outline of a College which I drew 
up, in which I took due care to mention your voyage to Europe at 
the expense of the Institution to procure Library, etc. 

Mrs. Shattuck and my friends are highly gratified with your 
call, on your return, for which be pleased to accept the tender of 
my acknowledgements and likewise of my best wishes in every 
event that may await you. Geo. C. Shattuck." 

A few days later an upheaval occurred in the Legislature 
w r hich greatly affected the fortunes of Fairfield. Mr. 
Alexander wrote concerning it to Dr. Shattuck and asked 
him to pass the news on to Portsmouth. Judge Smith also 
wrote on the same day to Dr. Spalding and to Dr. Shattuck, 
but his letter failed to catch that week's mail. Immediately 
after the arrival of Mr. Alexander's letter, and one from 
Dr. Spalding on other topics, Dr. Shattuck wrote to this 
effect : 

1 The Oneida project was to obtain a College Charter for Oneida 
Academy, instead of Fairfield. 

2 General Jonas Piatt, as a politician, Member of Congress, Judge 
of the Supreme Court and General of the Militia, carried everything 
before him. 

3 Manter, was a medical student. 

4 Mary Smith, was daughter of William, with whom Dr. Spalding 
boarded, in the "elegant room" before mentioned. 


"Boston, Jan. 22nd, 1812. Dear Sir: Yours arrived yesterday. 
I rejoice at your successful prosecution of your anatomical studies 
since your return from Fairfield. I verily believe that at no very 
distant period you will not only merit, but actually enjoy the fruits 
of the highest reputation as an Anatomist in the United Si 
There is one Mr. Pons in this town who sells the plano-convex 
lenses adapted to the vision of those who have lost the crystal- 
line lens. His skill in adjusting the convexity of the glass to the 
flattened state of the eye, and his price are alike unknown to 
me. This, I know, that they are usually sold at an extravagant 

All the facilities to your removal to N. Y., within my power you 
may command: should opportunity offer I will send you a pur- 

To day I received a letter signed by C. A., J. M., and J. N., 1 
apprising me of what had been done in Oneida County. 

"The Corporation of the New College selected from the most 
influential of all parties in Oneida County and the Western District 
have chosen C. Alexander, President; J. Noyes: L. Spalding; G. 
C. Shattuck; and W. Willoughby, Professors in the Medical De- 
partment as at Fairfield; J. Montague, etc, Tutors. Gen. Piatt, 
is understood to be at the head and the assurances of him and his 
coadjutors to confirm the above, when a Charter may be obtained, 
are so satisfactory to the instructors of Fairfield, that they have 
written to me." 

"To morrow (15 Inst) we shall resign offices in this Academy 
and accept the honorary appointments." 

"Dr. Willoughby was with us to day and has left in writing his 
acceptance. If you and Dr. Spalding concur, you will please to 
send in, as soon as you think proper, your resignation of the offices 
you now hold in Fairfield Academy, and the acceptance of the ap- 
pointments in the contemplated College." 

I shall delay my reply until I learn your disposition in relation 
to the change. Respecting resigning our offices at Fairfield, I pre- 
sume you will not hesitate a moment, to declare your assent, as, 
after Noyes and Willoughby have left, it can be no object for us 
to remain. Willoughby declared his full confidence in the BU 
of the Oneida Enterprize of Gen. Piatt, and his friends becam 
zealous advocates. Gen. Piatt, and friends, I understand. 
the lead. Willoughby was of the opinion that the Trustees of 
Fairfield would nevermore think of re-instating the Medical De- 
partment. All these are received as Facts. What is your opinion 
of the course to pursue? Your answer is desired soon. With much 
Esteem, Your friend G. C. Shattuck." 

1 The initials by Dr. Shattuck refer to C. Alexander, J. Montague, 
and J. Noyes, whom Dr. Shattuck wished to conceal. 


This letter and the reply throw light on the educational 
history of New York, for it is still said that "Hamilton Col- 
lege was founded in spite of the vicious opposition of Fair- 
field" yet here we see a plot to ruin Fairfield, a flourishing 
Academy. The Charter for a College should have been 
granted to Fairfield, but politics threw it as a sop to Oneida. 
A compromise was finally effected, Oneida Academy be- 
coming Hamilton College, and Fairfield obtaining a Medical 
School with power to grant degrees. 

Dr. Spalding's very sensible reply to Dr. Shattuck is un- 
dated in the copy before me. 

"My Friend: Your letter of the 22nd inst., was one of the most 
unexpected events in my whole life and as you request an answer, 
soon, I shall communicate my present ideas by return mail. Tak- 
ing all for granted that you communicate to me, I see no necessity 
for resigning our offices at Fairfield before we are officially notified 
of our appointments in Oneida College after it shall have been 
chartered. For, if ever chartered it will be at the present session 
of the Regents. The Trustees of Fairfield have treated me 
honorably. I am bound to return the same treatment to them. 
I accepted my office conditionally: i.e. that I should go to Europe. 
They have not refused complying with their part. If they should 
refuse I am exonerated. Another condition was, that if the School 
should not succeed, I should be at liberty to resign at any time. 
Now, if Willoughby and Noyes go off, and another school is 
founded with better funds, I think that Fairfield cannot succeed, 
and I should resign on that ground. If I should be honored 
with an appointment in the Oneida College, after it is Chartered, 
I certainly should not accept it under less favorable circum- 
stances than I accepted the Fairfield appointment; i.e., Ticket 
fees, rooms furnished, a salary from the funds, and a European 

Again: as honourable treatment has been extended to me from 
the Fairfield Academy, and as a matter of policy too, I think that 
the removal of the School ought to be accomplished with the en- 
tire satisfaction of the Trustees, say, the Museum, Chemical ap- 
paratus, etc, should be bought by the Oneidas. Fairfield should 
be allowed the whole of the 5,000 dollar grant to defray the ex- 
penses they have been at in erecting buildings, for the accommo- 
dation of students, and every other means, to render them satisfied 
with the removal of the Medical School to Oneida, should be 

As this is a matter of so much importance to us both, I will 
thank you to make me acquainted with every circumstance relative 
to it, that may come to your knowledge, and I will not fail to ad- 


vise you of every communication that I may receive touching it. 
Lyman Spalding. 

P. S. I shall write to Judge Smith in a day or two concerning a 
weaving machine; but shall say nothing of this." 

No sooner had this letter been forwarded than Judge 
Smith's letter of the same date as that written by Mr. 
Alexander arrived. 

"Fairfield, 16th January, 1812. Dear Sir: Yesterday morning, 
precisely at the time the quarter was to commence in our Insti- 
tution, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Montague and Doct'r Noyes sent in 
their resignations to the Senior Trustee of this board, without hav- 
ing previously given the least intimation to any person here of their 
intention. Such an unexpected and unlooked for occurrence lias 
occasioned no small degree of embarrassment to the Trustees. They 
have, however, taken such measures as I doubt not will very soon 
supply their places with characters at least their equal. 

As to Dr. Noyes, and Mr. Montague I have nothing to say, be- 
cause their resignation, sudden as it was, is not calculated to pro- 
duce such immediate difficulty and embarrassment, as that of Mr. 
Alexander. The Transaction on his part meets the disapproba- 
tion and Censure of every one. Had he given proper notice to the 
Trustees of his intention to resign, so that they could have had an 
opportunity to procure a successor in time to meet his departure, 
I should have attached no blame to him; the Trustees would not; 
he might have gone with Honor. But the step he has taken ex- 
cites resentment in all. He will go, but he leaves not a friend be- 
hind. The procedure carries with it irresistible conviction, that 
with his secession, he meant to draw down inevitable ruin and de- 
struction on this Institution. But, thank God, the Trustees are 
spirited, the people are spirited, and I have the fullest confidence 
we shall yet rise superior to intrigue and treachery. By this time, 
you may think it necessary that I tell you where they are going. 
I will tell you. They are going to Clinton Academy, the trustees 
of which have always considered us as their rivals, and who, it 
seems, despair of the success of their institution, except by the de- 
struction of OURS. A subscription is on foot here, to aid in the 
endowment of a College, very considerable sums will be rai 
and a Petition presented to the Regents for a Charter. 

I have thought proper to communicate the above to you, be- 
cause I am told they intend to apply to you and Dr. Shattuck to 
join them, and accept Professorships in that Institution. Should 
that be the case, I beg you to defer an answer until you hear 
from me at Albany. I am Respectfully, Your Ob'd't S.rv'i X. 


Whilst these letters were speeding to and fro, Dr. Spald- 
ing wrote to Judge Smith concerning Mr. De Witt Clinton, 
and Judge Smith, ignoring the Academic Crisis, devotes his 
letter to an account of this great statesman and friend of Dr. 
Spalding, when he moved to New York. 

"Albany, 6th Feby. 1812. Dear Sir: Yours of the 1st Inst, 
came to hand this morning. I will endeavor to answer your in- 
quiries respecting Mr. Clinton as well as I am able, although you, 
as well as we here, have been deceived in the report that Mr. Clin- 
ton has been nominated. But, as such a thing may happen, per- 
haps the information you ask, may yet be important. 

De Witt Clinton is the son of General James Clinton of the 
County of Orange in this State. He is nephew to the Vice Presi- 
dent, George Clinton, and cousin to the Surveyor General. His 
parents and connections, originally, were not of that Class who 
were considered to be wealthy. He is not connected in any way 
with the Patroons, either of the Rensellaer or Livingstone families. 
He commenced his career in public life about the year 1796, and 
since, has been to the best of my recollection, constantly, either in 
the Legislature of this State or in the Senate of the United States. 
He has been Mayor of the City of New York (excepting one or two 
years) for ten years past, and he is now Lt. Gov'r of this State. 
Thus, Sir, I have endeavoured to answer your inquiries respecting 
Mr. Clinton. Whether he will be ultimately nominated for Presi- 
dent, I am doubtful. I rather think there will be no nomination 
made at Washington, and if this should be the case, I apprehend 
Mr. Clinton will stand a great chance to be our next President. 
This, however, is all conjecture. 1 

I wrote you a few days before I left Fairfield, but from your 
silence on the subject of my letter, I presume you have not rec'd 
the letter I wrote. It was relating altogether to our Institution, 
but as I presume you must have rec'd it before this, I shall say 
nothing on the subject than barely to state, that we are making 
every exertion in our power to improve the situation of our affairs, 
and Mr. Alexander is here, making all the opposition in his power. 
I shall write you in due time, of our good or ill success. I am Y'r 
Humble Serv't. N. Smith." 

A few items from Dr. Shattuck arriving about this date 
make up for the reticence on the part of Judge Smith. 

1 De Witt Clinton (1769-1828) was graduated at Princeton, studied 
law and acted as Secretary to his Uncle, the Vice President. During 
his many governorships he obtained repeal of laws against the Roman- 
ists, a Charter for the first American Fire Insurance Company, and he 
completed the Erie Canal, which was known as "Clinton's Big Ditch." 


"Boston, 16 February, 1812. Dear Sir: Yours, comprising the 
pith of the Hon. Nathan Smith's letter, arrived in due time for 
which be pleased to accept my thanks, although the same, verba- 
tim, had previously been received, which I should have communi- 
cated to you, but from the presumption that he would write you at 
the same time. Dr. Noyes has just written from Albany, dilating 
somewhat more at large on the proceedings of the Clint onians and 
Fairfieldians. He says, for the Clinton College, above > 12,000 
have been subscribed, and that 825,000 would probably ultimately 
be raised by subscription; that Messrs Alexander and Hart ' two 
politicians had been appointed by the Trustees to petition the 
Regents for a College, that he would communicate to me from 
time to time, the progress of their joint proceedings. From what 
Gov. Tompkins said about Mr. Alexander during a short inter- 
view I had with him in company with Mr. Tiffany and Dr. Noyes 
at Albany on my return in December from Fairfield, I think he is 
desirous of seeing him the President of a College. Policy, may, 
however, prevent his lending his influence to effect it. In haste, 
but with much respect, Yours etc, G. C. Shattuck." 

The end of March brought a great bit of news from Judge 
Smith as the readers of his letter will admit. 

"Albany, March 12th, 1812. Dear Sir: I have delayed answer- 
ing yours of the 13th ult. some time longer than I should otherwise 
have done, in hopes of being able to give a satisfactory and con- 
clusive answer to all }'our inquiries respecting College, Academics, 
etc, but as I see no prospect of a decision of the Regents being had 
in less than two or three weeks, and the possibility that a longer 
silence might be construed into neglect, I am induced to give you 
the little information I possess on the subject, and more, when I 
can obtain it. As to Colleges, I am of the opinion there will be 
none granted anywhere, this year, but I do believe we shall obtain 
what you thought of so much more importance to the Medical 
School, to wit, an Ordinance of the Regents to confer degrees on 
the medical students. 

I have called once or twice on the Governor 2 to converse with 
him on the subject of your removal to N. York, but he was so en- 

1 Tiffany, Alexander and "Eph" Hart, were politicians, very active 
in behalf of Mr. Clinton. 

2 Daniel Duane Tompkins (1774-1.835) (The Governor) was a 
graduate of Columbia, a lawyer and politician. Be had been Member 
of Congress and Justice of the Supreme Court, when hi- was chosen 
Governor. The money which he personally advanced to the Govern- 
ment during the War of 1S12 was of untold value from a military point 
of view. He was twice elected Vice President of the United States, 
but at the height of his popularity, he was accused of juggling .State 


gaged with company that I could not do it. I shall, however, take 
the earliest opportunity to converse with him and write you the 
results. I have seen Mr. Clinton. He says that there are not 
more than one or two surgeons in N. Y., of any importance, that 
he thinks it would be a very good place for you, but that it would 
take some time to gain such an acquaintance as to obtain an ex- 
tensive practice. He expressed his readiness to do you all the 
service in his power, and said he would endeavor to get you ap- 
pointed one of the Trustees of the College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons, which would give you a respectable standing at once. I 
shall write you again more particularly in a few days — in the 
meantime, I am Your Ob'd't Serv't N. Smith." 

The appointment to the Trusteeship soon arrived and 
proved of material benefit in obtaining for Dr. Spalding im- 
mediate medical recognition upon his arrival to the metrop- 

A few days later Dr. Josiah Noyes wrote in this triumphal 
tone concerning the Charter granted to Oneida Academy as 
Hamilton College. 

"Albany, 21 March, 1812. Dear Sir: Some time since I ad- 
dressed a letter to Dr. Shattuck, and being very much engaged, 
requested him to transmit the substance of it to you, which he 
informs he has done. Since that time I have thought proper not 
to trouble you with conjectures, knowing that I could not induce 
others to place the same confidence in certain measures, which I 
felt, myself. But, now all this is settled. Last Monday the 
Regents authorized the Governor to issue a Charter of a University, 
as soon as he should be satisfied that the funds should amount to 
50,000 Dollars, including what they now have besides buildings; 
to be placed at Clinton; and to be called Hamilton College. Judge 
Smith, Doctr. Sheldon, 1 and Judge Gates 2 voted against it, all the 
rest for it. I came to this City before the Legislature assembled ard 
have been here ever since. Soon after I came, I called on the Gov :, 
and Lieut. Gov:, and satisfied myself that they would do much for 
the people in Oneida Co :, but nothing for Fairfield, and they have 

Money with his own, some years before. His home was seized by the 
sheriff, and his wife, but lately confined, was thrust out into the road 
with her new born infant. Vice President Tompkins fell into ignominy, 
and died insane. The Courts at last decreed that he had been wholly 
innocent. But their opinion was too late. A more villainous perse- 
cution was never known in American Politics. 

1 Dr. Alexander Sheldon (1766-1836) had long been a physician in 
Montgomery Co. N. Y. and was at this time Speaker of the House and 
one of the Regents of the State. 

2 Judge Seth Gates lived at Winfield, Herkimer County. 


not deceived us. The Fairfield people have made great efforts to 
gain a Charter, but had we all remained there and united our ex- 
ertions, we should have gamed nothing. I am told, that all say 
that I have acted honorably, but Mr. Alexander is cursed by 
night and by day and I expect they will soon call on Hercul' 
help curse him. He is not, however, moved, having sufficient testi- 
monials of his giving reasonable notice of his intention to leave 
them, unless they complied with his request. He is going home to 
morrow to settle his affairs at Fairfield, and to move immediately 
to Clinton. 

A Bill is before the House for funds, has passed a second reading. 
The blank sum is not filled, but we are in hopes of getting 100 or 
200 Thousand Dollars. There is no doubt of getting a handsome 
sum, as the whole business is very popular with the Legislature, 
and people in general. I expect to stay here till the fate of the 
Bill is decided, which must be in three weeks as the Legislature will 
rise at that time. We are daily making arrangements for the next 
course of lectures. As soon as the Trustees who are here and 
members of the House go home, a meeting of the Trustees will be 
called, and you and Dr. Shattuck will receive official communica- 
tions, which cannot be done short of four weeks. 

All the steps which have been taken meet with general appro- 
bation, and that it will be the greatest college in America, is an 
observation frequently made by men of good understanding. As 
yet, every attempt to brand any measure with the character of 
party spirit, has failed. 

The Gov:, has repeatedly declared himself satisfied with the 
professors, and appears to have a high opinion of Mr. Alexander 
who has called on the Gov:, L't Gov:, and other officers once, twice, 
and sometimes three times a day, until, in my opinion, they must be a 
little fatigued, and will rejoice when the business is finished. Shall 
write you as soon as anything is done. In the meantime, would 
receive a communication from you: if in two weeks, at this place 
and after, at Clinton, in Paris. 1 

Yours Respectfully, JosiAB N0YB8. 

P. S. Mr. ( lint on is to be the next President of the U. S., and 
to unite both parties. Please to remember me to D. Webster, 
Esq., 2 who I hope is rising in the scale of honor and justice and will 
soon become a star in the East of the first magnitude. No time 
for more on Politics. J. N." 

1 "Paris" may have been, at that time, one of the Counties of New 

2 Daniel Webster was in Dr. Noyes' Class at Dartmouth, and lived 
on intimate terms with Dr. Spalding in Portsmouth. Dr. Spalding's 
son and Webster's son continued this friendship through another 


It is very plain, from previous letters, that the assertions 
bandied about so freely by Mr. Alexander and others, that 
Dr. Spalding and Dr. Shattuck had joined forces with the 
new Medical Department of Hamilton College, had much 
to do with the legislative preference for Clinton over Fair- 

Mr. Alexander also seems to have written to Dr. Shattuck 
much to the same effect as had Dr. Noyes, if we judge from 
his letter to Dr. Spalding. 

"Boston, March 23rd, 1812. Dear Sir: The mail this day 
brought me a letter from Mr. Alexander, which informs us that a 
College has been chartered at Clinton under the name of Hamil- 
ton College, on condition that their present fund, amounting to 
28,000 dollars is increased to 50,000. He further informs me, that 
the Legislature seems favorably disposed toward such an Institution; 
that a petition is prepared to solicit their aid; that he entertains 
not the least doubt of success in the application for pecuniary aid 
to the amount of 22,000 dollars. All this information, together 
with his compliments he requested me to forward to his friend Dr. 

It is quite healthy in Boston for the season, and has been ever 
since my return from Fairfield. The most news here, has been 
derived from the petty collisions among our aspiring Faculty. 
Hitherto, I have found no one to advise to Portsmouth for the 
purchase of your Establishment. Our young physicians, you 
know, are generally too poor to make purchases to any considerable 
amount. — I am, My Dear Sir, Your Obdt. Servt. G. C. Shattuck." 

Dr. Shattuck returns to the topic a few days later and 
his remarks concerning the voyage to Europe are worth 

"Boston, March 27, 1812. Dear Sir: Yours of yesterday just 
came to hand. Respecting the point you are so polite as to re- 
quest my opinion, I can answer little else than that much may be 
said on both sides. The interest of Hamilton College requires 
your voyage to Europe, not so much to increase your eclat as a 
Professor as to procure a well selected medical library, philosophical 
apparatus etc. I entertain little doubt that you would be liberally 
furnished, even the present season with the means, as Dr. Noyes 
writes (by the last mail) "A Bill for funds is now before the House; 
passed a second reading, and will doubtless pass, with 50 or 200 
THOUSAND: the last sum, we hope." 

Gov. T., L't Gov. D. C, and the Chief Justice have been the 
efficient patrons of this new University, in procuring it a Charter, 


endowment, etc. All the principal men in Oneida Co. are en- 
gaged with zeal in building it up. On this, I predicate the ex- 
pectation that you would be furnished the means for a voyage, 
but, after all, I think your interest hardly requires you to go abroad. 
You will lose a year by it, and, after your return your claims will 
be little altered in relation to the patronage of the public. A man 
who bears the marks of middle age, and who has furnished proof 
so convincing of a well directed diligence in all his labors to acquire 
the power of usefulness has little need of aid to his fame by the 
reputation of having "gone abroad." 

As the friend of Hamilton College, I wish you to go abroad, as a 
friend to the interests of your family, I think you will be likely to 
lose quite as much as you will gain by the enterprise. Now is the 
time to improve Mr. Clinton's disposition to patronize you. To 
the First Chair of State he aspires. New England politics are a 
necessary item in the general account which places him there. The 
hope that you will successfully exercise your influence in directing 
New Hampshire in his favor, will probably give him zeal in the use 
of all convenient means to give you currency as a practitioner in 
the healing art in New York City. 

On writing to Judge Smith I will improve your hint. 

With unabated desires for your prosperity, I am, Dear Sir, Your 
Friend, Geo. C. Shatttjck." 

At this interesting juncture we have another letter from 
Judge Smith. 

"Albany, 18th. March, 1812. Dear Sir: I have now to inform 
you of the event of the Oneida application for a College. They 
have succeeded in obtaining a Charter on condition they can 
obtain a fund of 50,000 dollars. About 13,000 of this sum they had 
already obtained by individual subscription. The remainder, I 
presume, they intend to obtain from the Legislature. I should say 
I doubted their success with the Legislature, but as I have been 
so much disappointed in the decision of the Regents, I will not pre- 
tend again to predict what may be done. I have been disappointed 
because from a frequent conversation with a majority of the Board, 
who expressed themselves against granting any Charter for a Col- 
lege, I did conclude then would have been none granted. But so 
is the fact, they hail a majority of 2 in their favor. No decision 
has been made on the application from Fairfield to confer di 
on the medical students, and none can be expected for some time to 
come, for reasons which I shall hereafter mention. Whether if 
this could be obtained, it would be any advancement to yourself 
and the other Gentlemen Professors to continue at Fairfield, must 
be left for you and them to determine. 

I have not had an opportunity to converse with the Gov., on the 


subject of your removal to N. Y., but have again conversed with 
Mr. Clinton who I am persuaded will give you all the support in 
his power, and as an earnest of this I have the pleasure to inform 
you; that at the last meeting of the Regents, he proposed you as 
one of the Trustees of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 
N. Y., and you were unanimously appointed. 

I must tell you why I think we shall not get any decision on our 
Fairfield application very soon. And to give you a more correct 
idea of the state of things here, I will first premise that the Citizens 
of N. Y. presented a petition for the incorporation of a Bank, 
against which Gov. and Judge Spencer * have, as the saying is, set 
down their foot. But as there was no remonstrance against it, 
from that City, or any other quarter it passed the House of As- 
sembly, and in Committee of the whole in the Senate, and accord- 
ing to the usual course would have had its third and last reading 
on Friday morning last; to prevent which, the Gov'r prorogued 
the Legislature to the 21st May next. 2 This is a simple state of 
facts on which as I have given no vote, I shall give no opinion. I 
have been confined to my room a number of days by indisposition. 
I will only remark, further, that the reasons given by the Gov'r 
are, that some attempts have been made to bribe some of the mem- 
bers to vote in favor of the Bank. Nothing has yet appeared to 
prove that any member has been improperly influenced in this 
way. I am, Your Ob'd't Serv't. N. Smith. 

N. B. I am in hopes to be able to return to Fairfield soon, when 
I shall expect to hear from you." 

The whole affair remained quiet for a couple of months 
when we hear of it again in a letter from Dr. Shattuck, in 
which he announced his final determination to leave Fair- 

"Boston, May 20, 1812. Dear Sir: Your arguments in relation 
to the shipwreck of my professional reputation by resigning at this 
moment from the Fairfield College of Physicians, have been duly 
weighed. On balancing all the motives that ought to enter into 
a consideration of this subject, a sense of duty to my friends has 
finally preponderated, and after deciding no time ought to be lost 
in making that decision known to the Trustees. Accordingly, I 

1 Judge Ambrose Spencer (1765-1848) was Chief Justice of the 
State. His principal Decisions 'vera^igai^t the Bank of North America, 
in favor of kind treatment of tlfc.In^pns and against a short term 
service of the State Judiciary. 

2 The Governor's prorogation was legal, but had never before been 
exercised. Gov. Tompkins deemed it necessary in order to prevent 
financial ruin by the illegal powers conferred upon the Bank of North 
America and which he declared had been obtained by bribery. 


have sent my resignation to the Senior Trustee of Fairfield Academy. 
To have resigned sooner, would have been a departure from the 
request of the Hon. Nathan Smith, communicated last winter. 
To have delayed longer my resignation would have been unkind- 
ness to my Fairfield friends, as they now have none too much time 
to procure a successor. Not to have resigned, would have sown 
dissatisfaction, and distrust, among my nearest and dearest friends. 
These considerations will doubtless convince you, that this step is 
necessary on my part, and therefore reconcile you to it. 

With the very best wishes for your welfare and happiness both 
in New Hampshire, and New York as well as in Heaven, I am 
Dear Sir, Your Friend, Geo. C. Shattuck." 

The Legislature of New York convened again in May and 
decided the differences between the rival Institutions as 
now detailed by Mr. Alexander to Dr. Shattuck and in 
these words communicated to his friend in Portsmouth. 

"Boston, June 24th, 1812. Dear Sir: "The Legislature of (N. Y.) 
this day passed an Act endowing Hamilton College with $50,000. 
This with their former sum, makes $100,000." 

The above is contained in a letter from Mr. Alexander, of the 9th. 
He further writes, that on the 14th of July the Trustees meet, 
when Drs. N., Sp., W. and Sh., will be elected to the same places 
they held in Fairfield Academy. He also writes, that through 
misrepresentation, a medical College has been established at Fair- 
field, the Regents having been assured that Dr. Spalding and myself 
would continue our places. It has been said that you and I had 
written to that effect to Judge Smith, but the Trustees of Hamilton 
will unquestionably have the medical lectures begin next Fall. 
• The package by Dr. Lincoln, I sent you by stage. If I can bor- 
row Corvisart for that purpose I will send it to you in the original. 
Truly yours, etc, Geo. C. Shattuck. 

N. B. Do you intend to accept your place in Hamilton College?" 

It is a pleasure at this point to be able, through the kind- 
ness of Dr. Frederick C. Shattuck, to insert an important 
note which Judge Smith now wrote to Dr. George C. Shat- 

"Fairfield, July 13, 1812. Dear Sir: I should have written 
you sooner but am in hopes to see you in the course of ten days. 
We have obtained a Charter for a Medical College with an en- 
dowment of ten thousand dollars. The Trustees will depend <>n 
you and Dr. Spalding to continue here. I will give you a particular 
account of everything about the premises when I see you. In 
haste, your sincerely, N. Smith." 


And on the 20th July Dr. Shattuck wrote to Dr. Spalding: 

"The Hon. N. Smith is in town. To morrow he goes to Mcndon 
and Bridgewater, and on Friday at noon he will again be in town. 
Can you not be here at that tune? Write me about it by next mail. 
The Judge says, Gov. Tompkins told him he would employ you as 
his family physician during his stay in New York, after your re- 
moval there. With such friends you cannot fail of success. With 
much respect, Your Friend, Geo. C. Shattuck." 

Dr. Spalding being unable to go to Boston, Judge Smith 
visited him at Portsmouth, where Dr. Spalding said to him 
on parting "So long as Fairfield stands by me, so long will 
I stand by Fairfield. 

When Judge Smith reached Boston he found an important 
letter from Fairfield, the substance of which Dr. Shattuck 
sent on to Portsmouth in these words: 

"Boston, July 31, 1812. Dear Sir: Hamilton College has 
elected Mr. Miller, 1 President, and concluded to dispense with the 
thought of building up a medical school, as an appendage of their 
University. So writes Mr. Ford to Judge Smith. My friends be- 
ing irreconcilable to my absence another winter, I am forced to a 
decision to resign my place in the new College of Physicians and 
Surgeons. I give you this previous notice and accompany it with 
a tender of my assistance in commending a candidate for supplying 
the vacancy. Do you not believe Surgeon General Mann 2 will be 
most useful? Or think friend Willoughby, will best promote the 
designs of the Institution as Professor of the Theory and Practice 
of Physick? 

Write me immediately on this subject that I may make some 
suggestions to the Trustees on sending in my resignation. Your 
Friend, Geo. C. Shattuck." 

Although Dr. Shattuck had resigned from the Medical 
Department of Fairfield, Dr. Spalding now appealed to him 
to accept a Chair in the new College, independent of the 

1 Mr. Samuel Miller (1769-1850) later Professor in the Princeton 
Theological Seminary, may have been elected President of Hamilton, 
but the first President to serve, was Rev. Azel Backus (1764-1816) a 
graduate of Yale, an excellent teacher and a man of delightful wit. 
He once said of a polemical paper: "I taste no Attic Salt in that; 
nothing but Shad Brine." 

2 Dr. James Mann (1752-1832) declined the offer on account of his 
duties as Army Surgeon. He practiced earlier than this, in Boston, 
and later in Dedham, was an original member of the Staff of the Mas- 
sachusetts General Hospital, and author of an excellent work, entitled 
"Medical Experiences in the War of 1812-14." 


Academy, and with power to grant degrees. This admirable 
letter (kindly loaned by Dr. Frederick C. Shattuck) adds 
color to the portraiture of my Grandfather. 

"Dear Sir: I can only say that I regret exceedingly the opinion 
of yourself and friends, that your avocations will not suffer you to 
visit Fairfield once more. I acknowledge that, at present, the 
compensation is not adequate to the output and the loss of busi- 
ness, but, Sir, I do really believe that this School may be made 
second to none but Philadelphia. If not, I will join with you in 
resignation. What effect has the Professorship already had on 
you? It has compelled you to pay close attention to your pro- 
fession, to pass the whole of Cullen's "Nosology" in review, be- 
fore you annually, and thereby qualifying you for the practice of 
your profession more than any other way in which you could have 
spent your time. It is the high road to fame, and usefulness. I 
know that my sacrifices have been great. I know that yours must 
be. But, show me the man who has risen to be a Prince of Physi- 
cians, while slumbering on the couch of idleness. 

Soon after I came to Portsmouth, I resigned my office of Pro- 
fessor of Chemistry in Dartmouth, no doubt from the same motives 
that now influence you, with this addition, that my lectures there, 
had to continue three months. I soon found myself slumbering 
on my oars and relaxing my pursuits. In fact, so far from im- 
proving, I hardly kept pace with the others. A kind of indifference 
for science pervaded me: indignant I aroused, I went to Hanover 
to see Ramsay, I went to Philadelphia, and I planned a voyage 
to Europe. This change, Sir, I consider the most happy circum- 
stance in my whole professional career. 

Admit that you resign your office. Man is an indolent animal. 
What inducement have you then, to labor incessantly? Xone! 
Your reputation is as high as that of your contemporaries. Then, 
wrapped in the lap of affluence and ease, you will slumber and sleep 
till old age creeps upon you, when you will find yourself outstripped 
in the race of usefulness and fame, your opinions so antiquated 
as to be regarded not, and yourself a mere old Granny, 

Look at the Princes, or rather, Fathers of Physic. Who have 
they been or who are they now? So far as my memory serves me; 
Teachers of Physic. Booerhaave, 1 Cullen,- Dcsault. Look at 

1 Booerhaave (16G8-1738) was a Dutchman of immense learning; a 
great physician and writer. 

2 William Cullen (1710-1790) acted as Ship's Surgeon and practi- 
tioner in London long before obtaining a degree. He was renowned as 
a clinical lecturer and in the wards of the Hospitals discoursed elo- 
quently on the common types of disease. His last years were em- 
bittered by the attacks of his former associate, John Brown of "Bruno- 


Rush, Warren and Smith. What has put them at the head of the 
profession? Nothing but their being compelled to labor, and an- 
nually to review their profession, and incorporate with their old 
stock all the new improvements. Show me a man in private prac- 
tice who does this, annually. He is not to be found. But, your 
friends say that you can do this, yet stay at home. I acknowledge 
this, but tell me honorably, Will you do it? No, Sir, you have no 
inducement. For a man to be pre-eminently great, there must be 
a great occasion. What made Washington great? Opportunity. 
You are now on the same high road to reputation that every Prince 
of Physicians has travelled. If you turn aside, you are lost forever. 
These in conjunction with those in my last letter are the reasons 
which ought to influence you. You can have no doubt of my 
wishes on the subject. The time for the commencement of the 
lectures is so near at hand, that no successor can be appointed in 
season for the next course. I therefore beseech you, on my ac- 
count, if neither honor nor fame will move you, to deliver This One 
Course, and I will consent to any arrangement that you may then 
choose to make. If nothing farther, as a mere matter of policy, 
I wish you to withhold your resignation till the meeting of the 
Trustees of the New Medical College and let us see what they will 
do for us. 

Dr. Mann, I knew had been appointed a Hospital Surgeon, but 
I did not know that he had been made Surgeon General. He must 
be with the Army by tins time, and cannot be prepared for the 
ensuing course. I have no objection to this man, but must for 
want of room decline saying anything about your successor until I 
hear from you again. Your Friend, Lyman Spalding." 

To Dr. Spalding's appeal Dr. Shattuck replied in a letter 
undated, but postmarked August 11. 

"Sir: Your frankness entitles you to my warmest acknowledg- 
ments. The letter, I have exhibited to my friends, in hopes thereby 
to procure the acquiescence in my continuing at the Fairfield Col- 
lege. I have exhibited additional arguments illustrating the policy 
of such a course. They have surveyed the advantages of my con- 
tinuing, the disadvantages of my withdrawing at this moment, and 
all, unfortunately for my professional career does not satisfy them 
that I ought to prosecute giving lectures at Fairfield. The delicate 
health of Mrs. Shattuck, the infirmities of age under which her 
Mother labors, the state of her Uncle Derby's family, he being more 
than seventy years old, and having been all that a kind father 

nianism," but THAT is dead whilst Cullen's fame continues. Cullen 
made money, left his money drawer open, kept no accounts, and died 
penniless. What else could be expected from such loose financing! 


could have been to my wife, are considerations too trying to my 
sensibility not to shake my resolutions in relation to retaining my 
place at Fairfield. The ignominy that may be thrown on my good 
name I must trust yourself and other friends to wipe off, that the 
Trustees of Fairfield academy may not feel that they have been 
injuriously treated by me. 

Once more, I call your attention to the avowal of your feelings 
in relation to my successor, that I may show to the Trustees that I 
am not negligent of their interests. Your Friend, Geo. C. Shat- 

The newspapers in the Summer of 1812 printed the re- 
port that Mr. Alexander had been chosen President of 
Hamilton but Judge Smith wrote to Dr. Spalding to tell 
him the exact state of affairs. 

"Fairfield, 10th Aug. 1812. Dear Sir: Mr. Alexander is not 
President of Hamilton College. He was unanimously chosen, but 
declined this merely as a stipulation to save his reputation. But 
the thing is well understood: they, however, pay him the price of 
his bad faith to us. Dr. Noyes has gone to Utica and into partner- 
ship with another physician. All idea of a Medical School is given 
up at Clinton. Whether Dr. Noyes would come here again, if in- 
vited, I cannot say, but his conduct has been such, and his stories 
so variant, that I conjecture, nothing but necessity would induce 
the Trustees to call him back. I made inquiry in Connecticut of 
Dr. Tully. 1 I find he studied with Dr. Smith at Hanover, and has 
since been with Dr. Silliman attending his Chemical Lectures. 
He is said to be a good doctor, and well educated for a Professor. 
Perhaps you can make such inquiry respecting him, as would be 
satisfactory to you; whether he would answer the purpose. Four 
young gentlemen have written to me expressing a wish to come 
to this place to pursue the study of medicine and attend lectures. 
I presume there will be many more. Pray let me hear from you 
soon. In haste, Your Ob'd't N. Smith." 

1 Dr. William Tully (1785-1859) was licensed to practice by the 
Connecticut Medical Society in 1810, and after practicing in Beveral 
villages settled in Albany, in 1826. About this time he waa > 
President of the Castleton, Vermont, Medical School, and later on 
Professor of Botany and Materia Medica at Yale. Be hud an 
of a Professorship in South Carolina, but declining it, travelled South 
in search of medicinal plants. Hia "Treatise on Materia Medica" had 
great vogue, aa did his Fever Powders. I do not find that he evei 
lectured at, Fairfield, but his name is ofttai mentioned as an Orator at 
Medical Graduations. A recent monograph on Dr. Tully by Dr. Kate 
Campbell Mead of Middletown, Connecticut, throws new liuht on hia 


When it was finally decided that Dr. Shattuck would not 
lecture again, the Trustees looked about for a successor and 
Dr. Willoughby offered these suggestions. 

"Herkimer Co. Sept. 10. 1812. Dear Sir: Dr. Shattuck's resig- 
nation is very much to be regretted. One misfortune rolls upon 
the back of another. The little mind, only, faints at misfortunes 
whilst in pursuit of a good object. I fully agree with you, Sir, that 
it is the professors who make the school. Unless they are com- 
petent, the School must fall. But, if there is a good choice made, 
I am fully persuaded that the school will nourish, notwithstanding 
the misfortune and bustle which have taken place (the particulars 
you must have learned from Judge Smith). 

I am sorry that Dr. Noyes could Dot have been retained as Pro- 
fessor of Chemistry. The Trustees are not absolutely certain of 
any one in particular, but are calculating upon a young Gentleman 
from Connecticut. His name I do not recollect. He has been 
solicited and is daily expected in Fairfield in Company with a Mr. 
Hotchkiss 1 who is calculated upon as the Successor of Mr. Alex- 
ander. If he should Fail, could you not procure or recommend 
one to the Trustees in whom you would be pleased? They would 
rely much on your judgment. In lieu of a better, Dr. Hadley 2 
has been talked of; the favorite pupil of Dr. Noyes, he is said to be 
a very accurate scholar and Good Chemist. Some of the scholars 
who have attended Noyes' lectures think him not a whit behind 
Noyes in point of Chemical knowledge. 

The Trustees have not as yet obtained the Charter of the Col- 
lege. His Excellency, the Gov., has for some time past been at 
New York, so that his signature could not be obtained. He has, 
however, returned and the Charter will be up this week. So says 
Judge Smith. The Trustees will then immediately meet and issue 
their circulars. Private Letters and News Papers, only as yet, 
have promulgated the intended course of Lectures. Dr. Sherwood 
informs me that there has already arrived 10 or 12 Med. Students; 
to attend the lectures. The power of conferring degrees will oper- 
ate as a pretty powerful inducement to many of the young gentle- 

I have written to New York for an obstetric machine and some 
drawings, if they can be obtained. I am unwilling to attempt an- 

1 Hotchkiss is probably Hotchkin a leading clergyman in Con- 
necticut who, however, failed to report. 

2 Dr. James Hadley (1785-1869) was Grandfather of President 
Hadley of Yale, a graduate of Dartmouth, a practitioner at Weare, New 
Hampshire and later on at Fairfield, where he lectured on Chemistry 
until the school fell into ruin, when he continued his labors at Castleton 
and at Hobart. 


other Course unless I am prepared to make them useful. It is ex- 
pected by the Trustees, that the Lectures will commence on the 
2nd Tuesday of November, beginning with Chemistry first; and if 
Dr. Mann should conclude to lecture on the Theory and Practice 
of Physick, (as is expected at this time by some) it is thought best 
to have him begin with the Chemical Professor. 

If Dr. Mann should not attend, your advice will be taken, and 
no Professor of Theory and Practice will be chosen this Fall, and in 
that case it will be expected of the other professors that they will 
make their lectures as practical as possible. If I do not commence 
my lectures before yours, and there should be a professor of the 
Theory and Practice, to commence with the Chemical Professor, I 
think I shall again go to X. Y., and attend their lectures 4 or 5 
weeks. If you have anything new appertaining to the branch 
which I am to teach, will you be so good as to communicate it. 
With Much Esteem, Sir, Yours etc, W. Willoughby, Jr." 

A month later Dr. Spalding heard of heavier burdens to 
bear; this time from Dr. Sherwood. 

"Fairfield, Oct. 12, 1812. Dear Sir: I have this morning con- 
versed with Judge Smith and some of the Trustees on the subject 
of the commencement of your lectures, and it is concluded that it is 
best to have them begin the 4th Tuesday in November, at which 
time we shall expect your arrival here. I am fearful there will be 
no lectures given on Chemistry, or the Theory and Practice of 
Physick, unless you will consent in addition to your other lectures 
to give a course on one of these branches; though we have sent a 
man to New York to obtain a principal of the Academy, and other 
Professors, if any can be found capable. Dr. Mann, from your 
recommendation has been applied to, to give Lectures on Theory 
and Practice of Physick, but did not consent as he some expected 
to be wanted in Canada at the time of the lectures in Fairfield; 
though, it is possible he may be yet obtained. With Much Re- 
spect, Jonathan Sherwood." 

In spite of the dismal outlook at Fairfield and the chances 
that the entire School would rest upon his abilities alone 
that winter, Dr. Spalding informed Dr. Shattuck of his in- 
tention to set off soon, with Mrs. Spalding and had from him 
this charming reply. 

"Boston. Undated. Dear Sir: Your last letter would have 
been sooner replied to, had information been obtained in relation to 
the inclination of a meritorious young physician to be regarded for 
the Chair of Theory and Practice at Fairfield. When that infor- 
mation is received I will write his name. Corner Cambridge and 


Staniford Streets is our location where Mrs. Spalding's arrival and 
yours will be greeted with a hearty Welcome. The Lord prosper 
you. Geo. C. Shatttjck." 

Inasmuch as Mrs. Spalding could not go as planned, Dr. 
Spalding wrote to that effect and before starting was greeted 
with another laconic note from Dr. Shattuck. 

"Boston, Nov. 20, 1812. Dear Sir: Yours was duly received; 
your articles shall all be ready for you at my house. Your name is 
on the Albany Mail Stage. Now, as I want much conversation 
with you, and as a Tavern at a late hour of the night is a cold and 
dreary place, I must solicit the favor of your coming direct to our 
house on Sunday night where a warm fireside, and those who will 
be glad to see you, will greet j^our coming with a hearty welcome: 
Yours, etc, Geo. C. Shattuck." 

The third course of lectures was successful after all. 
Fifty scholars attended, Dr. Willoughby took charge of 
Obstetrics, Dr. Hadley of Chemistry and Dr. Spalding of 
all the rest: Anatomy, Surgery, Theory and Practice, Dis- 
sections and Operations. From there he went to New 
York, opened an office in February 1813, at 175 Broadway, 
and then paid a visit to Dr. Rush in Philadelphia. 


President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the 
Wkstern District of New York, 1813-1817. 

Dr. Spalding would probably have moved to Boston after 
his visit to Philadelphia, had he not been invited to Fair- 
field. Finding that the School seemed a permanency owing 
to its new Charter, he decided to settle in New York, because 
from there he could easily keep in touch with Fairfield. 
He had also been promised the patronage of prominent 
citizens, he had had large experience as a physician and 
surgeon, anatomist and lecturer and probably hoped by 
the magic of a metropolitan residence to become famous 
in medicine. He was now settled in New York but wishing 
his wife to assist him in choosing a home, he asked Dr. 
Shattuck to look out for Airs. Spalding on her journey to 
New York. In answer Dr. Shattuck writes: 

"Boston, March 25, 1813. My dear Sir: Mrs. Shattuck learns 
with pleasure your kind remembrances and requests the pleasure of 
Mrs. Spalding tarrying with her while it may be convenient for her 
to remain in Boston on her way to New York. You will be kind 
enough to inform me when Mrs. Spalding will be in Boston, and 
where she may be found on her arrival. 

In relation to the N. E. Dispensatory Author, he is very aged, 
and reading lectures would be a novel employment to him. He is 
exceedingly deaf. Of course, conversation with him must be diffi- 
cult. If a natural death in the course of a very few years is to 
await the institution, a Professor whose natural death may lie ex- 
pected soon, will best answer the purpose. But, if you desire a 
man whose increasing talents would shed lustre on the Institution, 
and contribute to its reputation you will select a younger man of 
greater talents, and of more popular manners. Not that Dr. T. 1 

1 Dr. Shattuck does not name "The New England Dispensat 
Author," but he was Dr. James Thacher (1754-1844) who had acted 

as surgeon in the Revolutionary Army. During his service- he inarched 
on foot from West Point to Portland, Maine, and thence to Vorktown, 
Virginia. He was at one time in charge of a Hospital with .")()!) pal 
to whom Washington paid a visit. Thaoher'e "Military .Journal" is a 
work of art, and his "American Medical Biography" a superb and 



is not an able man; industry has rendered him respectable in the 
profession, and he doubtless would readily accept such offers, as 
you remarked that the Trustees would tender to me. 

That your blind man l may depart seeing and sounding the 
praises of Lyman Spalding, M.D., is the wish of Geo. C. Shat- 

The next letter after that written by Dr. Shattuck comes 
with good news from Judge Smith now attending the Legis- 

•' Albany, 10th April, 1813. Dear Sir: The appointments for 
our College have been made agreeably to the list given in your 
letter. The blank for President, I have filled up in my own way, 
with the name of Lyman Spalding, M.D., and in doing so, I am 
sure I have met the wishes and intentions of the Trustees. 

Permit me now to solicit your exertion to procure a Principal 
for our Academy, as soon as possible. It is important that the 
School should open in May and the Principal ought to be there 
sometime previous, to make the necessary arrangements. Dr. 
Sherwood will hand you this, and can tell you everything about 
the situation of things at Fairfield. By him, I also send several 
letters of introduction to gentlemen in N. Y., which if you think 
it worth your while, you can deliver. 

The Bill relating to Trinity Church 2 has passed both houses of 
the Legislature, and is now before the Council of Revision. It is 
expected that it will be returned with objections, if so, the only 
hope left is that two thirds of both houses may agree to it, notwith- 
standing the objections of the Council. For my own part I cannot 
discover any objection to the Bill, and should it be returned in that 
way, I flatter myself it would still become a law by the Consti- 
tutional Majority of both Houses. Col. Troup who is here as the 
agent of the Church, is doing all in favor of the Bill that could be 
done by an individual, and myself and several friends are offering 
him all the assistance in our power. I sincerely hope the Bill will 
pass, because I think it Just. I am Your Ob'd't Serv't. Nathan 

unique collection of the lives of eminent physicians. His "Dispen- 
satory" was a meritorious work, and his essay "On Demonologists " 
attracted much attention. 

Dr. Shattuck calls him "AGED," but he was at this time only 59, 
and lived to be 90. 

1 " Your blind man " suggests that Dr. Spalding had been operating 
for cataract in New York. 

2 The Trinity Bill provided that $750 should be granted to Fair- 
field, annually, on condition that the Principal should be an Episcopa- 
lian, and that four Divinity Students should have free tuition. 


When Dr. Sherwood reached home, he thus informed Dr. 
Spalding that the conduct of the School was to fall almost 
entirely upon his shoulders as in the previous winter. 

"Fairfield, May 5, 1813. Dear Sir: Immediately after my 
arrival at Fairfield, I called on Dr. Willoughby, and made him ac- 
quainted with what I had done as to the printing of the Circulars, 
and of your consenting to give a course of lectures on the Insti- 
tutes of Medicine, should the Trustees nominate you to fill that 
office. He immediately called a Meeting of the Trustees, and giv- 
ing six days previous notice, a sufficient number assembled on this 
day, being the day appointed to form a Board for the transaction 
of business. After the meeting was opened, the Ballots were taken 
for the nomination of a Professor of the INSTITUTES OF MEDI- 
CINE and on canvassing the VOTES it was found that Lyman 
Spalding was unanimously chosen. The Trustees will therefore, 
depend on you as a Professor of Anatomy and Surgery, and lec- 
turer on the Institutes of Medicine. I shall, by the next mail, dis- 
tribute the Circulars to all parts of the Country, and I shall spare 
no pains to give general Information, and do all in my power to 
promote the best interests of the Institution. We are much pleased 
with Mr. Judd's acceptance as Principal of the Academy. 1 It 
is the general opinion we could not have obtained a better man. 
He has promised to return with his family, as soon as he can settle 
his business in Connecticut. He has engaged to send on a Young 
Man to take charge of the Academy until he can arrive, himself. I 
flatter myself we shall have a great many students, both medical and 
those who will attend the Academy. 

You have undoubtedly heard of the taking of Little York, the 
Capital of Upper Canada by our troops. On the 27th of April 
last Commodore Chauncy 2 attacked the town by water, and Gen. 
Pike 3 landed and commenced the attack in the rear. The action 
continued from sunrise until 2 O'clock p.m. when the British sur- 
rendered. A great number of Militia and Indians were made 
prisoners. Gen. Sheaffe 4 with a few of his Regulars made their 

1 Bethel Judd (1776-1860) the new Principal was Rector of St. 
James' Parish, New London, Connecticut, at this time. After serving 
as Principal of Fairfield he became President of St. John's College and 
Rector of St. Anne's Parish in Annapolis, Maryland. Later still he 
preached as a Missionary in the South and was still living in Rochester, 
New York in 1860. 

2 Commodore Isaac Chauncy had a long and successful career in 
the Navy. 

3 Gen. Zebulon Pike (1779-1813) was a soldier of great military re- 
nown, and noted as a Western Explorer, and the discoverer of Pike's Peak. 

4 Gen. Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe (1763-1851) entered the British 
Army in 1780, and rose to be a Major General. Although defeated at 


escape. There were more munitions of War and Indians, goods, 
than 12 vessels could bring away. We have to lament the death 
of the brave Gen. Pike, who with 200 of his men and 50 of the 
British were blown up by the explosion of powder concealed under- 
ground. We had between 2 and 3,000 men in action. I am Yours 
Respectfully, Jonathan Sherwood." 

Although Dr. Spalding had agreed to lecture on Medicine 
he was still looking out for a substitute and with this in view 
wrote to Dr. Joseph Klapp x who replied to this effect. 

"Philadelphia, June 11, 1813. Dear Sir: Your letter would 
have been sooner answered had I not been prevented by the occur- 
rence of a severe indisposition, from winch I am just now recover- 
ing. For some months past, cases of fever assuming various types 
from the simple intermittent to a continuent, of the most danger- 
ous kind have been unusually prevalent in the City of Philadelphia, 
and in South Wark. During the last two or three months I have 
had as much as a hundred persons under my care with different 
denominations of fever. 

The prominent symptoms are a violent chill, in general of some 
hours continuance, followed by great arterial excitement, pain in 
the head, back, extremities, and sides, mostly in the right side. 
In about forty eight hours, the febrile commotion begins to subside, 
and in a short time is succeeded by a prostrated or sunk state of the 
whole system. 

Your information of the Oeconomy of the Trustees of your Col- 
lege did not surprise me. They have acted from what they con- 
ceive to be correct motives, and no doubt think it most politic to 
be very moderate in the use of their funds. They may yet meet 
with a suitable character for the situation, who may find it con- 
venient to afford his services on more moderate terms. At any 
rate, as respects myself, I must say that my professional engage- 
ments are such, that anything less than a thousand dollars, inde- 
pendent of travelling expenses, will be regarded as an inadequate 
consideration. Your Friend, etc, Joseph Klapp," 

Midsummer brought later news from Fairfield in the shape 
of letters from Dr. Hadley and Dr. Sherwood. Dr. Hadley's 
letter shows the lack of ready money. 

Little York (now Toronto) his gallantry before an overwhelming force 
procured for him a Baronetcy. 

1 Dr. Klapp was graduated at Philadelphia in 1805, presenting a 
Thesis, with the odd title: "On the Non-existence of an aeriform 
function of the skin." He wrote voluminously on medical topics, and 
delivered an oration "On the Modus Operandi of Cold" before the 
Philadelphia County Medical Society. 


"Fairfield, July 18, 1813. Dear Sir: I have received your 
papers by Mr. Judd, together with the Platinum and Thermometer- 
stem, for which the money shall be forwarded as soon as an 
opportunity may offer. The mercurial apparatus cannot be dis- 
pensed with. You will do well to purchase the mercury, and if 
the money can be procured, it shall be sent on. There is some 
probability that I shall be able to obtain the money, either from 
the College or from my own resources; buy fifty pounds. One 
roll of tinfoil will be sufficient, which in time of peace and plenty 
would have cost 6 or 8 shillings. I am now engaged in making re- 
pairs in the College building; the old chimney is already removed 
and the workmen are to begin the new one to morrow. The skylight 
is to be finished in the month of August. Every other repair shall 
be made and in due time. No means are neglected to get the ad- 
vertisement inserted, according to your directions. Yours, etc, 
J. Hadley." 

Dr. Sherwood now tells us farther news concerning the 
College, and introduces our old friend Dr. Ricketson. 

"Fairfield, 8 Sept. 1813. Dear Sir: After considerable exertion 
we succeeded yesterday afternoon in getting a sufficient number of 
the Trustees together to form a Board and the result of the meeting 
was: That the Trustees of the College purchase from the Trustees 
of the Academy for $4,500 the Laboratory, Museum, and Chemical 
Apparatus; buy half of the New Stone building and ground on 
which it stands and pay half of the rental to the stockholders; and 
that a committee be appointed to confer with Dr. Shadrack Ricket- 
son on the subject of his taking a Professorship in the College. 

The day preceding the meeting Dr. Ricketson came to my house, 
and attended the meeting. I told him that nothing could be done 
as to his giving lectures that winter, as previous arrangements had 
been entered into with you, and that you were making calculations 
to give lectures on the Theory and Practice of Physiek at the next 
term. Next day, when the Trustees came to see and converse 
with Dr. Ricketson, I found that there seemed to be an opinion 
among them, that he would do to fill the vacancy, though no one 
suggested the least idea, that it would do to give him the hast 
encouragement of giving lectures at the ensuing Term. Neither 
did he wish or expect it himself, since you were already elected. 
But, the question was asked by one of the committee appointed to 
confer with Dr. R., whether or not it would suit you to have Dr. 
Ricketson come in as Joint Professor in lecturing on the Institutes 
of Medicine, next winter, as it was supposed that you would wish 
to return to New York as soon as possible. I was directed to simply 
mention the thing to you by letter but, at the same lime, no one 
had the least wish to have you enter into any such engagement 


unless it would suit you better than it would to give the whole 
course, as the Trustees are perfectly satisfied with your election, 
to that office. Neither do they think of electing Dr. Rickctson, or 
any one else, to give lectures another year, without consulting you 
and getting your Opinion on the Subject. They would therefore 
like to know your opinion as to Dr. Ricketson. For, if he would 
do, he might be elected so as to give lectures after the next term. 
As you have some acquaintance with him, the Trustees will expect 
your opinion on the subject, before they give him any encourage- 
ment whatsoever. 

Dr. Willoughby tells me you are wanting the use of some Books 
during your stay in Fairfield. I have Cullen, Darwin, Townsend, 
Thomas, and Rush, together with a number of periodicals, and 
other books. But, I have three students that will attend the 
Lectures and will want the use of my books, but you shall have the 
use of them all the time they can possibly spare them. How much 
of the time they can spare them, I cannot tell, but I suppose they 
will want them a considerable part of the time. I will, however, 
accommodate you as far as possible. Yours Respectfully, Jona- 
than Sherwood." 

After all these preliminaries the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons of the Western District of New York was 
formally inaugurated December 13, 1813, with an address in 
Latin, a Ball and Banquet, and an Address by the Presi- 
dent, Dr. Spalding; the theme of his remarks being that 
industry would carry every man far, and that new Medical 
Schools would discourage quackery. 

The winter term went off well, fifty two students attended, 
and by January 20, 1814, Dr. Spalding was in Portsmouth 
preparing to take his family to New York. From there, 
they made their way overland to Cornish, where finding his 
father very low, Dr. Spalding left his family and set off for 
New York alone. Col. Spalding died on the 27th of April, 
and Mrs. Spalding and the children reached their new home 
on the 4th of May. 

I find but few letters in this year that throw light on Fair- 
field personages, but one from Judge Smith concerning 
Robert Fulton is worth inserting. It is pleasant to know 
that Robert Fulton and my Grandfather were introduced to 
the New York Historical Society at the same meeting. 

"Fairfield, Aug. 24, 1814. Dear Sir: In my last letter I men- 
tioned to you that I intended going to West Florida the ensuing 
Fall. My present calculation is to go from here to Pittsburgh, 


and thence down the river by water, and as I understand there are 
Steam Boats already in operation to run regularly from Pittsburgh 
down, I wish to get a passage on one of them. Having been told 
that Mr. Fulton is a principal proprietor in these Boats, and pre- 
suming he may be able to say nearly at what time they will leave 
Pittsburgh, this Fall, I take the liberty to ask the favor of you to 
ascertain from him this fact, and to write me as soon as convenient. 
Your compliance will much oblige your friend, N. Smith." 

An unexpected letter at this juncture from Dr. Alpheus 
Greene (1787-1851) for many years a physician at Water- 
town, New York, throws welcome light on Dr. Spalding's 

"Brownsville, Near Sackett's harbor, New York. Oct. 3, 1814. 
My Worthy Friend: In consequence of "my absence from Newport 
when your favor arrived, I did not receive it till long after. I 
therefore hope you will not charge me with neglect for not giving 
you an earlier reply. It was very unfortunate for me that I did not 
receive your letter sooner, as it might have influenced my arrange- 
ments very materially, and perhaps favorably. On the death of 
my Father which happened in April, I found my pecuniary circum- 
stances such as to deter me from prosecuting my studies any farther. 
I found nryself under the absolute necessity of taking immediate 
and effectual measures for improving my exhausted finances. I 
accordingly took license, and entered on the practice of medicine, 
and have pursued it since the first of June, but the avails of my 
business are trifling indeed, so that my circumstances are very 
little improved. 

I feel myself under infinite obligations to j r ou for the generous 
proposals you have so often made me and regret sincerely my in- 
ability to accept them. I can duly appreciate the important ad- 
vantages to have been derived from the situation of an assistant, 
in which your goodness would place me, but am unable to surmount 
the obstacles which prevent my turning those advantages to my 
own account. I feel a real pride in acknowledging your kind at- 
tention to me, and the favorable manner in which you were pleased 
to notice me while under your tuition. 

The solicitude you manifested for my future welfare and the wel- 
fare of the class, generally, made a lasting impression on my mind. 
It will ever be held in grateful remembrance, while gratitude is 
considered a virtue and its opposite, a vice of the deepest dye. 

With sentiments of the highest consideration, etc, Alpheus 

Just before the winter term began Dr. Willoughby showed 
cause for his non-attendance and made suggestions for 
carrying the lectures along in regular order. 


"Trenton, N. Y., Oct. 9, 1814. My dear Sir: I am now on my 
way to Sackett's Harbor, with my Regiment. I wrote you in 
much haste from Herkimer, stating the necessity of my absence, 
and the uncertainty of my returning by the first of next month to 
resume my lectures: requesting you if possible to be on hand and 
commence your lectures on Theory and Practice, giving me an op- 
portunity of meeting the Obstetrical Class after the close of your 
lectures. You will recollect, there is no ordinance regulating a 
preference of time to either Professor. This is left altogether to be 
agreed upon by the Professors themselves. I regret that there 
should be a necessity of changing the time, but this, I fear, is un- 
avoidable. It is the opinion of the Commanding Officer, that we 
shall not return before the Fall Campaign closes. If so, I shall 
not be able to see Fairfield before the last of November. The 
prospect of a good class should stimulate the Professors to every- 
thing in their power to meet the expectations of the Scholars. 
There are several who are calculating to be prepared to receive a 
Doctorate in Medicine. Should my course ultimately fail, they 
will be disappointed, as in that case they could not comply with 
the requirements of the College. I presume, Sir, you will without 
hesitation endeavor to meet my wishes by being at Fairfield at the 
commencement of the Lectures. I had completed my arrange- 
ments so as to have spent the winter at Philadelphia, and shall not 
fail of going if I can return from the lines in season to give my 
lectures as usual. 

The Officers of the Regiment are among my friends; they have 
confidence in me as a medical man, and will not receive a sub- 
stitute. I have endeavored to make arrangements in that way, 
but it is in vain. There is no alternative but follow the Regiment. 
Be so good as to let me know your pleasure, and direct your letter 
to Brownsville, where we shall be stationed. I think your tour 
would be more agreable to come on early, as the traveling will be 
much better, and my being on the lines may be a convenient thing 
as it respects subjects. In haste, Yours Respectfully. W. Wil- 


The last sentence in this letter suggests that Dr. Spalding 
was planning to visit the Army with a view of obtaining dis- 
section material. Whether he went or not I have never 

The winter course of 1814-15 was attended by sixty 
students, three of whom obtained a degree, the first time in 
the history of the School in which this had occurred. 
Amongst the operations performed by Dr. Spalding, I find 
one mentioned in a letter from Dr. Calvin Smith (1778— 
1839) a physician of high standing at Little Falls. 


"Little Falls, Dec. 8, 1814. Dear Sir: I have a soldier under 
my care in this Village who received a wound in the thigh at Fort 
Erie, which has been ill attended to and became so bad thai be was 
obliged to be left in this place. I find the limb must be amputated 
immediately to save the man's life. He is anxious thai it should 
be done to-day if possible. If you can possibly make it con- 
venient to come down tomorrow and perform the operation, he 
would be extremely glad. The U. S., will compensate you for your 
services. If it will be possible for you to come, if you can send me 
wi >rd what time you can be here, you will confer a favor on, Your 
Ob'd't Serv't. Calvin Smith." 

Dr. Spalding returned to New York soon after attending 
to this case and practiced steadily there until it was time 
for another term at Fairfield in the autumn of 1815. The 
only material at hand concerning affairs at Fairfield during 
all this time is a letter written by Dr. Spalding to his wife 
in January, 1816. 

"Dear Wife: I wrote you last week but the gentleman who 
promised to carry it to you did not call for it. I had also written 
for the same conveyance letters to each of our daughters. If no 
private hand offers I shall bring them myself. I was much de- 
lighted to hear that you were so well and that the repairs had been 
made to the house. I have written you three times by private 
hand, but this is the first letter by mail. By Samuel Smith I sent 
butter and cheese and by Dr. Willoughby some money. If you 
need more before I return, call on Mr. Brackett. I wish you to 
call the attention of the children to their lessons, and this, every 
day, or they will forget them. During the long afternoons and 
evenings I think they ought to work: knit, or make collars and 
wristbands for cotton shirts or cotton shirts themselves, which may 
as well be bought now, as next summer. 

Last Sunday I went to Hasenclever Hill and amputated a man's 
thigh with a shoe knife and joiner's saw. I also took out the whole 
of the shin bone of a girl nine years old, and operated for hydrocele: 
all to the satisfaction of the patients, the students and myself. A 
pretty good day's work. 

On the top of the Hill where I amputated, I found a family by 
the name of Page who once lived within half a mile of my lather's 
in Cornish. I was glad to sec them as I had not seen them for 
twenty years. 

I have just completed my course on the Institutes and Practice 
of Medicine, and I believe to the perfect satisfaction of every 
student who has done me the honor to attend: certainly, much to 
my satisfaction. 

To morrow I begin on Anatomy and Surgery and expect to close 


on Thursday the 28th, going to Little Falls that night and taking 
Friday morning's stage for Albany. I shall be in N. Y., as soon 
as the stage can carry me, which you know will depend on the 

I have been treated with unusual politeness; with the single 
exception of what arose from the conduct of the gentleman who 
wants to be President, I have never passed a session so pleasantly. 

I shall soon be with you, I hope, to part no more. 

Write to me under cover to Jedediah Rogers, Albany. 1 Exercise 
on horseback, and milk diet have improved my health very much. 

Do not forget my love to the children. If they study well we 
will soon begin French. If Lyman studies well at home and in 
school I will bring him a new pen knife. Yours, etc., L. S." 

Dr. Spalding now resigned the Professorship of Theory 
and Practice and was thinking of resigning the Presidency 
also, owing to the intrigues of Dr. White of Albany, who 
complained that the performance of operations interfered 
with his Territorial Rights. He had already won over two 
of the Trustees and had hopes to be chosen President if Dr. 
Spalding could be forced to resign. How much these in- 
trigues had to do with the inability of the Trustees to pay 
the President's Salary is difficult to decide. 

Soon after reaching home in 1816, he received this delight- 
ful letter from Dr. Willoughby, which although hardly 
germane to Fairfield affairs deserves insertion as illustrating 
the politics of the day. 

"Washington, January 27, 1816. Dear Sir: I was pleased to 
learn that you left the Med. Sch., at Fairfield well pleased. I was 
fearful you might be troubled to procure subjects, but rejoice that 
not anything happened to disturb your wishes or the expectations of 
the Scholars. I have not heard anything directly from Fairfield 
since I left there, except what you write me. But I have received 
a letter from Dr. Sherwood, of Newport wherein he mentions that 
the Small Pox had broken out at F, among the Scholars, in conse- 
quence of a subject which had been procured and of which disease 
they supposed he had died. 

I am pleased to hear that your good wife has passed safely 
through the perilous hour of Child bed, and that she is recovering 
therefrom; may the promising son live to become a Parent's bless- 
ing, and compensate abundantly for all anxiety and distress. 2 

1 Jedediah Rogers was Captain of a Packet, on the Hudson River, 
and a brother of Mrs. Sally Rogers who kept the boarding house in 
New York in which Dr. Spalding first opened an office. 

2 The son born at this time was Edward Jenner Spalding. 


I am heartily sick of my new life, as we are doing little else than 
wasting our time in fruitless and unnecessary debate. We have 
Members in abundance who believe that they are to be credited) in 
proportion to the noise they make, and not in proportion to the 
good sense offered. Mr. Randolph has occupied the floors more 
than 3/4 of the time for this two weeks and I deny that any one 
could possibly divine from his observations, the subject before the 
Committee for discussion. He is against the Army, the Navy, the 
Bank, the Manufactories, Taxation, etc., and it matters not what 
is before the House for consideration, he speaks of the rise and fall 
of Political parties, of ancient and modern History, of Profane and 
Divine. In short he abuses everything and everybody; Himself 
and his Beloved Virginia, excepted. If he is to be credited, he is 
the only wise and good man in the Nation. Everything went well 
while he dictated, but since the Government has omitted his 
Council, and advice, they have wandered from their true happiness, 
and been wilfully blind to their best interests. I have no doubt he 
is politically insane, and am certain that a Mad House rather than 
a Congress Hall should have received him. There is so much local 
prejudice and so many selfish views to be answered that I am fear- 
ful we shall waste away the Session to very little purpose. But, it 
may be, that my fears are groundless. I pray God they may be, but 
if I am to judge of the future, from the past, we shall not deserve 
well of our Constituents. Your friend, W. Willoughby Jr." 

The few papers which remain to throw light on the state 
of affairs at Fairfield show steady friction between the two 
Trustees who favored Dr. White for the Presidency and 
those who clung to Dr. Spalding. None of them, however, 
had any money for this last year's salary. It is true that 
Dr. Spalding had expressed satisfaction with the last course, 
but he did not know at the time of writing, that the Trustees 
would not be ready with his salary when he left for home. 

Dr. Willoughby's letter of August helps us a little amidst 
this uncertainty. 

"Fairfield, August 4, 1816. To Dr. Spalding. Dear Sir: Dr. 
Hadley has this evening showed me your letter to him in which you 
solicit the balance of your acct, and your not having received it 
given why we have been kept in a state of suspense relative to your 
resignation. The balance due you will be forwarded to you 
whenever you present your acct, for payment. Mr. Ford says he 
has never received any order for the payment of money, except 
the $200 which I paid you. You have repeatedly had my senti- 
ments relative to your leaving the College, and it is unnecessary 
for me to repeat them. If you cannot consistently with your in- 


tercsts remain, we have no wish that yon should sacrifice too much 
to oblige us. But, one thing is absolutely necessary; that you 
keep us no longer in this state of uncertainty; you will, certainly 
have the goodness, either to forward your resignation, or a promise 
of your services this Fall. It is incorrect that we have a Pro- 
fessor to fill your Chair. Dr. White is only proposed in case of 
your resignation. Yours, etc, W. Willoughby, Jun." 

Directly afterward, Judge Smith came to New York, 
promised to send the money that was due, and Dr. Spalding 
agreed to lecture again. But as no money was forthcoming 
in November he once more applied for it and received word 
that there was none to be procured owing to the hard times. 

At this juncture Dr. Alexander Ramsay was lecturing in 
New York, and Dr. Spalding having several difficult cases 
on hand, sent him to Fairfield as a substitute and took 
Ramsay's lectures upon himself. Dr. Ramsay began well, 
wrote enthusiastically of his good fortune, and yet inside of a 
week later, he in some way so aroused the animosity of the 
entire village that he was forced to leave, unpaid. To add 
to the difficulty the disaffected Trustees complained in writing 
that Dr. Spalding had treated the School unfairly in sending 
such a substitute. Thereupon in his own defence he felt com- 
pelled to forward the following letter, to Dr. Hadley — 

"Dear Sir: I am much mortified to think that any Trustee 
should have suspected my motives in sending Dr. Ramsay. His 
reputation as a Lecturer stood higher than that of any other man 
in America. Most of the physicians of this country who had been 
in Europe had attended him at Edinburgh. All spoke of him in 
the highest terms as an Anatomist. They knew nothing of his 
private character. He taught in Columbia in 1804, in Dartmouth 
in 1808, and negotiations were on foot between the N. Y. Medi- 
cal College and Dr. Ramsay to lecture for Dr. Post, 1 but they 
could not agree on terms. Dr. Bruce 2 next took him up, and gave 
him a class of more than 20. In this situation I engaged him to 
take my place. I knew that he was "Waspish," but that he could 
conduct himself in the manner in which you relate, required greater 

1 Dr. Wright Post (1766-1828) lectured on Anatomy and was Professor 
of Surgery at Columbia. He became noted for ligating the Subclavian, 
and was the first to ligate, successfully, the Common Carotid. 

2 Dr. Archibald Bruce (1777-1818) established, with others, in New 
York, a Private Institution for Medical Instruction. He later became 
Professor of Materia Medica in the College of Physicians and at Rutgers. 
He was a particular friend of Dr. Spalding and nominated him as 
Corresponding Secretary of the New York Historical Society. 

O Q 


talent than I possess to presuppose. He had, to be sure, recently 
delivered lectures on Natural History, which did him but little 
credit; something like his talks to you on Sunday Schools, but I 
supposed I was rendering the College a service by sending so wonder- 
ful a substitute. As to the "Advantages " to myself, you can judge, 
when I say that my agreement with him was to pay bis expenses 
out and back to Fairfield, to take his Class into my own house, to 
find furnished rooms for dissection for three months and to lecture 
to his students, daily during his absence. We did not dissect one 
or two subjects, but FOURTEEN. Now I ask you, or Willoughby, 
or anybody else in your village, what would you ask for one half of 
your dwelling house to become an Anatomical Theater for three 
months, with 14 subjects to dissect and 20 students running in and 
out. I should have made nothing by that arrangement, even had 
every farthing been paid. But, long before Dr. Ramsay returned 
I found the vexation of teaching publicly, in my own house, so 
great, that I repented of my bargain, and when I found that in- 
stead of doing you a service, he had failed to give any satisfaction. I 
wished most heartily that I had never sent him at all. Your Ob'd't 
Serv't, Lyman Spalding." 

After Dr. Ramsay left Fairfield, the two opposing trustees 
petitioned the Regents to ask for the resignation of Dr. 
Spalding, which he declined to offer until he had been paid. 
He finally caused a Memorial of the state of affairs to be 
read at a meeting of the Regents in October, 1817; his 
resignation was then handed in and accepted by an unani- 
mous vote of the Regents and all mention of the affair waa 
ordered to be erased from their records. 

With this step his legal connection with Fairfield ceased, 
but he remained on good terms with the majority of the 
Trustees, and represented the College as a Delegate to the 
Pharmacopoeia Conventions. 

The stumbling blocks in the way of success at Fairfield 
were lack of money, and political intrigues. 

Dr. Spalding's career in connection w r ith the College may 
be summed up in this way: For six winters in succession, 
involving journeys of some two thousand miles, he delivered 
lectures on all the branches of medicine and surgery then 
taught, operated on a large number of patients, and carried 
on considerable classes in dissection. His position in con- 
nection with the college gave him a National Reputation. 

With the improved finances of the country from this time 
on, Fairfield progressed under the guidance of Dr. White 


and Dr. Willoughby, until 1839, when it went to pieces, owing 
to disputes concerning the division of lecture fees. The 
largest class that ever attended was 217, the largest graduat- 
ing class 54, the entire number of graduates was 555. The 
notable teachers were Dr. Spalding, Dr. Shattuck, Dr. 
Beck, Dr. Reuben Mussey 1 and Dr. Frank Hamilton (1813— 
1886) United States Medical Inspector, Professor in many 
Colleges and best known for his works on Fractures. 

I lately made a pilgrimage to Fairfield, and took a look at 
the lonely deserted Cross Roads, for village, the settlement 
cannot be called, with its old tavern, and its few decrepit 
houses. After the times I have just described, two build- 
ings were added to the three of that era, but they have dis- 
appeared. All that remains of the Institution is the ruins 
of the old wooden Academy, the Stone Laboratory, and the 
Stone Lecture Hall built for Dr. Spalding. Looking at 
these and then at the scattered dwellings it seemed impos- 
sible that an Institution of medicine could ever have flour- 
ished there at all. 

Yet, Fairfield was one of those advanced posts of civili- 
zation, arising in the history of every growing country. It 
was the only Medical School outside of Boston, New York 
or Philadelphia, and eager students flocked to it in spite of 
its unfortunate situation high up on a rolling hill, and ten 
miles from Little Falls, where it should have been originally 
founded, to obtain success. When Albany and Geneva in- 
creased in population, and a hospital offered a better chance 
for bed-side teaching, Fairfield died a natural death. Its 
record, however, was splendid. In recalling its early years, 
let us give honor to those men of New England, who en- 
dured difficulties of travel, lack of material, and small re- 
wards, for their courageous efforts to advance the medical 
education of the era in which they lived. 

1 Reuben Dimond Mussey (1780-1866) was professor of Surgery in 
other Medical Schools than Fairfield, and both bold and fearless as 
an operator. He ligated both carotids, and performed innumerable 
lithotomies. He was a vegetarian, and the Records of the New 
Hampshire Medical Society show that on one occasion he was so 
emphatic against tobacco, that, on the spot, "several members threw 
away their quids." He was also fond of music, and played the Double 
Bass with great success. It is said of him, that he once carried his 
Big Fiddle from Hanover to Portsmouth, to show off his skill upon it 
before the Medical Society. 


Review of Events Between the Return from Philadelphia, a 
Removal to New York, 1810-13. 

After this detour to and from Fairfield and New York, 
and which it seemed best to follow in one connected narra- 
tive, we now retrace our steps to the time when the invi- 
tation to Fairfield was received. Just then Dr. Spalding 
had written to Dr. Dalcho * for medical pamphlets, and here 
comes the answer: 

"Charleston, So. Ca., Oct, 12, 1810. Dear Sir: I regret very 
much that it is not in my power to serve you in this instance. We 
have no medical publications in this City, except, occasionally, an 
anniversary Oration or rather Diary. That for the last year has 
been ordered by the Medical Society to be sent to you. We have 
little to do with the Sciences here; every one is immersed in the 
art of money making and even our friend Dr. Ram/say* feels a 
deeper interest in writing upon vulgar topics, to raise the cash, than 
in pleasing the learned few, by professional improvements. Our 
Society are about to publish a Volume of their Memoirs which I 
suppose will be ready for the press in a few weeks. Yours Re- 
spectfully, Fred'k Dalcho." 

An epidemic of small pox so excited the people of Ports- 
mouth in 1810, that they flocked to be vaccinated, but Dr. 
Spalding being unprovided wrote to Dr. Bigelow 3 for a 
supply, with this result. 

1 Frederick Dalcho (1770-1836) was the son of a German Officer, 
who, after the Seven Years War, settled in London, where he was born. 
When his father died he was taken to Baltimore to live with an Uncle, 
studied medicine and obtained an Army Medical appointment. When 
challenged to a duel he resigned from tin' Army, practiced in Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, established a Botanical Garden, drifted into 
Journalism, and in ISM entered the Ministry. The work on which his 
fame serenely rests is "A History of the Protestant Episcopal < hurch 
in South Carolina." A tablet to his memory can be seen in St. Michael's 
Church in Charleston, of which he was Rector. 

2 "Dr. Ramsay" is David; not Alexander. 

' Dr. Jacob Bigelow (1787-1879) obtained his degree in Phila- 
delphia when Dr. Spalding was also Btudying there, and then settled 
in Boston. He was a fine draughtsman, illustrating his owu "Botany" 



"Boston, Oct. 25, 1810. Dear Sir: I have been prevented at- 
tending to your favor by a ride from town, and by many of my 
applications, elsewhere, for kine pock matter being unsuccessful. 
I now send you some which is quite recent. I am undergoing the 
preparatory starvation which is the fate of most young men be- 
fore acquiring business. I trust, by the help of a little patience, 
that I shall, sometime, stand a chance among the crowd, and so, 
am quite resigned. Yours, etc, Jacob Bigelow." 

A few days later came acknowledgment from Dr. Warren 
of a medical paper which Dr. Spalding had sent him. 

"Boston, 30th Oct. 1810. Dear Sir: I send you by the mail a 
copy of the Report on Petechial Fever, with our thanks for your 
communication on the subject. At the same time, I may take 
the opportunity of making my acknowledgments to you for your 
annual Report of Diseases in Portsmouth, which constitute im- 
portant and useful documents. ... I nominated you as an Hon- 
orary Member of our Society, 1 but the friends of Dr. S., got the 
start and as the law admits no more than three of each State, the 
other places being filled by Dr. Cutter and Dr. Tenney, the thing 
must rest at present. Your preparations got safe to you, I hope. 2 
I would willingly have had to repack them, for the pleasure of ex- 
amining them. I wrote to England a year since for a preparation 
of the absorbents, not having any at all, but find it impossible to get 
them. It is prett}' important to me to have something of the kind, 
and if anything would induce you to part with one of yours, I 
would venture to make you some offer on the subject. Should 
you listen to anything of that sort, it would afford an opportunity 
of increasing the usefulness of your preparations, and the reputa- 
tion of the preparer. I am Sir, with esteem and Respect, your 
very Humble Serv't, John C. Warren." 

We may at this point introduce a new friend who was 
previously mentioned in a letter from Portland, Dr. Oliver 
Hubbard (1770-1849), w T ho practiced in Portland, Maine, 
and when he was Forty, obtained a degree at Dartmouth 

when issued. He served as Professor of Botany and Materia Medica 
in the Harvard Medical School, and as Professor of the Application of 
Science to the Useful Arts in the University. He was of great assist- 
ance in the Pharmacopoeia, wrote much on Botany, and was the virtual 
Founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

1 "Our Society" is the State Medical, and Dr. S. is Nathan Smith, 
but both Dr. Warren and Dr. Spalding seem to have forgotten that Dr. 
Spalding had been a member since 1797. 

2 "Your Preparations" were those of the Lymphatics made in 
Philadelphia, and loaned to Dr. Warren on Dr. Spalding's way home. 

EVENTS 1810-1813 245 

and Philadelphia and finally settled in Salem, Massachu- 
setts. He now wrote from Philadelphia where he was 

"December 31, 1810. Dear Sir: A few days previous to our 
leaving Hanover, I took the liberty of acquainting you with my de- 
termination of spending the remainder of the winter in Philadelphia. 
I also, upon the credit of your former goodness requested the par- 
ticular favor of a letter to one of the Professors, as my stay in 
Hanover after this determination did not enable me to obtain 
letters from home. Not having heard from you since being here 1 
am induced to think you have not received my letter. As a letter 
from you to one or more of the Professors as you may think proper, 
barely to acquaint them I am known to you, will afford me much 
pleasure. If agreeable to you, direct your letters to them, post 
paid, and charge me with the postage which shall be satisfactorily 
adjusted at the grand day of our meeting. I am delighted with 
the situation in Philadelphia, and its medical advantages: so far 
exceeding anything heretofore, that there is no comparison. "Dr. 
Spalding," "Dr. Spalding," "Dr. Spalding," is all the rage here! 
I assure you. Yours Very Obediently, 0. Hubbard. 

N. B. The Medical Class is larger than at any former period. 
Lectures very interesting; Subjects plenty; everything relating to 
the Course goes on pleasantly. Dr. Perkins is here. Your pres- 
ence would contribute very much to my happiness. Class 134. 
We passed a day in N. Y. but found their medical institution in a 
disordered state." 

In the previous Autumn we heard of Dr. Spalding asking 
Dr. Bigelow for vaccine, and now the favor is asked by Dr. 
Bigelow. It is pleasant to see his remembrance to my 
Grandmother whom he had met in Philadelphia. 

"Boston, Feb. 17, 1811. Dear Sir: You are undoubtedly ac- 
quainted with the old proverb, that one good turn deserves another. 
I sent you sometime since some kine pock matter, which I hope 
answered your purpose for two reasons; 1st, Because in thai 
your own wishes are gratified, and 2ndly, Because it will be in your 
power to supply me, again. As I am now sadly in want of some of 
the virus, for my own use, and that of some Brothers of the Pill 
Box, I request you would send some to me BY MAIL, as soon as 
possible. I cannot find any, at present, in Boston. I heard of 
your being in town, lately, and was sorry you did not honor me 
with a Call. My respects to Mrs. Spalding and Parson Bur- 
roughs. 1 Yours truly, Jacob Bigelow." 

1 Rev. Charles Burroughs (1787 1868) Rector of St. John's Parish 
in Portsmouth for almost fifty years, President of the Stale In 

Asylum, and of the General Theological Library. One of my eai 


After sending the letters of introduction requested in a 
former letter, Dr. Spalding received this interesting reply 
from Dr. Hubbard. 

"Philadelphia, Feb. 21, 1811. Dear Sir: For your polite letter 
I am very much indebted to you. My only apology for neglect in 
answering it, has been an apprehension that my letter would not 
pay the postage. I assure you, Doctor, it affords me pleasure that 
your visit to Fairfield has been so pleasant as you mention. I 
however, had been made acquainted with your School, through a 
young Gentleman from that Vicinity, now residing in Philadelphia. 
It would be vanity in me to mention the honorable things said of 
Dr. Spalding's Lectures. Our Lectures, you would like to hear 
something about. Some little difficulty during the commencement 
of Dr. Wistar's course, in obtaining subjects, has occasioned some 
delay, which will occasion him to lecture until the 10th of March. 
The other Professors will close, as usual, on the 4th. You will not 
hesitate to conclude that they have been a source of great enjoy- 
ment. I fear, however, I shall not leave the City with that satis- 
faction I could wish. I regret I cannot spend more time here, and 
extend my acquaintance with medicine a little farther. My finan- 
ces will not admit of it. Dr. Rush is thought unusually brilliant 
this winter. He has mentioned you several times in his Lectures, 
as has also, Dr. Barton. Dr. Caldwell of this City has been very 
busy this winter as a Lecturer in opposition to Dr. Rush, endeavor- 
ing to support the locality of fever: a man of handsome talents, 
but something of an evil nature is lurking about him, I suspect. 
There have been very few operations this winter, but considerable 
dissection; fifty subjects. All the Professors are so in the rear 
that several of them give two lectures a day, and that my walks 
are circumscribed between the walls of my Lodgings, and those of 
the University. You doubtless have not forgotten your old lodgings 
at Mr. Carr's. Four Yankees room together; yourself and your 
good wife are often mentioned by them. Immediately upon read- 
ing this, you will have the goodness to commit it instantly to the 
flames. Yours affectionately, 0. Hubbard. 

N. B. Dr. Clapp has removed to Carolina, in expectation of a 
handsome establishment. . . . Burn this!! 12 O'Clock. Sleepy." 

After a long interval the Spring of 1811 brings a letter 
from Dr. Mitchill. It may be remarked in comiection with 

recollections is of listening as a child to "Old Burrough's" favorite 
sermon on "The Spirits of Just men made Perfect." In his black silk 
surplice, and black kid gloves he used to climb the ten steps into the 
pulpit and harangue interminably. A man of magnificent adjectives, 
he preached his erratic sermons again and again, until they were as 
threadbare as the sails of the Flying Dutchman. 

EVENTS 1810-1813 247 

this letter, that although these two friends had corresponded 
for years, they had never yet met. It would also seem from 
the context, that Dr. Spalding had made two visits to New 

"Washington, Feb. 22, 1811. Dear Sir: I learn by your letter 
that you have again been in New York. When you were there 
before, I was absent on an excursion to Upper Canada. I am 
equally unlucky again, in being away on a mission to Congress. I 
hope that we shall one day meet, each other, face to face. 

Your improved Bill of Mortality reached me safely, and after 
having been perused has been put on the file of my valuable papers 
of the original and scientific class. Meyer is a calculating man. 
Being a stockholder in the Eade Company where he is employed, 
I frequently consult him at the office. I have found that he pos- 
sesses a scientific knowledge of the Tables oi Mortality. It is the 
desire of that Association to grant annuities to people, on a cal- 
culation upon lives. This would be an admirable improvement 
in Society. A Maid, Bachelor, Spendthrift, might for a given 
sum laid down, purchase a pension to a definite amount for life and 
be perfectly secure against squandering by executors, etc, or mis- 
management by the person himself. While I was a member of 
the Legislative Assembly of N. Y., at Albany, last Winter, I en- 
deavored to effect an alteration of the Company's Charter, for 
that purpose. But there was a disinclination to grant the request, 
because such a privilege involved in it an unlimited duration of 
the Corporation, and the Legislature was not in a humor to allow 
an indefinite continuance of the Charter. They are, I under- 
stand attempting it again, this Session, and I wish them success. 
Should they engage in this business, documents of this kind with 
your annual tables will be invaluable to them. 

Mr. Van Renssalaer informed me a few days ago, that you had 
visited Fairfield Academy in Herkimer. Five thousand dollars 
are to be raised for the anatomical and medical department of that 
Institution, by the management of the "Lottery for the promotion 
of Medical Science," of which I am one. 

For intelligence, I could write much, if I had time. A Session of 
Congress is always a harvest of Science for me. I have forwarded 
part of the collection to Dr. Miller for insertion in the Feb. No. of 
the "Repository," and to that I must refer you for particulars. 
Sam. L. Mitchill." 

When Dr. Spalding as Secretary of the State Medical 
Society asked Dr. Nathan Smith the title of bis pro]' 
Oration to be read before the annual meeting in 1811, he 
received this characteristic answer. 


"Hanover, April 19, 1811. Dear Sir: I received your favor by 
Dr. Perkins, respecting an Oration, as you are pleased to call it, 
which I shall deliver to the N. H. Med. S. You know what my 
former habits have been viz, to deliver my sentiments in as plain 
and simple a style as possible and, as this method has raised me to 
honor, and my pupils to a rank at least equal to any medical man's 
pupils in New England, I should not like to depart from my former 
practice, and especially, as what I have to say to the Society will 
be wholly confined to the theory and treatment of one or two 
diseases which can only interest medical men, I should think it 
highly improper to deliver my sentiments before a public audience. 
You will therefore advertise that the discourse (for I should not 
like to call it an oration, lest from the name I should be inclined to 
try to play the Orator) will be delivered before the Society, in their 
Hall. 1 Your Friend, Nathan Smith." 

After Dr. Hubbard had obtained his degree in Phila- 
delphia, he went to Portland, calling at Portsmouth both 
on going, and returning to Salem, from which place he wrote 
again to this effect. 

"Salem, June 13, 1811. Dear Sir: Immediately upon coming to 
Salem I went to Boston, where I tarried a few days with friends, 
with an expectation upon my return to Salem that I should have 
the pleasure of hearing from you. I am however, so far, deprived 
of that pleasure. 

Dr. Cutter appeared very pleasant upon the subject of my loca- 
tion and expressed a willingness to pay all the attention which I 
requested or the value of the subject required. I regret that I 
did not see him again, when I came through Portsmouth, and also 
Dr. Pierrepont. I was, however, so situated that a longer stay 
was impossible. I cannot say that I shall tarry here permanently. 

Dr. Oliver 2 is very particular in his inquiries for your health 
and happiness. Had I known of your acquaintance with him, I am 

1 Dr. Smith's papers were entitled "Pathology and Physiology of 
Arteries," "Spontaneous Stopping of Hemorrhage in wounded Arteries," 
"Spontaneous Hemorrhage" and "An Artificial Joint in the Thigh 
Bone Cured by an Operation." 

2 Dr. Oliver and Dr. Mussey were in partnership at Salem, but Dr. 
Mussey had just gone to Philadelphia to walk the Hospitals. 

Dr. Daniel Oliver (17S7-1848) was very much in evidence in Dart- 
mouth College for many years, being Lecturer on Chemistry and 
Materia Medica, Professor of Intellectual Philosophy, and at one time 
mentioned for the Presidency. He also lectured at the Harvard and 
Bowdoin Medical Schools and at the Cincinnati Medical College. He 
was the "Oliver" of "Pickering's and Oliver's Greek Dictionary." 
He was too versatile, however, to be a great man. He explored the 
Law and Medicine, and was planning for the ministry when he died. 

EVENTS 1810-1813 249 

seriously apprehensive that I should again have thrown myself on 
your favor for a letter of introduction. Will you also acquainl me, 
when or where, you heard from Dr. Taft? ' I intended inquiring of 
him before. Somebody here, mentioned him being in the Western 
part of N. Y. With High Esteem, 0. Hubbard. 

N. B. The report of Dr. Smith removing to Boston gains credit 
there and at Salem. Dr. Mussey is on a journey to Philadelphia. 
After attempting to read this imperfect scrawl, be good enough to 
commit it to the flames." 

The following letter from a Fairfield pupil, whom I am 
unable to identify, shows the discouraging state of medical 
study a century ago. 

"Dracut, Massachusetts, July 16, 1811. Dear Sir: Having at- 
tended two courses of Lectures at Fairfield, one of which was 
under your instruction, and not having opportunity to see much 
practice in that quarter, early in the Spring I returned to Dracut, 
where I have read and seen some practice with Dr. Bradley, 2 whose 
library is small, and whose skill depends on his experience, nol his 
theory. There are so many physicians in the country without 
Libraries who pay no attention to the late discoveries in medicine, 
and who have lived and grown up with the people, who d< 
Theory, and are so prejudiced in favor of their own skill, that 
their aid is hardly worth soliciting. I have been supported thus 
far in my studies by the patronage of my parents. 1 would how- 
ever wish to procure some privilege, under which I could progress, 
in the Science of Medicine, without calling on their pecuniary aid. 
Therefore if you could employ me in compounding or vending 
medicines, in making any apparatus with which I am acquainted, 
or in any business that would accrue to the defraying of my ex- 
penses in my pursuit, and at the same time could have an oppor- 
tunity of attending to some of the theory and practice of medicine, 
it would, be welcome. If you could favor my request and would 
write me a line, you would oblige your most obedient Servant, 
Jesse Fox." 

One of the most precious autographs of t ho unique col- 
lection upon which this Life is based, is the following from 
Dr. Warren, written on the reverse of a "Proposals for Pub- 
lishing a Work to be Entitled, The New England Journal of 
Medicine and Surgery, and the Collateral Branches of 
Science. Boston, Sept. 1811." 

1 Dr. Hubbard was interested in Dr. Taft, for they both received 
their Medical Degrees from Dartmouth in 1811. 

2 Dr. Bradley was a practitioner who was succeeded by his son 

Peleg, a member of tin- Massachusetts Medical Society. 


"Boston, Sept. 23, 1811. Dear Sir: I enclose you the pro- 
spectus of a new work, with a view of requesting yours and Dr. 
Pierrepont's aid in carrying it on. It is to be the genuine Yankee] 
and as such, I hope you will cherish it. We shall await your com- 

I hear nothing of your going to Europe. Should you still think 
of it, there are two or three Gentlemen lately from the Schools, 
who can give you much information on the subject. I shall be 
happy to give you such letters as may be in my power. Please to 
make every body subscribe to our Journal, whom you can lay 
hands on. A notice in your newspapers of the Work would help 
us. I am with respect and Esteem, Yrs. J. C. Warren. (Editors 
not to be made known!!)" 

A note at this time from Professor Silliman mentions an 
injury- of which I find no suggestion in any "Life" of that 

"New Haven, Oct. 9, 1811. Dear Sir: I ought to have thanked 
you, long since for your attention in forwarding your paper on 
Meteoric stones, and for offering to execute commissions in Europe, 
for me. For three months past, however, my eyes have been 
rendered nearly and for part of the time, wholly useless, by a 
dangerous explosion of fulminating powder. If I am not too late 
at this date, be so good as to inform me when you go to Europe, to 
what Country, what Capitals you propose to visit, and how long 
you propose to remain in each? Your Ob'd't. Serv't. B. Silliman." 

The year 1811 terminates with this brief item concerning 
New Hampshire Medical affairs. 

"Epsom, N. H. Nov. 23, 1811. Dear Sir: Mr. John Carr, a 
student in Medicine, was at Salisbury, the 2nd Oct. last, Examined 
by Dr. Ebenezer Lerned and myself, Censors of the N. H. Medical 
Society, and found duly qualified to practice Physic and Surgery. 
This, is to request you to prepare him Letters Testimonial, and in- 
form me when he may call on you at Portsmouth and receive them, 
at which time he will leave with you the Answers to the Questions 
proposed to him by the Censors, together with their Certificate of 
Approbation. I have never yet rec'd a Certificate of my Fellow- 
ship with the N. H. Medical Society. With much respect and 
esteem your Obedient Servant, Sam'l Morrill." 1 

1 Dr. Morrill was admitted to the Society in 1807, and officiated 
some time as Librarian. He was a Phillips-Exeter Boy of 1797 and 
survived until 1858. Although John Carr was now examined and ap- 
proved for membership, he did not claim it until 1817. 


Last Year in Portsmouth — 1812. 

The year was ushered in by the arrival of an agreeable 
letter from Dr. Taft, a former pupil and intimate friend of 
the family, of whom we have heard before as attending 
Ramsay's lectures at Hanover. 

"Nixonton, N. C. Jany. 27, 1812. Honored Patron: I beg you 
to excuse me for not writing you ere this, as I render as an excuse, 
my not having settled myself till now. I am now in the above 
place, County of Pasquotank, North Carolina, a place as un- 
healthy as a Physician could wish, if he had any love for his own 
life. The Fall months are a great harvest to him, if he did not fall 
a prey, himself. The land is low, very level, and very rich. There- 
fore, the farmers are wealthy. The people are luxurious in their 
drinks and diet, their water is intolerably bad, which produces sad 
work with the intestines. The charges of physicians are very 
high, 40 or 50 cents per mile for travel, emetics 40c, and all other 
medicine in proportion. I have met with a most cordial reception 
among the first inhabitants of the places which 1 have visited; 
among the common people I succeed, to my mind, by endeavor- 
ing to please them with those little assiduities, which hardly ever 
fail to please ANY ONE. By these means and the advantages I 
had while under your instruction, and the intense study (which I 
am determined to pay) I think I shall succeed to the utmost of my 
wishes in point of employment. ... I had a hundred dollars on 
my books before I had determined on settling here in the space of 
One month, notwithstanding their Winter, Spring and summer are 
considered very healthy, and the sickly season over before I ar- 
rived. I wrote you from Norfolk. What I wrote I know not. I 
have forgotten. Something was requested by way of information. 
I could wish you to reply to them if you have not lost the scrawl; 
Particularly on whom I can most depend for medicine of the first 
quality and honest price in N. Y.; 2d; where I could best get 
my books, in future. I have sent to New York for $50 worth on 
credit but those only which you marked. Third have the goodness 
Sir to give me what information you may think proper to com- 
municate, particularly how your operation at Exeter succeeded, the 
Boy at N. Hampton, and the Negro Boy and so forth. 

I much wish you to oblige me in one respect, and hope you will 
not deny me; Viz., to sell me some of your preparations. They 



will be of much consequence to me, you may depend, and not only 
in point of sound knowledge, but also of information. I cannot 
make any here. The weather is too hot, even in winter. Set your 
own price. Only send them to me, and you shall have your money. 
I leave it to you, what of them to send. I know you will send those 
that will be of most benefit, but I beg you to send them, as you 
may never have an opportunity to make more, there, or at Fair- 
field- Send them to Norfolk by the first vessel from youi Port. . . . 
Mrs. Spalding will please to accept my most grateful acknowledg- 
ments for the kind treatment by me received while in your house, 
and I hope you will, both, be pleased to consider me worthy a share 
of your esteem, which I will endeavor not to forfeit. Remember 
me to Miss Caroline, Nancy, and to Master Samuel, 1 as also to 
Capt. Coues, also to the children, and suffer me to subscribe myself 
your Grateful Pupil, and Humble Servant, Chas. Taft." 

Dr. MitchilPs next letter shows Dr. Spalding planning to 
settle in New York, and receiving encouragement from his 
old friend. 

"Washington, 27 Jan. 1812. Dear Sir: I have waited several 
days since the receipt of your letter, to converse with Dr. Bartlett, 
but he is rather too unwell to discourse on the matter of your 
letter, and though I visited him yesterday in his chamber I did not 
mention your intended removal. As to success in N. Y., there can 
be little doubt, that with patience and perseverance you will suc- 
ceed. But I think you will find it tedious "to beat your way," as 
the sailors term it, against wind and tide. You will desire, of 
course, to figure in genteel circles, and to associate with the middle 
and higher classes of society. The Families of these orders are 
you know, pretty much bespoke already, and it is chiefly by a 
death, or removal, or a quarrel, that a new physician can gain 
admission, and knots of medical men are formed, who throw into 
each other's hands as much of the consultation business as they 

For my own part, being not among the competitors for practice, 
I look on with a good deal of unconcern, and let them scramble 
and divide the spoils in their own way. ... I know not the extent 
of the connection you may have formed amongst the New England 

1 Caroline, Nancy and Samuel were children of Captain Peter 
Coues and consequently sisters and a brother to Mrs. Spalding. 

Samuel Eliot Coues (1797-1867) became a merchant and ship 
owner of Portsmouth, was a man of great breadth of mind, wrote a 
great deal for the Magazines, lectured on Philosophy, wrote a "Re- 
search into the Laws of Force," liked to argue that Newton was in- 
correct in his philosophy, and was an excellent conversationalist. He 
was much interested hi the Insane, and was for many years the Presi- 
dent of the American Peace Society. 


people, and others, in our City, but, at any rate, I think you ought 
to calculate on being at least two or three years expending more 
money than you will earn. As to myself, I shall consider a man of 
your character and information, a real acquisition to our Society 
in New York, and extend to you the right hand of fellowship, 

I am glad to learn that so much good is doing at Fairfield, and it 
pleases me, that my Legislative Efforts to serve that Institution, 
during the winter of 1810, were of avail. Yours with great ee 
and regard, Sam'l L. Mitchill." 

When Dr. Spalding had made up his mind to leave Ports- 
mouth, he tried to sell his practice and amongst many 
offers received, I make use of a few. 

Dr. Matthias Spalding of Amherst, wrote him this ex- 
cellent note: 

"Amherst, N. H. Feb. 4, 1812. Dear Sir: A few days since I 
rec'd a line from you, in which you say you contemplate a removal 
to the City of New York in the course of the present year; provided 
you can dispose of your present stand, part of your Library, Ana- 
tomical Museum, and Physician's Stock of medicine. The Stand 
you say, is now, or soon will be the first in the State. I never in- 
tended to make this place a stand for Life, but intended removing 
either to Boston or Salem. But I have no objection to remove bo 
Portsmouth, provided you and I can agree on the disposal of your 
property. ... In the First place, I have a good and I believe a 
well chosen Library, and as many Anatomical Preparations as 
would perhaps be useful to me, as I probably could dispose of mine 
in this place. I consider my stand here as good as any in the 
Country, but it is too fatiguing for me. My rides are too long and 
the Society of physicians is not so good as could be wished. Will 
you have the goodness to write me again, and tell me whal the in- 
come of your practice in Portsmouth is, and what your situation 
will be estimated at? Also, when you would wish to leave your 
Situation, provided you can dispose of it to 3 r our mind? Will not 
our Medical Meeting be at Exeter in May, and will not that be a 
proper time for an interview on the subject? Please to write to 
me on the subject, and accept of my acknowledgments for your 
polite attention in forwarding to me the Testimonials of Fellow- 
ship in the N. H. Med. Society. I am, Sir, with much esteem and 
respect, Matthias Spalding." 

The letter is endorsed, $1046 (including $100 as Work 
House physician and $100 for public vaccination), from which 
I surmise that those figures were returned to Dr. M. Spald- 
ing, as the income for 1811 of Dr. Lyman Spalding. 


This bargain fell through, as did another attempt with 
Dr. Edmund Carlton of Haverhill, New Hampshire, a 
quaint and humorous physician as the chronicles tell me, 
fond of minute doses of medicine. He practiced in Haver- 
hill until his death in 1838. 

Dr. Benjamin Hunking (1782-1868) who finally took over 
the practice was an odd sort of a man, who practiced at 
Lancaster, New Hampshire, after graduating at Dartmouth 
in 1808. After removing to Portsmouth in this year, he 
obtained an appointment as Assistant Surgeon in the Navy 
and when peace was declared, he returned to Lancaster 
where he not only practiced medicine, but was Post Master 
and Judge of Probate the rest of his life. He had a tower- 
shaped skull like Sir Walter Scott, and was a Character. 

Three of his notes concerning this affair may be put into 
the following shape: 

"July 9, 1812. Dear Sir: My friends have long been solicitous 
that I should leave the most laborious business in the world or re- 
move to a place where it could be attended to with less fatigue. I 
should be unwilling to obligate myself to respond to any sum till 
I had made a trial in the place. If at the end of a year, I should 
see only a bare competence, I should entirely abandon the place, 
rather than pay the sum you name. On the other hand, if I should 
think there was a tolerable prospect of doing in the course of a few 
years, business to the amount of $1500 or $2000, I would pay the 
sum mentioned in yearly payments of $200 or $300. Of the chances 
for such circumstances you are the best judge. Your Friend, 
Benj. Hunking." 

Writing August 18, he adds: 

"I think I shall so far arrange my business here as to be in 
Portsmouth the first of October. Nothing shall prevent except as 
a result of health and that is better than when I saw you last. 
Should it continue as good, or improve, it is my determination to 
remove to your place. B. H." 

After declining the offer of the Anatomical Cabinet, in 
August, Dr. Hunking settled in Portsmouth in October, left 
there in the early Spring of 1813, and his office was occupied 
by Dr. John Thurston, formerly practising in Castine. Dr. 
Thurston remained in Portsmouth some years, and then re- 
moved to Newburyport where he died in 1835. His letter 
expressing a desire to come earlier to Portsmouth did not 
arrive until an agreement with Dr. Hunking had been 


signed, but as it is so informatory concerning both the 
writer and its recipient, it shall find a place here. 

"Castine, Maine, Sept. 6, 1812. Dear Sir: Since I had the 
pleasure of seeing you, I have formed a determination to leave this 
place, provided my prospects do not brighten in the course of three 
months. I have of course, busied myself in looking for a residence, 
elsewhere. You having informed me, that you would probably 
leave Portsmouth in the Fall, it occurred to me that you must 
leave room for a successor. Though you are not satisfied with 
your situation, yet as my expectations at this time are small, and 
would be answered by a decent livelihood, perhaps the prospects 
afforded by the business of the town, and the patronage of such as 
might be inclined to exert themselves in my favor would accomplish 
the object desired. If you have determined to leave, and have not 
disposed of your influence, which must be extensive, if it is agreeable 
to you, I would ask, whether, and on what terms, you would be 
willing to exert it in my favor. Your acquaintance with me you 
may think insufficient to authorize you to recommend me. I 
would refer you to Dr. Nathan Smith, or Dr. Noyes of Newbury. 

Wishing you all the success in your scientific pursuits which your 
researches merit, and that you may be enabled to find a place 
more congenial with your views, I cannot but regret that you have 
been so poorly rewarded. Yours Respectfully, John TffUBSTON." 

A brief note from Dr. Mi t chill shows him still remindful 
of his young friend in Portsmouth. 

"Washington, Feb. 21, 1812. Dear Sir: I regret that before the 
arrival of your note, Dr. Bartlett had left the seat of Government. 
Finding himself too unwell to perform the duties of his station, he 
had obtained leave of absence for the remainder of the session. 
Your BILLS of Mortality have been respectfully quoted by Mr. 
Meyer of N. Y., in his Work, "On Insurance Upon Lives." Your 
Bill for 1811 contains the melancholy record of almost a fourth of 
the people dying with consumption. Is there no Balm in Gilead! 

Yet, why not die of that disease as well as any other!! Re- 
spectfully Yours, Sam. L. Mitchell." 

Medical interest at this time was concentrated on artificial 
mineral w T aters, and as Dr. Spalding had boon the leader in 
introducing them, he had frequent inquiries concerning 
their composition. I offer at this point a letter from Dr. 
William Thorndike (1785-1818) of Portland, Maine, which 
mentions the subject. 

"Portland, Maine, March 28, 1812. Dear Sir: I took the liberty 
of writing by my friend to you, for information on the subject of 


preparing artificial mineral waters. My Friend not having been so 
fortunate as to have the pleasure of seeing you on his return from 
Boston, I hope you will excuse me for renewing my request, by 
writing. I have conversed with Mr. Cleaveland, 1 Professor of 
Chemistry at Bowdoin on the subject. He is of the opinion these 
waters may be accurately prepared by repeatedly combining the 
materials which^ compose them. This method, however, would of 
necessity occupy considerable time, and likewise incur considerable 
expense, which induces me to ask you to point out to me the most 
eligible method of obtaining information on the subject. The sale 
for those Waters in this place would probably be very small, but as 
I am in the Practice of Physic, it might be of some consequence to 
me. If you would be so obliging as to write to me a few lines about 
the subject of my request, j r ou will not only confer an obligation of 
friendship, but I shall feel myself in duty bound to make you 
ample remuneration for your trouble. With profound respect, 
etc, Wm. Thorndike." 2 

Soon after his recovery from the affection which had 
caused him to leave Washington, Dr. Josiah Bartlett re- 
called the fact of Dr. Spalding's intention to leave Ports- 
mouth, and sent him this charming note. 

"Stratham, April 14, 1812. My Dear Sir: Learning with re- 
gret that you contemplate a removal to the State and City of New 
York, permit me, my friend to avail myself of this opportunity to 
assure you of my respectful esteem. Your labors in the study and 
practice of medicine since your residence in our vicinity have called 
forth the gratitude of the people and the esteem and friendship of 
3 r our professional brethren. Our Society will lose the services of 
an able, active member and Officer, and one to whom it is beholden 
for many of its useful regulations. For myself, I assure you that 
my expectations of your usefulness in the first commercial city in 
the United States, alone mitigates the sorrow I feel at our loss. 
May you still pursue scientific truth, both theoretically and practi- 
cally, and continue your beneficial career; is the sincere wish of 
Your Friend, Josiah Bartlett." 

1 Professor Parker Cleaveland (1780-1858) was graduated at Har- 
vard in 1799, served there as Tutor some years, and then was elected 
Professor of Mathematics, Natural History and Chemistry at Bowdoin. 
He was a very eccentric, yet able teacher and received many honorary 
degrees. His "Text Book on Chemistry" attracted world wide 

Painfully accurate as a lecturer, all of his chemical experiments 
were neatly planned and successfully carried out. 

2 Dr. Thorndike was appointed Surgeon's Mate in the Army, and 
after the War of 1812 he settled in Milford, Ohio, where he died. 


A letter written at this time, by Mr. John Jackson, already 
mentioned as a cousin of Dr. Spalding's living in New York, 
gives much information concerning physicians' offices and 
rentals at that time. 

"New York, 15th April, 1812. Dear Sir: I have this day pro- 
cured for you the refusal of two Rooms, on 2d floor of a House 
situated in Broadway No. 197, between St. Paul's and Trinity 
Churches, in an eligible situation, one of which is a small bed room 
in front, directly over the front door leading into the house, with a 
sitting room back, and well calculated for a Study, and Office at 
the moderate rent of £45 per annum for both: to be furnished with 
even-thing needed in a decent style, say Bed and Bedding, Chair-, 
Tables, Looking Glass, Andirons, shovel and tongs, washing uten- 
sils, and Carpet, with a privilege of breakfast and Tea in your own 
room or with the family, at an addition of Three Dollars a week, 
optional, however, with yourself. The sitting room is a handsome 
square room about the size of the Sitting room in Capt. Coues' 
house. It is also optional for you to furnish your own rooms, in 
which case you can have them at £40, equal to 8100. The landlady 
is a Widow and has 8 or 9 steady boarders, all young men in busi- 
ness. She appears to be disposed to accommodate on favorable 
and easy terms, and it is also a pleasant and agreeable Lady. I 
obtained the rent low, her principal object being to secure a perma- 
nent tenant for a year. If you should require but the one room 
on your arrival here, she will make a reasonable reduction for the 
other. An answer must be given in 8 days that she may not be 
deprived of obtaining another tenant, if any offer. My opinion is, 
they will suit your purpose, and you will have occasion for both 
the rooms, which will be ready on May 1st. Also there is privilege 
of the servant to answer your calls, and keep your rooms in order, 
and privilege of the cellar sufficient for your Wood. 

I called on the landlady who is to occupy the house in which the 
late Dr. Miller hired apartments. She could not accommodate you 
without boarding in the family, and the price §500 for board and 
one room. The Family is Mrs. Rogers, a pleasant family. The 
board, I am well acquainted with, it being my last boarding house. 
The room that would be given you is about the same size as the 
sitting room before described, and on the 2d floor next adjoining i he 
front room, with privileges that you have stated in your I 
You will not delay answering this by return of Mail, in which i 
I can secure the apartments here described, as t ho refusal is limit* 1 
to 8 days. Please also say when you arc coming on. Yours 1 1 - 
spectfully, etc., John Jackson, Jr. v. 

N. B. A few letters from some of your principal characters may 
be of considerable advantage in establishing yourself here. Dr. 


McNevcn 1 is appointed Resident Physician in place of Dr. Miller. 
Mrs. Rogers' is a BRICK house; the other a wooden one. 

Dr. Spalding decided in favor of Mrs. Rogers', 175 Broad- 
way, and lived there until his family reached New York, 
when they moved to No. 8 Fair St. (afterward Fulton), 
and finally to 81 Beekman St., on the corner of Cliff St., for 
which a rental of $500 was paid. 

Dr. Wistar was also consulted concerning the proposed 
removal to New York, and expressed his opinion in this 

"Philadelphia, April 18, 1812. Dear Sir: I am sorry that it is 
not in my power to offer you any advice or to give you any in- 
formation relative to the subject of establishing yourself at N. Y., 
as I am altogether without information respecting the real state of 
the Practice of Medicine in that City. It may be observed, how- 
ever, that several medical Gentlemen who are very prominent as 
practitioners removed to N. Y. after they had been established at 
other places. The late Dr. Miller was an interesting example of 
this kind. Dr. Osborn 2 affords a similar example. Dr. Smith, 3 
one of the Professors of Anatomy, was also a stranger there. 

1 Dr. William James MacNeven (1763-1841) was born in County 
Galway, Ireland, and graduated at Vienna. He first practiced in 
Dublin and was at one time imprisoned there for political offenses, and 
amused himself during his detention by translating Ossian. After 
escaping, he served with the Irish Brigade in France, and after many 
adventures reached New York, where he soon obtained success in 
medicine. He lectured on Obstetrics, Materia Medica and Chemistry, 
published an American edition of Brande's "Chemistry" and was of 
much assistance in composing the Pharmacopoeia. His "Rambles in 
Switzerland" were highly prized, and as he spoke German, French, and 
Irish, he was considered a miracle of learning. 

2 Dr. John Churchill Osborn (1766-1819) was a Grandson of Dr. 
John Osborn, a Harvard man of 1735, and a son of a second Dr. John 
Osborn (1741-1825) who served in the Colonial Wars and practiced 
for sixty years in Connecticut. John Churchill Osborn practiced first 
in New Berne, North Carolina, and then in New York, where he was 
elected Professor of the Institute of Medicine and Obstetrics. He 
owned a fine miscellaneous library and was intimate with the Literati, 
including Joel Barlow, whose celebrated poems he revised for publi- 

3 "Dr. Smith" was John Augustine Smith (1782-1865), a graduate 
of William and Mary, who studied abroad and then practiced in an 
obscure hamlet in Virginia. He moved to New York and prospered. 
He was elected President of William and Mary, but resigned, owing to 
an attempt to remove the college to Richmond, and returned to New 
York, where he served as President of the College of Physicians and 


I ought not to allow this opportunity to pass without offering 
you my thanks for the Bills of Mortality you have kindly sent me 
for several years, which I assure you are most invaluable and in- 
teresting documents. I have the pleasure of sending to you by the 
Rev. Dr. Alden the first volume of "A System of Anatomy," with 
which I have been for some time engaged, and I shall be greatly 
obliged by your observations on the subject, with a view to the 
future amendment and improvement of the work. When the 
other volume is published, it will be a great gratification to me to 
send it to you. With best wishes, I am Truly and Respectfully 
Yours, C. Wistar." 

Dr. Nathan Smith likewise did his part in forwarding the 
removal to New York, and after writing to the following 
effect, added a Testimonial. 

"Hanover, May 16, 1812. Dear Sir: I have ree'd your favour 
respecting your recommendations. I will most cheerfully comply 
with your request, but being absent from home when your letter 
arrived, I was absent (in his haste Dr. Smith forgets the connec- 
tion of thought) and have now but a moment before the mail goes, 
and do not feel sufficiently at leisure to write all that wall be proper 
and necessary for you, but will forward it by the next mail. . . . 
Not long since I received a package from London containing 
among other things a Letter from Dr. Lettsom, in which he observed 
you were elected a Corresponding Member of the London Medical 
Society, with due honors. My package was dated in March, 1810, 
was directed to New York, but at last came from Philadelphia to 
Boston, and then to me. If you have not received your Diploma, 1 
please to write to me and I will cause your appointment to be pub- 
lished in the paper. Your Friend, Nathan Smith." 

The Testimonial arriving by the next mail reads in this 

"To Whom It May Concern: 

This may certify that the bearer, Dr. Lyman Spalding, after 
completing his preparatory studies, commenced the study of 

Surgeons. His quarrels with colleagues created a tremendous dis- 
turbance in medical circles, the vilest epigrams being bandied to ami 
fro in the public press. Dr. Smith brought out an Edition of Hell's 
"Surgery" and was an able, but obstinate practitioner of medicine. 

1 This diploma was finally received in 1813 through the kindness of 
Dr. George Parkman (1791-1840) on his way home after receiving a 
degree at Aberdeen. He obtained from Dr. Spalding much in- 
formation concerning the Maniac Hospital in New York, and utilised 
it for his essay, "Proposals for establishing (in Massachusetts) a 
Retreat for the Insane." Dr. Parkman devoted much of his tune to 
humanitarian purposes, and as will be remembered, was murdered by 
a fellow physician. 


medicine under my instruction and continued with me Tliree Years; 
during which time he attended two annual courses of Medical 
Lectures at Harvard University, where after examination he re- 
ceived a Medical Degree. Dr. Spalding was afterward appointed 
Lecturer on Chemistry in Dartmouth University, in which situ- 
ation he officiated with honor to himself, and to the satisfaction of 
those who attended his lectures. Since that time Dr. Spalding 
has attended the Medical Professors at Philadelphia, where he dis- 
tinguished himself in the Science of Anatomy, especially in his 
Demonstrations of the Lymphatic System. He has also given two 
courses of Anatomical and Surgical Lectures in the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons at Fairfield, N. Y., with great ability and 
success. As a practitioner of medicine and surgery he has long 
sustained a proud rank in his native State, having performed with 
Skill, all the critical and important operations in surgery, and re- 
ceived as the reward of merit an Honorary Degree of Doctor of 
Medicine at Dartmouth College, and elected Honorary Corre- 
sponding Member of the London Medical Society. From a long 
and intimate acquaintance with Dr. Spalding, I do most sin- 
cerely recommend him to the public as a man of distinguished 
merit in his Profession, and one in whom they may repose great 

Nathan Smith, M.D. Prof. Med. and Surgery at Dartmouth 
College, October 9, 1812. 

As summer drew on this additional news from Dr. Taft, 
in North Carolina, must have been welcome to his Ports- 
mouth friends. 

"Nixonton, June 22, 1812. WAR! WAR! WAR! 

My respected Friend: I answer yours with the receipt of the 
preparations, and a number of others that I have forgotten to 
acknowledge before, perhaps through hurry of business. The 
preparations arrived in this place 2 weeks since. They were in 
Norfolk some time before I could get them brought here, the box 
having been opened and contents known to the carters going to 
and from this place. Some were removed. I was much disap- 
pointed in the small subject as it was an unhappy injection, being 
of wax. For the situation of the brain and its meninges it is ex- 
cellent, for the heart tolerable, the rest of not much account. Had 
you sent one in which the branches of the arterial system had been 
happily injected, a tribble price would not have been any objec- 
tion, for the weather is too variable here to make anything like an 
attempt in dissection, summer or winter. For the Recipes and 
for Dewees' "Instructions" I am very thankful, and Mrs. Spald- 
ing's remuneration for your Nocturnal Quill Driving, shall be duly 
attended to, though the distance is so great that I fear the sweet 


Carolinians ! will have been decomposed ere they shall arrive. I 
shall send them in the Fall season should I live ho long. 

That your patients should have the good fortune to recover 
their sight, and the use of their limbs, gives me great satisfaction, 
but that Dr. Pierrepont should desert his best friend really aston- 
ishes me. 2 

As you learn more of the Fairfield troubles, let me have them. 
Dr. Josiah Noyes will never answer as Professor to any Institution; 
he will always be a Disturbance. I wish you were in New York I 
for I find great difficulty in getting medicines. 

My practice is more extensive than that of any other Practitioner 
in the County. Notwithstanding that from November to July is 
the most healthy part of the year, yet, I have, at very moderate 
chargings booked Eleven Hundred Dollars in six months from the 
time that I settled here. I have been quite fortunate in my pa- 
tients; have had one case of Necrosis of the radius and ulna dis- 
missed cured, and a number of small operations. Yesterday a 
patient was brought me bitten by a venomous beast called the 
mongoose, a horrible creature indeed. His fangs were driven into 
the ball of the great toe. I took out with a scalpel a large piece of 
flesh, then applied the lunar caustic, lustily. The foot having been 
corded: it was bitten 2\ hours before I saw him. I saw his father 
this morning: the symptoms were as favorable as could be expected. 
My popularity here has acquired me many enemies and back 
biters, but many good friends. Do write me soon. Your Grate- 
ful Pupil. C. Taft." 

Portsmouth suffered from a considerable epidemic of 
Spotted Fever in June of this year, and an "Account," of it 
by Dr. Spalding having been sent to Dr. Caldwell brought 
this characteristic reply. 

"Philadelphia, July 14, 1812. My Dear Sir: Your letter came 
to hand by favor of Mr. Woodward. I thank you for the hint it 
contained on the subject of spotted fever, but would have been 
more gratified as well as instructed had it gone more extensively 
in detail into the history of the colossal and interesting disease. 
I have never yet, I confess, met with such an account of it as was, 
by any means, satisfactory. I speak in relation, both to the history 
and philosophy and treatment of the complaint. Being, in our 
country, somewhat of a new form of disease, I feel not a little 
Solicitous to become, although not practically, better acquainted 

1 "Sweet Carolinians" is probably a play on the sweet potatoes of 
the South and Miss Caroline Cones, of whom we have already beard. 

2 Dr. Taft here goes into minute details of bitter quairek between 
the leading Portsmouth Physicians, which may be omitted as they 
show a story on one side only. 


with it. I believe it to be nothing but a modification of the same 
complaint to which strangers are subject in Russia and other cold 
northern countries, who neglect the use of furs during the winter 

I am decidedly of opinion, that were the inhabitants of the 
Northern State more attentive to the character of their winter ap- 
parel; were they to adapt it more accurately to the temperature of 
the weather, so as not to allow themselves to suffer from the in- 
tensity of the cold, either in their houses, or in the open air; were 
they, I say, to pursue this course (and I am sure nothing would be 
more easy) I am persuaded that Bonapartean Evil, the Spotted 
Fever would be less frequent and less fatal. This disease is to 
your winters, precisely what the yellow fever is to our summers. In- 
tense heat, only, produces the latter and intense cold, the former. 
The operations of the extremes of these two (heat and cold) on the 
human system, is much more assimilated than is commonly sup- 
posed. In fact, it appears to be almost the same. So absurd is 
the doctrine setting forth that the one is a stimulant, the other a 
sedative! There exists, however, this difference, and it is altogether 
in your favor, that it is much easier by artificial means to protect 
the body from the cold of winter, than the heat of summer. Were 
not this the case, I think it probable, that Russia, Norway, etc., 
would be as subject to the Spotted, as the West Indies are to the 
Yellow Fever. 

You ask, what, medically speaking, we are doing in this City. 
I answer: Nothing! Nothing, I mean, towards promotion of the 
medical literature of our country. For at least six months past, so 
completely nauseated have I been with the sycophancy and sub- 
serviency of our physicians to the dogmas of a certain character, 1 
whose name I will not, because I need not mention, that I have, 
during that period abandoned medical reading as well as writing, 
and amused myself with polite and classical literature. 2 It is 
likely, however, that the winter will bring me back to my former 
habits. Your Obedient Servant, Ch. Caldwell. 

P. S. How do you and your neighbors bear the two greatest 
national calamities that Heaven could inflict on us British hostilities 
and French Fraternity! Are we not cursed even beyond the 
measure of our sinning? If not we are deeply gone in iniquity, 
indeed. C. C. 

N. B. Pray, what is gone with our friend Clapp? He promised 
to write to me, but since he left the City I have neither heard from 

1 The "Certain Character" was good Dr. Rush, whom Dr. Caldwell 
detested for his success, and for the admiration universally expressed 
for him. 

2 Caldwell's "Polite Literature," was a "Life of John Smith," and 
a "Life of Commodore Barry." 



him or of him. In case of your correspondence with him, make 
known to him, the unimpaired state of my Good Wishes. C. C." 

It may here be said that during the War of 1812, now 
raging, Dr. Spalding offered to the Government his services 
as well as those of his pupil, Dr. Langdon, for duty at Fort 
Constitution, or for the proposed invasion of Canada. Dr. 
Spalding also offered his services to Governor Tompkins, in 
New York, in 1814, but I do not find that either offer was 

It is pleasant once more to come across the news from 
Dr. Noyes of Newbury, as exhibited in two brief notes ar- 
riving at this time. 

"Newburyport, July 19th, 1812. Friend Spalding: I had the 
pleasure of receiving your letters and request for Morgagni. But 
not, till it was too late to send the books that day. They are not 
yet packed, but to morrow I intend to pack them and send them. 
It is long since I had the pleasure of hearing from you, and now the 
pleasure is much alloyed by hearing that j r ou suffer by the war. 
Pray, how does Mrs. Spalding and the little ones? Are they 
frightened? If so, invite them to come to Newburyport, for John 
Bull will not venture over our bar, though his friend Old Davy has 
got Fort Joseph fast in his locker. Besides, we have voted, that 
"The seas are his own," so that he will have enough to do to stay 
and keep possession, unless, now and then he may find leisure to 
visit such wicked democratic open-mouthed harbours as yours. 
But, for us why, I tell you, Sir, we have our peace, beforehand! 
and our pious Governor has issued a Proclamation for us to pray 
that the whole State may be hidden till the danger has passed! 
What a pity that your residence has not been on this side of the 
N. Hampshire line! Then, might you have had a hiding hole, too, 
without disgrace: or that you should not like us have coaxed John 
Bull, have stroked his dew lap or have kissed his feet. ... Be 
kind to Morgagni: shelter him from all the horror and depredation 
of war — remember, that he, as well as yourself are the old friends 
of Yours, etc., N. Noyes. 1 " 

1 Dr. Noyes is here alluding to the British fleet lying threateningly 
off Portsmouth, with its wide open river, whilst the Bar at Newbury 
kept it at a distance. "Davy Jones" is a nautical Myth, with a 
"Locker down below," and Fort Joseph was an earthwork, now sub- 
merged by the ocean. Caleb Strong, the pious governor, opposed the 
War, wrote Proclamations advising the people to pray against it, and 
refused to call out the Militia for National Purposes, though willing to 
use it for home defense. Morgagni (1G82-1771) was a famous Italian 
anatomist: and a profound and profuse writer oil pathology and anat- 


Dr. Noyes continues in a facetious way on August 23. 

"Friend Spalding, how do you do? You never were such a sober 
Mill-Horse-ical kind of an animal as myself who could content my- 
self with one crib and the same cart all the year. But you, you 
must go capering and kicking all about the country, even to the 
land of the Mohawks, while my paths are so well trodden as never 
to puzzle me in the dark. Well; say you, and what happiness can 
the same dull routine afford you? Ask the mussel or the snail! ! 
And if you cannot translate their language, read once more Gold- 
smith's "Village." I must confess that my affection never soars 
so high as a Genius or a Species, but must have one individual 
object on which to fix and vegetate. 

Friend Spalding; ambition is a meteor-flame, a will o' the Wisp, 
that lures us from happiness, and then plunges us headlong from 
some precipice or sinks us in the mire. 

Pursue your own propensities and I will follow mine. Hence it 
will follow, that you will come to Newburyport whenever you wish 
to see, Yours, Nathan Noyes." 

Dr. Noyes nevertheless soon proved that he had am- 
bition, like others, and was glad to accept, in 1813, the 
Professorship of Theory and Practice left vacant at Dart- 
mouth by Dr. Smith. 

Whilst looking about for a purchaser for his practice, 
Dr. Spalding must have been pleased to get this clue from 
Dr. Warren. 

"Boston, Sept. 6, 1812. My dear Sir: In coincidence with your 
request, I mentioned your propositions to my friends here. The 
only gentleman who has thought much of the subject, is Dr. Burge, 1 
a very promising and well educated young man, but he has not 
funds at his disposal, and thinks of settling somewhere in the 
neighborhood of Amherst. I wish that you had favored us with 
some of your communications for our Journal, not because we were 
deficient in matter, but wish for variety. The thing has succeeded 
better than could be expected; the whole impression of the first 
N? was sold and the printer could have issued a second edition if 
he had enterprise. 

We are anxious to discover whether the public sentiment is in 
favour of a careful selection of the best European articles; reviews, 
etc., or whether the work is preferable in its present state. The 

1 Dr. Benjamin Burge (1782-1816), a medical graduate of Harvard, 
acted first as Tutor at Bowdoin, and received from that College an 
Honorary degree in 1815. He then practiced briefly at Vassalboro', 
Maine, but declining health drove him to Hollis, New Hampshire, 
where he died from tuberculosis. 


former plan would be a great saving of labour. — Our Medical 
School is delivered of Professor of Theory and Practice, and prin- 
cipally by his own exertions, for, sure, never man laboured harder 
to sink and debase himself. We shall now have a little comfort, 
whether we have success, or not. The College of Physicians busi- 
ness is at an end, 1 and its projectors in general contempt. The 
plan never can be revived by the same men, unless the State should 
sink into a worse Democracy than ever. 

The death of Dr. Miller in New York induced me to believe you 
would accelerate your departure for X. Y., but not hearing from you 
I have supposed you might relinquish the plan. At any rate, I shall 
be glad to do whatever is in my power. Should you sell your 
books and Preparations I should be desirous of being informed of it. 

Please to give my compliments to Mrs. Spalding, and believe me 
With Great Regard, Your Friend, John C. Warren." 

An interesting paper now at hand is a Circular of the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, upon which 
the Secretary of the Board of Trustees has written a letter 
which verifies the promise made to Dr. Spalding by Gover- 
nor Clinton, as may be recalled from the Fairfield Chapters. 

"September 23, 1812. Dear Sir: When Dr. Lerned was here, 
he showed me a letter from you in which mention was made of 
your intention to move to this place: This I had before supposed 
from the circumstance of your being appointed a Trustee of our 
College. As this is the case and you probably take an interest in 
the success of our Institution, I have taken the liberty of sending 
you one of our Circulars, and enclosing one to Dr. Lerned, not 
knowing his address. Yours with Due Respect, J. Aug. Smith." 

This circular outlines the approaching session, and names 
as lecturers, Dr. De Witt, Smith, Hosack, Mac Neven, and 

A brief note from Mr. Bill Barnes, here, throws a little 
light on family history. 

"Claremont, Sept. 24, 1812. Sir: I am favored with an oppor- 
tunity at this time to write to you by the Rev'd Mr. Ballou, 2 and 
have the pleasure to inform you that I and my family are all in 
health, and that your Father and Maain were at our house within 

1 "The College of Physicians" in Boston was for a while a threaten- 
ing rival to the Harvard Medical School. 

2 "Mr. Ballou": Rev. Hoseal Ballou a celebrated preacher first in 
the Baptist and afterwards in the Universalist Denomination. For 
many years he preached daily, all over New England, and was at this 
date on his way to Portsmouth where he settled permanently. He 
lived until 1852, active to the last day of his S2d year. 


a few days, and Sanford ! came to day. So that I think your rela- 
tions and friends about us are all well. I hope these lines will find 
you and your family all in good health, and prosperity. Your 
sister, and Eunice in particular wish to be remembered. Your 
sister says she is fixing a square of flannel which your children are 
to have part of, if by your means or ours we can get the flannel to 
them. With respects your sincere friend, Bill Barnes." 

When it became definitely known that Dr. Spalding was 
leaving Portsmouth, his friends came forward with many 
testimonials, one of them taking the form suggested by 
Dr. Bartlett of Stratham: 

"My Dear Sir: Being absent when your billet was left at my 
former dwelling, I did not see it till the Monday following. Being 
on that day at Exeter, Gen'l Peabody suggested the propriety of a 
number of Medical Gentlemen uniting in presenting you our testi- 
monial of respect for your talents and industry in the Profession, 
and regrets for your proposed removal from our vicinity, which 
suggestion met with my cordial approbation. 

Not at this time recollecting any who resided in or near to the 
City of New York, to whom you are not known, yet perhaps a letter 
to you which may (as you shall find occasion) be shown to any who 
may be acquainted with me, either personally or by reputation, 
might be of some use; therefore I take the liberty to write you, 
accordingly. Yours with Respect. Josiah Bartlett." 

The testimonial presents the departing physician in a 
flattering light as a leader in Medicine and is signed by: 

Ammi H. Cutter, James H. Pierrepont, Josiah Dwight, 
Joshua Brackett, Joseph Tilton, 2 Josiah Bartlett, Joseph Good- 
hue, Nath'l Peabody, 3 Sam'l Tenney, 4 and William Cutter. 

1 "Sanford" was Dr. Spalding's nephew, and "Eunice" Mr. Barnes' 

2 Dr. Joseph Tilton (1744-1838) of Exeter served as surgeon during 
the Revolution and practiced over sixty years in Exeter. 

3 "General" Peabody (1741-1823) of Exeter, also, "the only phy- 
sician who ever practiced from a County Jail as his Residence and 
Office," studied medicine with his Father at Plaistead, New Hampshire, 
and began practice when he w r as but 18 years of age. During the 
Revolution he served as Adjutant General of New Hampshire, from 
which office his title originated and clung to him for life. He was very 
capable, but extravagant in his mode of life, contracted debts which he 
could not or would not pay, and was thrown into jail by his creditors; 
living there for years. He was, however, permitted to see his patients, 
there, or at their homes, at certain hours daily. He was a charming 
man of great promise but small fulfilment. 

4 Samuel Tenney (1748-1816), an original founder of the New Hamp- 
shire Medical Society, a Harvard Graduate of 1772 and a surgeon in 

/er~k, /&z-\ 

/feZC? jsts^/^JZJ ere/ 1 ' j^^L^ ^^Cl/o^c^ , a^cu2£ '/^ 

/-i^£ r c^s-<?~i<vu Z^A^/t^t^q^i^ ox^L<~*^-aJ^irL^ /^e^ yL&^f 4-<^cJ^L 

yfi^^^o-xs- e^f^X^ /-6^/^X, £a^£, &AsjLd<o &*£*■*■ 


r 7 ~ 



Provided with these and many other letters of intro- 
duction, Dr. Spalding went on to Fairfield, in November, 
1812, and after the close of his lectures in January, 1813, 
settled in New York. He soon obtained a living practice, 
was elected a member, censor, and Secretary of the New 
York County Medical Society; as well as member of the 
State Medical Society and corresponding Secretary of the 
New York Historical Society, in which position he recom- 
mended Honorary Membership for many of his friends in 
various parts of the country. 1 

Soon after taking up his residence in New York, Dr. Spald- 
ing received an introductory letter from Dr. Caldwell to Mr. 
Bunner, a New York merchant, and as giving some idea of 
Caldwell's style it is worth placing here. 

"Philadelphia, March 1st, 1813. Dear Sir: In compliance with 
your request I take pleasure in transmitting you the enclosed 
letter. Mr. Bunner will be prepared to receive you by a letter 
I have addressed to him bearing date contemporaneous with 
the present. He will avail himself of opportunities to make 
you known to a circle of acquaintances and friends from whom 
I flatter myself you may ultimately derive advantages more solid 
than mere civil speeches and empty professions. In my letter 
to him, respecting you, I have said many things which I could 
not have expressed in a note to be delivered by yourself. To 
all my literary and professional friends in New York, I believe 
you are already known. On the present subject, therefore, my 
business will be completed, when I shall have added, which I do 
with perfect sincerity, my wishes for your success and happiness 
in life. Ch. Caldwell." 

the Revolution, settled finally in Exeter, New Hampshire but did not 
practice any more. He served as Member of Congress and Judge of 
Probate, for several years, but devoted his energies chief! y for Tem- 
perance, and literature. His most noted paper was "An Account of 
the Dark Day," of May 19, 1780, when in the midst of unclouded sun- 
shine and without any eclipse of the sun, the air darkened as if at 
midnight, the planets came into view, and animals, birds, beasts and 
humanity, expected this to be the End of the World. 

1 The most beloved of these was Horace Binney (1780-1875) who 
was graduated at Harvard in the same year in which Dr. Spalding 
obtained his degree and like whom he wished to study medicine. His 
mother, however, had married, for a second husband, Dr. Marshal] 
Spring of Watertown, who dissuaded Binney from medicine. The re- 
sult of this decision was to throw him into the law, in which he became 
a shining light at the Pennsylvania, and American Bar. 


Dr. John Redman Coxe also sent on an introductory- 
letter to John Stevens (1749-1838), who lived at Hoboken, 
and used to come over to the City in his self-invented boat, 
first propelled by horse- and then by steam-power and 
finally by the screw propeller which Mr. Stevens discovered. 
He first suggested the use of submarine armor for war ves- 
sels and was also the first to take a Steamboat outside of 
Sandy Hook on an ocean voyage to the Delaware River. 
Dr. Spalding and his family often visited Mr. Stevens at his 
elegant house at Hoboken. 

Perhaps the most important of all the letters which 
Dr. Spalding carried was one from "Sir John" Wentworth, 
to Hon. John Jay of New York, and Dr. Spalding's auto- 
graph account of its destination is worth inserting at this 

"New York, March 10, 1813. Dear Sir John: Gov. Jay x living 
50 miles from town and being much indisposed this winter, by the 
advice of friends, I called on his son, Peter A. Jay, Esq., 2 who lives 
in town, and was introduced to him. I gave him your letters Sir, 
with assurances that I would visit his Father as soon as he should 
have recovered from his present indisposition. Mr. Jay was kind 
enough to say that he would carry me with him, the first time he 
should visit his Father. Mr. Jay is a very influential man, and has 
already shown me much attention. I feel myself much obliged by 
the very handsome manner in which you spoke of me, and I hope, 
Sir, that I have not trespassed the rule of etiquette, in delivering 
the Father's letter, to the son. 

With best respects for Mrs. Wentworth, I have the honor to be 
yours, L. Spalding." 

Another letter forthcoming at this time shows Dr. Spald- 
ing thoughtful in inviting one of his old friends now in 
Washington, to make him a visit in passing through New 
York on his way home. 

1 Hon. John Jay (1745-1829), a kind friend to Dr. Spalding, was a 
Great American. He served America well; in the Continental Con- 
gress, as Minister to Spain and to France; as Governor and Chief 
Justice of New York. 

2 Peter Augustus Jay (1776-1843), his illustrious son, was private 
secretary to his Father when Ambassador in Europe, received many 
honorary collegiate degrees in his long official career, was noted as a 
lawyer, and officiated as Recorder of the City of New York and served 
on the Board of Health for many years. 


Mr. John A. Harper thus declines the invitation: 1 

"Washington, Feb. 21, 1813. Dear Sir: I had the honor yester- 
day to receive your letter which contained your card and a polite 
invitation to visit you upon my return to New Hampshire. Should 
I make any tarry in New York, I would not excuse myself were I 
to neglect so friendly an invitation. But, apprehend that the 
anxiety to see my family from which I have been so long absent will 
deprive me of the pleasure of seeing a friend whom I have for a 
long time held in high estimation. The citizens of my native State 
will regret the loss which they sustain by your removal. In common 
with them, I join in affections and best wishes for your future 
prosperity and happiness. 

With High Respect and Esteem, Your Sincere Friend, John A. 

Nor did Dr. Spalding fail to inform Dr. Smith of his 
settling in New York, writing to him at Yale where he 
had established a Medical School and from which place 
he now writes concerning medical license, hemorrhage and 

"New Haven, Undated but Postmarked March 7, 1S13. Dear 
Sir: Respecting the law of this State you wish to see, I have sent 
you a copy of the laws of the State which goes to establishing the 
Medical Institution, and the laws made by the Hon'ble Board of 
Trust, intended to be in force one year. You will perceive that the 
laws of the State in the copy which I send you, refers to a previous 
law respecting licensing Physicians. The amount of that law, is 
that no person who shall enter the profession after it was enacted 
shall have the privilege of law to collect debts which accrue for his 
medical services. 

Respecting the case of hemorrhage to which you refer, it hap- 
pened in a child or boy about six years of age and came on without 
any previous sickness. The first appearances of the disease were 
small spots on the skin of a livid colour, and were really extrav- 
asated blood. His gums were affected in the same manner and a 
slight scratch on his foot produced a considerable ecchymosis. 
And, he had bled from the nose a little, before I saw him, but was 
otherways well and following his usual play out of doors. I gave 

1 John Adams Harper (1779-1816) was Post Master in his native 
village of Meredith Bridge, New Hampshire, before he came of age, 
made rapid progress in law and politics, and whilst in Congress de- 
livered two important speeches on "War Supplies," and the "Yazoo" 
(Georgia) "Claims." Failing health put a rapid end to a most promis- 
ing career. 


bark and clix Vitriol. The next day the bleeding came on and con- 
tinued till I checked it with a dose of opium. I then continued 
the Bark and in lieu of the Vitriol gave alum. The next day he 
bled again from the nose till I was called. The third time I checked 
it again with opium. I still continued to give bark and astringents, 
but the bleeding came on the next day and continued to bleed till I 
called, accidentally (as the family considered him so far gone that 
they did not send for me). I checked it the third time with opium, 
and then continued to give him two full courses of opium every 
24 hours till he had recovered. He took some tonic medicines, 
but I considered the Opium as having the principal effect on the 

As for your plan of nosological arrangement, I have mislaid your 
letter on that subject, but if I recollect rightly it was to take up the 
subject alphabetically. That would make the arrangement like the 
arrangement in a Dictionary, if I comprehend it. I have not given 
the subject such attention as to enable me to decide positively on it. 
But, I had a thought to arrange diseases according to the part 
of the body in which they were seated, or in such order that those 
in the same class, should have some points of similarity between 
them. But I recollect that when I read your letter, a whimsical 
idea came into my head which was, that if we arranged the diseases 
alphabetically, we might arrange the Materia Medica in the same 
order, taking the two columns; place all the names of disease be- 
ginning with "A" on one side, and for their remedies, all medicines 
beginning with the same letter on the other. 

Thus: Cancer Cut out. 

Hydrophobia Hydrargyrum. 

But this is all Stuff. I do not pretend to condemn the plan till 
I have it more fully explained. Perhaps there may be reasons for 
it and advantages that have not yet occurred to me. 

I will, when I go to Portsmouth, attend to your patient accord- 
ing to your request. I have had considerable operative business 
since I came to New Haven, and have agreed to perform another 
operation for the artificial joint in the thigh, about the first of April 
next. I think my former experience in that case will help me in 
this. I shall create a new apparatus to secure the limb after the 
operation, such an one as has never been seen before. I am with 
sentiments of Great Esteem, Yours, Nathan Smith." 

A letter of the same date from Professor Silliman of Yale 
mentions his Chemical Course as lasting from October to 
June at a fee of $16, and another on Mineralogy of less dura- 
tion with a fee of $6. It would seem as if Dr. Spalding had 
inquired concerning these fees with a view to establishing 
similar courses and prices at Fairfield. 


During his leisure hours in New York, Dr. Spalding 
translated some of the "Experiments" of Le Gallois, 1 and 
offered them to Dr. Warren for his journal. In replying to 
the offer Dr. Warren writes in March, 1813: 

"Dear Sir: I acknowledge with pleasure the receipt of your 
very friendly letter, and am gratified with your situation and agree- 
able prospects. The offer of Le Gallois' "Experiments" I thank 
you for, and should be highly pleased to possess that part you have 
translated, provided it be more particular than what is inserted in 
page 203 of Vol. 1 of our JOURNAL. If you will examine that, 
and having determined the point, send me the translation if you so 
conclude, I shall feel obliged, as I have felt much interest to see his 
experiments more at large than in the Report of the Institute. I 
am with great Esteem j r our friend, J. C. Warren. 

P. S. We made a fine absorbent preparation this winter, and 
having got into the way of doing it, shall make more soon." 

The medical world was startled in the Autumn of 1813 
by the rumor that Dr. Caspar Wistar had resigned the Chair 
of Anatomy, at Philadelphia, and Dr. Spalding, believing 
the report to be true, immediately offered to Dr. Dorsey, 
dean of the Faculty, his services during the vacancy and 
until a successor should be chosen. His hopes were, how- 
ever, disappointed on hearing to this effect from his cor- 

"Philadelphia, Oct. 21, 1813. Dear Sir: The report concerning 
Dr. Wistar is entirely without foundation, and to counteract the 
tendency of such a story to spread, I have directed a publication in 
two of your papers. Dr. Wistar has returned from his country- 
seat to the City, in perfect health. At least, he is fully as well as I 
have ever known him to be. He had some symptoms in the Spring, 
indicative of Pneumothorax, but they have now subsided com- 
pletely. Yours with Esteem, J. W. Dorsey." 

When Dr. Spalding learned from Dr. Nathan Smith, that 
he was on his way to Hanover, he asked him to call at 
Cornish and see Colonel Spalding, and inquire concerning 

1 Julien Jean Caesar Le Gallois (1770-1814) was a noted French 
Physiologist who was proscribed during the Revolution, but came off 
with his life. His appointment to the Bicetre in Paris brought him 
much fame, and his "Experiments on the Principle <>f Life" were 
considered the most remarkable ever made by a Frenchman. Poor 
fellow, owing to domestic troubles he committed suicide by dividing 
the crural artery. 


his health. To this Dr. Smith attended, and on reaching 
New Haven wrote to this effect to Dr. Spalding, then in 

"New Haven, Nov. 16, 1813. Dear Sir: On my way to New 
Haven I called to see your Father and read your letter to him. 
His disease was not what you supposed it to be. It was not the 
Diabetes, but incontinence, depending on a disease of the kidneys. 
I am now in New Haven and have commenced my surgical courses 
in the New Medical Institution. We have about forty pupils. . . . 
Last Summer, you wrote me an account of a man in New York who 
made anatomical preparations, particularly of the Eye and Ear. 
I wish you would, on the receipt of this, write me and give me 
directions, so that I may be able to find him. The Faculty of Yale 
College have requested me to obtain this information, as it is pro- 
posed to apply to him for some of his preparations. ... I conclude 
from your proximity to the seat of War operations, that you may 
be able to give us some account of what has become of our Army, 
which seems to be lost in the Canada Woods, as we have not been 
able to hear a syllable from them for many weeks. I am, with un- 
abated good wishes for your Prosperity, Your Friend and Servant 
Nathan Smith." 

We have now reached the year 1814, which may be opened 
with a note from Dr. Bigelow. 

"Boston, Feb. 13, 1814. Dear Sir: If your City affords any kine 
pock matter at the present moment, you will greatly oblige me by 
enclosing some to me, by mail, as it seems at present to be asleep 
here. We have no medical news. You seem to be destined at New 
York to become the rivals of Philad'a, provided your forces should 
ever be permanently united. Have you any new coalitions on foot? 
any medical discoveries or improvements? Or any new publica- 
tions coming up or old ones dying? 

I have been trying my hand at Botany, the last year. It was a 
ground unoccupied by physicians, and to me, affords a pleasant 
pursuit. I remain your Friend, etc., Jacob Bigelow." 

Amongst his Portsmouth friends, no one was dearer to 
Dr. Spalding than Jeremiah Mason (1766-1848), who was 
graduated at Yale and first practiced at Walpole. He then 
moved to Portsmouth, where he and Webster dominated 
the Bar for years. Mason was regarded as next to Chief 
Justice Marshall in his knowledge of the Law. He was at 
this time in Washington, and Dr. Spalding knowing his 


fondness for pictures invited him to stop in New York on 
his way home and inspect Delaplaine's Gallery. 1 
Judge Mason replied in part: 

"Dear Sir: On my return home I intend to spend some days 
in New York and I will then surely see, with you, the paintings of 
which you so kindly enclose a catalogue. I should also like to be a 
purchaser of some of them, if not already sold, and if the prices are 
not beyond the reach of my finances. I am Dear Sir, Truly Yours, 
J. Mason." 

One of Dr. Spalding's best friends, first in Philadelphia 
and later in New York was the Rev. James Milnor (1773- 
1845), Rector of St. George's in Beekman Street, near Dr. 
Spalding's home. He was born a Quaker, but left his sect, 
studied law and became an active Pennsylvanian politician. 
As a member of Congress he opposed the War of 1812, made 
many speeches against it, and in one of them so bitterly 
offended Henry Clay that a duel was imminent for a while. 
Mr. Milnor was a society favorite, and was dining with 
President Madison when Lieutenant Morris burst into the 
room with the captured flags of a British Frigate. Mr. 
Milnor finally retired from politics, entered the Episcopal 
Ministry and officiated first in Philadelphia and then in 
New York, where he became the friend and patient of Dr. 
Spalding. I find from his pen two brief notes in one of 
which he mentions the death of an old acquaintance, and in 
the other makes a Present. 

"Philadelphia, March 16, 1814. Dear Sir: Previous to the un- 
fortunate death of Rev. Mr. George Richards, several of us exerted 
ourselves to relieve those necessities, which, as well as mental un 
easiness, combined to sink him into a despondency that resulted as 
I presume you know in suicide. Immediately after that event 
farther measures were taken for supplying the immediate needs of 
the family and a liberal contribution for the same purpose is now 
going on in the different Lodges of the City, under such auspices as 
to promise a sum sufficient for present objects as well as to earrj 
them back to Portsmouth, where it is their intention to go in two 
or three months, as I understand from this time. I am, Dear Sir, 
your Obedient Servant, James MlLNOB." 

1 Joseph Delaplaine (1774-1821), of English descent, was first a 
bookseller in Philadelphia and later a collector of paintings by Sully 
and Benjamin West. He edited "Lives and Portraits of Distinguish I 
Americans," invited Dr. Spalding to insert within it his portrait, 
which was finally painted in miniature by Rembrandt Peele, and a 
copy of which forms a frontispiece to this LIFE. 


The other note, undated, from "St. George's Rectory," 

"My Dear Doctor: I regret on examination of my resources, 
together with future demands upon them, that I cannot, now, make 
it convenient to accommodate you with the proposed loan, but I 
beg of you to do me the great favor of accepting the enclosed sum 
as a small acknowledgement for your very kind medical attentions 
to me and to my family. Your Obedient Servant, James Milnor." 

With these letters Dr. Spalding's first year as a bachelor 
in New York ended and he now made plans to bring on his 
family from Portsmouth. 


Four Years in New York Previous to the Proposal for Estab- 
lishing a National Pharmacopoeia. The Barber 
Family. "The Institutes of Medicine." 

Finishing his Fifth Course at Fairfield in January, 1814, 
Dr. Spalding as we have seen went to Portsmouth to com- 
plete arrangements for removing his family to New York. 
As it seemed dangerous to go by water, owing to the British 
cruising along the coast, an overland journey by way of 
Cornish was planned. He then returned alone to New 
York by way of Albany where he met Capt. Jedediah Rogers 
with whose "Aunt Sally" he had been boarding in New 
York. Soon after his arrival there, Capt. Rogers wrote this 

"Albany, March 30, 1814. Dear Sir: Your trunk, and small box 
together with letter containing S10 and three Notes, I rec'd (from 
Fairfield) the next morning after you left Mr. Cundy's. I have 
collected S37 50/100 on them. I shall be in N. Y., next week, and 
will pay it over to you. I know of no friend going down this morning, 
or would enclose it to you. We are not in the habit of hazarding 
our own money in the letter box. If, however, in the next Boat 
any person is going I will send it to you. I send you the trunk and 
box by this morning's Boat "The Paragon." — I have made in- 
quiries relative to the Stage, agreeable to your requests. The Stage 
leaves Brattleborough every Saturday and arrives in this City on 
Sunday and puts up at Mr. Cundy's Hotel. If Mrs. Spalding 
should come this way, we should be very happy to have her stay 
with us, until she should be disposed to leave. There will be no 
Steam Boat until Tuesday following her arrival in this City. If 
she comes this way, Mr. Cundy will give direction where we may 
be found, and I assure you, I will endeavor to render her as com- 
fortable as possible while here. Be so good as to give our most 
affectionate respects to Aunt Sally and Family. Your Ob'd't 
Serv't., Jed. Rogers." 

Two weeks later Dr. Spalding wrote a long letter to his 
wife then in Claremont, New Hampshire, visiting the family 
of Mr. Bill Barnes. Part of this letter is sentimental and 
omissible, the rest reads to this effect. 



"New York, April 18, 1814. My dear Wife: Mr. Rogers has 
been in town with his wife's half sister, Miss Reed. I was very at- 
tentive to her for two reasons: that she might repay it to you in 
Albany and because she is a fine unaffected girl. Mr. R. says they 
shall insist on your staying with them, and that with pleasure he 
will get up a party to the Cohoes Falls. Desire him also to intro- 
duce you to some passengers on board the Boat who are acquainted 
with the beauties of the picturesque scenery which abounds on the 
Hudson, and who will point them out to you. 

I think I have been the means of $100 being collected in the Uni- 
versalist Parish in this town for Mr. Richard's children as also a 
farther sum in the Lodges. I shall take possession of our house 
the 27th, but shall board and lodge at the Washington Hall till the 
4th of May when I shall expect to see you. I shall endeavor to be 
on the wharf when the boat arrives but if anything should prevent, 
give your baggage to a porter and walk to 8 Fair Street. If anything 
should prevent your leaving Claremont on the 29th, you will write 
to me, immediately. You will not forget, that at Brattleboro', on 
Sunday Morning, you will take the Albany stage. Before you 
take leave of my aged Father see that he is supplied with those 
little stores which I have already named to you. Commend me 
to him : he always has an interest in my prayers, and bid him for me 
a final last Adieu! If convenient, let the children see him. I am 
Yours, L. Spalding." 

A few days later Colonel Spalding died; and the family 
started off on their way to New York, arriving early in May, 
and establishing themselves in N2 8 Fair Steet. 

The arrival of a letter from Dr. Bigelow in February seems 
to have excited a study of Botany by Dr. Spalding, and 
happening to discover some unknown seeds, he wrote to in- 
quire their species. Failing an answer from Dr. Bigelow, he 
wrote to Professor Peck, who soon satisfied his inquiries. 

"Cambridge, 22 April, 1814. Dear Sir: I am sorry that Dr. 
Bigelow has not communicated your note to me, as it would have 
shortened by two months, your state of uncertainty respecting the 
article you kindly enclosed to me. The fruit of the Camphor Tree 
is a one celled berry and contains a single seed which has TWO 
lobes. The fruit of the Sassafras, which is of the same family 
(Laurus) will give you a correct notion of that of the Camphor 
Tree. Your inclosure is a capsule divided internally into three 
cells by delicate membranous partitions, but NOT opening with 
3 valves and is what Botanists call Capsula Coriacea; The seeds; 
numerous, crowded in each cell; and angular from mutual pressure; 
and have but one lobe. It is the capsule of Amomum, and is the 


true Cardamomum Minus, of the Apothecaries: tho' what are 
found in some shops by this name are of a very slender form and 
may be a variety, or even another Species of the same genus. 
Whoever first pronounced this, the fruit of the Camphor Tree, 
might not intend a fraud, but he was egregiously mistaken. Still, 
as the seeds appear sound, they shall be planted, and I may be 
gratified to have a few plants of this beautiful and aromatic genus 
to remind me of your kind attention. I am, Dear Sir, your obliged 
and Ob'd't Servant, W. D. Peck." 

We may judge from the message now arriving from Dover, 
New Hampshire, that Dr. Spalding had occasion to make 
use of his friend Dr. Dow of that place concerning some deeds 
of land. 1 

"Dover, July 20, 1814. Dear Sir: The Recorder has attended 
to the object of your request, a statement of which he has sent you. 
He handed me the Deed several days ago, and placing it in a place 
of safety, being out of sight, I forgot the circumstances of my having 
it, and have kept it by me 5 or 6 days, for which I hope I shall find 
excuse. Relative to the land, you had best advise your friend to 
dispose of it with all possible speed, for if the deed bears any kind 
of mark of the Real consideration, he has probably given 4 times 
as much as any uncultivated land in the Miserable town of Benton, 
is worth. 

Relative to business we jog on in the old style, practice enough 
and poor as the deuce. Healthy, except measles, which are some- 
times fatal. 

Dr. Greely 2 moved out of town to East Kingston the place of 
his nativity; a Dr. Taylor 3 here: how he will sprawl I know not. 
Dr. Greely leaves the place with a reputation, and with the regret 
of his employers. 

Relative to old Portsmouth, we stand medically in statu quo. 
Our little medical Society, of which we consider you the Father be- 
gins to flourish. Portsmouth gentry Growl, because Dr. Spalding 
has left them. I tell them, that apathy in the feelings of peop 
a poor reward to merit in a physician. I want you to write me as 

1 Dr. Jabez Dow (1776-1839) was a physician of great renown for 
a small place like Dover. His mansion on Silver Street, still standing 
is well worth visiting. He was a sturdy, linn, and loquacious prac- 
titioner of the old school, and ordered his patients about a good deal, 
lie wrote a readable paper "On Hydrophobia," and his name figures 
constantly on the records of the State Society. 

2 Dr. Jonathan Greely was an educated man who eeked out a small 
medical income by teaching Greek and Latin. 

3 Dr. Taylor is unknown. 


often as you can find it convenient. Nothing would give ME 
greater satisfaction than a regular correspondence. Yours, etc., 
Jabez Dow." 

Just before setting off for Fairfield in the Autumn, Dr. 
Spalding received a letter which introduces to us an ex- 
traordinary Family, with all of whom Dr. Spalding was 
intimately acquainted: the Barbers of West Claremont, 
Fairfield and Maryland. 

Rev. Daniel Barber (1756-1834), the father of the writer 
of the letter was at one time Rector of an Episcopal Church, 
in Schenectady, and then in West Claremont close to Cor- 
nish where the Spaldings lived. 

His son, Virgil Horace Barber (1782-1847) also became 
an Episcopal Clergyman and when a vacancy arose in the 
Principal's Chair, at Fairfield, owing to the resignation of 
Rev. Mr. Judd, Dr. Spalding recommended him for the 
place. This position he accepted and removed to Fairfield 
where he not only served faithfully, but he amazed the vil- 
lagers by talking Latin to his wife and growing children. 

After a year or two Mr. and Mrs. Barber happened to be 
reading aloud a "Novena of St. Francis Xavier," and were 
so much influenced by the doctrines inculcated, that they, 
with their five children embraced Catholicism and ultimately 
induced the Reverend Daniel Barber and his wife too, to 
follow their example, so that at one conversion nine souls 
"Went over to Rome." Young Mr. Barber as we shall soon 
see, made a pilgrimage to Rome, and ultimately the entire 
family died in Conventual Life, in Maryland and elsewhere, 
as Fathers and Sisters of the Church. 

The letter which introduces us to this family follows 

"Fairfield, Oct. 23, 1814. Dear Sir: Enclosed I send you the 
order on the Treasurer of Trinity Church, as I proposed when in 
N. Y. I wish you would represent to Mr. Clarkson, the great ac- 
commodation it will be to me if he will advance what is due for the 
whole year. 1 If it would be convenient I would have you inform 
Mr. Swords, that Dr. Sherwood wants 2 or 3 copies of Parkhurst's 
"Greek-Hebrew Lexicon"; 2 also 1 doz. of Main's "Introduction," 

1 The salary due from Mr. Clarkson as Treasurer was $750. 

2 The books asked for are long since obsolete, but John Parkhurst 
(1728-1797) deserves mention. He was a Curate at Epsom, England, 
where he led a retired life devoted to his parish, his Greek, his Latin 


two or three sets of Green's "Majors and Minora," with as many 
Murphy's "Lucien." Capt. Paine desires me to request you to 
procure for him a tin ear trumpet; he being very much troubled in 
hearing. Please to pay Mr. Swords the little amount S2 or $3 I 
owe him, out of the money you will receive for me. Your Very 
Humble Servant, Virgil H. Barber." 

It was the fashion in those days to print "Open Letters" 
to distinguished physicians, and amongst several issued by 
Dr. Spalding was one to Baron Larrey "On Abnormal 
Cartilages in the Capsular Ligament of the Knee Joint." 
With this Letter, when printed in the "Repository," Dr. 
Spalding forwarded a copy of his Inaugural Address and 
asked permission to nominate Larrey as honorary member 
of the New York Historical Society. The answer follows, 

"Paris, Sept. 12, 1815. Dear Sir: I have already had the honor 
to acknowledge the receipt of your Inaugural Address before the 
celebrated Medical School over which j r ou now preside, and I take 
the opportunity to day, owing to the voyage of one of my students 
to your immense country, to express to you, once more, my gral itude 
for the interest which you have shown in me and in my writings. 
I desire in this way to make an opportunity to be able to prove to 
you, that I am not forgetful of your exceedingly courteous remarks 
toward me. I assure you, that what you have so kindly said con- 
cerning me will remain forever engraven on my memory. It 
would give me the greatest pleasure in the world, also, to receive 
the Honorary Title of Corresponding Member of the New York 
Historical Society, if you should see fit to send it to me. With my 
affectionate compliments, to you, Dear Sir, I remain, the Baron 
Dominique Jean Larrey. 1 " 

Sometime in 1816, Dr. Spalding completed his "Treatise 
on the Institutes of Medicine" and now offered to send the 

and his Hebrew. His "Lexicon" was a remarkable book enriched 
with an enormous wealth of literary illustrations acquired in his early 
travels abroad, and before he settled for life in Epsom. 

1 Baron Larrey (1766-1842) studied medicine with an uncle in the 
country, went to Paris, and obtaining a position as Ship's Surgeoiti 
made a voyage to Newfoundland. During the Revolution, he came to 
the front as organizer of the ambulance service, accompanied Napoleon 
in all of his campaigns, and after the Abdication, remained many years 
at the head of French Military Surgery. His "Memoirs" are vastly 
entertaining and instructive to the student of military surgery and Na- 
poleonic history. 


MSS. to Dr. Caldwell for criticism. The answer runs to 
this effect: 

" Philad'a, July 18, 1816. Dear Sir: It will afford me high gratifi- 
cation to look through your MSS., and I cannot feel otherwise than 
flattered by the offer you have had the politeness to make: but it 
is not probable that I shall find much ground for alterations or 
amendments. Possibly, however, I may on some points be able to 
substitute a word or suggest a thought, if so, I shall be pleased to 
do it. 

I will take care that you shall be nominated to the Philosophical So- 
ciety. Before the time of your being ballotted for, I should like much 
to be in possession of your Manuscript, that I may speak of it, on 
that occasion, to your advantage. I am myself, in the way of be- 
coming shortly again, an author, in a medical point of view, and am 
the author (incognito) of a literary work that has just appeared. 
Whether I may be able to remain concealed is yet to be ascertained. 
Of the Medical Work I am preparing, I shall announce myself the 
author. 1 

Please to let me have some of your MSS. by the first favorable 
opportunity, and believe me in great truth, Your Obedient and Very 
Humble Serv't, Ch. Caldwell." 

Although I find no trace of Dr. Caldwell's opinion of the 
MSS: October brought the following favor asked in return: 

"October 6th, 1816. Dear Sir: A Faculty of Physical Science 
in which is included the Chair of Natural History has been just 
created by the Trustees of the Univ. of Pennsylvania. For that 
Chair (N. History) it is my intention to become a candidate. For 
sundry reasons which it is not material to recite, I shall have to 
support my pretensions, in part, by any general weight of character, 
for science and letters, I may be so fortunate to possess. With my 
general reputation in these respects, you I believe, are perfectly 

To the sundry remarks of regard I have had the honour of receiv- 
ing from you, will you have the goodness to add, in a communication 
to myself that of a distinct expression respecting my general stand- 
ing as a medical philosopher, and a man of general Science and 

Is it, or is it not, your opinion that my character with my country- 
men in these respects is such, as would add weight and give some 
luster to the Chair to which I might be chosen? 

Let your communication assume at your option, the shape of a 
letter or a certificate to be exhibited to the Trustees if required. In 

1 The Medical Work was an Edition of Cullen's "Practice," and the 
Literary, " Lives of Distinguished Americans." 


a case like the present, early impressions are important. Yon will, 
therefore exceedingly oblige me, by favouring me with a reply to 
this letter at as early a day as possible. On another subject I hope to 
have leisure to write to you shortly; which has not yet been the 

With high and sincere regard, I am, Dear Sir, your Friend and 
Obedient Servant, Ch. Caldwell." 

The MSS. just noted was next sent to Dr. Shattuck for 
his opinion, which runs to this effect: 

"Boston, Nov. 19, 1816. My dear Sir: I have the honor to 
acknowledge the receipt of your letter accompanying the Manu- 
script. As a proof of your high confidence in my friendly regard, 
I beg you to accept my acknowledgments. As neither my ability 
nor leisure enable me to write Notes, you will excuse my simple 
statement of an opinion of the undertaking and of its execution. 
The undertaking is in itself vast, and implies enterprise of the 
highest order; it undoubtedly would do an American public good, 
by provoking the Faculty to new efforts of examination, and 
thought, even if it failed to add to the reputation of the author. 
The execution in its style is novel. Novelty in a System is ob- 
jectionable, unless its nearer conformity to nature be demonstrable. 
Particular parts will undoubtedly receive new elucidation by ex- 
tensive anatomical research. As your reputation with the Medical 
American Public already stands exceedingly high, is that reputation 
to derive additional lustre from the publication? To the solution 
of this inquiry, I am inadequate: but upon this delicate point of 
trust you have already felt adequate to a decision. With Great 
Respect, I am, My Dear Sir, Your Obliged Friend, Geo. C. Shat- 

A few r days later, as if he, too, had seen the MSS., Dr. 
Waterhouse wrote: 

"Cambridge, 18 Nov. 1816. Dear Sir: The Bearer, of this, Mr. 
W T ait is a respectable Printer and Bookseller in Boston. He is, I 
believe, about printing a new Edition of Thaeher's "Dispensatory," 
and if I mistake not, another work by the same author. Whatever 
it may be, my respect for Dr. Thacher and Mr. Wait, and the desire 
of promoting useful publications, induce me to recommend the 
latter to your notice and confidence. I conceive that Dr. Thacher 
and you can benefit each (it her in your respective publications — 
and this is one of the reasons of my giving Mr. Wail this Letter 
of introduction to you. 

My Family, such Alas! as remain of it, desire to be remembered 
to you and yours. I correspond, as you know, more with medical 
men at a distance than with those near to me. To hear of your 


health and prosperity, will always give pleasure to Your Friend and 
Humble Servant, Benj'n Waterhouse. 1 " 

A brief note terminates the correspondence for 1816, in- 
troduces two new friends and emphasizes the wide acquaint- 
ance of Dr. Spalding. 

Rev. Abiel Carter (1791-1827), a Dartmouth graduate of 
1813, and now settled in Savannah as a Clergyman, made a 
call on Dr. Spalding on his way North, and was handed an 
introductory letter to Joseph Perry, a Tutor at Dartmouth. 
Mr. Perry, by the way, later suffered from weak eyes, re- 
signed for that reason, and lived on a farm in Keene, New 
Hampshire, the rest of his life. 

Replying in due season to the letter mentioned, Mr. 
Perry writes to this effect. 

"Hanover, Aug. 29, 1816. Dear Sir: Your polite note by Rev. 
Mr. Carter has been received. Agreeably to your request, I send 
you the Pamphlets relating to Dartmouth College, excepting the 
"Vindication" 2 of the Eight Trustees which cannot be conveniently 
obtained. President Wheelock wishes to be very cordially re- 
membered to you, Sir, and he will ever be happy in showing you 
any favor in his power. With sentiments of Respect, Your Friend 
and Servant, Jos. Perry." 

1 The "Institutes" was advertised, but never printed as a whole. 
Chapters on "Fever" and on "Yellow Fever" were issued as pam- 
phlets, in magazine form and as Reprints. 

2 "The Vindication of the Official Conduct of the Trustees" was a 
much talked of pamphlet concerning the quarrel between the College 
and the State of New Hampshire. The scarcity of the pamphlet was 
due to the fact that only a few were printed and sold at Twenty Five 
cents a copy, whilst the "Reply" of the opponents was printed free, 
and scattered far and wide, to influence popular opinion. 


Beginnings of the Pharmacopoeia. Chair of Anatomy in the 

Pennsylvania Medical School. Dr. J. L. E. W. Sukcut; 

Gov. Plumer; Dr. Trevett; Dr. Usher Parsons. 

On the 8th day of January, 1817, at a meeting of the New 
York County Medical Society, Dr. Spalding proposed a 
National Pharmacopoeia. It must have seemed a striking 
event and have caused much remark in medical circles, 
that a physician who had only been a resident of the City 
for four years should arise at a meeting of practitioners of 
long standing and open discussion on a topic of National 
Medical Importance. Yet this long series of letters prove 
that the man was fitted for the place. Moreover, the fact 
that he did the greater part of this work alone cannot be too 
strongly emphasized. To the few who gave personal aid, 
proper recognition will be given. But the last four years of 
Dr. Spalding's life were devoted chiefly to this great task. 
Amidst a steadily increasing practice, he personally wrote 
and sent from his home, innumerable letters and circulars 
concerning his notable Project. The most important papers 
bearing upon this labor shall have a separate chapter at the 
end of this life, for it was the culmination of Dr. Spalding's 
career. Hardly had he finished the publication of the 
Pharmacopoeia when he met with an accident which at once 
destroyed his practice and not long after terminated his life. 

After this preliminary note, the most important letters re- 
ceived whilst the Pharmacopoeia was in progress may here 
find insertion. 

Early in the year, Dr. Eleazer Clapp (1786-1817) of 
Boston 1 was on his way South in search of health. Dr. 
Shattuck urged him to stop over and see Dr. Spalding, and 
gave him this introductory letter: 

"Boston, May 20, 1817. Dear Sir: Permit me to introduce to 
your friendly notice, and Regard, Dr. Clapp, the bearer, who visits 

1 This clever young man was graduated from Harvard in 1S07 and 

was already a promising member of the Massachusetts Medic 
when tuberculosis set in, and he failed to survive the current year. 



your city as an invalid, travelling in pursuit of health. Dr. Clapp 
till his present indisposition was in pretty full practice in this town. 
Any attention you may show him to cherish and refresh his ex- 
hausted spirits consistent with your convenience will confer an ad- 
ditional obligation on your already greatly obliged, Friend and 
Servant, Geo. C. Shattuck." 

I now have the pleasure of inserting interesting Dart- 
mouth and family news from Dr. Smith, who had happened 
to meet Mrs. Spalding, then in Portsmouth on a vacation 
from her family cares in New York, and was thus reminded 
to write to his former scholar. 

"Portsmouth, Sept. 11, 1817. Dear Sir. It is a long time 
since I have heard directly from you, till I accidentally found 
Mrs. Spalding in Portsmouth where I have spent a few days on 
professional business. I believe Portsmouth remains very much 
as it was when you left it, excepting that to fill up the vacancy 
you made by leaving it, about half a dozen physicians have 
come to town and are endeavoring, I suppose, to get an honest 

Our old College at Dartmouth has been brought to bed with a 
young University and has not yet got out of the straw. 1 A jury of 
Doctors set this week at Exeter to consult on her Case, and the 
public are waiting with considerable anxiety the result of their de- 
liberation. I have taken up my connection with that Seminary, 
and therefore am not called into Council. I shall return home 
from this place through Boston, where I have some unfinished 
business, and from thence I shall return to Hanover, and immedi- 
ately remove my family to New Haven where I am going to settle 
down quietly with them, and leave off roaming about the Country. 
My oldest son, David Solon, 2 has had his head turned about the 
Western Country, and last June set off to establish himself in that 
region as a physician. I expect he will return soon, in poverty, 
and heartily sick of the project. Ryno, is at Haymarket in Vir- 
ginia as an Instructor in Mr. Thorn: Turner's family. 3 

I have nothing new in the medical world. This has been a 
healthy season, generally, in New England excepting a few places 

1 The allusion to Dartmouth refers to the establishment of a Uni- 
versity by New Hampshire, as against the College governed by Trus- 
tees under the old Charter. This was the beginning of the famous 
Dartmouth College Case. 

2 David Solon Chase Hall Smith (1785-1859) came home again and 
practiced many years in Sutton, Massachusetts. 

3 Nathan Ryno Smith (1797-1877) soon abandoned Tutoring, 
studied medicine and settling in Baltimore became a very renowned 
Surgeon in that City. 


of no great extent where dysentery has prevailed. 1 Last Spring 
a year ago, I wrote some Notes on Wilson's "Febrile ] I 
If you should happen to look into it, you will observe many blunders 
by the printer. The cause was, that Mr. Cook never sent me a 
Proof Sheet, nor a Book, but printed and distributed the book 
and the Type, while I was waiting for a Proof Sheet. N. Smith." 

No other letter of value is available for our historical 
purposes in 1817, except one from Mr. Barber, Jr., in Rome, 
whither he had journeyed to obtain instruction. 

"Rome, Italy, Nov. 1817. My Dear Sir: It is with pleasure I 
address myself to one who has on so many occasions manifested 
himself my friend. If I did not avail myself of the opportunity, be- 
fore my removal from New York to express to you, personally, a 
sense of the obligations which your politeness conferred on me and 
my family, I hope the present acknowledgement will cancel a 
neglect occasioned by the urgency of my affairs. 

Of the disposition of my family in consequence of Mrs. Barber's 
desire to devote herself to religion, and of my subsequent embarking 
for Europe you doubtless are long since apprized. My voyage 
though unusually long was nevertheless pleasant, being free from 
storm and bad weather. We had a view of most of the Western 
Islands, and passing the Straits of Gibraltar, we kept along the 
Spanish Coast. Passing Fromentara and Corsica and other islands 
which we saw, on the 14th of August we entered Leghorn. Here 
we performed a quarantine of two weeks at the Lazaretto. L 
ated from this confinement, I proceeded the same day to Pisa, and 
returning the next, we set off for Rome. Our journey led us through 
Siena and Viterbo, the former of which lies in Tuscany, an< 1 is 
noted for its superior taste and politeness, of manners, as well as 
distinguished for its correct and elegant pronunciation of the 
Italian tongue, and the latter is situated in the Pope's Dominions, 
nor is it remarkable for anything that fell under my observation ex- 
cepting the remains of a person who died in the 10th Century. She 
is called St. Rosa, and was a native of that city. Her death was 
occasioned by fire. This being extinguished, on searching for the 

1 Dr. Smith travelled so extensively over Now England for j 
that he was well acquainted with every epidemic occurring, so that his 
remark concerning the general health is reliable. 

2 "Wilson" on "Febrile Diseases" is very misleading to a modern 
searcher after medical facts. For, Alexander Philip Wilson (? 1779- 
? 1851) was only known as Wilson, up to 1807, when he changed his 
came to A. I'liiliji Wilson-Philip. "The Treatise" annotated !>y Dr. 
Smith was originally published in four volumes in 1799 -1804. Wilson 
practiced in many towns in England, then in London, made money, 
speculated, lost, and is said to have died forlornly in France. 


remains, her body was discovered to have suffered from the flames 
no external injury farther than the discoloring of the skin, which 
was perfectly black. The corpse was laid out in the usual manner, 
and afforded a fair opportunity for inspection. I examined it with 
attention, and could not but wonder at seeing the laws of mortality 
so far as I could discern, completely suspended. The countenance 
was not sunk as is commonly the case with the dead, and I believe, 
universally after some considerable length of exposure to the 
action of the air. Nor was even the skin contracted, nor the muscles 
shrunk, but all appeared distended to its natural state when alive 
and healthy. More than once I wished for the knowledge of the 
intelligent physician that I might go away with the satisfaction of 
having investigated this remarkable phenomenon as critically as 
the nature of the thing and the science of the age or the laws of 
animal nature when deprived of life would admit. As it was, I am 
not afraid the candid mind will charge me with superstition, if I 
believe till better informed, that what I saw was the manifestation 
of power which governs the world. 

I reached Rome, about the first of September. With its an- 
tiquities connected with its history, it presents a world of itself. 
My first object on my arrival was to make myself acquainted with 
its present state, and to visit such places and objects as are remark- 
able for past transactions, or justly claim the admiration of the 
world. Among these are the catacombs St. Sebastian, the Castle 
of St. Angelo, the Pantheon, the collections of ancient sculpture at 
the Capitol and the Vatican, the Church of St. Peter, the aqueducts, 
fountains and obelisks. Should you wish to refresh your mind 
with a short account of these, I would recommend Gahan's "History 
of the Church." With regard to them all, I have barely to remark 
that in none of them did I suffer any disappointment excepting at 
the first view of St. Peter. I had read and been told so much of 
the vast size of this admired edifice, that my expectations were 
raised in proportion. On seeing it appear so inferior to all my 
imagination had painted, I went away dissatisfied; nor was it till 
after a leisurely inspection of its parts and particularly after ascend- 
ing the cupola, that I was not only convinced, but felt that its ex- 
tent was enormous. You can form some estimate of this, when 
told that the globe or brass ball at the top, appears from the ground 
to be of the ordinary size, and yet it is capable of holding at least 
fifteen persons, some say more. I entered the globe about the 
middle of the day and found it insufferably warm. 

If you will let me know how I can serve you or gratify your 
curiosity during my stay in Europe, which probably will be two or 
three years, I shall consider it a favor. At present I am acquainted 
with no medical characters here, except the Pope's Physician, and 
he appears to be, as undoubtedly he is, at the head of his pro- 


fession. In proper time I design to inquire into the condition of 
Institutions of Medicine, and the state of that science in the country. 
Accept the assurance of my respect to yourself and Mrs. Spalding, 
and believe me your Friend, Virgil H. Barber." 

I have given Mr. Barber's letter in full as a specimen of a 
view of Italy a Century ago. He is, however, according to 
Mr. Hare, mistaken regarding St. Rosa. For she died, 
originally, in the XIII Century, and a century later her 
convent was set afire. She then arose from her tomb to 
ring the alarm for fire, and returning to her coffin was by this 
fire burnt as black as a coal, though miraculously embalmed. 

Dr. Caspar Wistar died in January, 1818, and Dr. Spald- 
ing announced himself as a candidate for the vacancy in the 
Pennsylvania Hospital Medical School. His chances were 
small because local influence would of course compel a local 
successor. Other candidates, however, outside of Phila- 
delphia were coming forward and Dr. Spalding knew that 
his claims were as good as theirs. For he had studied 
anatomy for twenty years, demonstrated to Dr. Smith, Dr. 
Ramsay and Dr. Wistar, had given six courses of lectures 
at Fairfield, and had been the first American anatomist to 
inject, successfully, the absorbents. Fully aware of his 
talents and ability, he visited Philadelphia, and left his in- 
terests in the hands of his friend Dr. Jonathan Horwitz 
(1783-1852). This talented man was born in Prussia, 
graduated at Gcettingen, and coming to America obtained 
his medical degree at Philadelphia. Turning aside from 
medicine he gradually became a fine Orientalist, a master 
of several languages, and was twice sent officially on Govern- 
ment Missions to Europe. He practiced also in Baltimore 
but seems to have preferred to be known as a linguist and 
teacher of Hebrew. His letters to Dr. Spalding are of 
value to the history of the Pennsylvania Hospital Medical 
School. I print them as they read, with their slightly 
curious errors in English. 

The following recommendation from Dr. Ramsay ac- 
companied Dr. Spalding's application. 

"Frycburg, Me., Feb. 7, 1818. As the friends of Dr. Spalding 
of New York have requested a certificate from me respecting my 
opinion of bis character as an Anatomist, I hereby, in my usual 
manner on such occasions address this letter to such persons as 
may require my knowledge of the abilities of my pupils, and declare 


my high sense of the Industry, Uncommon Excellence, and great 
Extent of Dr. Spalding's powers as an Anatomist. 

After teaching the College of N. Y., in 1807 (to the chair of 
which I was invited as an Anatomist and Physiologist) in obeying 
a similar call from Dartmouth College, Dr. Spalding acted as my 
assistant and friend with that ability which claimed my confidence 
and respect. He filled the same responsible office when I taught 
the Institute in N. Y., in 1817, with that increased ability which 
drew from the pupils their warmest acknowledgement and my un- 
bounded approbation. I now possess as the basis of my Lectures 
on Anatomy and Physiology; Muscular, Arterial, Nervous and 
Lymphatic preparations executed in the style of my museum in 
Europe, and which rival European excellence, chiefly executed as 
they were by my ingenious Pupil and Friend, Dr. Spalding. 
Alex. Ramsay." 

With this recommendation arrived a characteristic letter. 

"Fryeburg, Feb. 17, 1818. My Dear Sir: I enclose a certificate. 
Dana x is from home. All manner of success I wish you if 3 r our 
ambition would be sated. But you folks have your own species of 
felicity, which I pity. I have not seen your $50 Note here against 
me, and I may say that the great expense I incurred in the South, 
and in coming here, may render its appearance exactly at this time 
inconvenient. Do your books sell well? Tell Pascalis - 1 expected 
a copy of his work, with my communication, here, and if he behaves 
well, I may become his correspondent. My Class is better than 
could be expected from my short notices issued and the penury of 
the Country. I look for its increase. Believe me your friend, 
Alex Ramsay." 

Dr. Spalding did not have to wait long for news from Dr. 
Horwitz concerning affairs in Philadelphia. 

"Philadelphia, March 2, 1818. D'r Sir: I have made all in- 
quiries and the following are the results. Dr. Dorsey has finished 

1 Dana is our friend Judge Judah Dana of Walpole times. 

2 Dr. Felix Pascalis Ouvieres (1750-1840) known as Dr. Pascalis in 
New York, where he practiced, was one of Dr. Spalding's very intimate 
friends. In little notes to Dr. Spalding he signs himself "Your own 
Pascalo." Pascalis seems to have been of Portuguese descent (Pas- 
quale) but was born in France and educated at the Medical School at 
Montpellier in the country. He practiced for a while in the Island of 
So: Domingo, but escaping from the Negro Revolutionists he settled 
in New York. He went abroad not long afterward to study an epidemic 
in Cadiz, and on his return studied and wrote concerning a similar 
epidemic in Philadelphia. He wrote a great deal whilst an Editor of the 
"Repository" and was very useful in forwarding the Pharmacopoeia. 


the course of the deceased Dr. Wistar. He pretends not to desire 
the Chair of Anatomy being now p< issessor of the Mat. Med. ; which 
I presume he intends to fill until the death of his Uncle Dr. Physdck, 
when in all probability, he has an eye to the Professorship of 
gery, being more congenial to his pursuits. But exerts himself 
much, and makes strong interest in favour of a Dr. Smith, 1 now 
President of a College in Virginia. Drs. Hartshorn 2 and Hewson, 3 
I understand are also candidated for the professorship. I have 
several times called on some of the Trustees, but have never been 
sufficiently fortunate to meet them within. 

There exists a spirit of monopoly, and sycophancy in the M 
School of this place that's unrivalled any where. And I have no 
doubt that they will try to have somebody from here; though I be- 
lieve Dr. Smith stands a fair chance. I shall cite the Finis of Dr. 
Caldwell's Eulogy on Dr. Wistar delivered a few days ago, by which 
you will be enabled to perceive what wretched flattery exists here. 

Though the Dr.'s appearance and eloquence would have been 
better at the field of Bunker's Hill, having more the oratorical 
powers and appearance of a soldier than a physician or orator, yet 
these were his words. 

"We have lost a Rush, a Barton, and a Wistar, yet by the judi- 
cious selections of the Trustees" (not one physician amongst them 
and therefore unable to judge) "those chairs have been so well 
filled that they equal if not surpass their predecessors. But a 
WISTAR! He that will fill a Wistar's Chair, must be a great man! 
And such we have amongst us. We need not seek for them abroad." 

My humble advice therefore, would be this. As the election will 
not take place until some time the next Spring or Summer (though 
I shall try my best to see 5 or 6 of the Trustees and exert my little 
influence so far as it goes) for you to come here, for nobody can do 
one's business as well as one's self. But in order to make your 

1 Dr. Smith was J. Augustine Smith. 

2 Dr. Joseph Hartshorn (1779-1850) obtained his degree at Phila- 
delphia in 1S05, went as Ship's Surgeon to the East Indies and pra 

a while in Java. Returning to Philadelphia he was one of the Surgeons 
to the Pennsylvania Hospital and edited Boyer's "Treatise on the 

3 Dr. Thomas Tickell Hewson (1775-1S4S) was a grandson of Wil- 
liam Hewson, a distinguished English Surgeon, and son of a second Dr. 
William Hewson, who was at one time a partner of William Sunt 
When Hewson and Hunter quarrelled concerning money, Benjamin 
Franklin acted as a mediator. After the death of his Father, Th 
Hewson established in Philadelphia a Private School of Medicine. He 
was later elected Professor of Theory and Practice and translated 
various medical and surgical papers from the French. He also col- 
laborated diligently in the Pharmacopoeia, and won a lofty reputation 
in Medicine. 


journey effectual, if you could procure letters to some of the most 
influential Trustees, particularly to Mr. Merdith, 1 it would be well 
for you. He has great influence in the Board and being a Yankee 
swims always on top, and does with the others whatever he pleases. 

That you may succeed according to your merits and virtues are 
the ardent wishes of, Dear Sir, your friend, J. Horwitz. 

P. S. In going to the Post Office I luckily met with Bishop 
White (a Trustee) in Market St. who informed me that there will 
be a meeting to morrow evening of the Board, and that the whole 
Faculty has drawn up a petition in favor of Dr. Smith, that Dr. 
Warren of Boston and Dr. Hewson from here are candidates. Dr. 
Warren is also strongly recommended, but this ought not to dis- 
courage your exertions." 

Although supporting Dr. Warren as a candidate, Dr. 
Caldwell now wrote to Dr. Spalding that Dr. Dorsey would 
have the vacant chair, and that where he saw no chance for 
anybody else it would be uncandid to offer any encourage- 
ment. He sent with this letter a copy of his Eulogy on 
Wistar saying that his time had been too much occupied to 
do justice to the subject. 

Dr. Warren also wrote to this effect: 

"As you may have heard something about my being a candidate 
for the Anatomical Chair at Philadelphia, and as these things are 
often strangely misrepresented, I beg leave to trouble you with the 
Statement; That I am not and never have wished to become a 
competitor for that affair. Gentlemen of Philadelphia strongly 
urged it, and Dr. Dorsey and Dr. Caldwell were favorably inclined : 
in fact as they say, originally proposed it, but I never for a moment 
could seriously think of leaving Boston and a multitude of friends. 
Dr. Dorsey will be the successful candidate for Anatomy. Coxe 
will take Materia Medica, and Hare, Chemistry. There is, however, 
so much INTRIGUE, that neither is sure but the first!! " 

Dr. Dorsey was elected to the vacant Chair, delivered the 
opening lecture, was stricken with fever on the next day, 
and died very soon. 

Dr. Spalding offered his service again, but was in a few 
days informed by Dr. Coxe that Dr. Physick would fulfil 
the duties for the rest of the winter. 

Dr. Caldwell who was also appealed to sent similar in- 
formation. The only thing then left was to electioneer for 
the vacancy to be filled in the year 1819 by the Trustees. 

1 Mr. William Meredith was a celebrated Lawyer, President of the 
Schuylkill Bank and City Solicitor, for many years. 


With this in view Dr. Spalding sent on another recom- 
mendation from Dr. Ramsay which had reached him with 
this curious letter. 

"Fryeburg, Maine, March 20, 1819. Dear Sir: Our roads are so 
impassable by snow that your letter has been detained. I do not 
lose a day yet shall mention in the end, how inconvenient, cor- 
respondence is to me. And when you peruse my Second Certificate, 
my labors and my reasonings may fail in gratifying you and your 
advisers. We must mutually excuse each other. One motive from 
withdrawing from the work is, that it is a spoiled child and I have 
only one stable plan and prospect. If I am to serve you, essentially, 
with wise, learned, and good men, my own opinion ought to acquire 
no lustre from any auditors but where this is volunteered by them. 
In your favor as I have done, I have therefore left it to your friends 
of the Faculty to prove their kindness and imitate me in subscribing 
their opinions. If, upon reflection, your friends disapprove the 
manner of speaking of your Preparations in my Certificate, Ameri- 
cans and Europeans must still mutually regret variety of opinion. 
I have endeavored to consult the dictates of veracity which never 
is at variance with the interests of probity or the efficiency of friend- 
ship. Let me hear how you succeed. 

An essay "On Dissection as the basis of Physiology, Anatomy and 
Surgery" has been laid aside to wait on you, and shall be for- 
warded to you with its diagrams of the head and neck. 

Some interesting cases have passed through my hands, in fever: 
none of them admitted, naturally, of cold affusion: Vapor baths 
could not be procured. I wrapped the patient in a wet blanket of 
nearly the temperature of the body. He was stretched on a board 
as more easy posture than sitting: the water was gradually raised 
in temperature, and continually poured on the blanket, the heat 
thus raised to 100° or 104°. The body was then dashed on oath 
breast by only a tumbler of cold water. Convalescence appeared 
from that moment. Your Friend, Alex. Ramsay." 

At this juncture Dr. Horwitz kept his friend in touch 
with the state of affairs and mentioned some new candidates. 

"Philadelphia, April 12, 1819. D'r Sir: In answer to your last, 
I have to observe that the Trustees have met but no particular 
nomination has taken place. Then' were read letters from 4 can- 
didates, Viz; Dr. Englis from Boston, 1 Dr. Watson from Virginia, 

1 Dr. William Ingalls (1769-1851) was a distinguished physician of 
Boston, Professor of Surgery at one time at Brown Qniversity, ami at 
the head of a Private Medical School in Boston, which was a promising 
rival to the Harvard School. Dr. Ingalls drove stylish horses, and ob- 
tained by audacity, a dashing surgical and medical practice, of large 


Dr. Hcwson, and Dr. Patterson from Glasgow 1 who is said to be a 
very popular lecturer there and is highly recommended by Mr. 
Jeffries and Rev. Dr. Chalmers. Therefore place is kept open for 
candidates which will be nominated next month and in consequence 
the election will not take place until June. One thing, however, is 
sure, that your friend Meredith has as yet made no mention of 
your name. 

The College of Physicians is kept in a room in 5th St., at the same 
place where the Philosophical Society is kept, between Chestnut 
and Walnut. 

If you can obtain for me a letter from Dr. Mitchill to Mr. Jeffer- 
son as I intend to be a candidate for the Professorship of Oriental 
Languages in the Central College under the patronage of Mr. J. 
you will infinitely oblige your most obedient J. Horwitz." 

I find at this point another long letter from Dr. Horwitz 
concerning his application for a position as Professor of 
Hebrew, and although it is hardly related to the career of 
Dr. Spalding, it throws so much light on his personal friend, 
that it deserves insertion. 

"D'r Sir: I observe from your note that Dr. Mitchill wishes 
some testimony of my qualifications. My object in seeing Mr. 
Jefferson is to procure a place as Professor of Oriental languages in 
the new founded college at Charlottesville of which he is the head. 
I thought that I was sufficiently known in the above department, not 
to need any testimony, having taught almost all the Clergy in the 
Eastern, Middle and Western States. There is but one person 
here who corresponds with Mr. J., viz., John Vaughan with whom I 
am not on good terms; otherwise I could have obtained it here. 
But, to the point: If Dr. Mitchill wants to know whether I am a 
good Hebrew scholar he may inquire of Dr. Harris, President of 
Columbia, Rev. Mr. Onderdonk, etc., who were my pupils. These 
gentlemen, whatever may be their opinion of my orthodoxy in reli- 
gious matter in which, perhaps, we do not agree, cannot help of 
affirming as they have often done both verbally and in writing, that 
they consider me the best Hebrew Scholar in the Country. 

I might have sent you a letter from Rev. Mr. Wilson, the most 
accurate Hebrew Scholar in this city, if he had not already publicly 

1 Granville Sharp Pattison (1791-1851) was graduated at Glasgow, 
and established in 1818 a private medical school in Philadelphia. He 
was later called to the University of Maryland, but resigned owing to 
poor health and returned to England. Recovering his health he re- 
turned to Philadelphia, and was chosen a Professor in the Jefferson 
Medical School, and in the University medical school in New York. 
He wrote "A Treatise on Lithotomy," but most of his papers were 
controversial, and ephemeral. 


testified of me in the most flattering terms in his "Hebrew Lan- 
guage." If you can obtain a letter from Dr. Mitchill before the ex- 
piration of a week, I will be obliged to you. Otherwise, it is of no 
consequence. I shall attend to the Anatomical Chair, and shall 
write you as soon as I have full information. If you arrive here 
drop a note for me in the Post Office. With assurances of Respect, 
etc., J. Horwitz." 

The final letter from Dr. Horwitz concerning the Chair of 
Anatomy, but which I omit as mere repetition of his pre- 
vious letters, goes all over the ground once more, mentions 
in profuse detail the opinions of the various trustees con- 
cerning various candidates, says that no appointment is to 
be made at this time and concludes in this way : 

"There seems to be some Mystery and Cavil about the whole 
affair. What they intend to do nobody knows. Some think 
General Cadwallader having gone to Europe, they will wait until 
an answer from him, after having made particular inquiry concern- 
ing the character and standing of Dr. Patterson of Glasgow. 

I thank you for Dr. Mitchill's Note to Mr. Jefferson, and am 
as ever, your friend, etc., J. Horwitz." 

The Trustees at length made what has been called the 
"unfortunate" appointment of Dr. Physick to the vacant 
Chair and Dr. Spalding's long and persistent efforts met 
with failure. 

Let us now return to the year 1818 and set in order the 
course of events, interrupted by the Philadelphia Anatomical 

It has already been stated that Dr. Spalding decided not 
to print his "Institutes of Medicine" as a single volume, 
but issued parts of it in pamphlet form. I now go on to 
say that having sent one to Dr. Nathan Smith the following 
criticism was duly received. 

"New Haven, March 6, 1818. Dear Sir: It has been some time 
since I received a letter from you accompanying a Dissertation on 
"Fever," and I must beg your pardon fur not answering it sooner. 
The truth is I have been very closely engaged in delivering my 
lectures, on which I have been more full and particular than here- 
tofore. And, of late, owing to some headstrong and unforesighted 
young men in procuring Bubjects, we have been brought into much 
trouble, and perplexity, which I trust will however pass over. 
Respecting your theory of fever, as it happens to lie a little different 
from mine, it is very natural to suppose that I should not be quite 


satisfied with it. As to what Dr. Rush and others have said of 
Nosology, and the general disrepute into which it has fallen, it is to 
be attributed to the errors of those who attempted it, rather than 
the impossibility of classing diseases in a way which will assist the 
learner. Now I do not know how to define disease other than the 
deficiency or wrong performance of some of the functions of the body. 
Therefore, if we know which of the several functions is deranged 
primarily by a disease; such disease may therefore be considered as 
belonging essentially to that organ, whose functions are changed. 
Now as anatomy and physiology have led us to a knowledge of the 
several organs of the body and then respective functions, if we class 
diseases accordingly as they affect the different functions, we shall 
not have a great many classes of diseases, not enough to burden the 
memory. While by thus confining our inquiries to this circum- 
stance it will lead us one step toward the true character of such 
disease and its remedies. For, notwithstanding, what Cullen and 
Brown have said to the contrary, remedies have what in one sense 
may be called a specific action on the human system : that is, some 
remedies exert their effects chiefly on some certain organs or parts 
of the system, while their effects on the other parts of the system 
are chiefly through the medium of the organs on which their effects 
are first exerted; witness, Narcotics, Mercury, Emetic and Cath- 
artic Medicines. 

If you will look at the last edition of Wilson "On Febrile Dis- 
eases" with some notes of mine, you will find an outline of nosology 
which I sketched, and which was published without my having an 
opportunity to correct the proof sheets, and of course very incorrect, 
but sufficient to give you an idea of the plan. Since that, another 
Nosology has come out from England, on a similar plan, but the 
subject is handled so differently as to acquit us both, of having 
borrowed from the other. You will perceive that I have attributed 
all febrile diseases to a morbid excitement hi the sanguiferous system, 
and confined exclusively to the capillary part of that system, as 
morbid changes, either of structure or action in the heart or great 
arteries never produce anything like fever or inflammation; wit- 
ness the most violent palpitations of the heart which arise with or 
without organic affections. 

My theory of fever is, that some cause throws the capillary 
system into morbid excitement, and that the changes which take 
place in the heart and great arteries in febrile diseases, as they are 
always subsequent to a change in the capillaries, are dependent on 
such derangements in that part of the sanguiferous system. My 
objection to your theory is, that the lassitude which you mention 
in the muscles is, so far as I can judge, subsequent to a change in 
the capillary system, and appears to depend on that as an effect 
rather than a cause. But to go into full description of the subject 


would lead me too far for the limits of a letter, we will therefore 
defer it to an opportunity for conversing on the subject. 

I wish to inquire of you whether you know of a physician by the 
name of Zebulon Rood, who was graduated at Hanover. I was 
informed that he resided in N. Y. last year or the year before. If 
you know where he is, be kind enough to inform me by a letter. 
Your Sincere Friend, Nathan Smith. 1 " 

Dr. Spalding for some time previous to this letter from 
Dr. Smith had been serving as a Trustee of the Free Schools 
of the City of New York and in this position was enabled to 
be of service to an old friend from Portsmouth, William 
Coffin Harris (1788-1853), Teacher of a celebrated school 
for boys in his native town. Mr. Harris would have been 
graduated from Harvard in the Class of 1807 had he not 
been "Decimated" for protesting against the bad food 
served at Commons — "The Rotten Cabbage Rebellion" as 
it was called. He then went to sea in the Ship "Dromo," 
which turned out to be a privateer against South American 
Spanish trade. During the long voyage he learned how to 
become a school master by teaching the sailors to read and 
write. On a second voyage, during the War of 1812, he 
was captured and imprisoned at Dartmoor. He had now 
come to New York to study the Lancastrian System, 2 and 
received much assistance from Dr. Spalding. Returning to 
Portsmouth Mr. Harris opened a school for boys, carried it 
on for years with great success, and when he retired, my 
Father headed the list of his former scholars who then pre- 
sented him with a set of Silver. 

One of the very striking, but long forgotten Characters in 
medical America is that of John Linna3us Edward Whit- 

1 This letter is a magnificent specimen of the handwriting of Dr. 
Smith, written rapidly, yet clearly, with a bold hand and quill pen. 
Dr. Rood 1 have never discovered. 

2 The Lancastrian System w:is a semi-military school, wit h merits 
and monitors, each boy in turn becoming B monitor. A system of 
emulation prevailed. Joseph Lancaster 1 1 778- ls:>S) whs horn in 
England and established his schools in London about 1801, ami later 
united them with those of Dr. Andrew Hell (,1753-1832) who had in- 
troduced similar ideas from India. Lancaster became famous every- 
where, but his character was unstable and he made do permanent suc- 
cesses. He founded schools in New York, Montreal, New Haven, 
Philadelphia, St. Thomas and even in Caracas in Venezuela under the 
patronage of Bolivar. He was a hook-worm, and from his sedentary 
habits became very stout, and died from a street accident. 


ridge Shecut (1770-1836). Born of Huguenot parentage in 
South Carolina, he removed early to Charleston, obtained 
his degree at Philadelphia and devoted his life to Botany 
and Electricity. He was a voluminous writer, but his best 
work is "A Flora of South Carolina." 

When Dr. Spalding wrote to him concerning the Pharma- 
copoeia, he replied with a note and an essay "On Yellow 
Fever," and after Dr. Spalding's acknowledgements of this 
compliment, Dr. Shecut wrote two exceedingly voluminous 
letters which may be here inserted though somewhat 

"Charleston, S. C, April 16, 1818. Dear Sir: Owing to inex- 
plicable delays your letter of February 12th did not reach me till 
last night, and I hasten to reply. I am happy that my essay on 
yellow fever has called forth from you a desire to be made more 
intimately and satisfactorily acquainted with the Influence of the 
Electric Fluid upon the atmosphere, particularly as regards the 
fever in question. And, I would to GOD, that all the professors 
and practitioners of physic in the U. S. would be awakened to the 
same inquiry and due consideration of this important subject 
which I have established as my hypothesis in accounting for the 
Cause, not only of fevers that are epidemic, but of numerous other 
diseases. You must be aware that in a correspondence attended 
with numerous disadvantages and delays, sometimes failures and 
loss of letters, that there is scarce a possibility of keeping up a 
regular connection of ideas. Could I succeed in publishing the re- 
sults of my 50 years' experience, for which I have been incessantly 
laboring for the last 6 years, the doctrine of The Electric Fluid as a 
Fifth Element of Nature would afford ample proof of the correct- 
ness of my hypothesis. 

As it is, I content myself by stating that I have no Suite of Ex- 
periments directed to the object of ascertaining the actual influence 
of the fluid upon the health of nature, except such as I have made 
myself, and these have invariably resulted hi favor of my hypoth- 
esis, and PROVE that during the prevalence of Yellow Fever 
there is a deficiency of electricity! ! ! This was confirmed in the 
fever of 1752 when those who were seized with the fever before the 
Restoration of the Electric Equilibrium died suddenly. BUT, no 
sooner did the heavy concussion of thunder and lightning restore 
the equilibrium, than the health of the City was never better. In 
1806, it was proved that with abundant thunder and lightning, 
there was little fever, and the medical history of our State adds to 
such facts. 

If my hypothesis is not warranted by regular experiments, it is 
established by facts developing themselves since the discovery of 


America, and which have made more forcible and lasting impression 
on my mind than on my contemporaries. Thai they may be 
stimulated to more attentive regard to electric phen I iring 

this fever in the Future is my most earnest wish. Though I would 
not attempt to assert that a deficiency of Electricity Always pre- 
cedes or accompanies Yellow Fever, or that it never takes place 
without such changes, and that they never occur without producing 
the fever, I am willing to hazard the assertion, that there are but 
few exceptioas. On this subject I have thrown down the gauntlet, 
but with the design of Study and Inquiry, and I am sanguine to 
predict, that if my experiments are attempted on principles of 
sound philosophy, my Hypothesis will be permanently established 
as a Medical Fact. I am also laboring to bring forth essays "On 
Contagion and Infection," "On the electrical fluid as a Constituent 
Principle in Universal Nature,'' and a book, "The Elements of 
Medicine" in 1400 pages; all of which are ready for the press, but 
for which the press is not ready. 

With Sentiments of Literary regard, I pray you to accept the 
assurance of my best wishes, and remain Dear Sir, Respectfully 
yours, J. L. E. W. Shecut." 

Writing again in July and enclosing his Essay "On Con- 
tagion and Infection," Dr. Shecut continues his former 

"July 19, 1818. Dear Sir: Your polite communication with 
circular of the Pharmacopoeia and Report of the Trustees of the 
Free Schools of New York have reached me and I hasten to make 
my acknowledgements and assure you of my prompt attention to 
their several contents. My hypothesis is daily gaining advocates. 
Several members of our Society have investigated the subject and 
by reference to its records, and "The Medical History of the State." 
have found that whenever the Yellow Fever prevailed, there had 
been little or no Thunder and Lightning, and of course no Electrical 
Influence. But, that invariably in the years when the Fever did 
not occur, an electrical equilibrium existed in tin 1 atmosphere, and 
that these years were remarkable for repeated concussions of the 
Soul of Nature, that grand, vivifying principal of the Universe, The 
Electric Fluid. So far, this year promises to be of this sort, and I 
ventured to predict as early as April, that in the event of a heavy 
concussion once a week or fortnight, there would be no Yellow- 
Fever! ! As we have had some powerful concussions this month 
the city is healthy. There have been some cases of Remit lent 
F< ver, but they arc peculiar to this climate. I object to their being 
called Bilious Remittent. I do not acknowledge any such die 
as Primary and Original, but I consider it a symptom of the Vernal 


I have lately communicated to Dr. Mitchill an account of a 
worm discovered in a cistern of Rain Water. It has staggered our 

Charleston is a poor place to have medical printing done. If 
I possessed $100,000 and published all my MSS. here I should 
be left without money, as labor is high. They offered in N. Y. 
to print for $2.50, the same book for which they demand $4.50 

As soon as I can devote a day to the Pharmacopoeia I will forward 
my communication to you. I wish here, to call your attention to 
an important particular, that of confounding the name and virtues 
of plants from mistake or misapplication of their Popular Names. 
I refer to calling "The Prickly Ash," the "Tooth Ache Tree." The 
Prickly Ash possesses none of the virtues of the other tree at all, 
which is stimulating, almost like Capsicum, whilst Prickly Ash 
possesses no heating properties whatsoever, and so of many other 
articles. I must however break off here. Believe me Truly Yours, 
J. L. E. W. Shecut." 

Dr. James Jackson, of Boston, visited Dr. Spalding in 
the summer of 1818, and returning home, wrote this en- 
tertaining letter: 

"Boston, Aug. 4, 1818. Dear Sir: I found your letter of the 
middle of July on my return, but the pressure of various affairs 
after an absence so unusual to me in addition to my ordinary busi- 
ness compelled me to lay aside several letters amongst which was 
yours, until I could find some leisure. I was disappointed very 
much not to see more of you, and particularly wished to talk with 
you about Ergot, though not with a design to persuade you to 
employ it. I had some conversation on the subject with your 
friends, after you were called from us on consultation, little sus- 
pecting that then, for the first time, you were to see some evidence 
of the efficacy of the article. The result of your former obser- 
vations was indeed very extraordinary to me: it was however, only 
negative evidence, and I have had so much affirmative evidence on 
the subject since, that I should as soon doubt the efficacy of opium 
of jalap, or of antimony, as of ergot. 

The work which I mentioned to you was Lordat's "Traite des 
Hemorrhages" printed in Paris in 1808. 1 I referred to Stark's 

1 Dr. Jacques Lordat (1773-1857), in whose "Treatise on Hem- 
orrhages" Dr. Spalding was much interested (he printed several cases 
of this sort with suggestive treatment) began the study of Theology, 
but Revolutionary mobs destroyed the Institution in which he had been 
placed and he turned to medicine, and became a skillful practitioner in 
Montpellier, France. 


"Dissections" 1 only for evidence in respect to the state of the 
blood vessels near ulcerated parts. You will remember, thai Van 
Swieten points out the scientific distinctions on this subject. I 
think that some remarks appertaining to it are contained in Bich 
"Anatomie General" I presume that you have read that work: if 
you have not, you must. 

Accept my thanks for your very kind attentions to me while I 
was in New York. I felt also much indebted to Dr. Btevi 
with whom I was greatly pleased. I should be very happy in an 
opportunity of seeing cither of you here, and shall be gratified in 
attending to any of your medical friends who may be passing this 
way. Your Friend, and obliged Servant, J. Jackson." 

Dr. Jackson's allusion to ergot was based on the circum- 
stance that Dr. Spalding had once or twice written rather 
vehemently against the virtues of ergot, denying that it had 
value at all. Later on he apologized to Dr. Stearns of 
Albany 4 who had, in 1807, first called the attention of the 
American Profession to its obstetric usefulness, and ac- 
knowledged that ergot had its place in medicine. 

To illustrate the every day remark that Dr. Spalding 
knew everybody and that everybody knew him, I call at- 
tention next to a very clever letter from his old friend, Gov. 
Plumer of New Hampshire: would that I had more from him 
to find a place in this book! 

1 William Stark (1740-1770) was a favorite of John Hunters, and 
one of those meteoric characters who flash across the world, occasion- 
ally. His "Dissections" was based on his Thesis at Leyden. He 
plunged into anatomical studies after settling in London, but in three 
years was dead. 

2 Francois Xavier Bichat (1771-1803) was another brilliant youth 
who died early after illuminating the medical world with many treatises 
in rapid succession. His great works on "Anatomy" and on "Mem- 
branes," were admirably composed. 

3 Alexander Hodgdon Stevens (1789-1869) studied with sir Astlev 
Cooper, and as the son of an influential merchanl of New York, ob- 
tained, on settling in that City, many remunerative medical positions, 
which he maintained by his profound medical skill. He edited Komi's 
" Surgery," was a Surgeon in the war of 1812, and as early as l s| >7 
ligated the external Iliac. He wrote also "On the Care of the Insane," 
and was President of the American Medical Society. 

4 John Stearns (1770-1818), the actual founder of the New York 
Medical Society, and for many years its Secretary and President, prac- 
ticed for some years in Albany, but happening to meet a series of fatal 
cases of Puerperal Fever, he removed to greater success in New York. 
He gave his life to medicine, and died from septicaania contracted on 
duty. Being at one time interested in psychology he wrote an essay 
"On the Morbid Effects of the Passions on Disease." 


"Epping, N. H., Oct. 24, 1818. Dear Sir: This week I received 
your letter with your "Reflections on Fever," and Report of the 
Trustees of the Free Schools, for which you will please accept my 
grateful acknowledgments. I have read your pamphlet with at- 
tention and pleasure, but it is on a subject with which I am not 
sufficiently acquainted to decide with precision. You know the 
low state of the Faculty in New Hampshire. We have scarce any, 
who write on the subject of medicine, and of the great body of our 
country physicians but few who have any books to read, and what 
is worse they have little inclination to purchase books, to read 
those few that they have, or to investigate the complex and intri- 
cate subjects of their profession. These facts have long induced 
me to believe that in many cases, the patient has more to appre- 
hend from the ignorance of the physician, than from the disease, 
and that it is safer to trust to nature for a cure than to rely on the 
prescriptions of those whose knowledge is limited to a few hard 
technical terms. With us, the Gentlemen of the Faculty have 
made less progress than those of law and divinity: the latter, in- 
deed, have much to do before they can attain real eminence. 

In your profession I have long considered it a desideratum to 
have an able but simple work, accurately describing the nature and 
functions of the several parts of man in a state of health, the effect 
or changes diseases produce on each of those parts and of the 
remedies for those diseases. 

I would purchase and read such a work with pleasure, and that 
pleasure would be enhanced if it was simple, plain and free, so far 
as the- nature of the subject would admit, from abstruse technical 
terms, and of attachment to existing theories. Mystery is the 
enemy of improvement, and it is better suited to prolong the reign 
of ignorance and of error than to promote that of truth and science. 
And, the knowledge of things is vastly more important than that 
of words. 

I really wish we had an accurate Journal kept in different sections 
of our Country of the actual state of the weather, the crops, the 
general diet and regimen of our citizens, the diseases most prevalent 
in each, their type, character and mode of treatment, etc., so as to 
exhibit the means by which health was preserved and lost and how 
far they depended on climate and modes of living. Such a Society, 
I think, might be formed of Gentlemen living in various parts of 
our Country, with little expense and from whose reports much in- 
formation could be obtained which would be useful to all, and par- 
ticularly to Medical Characters. I would freely contribute to such 
an establishment. 

But, I am wandering from the object of this letter, which was 
to thank you for j r our Pamphlets and to say, that if you or the 
Historical Society of N. Y., should need any of the few pamphlets 


we publish here, it will afford me pleasure to procure and transmit 
them. I remain with much esteem and respect, Yours, etc., 
William Plumer. 1 " 

Amongst the Southern friends of Dr. and Mrs. Spalding 
were the Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther Hurlbut of Charles- 
ton, South Carolina. How they first met I have never dis- 
covered. Mr. Hurlbut was graduated at Williams, in 1804, 
and preached as a Unitarian Clergyman in Charleston. Dr. 
Spalding as Secretary of the New York Historical Society 
had notified him of his election to membership and here is 
his reply. 

"Charleston, S. C, Feb. 24, 1819. My Dear Sir: Two days 
previous to the receipt of your letter, I met Dr. Clapp by accident, 
in the street, and he paid me the amount of your bill. I hold it 
subject to your order. I would enclose it in this, but accidents 
are so frequent in the mail, that I t hink it better to wait your 

I thank you for your attention to my little commissions, and I 
regret that I should have been so vague in my language as to oc- 
casion you any uncertainty. I believe my indistinctness was 
owing to an impression on mv mind, that I had specified to you, 
when in N. York, that it was' the CONGRESS WATER I wished 
for. I must express to you how much I was gratified by the in- 
formation conveyed in one of the inclosures in your letter. I beg 
you to accept my sincere thanks for your individual civility and 
kindness, the high sense I entertain of the honour conferred upon 
me, and my best wishes for the prosperity of those important in- 
terests to the promotion of which its efforts are devoted. Yours 
Sincerely, M. L. Hurlbut." 

Dr. Thurston offers us at this point a glimpse of 
Portsmouth and we can now understand the energy which 
Dr. Spalding needed to collect the facts for his Bills of 

1 This famous politician "received religion" when a mere child and 
soon became a precocious Revivalist and peripatetic preacher through- 
out New Hampshire. Tiring of that, he studied law which he hated, 
until he finally found it of use to him in politics into which he entered 
zealously on becoming of age. He served one term as Senator from New 
Hampshire and two as Governor of the State. Ili-i eloquent Thanks- 
giving Proclamations were plagiarized throughoul the United 8 
He became notorious in the Electoral College by refusing to vote for 
Munroe (though elected to represenl hie Party) because he disapproved 
of his personal monetary embarrassments, and feared that they pre- 
dicted extravagance in the Administration. 


"Portsmouth, April 11, 1819. Dear Sir: I forward you with 
this, six Bills of Mortality, agreeable to your request. I am very 
sorry to inform you that I must relinquish the hope of completing 
the Series, and for the following reasons. I have no means of 
forming correct lists of the deaths, only three of the Clergymen 
having kept any records since your last Bills. In the next place, 
the memories of our physicians are very imperfect, and Cutter 
being dead, and two or three transient ones having escaped us, 
altogether, render it impossible to obtain any correct histories of 
the diseases of those that deceased in the intervening years. I 
have examined the newspapers with a reference to this subject, but 
they afford very limited information. 

In addition to the above, Pierrepont and Dwight discouraged 
any attempt. I did hope a while since to have the pleasure to 
forward you a large sheet containing all that is wanted, but shall 
now be content, if my brethren will take sufficient interest in the 
thing to enable me to make correct Bills for the future. 

We have no news in this part of the Medical World. Our town 
is at this time very healthy, and at all times, what with the health 
of the town, the number of Physicians and the intrusion of quacks, 
it is a barren field for medical enterprise. We had an unfortunate 
occurrence as it concerned me and our winter labors, in the dis- 
covery of a body in my chamber. Be assured of my being Very 
Respectfully yours, John Thurston." 

People from all parts of the country seem from this time 
on to have been constantly intruding upon the good nature 
of Dr. Spalding by asking innumerable favors. Thus I 
have before me a letter from a lawyer in Portsmouth asking 
for information concerning a case in which the Captain of a 
ship had cast her away fraudulently, another from Governor 
Plumer asking for books to be chosen and forwarded to his 
country residence, one from Mr. Hurlbut, introducing a 
clergyman who wishes to see the sights of New York, and 
here is a touching appeal from Virginia. Of the writer, Dr. 
J. C. Campbell I have found no traces, but he had probably 
become acquainted w r ith Dr. Spalding's name as attached 
to the Circulars concerning the Pharmacopoeia, now reach- 
ing every American Physician. 

" Willsburgh, Brooks Co., Virginia, Sept. 13, 1819. Sir: You will 
please excuse the liberty I now take in troubling you on this occa- 
sion, being with you in a personal view totally unacquainted, 
though fortunately not so with your character. In fact, it is on 
the latter I depend, not only for an excuse, but for compliance with 
my request. Being unacquainted with any gentlemen in your City 


on whom I could depend, I have taken the liberty for the a 
reason to request that you should make inquiries in the X. Y. 
Hospital, for a young man named B. Wells. 

He entered the Hospital in July being taken with a fever which 
he caught on his way from New Orleans. Immediately aft 
admission he wrote his parents, but since, they have not I 
from him. They being totally unacquainted in that place, and do 
knowing how to act, have requested that I should make this appli- 
cation, and save them the trouble and expense incident to such a 
long journey. Humanity, I hope, will be sufficient inducement, 
for you to make the inquiry wanted and also take the trouble of 
writing me the account of their son as soon as possible. By so 
doing you will relieve afflicted parents and oblige your Most Ob'd't 
J. C. Campbell. 

X. B. Being imacquainted with your address and anxious that 
information might be rec'd by some means, I have written not only 
to you, but to the Hospital, lest it might miss you." 

One of Dr. Spalding's patients at this time was Mrs. 
Trevett, the wife of a Hero who in these days would have 
deserved the Carnegie Medal, though he might not have 
received it, owing to the Red Tape which so seriously inter- 
feres with its proper distribution. 

Samuel Russel Trevett, U. S. N. (1783-1832), obtained his 
academical and medical degrees at Harvard, practiced in 
Boston, and then served so ably as Surgeon's Mate in the 
Navy in the War of 1812, that he was commended pub- 
lically for bravery and skill. Commodore Decatur asked 
for his services before his fatal duel with Barron. As a pas- 
senger on the Steamer "Phoenix" which was burnt on Lake 
Champlain in September, 1819, he saved many lives. 

He then wished to resign from the Navy, but reluctantly 
consenting to remain, it proved his ruin and his death. For, 
at a Court Martial he offended a superior officer by his 
testimony, and was, out of spleen, ordered to a v< — 1 in- 
ferior to his rank. Accepting this degradation, he never- 
theless protested against the "Peacock" being senl to < Juba, 
then reeking with Yellow Fever. The orders were insisted 
upon, many of the crew fell ill, several died. Thereupon, 
the "Peacock" was ordered home, but directly upon her 
arrival Dr. Trevett died, also, from the Yellow Fever. 

It will be seen from his brief letter that Dr. Spalding had 
written to him in Boston, concerning the condition of Mrs. 
Trevett, at that time ill in New York, and under his care. 


"Boston, April 24, 1819. Dear Sir: Accept my thanks for 
your letters. I am happy to find by them that Mrs. Trevett's 
health and strength are improving. The train of unpleasant 
symptoms which arose while I was at New York, was extremely 
alarming, and there is no room to doubt it was interrupted by the 
judicious exhibition of your medicine. I feel grateful to you for 
all your attentions. As my Father is going to N. York, I thought 
it might be pleasing to you to have the book from Dr. Jackson, 1 
transmitted by him. He will probably remain there ten or 12 days, 
and will take it back with him, or you can keep it till my visit, as 
most agreeable to yourself. 

The letter for Mr. Austin 2 1 gave to his Brother, Elbridge Gerry 3 
and who I supposed would deliver it sooner than I could. A few 
days ago I had a letter from Rev. Mr. Alden. He and family are 
well and he informed me Martha was agreeably married to Patrick 
Farrelly, a worthy gentleman of the bar, at Meadville. With Re- 
spectful Sentiments, I am Sir, Yours, S. N. Trevett." 

A few months later Dr. Spalding was made happy by this 
unexpected gift from Dr. Trevett. 

"Boston, Oct. 19, 1819. Dear Sir: You will confer upon me a 
particular favor by accepting the enclosed note of S100, the first 
that I have received since my return to this place. I beg you to 
rest assured that no man can feel a more grateful sense of your un- 
wearied zeal and kindness than I do for those you have bestowed 
on myself and my family. 

I am very Respectfully, Your much obliged servant, S. N. 

The following letter from Dr. Shattuck tells of his accident 
and illness, of which I find no mention elsewhere. 

"Boston, May 7, 1819. Dear Sir: Dr. Tho's Sewall 4 late of 
Ipswich in this State, a physician of respectability, hands you this. 
He desires to render the present, a journey of improvement; any 
attentions you may show him, not inconvenient to yourself, will 
confer a favor on me. 

1 "The Book" was Lordat "On Hemorrhages." 

2 Mr. Austin was a Portsmouth Merchant. 

3 Elbridge Gerry was the Governor of Massachusetts who "Gerry- 
mandered" that State, much to his political disadvantage. 

4 Dr. Sewall (1787-1845) practiced in Ipswich and Essex, Massa- 
chusetts, and was the author of many medical papers. He finally 
moved to Washington where he served as Professor of Anatomy in the 
Columbian University. He investigated the "Pathology of Drunken- 
ness," wrote a treatise on this subject, and after its translation into 
German, he obtained an international reputation as an original investi- 
gator of the effects of alcohol. 


Very many sins of omission have I been guilty of toward you, in 
not having replied to your letters. Yourpamphlel "On Continued 
Fever" arrived just as I was convalescing from a Typhus Gravior. 
The book I read with much care intending to furnish you with 
strictures, but before I had completed my determination, an 
accident which had threatened my life, disabled me for several 
weeks. Your enterprise in having prepared a National Pharma- 
copoeia, I verily believe will attain a prosperous conclusion. 

I will write you soon, and more in detail. With great Respect, 
I have the Honor to be, My Dear Sir, Your Ob'd't SerVt., Geo. C. 

Whilst Dartmouth was passing through her ordeals with 
the State, Dr. Alexander Ramsay seeing a chance to in- 
corporate in New Hampshire his private medical school, now 
in Fryeburg, Maine, visited Concord in June, 1819, and 
spoke before the Legislature and the Medical Society. 
Writing concerning this and other items he mentions his 
pupil Dr. Richard Russell (1785-1835), who practiced in 
Great Falls, New Hampshire. 

"Concord, N. H., June 6, 1819. My Dear Sir: Long since, im- 
mediately in course, I transmitted a certificate which to me ap- 
peared for your interest with the Board of Pennsylvania College. 

You have not said how events turned out, neither have you 
noticed the business I took the liberty of troubling you with. I 
know you are much engaged. Pray favor me with a line by the 
bearer my former pupil Dr. Russell. I presume you would take it 
ill, did I not hand you my communication which was delivered 
before the Legislature and Medical Society of this State. 
Assure Mrs. Spalding that I recollect her and her family with 
interest. Believe me, Dear Sir, Your Friend, Alex. R lmsay." 

Ramsay returned to Concord in the following year with 
a fine display of preparations, many of which had been made 
by Dr. Spalding, and once more urged his claims before the 
Medical Society, but had leave to withdraw; one medical 
School in the State, that at Dartmouth, was enough. 

This is now a suitable place to insert some letters from Dr. 
Usher Parsons (1788-1868), of the U. S. Navy, a very in- 
timate friend of Dr. Spalding, and his family. This dis- 
tinguished physician was born in Alfred, Maine, and after 
studying with Dr. Warren in Boston was appointed Sur- 
geon's Mate in the Navy and ordered to the Canadian 
frontier. Fortunately for him, both of his superior medical 


officers were ill, so that the care of the sick fell wholly on 
him; at the Battle of Lake Erie he was the only surgeon on 
duty. During that conflict he attended to over one hun- 
dred wounded and saved all but three. For his skill and in- 
trepidity under fire he was at once promoted to full Surgeon. 
He continued his studies after the War of 1812, and ob- 
tained a degree at Brown University, where he was later 
elected Professor of Physiology and Anatomy. After re- 
tiring from the Navy he practiced in Providence, Rhode 
Island. He wrote many papers, one of which "On a Re- 
markable Gun Shot Wound of the Thorax," and another, 
"On the Introduction of Medicine into the System through 
the Veins," were highly regarded. He also wrote two books 
that were famous: "The Sailor's Physician," and "A Life 
of Pepperell." 

He was repeatedly elected President of the State Medical 
Society, and altogether was a man far above the level of the 
practitioners of his era. I like to think of Usher Parsons 
because he gave my Father a fishing line and sinker to use 
off of the wharves of New York City. 

Dr. Parsons at this time had been at Alfred on leave and 
had visited Portsmouth to see relatives in New Castle, his 
Mother having been Miss Abigail Frost Blunt of that vil- 
lage. Reaching Boston, he had found a note from Dr. 
Spalding asking him to advertise the business of the Pharma- 
copoeia, and here is his reply. 

"Boston, July 1st, 1818. Dear Doctor: I returned this morning 
from the Eastward, and had the pleasure of finding your favor, in 
the Post Office. Mr. Hale, Editor of the "Daily Advertiser and 
Weekly Messenger" appeared very willing to insert the paragraph 
concerning your Pharmacopoeia, and the paper containing it shall 
be forwarded tomorrow. Since I last wrote you, the faculty of 
this town and State have expressed themselves more favorably 
toward the Pharmacopoeia than formerly, and I have no doubt will 
co-operate with the New York Medical Societies. . . . Your re- 
quest respecting the odd volume shall be properly attended to. 1 
I am sorry that my absence prevented my receiving your letter 
earlier, particularly on account of the package you purposed send- 

1 The odd volume was needed to complete a set of Mavor's "Works" 
which my Grandfather had given as a wedding present to his wife. 
Oddly enough this missing volume winch, as we shall later see, Dr. 
Parsons could not discover in 1819, I had the pleasure of finding in 
1913, and so completed the Set. 


ing by me to Europe, as I fear there will be hardly time for it to 
reach me before we sail. I, however, think that if you have it in 
readiness when this reaches you, it will answer to forward it to me 
as we shall probably not sail under a week from this. At any rate 
it can with perfect safety be sent by a Merchant vessel to Russia, 
where it will find me as late as October, and ours being the only 
American Frigate in that quarter can be very readily found by any 
Merchant vessel that is about to sail there. Your friends in P 
mouth, I was yesterday informed were all well. I shall be glad to 
execute any farther commands for you in Russia, London, France or 
the Mediterranean. 

Accept for yourself and family, the best respects of Your Friend 
and Servant, Usher Parsons." 

In his second letter Dr. Parsons writes: 

"Naples, May 30, 1819. Dear Doctor: I am favored with an 
opportunity of writing you by a gentleman now bound to New 
York. I was disappointed in my expectations of seeing London on 
my way to Petersburg, and of course was unable to attend to j r our 
request concerning some books that you wished to purchase. Our 
ship wintered in Messina (Sicily) from which we sailed for this 
place a few weeks since. During our stay here, I have been favoured 
with an introduction to some of the leading members of the Medical 
faculty, among whom is Chevalier Assilini, 1 author of a work "On 
the Plague," traaslated by (our) Dr. Miller. He has also written 
on diseases of the Eye and described some improvements of his 
own on instruments for making an artificial pupil; and other wi 
on various professional subjects, copies of which he was kind enough 
to present me. But the greatest effort of his genius has been 
directed to the improvement of nearly all surgical instruments, or 
rather to the alteration of them, for, in my humble opinion, careful 
and candid investigators will report only partially in favour of his 
alterations, and say he has improved upon about half of those he 
has altered. I believe some account of them has appeared in the 
London Medical Journal. He presented me with a set of Plates of 
his instruments, which I hope to have an opportunity ere long of 
exhibiting for your inspection. I showed him your circular con- 
cerning your projected Pharmacopoeia, a copy of which he desin d 
to possess as soon as it was published. 

1 Piero Assilini (1765-1810) was educated at Milan, and practiced 
Obstetrics and Surgery. He followed Napoleon as Military Surgeon, 
for years, and after recovering from the plague wrote, in conjunction 
with Larrey, the hook which Dr. Parsons mentions. His " Tr, 
on the bye" appeared in 1811. He later served as surgeon to St. Am- 
brose's Hospital in Milan and his improvements in obstetrical foro pa 
were highly praised. 


It was this gentleman that Sir Robert Wilson 1 mentions to have 
been requested by Bonaparte to poison the French soldiers at 
Jaffa, but he denies the fact as Sir Robert first states it, and has 
made him, in part, retract his assertions. 

The Chevalier was an intimate companion of Larrey, was in all 
the campaigns with him, and received the same honorary titles 
from the Emperor. 

The physician of the City Hospital has just favored me with an 
account of a Csesarean Operation lately performed, some particulars 
of which I will mention. The subject had been very much de- 
formed by the rickets, was about 3 feet 10 inches high. The in- 
cision was made in the Linea Alba, extending from the umbilicus 
to the pubis, and the fcetus removed without much difficulty. The 
patient bore the operation very well and bade fair for a recovery, 
but was attacked with violent symptomatic fever on the fifth day 
and died on the seventh. The child is now doing well, is two 
months old, and I think of the usual size for that age. I mention 
this Case, because the operation is a rare one and seldom more 
successful. It has, however, been performed in France within the 
year past, with complete success to both Mother and Child. We 
sail from this to Barbary and Gibraltar, and thence to Marseilles, 
where I expect to leave the Ship and return home through Paris 
and London. Accept, Dear Sir, the most Friendly Regards, of 
your Most Obed't Usher Parsons." 

In Dr. Parsons' third letter we get a wonderful view of 
Parisian Medicine and Surgery. 

"Paris, November 29, 1819. Dear Doctor: Having been busily 
engaged for two or three months in attending Hospitals and Medical 
Schools, I have thought that it would be probable that you might feel 
some curiosity to know how I have found them. These establish- 
ments are so numerous and employ so many Lecturers and Professors, 
that strangers at first sight would believe that the entire attention 
of the whole city is directed toward them. I have attended the lec- 
tures of some whose names are familiar to you, particularly Dubois, 2 

1 Sir Robert Wilson (1777-1849) took part in all the great battles of 
the Napoleonic era and then served as Governor of Gibraltar. During 
the riot connected with the obsequies of Queen Caroline, Sir Robert 
sided with the populace and was dismissed the service. Obtaining a 
seat in Parliament he was re-instated. His fame is based chiefly upon 
his success in obtaining abolition of corporeal punishment in the Army. 

2 Anton Dubois (1756-1837) studied with Desault, rose high in 
surgery, and was Professor of that art in the Ecole Chirurgicale. He 
was clever, dexterous, and of great presence of mind in those emer- 
gencies which were much more dangerous in days before ether than now. 
Renowned as an obstetrician, he was embarrassed in managing the 


Dupuytren, 1 Albert and Larrey, on Surgery, and Vauquelin, 1 Gay 
Lussac, 3 Thenard, 4 and Hauy 5 on Chemistry. It is difficult to 

Empress in child-bed, so that Napoleon had to say to him, "Don't be 
afraid of the Empress; treat her just as you would the wife of a grena- 
dier of my body-guard." 

1 Guillaume Dupuytren (1777-1825) was famous but terribly jeal- 
ous of Ins contemporaries. He acted as Burgeon at the assassination of 
the Due du Berri, and was bold enough to enlarge the cardiac wound 
made by the murderer's knife, with a view of obtaining better purchase 
for sutures. The result was, however, fatal. Dupuytren once charged 
S400 and expenses for visiting a patient at Brussels and perfo rming a 
minor operation. "Dupuytren's Contraction" (of the fingers) remains 
a classic in surgery to this day and is likely to endure forever. 

2 Louis Nicholas Vauquelin (1763-1829) was driven from home be- 
cause he would rather read than labor. He settled in Paris and became 
a renowned chemist in spite of the machinations of his rivals. He 
wrote indefatigably on the chemical industries of France, and cultivated 
the manufacture of Iron, Alum, and Wine. 

3 If fertility of expression of permanently valuable thoughts is a 
test of greatness, then Jean Louis Gay Lussac (1778-1850) was the 
greatest chemist of all time, for his works outnumbered in worthy 
contents, those of all other men of this profession. He also took early 
to ballooning, rose higher in the air than any aeronauts of his time, 
and in so doing made many high-level experiments. A story is cur- 
rent of his dropping from a balloon to lighten it, a chair, which in- 
vitingly and much to her amazement, fell alongside a maid who was 
milking a cow. Gay Lussac exploited iodine and cyanogen, and at one 
time injured his eyes by an explosion. He was of immense service to 
France by inventing a means of determining instantaneously the per- 
centage of alcohol in liquors. Having in mind on his death bed the 
possibilities of electricity in carrying thought and speech to a distance 
he said, "What a pity to die, when things are looking so interesting." 

4 Baron, Louis Jacques Thenard (1777-1857) was studying with 
Lavoisier when that extraordinary chemist was condemned to the 
guillotine. Thenard was Professor of Chemistry at the Polytechnique, 
discovered the exquisitely beautiful blue which bears his name, and was 
an inseparable friend of Gay Lussac. 

Thenard accidentally swallowed corrosive sublimate in the presence 
of his Class, and then said: "My Children, I am a dead man, for I 
have taken sublimate by mistake." The scholars dashed from the Hall, 
pillaged adjacent grocery shops for eggs, gave him all the white of vjh 
that his stomach would stand and he was saved. After long Buffering 
from gastritis Thenard's reception upon returning to the scene of his 
lectures was the most touching exhibition of public affection ever 
known in Paris. 

6 Rene Just Hauy (1743-1832), an Abb6, was a mineralogist. As a 
Priest he was proscribed during the Revolution but escaped the Sep- 
tember Massacres of 1792. His treatise "On Mineralogy" was a 
chef d'eeuvre. At his death the Nation purchased his minerals and 


determine which surgeon to rank first, Dubois or Dupuytren. 
These two are the oldest, but Dupuytren has been at the head 
of the Hotel Dieu several years, and during that time has per- 
formed more operations than all the other surgeons in Paris. I am 
willing to acknowledge him the best operator I have ever seen, 
although I think very highly of Dubois and Larrey. Larrey is 
surgeon to the Hospital of the King's Guards, which is but a small 
establishment. An opinion prejudicial to him prevails, that he is 
too fond of cutting: that he has frequently amputated where it 
was not necessary. Medical men are permitted to see his patients 
every Thursday, when he gives a particular history of each case, 
and performs some operation. The last time I was there I took 
the liberty of introducing myself to him, which he gave me no 
reason to regret doing. He inquired closely about the Hospitals 
in our country. I have found physicians here, very ignorant of 
the State of Medical Science with us, and yet very desirous to be 
better informed. This circumstance has induced me to supply 
one of the Medical Journals with a description of } r our contemplated 
National Pharmacopoeia. 1 I have also had the honor to become 
acquainted with Pinel 2 and Cuvier. 3 Pinel is now far advanced in 
life, whilst Cuvier is going deeply into politics. He has been 
recently elected a Peer of France, and is a leading ultra royalist 
and a noisy one, too, at that. Sir Humphrey Davy 4 passed through 
here lately on his way to Italy, but he was very much inclined to 
look askant at everything in medicine, surgery, or chemistry as 
either unimportant or borrowed from England. Your friend in 
medicine, Usher Parsons." 

1 In annotating this letter I have to say that when the attention of 
Louis XVIII was called to the paper by Dr. Parsons in which mention 
was made of the proposal by Dr. Spalding for an American Pharma- 
copoeia, he directed the Pharmacopoeia Gallica to be continued until 

2 Phillipe Pinel (1745-1826) came to Paris before the Revolution 
and became first known medically by his translation of Cullen's "Nosol- 
ogy." His fame was extended by his unbounded exertions in freeing 
lunatics from chains. He was the First Great French Alienist, and very 
successful in obtaining the lives of men proscribed in the Revolution. 
Proscribed himself, he escaped and lived long to labor for the amelio- 
ration of the Insane. Pinel was present, as a National Guardsman, at 
the Guillotining of Louis XVI, and wrote an exact account of the affair, 
which has become historical. 

3 Georges Charles Leofric Cuvier (1789-1823) was The Naturalist 
of his era; a genius in comparative anatomy and Natural History. 
Possessed of a wonderful memory he learned his facts, and then without 
notes composed his papers for publication. 

4 Sir Humphrey Davy (1778-1829) whom Dr. Parsons met in Paris 
was England's Greatest Benefactor by his discovery of the Miner's 

afety Lamp, January 9, 1816. 


We now come to the last letter of this interesting series 
from Dr. Parsons. 

"Ship "Harmony," At Sea, January 16, 1820. Dear Dr. I called 
at the book store in St. Paul's Church Yard as you desired, and in- 
quired for Mayor's Travels, but found the old bookseller you 
mentioned had discontinued business, and thai the book store had 
not a single volume, nor even a whole set of that work. I called 
also at several stores where odd volumes of publications are sold, 
and believe I could have purchased separate volumes of almost any 
work that could be mentioned excepting this particular one, nor 
could I find even a whole set of Mavor 1 in but one book store in 
London. ... I have passed a month in the medical schools and 
Hospitals of London much to my satisfaction and I hope, im- 
provement. Although I think better of the Paris Schools for 
Anatomy and Surgery, yet the other branches, particularly Path- 
ology and Therapeutics are better understood and taught by the 
London professors than by those of Paris. Were I to be asked which 
surgeon of London enjoys the highest reputation, it would puzzle me 
to answer. Mr. Abernethy 2 is undoubtedly the most engaging, 
and valuable lecturer. Mr. A. Cooper has the most practice. 
Charles Bell has contributed most for the Press, yet Sir Everard 
Home, 3 Sir Wm. Blizzard, 4 and Mr. Cline Senr. are considered by 

1 William Fordyce Mavor (1758-1837) taught school at Woodstock. 
England, under the patronage of the Duke of Marlborough, compiled 
many books for instruction, and his "Voyages, Travels and British 
Tourist," in 30 Volumes is a Classic though now sadly neglected No 
Collection of this sort ever met with such success as did this by Mavor. 

2 John Abernethy (1764-1831), surgeon to St. Bartholomew, was an 
enthusiastic Hunterian, and in his lecture thoroughly exploited the 
specimens from Hunter's Museum. When young, he was bold as a 
surgeon, but with age became too conservative. His great hobby was, 
the constitutional origin of local diseases. He was an inspired and 
dramatic lecturer, but of an unfortunate disposition, probably due to a 
latent heart disease. 

3 Sir Everard Home (1756-1832) was a pupil and brother-in-law of 
John Hunter, served briefly as a Surgeon in the British Navy, and then 
built up a magnificent London practice. He aided Hunter in his lectures 
and practice but after Hunter's death was accused of destroying his 
priceless MSS., after plagiarizing from them for his own fame. 

He was always "Going to" arrange Hunter's papers but never 
finished the task. Anne Home, his Sister, was Mrs. John Hunter, and 
author of the words of Haydn's tremendously successful soul; "My 
Mother bids me bind my hair." 

4 Sir William Blizzard (1743-1835) founded the London Hospital 
Medical School, and was surgeon to St. Bartholomew's. He was called 
a "Respectable'' lecturer and a gnat stickler for forms. It wa> amus- 
ing to see him "Dressed to kill" in a Court Uniform, receiving officially, 


the profession as equal if not superior to either of the above, and if 
they have contributed less for the Press their writings are of rather 
a superior stamp. 

Besides these, there are a host of young surgeons striving for emi- 
nence; as Lawrence, 1 young Clinc, etc. A great difference between 
the Paris and London Schools is in the expense of attending them. 
A ticket for lectures on any branch in London is about the same price 
as in Philadelphia, although the course is but about half the length, 
while in Paris the lectures are free. The price of a subject in London 
is from 2 to 5 Guineas in Paris from thirty to forty Cents. 

A great degree of harmony prevails among the professors in 
London, perhaps more than in Paris, with the exception of a little 
squabble between Abernethy and Lawrence, 2 which took place a 
year or two since, and which ended in the discomfiture of Law- 
rence, nothing has occurred to disturb the peace of the Profession. 

Among the American books on Medicine and its collateral 
branches that have found their way to Europe, no one has been 
so well received as Cleaveland's "Mineralogy," and Gorham's 
"Chemistry. 3 " Cleaveland's will be reprinted and generally cir- 
culated through England, and Mr. Brande 4 told me that he con- 
in the dead house, the bodies of the lately hanged. His pamphlet "On 
pressure in the blood vessels," met with a good reception, medically. 
He was very proud of his poetry, especially of his "Ode on the Opening 
of the London Hospital," and used to have Consultation Hours at a 
Coffee House in Cornhill. 

1 Sir William Lawrence (1783-1867) studied with Abernethy, dem- 
onstrated for him, and succeeded him as Surgeon at St. Bartholomew's 
and Lecturer at the London Hospital Medical School. He was a man 
of sound judgement and a fair operator. He will remain long known 
for his "Diseases of the Eye" one of the earliest and one of the best 
books on that organ ever written. 

2 The "Squabble" between Lawrence and Abernethy was this. 
Lawrence published in 1819 a "Lecture on Physiology, Zoology, and 
Natural History of Man" which was saturated with Materialism, a 
sentiment which compelled Abernethy and his colleagues to hold up 
their hands in holy horror as contrary to Sacred Writ. Lawrence put a 
bold face on his "blasphemy" but in order to quiet the storm which he 
had raised he exported the entire edition of the book to America. When 
peace once more reigned, the "Lectures" appeared in many editions. 

3 John Gorham (1783-1829), a friend and associate of Dr. Spalding 
in the Pharmacopoeia and Erving Professor of Chemistry at Harvard. 
His text book on Chemistry was as highly praised at home as abroad. 

4 William Thomas Brande (1788-18G6) was an apothecarj^ in Lon- 
don, then a chemist and finally the successor to Sir Humphrey Davy. 
He was very intimate with Home who gave him much analytic work 
to do. Brande was a man of high renown but was neither a Davy, nor 
a Faraday. His "Dictionary of Pharmacy" was one of the most useful 
books ever put into the hands of students. 


sidered Gorham's "Chemistry," a most excellent and complete 
digest of everything at present known on that Bcience. Rush: 
"On the Yellow Fever," and "On the Mind," are, however, from 
their greater age in more extensive circulation. I have met with 
the latter in the Medical Libraries of Russia, Denmark, Tuscany, 
Rome, Naples, France, and England. 

I must conclude by telling you that I shall probably pass through 
N. Y. in the course of a month or two, and shall then have an op- 
portunity of saying more than at present concerning Europe. 
Yours with Great Esteem, Usher Parsons." 

Regretting now, that we have no more letters from Dr. 
Parsons, I turn to the last one extant from Dr. Smith to 
whom Dr. Spalding had sent his paper "On Goitre," printed 
in "The Repository" about this time. 

"New Haven, April 4, 1819. Dear Sir: Your favour dated Feb. 
7, came to me long after date. Respecting the subject of your in- 
quiry, that is the Goitre in Vermont and New Hampshire on the 
banks of the Connecticut river; the number of persons affected with 
that disease within that region is very small, and the number 
of persons so affected when compared to the whole population in 
any given district is constantly diminishing. The facts relating to 
Goitre so far as I have been able to ascertain them by observation 
or by reading are the following: The goitre is a disease peculiar to 
fresh water countries, that is, to the interior parts of the country 
remote from the sea, and without the influence of its atmosphere. 
I speak generally, for I believe there have been a few solitary in- 
stances of persons having a goitre who have always resided in the 
neighborhood of the sea, but such cases are rare. The children of 
parents who have removed from the vicinity of the sea to the in- 
terior of the country are more liable to goitral swelling than the 
children who are born of parents who have been born and brought 
up in the interior of the Country. This will account for the disease 
diminishing, as the country grows older. Females are more liable 
to goitre than males. 

Respecting the pathology of goitre, it is obscure. The enlarge- 
ment of the Thyroid Gland depends chiefly if Dot wholly on the 
enlargement of the blood vessels of the gland. I once dissected the 
body of a woman who had a large goitral swelling, and I injected 
the arteries very full before I dissected, and on examination I found 
the four arterial trunks which go to the gland astonishingly en- 
larged; One of them was larger than the internal carotid artery, 
and the four exceeded the 2 carotids. The bulk of the tumor was 
made up of wax contained in the arteries as there was no appear- 
ance of any extravasations of wax out of the vessels. 

Respecting treatment; while the disease is small it is often re- 


moved by the patient changing his residence from the interior of 
the country to the seashore. As to what Dr. Nathan Frank l has 
said, he must have been more acute in his observations than I have 
been, as I have been acquainted in the country to which he refers 
for more than Forty years, and if I were to hazard a conjecture re- 
specting the number of cases affected with goitre compared with the 
whole number of persons in tins region, I should say that they did 
not amount to one in five hundred. New, and Old, I know, are 
relative terms, but Westmoreland at the time he was there had 
been settled nearly a hundred years. 

I am with sentiments of esteem your Obedient Servant, Nathan 

This is the last letter extant from Dr. Smith who outlived 
his younger friend by seven years, dying early in 1829. In 
addition to the information concerning this justly celebrated 
physician, already shown by his letters here printed, it 
should be said that he was the first to trephine for inflam- 
matory conditions of bones, and that he twice appeared as 
an expert in law suits in Maine, once in a case of alleged 
malpractice and once in a case of murder. 

The year 1819 brought to Dr. Spalding many papers re- 
garding the settlement of the estates of his Father, Col. 
Dyer Spalding, and of Mrs. Spalding's Father, Captain 
Peter Coues, but they may be condensed into the fact that 
from the Spalding estate came $1500 and land in Cornish 
and from the Coues estate $3000, all of which must have 
been welcome with a large family to support in New York. 

The Castleton, Vermont, Medical School, was also founded 
about this time and one of the Faculty, a personal friend, 
Dr. Bachelder, asked for information to this effect : 

"Castleton, Vt., Dec. 3, 1819. Dear Sir: Will you have the 
goodness to inform me, whether there is any person in your city 
who could make models, similar to those employed in the Penn- 
sylvania University for demonstration of the Eye, Ear, Brain, etc.? 
Also, whether anatomical researches can be followed with per- 
severance, industry and convenience in any of your Institutions? 
I believe it is the intention of the gentlemen who stand at the head 

1 Nathan Frank was a physician in Windsor, Vermont. When he 
said that most of the women in that region suffered from swollen necks, 
and that it could be cured by spending a winter in a seashore City like 
Boston, Dr. Spalding jokingly suggested that if going to a large city 
for the winter was a cure, then most of the women in New England 
would soon be having very much swollen necks. 


of the Vermont Academy of Medicine to depute some person to 
visit New York or Philadelphia for the purpose of providing models, 
and making anatomical preparations for the use of that Insti- 
tution. On behalf of these gentlemen, I write to you for the 
purpose of obtaining the desired information. I have the honor to 
be, Sir, Yours, etc., J. P. Batchelder." 1 

An interesting letter in the following Spring, from Dr. 
Barker of Gorham, Portland, and now Gorham, again, 
reveals the mental activity of a physician well over seventy. 

"Gorham, March 21, 1820. Dear Sir: Your cases were very 
acceptable. I am like a Bee in quest of honey from every salubrious 
plant. I feel no prepossession in favor of any preconceived opinion. 
"One Impartial, well authenticated case" says Dr. Fisher 2 is worth 
a dozen theories. There are various ways to remove pulmonary 
affections and various means are required to effect this purpose. 
I am of that craving disposition that I wish for more cases which 
may tend to alleviate human misery, or rather afford instruction 
for that purpose. Our Maine representatives in Congress will 
readily frank any letters directed to me, Ezekiel Whitman 1 and 
Prentiss Mellen, 4 both of Portland, my friends. I sent a sub- 
scription paper sometime since to Mr. Daniel Johnson of N. Y., 
how he succeeds I have not heard. It occurred to my mind that 
your influence among physicians might enable you to procure some 
subscribers, where his might be wanting. 

Dr. Fisher our President took a paper and engaged to use his 
influence to procure subscribers. Others have done so. Will you, 
my Dear Sir, afford me your assistance? Would it be worth while 
to send one to Albany? Please dispose of them as you may judge 

1 John Putnam Batchelder (1784-1868) practiced in Charleston, 
New Hampshire, Castlcton, Vermont, and in New York. He lec- 
tured on Anatomy at Castlcton and at the Berkshire Medical School, 
wrote "On Fractures" and "On the Morbid Heart," performed rhino- 
plastic and necrosis operations boldly and early, in the history of 
American Surgery, and accumulated a vast collection of Medical 
Notes in a Short Hand, which he finally could not decipher himself. 

2 Dr. Joshua Fisher (1700-1833) was Surgeon on a Revolutionary 
Privateer and after captivity and escape he studied medicine in France, 
and then came home. He practiced at Beverly, Massachusetts, was 
President of the State Medical Society, and founded by will, the Fisher 
Chair of Natural History at Harvard. 

8 Ezekiel Whitman represented Maine for several years in Congress 
and was a Chief Justice of that State untU 1849. 

4 Prentiss Mellen (1704-1840) practiced law m Biddeford and Port- 
land, Maine, was Member of Congress and United States Senator, and 
Chief Justice for several years. Maine still regards him as one of her 
most celebrated sons. 


proper. The communications which I have received will render 
the work valuable and interesting, exclusive of my own observation. 
I have received Dr. Hall Jackson's 1 "Observations on the Putrid 
Sore Throat" printed in 1786, which Dr. Cutter and Dr. Tilton 
advise me to insert, as it is a rare work and a correct history of the 
disease which originated in Sanford County of York and progressed 
Eastward. It also prevailed at that time in Quebec and Rhode 
Island. Previously to this, in 1784, the puerperal fever prevailed 
in Portsmouth and in Maine as an epidemic, in which I had much 
practice, and made several dissections which show the inflam- 
matory nature of the disease. But, we feared to bleed till many 
died. The lancet was then used in parturition as a preventive, 
followed with emetics and cathartics, with success. . . Wishing 
you success in all your undertakings, I am, Dear Sir, Your Sincere 
Friend, Jeremiah Barker." 2 

One of the highest medical positions ever attained by Dr. 
Spalding was that of Chairman of the Standing Committee 
of the Trustees of the College of Physicians and Surgeons 
of the City of New York, that committee including Dr. 
Francis, 3 Dr. Watts 4 and Dr. Mac Neven. 

1 Dr. Hall Jackson (1739-1797) was a Revolutionary Surgeon who 
studied abroad and ultimately practiced in Hampton and Portsmouth, 
New Hampshire. Whilst abroad he received honorable mention for an 
ingenious invention by which he extracted from a gun-shot wound, a 
bullet which had baffled the skill of other surgeons. He was the only 
New Hampshire surgeon to attend to the wounded from that State, 
after the Battle of Bunker Hill. Some of his letters reveal a poor 
opinion of the Patriots of that era. He knew them all, as sending to 
his Hospital on Winter Hill, near Boston, unhealthy food and unwhole- 
some supplies for the sick and wounded. 

2 This is written on a "Subscription Paper" entitled "Proposals 
for Publishing a History of Diseases in the District of Maine, from 
1772 to the Present Time, with Biographical Sketches of Learned 
Physicians in Europe and America," to which is added, "An Inquiry 
into the Causes, Nature, and Treatment of Consumption," by Jeremiah 
Barker, Gorham, Maine. 

3 John Wakefield Francis (1789-1869) was Lecturer on Juris- 
prudence and Obstetrics, Professor of Materia Medica, and editor of 
"The American Medical and Philosophical Register" which had a 
brief life. Dr. Francis wrote "On the Insane" and "Dipsomania," 
but his Chief work was "Old New York," with valuable reminiscences 
of those whom he had known. 

4 John Watts, Jr. (1785-1831), was descended from General Watts 
of the Revolution, and from his son Dr. John who was driven from 
New York as a Loyalist. John Watts, Jr., obtained a degree at Edin- 
burgh, established a private School for Medicine in New York, served 
as Surgeon in the War of 1812, and in connection with Drs. Mott and 
Stevens published "Notes of Cases seen in the New York Hospital." 


During the summer of 1820 Mrs. Spalding and three of 
the children lived in Portsmouth, and by the kindness of 
Dr. Mitchill the following letter now reached Dr. Spalding 
still laboring in New York. 

"Portsmouth, Aug. 23, 1820. My Dear Husband. Although 
I have not heard from you since I last wrote, I am in daily expec- 
tation of it by a vessel that is expected from X. Y. Dr. Mitchill 
who is now in town politely offered to take letters. I avail nv 
of this opportunity of writing to say we are all well and to forward 
to you some money. Samuel ' has enclosed in his letter S100, and 
wishes you to write as soon as you receive it. Little Edward is 
much better than I have ever seen him before, and has a mouthful 
of teeth. I hope you are in good health, that Lyman and Alfred 
are well, and are good children. How is the health of the City? I 
hear there have been cases of Fever. We have very cool, pleasant 
weather here. I believe it was warmer before I came than it has 
been since. I am now going to find Dr. Mitchill to deliver the 
letter into his own hands. Yours Affectionately, Elizabeth 

I may at this point emphasize the fact that during the 
years 1817-21 the name of Dr. Spalding was on everybody's 
tongue, owing to the publicity attaching itself throughout the 
United States to his plans for the Pharmacopoeia, and to his 
pamphlet, soon to be mentioned, "On Scutellaria Lateri- 
flora (Scull Cap) in Hydrophobia." For this reason he re- 
ceived innumerable letters, a few of which only may be 
printed as throwing light on his career. Here is one from a 
European Celebrity (William Swainson 2 (1789-1855)), men- 
tioning another (Dr. Thomas Stewart Trail (1781-1862)). 

"Elm Grove, Liverpool, 1 Nov. 1820. Dear Sir: I seize the 
opportunity just now offering of sending you a small Tract by my 
friend Dr. Trail 3 and also begging your acceptance of the first 

1 "Samuel" is Mrs. Spalding's brother, Samuel Coues, and the 
others are her children. 

1 William Swainson was born in Liverpool and as a youth trav ' I 
to Malta and Sicily where he collected fishes. He next visi 
and wrote an account of his voyage. He then mastered Lithogra] 

- to draw, and to print in colors, the illustrations to his ! 
With his own hand he is said to have written eleven volu aes of I 
ner's "Elncyclopcedia." Late in life he lost his fortune, and retin 
N.-w Zealand where he died. "The Z< Work" of which he 

wrote to Dr. Spalding was his ma Zoological Olustrati 

with 311 colored plates in folio. 

J Dr. Thomas Stewart Trail (1781—18 
prudence at Edinburgh, and a remarkable lecturer, excessively proud 


number of my New Zoological Work, which will serve as a specimen 
of its execution for yourself and friends. I am very anxious to 
procure it as wide a circulation as possible, from the love of science 
alone, for, the price, considering the execution of it will leave little 
or no profit on it. I shall therefore beg you will show it to such 
friends as you think most likely to desire it. In haste, believe me 
to remain, Dear Sir, Your very Faithful and Obed't Serv't, William 

P. S. I have written to Mr. Stewart 1 last month and sent him 
a box of Brazilian insects. I should be very glad if you could point 
me out any Correspondents of your acquaintance through whom I 
could get (in exchange) Birds, Shells, or Insects of North America." 

of his memory, by the aid of which he performed enormous feats of 

1 Mr. Stewart was an engraver in New York. 


The Case of James Cann, and Dr. Spalding's Pamphlet "On 
Scull Cap (Scutellaria Lateriflora) in Hydrophobia." 

The student of American Medical History of the early 
part of the XIX Century will find no case more violently 
discussed than that of James Cann. It not only permeated 
Medical Literature for a year, but it was bandied to and fro 
in the Newspapers, as hardly any medical case before or 
since. Was it Hydrophobia? Was it Tetanus? If neither, 
what was it? Briefly stated, James Cann of New York was 
bitten in June, 1819, by a dog supposed to be mad. A few 
days later he was attacked with symptoms resembling those 
of hydrophobia, an infusion of Scull Cap was administered, 
and he recovered. The result was, of course, conclusive of 
the value of the plant. Yet, others said: "Did Cann have 
hydrophobia at all? Did Scull Cap cure him? Did he not 
get well of himself?" 

Dr. Spalding interested himself in the study of scull cap, 
took pains to collect hundreds of alleged cases of hydro- 
phobia said to have been cured or treated in vain by the 
herb, issued a compendium of them all, in a pamphlet, of 
which he sent copies throughout America and even to Europe, 
where the controversy was again carried on, as bitterly as it 
had been at home, and Cann was discussed in much the same 
way. "Did he have hydrophobia? Did Scull Cap cure 
brim? Was Scull Cap according to Dr. Spalding of New 
York, of any value at all?" 

Meanwhile, Mr. James Cann continued in perfect health 
until February, 1820, when he was again seized with con- 
vulsions, and in spite of scull cap and other drugs, he per- 
ished. Thereupon newspaper-vituperation against scull cap 
and mercury and physicians broke out again in a sort of in- 
sane fashion and lasted, until some other Novelty attracted 
public curiosity, and "The Case of Cann" passed into 

Now it happened that around this Case, there grew an 
enormous mountain of letters to Dr. Spalding, who from the 



stint had insisted, that Cann's Case was one of Tetanus, 
and that Scull Cap in Hydrophobia was useless. 

From this mass of correspondence I will quote a few let- 
ters which show the spirit of the times. The first one worth 
mentioning is from Dr. John Vancleve of New Brunswick, 
New Jersey, President of the State Medical Society. Writ- 
ing from Princeton, July, 1819, he says: 

"The observations I made in the Convention, 1 on Scull Cap as a 
preventive of hydrophobia, were founded on reports of its use which 
I could not discredit. These I had from Dr. Van Derveer, whose 
Father had used it as early as 1770. Young Dr. Van Derveer 
wrote me that he never knew it to fail but once. His father claimed 
to have used it more than 400 times with good results. Several 
cases of hydrophobia in Philadelphia occurring after the Convention 
I thought it my duty to let the local plvysicians know about the 
remedy, so I drew up a short Statement, and sent it to the "Eclectic 
Repertory." With Very Great Respect, John Vancleve." 

In a second letter Dr. Vancleve cited numerous cases of 
the asserted value of scull cap as a cure for hydrophobia, 
and urged Dr. Spalding to communicate directly with Dr. 
Vanderveer; "although he is very diffident, and might, be 
more communicative with me, as I treated his Father per- 
sonally, in his last illness." 

The elder Dr. Lawrence Vanderveer (1745-1815) was 
graduated from Princeton, and was afterwards one of its 
Trustees. The son, Henry, was also a Princeton graduate 
and after practising (it is said) 64 years, died in 1874. He 
was an Army Surgeon in the War of 1812. In an extremely 
long and intricate letter to Dr. Spalding, dated Roysfield, 
New Jersey, Aug. 17, 1819: he says that he had had but 
little knowledge personally of the value of Scull Cap in 
Hydrophobia, but that his Father had used it as far back 
as 1773, and had used it in 400 cases and not one of them 
ever suffered from hydrophobia, except in one instance in 
which after two persons had been bitten by a mad dog, one 
of them took scull cap and had no hydrophobia, whilst the 
other when about to drink his dose of decoction of scull cap 
lost it, by breakage of the pitcher, and died from hydro- 
phobia. The only animal that he ever knew of not being 

1 "The Convention" was the States Medical District Convention 
for the formation of the Pharmacopoeia held in Philadelphia, June 1, 
1819. and of which Dr. Vancleve was a member. 


cured by scull cap after a bite from a mad dog was one 
that could not be induced to take the dose. 

In a second letter Dr. Vanderveer mentions other - 
cessful cures of alleged hydrophobia and many apparent 
cases of prevention after using it, and claim- to know; "I 
Thousand instances in which it had prevented the di& 
appearing after bites from rabid animals." He menti 
that his Father once practiced in Shepardstown, Virginia, 
and then in Roysfield, and that he was now practising in his 
Father's house. Both of these long winded letter- are 
capital autographs, one signed Your Obed't Humble Scrv't; 
and the other; Affection ately yours, Henry Vanderveer. 

Two other letters on this topic from Dr. Levi Bartlett of 
Kingston, New Hampshire, are worth looking into. 

Writing August, 19, 1819, he says: 

"I am sorry to learn that hydrophobia is raging in the M 
States. We have but few cases here. I will inquire of the fan 
whose hogs have died rabid, despite the scull cap. I will also 
you some fresh specimens of the plant that you may satisfy your- 
self. I am rather surprised that credulity should attach such 
potent value to this innocuous plant. Many people about In re 
have been bitten by rabid dogs, yet they never experienced any 
harm. Probably the same thing has occurred in other places win re 
chance first ministered scull cap, and by their Not becoming mad, 
the effects were attributed to the wrong cause. I recall a girl who 
was bitten by a rabid dog in the gum of her upper teeth. The dog 
died, the girl had no treatment yet remained well forty y< 
I have often thought that the Saliva washed away the virus 
acted as an antidote to that which was not thus completely wa 
away from the bite. 

Why would not suction be the best thing for all such bites? I 
have in some instances applied blisters and they seemed to work well. 
The branch, I enclose, came from seed from Pennsylvania, where tin- 
Dutch believe it an infallible cure, and call it a WEEB KRAUT 
(Wehr-preventive Kraut-Herb. J. A. S.) I shall try it if opportunity 
occurs. I sent some to Dr. Thacher who says it is genuine." 

In a second letter, a week later, Dr. Bartlett says: 

"Yesterday I accidently met a fanner whose hog had 
bitten by a mad dog, and I inquired of him the treatment, in tin- 
presence of Dr. Amos Gale of Kingston, who happened along 
he informed me that he gave scull cap largely to tic hog who died. 
We had no more time to talk, or I should have taken his Certil 
to send you. With great esteem, etc., Levi Bautleit." 


In a third and still more diffuse letter on Hydrophobia, 
Dr. Bartlett concludes the topic. 

"I sometime past communicated a paper to your friend Pascalis, 
and suggested to him, that the virus of hydrophobia was of a Phos- 
phoric Nature, so that the System becomes irritable, and that then, 
excitement of the organs of senses adds fuel to the flame and ex- 
tinguishes the Vital Spark. With Esteem, Levi Bartlett." 1 

Another correspondent on Scull Cap was Dr. Stephen 
West Williams (1790-1855) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, a 
man of extensive practice and a Professor of Botany, Juris- 
prudence and Materia Medica at the Berkshire Medical 
School. He edited an excellent "American Medical Biog- 
raphy," and after emigrating to the West, died in Iowa, 

Writing August 13th, 1819, he says: 

"Dear Sir: "In a letter to my friend Dr. Mott I mentioned that 
I was intending to collect facts on the efficacy of Scull Cap in Hydro- 
phobia, as from my experience I never doubted its prophylatic 
powers. I intended also to write to Mr. Coleman of the "Post," 2 
for permission to insert my cases with those he had printed. But 
as you have anticipated me, I abandon my plan." 

Dr. Williams then continues with Cases, and emphasizes 
"the Alexipharmic (Antidotal) Virtues" of scull cap in re- 
lieving animals bitten by mad dogs. He refers additionally 
to cases in the practice of Dr. Peter Fisk, and in a second 
later asserts that he and his Father had cured as many as 
thirty cases of hydrophobia with scull cap. 

In conclusion he says: 

" I can dispose of 20 copies of your pamphlet when ready. 
Your Sincere Friend, S. W. Williams." 

1 Dr. Levi Bartlett was Post Master, Selectman, Circuit Judge, 
Colonel, Justice of the Peace, Judge of Common Pleas and a busy 

2 William Coleman (1766-1829) was born in Boston, practiced law 
in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and Walpole, Vermont, and then re- 
moved to New York, where he was at one time a partner with Aaron 
Burr. Having refused to fight a duel, Coleman was accused of coward- 
ice by a third person, challenged him, and killed him. Characterized 
by his biographers as pugnacious and fiery, Coleman certainly pro- 
ceeded with excessive vehemence in his newspaper-campaign in favor 
of Scull Cap as a preventive of hydrophobia. He established "The 
Evening Post" in 1801, and made of it from the start, the same success 
which it has continued to be ever since. 


Dr. Peter Fisk then practising at Montague, Massachu- 
setts, took up the story of one of the cases where Dr. Wil- 
liams left it (a woman had been bitten by an apparently 
rabid puppy) and in his letter goes into an infinite detail of 
symptoms which might have been due to a dozen different 
diseases. The idea was, that the dog was mad, and died 
mad, and that the woman afflicted with various symptoms 
took large doses of a decoction of Scull Cap and recovered. 

This letter was evidently handed to Mr. Coleman, the 
Editor of the "Post," for on it is pinne \ a slip of pap^r with 
Dr. Spalding's handwriting. 

"Will Mr. Coleman be pleased to show Dr. Spalding his copy as 
he comes into town tomorrow morning?" 

Omitting now, several letters on the absorbing topic of the 
day, I venture to print a part of one from Dr. Thacher. 

"Plymouth, Aug. 3, 1819. Dear Sir: I am gratified to learn 
that you are investigating the antidotal properties of Scutellaria, 
and are about to publish a history of the cases in which it has been 
employed. From your habitual industry and perseverance im- 
portant results may be anticipated. In reference to my letter 
published in the "Repository" in 1812, I recollect it was a hasty 
Address in consequence of a favor with which I had just been 
honored by Dr. Mitchill, and was not intended for publication. 

I visited a boy within 48 hours after the bite was inflicted. The 
wound was large, and so contiguous to the mouth and salivary 
ducts that deeming excision inadmissible, I dilated the wound and 
applied nitric acid, and the affusion of cold water, which with the 
internal use of Scull Cap, in strong decoction twice a day, I directed 
to be persisted in about 30 days. At this precise period his parents 
were alarmed by the appearance of those symptoms which I had 
described to them as distinctive of the consequent disease, and 
which terminated fatally in 64 hours after the attack." 

Dr. Thacher here proceeds to argue at great length, that 
the scull cap had no chance of proving its value since after a 
few days of use, the parents continued it in small and in- 
efficacious doses, and that the quantity actually employed 
was trivial in amount. From this he wanders into a long 
discussion concerning statements made by Mr. Coleman 
concerning the difference in preventive powers of various 
specimens of Scutellaria. Interesting to the botanist, they 
have no value here. 


Taking up the thread of Dr. Thacher's letter again, he 

"You request my opinion respecting the Case of Mr. Cann, and 
it seems that the narrative is candid, and unexceptionable and 
affords ample evidence of the rabid condition, of the dog. A 
cursory review of the circumstances might impress the idea of a 
triumphant display of the curative virtues of Scull Cap. But, my 
friend, it is in our nature to embrace with avidity every occurrence 
co-incident with our views when in pursuit of the object of our 

I rely upon your influence to shield me from the imputation of 
presumption when I query whether Cann's Case may not be con- 
sidered as a suspicious or even a fallacious one? The fact that he 
was seized with the supposed disease on the 7th day, and the 
absence of the most prominent symptoms of hydrophobia, will in 
my humble opinion warrant such a suggestion as we have no in- 
stance on record of an attack earlier than the 10th day and in a 
large number of cases it has been protracted to a much longer 
period. Whether a mild form of tetanic affection aggravated by a 
terrific imagination will not more rationally account for the com- 
plaint, I submit to your superior judgment. Similar examples 
have been reported nor are such accounted incredible by those 
who are acquainted with the astonishing effects of mental im- 
pressions, especially when proceeding from the fears and horrors 
occasioned by the bite of rabid animals. I wish you success and 
satisfaction in your undertaking and would willingly be a subscriber, 
as I shall be impatient to peruse the work as soon as possible. With 
Much respect, Your Friend James Thacher. 

P. S. I omitted to mention a circumstance in Cann's Case 
which has great weight in my mind : the very inadequate quantity 
of scull cap which he was directed to take! A teaspoonful and a 
half in a quart of water, and drink half a pint morning and evening! ! 
And this to combat the most formidable of all diseases! ! ! Would 
you not be willing to take an equal quantity of hemlock or Night- 
shade? Would you attempt to batter down a mountain by the 
force of an air bubble?" 

Another physician consulted by Dr. Spalding was Dr. 
James Mease (1771-1846) who enjoyed throughout America 
a high reputation concerning hydrophobia, because of his 
graduating Thesis on that topic. Dr. Mease was very 
much thought of in medical circles after caring for Dr. Rush 
in his last illness. He wrote a "Geology of the United 
States," and a book on Philadelphia. His sensible views, 
as here laid down, are worth reading. 


"Philadelphia, Aug. 28, 1819. Dear Sir: I read Cann's Case 
with attention, and I must declare to you that I thought at the 
time, the disease had little to do with the Canine Virus, or with 
any irritation excited on the nerves, by the dog's tooth, and the 
Scutellaria as little in the case. If you reflect upon the weakness 
of the infusion given, you will agree with me in the latter opinion. 
But, I have constantly said, that I would as freely use the Scutel- 
laria as any other internal remedy after the disease had actually 
appeared, but I now believe that we ought to direct all our attention 
to the Spine, so as to relieve the origins of the nerves of the parts 
chiefly exhibiting morbid phenomena, from the pressure, under 
which they labor. My views you will see fully given in the two 
last Numbers of the "Recorder," 1 which I will send you, together 
with a copy of my Inaugural Dissertation. Dr. Mitchill has my 
Diss., and also my "Observations" on Dr. Rush's opinion in favour 
of the inflammatory nature of the disease. Dr. Thacher has also 
given a summary of my remarks in one of his papers. 

As to the preventive power of Scutellaria I entertain the same 
doubt as I do of all other preventives. Mr. Coleman not being a 
medical man is not aware how unreasonable it is, to expect that a 
remedy taken for a few weeks or months, and then omitted, can be 
entitled to the claim of Preventing a disease which may come on 
six months or a year afterward, or three years and nine months as 
in cases reported. Mercury has been given to produce salivation 
for weeks, and yet the disease has at length appeared. Can we 
therefore expect any vegetable, to leave more powerful impression 
on the system than Mercury! ! I think Dr. Reid 2 has given us the 
true clew to the cure of both tetanus and hydrophobia, and I wish 
you would read his book. I will throw no hindrance in the way of 
the use of Scull Cap as a cure for the disease and shall rejoice if it 
should prove a specific. 

I admire Mr. Coleman's zeal, and think he merits the thanks of 
the world for his good intentions. If attention to the Spine should 
prove useless in any Case, I shall use Scull Cap. Accept my sincere 
thanks, J. Mease." 

Dr. Spalding collated all the information which he re- 
ceived by letter and through the newspapers concerning 
scull cap and its alleged virtues as a prophylactic and cure 
in Hydrophobia, added condensed reports of its efficacy 

1 "The American Medical Recorder" was an excellent medical 
Journal; beautifully printed and artistically edited, it is good reading, 
even in these days. 

2 Dr. John Reid (1776-1822) was an Edinburgh Alienist of fame. 
His "Treatise on Hypochondriasis and Other Nervous Affections," is 
the work to which Dr. Mease refers. 


issued in the "Post" and other papers, and issued a pamphlet 
on the topic, illustrated with a colored lithograph of the 
plant. Several of these pamphlets were now sent to cor- 
respondents in Europe and amongst the replies acknowledg- 
ing their arrival, I find the following from Sir Robert Perceval 

Kildare Place, Dublin, January 29th, 1820. 

"Dear Sir: I have to return my acknowledgements for your 
pamphlet on the use of "Scutellaria in Hydrophobia," which you 
were so kind as to forward to me. The subject is a most interesting 
one, and the more so to me, as no instance, well authenticated has 
ever come to my knowledge of the efficacy of any medicine in 
preventing the fatal termination of the disease when once it had 
begun to betray itself by such symptoms as you describe. 

A considerable uncertainty affects the observations which 
might be supposed to establish the efficacy of the means employed 
for prevention; the variable period at which the disorder begins 
to discover itself, the unascertained madness of the animal sup- 
posed to be rabid, and the well ascertained fact, that, of many who 
have been bitten by one unequivocally so, some have escaped 
without the employment of any preventive means. These circum- 
stances most contribute to give advantage to credulity or designing 
imposition. This letter will cover American Dollar Notes to the 
amount of One Guinea, which you will particularly oblige rne in ex- 
pending in the purchase of the herb carefully dried: it probably 
may contain some ripe seed. If not, I request you to procure a 
small quantity of seed and to send it along with the herb in the 
same packet. I waive any apology for imposing this trouble upon 
you, convinced as I am, that your zeal for the promotion of science 
and the relief of suffering humanity will plead excuse. Your 
Obliged Servant, Robert Perceval." 1 

After sending a copy of the pamphlet to Baron Larrey, 
a letter arrived from the French firm of Rouviere, Marbeau, 
and Cotterelle of Paris, "Doctors in Medicine" and "Bureau 
of Consultations," of whom, however, no traces are to be 
found in Biographical Dictionaries. This letter begins by 
calling to Dr. Spalding's attention the very celebrated 
"Granules of Health" as made from the formula of the 

1 Sir Robert was born, studied, lectured and died in Dublin, Ireland. 
He lectured principally on Chemistry, was Inspector of Apothecaries 
in Ireland, Chief of the Prison Improvement Society, and Physician in 
Chief to his Majesty's Forces in Ireland. He was very active in putting 
an end to an outbreak of Puerperal Fever at the Rotunda, in 1820. 

&sru{. ct~tst tL<Hw ernXcf fruiJt iA- f^ /~uy^ i-rua.*^ f-or^ertcn\ ■£& vuyrri f tvy~c 
<x- y^j&J cnr-^zblt. ruspA. ^h-a^t a. TrtAr^cUj L4 &A £eSn-s^P\ etc* e_4is</i~*d 



famous Dr. Frank, 1 and hoping that he will aceopt the 
gift of some enclosed, and adds that: "By using our ( rranules 
in your practice you will be an antagonist to those many 
dangerous medicines with which the world is now flooded." 
The Post Script adds: "Our chief reason for writing you, 
from whom the Baron Larrey has most recently received 
your pamphlet on Scutellaria Lateriflora, is to beg you to 
send us a specimen of the plant. We do not doubt its 
efficacy, but would be pleased to prove its value in the face 
of many other remedies likewise claimed as specifics. All 
that is done in Paris for a preventive is to cauterize the bite 
and to give mercurials abundantly." 

A copy of the Pamphlet was also sent to Thomas Jefferson, 
who returned an admirable autograph, in which he regretted 
the ravages of hydrophobia, and hoped that the remedy for 
this afflicting disease had at last been discovered. 

The medical magazines and newspapers of the United 
States continued to publish notices of the Pamphlet on 
Scull Cap, long after the death of Mr. Cann, but its real aim 
to prove, that the suggested remedy amounted to nothing 
as a prophylactic or cure, seems to have been entirely mis- 
understood, for it was still lauded to the skies as a great 
discovery. In order, finally, to set the profession and the 
public aright, Dr. Mitchill was obliged to come forward in 
the "Repository" with the following Statement: 

"Of the famous Scull Cap, we should have nothing more to say. 
had not "Lc Journal Universal de Paris" brought it once more to 
our notice with its thousands of wonderful cures from the Pamphlet 
of our Dr. Spalding. As the French Editor apprehends that de- 
spite this, it will soon be laid 'aside and forgotten, we are surprised 
that lie should ask for the quantity to be given. But, our Author 
has not been understood by the French, and that he should no 
longer be at variance with them, we subject his letter to the editor 
of the journal just mentioned." 

"Sir: I am constrained to say, that my pamphlet on Scutellaria, 
was written for the express purpose of bringing together all the 

1 Johann Peter Frank (1745-1821) was a great man of thai era in the 
courts of Europe, lecturing on medicine at the Universities of Pavia, 
Petrograd and Vienna. He directed many army medical reforms in 
Austria and had reserved for his use a suite of apartments i'i the Im- 
perial Palace at Schcenbrunn. Be w rote " A ( iomplete SyBtem of Medi- 
cal Polity" which contains all of the public health ideas of today. 
The ( rranules of Health were exploited privately from hi> prescriptions. 
Beethoven often visited Dr. Frank with recent musical compositions. 


evidence on which the public reputation of the herb rested, in order 
that the medical public might be better able to judge of the anti- 
dotal powers attributed to the plant. I did not pretend to arrogate to 
myself the right of intruding my opinion upon the public. But you 
have in your journal drawn an erroneous inference when you say 
that Three Hundred persons and a Thousand animals have been 
cured by the plant. What I did say, was, that it had been employed 
by Three Hundred and Fifty persons believed to have been bitten 
by rabid animals, and that in only Three instances did hydrophobia 
supervene, AND, that it is said to have been administered to more 
than a Thousand animals bitten by brutes supposed to be mad. 
You also say, that I pretend that Scull Cap is a specific against 
Hydrophobia. But, my pamphlet does not express any such 
opinion as being entertained by me. For, I have invariably de- 
clared both before, and since the publication of my pamphlet, that 
there was not sufficient evidence available to convince any medical 
man of the prophylactic or antidotal powers of Scutellaria. Lyman 
Spalding, M.D." 

So far as can be discovered this was the last public mention 
of Scutellaria Lateriflora in Hydrophobia. Yet it is plain to 
understand that, what with all these public discussions on 
this dreaded disease, the Case of Cann, and the proposed 
Pharmacopoeia of the United States, now well under way, 
the name of Dr. Spalding must have been very well known 
throughout the civilized world. 


A Brief Summary of what Dr. Spalding Accomplished ix New 

York City, with Notes of Some of the Physicians with 

Whom He was Most Intimate. 1813-1821. 

Immediately after arriving in New York, in 1813, Dr. 
Spalding delivered his letters of introduction, went about 
making acquaintances, attended the meetings of the Trus- 
tees of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and made 
frequent visits to the New York Hospital, as his Case Books 

He called upon Mr. De Witt Clinton, the Jays, Dr. 
Hosack, was made much of by Dr. Mitchill, and by these 
friends was introduced to the Literati, Coleman, Drake and 
Halleck. He was chosen Secretary of the State Historical 
Society, and read papers before it "On the Connecticut 
River Valley," and "On New England Climate" in which 
he mentioned a fall in temperature of 52° between sunset 
and sunrise in Portsmouth. In company with Dr. Mitchill 
and Dr. Vancleve, he measured the temperature of the 
water of a well on Broadway, finding it 54° whilst the August 
air stood at 80°. He wrote for the Newspapers, reviews of 
lectures by Dr. Mitchill and Dr. Ramsay on Natural History, 
notices of a new Comet and a recent earthquake, and during 
an epidemic of fever he defended physicians who had been 
censured by the papers for trivial causes. When a physician 
of standing publicly claimed that quacks were curing the 
fever with "Catnip and Olive Oil," he inquired why that 
physician was not treating his patients in the same way and 
complained that it was unfair in this way to create false im- 
pressions against other physicians who were doing their 
best to find a remedy for the pestilence. 

Dr. Spalding was also elected Secretary of the County 
Medical Society, a position which he held for life, and at its 
meetings read papers "On Fever," "Cataract," "Hernia" 
and "Amputations." Amongst his "Open Letters" to 
celebrated physicians, I find one to Baron Larrey "On Buf- 
fing and Cupping of the Blood," and to Dr. Wifltar, one "On 



Calcareous Concretions in the Knee Joint," and a second 
"On Preparations of the Nerves." In this he says: "It is 
something magnificent I assure you. You can see every 
nerve of its natural size." "The cerebral nerves are painted 
after the natural colors of the Rainbow, Red, for the 1st 
pair, Orange for the 2nd, and so on, whilst the 8th and 9th 
are painted in shades of Gray and Blue. The sympathetic 
is Canary, the Phrenic Greenish, the cardiac Bright Orange. 
The moment you cast your eye on this Preparation which I 
have succeeded in making, you recognize each nerve and its 
branches from the Colors. 

Dr. Spalding was much interested in the study of tuber- 
culosis, and fancied that, in addition to fresh air, he had 
found a cure in Sulphate of Copper. 

The only Obstetrical paper which he wrote was concern- 
" Interlocked Twins." 

His earliest medical paper was one written at Portsmouth 
on vaccination, in 1800, and his last paper was on the same 
subject in New York, in 1820. His only physiological paper 
was "On the Accommodation of the Eye," in which he 
argued that the crystalline Lens was moved to and fro by 
the extrinsic muscles of the Eye. He made frequent Post 
Mortem examinations, and reported an instance of the pelvis 
of a child of 5 containing in a cyst a well-formed fcetus. 

As a student and teacher of Chemistry, he stood in the 
front rank at Hanover, and at Portsmouth, but after remov- 
ing to New York he seems to have given more time to 
Anatomy, Surgery and Internal Medicine. 

Amongst the physicians of New York with whom Dr. 
Spalding consulted and whom I find mentioned in his medical 
papers, was Dr. Richard Sharp Kissam (1763-1822), a 
fashionable surgeon and medical leader in New York for 
thirty years. He performed, for instance, 69 lithotomies 
with but three deaths. He was devoted to Horace, and to 
Zimmerman, the Mystic and Poet, whom he had met in 
Germany and who had presented him with a copy of his 
"Solitude" which Dr. Kissam highly prized and often 
showed to his friends. 

Dr. Ansel W. Ives (1787-1838), another warm friend and 
frequent consultant, was a favorite scholar of Mott's, and 
noted for his very successful translation of Paris' "Pharma- 


Dr. Thomas Cock (1782-1869) with whom Dr. Spalding 
left his patients when out of town, was Professor of Anatomy 
and Surgery at Rutgers, and later, President of the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York. The City of 
New York gave him a Silver Service for his labors during an 
epidemic of Yellow Fever, but his final reputation was based 
on his skill as an obstetrician. Active in practice for years, 
he left few if any papers on medicine. 

Dr. Hugh Williamson (1735-1819) with whom Dr. Spalding 
often served on Medical Committees of the County Medical 
Society and in consultations was a Nestor of the profession 
in those days. He had been in early life a Professor of 
Mathematics in the University of Pennsylvania, but his 
mind finally turned to medicine, and he practiced for a 
while in North Carolina. He ultimately studied abroad, 
and after his return he settled in New York and was a 
famous man. That he was highly esteemed was proved by 
the fact that both Dr. James Thacher and Dr. David Hosack 
wrote a "Life of Dr. Williamson." 

Dr. John Cummings Cheeseman (1788-1865) had the 
reputation of a conservative surgeon of high standing on 
the Staff of the Hospital. In an old notebook here at hand 
I observe that as he and Dr. Spalding were once walking 
from some consultation, they met Dr. Mott, Dr. Smith and 
Dr. Dykeman on a similar errand and as they sauntered 
along they talked of their respective Cases. 

Dr. Joseph Mather Smith (1789-1866), just mentioned, 
took much of Dr. Hosack's practice upon his retirement, 
was a Lecturer on Clinical Medicine at the College of Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons, and wrote many medical papers of 
considerable value at that time. 

Dr. Jacob Dykeman (1788-1822), the third of this group of 
consultants, was a favorite student under Dr. David Hosack, 
and at an early age obtained a high position on the Board of 
Health of New York City, in which position he did a greal 
deal of good by his energetic perseverance. He found time, 
additionally, to edit Duncan's "Dispensatory" and was re- 
garded as a most promising young physician, when he sud- 
denly died from overwork and a resultant acute tuberculosis 
of the lungs. 

Dr. Valentine Seaman (1770-1817), a very kind friend to 
Dr. Spalding, is asserted to have been the first physician to 
vaccinate in New York, obtaining his vaccine personally 


from Edward Jenner. He twice contracted Yellow Fever 
during his investigations to prove that it was not a con- 
tagious disease. Dr. Seaman early analyzed the medicinal 
value of the waters of Saratoga and wrote much concerning 
them, and he is also believed to have been the first physician 
to establish a School for Nurses in New York. 

Dr. James Ludovick Phelps (1785-1869) often assisted Dr. 
Spalding in operations of various sorts. He had been one 
of Dr. Spalding's earliest pupils at Fairfield, but as that 
School did not at that time have power to grant degrees, 
Dr. Phelps obtained his at Philadelphia, served as Ship's 
Surgeon on a Privateer in the War of 1812, and then settled 
in New York. He wrote various medical papers which 
obtained considerable mention, one of them being "On 
Religion as an Element of Medicine," and another "On 
Spontaneous Reduction of Hip Joint Dislocations." 

Dr. Eli Ives of New Haven, Connecticut (1779-1861), was 
fond of Dr. Spalding, gave him much assistance in forming 
the Pharmacopoeia, demonstrated for Dr. Nathan Smith at 
Yale, became Professor of Theory and Practice at the Medi- 
cal School at Yale, and was at one time President of the 
American Medical Association. He is said to have ad- 
ministered chloroform to insensibility as early as 1839, but 
did not use it surgically, at that time. 

From a Notebook at my desk as I write, I find that Dr. 
Ives once called in Dr. Spalding for advice in a case of 
Lumbar Abscess when he was in New Haven. 

Amongst other societies to which Dr. Spalding was elected 
a member were the American Antiquarian, The American 
Philosophical, The Preston (England) Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society, and the Societa Economica Agraria, dei 
Georgofili, of Florence, Italy. 

Dr. Spalding was deeply religious, belonged to St. John's 
Parish in Portsmouth and St. Paul's Parish in New York, 
taught in the Sunday School of both Parishes, and was a 
Trustee of the Free Schools of New York. It was a bright 
day in his life when his friend, Dr. Mitchill, as President of 
the Trustees, presented to his daughter, Elizabeth, a Gold 
Medal for Scholarship. 

When Dr. Spalding moved to New York only one physi- 
sician, Dr. Bard, 1 drove to visit patients, but later on all 

1 (1742-1821); First President of College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons of New York. 


fell into the habit, as it saved being buttonholed on their 

A bit of paper informs me that Grandfather's income for 
one year, his second in New York, was $1646. Beyond that 
I have no knowledge of what he made in practice. 

He was asked at one time for the sake of public health to 
report the condition of Beekman Street, and here is a list of 
what he observed : Offal of fish and fowl, beef bones, barrels 
of shavings, potato peelings, decayed apples, corn cobs, crab 
and clam shells, chimney soot, pea pods, cellar rubbish, six 
loads of cow manure standing in the roadway for 24 hours, 
bricks, mortar, a dead hog, with a dead cat and hen lying 

My Father, as I have said, used to fish off of Wall Street 
wharf as late as 1821, and once he followed with the crowd 
a cart containing a man with a rope around his neck and 
seated on his coffin, on his way to the foot of Wall Street 
where he was hanged from the yard arm of a brig. 

A Portland, Maine, "Argus" of November 11, 1819, dates 
this occurrence for me. 

One of the houses occupied by the Spalding Family was 
not far from the rear of one belonging to Aaron Burr, and 
the boys used to peep through the fence and if they saw Mr. 
Burr they would occasionally have courage to cry out: 
"Who killed Hamilton?" and then run for dear life. 

The amusements of the Spalding family were few: a 
lecture, a concert, fireworks at Delacroix's Garden and, per- 
haps, a play, filled out the list. The family generally passed 
the summer in Portsmouth, but one year they lived on a 
farm at Bergen, Dr. Spalding coming over once a week on 
the ferry and then walking the rest of the way. On one 
occasion the family visited the Frigate "President" just be- 
fore she sailed out to be captured by four British vessels, 
early in January, 1815. Lieutenant Babbitt, who had given 
them the invitation, was killed in this action. 


The Pharmacopoeia of the United States: its Origin and Col- 
laborators. Accident to Dr. Spalding. Return to 
Portsmouth, and Death. 1817-1821. 

For ten years during the daily interruptions of an active 
practice, I have done my best to elucidate the old docu- 
ments on which this work is founded and to throw light in 
that way on the career of my Grandfather. I have fol- 
lowed in his footsteps with hardly a score of his own letters 
as a guide, and it is now my final task to mention what I 
have discovered concerning the composition of the Pharma- 
copoeia of the United States, his closing work in medicine. 

I think that Dr. Spalding first obtained the idea of a 
National Pharmacopoeia from Barton's "Collections for an 
Essay toward a Materia Medica for the United States" read 
before the Philadelphia Medical Society, February 21, 1798. 
For in mentioning certain drugs, Barton says, "They should 
have a place in the Pharmacopoeia of this Country, when 
such a Desideratum shall be supplied." In a similar essay 
of 1804, Barton repeats these words and causes them to be 
printed in Small Capitals. I know that in 1808, Dr. Spald- 
ing discussed the Pharmacopoeia with Dr. Smith and Dr. 
Ramsay. It is furthermore probable that when Dr. Spald- 
ing visited Philadelphia, in 1809, and saw Dr. Barton daily, 
he conversed with him on the possible chances of ever com- 
posing a work so much needed by physicians. 

Whether these surmises are true or not, it may be safely 
said that Dr. Spalding was the first physician in this country 
to read a paper on a National Pharmacopoeia, and to offer 
a working basis for its foundation. Although a committee 
was appointed to carry out his idea, in the end, he did nearly 
all of the work, personally, and carried the book through to 
publication and sale. To him, then, the merit, such as it 
may be. Drugs may be less used than of old, but in that 
era they were the stock in trade of every physician. The 
practice of medicine then was the giving of drugs. Dr. 
Spalding not only consolidated all previous descriptions of 



drugs into a pharmacopoeia that should be National, but he 
set an example which physicians of other countries followed. 

A History of the Pharmacopoeia appears in every new 
edition of that Work, but its intimate histoiy is better seen 
in the appended letters, which show its originator as the 
leader of a small band of intelligent physicians whom he 
rallied to his aid, and who accomplished their purpose in 
spite of the great difficulties of travel and communication by 
mail which then prevailed. 

As I have already said, Dr. Spalding read before the New 
York County Medical Society, Monday, January 6, 1817, 
his paper setting forth the needs of a National Pharma- 
copoeia: physicians were using different books in com- 
pounding their drugs, the names of those drugs varied every- 
where, some drugs were inert, others were compounded on 
foreign standards, different textbooks were used in different 
medical schools of instruction, doses were unlike in various 
parts of the nation: in a word National Uniformity was im- 

When his paper was finished a Committee was appointed, 
including Dr. Spalding and his personal friends, Mitchill, 
Hosack, Rodgers, Stevens, Watt, Post, Sterns, Sykes 1 and 
Beck. 2 

This Committee met at the house of Dr. Spalding, and 
from there he personally mailed the Circulars concerning 
the Pharmacopoeia, to the entire medical world. The Com- 
mittee reported progress, occasionally, to the County So- 
ciety, and in 1818, they presented a Plan to divide the 
Country into Northern, Middle, Southern and Western 

1 James Sykes (1761-1822) of Dover, Delaware, was a very religious 
man, and in the midst of a wave of a fervent Revival, he was swept on 
the wave of Reform into the Governor's chair of Delaware, where he 
was a conspicuous success. When Dr. Edward Miller, of New York, 
died, Dr. Sykes, who had practiced side by side with him in Dover, 
took his practice and obtained fame as a [ithotomist. Gout, however, 
getting, as we may say, a foothold upon him, he went back to Dover 
where he died. 

2 Theodric Romeyne Beck (1791-1S55) was lecturer on Medical 
Jurisprudence for one term under Dr. Spalding's Presidency at Fair- 
field, and continued in that Chair until the school was dissolved. He 
then lectured on Materia Medica and Insanity in which he was greatly 
interested, at the Albany School. He edited for many years "The 
American Journal of Insanity," and with his brother John Broadhead 
Beck wrote the earliest book on "Medical Jurisprudence" in the world. 


Sections, and to invite the State Medical Societies and local 
Medical Schools of that district to send delegates to a Con- 
vention to be held in 1819 in each Section. The Four Sec- 
tions were to choose delegates to a National Convention, to 
be held in Washington, in 1820, at which time it was hoped 
that the work might be completed. 

During these years, the news that the Pharmacopoeia was 
underway brought to its originator many letters from which 
I choose for printing only those which throw light on the 
progress of the work. Here are two from Dr. Shattuck and 
Dr. Warren introducing to our notice a possible publisher for 
the Pharmacopoeia when completed. 

Dr. Shattuck's letter reads in this way: 

"Boston, November 24, 1818. Dear Sir: Mr. Wait, proprietor 
of Thacher's "New England Dispensatory" hands you this letter. 
His object is to procure the countenance of your ablest Physicians 
to this valuable publication. He desires that it may become the 
American work, to be recommended to the public by the public 
teachers of medicine. Dr. Thacher has promised Mr. Wait to 
conform the next edition of the Dispensatory to the Pharmacopoeia 
which you are now about establishing. Any suggestion you may 
make to Mr. Wait in facilitating the accomplishment of his design 
will be gratefully remembered, by Sir, Your Ob'd't Serv't, Geo. C. 

and Dr. Warren's is nearly to the same effect: 

"Boston, 24 Nov'r, 1817. My Dear Sir: I beg leave to intro- 
duce to you Mr. Wait of this town. Mr. W. is proprietor of Thach- 
er's "Dispensatory," and is desirous to converse with you on the 
subject of the American Pharmacopoeia. This, I had no doubt 
would be agreeable to you, as Mr. Wait may contribute to the pros- 
ecution of the plan, and you may, perhaps, be able to assist him if 
the American Pharmacopoeia should go on. Mr. Wait is a gentle- 
man of Intelligence and stands at the head of his profession here. 
I am with great regard, Y'r Friend, J. C. Warren." 

Three months later Dr. Spalding must have been dis- 
couraged to learn from Dr. Warren, that Massachusetts was 
planning to issue a revised edition of its own Pharmacopoeia. 

"Boston, 21 March, 1818. Dear Sir: I feel myself very much 
obliged by your present of Ramsay "On the Brain," 1 as I did not 
possess the book, before. 

1 Alexander Ramsay's "Brain" had a great rim at this time, being 
well written and containing fine illustrations from plates engraved by 
the author. 



^r ^ yJ^x iL^'s yM/~*- £rrU?/«-*<.t/ jzfc*. 

/ / J^ ^^-- 

fi l~. o-r^*^ rr^ cL</ fc~ tfc- /— ^d /y 

fff fifc- ^i^^«^ £ ""fife /^A'-rTrx* 



At the last meeting of our Medical Society a Committee was 
appointed to revise and re-publish the Massachusetts Pharma- 
copoeia, of which Committee, I have the honour to be chairman. 
The Comm : were also empowered to correspond on the subject with 
medical societies in other States, if they saw occasion. Should 
you have any remarks to make you will oblige us by transmitting 
them. We propose that the work shall proceed slowly. 

Dr. Jackson and myself have determined to relinquish the 
practice of midwifery. 1 The mode in which we wish to do it, is 
to transfer that business to the hands of a well-educated female. 
We wish to inquire of you, whether there are any such females in 
New York, and would be extremely obliged by your ideas on the 
subject. 2 " 

The rest of the letter refers to the vacancy in the Ana- 
tomical Chair at Philadephia, and has already been inserted 
in the Chapter of this work dealing with that episode after 
which Dr. Warren signs himself; Believe me, My Dear Sir, 
with Great Regards, Y'r friend, J. C. Warren. 

The next news concerning the Pharmacopoeia comes from 
Dr. Lemuel Kollock (1766-1823), a man with a remarkable 
career. Descended from the Huguenots he was born in 
Wrentham, Massachusetts, where his Father was a town 
official. Lemuel as a child suffered from "Scrofula" in the 
eyes which left his sight impaired for life. He persevered 
despite this handicap, and studied medicine with Dr. Carter 
of Newport, Rhode Island. In Dr. Carter's home he met a 
Southerner, who induced him to settle in Georgia, where I 
have found him first, on Cumberland Island and later on in 
Savannah. Dr. Kollock wrote many medical papers, one 
on "Scarlatina" being of more than ordinary merit. 

"Savannah, 9 June, 1818. Dear Sir: I have been so often ob- 
liged by your kindnesses, that I feel ashamed that I have been so 
long a defaulter in acknowledgements, at least. Your favors of 
the Bills of Mortality for Portsmouth which you were so kind as 
to forward to me, I have filed in the Collections of the Med. Soc. of 
this State. We have felt obliged by these communications, and 

1 The idea of Dr. Shattuck and Dr. Warren abandoning the practice 
of midwifery may have originated from the publication not long before 
of a paper by Sir Anthony Carlisle of London, "On the Impropriety of 
Men being Employed in Midwifery." Sir Anthony (1708- 1840) was 
a man whose opinions carried away all opposition. 

2 This paragraph is outlined on the margin of the letter and marked; 


have endeavored to make you a return from our place, but such is 
the fluctuation of our population, and the hitherto impracticability 
of securing anything like exactness or regularity of return, that we 
have not felt ourselves authorized to make an official publication 
We are endeavoring to institute more method and order to amelio- 
rate our climate by attending to local circumstances which have 
hitherto, we conceive, been too little regarded, but which have had 
powerful influence upon the health of our Town. Surrounded as 
we are by marshy low grounds, much of them cultivated in rice, 
and in a Latitude of 31° we could not otherwise than be sickly, 
especially in the Autumnal months. These lands are to be drained 
and the rice-culture abolished, in the immediate vicinity of the 
Town. This work is now going on, and when carried into complete 
effect we feel authorized to expect great diminution of febrile 
diseases, and an amelioration of climate. The actual situation of 
the Town upon elevated sandy ground of considerable extent, 
furnishing pure water is favorable to health and if these sources 
of miasmatic exhalations are dried, I doubt not but Savannah 
might vie in salubrity with most of the Atlantic Towns. 

With regard to the great national work the New York Society 
have projected, I think it a highly important and creditable scheme. 
How far we shall have zeal to materially contribute to the work, I 
know not, but fear it will be difficult to excite much ardour or in- 
dustry in a work of this sort, at present. The meeting of our 
Society when the Circular was laid before them was not a full one, 
and local matters occupied the attention, principally. The future 
Resolutions on the subject will be communicated to you. It is 
difficult, I believe, to keep alive an efficient zeal in medical Asso- 
ciations except in the immediate vicinity of Medical Schools, which 
furnish continued excitement. We find it the case in this languor 
inspiring climate : there are but few minds here that do not require 
the impulse of necessity to excite to much continued exertion. We 
find but few David Ramsays. 

The death of the late Dr. McBride of Charleston 1 has deprived 
the Southern Section of a powerful auxiliary to such a work. I 
doubt if he has left one behind him who has amassed so much 
knowledge of the indigenous products of this country in a medical 
point of view. His papers, I hope, will furnish much aid. 

With much respect, I am, Y'r Obliged and humble Serv't, L. 

1 Dr. James McBride (1784-1817) was a very eminent physician 
who was graduated at Yale in the Class with John Calhoun, and who 
practiced in Princeville and in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a 
profound botanical Scholar, wrote much upon that topic, and had 
attained a very high standing in the profession when he was carried 
off suddenly by Yellow Fever. 


Directly afterwards came more discouraging news from 
Dr. Jacob De La Motta of Savannah. 

"Savannah (Georgia), August 4th, 1818. Dear Sir* It was my 
intention to have written you, prior to the receipt of your last com- 
munication, but deferred it until I could state the result of the 
deliberation of the Medical Society on the subject of the intended 
Pharmacopoeia. Not having been present when the nature of 
your letter was considered, I cannot minutely state the particulars. 
However, from information, I can say the President was directed 
to address you, and am led to believe that the tenor of his communi- 
cation will not be satisfactory to your wishes, as the Society con- 
siders the undertaking arduous and attended with considerable in- 
convenience. The apathy and indifference manifested by many of 
our Medical Men, on subjects involving medical improvement is 
too well known and I doubt whether this Society will accord with 
what seems to have been generally approved of by Medical Societies 
in other Sections of the Union. I shall endeavor to urge a recon- 
sideration of the subject, and shall make every exertion to induce 
them to forward so laudable an undertaking. Should my efforts 
fail, I will certainly comply with my promise in giving you my 
feeble aid in collecting and digesting all the information and im- 
provements that have been suggested to my mind during the time 
I was engaged in Pharmaceutical pursuits in New York. Should 
I be tardy in the execution I trust you will readily impute such 
delay to professional concerns, as the season is about approaching 
when the time of Physicians is generally completely employed. 

Since my location in this part of the Union, my expectations 
have been realized, and my prospects in business are very promising. 
I have formed a connection in business with an old and respectable 
practitioner of this place, who has ever commanded the largest 
share of practice, and I may truly say, I see everything to render 
my situation pleasing. 

Should you think proper to write me, I will thank you to explain; 
whether the expenses of the District Delegates as well as the dele- 
gates to the National Convention is to be defrayed out of the sum 
for which the copyright will sell? In this State there is but one 
Medical Society. In forming a District Convention, is Georgia to 
inform the other Societies in the Southern Division, of their willing- 
ness to co-operate with them, and in what place they will hold their 
Meeting? This requires explanation, as the Circular does not ex- 
press in what manner, information shall be given in order to effect 
a District Meeting. It appears to my mind, that a Pharmacopoeia 
could readily be compiled by a few individuals in this City, but the 
difficulty would arise in giving information to the neighboring 
Societies within the precincts of this Division. The trouble of 


making communications to the several Societies within the Southern 
Jurisdiction would be greater than to form a Pharmacopoeia locally. 
As the period is somewhat distant which shall complete the under- 
taking, you will have ample time to make such suggestions as may 
further your wishes. 

Our City is very healthy, as yet, but I attribute this blessing to 
the scarcity of rain. We have had an uncommon dry season; 
consequently, vegetable decomposition and the formation of miasma 
is retarded; the too frequent agents in producing our Fever. 

Allow me the pleasure of considering myself, With Respect, 
Your Friend, Jacob De La Motta. 1 " 

In sending out his circulars Dr. Spalding had not for- 
gotten his Portsmouth friends and now Dr. Langdon writes 
as follows : 

"Portsmouth, Sept. 11, 1818. Dear Sir: The circulars you sent 
by my Father in the Spring, with regard to a National Pharma- 
copoeia, according to your request I distributed. The Medical 
Society at their last meeting appointed a Committee, and did 
something more upon the subject. 2 Dr. Pierrepont tells me that 
he shall write you, shortly, an account of their proceedings. 

The package, also, by Mr. Parry enclosing Bills of Mortality I 
have received safe, and as you requested have waited upon the 
physicians who practiced here in those years. Dr. Cutter says he 
possesses no means of information, neither did his son William 
leave any data from winch information can be taken. Dr. Pierre- 
pont has never kept any account, and therefore is unable to make 
any corrections. Dr. Dwight undertook to make some. You will 
see by the Bills, how he succeeded. I expected he would have been 
able to do more. 

The letter to the Selectmen I have also handed to Mr. Langdon 
their Chairman to be laid before the Board. The Bills of Mortality 
you will receive herewith enclosed. 

1 Dr. De La Motta (1788-1845) was born in Savannah and during 
his medical studies met Dr. Spalding first in Philadelphia and later in 
New York where he gave much attention to Materia Medica. He 
served as a Ship's Surgeon during the War of 1812, and then practiced 
in his native place becoming a member of the State Medical and His- 
torical Societies. His pamphlet "On Spirea" is worth recalling, as 
well as the fact that as a reward of his botanical and Medical writ- 
ings he was chosen an Honorary Member of the French Academy of 

2 The records of the New Hampshire Medical Society show that a 
committee of three, Dr. Matthias Spalding, Dr. David L. Morrill and 
Dr. Daniel Adams was appointed to communicate with Dr. Lyman 
Spalding and give him all possible assistance. 


The state of enterprise in medical science here is such as it was 
when you were with us, and still needs Spirit, and Enterprise like 
yours to make its existence appear. Our State will not probably 
be able to furnish much matter towards the great work you have 
undertaken. Still that you may well and fully succeed in so great 
and so useful an undertaking is my earnest wish. Yours with 
Much Esteem, W. Eustis Langdon." 

Dr. Pierrepont also mentions the Pharmacopoeia and gives 
us Family news. 

"Portsmouth, .Sept. 16, 1818. Dear Sir: You kindly offer to 
electioneer for me, so that I should be one of the grand Med'l Con- 
vention, for which I feel obliged to you. In contemplating on this 
favorite subject and in organizing its various stages, it occurred to 
you to compliment your old acquaintance. But, on cool reflection 
you must without doubt have seen how inappropriate to my taste 
would be a mission like that. I should be delighted to visit you, 
and N. Y., but it must be in the indolent character of a private 
friend. But for a Mission! The only one that would please me 
must lead me to the solitudes of a dark and noiseless wilderness: 
to the centre of a desert whose extent should be that of one quarter 
of the World. Respecting this National work contemplated, I 
wish you all success that its nature is susceptible of. I hope you 
will effect its establishment, and be delighted with the share of 
reputation resulting from its accomplishment. 

I did not attend the meeting of the N. H. M. S., but have within 
a few days been informed that arrangement is made to meet the 
first stage of this subject. 

In this section of the country everything goes on with a specific 
torpor and in particular, medical science. It is probable, our con- 
tributions caimot be extensive or very conspicuous. Here, is a 
large and dense cloud (perhaps filled with fiery storms) but we 
want some one to rouse, agitate and make them coruscate. 

But, to quit this subject. Your Father Coues has an enlarge- 
ment of the Parotid Gland: at times, considerably painful, not 
however having that peculiar hardness of the common schirri. 
There is a degree of elastic feeling as if a fluid was contained in a 
thick sac of a texture like a tendon. He at present has it covered 
with a plaster of the Cicuta, taking an alterative. If I had your 
apparatus, I should propose to occasionally electrify it. Would 
not that change its constitution and irritability? If agreeable to 
you to write, stating your selected treatment, I will with fidelity 
execute it. 1 

1 Whether Captain Coues died from this apparent Cancer I do not 


Will you have the goodness to trouble yourself in my behalf so 
much as to see if I can be supplied with Crevier's "History of the 
Emperors" (10 Vols.), 1 Wakefield's "Lucretius de Natura Rerum" 
(4 Vols.), 2 Mitford's "History of Greece," Young's "Works," or 
Johnson's edition of Pope's Works (not his Homer). Please write 
me as soon as convenient, and I will remit to you on them, and 
should any of these volumes be obtained, will you furthermore 
trouble yourself to see them forwarded by safe conveyance. With 
Respect and Esteem, J. H. Pierrepont." 3 

Amongst the physicians whom Dr. Spalding planned to 
interest in the Pharmacopoeia was Dr. Nathaniel Potter of 
Baltimore (1770-1843), Professor of Theory and Practice of 
Medicine in the University of Maryland for thirty-six years. 
He studied medicine with Dr. Rush, obtained his degree at 
Philadelphia in 1796, his graduating thesis having for 
subject "The Medicinal and Deleterious Effects of Arsenic." 
He experimented personally with yellow fever excretions to 
prove that this disease was not contagious; wrote copiously 
on medical topics, and edited books "On Fevers" and 
"Practice." He also established "The Baltimore Medical 
Lycseum" and "The Maryland Medical and Surgical 

Here we have Dr. Potter's reply to the Circular: 

"Baltimore, Nov. 28, 1818. Dear Sir: I am sure you will par- 
don me for an apparent neglect for not having sooner replied to 
your polite favor, when I assure you that a sick family had sus- 
pended all my correspondence from the last of September till this 
day. Accept of my thanks for the specimen of your contemplated 
work "On Fever." Although the subject is too momentous and 
interesting for me to pronounce on it at first view, I will embrace 
an early opportunity of offering the candid expression of my senti- 
ments. The question as to Nosology is drawing to a close. To be 
or not to be, is now the question. In my Course on the Theory 
and Practice of Medicine I disregard all nosological arrangements, 
unless it is to criticize such artificial, unnatural combinations. 
Whether it be possible to establish a perfect Nosology is the question 

1 Jean Louis Crevier (1693-1765) was Professor of Rhetoric at 
Beauvais, and wrote, amongst many others, this "History," once 
famous, but now dusty on library shelves. 

2 Gilbert Wakefield (1756-1801) was a wonderful Latinist, and tre- 
mendously industrious with ancient writers. His "Lucretius" was an 
immense piece of erudition. 

3 The list of books shows Dr. Pierrepont's reading. Over the names 
mentioned are written these figures. "C. $20, "L. $22, "M. $30. 


first to be settled. Me judice, such a work or rather such a Vision 
can exist only in the distorted imagination of the remnant of the 
old Methodic Sect. Can a man be a correct pathologist who be- 
lieves that he can class diseases with the same certainty and facility 
that governs the naturalist in arranging animals and vegetables? 
This would be to make every man's body the same, which is physi- 
cally impossible. We need not multiply arguments on this subject. 
I am informed a learned Prof, in your city is about to issue from 
the press "A New Nosology." He must have little to do to under- 
take at this day to revive the obsolete project of teaching physick 
by names. I can assure him, that unless it contain something 
more luminous than anything thai has yet emanated from the same 
source, he will find it roughly handled in Baltimore! 

Our University has chosen no delegates to the Convention to 
be convened at Philadelphia in June, next. The Faculty of the 
School thought it prudent to leave the election to the State Faculty, 
with a view of commanding all the talents out of which a better 
selection might be made, as well as to conciliate the good will of 
that numerous body toward the University. Accordingly, in June 
last, the Faculty of Maryland balloted for five deputies, and Dr. 
Martin, 1 Dr. De Butts, 2 Dr. Baker, 3 Dr. Wilkins 4 and your humble 

1 Samuel Blair Martin (1785-1875) served in the War of 1812 as 
an Army Surgeon, and then as Ship's Surgeon to the Ivist Indies and 
back, before settling in Baltimore, about 1819. He made his name 
known by his activity during an epidemic of Yellow Fever in that 
City and was rewarded for his courage with the appointment of Public 
Health Office, a position which he held for years. 

2 Elisha De Butts (1773-1831), Professor of Chemistry in the Uni- 
versity of Maryland, was an eloquent Irishman who came to Baltimore 
in childhood, and was graduated at Philadelphia in 180."), presenting a 
Thesis "On the Eye and Vision." He practiced in Alexandria and then 
in Washington, and was a clever conversationalist. His papers "On 
Thermometer," and on "A New Volta Pile" added to chemical knowl- 
edge. He was of great assistance in the foundation of the Pharma- 
copoeia, and in correcting the Final Proofs he was of special aid to the 
original or. 

3 Samuel Baker (1785-1835) practiced in Baltimore and received 
many honorable elections to offices from his brothers in medicine. He 
early became interested in nervous diseases, wrote a graduating thesis 
at Philadelphia, in 1806, on "St. Vitus Dance," and specialized, as it 
were, in such affections during his entire career. For twenty-four 
years he lectured on Materia Medica at the Medical School of the 
University of Maryland, and was another valuable assistant in com- 
pleting the Pharmacopoeia, 

4 Dr. Henry Wilkins was a man of considerable reputation in Medical 
Maryland. The date of his birth and death are uncertain, but he 
obtained his medical degree at Philadelphia in L793, served in the \\ at 
of 1812 and lectured on Materia Medica and Chemistry in the Medical 


servant were elected. We cordially approve of your plan and 
duly estimate the honour of the appointment, and will co-operate 
as far as our talents and industry will authorize us. Any further 
information on the subject will be gratefully received by me, and 
will be communicated to my colleagues. 

Your question respecting the Weights used by the apothecaries 
of our city resolves itself into this. In Compounding medicine, 
they all use twelve ounces to the pound and in selling they give 
sixteen. This is the uniform custom in this place, and perhaps 
throughout the Union; at least as far as my knowledge permits 
me to speak. 

Should the Nosology alluded to be printed, I will esteem it a 
favour if you will furnish me with a copy. The price of it will im- 
mediately be remitted and the favor reciprocated by me in any way 
I can serve you, here. Let me hear from you, and Believe me, 
Yours With Great Respect, Nath'l Potter." 

I find about this date, and will here insert, a copy of a 
letter from Dr. Spalding to Dr. Hewson of Philadelphia, in 
which mention is made of the Pharmacopoeia and of another 
idea of Dr. Spalding's, a system of Medical Police, something 
like our Boards of Health, or Medical Ethics. 

"To Dr. T. T. Hewson, Philadelphia. New York, October 10, 
1818. Dear Sir: In March last I had the honour of forwarding 
to you the Circular on the American Pharmacopoeia. In conse- 
quence of a correspondence which has since been carried on between 
Doctors Mitchill and Cutbush, 1 we are led to believe that the 
College of Physicians of Philadelphia will approve of the formation 
of a National Pharmacopoeia. 

I would also beg leave to suggest to you the propriety of bringing 
before the Congress of Physicians, the subject of Medical Police. 
If it should appear to that learned body over which you preside, 

School of Maryland. He wrote various essays and complied "The 
Family Adviser, or a Plain Modern Practice of Physick for Families," 
a book of some 200 pp. 

1 Dr. Edward Cutbush (1772-1843) was a Surgeon's Mate in the 
Navy and served on the U. S. Frigate "United States" at the bombard- 
ment of Tripoli in 1804. He had in 1818 attained the position of Senior 
Surgeon in the Naw, but soon resigned because he was ordered to a 
vessel unsuitable to his rank. 

He then served as Professor of Chemistry at the Geneva, New York, 
Medical School. He wrote "Observations on the Means of Preserving 
the Health of Sailors and Soldiers," after the style of a more celebrated 
book of the same kind by Dr. Usher Parsons. Dr. Cutbush seems to 
have been rather irascible, and his attitude toward the Pharmacopoeia 
was very odd, as shall later on be seen. 


that a system of National Police would be desirable, and if they 
will pass a resolution to that effect, we will introduce that Resolu- 
tion into the Circular, which will appear in a few weeks, announcing 
the approbation by a majority of the Medical Schools and Societies 
of the formation of the American Pharmacopoeia. 

Will you also have the goodness, My Dear Sir, to convey to me 
at as early an hour as convenient, your own opinion of the forma- » 
tion of the Pharmacopoeia, and the property of attempting the 
establishment of a General Medical Police. Be pleased also to 
accept the enclosures. I have the honor to be Yours, L. Spalding." 

The only news from North Carolina concerning the Phar- 
macopoeia is from a Dr. Robinson of Camden of whom I 
know nothing personally, but whose note I insert as part of 
Medical History. 

"Camden, 24 Oct. 1818. Dear Sir: I received your circular of 
the 4th of March relative to the formation of a National Pharma- 
copoeia. The Object, I highly approve of, but from the scattered 
situation of medical men in this State, I fear we shall be of very 
little service, although the State perhaps contains as many medicinal 
plants as any other. For my own part I shall be happy to render 
you any service which may be in my power, individually, to pro- 
mote so laudable an Object. 

Your Obedient and very Humble Servant. Samuel Robinson.'' 

Dr. Thacher's encouraging letter, showed progress in 
Massachusetts, and his suggestion for a meeting at Hartford, 
was followed. 

"Plymouth, Oct. 25, 1818. Dear Sir: I have been duly favored 
with your letter and pamphlet "On Fever." I cannot but feel it 
an honor, that a subject of such importance after having under- 
gone your investigations should be referred to my examination and 
opinion. It will be my pride and my gratification to comply with 
your request as soon as leisure will permit. From a cursory perusal, 
I can only say at present, that I view it as a specimen of ingenuity 
and brilliant imagination. 

I feel much interested in the success of your project for a National 
Pharmacopoeia and will esteem it as a favor if you will inform me, 
what returns you have received from the several States or Districts. 

The Chairman of our Committee has communicated with your 
Committee, but we have done nothing more, since. It is my indi- 
vidual opinion, that we ought to send, two, if not three delegates 
to meet in convention, perhaps at Hartford, some time next sum- 
mer. Will you be good enough to inform me, whether this will 
meet the wishes and expectations of your Committee? I am with 
great respect your Ob'd't Servant, James Thacher. 


Amongst the Circulars sent to Europe one was directed to 
Anthony Todd Thomson who wrote the following valuable 
acknowledgement : 

91 Sloane St., London, 24 November, 1818. Sir: I received 
your letter with the documents of the Medical Society of the 
County of New York, respecting the formation of the American 
National Pharmacopoeia, and feel happy in being able to send you 
the second Edition of "The London Dispensatory," which has just 
been published. 

I have endeavored to improve the Work so as to keep pace with 
the improvements of Chemistry and Pharmacy, which have taken 
place since the first Edition appeared, and the addition of the 
Sjmonyms will, I trust, render it generally more useful. 

As I am now engaged in writing "A History of Materia Medica," 
I am extremely anxious to obtain a knowledge of the indigenous 
substances which have been employed for medicinal purposes in 
the American State, and I will feel truly obliged with any assist- 
ance you can favor me with. Is it possible to obtain a good Hortus 
Siccus of American Medicinal Plants, without an enormous expense ? 
If such a collection can be readily procured might I take the liberty 
of troubling you with such a commission? I could pay the price 
for it to the correspondents of any of your mercantile Houses, in 
Liverpool or London. Anything I can do for you, in return, you 
may freely command. 

Wishing your undertaking all the success you can desire, I re- 
main Sir, Your Obedient Servant, Anthony Todd Thomson. 1 " 

Another Circular from Dr. Spalding reached Dr. Richard 
Reece 2 of London, and in December, 1818, arrived a flatter- 

1 Anthony Todd Thomson (1778-1849) was born in Edinburgh, al- 
though his Father was Royal Collector at Savannah, Georgia, but who 
had brought his family home during the Revolution. The boy went 
at an early age to Savannah, and returned once more to Edinburgh 
where he received his diploma. He won a wide practice in London, 
founded Medical Societies, established the Chelsea Dispensary, and 
edited various Medical Journals. Whilst occupying the Chair of 
Materia Medica at University College, he wrote "A Conspectus for a 
Pharmacopoeia," and "The London Dispensatory." He gradually 
abandoned general practice, specialized in Dermatology and amused 
himself with Magic. 

2 Richard Reece (1775-1831) was a surgeon at the Hereford Infirmary 
at the age of 21, and after practicing there a while, he moved to Cardiff, 
and from there to London, where he became famous, not only for his 
"Journal" and for his advocacy of "Lobeila and Buchu in Medical 
Practice," but for his Consultations in the Case of Joanna Southcote, 
who at the age of 65 declared herself to be with child by the Holy Ghost. 
He also assisted, later on, at the necropsy of Joanna, which proved 
beyond doubt the falsity of her Claims, which had startled the world. 


ing communication from this distinguished man: a copy of 
his "Medical Magazine," with an Editorial in which he spoke 
of Dr. Spalding's project of a National Pharmacopoeia as 
"A Splendid Instance of Medical Foresight," and urged 
British physicians to petition Parliament for a similar work 
for Great Britian. 

Dr. David Hale was an early graduate at Fairfield, who in 
course of time received some Circulars. From the two long 
letters in which he acknowledges the compliment, I take a 
few items of value. 

"Vincennes, Indiana, January 16, 1819. Dear Doctor. I re- 
ceived your Circular and have to reply that our Society feels v< ry 
friendly toward the success of the Work. They had a meeting in 
November and I at once enclosed you the Proceedings and a News- 
paper, but from your letter I find that you have not received them. 
I now send another paper by a friend whom I commission to buy 
medicine for a shop in which I am now concerned. I wish also to 
trouble you about a Soda Water Machine, and I wish you to assist 
in the purchase of the machine and to see that no imposition is 
practiced in any part of the Bill, either for drugs or for (he Machine. 
I will also thank you for a description of the use of the machine, 
and of the ingredients for making Soda Water. I am under a 
serious impression that I shall make money here if I have health. 
Though quite poor when I was under your tuition, I now consider 
my property worth 5 to 7 Thousand and growing fast. Your 
Obedient Servant & Well Wisher, David Hale." 

Dr. Matthias Spalding, a member of the New Hampshire 
Delegation, was much interested in the Pharmacopoeia, as 
his communication shows. 

"Amherst, New Hampshire, February 24, 1819. Dear Sir: I 
have received several letters and Circulars on the subject of the 
National Pharmacopoeia, and we have had several meetings by 
way of the Society and Committee on the Subject, but we have not 
made much progress in the Business, though we are disposed so to 
do. I felt very sorry you did not see the Hon. D. L. Morrill ' when 
on his way to Washington. 

1 Dr. David Lawrence Morrill (1772-1849) practiced medicine at 
Epsom, New Hampshire, abandoned medicine tor Theology, ami then 
gave up Theology for Politics, lie was twice elected to Congress, 
served a term in the United States Senate and was four t imee I rovernoi 
of New Hampshire. He wrote a great deal on religious ami political 
matters, hut gave the project for the founding of the Pharmacopoeia 
no assistance whatsoever. 


Hope you will see him on his way home, and that he and you, or 
your Committee will make suitable arrangements with him for 
carrying on the business. He, of course, will be at Washington 
next winter. He is one of our State Committee on the Pharma- 
copoeia. He is a man of Science as well as one of our own pro- 
fession: in fact, he is every way calculated for the business and Will, 
I trust, do all he can to forward such a work. 

Be pleased to accept my best wishes for your personal and public 
welfare in undertaking so laudable a work. I am, Dear Sir, with 
Much Esteem, your friend and Servant, Matthias Spalding." 

A very friendly and encouraging message from Dr. Mitchill 
arrived at this time very opportunely. Dr. Mitchill was 
then at Albany to attend a meeting of the Regents. 

"Albany, April 4, 1819. Sunday. Dear Sir: It is now almost 
night, and I have just learned that the Steam Boat has arrived from 
New York. It is understood that she will leave this place on 
Tuesday. The roads are so dreadfully bad, that I shall not travel 
home by land, but wait for the departure of this vessel. 

I inform you, as Trustee of the College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons, notified to act, that I received the Diplomas for the gradu- 
ates, yesterday, from the Chancellor of the University, with his 
signature. They will be ready for delivery at the moment of my 
arrival on Wednesday. I wish the Registrar, or some body might 
be ready to receive them from me, the instant I arrive. 

The Secretary of the State Medical Society, has certified and 
subscribed the Commission for the Delegates to the Medical Con- 
vention at Philadelphia. 1 I shall bring it with me. 

I have procured in advance, a Copy of the "Catalogue of Plants 
growing in the Vicinity of New York," by the Lyceum of Natural 
History, and chiefly by John Torrey, M.D. 2 The printing is 
doing by Websters and Skinners. I find it, on examination, 
an admirable piece of work, highly creditable to our younger 
brethren who engaged in it. If the Lyceum had done nothing but 
this, it would have established a noble and durable monument of 
its usefulness. 

I request you on the receipt of this to call on Mrs. Mitchill and 

1 "The Medical Convention at Philadelphia" was the one planned 
for the composition of the Pharmacopoeia by the Middle States, in 

2 Dr. John Torrey, (1796-1873) only twenty-three at this time, had 
studied medicine with Dr. Wright Post, but turning his attention to 
Botany he became famous in this specialty, and was later on in turn 
Professor of Chemistry at West Point and at Columbia. The pamphlet 
here mentioned, is now exceedingly rare and valued at a high price, by 


inform (her) that her husband and Brother ' are lodged in the same 
chamber at Moody's Hotel, are in good health, and anxious to 
embark for wives and homes. Make my compliments to Mrs. 
Spalding, and be assured of my esteem and regard. Sam'l L. 

About this time too, Sir Robert Perceval wrote to Dr. 
Spalding an exceedingly valuable and explicit letter of sug- 
gestions concerning the Pharmacopoeia. In point of fact it 
is the best one of this collection of letters bearing upon the 
national work in which Dr. Spalding was so deeply inter- 
ested. Furthermore it is beautifully written, and easy to 

"Kildare Place, Dublin, May 4, 1819. Dear Sir: America has 
long had a claim on my gratitude. Many years ago, Mr. Vaughan ' 
obtained for me the honour of being elected a Member of the 
Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and I have anxiously watched 
an opportunity of returning my acknowledgements. The object 
which you propose in your letter, which I am almost ashamed to 
say is dated so far back as March, 181S, is such as I could heartily 
wish were adopted in the several countries which compose the 
United Kingdom. Dissonance in Nomenclature and in the prepa- 
ration of the more active medicines which are employed in our 
practice is attended with inextricable confusion. I should hope, 
that some uniformity might at length prevail amongst practitioners 
who speak the same language and acknowledge the same original 
stock. My delay in acknowledging your favor subjoined to the 

1 Mrs. Mitchill's Brother was Dr. Samuel Akerly (1785-1845), she 
being by birth an Akerly, then marrying a Mr. Cock, and after a widow- 
hood of some years she married Dr. Mitchill. Dr. Akerly was an 
Army Surgeon in the War of 1812, and after practising in New York, 
interested himself in the care of the insane and the education of the 
Deaf Mutes. Amongst his numerous papers, one on "Deafness" still 
reads well. 

2 Dr. Benjamin Vaughan (1751-1835) was born in Jamaica, and 
took the degree of M.D. at Edinburgh, to please his prospective Father- 
in-Law, who insisted on a " Man with a Profession," for his Son-in-1 
Dr. Vaughan, instead of practising, went into polities, took an i 
part with Franklin in his negotiations with the French during our 
American Revolution, and although a Member of Parliament, he en- 
gaged, apparently, in High Treason by introducing French Revoluti m- 
ists into Great Britian. Obliged to flee to Switzerland, he came to 
America and finally settled in Hallowell, Maine, where he posed 
philosopher, wrote on politics and medicine, ami practiced a little. 
Some of his books well annotated may still be found in the Library ol 
the Maine Insane Asylum at Augusta. In his old age he gave much 
etudy to the "Letters of Junius," and their authorship. 


Circular, arose partly from the state of my health, but principally 
from a desire of rendering my answer more satisfactory. 

The Dublin College of Physicians have published but one Edition 
of their Pharmacopoeia, but have appointed a Committee, of whom 
I am one, to revise it, and publish a second edition. I was in hopes 
I should have been able to have reported progress, but have been 
disappointed in this hope by the prevalence of the Epidemic fever, 
which has for upward of a year afflicted our Capital. 

Dr. Barker, 1 who is my successor in the Chemical Professorship, 
which I resigned several years ago, finding it incompatible with 
my medical engagements, has lately been absent from Dublin on a 
mission from the Government to inspect the State of Health in the 
province of Munster, and I fear, such duties as these will, for some 
time interfere with the prosecution of our Pharmaceutical labours. 
The Disorder, although by no means fatal, has spread alarmingly 
through the lower ranks. 

Have you seen the Pharmacopoeia published last year in Paris; 
the result of many years of study of a number of celebrated men in 
that City who were commissioned and liberally paid by the Govern- 
ment? The work is voluminous, contains about 600 pp., and seems 
better adapted for the library than the shop. It includes many 
details of Natural History, Pharmacy and Chemistry. In its 
formula? we meet many of the old compound medicines which 
modern practice in these countries has long since exploded. The 
proportion of ingredients is determined decimally, which appears 
an improvement, as much confusion arises from the varied weights 
and measures in different countries. The chemical part is copious, 
and contains practical directions so minute as only to be adopted 
to novices of the art. The ointments and plasters appear to be 
compounded with great care and to contain many active ingredients. 
With us, perhaps, simplicity has been carried too far." 

Sir Robert here goes on at great length with a list of 
plants, suitable for the American Pharmacopoeia, which I 
omit for lack of space. He then resumes: 

"I have now to acknowledge the receipt of your Second Circular, 
and am happy to find that your scheme is in advance. From the 
abatement of the Fever, and the approach of Summer which will 
give us all more leisure, I hope to be able to report some progress 
on our work. 

I have looked over a book printed in Paris in 1818, the title of 
which is "Formulaire Magistral": it contains a great variety of 

1 Dr. Francis Barker (1793-1859), Sir Robert's successor in the 
Chemical Chair in Dublin, was very intimate with Sir Walter Scott, 
whilst a student at Edinburgh, and from that acquaintance obtained 
promotion in medicine. 


formulae or prescriptions of various eminent physicians in Europe. 
If you mean to render copious, the article of Formula 1 , this book 
might supply some suggestions. Our plan, is to confine ourselves 
either to simple preparations or to such compound medicines as 
have been sanctioned by long use, introducing such corrections in 
their preparation as to tend to simplify, without impairing their 
virtue. This might appear the best plan for a Pharmacopoeia which 
is to be the rule of general Practice and which is to furnish the 
shop of the Apothecary, w r hose shelves and drawers if they contain 
all the articles brought forward in the French Codex must be over- 
burthened with an enormous multiplicity of medicines, the greater 
part of wiiich will be spoiled before called for. For these, of course, 
the public must pay, and if a French Apothecary be remunerated 
according to the trouble and expense which the "Codex" imposes 
upon him, his claim to an enormous charge will be founded in 

You will find in the Preface to the "Formulaire Magistral/' as 
good a plea as can well be made for compounding medicine of a 
multiplicity of ingredients, or what the authors call " Polyphar- 
macies I cannot reject the whole of the reasoning, but am clearly 
of opinion that the exercise of " Polypharmacie " should be left to 
extemporaneous prescription. 

Chincough 1 has as usual, been prevalent this Spring. I have 
seen and heard of some, cases confirming the recommendation of 
Dr. Marc 2 of the use of belladonna. The effect, however, is so 
violent, on the Nervous system that I have been discouraged from 
pushing the experiment. I hope to be able before long to give you 
an account of our pharmaceutical labours. Should any oppor- 
tunity occur of transmitting a specimen of your work to this country, 
our Committee will feel much obliged to you for the communica- 
tion. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your Ob'd't and Faithful Serv't, 
Rob. Perceval. Physician General for Ireland." 

Sir Robert Perceval's valuable suggestions were followed 
by bad news from the South. 

"Writing from Savannah, May 20, 1S19. Dr. Kollock begins by 
introducing a physician whose name I cannot decipher, and adds: 
"From my invalid condition during the past year, I believed it 
proper to resign my standing as President in our Medical Society, 

1 Chin Cough (or Kink-Cough) a sort of Whooping Cough. 

2 Dr. Charles Chretien Henri Marc (1771-1841) was a distinguished 
Physician of Paris, who in his early medical life wrote on the effects 
of poisons, used as remedies in disease, urged more frequent study of 

the dead, and suggested many remedies as specifics for Btated diseases. 
In his later life he wrote a great deal on "Insanity" from a medico-legal 
point of view. 


to one who could do more justice to the station. Since which I 
have had no share in the transactions of the Society. 

Sometime since, your letter to me was received by the new 
President who mentioned to me the object, and that he should lay 
it before the board at their next meeting. Whether this has been 
done, I am not informed. But our medical gentlemen seem re- 
luctant to encounter the subject of the Pharmacopoeia with the 
prospect of contributing so little of importance to the stock of 
matters necessary for such a work, without a devotion of more time 
and labour than they feel able to spare from their other duties. 

We have two Representatives in Congress, members of our 
Society (Drs. Abbott 1 and Terrell 2 ), who perhaps may be selected 
as our representatives, also. If they accept the appointment they 
will carry into the work much information. I hope this plan will 
be pursued. With the best wishes for the success of the under- 
taking, I am Very Respectfully, L. Kollock." 

Nor was a second letter from Dr. Potter any more en- 

"Baltimore, May 31, 1819. Dear Sir: It is to me a subject of 
regret that I cannot, consistent with propriety attend the Phila- 
delphia Convention of which we are members; not that I would 
presume to offer anything that will not be better done by my 

We have determined that the Faculty of Maryland will be ably 
and faithfully represented by two delegates, either of whom can 
leave home with more convenience, than I could. While I am 
constrained to forego the pleasure I anticipated of meeting j^ou and 
some other old friends, as well as of cultivating the acquaintance 
of others whose reputation demands the tribute of respect, yet my 
duty to a sick infant daughter admonishes me to renounce the 
project on which I had so long set my heart. I trust your joint 
labors will result to the benefit of medical science, and that the 
American Pharmacopoeia will be exhibited as an emblem of the 
literary sovereignty of the U. States. I propose, ere long, to ad- 
dress you or some other member of the Convention on certain 
topics connected with the objects of your present mission. This 

1 Joel Abbott, M.D. was born in Connecticut, but was taken in in- 
fancy to Georgia, where he became an excellent physician and high- 
minded politician. He practiced "Somewhere in Georgia," represented 
the Wilkes County District in Congress, and was a firm believer in the 
justice of slavery. 

2 William Terrell was in early life a physician, but became a poli- 
tician and a man highly esteemed. He was greatly devoted to agri- 
culture, and at his death in 1855, left to the University of Georgia a 
fund for the support of a Chair for the Promotion of Agriculture. 


will be the more necessary, as the contemplated Convention at 
Washington is fixed at a season when my duties to the University 
would not permit me to attend. My contributions will, however, 
depend entirely upon the plan adopted, as they will respect prin- 
cipally, the operation of certain articles of the Materia Medica. 

My Colleague Dr. De Butts will present you this, and I take 
leave to make you particularly acquainted with him. You will 
find him a man of real genius and worth, united to great diffidence 
and unassuming manners. Dear Sir, Yours Very Truly, Nath'l 

As it then took ten hours by stage from Baltimore to 
Washington and even more to Philadelphia, the objections 
on the part of Dr. Potter in making either journey will be 
readily understood. 

Of the four District Conventions arranged for the year 
1819, only two met, one for the Northern States at Boston, 
one for the Middle States at Philadelphia, and both of them 
in June. The members composing the Boston Convention 
were Drs. Mussey, Matthias Spalding, E. Torrey, 1 S. Grid- 
ley, 2 James Thacher, Ebenezer Lerned, J. P. Batchelder, S. 
Drowne, 3 Eli Ives, J. Bigelow and Dr. Shattuck. 

1 Erastus Torrey was graduated at the Dartmouth Medical School 
in 1805, practiced for a few years at Cornish, New Hampshire and \\ as 
a Member of the State Medical Society. Later on he moved to Windsor, 
Vermont, and represented that State in the Convention. He was, on 
the foundation of the Castleton Medical School, appointed a Lecturer 
on the Theory and Practice of Medicine. 

2 Selah Gridley (1767-1826) practiced in a small village in Vermont, 
the name of which has escaped my researches, but there he becam 
successful as a teacher of medicine that be was obliged to establish a 
Medical School at Castleton as an outlet for his many applicants for 
instruction. Here for some time he acted as Professor of Theory and 
Practice, and also of Materia Medica, In the midst of his successes he 
had the misfortune to lose a very dear friend whom he invited to wit- 
ness the removal of an addition to his house, and who very unluckily 
fell beneath the rollers and was killed. This fatal accident so deprt 

Dr. Gridley that though daily visiting his new residence, he finally lost 
all interest in it, never dwell beneath its roof, fell into a Decline and 
Melancholy, and removed to Exeter, New Hampshire, where he died. 

3 Solomon Drowne (1753-1834) served as a Surgeon both in the Army 
and Navyduringthe Revolution. His "Journal of a Cruise in the Fall of 
1780 in the Private Sloop, 'Hope,'" is a rare and valuable pamphlet. 

He studied in Europe, had many honorary degrees and practiced in 
Ohio and Pennsylvania and finally in Foster, Rhode Island, represent- 
ing that State in the Convention. Having been Lecturer on Botany 
at Brown, his qualifications for the position were undisputed. Dr. 


This Convention met in Boston on the First day of June, 
took up the discussion of all the important medicines men- 
tioned in the large number of foreign and domestic Phar- 
macopoeias of the day, London, Edinburgh and Dublin. 
Each topic was gone over alphabetically, each member had 
his suggestions to offer. The rough draft which was com- 
pleted at the end of the week was given to Dr. Eh Ives of 
New Haven and to Dr. Jacob Bigelow of Boston to revise 
and to hand it personally to the members of the National 
Convention to be held in Washington in the following 
January for comparison with the material to be furnished by 
the other district conventions. 

The Convention for the Middle States met on the same 
day at Philadelphia and the following physicians took 
part. Drs. Mitchill, Watts, Stevens, Parke, 1 Griffiths, 2 
Hewson, Stewart, 3 Parrish, Atlee, 4 MacNeven, Frances, 

Drowne wrote papers on Botany, and was greatly interested in Philan- 
thropy, one of the closing acts of his life being to publish "An Address 
on the Independence of Greece." 

1 Thomas Parke (1749-1835) practiced many years in Philadelphia. 
Although he had written but little on medical topics, his long dealings 
with drugs made his presence valuable. 

2 Samuel Powell Griffiths (1759-1826), whilst still a student of 
medicine, had helped to aid the wounded at the Battle of Germantown, 
and later on obtained his degree of medicine from the University of 
Montpellier in France. He practiced more than forty years in Phila- 
delphia, and from his acquaintance with their language was of great 
service to the French refugees from the Island of Saint Domingo after 
their exile by the revolutionary negroes. Dr. Griffiths was Professor of 
Materia Medica at the Pennsylvania Hospital Medical School, and 
wrote a paper on "Pharmacopoeias" which he read by request before 
the members of this Convention. 

3 Of Dr. Samuel Stewart, I only know that he was famous in Phila- 
delphia as an obstetrician, and the possessor of such long and pre- 
hensile hands that he scorned the use of forceps. 

4 Edwin Augustus Atlee (1776-1854) first studied law and served 
as a volunteer soldier in the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania in 
1794, which was a rebellion against the prohibition of the distilling of 
liquors by the people. He gave up law, studied medicine and obtained 
his degree with a thesis "On the Influence of Music in the Treatment 
of Diseases." Dr. Atlee took immense pains to translate from the 
Latin, Lieutaud's * "Synopsis of Medical Practice," retired at an early 
age from medicine, and devoted the rest of his life to the Anti-Slavery 

* Joseph Lieutaud (1703-1780) was an Instructor in Botany, Physiology and 
Anatomy in Paris. His " Anatomical Essays " were original, and his "Pathological 
Anatomy " based on thousands of observations was considered phenomenal. 


Smith, 1 Vancleve, Baker, McLane, 2 Huntt, 3 De Butts and 
Henderson. 4 Dr. Spalding attended as the representative 
of the Fairfield Medical School, and of the New York 
County Medical Society. 

The Convention thus composed met in Philosophical Hall 
on the same day as that of the Convention in Boston, and 
remained in session for five successive days and evenings. 
In the same way as at Boston the rough draft of a pharma- 
copoeia was composed, and in this instance given over to 
the care of Dr. Spalding, with instructions to enlarge the 
information needed concerning plants and indigenous reme- 
dies by correspondence throughout the Nation, and to presen I 
it to the National Convention to be held in Washington. 
Dr. Spalding was also authorized to notify the District Dele- 
gates to appear at the National Convention. His suggestion 
for a Medical Police of which mention was made in a former 
letter to Dr. Hewson was postponed to a later date. 

Immediately after the adjournment of this Convention 
Dr. Spalding returned to New York, and occupied himself 
during the rest of the year, 1819, with his practice and his 
work on the Pharmacopoeia. Amongst the letters received 
at this time, I find this one from Dr. De La Motta, who had 
evidently visited Dr. Spalding at his house. 

"Savannah, June 8, 1819. Dear Sir: According to promise I 
take the pen as early after my arrival as I obtained information, to 

1 Charles Smith (1767-1848) was born and educated at Princeton, 
New Jersey, and practiced many years in New Brunswick in that State! 
As one of the leading practitioners in his State he had been chosen as 
its representative in the convention. 

2 Allan McLane, Jr. (1786-1845), was an Army Surgeon in the War 
of 1812, wrote voluminously on medicine and was of great service to 
the Pharmacopoeia. 

Henry Huntt was born, educated, and obtained his degree in 
Maryland, served as Hospital Surgeon in the Army, and was the first 
Health Officer of Washington, D.C. He was a founder of the American 
Medical Association and amongst many valuable papers wrote on 
"Observations of ( !hange of Climate in Pulmonary Consumption." 

4 Thomas Henderson (1789 1854) came from an obscure village in 
Virginia and practiced in Washington, D.C. He was an original incor- 
porator of the Distrid of Columbia Medical Society, served as an 
Assistant Surgeon in the Army, was Professor of Theory and Practice 
in the Columbian University and retired from the profession at an 
early age, and .lied in Lexington, Kentucky. Devoted to medical 
investigation, his chief literary work was "Am Epitome of the Phv.-iol- 
ogy, General Anatomy and Pathology of Bichat." 


address you on the subject of the proceedings of the Georgia Medical 
Society on a co-operation to form the National Pharmacopoeia. 
The letter which I wrote in your office and addressed to my Co- 
Partner was laid before the Society, and I am happy to state that 
during my absence a committee was appointed to meet the Charles- 
ton Delegation at Columbia. The Members composing this Com- 
mittee are two Members of Congress, Dr. Abbott and Terrell, the 
other a member resident in this City. 

Not being present at the Nomination, I, of course, could not ex- 
pect to have been placed on that Committee. I, however, will not 
recant from my promise, but will give you all the aid in my power. 
I shall, therefore, collect what I am able on that Subject, and 
transmit it to you previous to the Meeting of the General Con- 
vention, and should what I collect be deemed worthy of note, I shall 
be pleased to observe such notice as they may be entitled to. 

Our City as respects endemical fever is as yet exempt. The 
Whooping Cough is very prevalent amongst children, the weather 
pleasant for the season. 

You will confer a particular favor on me by briefly noting on a 
piece of paper and transmitting to me in a letter, such improve- 
ments in medicine and surgery as you are acquainted with that 
have lately taken place in the United States. I have to deliver the 
Anniversary Oration before the Medical Society in the early part of 
January next, and I purpose giving an outline of such improvements 
as are worthy of observation. I shall not omit making honorable 
mention of what you send. 

I am Very Respectfully, Yours etc., Jacob De La Motta." 

The Southern Convention, or more precisely, the South 
Carolina-Georgia Convention had a meeting during the Au- 
tumn, but accomplished next to nothing owing to lack of a 
Quorum. The two physicians mentioned were directed infor- 
mally to attend the Convention to be held at Washington. 

Early in December, Dr. Spalding wishing to lose as little 
time as possible in attending the National Convention in- 
quired of Dr. Morrill, Member of Congress from New Hamp- 
shire the best way to reach Washington, and his reply gives 
us an idea of the slowness of transit in that era. 

Washington City, Dec. 15, 1819. Dear Sir: I have this moment 
received your letter of the 11th Instant, requiring information rela- 
tive to the shortest possible time necessary to travel from N. Y. to 
this City, otherwise than in the Mail Stage. You may leave N. Y., 
at 11 a.m. in "The Olive Branch" and sleep at Trenton that night, 
and arrive at Philadelphia next day at 10. You may leave Phila- 
delphia at 12 and arrive at Baltimore by 2 or 3 next morning. 


You may leave Baltimore in the Mail Stage at 6 a.m. and get into 
this City by 12 or sooner, or on the 7 o'clock or 9 o'clock stage and 
arrive here in the afternoon. You may, therefore, arrive in this 
City in 49 or 50 hours from the time you leave N. Y. Respectfully, 
Y'r Ob'd't Serv't, David L. Morrill. 

On the margin of this letter Dr. Spalding pencilled "T. 
28"; suggesting Tuesday the 28th of December as the day 
on which he should set out for Washington, and this seems 
verified by a Bill for board at the "Congress Hotel" in Wash- 
ington, D.C., George Beal, Proprietor, which shows that Dr. 
Spalding reached there Thursday the 30th, and remained 
until Saturday night, January 8th, at a cost of $23.38/100. 

The Convention opened on Saturday morning, January 1, 
1820, in the Senate Chamber in the north wing of the Capi- 
tol, these physicians being present: Ives, Hewson, Huntt, 
McLane, Spalding and Stevens. The two rough drafts for 
the National Pharmacopoeia received from the two District 
Conventions were handed in, examined and discussed. The 
Convention adjourned late at night until Monday, January 
3rd, when Drs. Mitchill, Baker, Parks, Terrell and Abbott 
appeared and remained during the rest of the Convention. 
By these eleven physicians, therefore, the United States 
Pharmacopoeia was decided upon. 

The rest of the week was spent in comparing notes, and 
revising the abundant material furnished by the deleg 
Before adjourning on Saturday afternoon, they chose a Com- 
mittee of Publication, in the order named: Spalding, Ives, 
Hewson, De Butts and Bigelow; Dr. Spalding being named 
as Chairman. 

The months ran rapidly onward and a few days before 
this Committee met in New York, Dr. Spalding received 
the following very friendly letter from Dr. Mitchill. 

"West Point, June 3, 1820. Dear Sir: My occupation here as 
one of the Visitors on the appointment of the War Department to 
the U. S. Military Academy, will, I foresee, be necessarily pro- 
longed beyond the time prescribed for the meeting of the Publish- 
ing Committee appointed by their Convention for compiling a 
Pharmacopoeia for the "Fredonian" People. 1 

1 "Fredonian People" was a name suggested by Dr. Mitchill for all 
Americans, and was borrowed from the word "Freedom." It failed, 
however, to make a success, either as Fredouia, for the Nation, or 
Fredonian for the people. 


It would have been highly gratifying to me, to have been able 
to see the gentlemen and to have contributed whatever I could, for 
rendering their visit in N. Y. agreeable. I should also have felt 
very happy in their society and intercourse. I beg you to make to 
them this explanation of the reason wherefore I am not with you, 
and of my regret that business of the Pharmacopoeia and of the 
Academy so unluckily interfere with each other. The matter, 
nevertheless, is of no moment as an affair of business, inasmuch as 
I am not a member of the Committee. I am confident, besides, 
that the great work will go steadily on, as it is in good hands. 

My time has been fully occupied since my arrival, in visiting the 
National School, and in viewing the interesting objects around. 
The change is great, I assure you, from the smoky, polluted air 
of the City to the pure atmosphere of the mountains and from 
paved streets and rows of houses, to natural ground and verdant 

My function as a military man, here, might be considered as very 
different from that of a medical man in our College, was there 
not, as the wags remark, something "killing" in both professions. 

I wish you would show our distinguished visitors the newly 
furnished case of minerals, the first that meets the eye in entering 
the Museum, where the minerals of Elba, glitter in the presence of 
the minerals from New Spain, received just before I left home, 
from the School of Mines in Mexico. 

I have this moment closed a letter to Mr. Calhoun, on some 
memorable phenomena and occurrences in this place. 

Present my compliments to Mrs. Spalding, and the young ladies, 1 
and say to them, that if the fates permitted, I could wish you and 
they and Mrs. Mitchill and Amantha 2 were all here with me. Truly, 
Dear Sir, Ever Yours, Sam'l Mitchill." 

On a bit of paper, Dr. Mitchill adds: 

"Since I wrote the note which I am about to enclose, I have re- 
ceived a visit from the officers and the Chaplain; and Mr. Gimbrede, 3 
the ingenious Drawing Master has flattered me with the best pic- 
ture or likeness of me, that probably ever was made. I am called 
to dinner, and after snatching a hasty morsel, purpose to visit some 
of the neighboring tracts near to the ponds and lakes that feed the 
streams. S. L. M. 

1 "The Young Ladies" were Dr. Spalding's daughters, now 17 and 
15 years of age. 

2 Amantha was Dr. Mitchill's Daughter. 

3 Mr. Gimbrede was born in France in 1781, and came to America 
very young. He was an engraver by trade, and carried on a shop in 
the Bowery. He had this very year obtained an appointment at West 
Point, and held it until his death in 1832. 


Not long after this Meeting of the Publication Committee, 
Dr. Spalding had occasion to send proof sheets to Dr. Hewsoo 
in Philadelphia, but being very busy he gave the commission 
to his son, My Father, then ten years old. The result of 
this long journey was communicated by Dr. Spalding to his 
wife, then in Portsmouth, as the following copy of a letter 
shows, and enclosed, was my Father's boyish account of his 
adventures to which he was very fond of alluding, in his 80th 
year and beyond, as his "share in the Pharmacopoeia." 

"New York, August 20, 1820. My Dear Wife: Lyman returned 
from Philadelphia after nine days absence. He met with no 
troubles nor difficulties. He calculated to admiration. He spent 
his last cent at New Brunswick in payment for his supper and 
lodging. He was delighted with Philadelphia and intends to give 
you an account of his travels. 

If Dr. Thurston will inform you what years of Bills of Mortality 
he is deficient in, I will send them to him, although I have not 
many, only 14 complete sets left. I have no copies of those pub- 
lished by Dr. Thurston, except eight, for the year 1818. I should 
be glad if the Doctor could spare me six, for that year, and 14 for 
for each other year that he has published. 

The rest of this copy is indecipherable, but seems to refer 
to money matters and the Coues Estate. 
Here is my Father's Note. 

N. Y., Aug. 20, 1820. Dear Mother: I started from New York 
for Philadelphia on Tuesday the Sth met. from the Battery and went 
to Perth Amboy and New Brunswick by steamer where I took the 
stage and went to Bordentown w 7 here I lodged. The next day I 
went in the Steam Boat to Philadelphia and arrived at 9 o'clock. 
I went to Dr. Hewson's whose servant took me to Mrs. Peter Cure's 
Boarding House. I went to the Hospital, Museum, and Mint, 
where I saw them make quarters of a dollar. I saw the Shot Tower, 
and I went to West's Paintings. I left Philadelphia on Tui 
the 15th at 12 o'clock, and came back by the way of Bristol, 
Trenton, Princetown and New Brunswick. I was very much de- 
lighted with the journey. Farewell, My Dear Mother, I ever 
remain Your Dutiful Son, Lyman Dyer Spalding. 

Give my love to Sister Elizabeth and Brother Edward." 

The Publication Committee of the Pharmacopoeia met as 
has been mentioned in Now York in June, 1820, and later 
on at intervals at New Haven and in Hartford and Boston, 
where the sole charge of the printing at last fell into the 


hands of the originator of the work. The final galley proofs, 
now in my possession, were revised by Dr. De Butts and last 
of all by Dr. Spalding. 

The first edition was printed December 15, 1820, by Wells 
and Lilly of Boston, and copyrighted in the same city and 
on the same date by Ewer and Bedlington, Cornhill, Num- 
ber 51. 

It would seem also from the great rarity of the original 
edition of the Pharmacopoeia, that only such copies as were 
subscribed for were printed at this time: furthermore the 
call for a second edition inside of two years adds to this sur- 
mise and proves the value of the work in spite of its few 

The first "Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America" 
was a book of 274 pages neatly printed on rather porous 
paper about 10 by 6 inches in size. It opened with a brief 
Historical Introduction stating Dr. Spalding's original sug- 
gestion for the work, the recommendations of the New York 
County Medical Society, and the formation of four District 
Medical Conventions to be followed by a National Con- 
vention. As previously unknown to me I find that the first 
Circulars were issued March 4th, 1818, and that Vermont 
was the first State to favor the plan by a vote of its Medical 

This is followed by a Preface, which emphasizes the need 
of such a work, the difficulties of the task of selecting reme- 
dies, and the reasons why English and Latin were both ad- 
visable in printing the book. For, if printed in both of those 
languages, the Latin part could be understood by physicians 
in many parts of the Country who spoke both French and 
German and Latin, but had no command of English. 

Finally, we reach a fist of Materia Medica, printed in two 
columns on each page, side by side in English and Latin 1 and 

1 This quotation from pages 232-3, left-hand and right-hand re- 
spectively, gives an idea of the general appearance of the work. 


Spiritus lavandulae octantes tres. Take of Spirit of Lavender three 

Spiritus rorismarini octantem Spirit of Rosemary, one pint. 

Cinnamomi contusi unciam Cinnamon bruised, one ounce. 



the last 200 pages of the book are printed alternately in 
English and Latin with directions for utilizing all of the 
materials mentioned in the foregoing lists. 

The copy which I own seems to have been issued with 
uncut edges, but in the next edition the edges were 

The final letters of this Collection that has survived a 
Century of wear and tear show that the Surgeon at the head 
of the War Department recommended and purchased a 
large number of copies of the Pharmacopoeia, believing 
it of value to Army Surgeons, whilst the Senior Surgeon 
of the Navy considered it of no value, and useless at any 

Dr. Joseph Lovell (1788-1835), at this time Surgeon 
General of the Army, was graduated academically and medi- 
cally at Harvard, obtained his appointment in the Army in 
the War of 1812, was advanced for his meritorious service- 
in the following campaigns, and promoted rapidly to be the 
Surgeon General. His appointment to this high position 
met with the approbation, congratulations and appreciation 
of the entire Medical Profession as well as of the Medical 
Staff of the Army. Dr. Lovell in his new position introduced 
many sadly needed reforms and was, personally, a man of 
rare and lovely character. He approved of the Pharma- 
copoeia, recommended it highly to the Department, and in 
June, 1821, wrote in this laconic fashion to Dr. Spalding to 
pay for the copies shipped on the Sloop "Rapid" from 
Boston to Dr. Spalding, and by him forwarded to Dr. Lovell. 

"Surgeon General's Office, June 20, 1821. Sir: I have this day 
received seventy copies of the American Pharmacopoeia shipped 
from New York (by Messrs. T. and J. Swords) on the lsth Ult*o. 
The Treasurer of the United States will forward you the amount 
of the Bill, $158.50/100. Respectively Your Ob'd'1 Serv't. Jos. 
Lovell. Surg'n Gen'l. U. S. A. To Lyman Spalding, M.D." 

Caryophylli contusi drachmas Cloves bruised, two drachms. 

Myristicse contusae unciain Nutmeg bruised, half an ounce. 

Santalini rasi drachmas tres. Red Banders in shavings, three 

Digere per dies decern, et per Digest lor ten days, and filter. 

chartam cola. 


On the other side of a Bill of Lading by the "Rapid," 
Captain Bears, is this Historical Bill concerning the Pharma- 
copoeia : 

Boston, May 8, 1821. Doct'r L. Spalding, Bot of Cha's Ewer. 

70 American Pharmacopoeias at $2.25 $157 . 50 

Discount 25 per cent Cash 39 . 37 1/2 


Directed to Doct'r J. Lovell. 

Surgeon General of the U. 

S. Army, 


54 American Pharmaco- 



41 American Pharmaco- 

poeias Bds $2 


1 American Pharmaco- 

poeia Interleaved 








Below is written: "By Schooner 'Eliza' to Dr. Spalding, 
One copy Interleaved and one in Boards." 

On the other hand, Hon. Smith Thompson, Secretary of 
the Navy, 1 regretfully wrote these words to Dr. Mitchill 
as President of the National Convention. 

"Navy Department, June 27, 1821. Sir: In reply to your 
letter of the 19th of May, I have the honor to inform you, that the 
Pharmacopoeia compiled by the Medical Convention has been re- 
ceived and the work submitted to Doctor Edward Cutbush, Senior 
Surgeon of the Navy, for his opinion and Report upon the utility of 
it for the Naval Service. I herewith enclose you a Copy of his 
reply, and must defer for the present, subscribing to any fixed 
number of the Pharmacopoeia, not intending this, however, as a 
definite refusal of the work. I am Very Respectfully, Sir, Your 
Obed't Serv't, Smith Thompson. 

1 Hon. Smith Thompson (1766-1843), also a friend of Dr. Spalding, 
was a graduate from Princeton who studied law and went into New 
York Politics, being in succession, Mayor of the City, Justice and Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court of the State, Secretary of the Navy and 
finally a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was 
very religious and deeply interested in the American Bible Society. 


Here follows now the curious Report of Dr. Cutbush. 

"Sir: Agreeably to your order of the 12th last., I have examined 
the copy of the American Pharmacopoeia which was referred to 
me. I regret that I cannot give it my unqualified approbation of 
the work for the use of our Naval Surgeons. It contains many pre- 
scriptions which every physician ought to be capable of forming 
according to the age of his patient, and the effect he wishes to 

I consider the Articles composing the Materia Medicfl as the 
tools or implements of the physician, which he is to use according 
to the extent of his knowledge of their virtues, guided by his medical 
education and experience, that no article entering into the formation 
of the prescriptions shall decompose, or be decomposed by another, 
and consequently rendered inert, or be inactive, as one of the com- 
ponent parts. With this impression, I have no hesitation in 
declaring that many of the formulae are injudicious and others de- 
ficient in the important articles which rendered them useful, and 
will be so considered by many of our profession, in short, Sir, I fear 
the work will not bear a critical examination. I think that a 
treatise comprising the Elements of Materia Medica, and Phar- 
maceutical Chemistry would be more useful to the Naval Medical 
assistants, than that which I have examined, and that it would be 
well for the present to suspend any order on the subject of intro- 
ducing it into "General Use," in the Medical Department of the 
Navy of the United States: leaving it optional with the Surgeon to 
indent for this or any other American Pharmacopoeia or Dispensa- 
tory that he may select. Such an order would probably be con- 
sidered as a sanction of the work in a National Point of View. I 
have the honor to remain, etc., E. Cutbush, Surgeon, Washington, 
June 22, 1821. 

With this solitary exception, the Pharmacopoeia was well 
received everywhere. Even Massachusetts physicians, in 
duty bound to uphold the value of their own State Phar- 
macopoeia were glad to testify to the merits of the new work 
as it stood, and to its promise for the future. 

Dr. Warren said in The New England .Medical Journal: 
"The foundation has been well laid, and the improvements 
sure to appear in the decade appointed for the Becond edition 
will increase its practical value. It is remarkable, that in 
so short a time, and with so small a band of men so much 
has been accomplished, despite the obstacles of travel and 
of correspondence by mail." 

"The Repository" printed a twelve-paged review, partly 
from the original Introduction as written by Dr. Spalding, 


and partly, from the pen of Dr. Mitchill or Dr. Pascalis. In 
general terms it runs to this effect: 

This work forms an era in the history of the Profession. 
It is the first one ever compiled by the authority of the pro- 
fession throughout a nation. Collections of this sort have 
been made in other countries, but none, so far, under the im- 
pressive sanction which distinguishes this. Many of the 
Authorities of the Past compiled similar works, later still, 
the Colleges of Great Britian have followed their example, 
France by command of her Monarch has furnished her 
"Codex," but it has remained for American Physicians to 
frame a work which emanates from the profession itself, 
and is founded on the principles of Representation. It 
embodies a Codex Medicum of the free and independent 
United States. 

The originator had before him European models, but he 
and his fellow-physicians chose to render their work plain 
and simple and they have succeeded. 

Although it may meet with opposition from authors and 
sellers of books already before the public, and apothecaries 
accustomed to prepare their medicines according to the 
directions in books of that sort, yet, it is to be hoped that 
they will understand, that the new work comes forth only as 
a guide, and rule for Simple, and Officinal Compounds, and 
for that reason we trust that it will be cordially received by 
the Profession, at all events, and generally by all who may be 

In his annual address before the next stated meeting of 
the New York State Medical Society following the publi- 
cation of the Pharmacopoeia, Dr. Stearns, the President, said : 
"The time is not remote when the opinion of American 
Physicians will be referred to as of the highest authority. 
The late efforts to form a National Pharmacopoeia is an illus- 
tration of my position: an effort never before equalled, and 
the magnitude of which intimidated many of its most ardent 
friends, but which was urgently required. The delegates 
did their work well, and made a judicious and satisfactory 
selection from the material offered. It is, with no ordinary 
satisfaction, therefore, that I announce, officially the com- 
pletion of a work which constitutes an Era in our National 
Medical History. The benefit will extend to every physician 
and ultimately to eveiy patient in the United States. We 


search the annals of the Medical World, in vain, for such a 

Without going into minute details of dollars and cents 
spent by Dr. Spalding in completing his labors upon the 
Pharmacopoeia, every one of which is accounted for by the 
papers now before me and all in his handwriting, a few items 
of the cost may be pardoned at the end of this book written 
to illustrate the career of its Originator. 

The copyright sold for $1600, and the expenses were 
$1380.63/100 leaving a balance of $219.37/100 which was 
turned over to the County Medical Society of New York. 
The chief sums paid to New England Physicians were $150 
to Dr. Eli Ives for expenses in attending two Conventions, 
and meetings of the Publi cation Committee; $65 to Dr. Jacob 
Bigelow, including costs of copying useful material from the 
Massachusetts Pharmacopoeia as a basis for the National 
work. Dr. Stevens received $125 and Dr. Mitchill, $115. 
The other physicians attending a Convention either at 
Boston or Philadelphia were paid from $25 to $50 for their 
expenses, and were paid additionally by grants of money 
from their respective State Medical Societies. 

Mention should also be made of the payment of $50, to 
some person so far unknown, for translating the new Phar- 
macopoeia into fluent Latin. Dr. Spalding took for himself 
in full, including attendance at Philadelphia, Washington 
and the various Publication Committee Meetings the sum 
of $250, to which he added $13 for the expenses of his son, 
Lyman Dyer, to Philadelphia and return. From these 
figures then it will be seen that all of the physicians made 
very moderate charges, and that the Pharmacopoeia as a 
whole at a charge by Dr. Spalding of $263 was a very ex- 
cellent gift on the part of its originator, to the physicians of 
the United States. 

The Interleaved copy mentioned on a former page was 
sent with the appended note to Dr. Spalding's life-long 
friend, Dr. John Collins Warren. 

"Undated. Dear Sir: The Gentlemen concerned in the forma- 
tion of the American Pharmacopoeia beg you to accpt this copy of 
their work. The intention of interleaving it, is, that you should 
make corrections and observations and communicate them in due 
season to some of the Delegates chosen to revise it, in 1S30. Your 
Friend, L. Spalding." 


The publication of the Pharmacopoeia was the culminat- 
ing point in the career of Dr. Spalding, for about the time 
that the book was issued from the press he was walking along 
Pearl Street, New York, when he was hit on the head by a 
box of rubbish falling from a second story window. The 
force of the blow was broken somewhat by his hat and wig, 
but from its effects he never recovered. By February of 
1821, he was alarmingly ill, but he improved slightly. Re- 
lapses followed and in May he went into the country to rest 
in the house of his friend, Dr. John Polhemus of Clarkstown, 
Rockland County, New York, a devoted pupil and friend. 1 

The last scientific observation made by Dr. Spalding was 
on the 18th of August, 1821, when at the exhumation of the 
body of Major Andre, he called the attention of his son, 
Lyman Dyer, to the curious fact, that the hair on the head 
and face of Andre, clean shaven on the day of his death had 
grown profusely afterward. 

Perceiving in September, that he could not recover, Dr. 
Spalding caused all of his business affairs in New York to be 
settled honorably, said Good Bye to a few intimate friends, 
and taking passage on the Sloop "Ten Sisters," Captain 
Hallett, bound for Portsmouth, New Hampshire, he sailed 
away, to pass the few days that might be spared to him, with 
the kind relations of his wife, the children of Captain Peter 
Coues. He arrived at his old home on the Piscataqua about 
the 17th of October, and on the 21st, he departed from the 
scenes of his labors. He had calculated his endurance to a 
nicety, he had diagnosticated the absolute fatality of his 
accident and he had lived just long enough to reach his 
lamenting friends, to greet them once more for a brief day 
or two, and then to take of them all his last Farewell. 

Soon after death, his life-long friend, Dr. Samuel Mitchill, 
wrote concerning him. 

" It is with unfeigned regret that we announce the death 
of a worthy man and enlightened physician. His mild and 
amiable character, his ingenuous deportment, and his native 
zeal and assiduity to maintain the dignity of the Profession, 
and improve its many branches, will cause many to lament 

1 Dr. Polhemus was born in 1793, studied medicine with Dr. Jacob 
Outwater of Clarkstown and with Dr. Spalding at Fairfield. After 
marrying Ellen Outwater, the daughter of his preceptor he practiced in 
his native town until 1859, when he retired and died in New York, in 


the cessation of his labors; but his intimate friends, alone, 
knew how pure and disinterested were his motives. He 
was the Original Projector of our National Pharmacopoeia, 
and aided with unremitting diligence in bringing the work to 
its present form, but an enfeebled and shattered mind in- 
duced by chronic disease, deprived him of the cheering view 
of the full consummation of his labors, and the Profession of 
one of its most worthy members." 

Many years later, a former patient wrote to the local 
newspaper upon the anniversary of his death: "Dr. Lyman 
Spalding was a man whom no one could approach without 
respect, or leave without affection." 

As for me, his grandson, I am glad to have lived to rescue 
from absolute oblivion, the memory of this genial man: in- 
dustrious, patient, persevering, he carried out to the end all 
that he had begun until interrupted by his fatal accident. 
To medicine in all its branches he gave his life. It seems to 
me that these letters prove his great ability, and his high 
gift for human friendliness to all with whom he came in 
contact. They also prove that he was a capable physician, 
a skilful surgeon, a fluent writer, an energetic organizer of 
men, an eloquent lecturer and during the time of his activity 
in that branch of learning, a remarkable anatomist. 

What else can I name him except as one Illustrious in 
American Medicine: and now after a long, though daily in- 
terrupted, study of his eminent career, I regretfully bid him 


Abbott, Dr. Joel, 352 n. 

Abemethy, John, 311 n. 

Adams, Dr. Daniel, Letters on 
Plagiarism and Affairs at Han- 
over, 23, 25; Mentioned, 42; 
Note on, 21 n. 

Adams, Pres. John, Letter on Bills 
of Mortality, 100. 

Adams, Nathaniel, 97 n. 

Adipocere, Case of, 148 n. 

Akerly, Dr. Samuel, 349 N. 

Akin, James, Engraver, Letters on 
Plates, 128, 129. 

Alden, Rev. Timothy, 92 n, 259. 

Alexander, Rev. Caleb, Letters on 
Fairfield Affairs, 193 n, 196, 201, 
203, 206, 209, 210, 213, 215, 217, 
218, 221, 225. 

Alibert, Baron, Jean Louis, 148 N. 

Allen, Dr. Jonathan, 18 n. 

"American Medical Recorder," 
325 n. 

Anderson, Dr. Alexander, 126. 

Andre, Major, Exhumation of, 366. 

Aneurism, Cases of, 155, 159. 

Aspinwall, Dr. William, 108 N. 

Assilini, Chevalier Piero, 307 n. 

At lee, Dr. Edwin Augustus, 354 N. 

At lee, Dr. Samuel, 354 n. 

Austin, Mr., 304 N. 

Azote, 16 n. 

Babbitt, Lieut., U. S. N., 333. 
Babbitt, Dr., 62 N. 
Bache, Druggist, 153 n. 
Bagley, Stage Driver, 44 N. 
Baker, Dr. Samuel, 343 N. 
Baldwin, Mr., 204. 
Ballou, Rev. Hosea, 265 n. 
Banks, Sir Joseph, 31 n, 93. 
Barber Family, 278. 
Barber, V. H., on Fairfield, 278; 
on Italy, 285. 

Barker, Dr. Francis, 350 N. 

Barker, Dr. Jeremiah, 121 n; on 
Vaccine, 140; on his "Prospec- 
tus for a Medical History," 315, 
316 n. 

Barnes, Miss Eunice, 266 n. 

Barnes, Mr. Bill, 189, 265. 

Barron, Major W., 197 N. 

Bartlett, Dr. Boston, 93. 

Bartlett, Dr. Ezra, 57 n. 

Bartlett, Dr. Joshua, 71, 72 n. 

Bartlett, Dr. Josiah, 57 n; On 
Vaccination, 60, 62; On Dr. 
Spalding leaving Portsmouth, 

Bartlett, Dr. Levi, 57 n; on New 
Hampshire Medical Society Af- 
fairs, 112; On Scull Cap, 321, 
322 n. 

Bartlett, Dr. Peter, 191 n. 

Barton, Dr. Benjamin Smith, 167, 
173, 188, 334, 367. 

Batchelder, Dr. John Putnam, 
314, 315 n. 

Battery, Galvanic of Dr. Spalding, 

Bayley, Capt. Cazneau, 91 n, 92. 

Baynton, Dr. Thomas, 74 N. 

Beaume, Antoine, 26 N. 

"Beauty," Spalding, 22. 

Beck, Theodric Romayne, 335 n. 

Beddoes, Dr. Thomas, 26 n. 

Bell, Dr. Andrew, 295 N. 

Bell, Dr. Benjamin, 32 N. 

Bell, Sir Charles, 125 N., 158 N. 

Bell, Mr. John, 154 n. 

Bellows, Col., 23 n., 29. 

Berthollet, Count Claude Louis, 
13 N. 

Bichat, Felix Xavier, 2'.i9 n. 

Bigelow, Dr. Jacob, 243 n., 211; 
On Vaccine, 245, 272. 

Billings, Dr. Benjamin, 57 N. 




Binney, Horace, 267 n. 

Blanchard, Dr. Abel, on Batteries, 
122, 123. 

Blizzard, Sir William, 311 n. 

Boardman, Capt. George, 85. 

Booerhave, 223 n. 

Boston Pharmacopoeia Conven- 
tion, 353. 

Bowditch, Edward, 129. 

Brackett, Mr. John Warren, 120. 

Brackett, Dr. Joshua, 38 n. 

Brackett, Dr. Joshua, 2d, On 
Portsmouth News, 185. 

Bradley, Dr. Peleg, 249 N. 

Bradley, Gen. Stephen Rowe, 
39 n., 91. 

Brande, William Thomas, 312 n. 

Brewster, Gen. Ebenezer, 23 n. 

Brewster, Miss Hannah, 92 n. 

Brewster,' Col. and Mrs. William, 
53 n. 

Brown, Dr. John, 174 n., 223 n. 

Brown, Dr. Samuel, 10 n., 54 n.; 
and Vaccination Scabs, 55. 

Bruce, Dr. Archibald, 240 n. 

Burge, Dr. Benjamin, 264 n. 

Burnside, Dr. Thomas, on Instru- 
ments, 124. 

Burr, Mr. Aaron, 333. 

Burroughs, Rev. Charles, 245 n. 

Burroughs, "Life of Stephen," 14. 

Cabanis, Pierre George, 185 n. 

Caesarean Section, 308. 

Caldwell, Dr. Charles, On Small- 
Pox, 105; OnDesault, 114; On 
Spotted Fever, 261; His Works, 
262, 280 n; Introducing Dr. 
Spalding to a New York Friend, 
267; asks for a Recommendation 
from Dr. Spalding, 280; On 
"The Institutes of Medicine," 
280; On Dr. Wistar, 289, 290. 

Campbell, Dr. J. C, On a Patient 
in New York, 302. 

Cann, Case of Mr. James, 319- 

Carleton, Dr. Edward, 254. 

Carlisle, Sir Anthony, 337 N. 

Carr, Dr. John, 250 n. 

Carter, Dr. of Newport, Rhode 
Island, 337. 

Carter, Rev. Abiel, 282. 

Castine, Maine, 69. 

Cazeau, Mons., 148 N. 

Chadbourne, Isaac, 146 n. 

Chamberlain, John Curtis, M.C., 
On Post Roads, 160. 

Channing, Dr. Walter, 205 N. 

Chapman, Dr. Nathaniel, 166, 177. 

Chaptal, Jean Antoine, 33 N. 

Chase, Dudley, 182 n. 

Chase, Dr. Heber, 23 n. 

Chase, Ithamar, 5, 27, 68, 78 n. 

Chase, Moses, 1. 

Chase, R't Rev'd Philander, 2; On 
Louisiana Affairs, 117, 180-182. 

Chase, Salmon, 118 n. 

Chase, Samuel, 1. 

Chauncey, Charles, 183 N. 

Chauncey, Commodore Isaac, 
231 n. 

Cheeseman, Dr. John Cummings, 

Chemical Lectures by Dr. Mitch- 
ill, 42. 

Chemical Lectureship at Dart- 
mouth, Dr. Spalding resigns 
from, 52. 

Chemistry, Dr. Spalding's Interest 
in, 33. 

Chisholm, Dr. Collin, 66 n. 

Church, Dr. John, 121. 

Clapp, Dr. Benjamin, On the 
Philadelphia Medical School, 188. 

Clapp, Dr. Eleazer, 283 n. 

Clarkson, Mr., 278 n. 

Cleaveland, Prof. Parker, 256 n. 

Cleghorn, Dr. George, 172. 

Cline, Mr. Henry, 178 n., 186. 

Clinical Instruction at Harvard 
Medical School in 1797, 5. 

Clinton, Gov. De Witt, 214, 214 n, 
216, 219, 220, 329. 

Clinton, Gov. George, 214. 

Clinton, James, 214. 

Coleman, William, 322 n., 323. 

Cock, Dr. Thomas, 331. 

Coffin, Nathaniel, Esq., Bill Col- 
lections for Dr. Spalding, 135. 

Coins for Corner Stone, St. John's, 
Portsmouth, 78 n. 

College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons, New York, 265 n., 329. 



Congress Hotel, Washington, 

D. C, 357. 
Cooper, Sir Astley, 178 n. 
Cooper, Mr. Boston, 23. 
Corvisart, Baron Jean Louis, 205 

x, 221. 
Coues, Miss Caroline, 195, 261 n. 
Coues, Miss Elizabeth, 79, 1 10. 
Coues, Capt. Peter, 79, 80, 93 w. 

314, 318, 341. 
Coues, Samuel Elliott, 252 n. 
Cox, Dr. John Redman, 108 N., 

173, 188, 1S9, 268. 
Crawley, Dr. William, 91, 92, 93. 
Crevier, Jean Louis, 342 n. 
Cullen, Dr. William, 223 n. 
Cruikshank, Dr. William Cum- 
berland, 25 x. 
Cutbush, Dr. Edward, 344 n; 

Opinion of Pharmacopoeia, 363. 
Cutter, Dr. Ammi Ruhamah, 

54 n., 55, 56, 57, 248, 340. 
Cutter, Dr. William, 54 n., 164. 

Daignan, Dr. Guillaume, 101 x. 

Dalcho, Dr. Frederick, On South- 
ern Medicine, 243, 243 n. 

Dame, Dr. Alexander, 3, 8, 8 n. 

Dana, Hon. Judah, 29, 288 N. 

Danforth, Dr. Isaac, 65 n. 

Dartmouth College, Expenses at, 
in 1800, 46; "Vindication of 
Trustees," 282 n. 

Dartmouth Medical School, Foun- 
ded, 12; Dr. Spalding's Work 
at the, 32; Resignation from the, 
48; Items Concerning History 
of the, 49, 50 x, 69; Dr. Na- 
than Xoyes on the, 76; Dr. 
Alexander Ramsay at the, 150; 
Dr. Smith's Chemical Lectures 
at the, 1.KI; New Building for, 
159; Notes on the, 264, 284 n. 

Darwin, Robert, 7(i x. 

Darwin, Erasmus, 76 x. 

Davenport's Stage, 1 1. 
Davy, Sir Humphrey, 310 x. 

Dawes, .Indue, I If. \. 

Day, Dr. Sylvester, 69 N. 

Dearborn, Gen. Henry, 40 x; 
Appoints Dr. Spalding Sur- 
geon's Mate in U. S. Army, 41. 

Dearborn, Mr. Benjamin, Letter 

on Lightning Strokes, 136. 
DeButts, Dr. Elisha, 343 x, 353. 
DeCarro, Dr. Jean, 116 x. 
De La Motta, Dr. Jacob, On 
the Pharmacopoeia, 339, 340 x, 
Delaplaine, Joseph, 273 x. 
Dennie, Mr. Joseph, 98 n. 
Dent, Sir Digbv, 7!». 
Desault, Dr. Pierre Joseph, 115 x. 
Dewees, Dr. William Potts, 168. 

DeWitt, Dr. Benjamin, 207 x 

Dexter, Dr. Aaron, 4 x., 37. 
Deyton, Major, 190. 
Dinsmore, Hon. Silas, 120. 
Ditties, 70 x. 

Dorsey, Dr. John Syng, 167; 
Notes on his Lectures, 177; 
Letter on Plaster, 187, 188; On 
Caspar Wistar, 271. 
Dow, Dr. Jabez, On New Hamp- 
shire Medical Affairs, 277 
277 x. 
Drake, Dr. Francis Rodman, 15 x. 
Drowne, Dr. Solomon, 353 x. 
Drury, Dr. John, 38. 
Dubois, Dr. Anton, 308 N. 
Dunham, Capt. Josiah, 9, 9 x; 
On Surgeon's Mate Appoint- 
ment, 40; On Portsmouth Gar- 
rison Affairs, 96. 
Dupuytren, Dr. Guillaume, 309 x. 
Durrell, Daniel Meserve, M.C, 

141 X. 
Dwight, Dr. Josiah, 62 x, 302. 

Dykeman, Dr. Jacob, 331. 

Edwin, David, Engraver. 127. 

Eliot, Rev. John, 76 \; On Chem- 
istry, 113. 

Ellis, Oliver, 200 n. 

Ergot, Dr. James Jackson on. 2 
Dr. John Stearns on, 299; Dr. 
Spalding on, 1 10, 299. 

Eustis, Dr. and Gov., 152. 

Evans, Richard, On Portsmouth 
Affairs, 97. 

Evans, Capt. Estwick, 91 x. 



Fairfield Academy, Affairs at, 192; 
et seq., 242, 278. 

Fall-fever, 72. 

"Farmer's Gazette," Dr. Spalding 
writes for the, 29. 

Fay, Case of Benjamin, 131 n. 

Fay, Case of Dr. Cyrus, 99 n. 

Fisher, Dr. Joshua, 315 n. 

Fisk, Dr. Peter, on Hydrophobia, 

Folsom, Mr. and His Yellow Fever, 

Ford, Simeon, 196 n, 222, 239. 

Fordyce, Dr. George, 185 N. 

Fort Constitution, Explosion at, 
164 n; Accounts, 185 n. 

Foster, Capt. Joseph, 79. 

Foster, Dr. Samuel, on Vaccina- 
tion, 140. 

Fothergill, Dr. Anthony, 154 n. 

Fourcroy, Dr. Anton Francois, 44 N. 

Fowler, Dr. Richard, 74 n. 

Fox, Dr. Jesse, On State of Medi- 
cine in Massachusetts, 249. 

Foxglove in Tuberculosis, 66. 

Francis, Dr. John Wakefield, 
316 n. 

Frank, Johann Peter, 327 n. 

Frank, Dr. Nathan, 314 n. (This 
may be a misspelling for Trask.) 

Fredonian, 357 n. 

Freeman, Peyton Randolph, 46 N. 

Freeman, Judge Samuel, 133 n. 

Frost, Dr. William, 118 n; On 
Portland Debts due Dr. Spald- 
ing, 118; On Vaccination, 119; 
On Medical Affairs in Portland, 
Maine, 133. 

Fryeburg (Maine), Medical School, 

Fuller, Miss Nancy, 70 n. 

Gale, Dr. Amos, on Hydrophobia, 

Gardner, Francis, M.C., 141 n. 

Gates, Dr. Jacob, 205 n. 

Gates, Judge, Seth, 218 N. 

Gay-Lussac, 309 n. 

Geese, Disease amongst the, at 
Hanover, 30, 31 n. 

Gerrish, Dr. Samuel, On Vaccina- 
tion, 66. 

Gerry, Gov. Elbridge, 304 n. 
Gilbert (Baron), Benjamin Joseph, 

24 n. 
Gimbrede, Mr., an Engraver, 

358 n. 
Goddon, Chemist, 180. 
Goiter, Dr. Hedge on, 144. 
Goodhue, Dr. Joseph, 41, 65 N. 
Goold, G., 128. 
Gorham, Prof. John, 312 n. 
Grant, Major Sam, 29. 
Graves, Dr. William, 142 N. 
Greely, Dr. Jonathan, 277. 
Greene, Dr. Alpheus, On Dr. 

Spalding's Character, 235. 
Green Stone, 83 n. 
Gregory, Dr. George, 69 N. 
Gridley, Dr. Selah, 353 n. 
Griffiths, Dr. Samuel Powell, 

354 n. 
Guyton-Morveau, Dr., 13 n. 

Hadley, Dr. James, On Fairfield, 
226 n., 228, 232. 

Hale, Dr. David, On Pharma- 
copoeia, 347. 

Hale, Mr., 306. 

Halleck, Fitz Greene, 14 n. 

Hamilton, Dr. Frank, 242. 

Hare, Dr. Robert, 189, 189 N. 

Harper, John Adams, M.C., On 
Dr. Spalding, 269, 269 n. 

Harris, William Coffin, 295. 

Hart, Eph., 215. 

Hartshorn, Dr. Joseph, 289 N. 

Hauy, Abbe, 309 n. 

Haven, Rev. Dr., 92 n. 

Haven, Nathaniel Appleton, M.C., 
162, 162 n. 

Hazard, Samuel, 187 n. 

Hazeltine, Dr. Richard, On Medi- 
cal Affairs, 157, 157 n. 

Hedge, Dr. Abraham, 21 n; On 
Dartmouth and Vaccination, 
63; Opinion of Dr. Nathan 
Smith, 65; Rumor of Death of, 
90, 90 n, 97; On Tuberculosis, 

Hedge, Lemuel, M.C., 11 n, 92 n. 

Henderson, Dr. Thomas, 355 x. 

Hewson, Dr. Thomas Tickell, 
289 n, 344. 



Home, Sir Everard, 311 n. 

"Hope," Barque, 7. 

Hopkinsism, 146 N. 

Horwitz, Dr. Jonathan, On The 
Chair of Anatomy in Phila- 
delphia, 288-293; On The He- 
brew Chair in Thomas Jeffer- 
son's College, 292. 

Hosack, Dr. David, 198 x, 208, 209. 

Hosack's Garden, 198 n. 

Howe, Dr. Abner, 24 N. 

Hotchkiss, 226 n\ 

Hubbard, Dr. Oliver, On Phila- 
delphia Medicine, 244, 245, 248, 
249 n. 

H unking, Dr. Benjamin, Buys Dr. 
Spalding's Practice, 254. 

Hunter, Dr. John, 87 x, 93, 176. 

Hunter, Mrs. John, 311 N. 

Euntt, Dr. Henry, 355 n. 

Hurlbut, Dr. Lemuel, On Dr. 
Clapp and Saratoga Waters, 
301, 302. 

Hutchings, Ezra, 112 N. 

Hydrophobia, see Case of James 
Cann, 319; Dr. James Mease 
on, 324. 

Indian Charity School, 70. 
Ingalls, Dr. William, 291 n. 
"Institutes of Medicine," 282 x. 
Ives, Dr. Ansel W., 330. 
Ives, Dr. Eli, 353, 357. 

Jackson, Dr. Hall, 316 x. 

Jackson, Dr. James, 59 n; On 
Ergot, 298. 

Jackson, Dr. John, 93, 152, 153 N. 

Jackson, John, Jr., 127; On New 
York Offices for Physicians, 257. 

Jacob, Dr. W., 193 n, 197, 202. 

James, Dr. Thomas Chalkley, 168, 
177, 189. 

Jay, Hon. John, 229, 268 N. 

Jay, Hon. Peter, 268 N. 

Jefferson, Thomas, On Scull Cap, 
100, 327. 

Jeffries, 152 n. 

Jenner, Dr. Edward, On Vaccina- 
tion, 93, 116, 121. 

Jewett, Dr. Luther, On Vaccina- 
tion, 134. 

Joan of Arc, 33 n. 

Johnson, Dr. Cyrus, 121. 

Johnson, Dr. Robert Wallace, 33 x. 

Joint-Mice, 175. 

Judd, Rev. Bethel, 231 n. 

Kilkushism, 83 x. 

Kimball, Stage Driver, 79 x. 

Kink Cough, 351 x. 

Kinsman, Dr., 69 n. 

Kinsman, Nathaniel, Esq., 118 x; 
On Portland Debtors, 120. 

Kissam, Dr. Richard Sharpe, 330. 

Kittredge, Dr., 43 x. 

Klapp, Dr. Joseph, On Philadel- 
phia and Fairfield Medical 
School, 232, 232 x. 

Knowlton, Ebenezer, 18 x. 

Kollock, Dr. Lemuel, On Pharma- 
copoeia, 337, 352. 

Lancaster, Joseph, 295 x. 
Lane, Deacon, 137. 
Lang, Richard, 24 x. 
Langdon, Gov. John, 39 x; On 

His Health, 91. 
Langdon, Dr. William Eustis, 

151 x, 263; On the Pharma- 
copoeia, 340. 
Larrey, Baron, 279 x; Thanks 

Dr. Spalding, 279, 327. 
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent, 33 x. 
Lawrence, Sir William, 312. 
Lawrence vs. Abernethy, 312 x. 
Leavitt, Dr. Roswell, 18. 
LeGallois, Julien Jean Caesar, 

271 x. 
Lerned, Dr. Ebenezer, On New 

1 [ampshire Med. Soc., 190. 
Lettsom, John Coakley, 102 x. 
Lettuce Gum, Letters on, 73, 83, 

86; Dr. David Ramsay on, 86. 
Lieutaud, Joseph, 35 I \\ 
Lightning, Cases of Stroke by, at 

Portsmouth, 137. 
Lincoln, Dr. Levi, 206, 221. 
Livermore, Eon. Arthur, < >n Army 

Appointment . 30, 39 w. 
Livermore, Hon. Edward St. Loc, 

53 \. 
Livermore, lion. Samuel, 39 H, 
Livermore, Samuel Kidder, 53 x. 
Lloyd, Dr. James, 1 17 .\. 



Lockyer, 75 n. 

Long, Miss Mary, 79. 

Long, Dr. Moses, 190 n. 

Lordat, Dr. Jacques, 298 n. 

Lottery, Dr. Nathan Smith's for 
Medical Library, 2. 

Louisiana Affairs, Philander Chase 
on, 117, 180. 

Lovell, Dr. John, U. S. A., 361. 

Lymphatics, Dr. Spalding Suc- 
ceeds in Injecting the, 175. 

Lynn, Dr., 46. 

MacNeven, Dr. William James, 

258 n. 
Malignant Fever at Hanover, 18 n. 
Mann, Dr. James, 222 n, 224, 227. 
Manning, Dr. Samuel, 58 n, 62. 
Manning, Dr. Thomas, On Bills 

of Mortality, 112. 
Manter, Dr., 210 n. 
Marc, Dr. Charles Chretien Henri, 

351 N. 
March, Dr. John, 69 n. 
Martin, Dr. Samuel Blair, 343 N. 
Marvin, Judge, 8 N. 
Mason, Hon. Jeremiah, 272; On 

Pictures, 273. 
Massachusetts, Medicine in, Fox, 

Mavor, William, 306, 311 n. 
McBride, Dr. James, 338. 
McClintock, Rev. Mr., 1. 
McClure, Capt. Samuel, 48 N. 
McLane, Dr. Allen, 335 N. 
Meacham, Dr., 34. 
Mease, Dr. James, On Scull-Cap 

and Hydrophobia, 324. 
Meckel, Prof., Anatomist, 186 N. 
Medical Practice Laws in New 

York, 20. 
Medical Schools in 1809, 179. 
Medical and Philosophical Regis- 
ter, 154. 
Mellen, Judge Prentiss, 315 N. 
Meredith, William, 290 N. 
Miller, Dr. Edward, 17 n, 155, 

247, 257, 265. 
Miller, Mr. Samuel, 222 n. 
Milnor, Rev. James, On Mr. 

George Richards and On a Loan 

of Money, 273. 

Mitchill, Miss Amantha, 358 n. 

Mitchill, Dr. Samuel Latham, 16; 
On "The Repository," On Med- 
ical Laws in New York, and on 
Chemical Lectures, 17-21; On 
Lectures in New York, 42; On 
Dr. Spalding's Bills of Mortal- 
ity 101, 114; On American 
Medical Magazines, 155, 208; 
On annuities, 246; On Pro- 
posed Removal to New York, 
252; On Bills of Mortality, 255, 
298; On Scull Cap, 325, 327, 
329; On New York Medical 
Affairs, 348; On The Pharma- 
copoeia and on West Point, 357; 
His Portrait, 357; His Brief 
Eulogy on Dr. Spalding, 366. 

Moffatt. Miss Katharine, 84. 

Monge, Gaspard, 13 n. 

Monro, Dr. Alexander, 186 N. 

Montague, Mr., 212, 213. 

Morrill, Dr. David Lawrence, 
M.C., 347 n. 

Morrill, Dr. Samuel, On New 
Hampshire Medical Society, 250. 

Morse, Dr., 93. 

Mortality, Dr. Spalding's Bills of, 
Begun, 38, 100; and often men- 
tioned in Letters. 

Mott, Dr. Valentine, 178, 179, 
179 n, 316. 

Mussey, Reuben Dimond, 242 n, 

Nancrede, Paul Joseph, 11 n, 32, 

Neal, John, On the Spaldings, 3. 

Neil, William, On Portsmouth 
Affairs, 182. 

New Hampshire Medical Society, 
37, 250, 340. 

New Hampshire, Roads in, 140. 

New Nomenclature of Dr. Spald- 
ing's, 42, 113. 

New York City, Dr. Spalding's 
Report on Condition of Streets 
of, 333. 

New York County Medical So- 
ciety, 329. 

Noddle's Island Vaccination Test, 



" Normandie " Ship, 80. 

North Carolina, Medical Practice 
in, 251, 260. 

North, Dr. Elisha, 69, 70 n., 156. 

Nott, Rev. Dr. Eliphalet, 207 n. 

Noyes, Dr. Josiah, On Fairfield 
Medical School Affairs, 192, 194, 
195, 202, 204, 209, 215, 216, 218, 
225, 226. 

Noyes, Dr. Nathan, 21 n, 38; On 
Medical Practice in Newbury, 
43; On Surgical Emergencies, 
45; On Hanover and His Medi- 
cal Practice, 70; On Dr. Na- 
than Smith, 71; On Vaccina- 
tion and Lettuce, 73; His 
Opinion of Dr. Spalding as a 
Lecturer, 76; On Lettuce, 77; 
On Dartmouth Medical School 
Affairs, 80; On Religious Mania, 
82; On Vaccine Matter, 121; 
On a Skeleton, 138; On Dr. 
Spalding's Bills of Mortality, 
187; On The War of 1812, 263; 
On Dr. Spalding's Ambition, 
264; Nominated Professor at 
Dartmouth, 264. 

Oliver, Dr. Daniel, 59 n, 248 n. 
Opium Raised in Portsmouth, 157. 
Osborn, Dr. John Churchill, 258 n. 

Page, Mr., of Cornish, 237. 

Paine, Capt,, 279. 

Parke, Dr. Thomas, 354 n. 

Parkhurst, Elizabeth Cady, 1. 

Parkhurst, John, 278 n. 

Parkhurst, Timothy, 1. 

Parkman, Dr. George, 259 N. 

Parrish, Dr. Joseph, 168; Lec- 
tures of, 178. 

Parry, Edward, Letter on Min- 
erals, 180. 

Parsons, Mr., 180. 

Parsons, Dr. Usher, U. S. N., 
Letters on Europe, 305 et %eq, 

Pascalis (Ouvieres), Dr. Felix, 288. 

Pass, Martha, 17.;. 

Pattison, Granville Sharp, M.D., 
292 n. 

lVabody, "General," 266 x. 

Peck, Prof. William Dandridge, 

37, 80 n; On Cardamon Seeds, 

Perceval, Sir Robert, On Scull- 
Cap, 326; On the Pharma- 
copoeia, 349. 

Perkins, Dr. Cyrus, 139; On a 
Patient, 146; On Philadelphia 
Medical School, 165; On Dr. 
Spalding, 194. 

Perkins, Dr. Elisha and his Tractor, 

Perry, Mr. Joseph, On Dartmouth 
Affairs, 282. 

Pharmacopoeia of the United 
States Started, 283; Sugges- 
tions Concerning the, 298; Con- 
vention for the, 320 n; Men- 
tioned, 334, 335; Boston Con- 
vention for the, 353; Philadt 1- 
phia Convention for the, 354; 
Washington Convention for the, 
357; Description of First Edi- 
tion of the, 360; Criticism* of 
the, 363; Costs of the, 365. 

Philadelphia, Epidemic in, 107; 
Medical Affairs in, 244, 246, 2 1 8, 
166 et seq. 

Physick, Dr. Philip Syng, 166 n; 
Lectures of, 169. 

Pierce, Charles, 123 n, 188. 

Pierrepont, Dr. James Harvey, On 
Portsmouth Medical Affairs, 
152; On Portsmouth and Phila- 
delphia Affairs, 183; Men- 
tioned, 248, 261, 302; On the 
Pharmacopoeia, 341. 

Pike, Gen. Zebulon, 231 v, 232. 

Piatt, Gen. Jonas, 210 n. 

Plumer, Gov. William, On Dr. 
Spalding's Medical Paper, and 
on Medicine in New Hampshire, 
300, 301 n, 302. 

Polhemus, Dr. John, 306. 

Pomeroy, Dr. 0, x. 

Porter, Dr. K/.ekiel, :'. 1 

Portland, Maine, Medical Affairs 
at, m L807, i 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 36; 
Library at, B4j Yellow Fever 
at, 101; Lightning Injuries at, 

Post, Dr. Wright, 240 N. 



Pott, Percival, 103 N. 

Potter, Dr. Nathaniel, On the 

Pharmacopoeia, 342, 352. 
Pratt, Miss Betsy, 189. 
Prescott, George Washington, 

77 n, 81 N. 
Preston, Dr. John, 190 N. 
Prickly Ash, 298. 
Priestly, Rev. Joseph, 113 N. 
Ptosis, Case of, 111. 
Pudding Time, 67 N. 
Purcell, Mrs., 85. 
Putnam, Gen. Israel, 1. 

Quassia, Prince, 174. 

Ramsay, Dr. Alexander, His Ca- 
reer, 149; At Dartmouth, 155; 
At The Fairfield Medical School, 
240, 241; Certificate Concern- 
ing Dr. Spalding, 287; On The 
Fryeburg Medical School, 288; 
On The Philadelphia Anatomi- 
cal Chair and Fever, 291; Tries 
to Establish a School in New 
Hampshire, 305; His Work on 
the "Brain," 336 n. 

Ramsay, Dr. David, On Medical 
Writings, 85; On Chemistry 
and Lettuce, 86; On Yellow 
Fever and Calomel, 87. 

Ramsay, Mrs. David, 87 n. 

Randolph, John, M.C., 239. 

Ranney, Dr. Thomas Stowe, 57 N. 

Reece, Dr. Richard, On the Phar- 
macopoeia, 316 n, 317. 

Reid, Dr. John, 325 n. 

Revere, Dr. John, 206 N. 

Richards, Rev. George, 77 n; On 
Dr. and Mrs. Spalding, 127 n; 
Visits Dr. Rush, 164, 181 n; 
Death of, 273. 

Ricketson, Dr. Shadrack, On His 
Writings, 122; On Syringes and 
Publications of His Own, 153; 
At Fairfield Medical School, 123. 

Ring, Dr. John, "Honest John," 
95, 95 n, 108. 

Robinson, George, 8 N. 

Robinson, Nicholas, 33 N. 

Robinson, Dr. Samuel, On Phar- 
macopoeia, 345. 

Rodgers, Dr. John Bayard Rich- 
ardson, 20 N, 208. 

Rogers, Capt. Jedediah, 238, 
238 n; On Money and the 
Spaldings, 275. 

Rogers, Dr. Patrick Kerr, 178 N. 

Rogers, Mrs. Sallie, 257. 

Romayne, Dr. Nicholas, 15 N, 

Rose, Dr. Samuel Haines, On 
Vaccination, 67. 

Rosebrook, A Cancer Patient, 7 N. 

Rousselet, Lucy Adriana, 84. 

Rousselet, Mr. Nicholas, On Edu- 
cation of His Daughter Lucy 
Adriana and on Jequirity, 85. 

Rowe, Dr., 57. 

Rush, Dr. Benjamin, On Medical 
Affairs, 100, 100 n, 164; His 
Lectures, 171, 188, 189; Dr. 
Caldwell on, 262. 

Russell, Dr. Alexander, 33 N. 

Russell, Dr. Richard, 305. 

Sangrado, 186 n. 

Sauvage, Dr. Francois, 73 n. 

Scott, Rev. Mr., 181 n. 

Scull-Cap Pamphlet on, 319, 326, 

Seaman, Dr. Valentine, 331. 

Seaward, Capt. John, 181 n, 182. 

Sewall, Jonathan Mitchell, 98 n. 

Sewall, Samuel, 158 n. 

Sewall, Dr. Thomas, 203 n, 304. 

Shattuck, Dr. George Cheyne, 
195 n; Letters on the Fairfield 
Medical School, 196, 200, 202, 
203, 204, 208, 209, 210, 213, 215, 
217, 218, 227, 228; Resigns 
from, 224; On Dr. James 
Thacher, 229; At Fairfield, 
242; On Dr. Spalding's "In- 
stitutes," 281; Introduces Dr. 
E. Clapp, 287; Illness and Acci- 
dent, 304; On the Pharma- 
copoeia, 336. 

Sheaffe, Gen. Sir Roger Hale, 
231 n. 

Shecut, Dr. John Linnaeus Ed- 
ward Whitridge, On Atmos- 
pheric Electricity, 295-8. 

Shelby, Dr. John, 176 N. 



Sheldon, Col., 8 n. 

Sheldon, Dr. Alexander, 216 N. 

Sherwood, Dr. Jonathan, 200 n; 
On Fairfield Affaire, 227, 231; 
On Dr. Ricketson, 233, 238. 

Shippen, Dr., 171. 

Silliman, Prof. Benjamin, 144, 
144 n; On Meteors, 188, 225; 
On Europe, 250; Lectures by, 

Sinclair, Sir John, 154 n; His 
"Code of Longevity," 184. 

Skeleton, 138. 

Smith and Bartlett, 8 N. 

Smith, Dr. Calvin, On an Opera- 
tion, 236. 

Smith, Dr. Charles, 355 n. 

Smith, Dr. David Hall Chase, 
284 n. 

Smith, Dr. Elihu Hubbard, 17 n. 

Smith, Dr. John Augustine, 258 n, 
On Dr. Spalding as Trustee in 
Medical School, 265, 289 n. 

Smith, Dr. Joseph Mather, 331. 

Smith, Miss Mary, 210 n. 

Smith, Miss Nabby, 70 n. 

Smith, Dr. Nathan, Birth and 
Education, 2; Medical Lottery, 
2; Wives and Children, 3; On 
Voyage to Europe, 6, 7; Re- 
turns from Europe, 10; On 
Trephining, 44 n; On Dr. 
Spalding's Resignation as Lec- 
turer, 48, 50; Opinions of His 
Pupils on, 64, 65, 71; On Dr. 
Spalding Renewing Chemicai 
Lectures, 80; On Vaccination, 
Cancers, Curers and Dart- 
mouth Affairs, 89; On Opera- 
tion for Stone, 90; On Dr. 
Spalding's Galvanic Battery, 
112; Medical Advice from, 115; 
On Dartmouth and The Case of 
Benjamin Fay, 131; On Cata- 
racts, 137; On Quackery, 142; 
On a Lay Reader at St. Johns, 
Portsmouth, 145; On His Min- 
ing Umbrella, 145; On Dr. 
Ramsay at Dartmouth, Ml), 
150, 151; On Dartmouth Mr. Il- 
eal School Affairs, l.'.tl; On the 
New Medical Building at Dart- 

mouth, 159; Certificate to Dr. 
Spalding, 161; On Dr. Spald- 
ing's Voyage to Europe, 163; 
On Philadelphia Affairs and 
Dissecting Troubles, 186; men- 
tioned, 225; On a Medical 
Oration, 247; Mentioned, 240; 
On European Voyage of Dr. 
Spalding, 259 n; Hemorrhages 
and Nosology, 269; On Dr. 
Spalding's "Institutes, 1 
On Col. Dyer Spalding, 272; 
On His Family, 284; On 
Goitre, 313. 

Smith, Judge Nathan, Letters on 
The Fairfield Medical School, 
198,213,214,215,219,220, 221, 
225, 230; Mentioned, 197 n, 
201, 211, 216; On Robert I ni- 
ton, 234; Visits Dr. Spalding 
in Portsmouth, 222; and in 
New York, 240. 

Smith, Dr. Nathan Ryno, 28, 11, 
44 n. 

Smith, Mr. Robert, 161 \. 

Smith, Mr. Samuel, 204, 237. 

Smith, Mr. William, 200, 204 v. 

Soda Water Machines, 150, 160, 

Spalding, Adelaide Coues, 79. 

Spalding, Alfred Peter, 79. 

Spalding, Col. Dyer, l, 2; Men- 
tioned, 234, 272, 276, 311. 

Spalding, Mrs. Dyer, 1; Growth 
on Face, 7; OnHomeAffairs, •H7. 

Spalding, Edward Jenner, 238 v 

Spalding, Miss Elizabeth Park- 
hurst, 112n. 

Spalding, Dr. Lyman, Birth and 
Education, ]; At Harvard 
Medical School, 3; Hoards with 
Dr. Smith at Cornish, ■" : » terries 
on Dr. Smith's IV 
Horse Pack Tour in Vermont, 

8; ( rraduated at Harvard, 10; 
College Friends, it); Skeletons 
from Europe, 1 1 n; Letters on 
Medical Books, 11. 32, .">:<; 
Chemical Lecturer at Dart- 
mouth, L2; "New Nomencla- 
ture" published, 12, 12; Early 
Medical Papers by, 14; Friend- 



ship with Dr. Mitchill, 14; On 
"The Medical Repository," 16; 
Sick with Fever, 18 n; On 
Hydrophobia, 18, 19; Money 
Dealings with Dr. Waterhouse, 
22, 23; On Dartmouth Medical 
School Affairs, 22; On The 
Plagiarism of Dr. Daniel Adams, 
24; To President Wheelock on 
Leaving Dartmouth, 27; Prac- 
tices in Walpole, New Hamp- 
shire, 29; On Walpole Affairs, 
30; On Dartmouth Medical 
School Affairs, 31; Visits Bos- 
ton, 31, 32 n; On Chemicals 
for the Medical School, 33; 
Settles in Portsmouth, 34; Bills 
of Mortality, 38; Anatomical 
Cabinet, 38; Contract Surgeon 
U. S. Army, 38, 41; On Chemi- 
cal Lectureship, 49, 50, 52; Vac- 
cinates in Portsmouth, 53-62; 
Vaccination Profits, 54; On 
Vaccination "Trust," 55; As a 
Mason, 77; Marriage, 79; Sends 
Lettuce to Dr. David Ramsay, 
86; Uses Oxygen Gas, 87 n; 
Vaccination Tests, 88 et seq.\ 
Orders Drugs from London, 91; 
Letters to Rush and Jefferson, 
100; Second Vaccination Test, 
104; Marriage, 110; On Spon- 
taneous Combustion, 111; Trea- 
tise on Skin Diseases, 126; On 
Post Roads, 140; On Aneu- 
risms, 145, 154, 159; On Skin 
Diseases, 148; On Soda Water 
Fount, 156; Raises Opium, 157; 
Plans to leave Portsmouth, 160; 
Government Claim, 160; Plans 
for European Voyage, 160-164; 
Accident at Fort Constitution, 
164; Visit to Philadelphia, 166; 
Accepts Invitation to The Fair- 
field Medical School, 194; On 
Fairfield Medical School, 212; 
Trustee New York College of 
Physicians and Surgeons, 216; 
On Dr. Shattuck's Resignation 
from Fairfield, 223; Settles in 
New York City, 228; Professor 
of Institutes of Medicine, 231; 

Cataract Cases, 230 n; Presi- 
dent of College of Physicians 
and Surgeons of the Western 
District New York, 234; On 
Affairs at Fairfield, 1815, Re- 
signs Professorship Institutes of 
Medicine, 238; On the Affair of 
Dr. Alexander Ramsay at Fair- 
field, 240; Resigns from Fair- 
field, 241; Letters on Selling 
his Practice at Portsmouth, 253; 
Offers his Services in the War of 
1812, 263; Medical Member- 
ships in New York, 267; On the 
Pharmacopoeia, 283; Efforts to 
Obtain Chair of Anatomy in 
Philadelphia, 287-293; On Visit- 
ing Mr. Peter Jay, 268; To his 
Wife, on Moving to New York, 
275; His "Open Letters" to 
Eminent Physicians, 279, 329; 
"Institutes of Medicine," 293; 
His Geniality, 302; Satire on 
Goitre, 314 n; Papers on Medi- 
cine and Natural History, 329; 
Defense of his paper on Scull- 
Cap, 327; His Various Offices, 
329; His Discovery of Lympha- 
tic Preparations, 330; On the 
Pharmacopoeia and Medical 
Police, 344; Visit to Washing- 
ton, 356; Letter to his Wife on 
the Pharmacopoeia, 359; Letter 
to Dr. Warren with Copy of 
Pharmacopoeia, 365; Accident 
and Death, 366; Dr. Mitchell's 
Euology of, 366. 

Spalding, Mrs. Lyman, Domestic 
Life in New York, 238. 

Spalding, Lyman Dyer, 99 n, 
189 n, 238; Fishes off of Wall 
Street, 333; Goes to Philadel- 
phia at Age of Ten, 359. 

Spalding Family Amusements in 
New York, 333. 

Spalding, Dr. Matthias, Brings 
Silver Gilt Snuff Box from 
Jenner to Waterhouse, 108 N. 

Spalding, Dr. Matthias, On Buy- 
ing Dr. Lyman Spalding's 
Practice, 253; On the Pharma- 
copoeia, 347. 



Spalding, Dr. Noah, On Dart- 
mouth Medical Affairs, 68, 69, 91. 
Spalding, Sanford, 78 N, 266. 
Spalding, Silas, Family Affaire, 1 1, 
130; On Dartmouth Medical 
Affairs. 68. 
Spalding, Mrs. Silas, 79 n. 
Sparhawk, The Name of, 97 n. 
Sparhawk, John Stearns, 22 x. 
Spencer, Judge, 220. 
St. John's Parish at Portsmouth, 
Lay Reader for, 146; Founda- 
tion Stone of, Laid by Dr. 
L}*man Spalding, 78 x. 
St. Rosa, 287. 

Standing Committee of Fairfield, 
Letter on Medical Affairs, 199. 
Stark, Dr. William, 299 n. 
Stearns, Dr. John, 299 x; On the 

Pharmacopoeia, 364. 
Stern, Dr. Thomas, 19 N. 
Stevens, Dr. Alexander Hodgdon, 

299 x, 316. 
Stevens, John, 268. 
Steward, Dr. Samuel, 354 n. 
Stewart, Mr., 318 n. 
Stoddard, Capt., U. S. A., 41. 
Stone, Esq., 190. 
Stones, 217; Extracted by Dr. 

Nathan Smith, 91. 
Storer, Clement, U. S. Senator, 

On Post Roads, 141, 141 x. 
Stowe, Dr., 57 n. 
Stringham, Dr. James Sykes, 

208 n. 
Strong, Gov. Caleb, 263 x. 
Swainson, Mr. William, On His 

Works, 317, 317 x. 
Sweat, Dr. Mosos, 71 x. 
Swett, Dr. John Barnard, 45 x. 
Swords, Publishers, 17 x, 279. 
Sydenham, Dr. Thomas, 115 n. 
Sykes, Dr. James, 335 x. 

Taft, Dr. Charles, Student of Dr. 
Spalding, 150, 151 x, 249 n; 
On His Practice in North Caro- 
lina, 251, 260; Mentioned, 
277 n. 

Taylor, Dr., 277 n. 

Tenncy, Dr. Samuel, 266 n. 

Terrell, Dr. William, M.C., 352 N. 

Thacher, Dr. James, 229 x; On 
Scull-Cap, 323; On the Phar- 
macopoeia, 345. 
The Medical Repositorv, Men- 
tioned, 16-18. 
Thenard, Baron, 309 x. 
Thompson, Hon. Smith, On Phar- 
macopoeia, 362, 302 \. 
Thomson, Dr. Anthony Todd, On 

the Pharmacopoeia, 346, .; 
Thorndike, Dr. William, on Min- 
eral Waters, 255, 256 v. 
Thurston, Dr. John, On Buying 
Dr. Spalding's Practice, 254; 
On Bills of Mortality, 301, ! 
Tibia, Necrosis of, Remarkable 

Case of, 110. 
Tiffany, Mr., 215. 
Tilton, Dr. Joseph, 216 x. 
Tompkins, Gov. Daniel Duane, 
215, 215 x, 220, 263; Prom - 
Dr. Spalding his Family Prac- 
tice, 222. 
Torrey, Dr. Augustus, 6 x, 71 x. 
Torrey, Dr. Erastus, 353 x. 
Torrey, Dr. John, 348 x. 
Townsend, Rev. Joseph, 27 x. 
Tractoration, 35. 

Trail, Dr. Thomas Stewart, 317 x. 
Trask, Dr. Nathan, 311 \. 
Trefethen, Capt. Henry, 135. 
Trevett, Dr. Samuel," U. S. N. f 
303; On Mrs. Trevett as Dr. 
Spalding's Patient, 304; Gift 
to Dr. Spalding 304. 
Trinity Bill, 230 x. 
Tuberculosis, Foxglove in, 66. 
Tully, Dr. William, 225 x. 

Vaccination, Introduction of, 48; 
At Portsmouth, 53; Scheme for 
Commercialiiring, 54, 55, 56; 
Price of a Bond for Vaccinating, 
58; Dr. Spalding's First 
59; At Hanover, 63; Town 
Meetings on Testing Efficacy 
of, 63 x; Dr. Gerrisfa on, 66; 
Dr. Rose on, 67; Dr. Noyes on, 
73; Vaccination ( Sasa at r. 
mouth, ss; l'u-t Public T.-t of 

byDr. Spalding, 88; Mentioned, 
105, 121, 134. 



Vaccination, Use of Scabs in, 136, 

140, 272. 
Vancleve, Dr. John, On Scull Cap, 

Vanderveer, Dr. Henry, On Scull 

Cap, 322, 323. 
Vanderveer, Dr. Lawrence, On 

Scull Cap, 320, 321. 
Vaughan, Dr. Benjamin, M.P., 

399 n. 
Vaughan, Dr. John, On Willan's 

Book on Skin Diseases, 127, 158; 

Mentioned, 189. 
Vauquelin, Prof. Louis Nicholas, 

309 n. 
Vergnies (De Bonchiere), Dr. 

Francis, 121 n. 
Vose, Roger, Esq., 33. 

Wait, Mr. (Printer), 281, 336. 

Wakefield, Mr. Gilbert, 342 n. 

Walpole, Medical Cases at, 29. 

Warren, Dr. John, 4 N. 

Warren, Dr. John Collins, 38; On 
the Pharmacopoeia, 143, 143 n; 
On Massachusetts Medical Af- 
fairs, 244; On The New Eng- 
land Medical Journal, 249, 264; 
On Le Gallois Experiments, 271; 
On Chair of Anatomy at Phila- 
delphia, 290; On the U. S. 
Pharmacopoeia, 336; On Giving 
up Midwifery, 337; On the 
Publication of the U. S. Phar- 
macopoeia, 363. 

Waterhouse, Dr. Benjamin, Natu- 
ral History Lectures, 5; Note 
to Dr. Spalding, 22; Children, 
22 n; On Vaccination, 53, 54, 
55, 56, 57, 60; Tests His 
Children, 88; On Vaccination 
again, 98; On Mackerel, 102; 
On Vaccination, 104, 105, 107, 
111, 136; Silver Gilt Snuff Box 
from Edward Jenner, 108 n; 
Introduces Mr. Wait, 281. 

Watts, Dr. John Jr., 316 N. 

Webster, Daniel, 217 n. 

Wentworth, Col. Michael, 111. 

Wentworth, Mrs. Michael, Dr. 
Spalding as Executor of Will of, 

Wentworth, "Sir" John, 63, 63 N, 

Wheelock, Rev. John, President 
of Dartmouth, 27 n; Letter for 
Dr. Spalding, 28; On Costs and 
Curriculum at Dartmouth in 
1800, 46; On Dr. Spalding's 
Resignation, 48; Commenda- 
tory Letter to Dr. Spalding, in 
1810, 161. 

White, Mr. Charles, 174 N. 

White, Dr. Joseph, 194 n; At 
Fairfield Medical School, 238, 
239, 241. 

Whitman, Ezekiel, 315 N. 

Wilkins, Dr. Henry, 343. 

Willan, Dr. Robert, His "Cutane- 
ous Diseases," 126 et seq. 

Willard, Rev. Joseph, 73. 

Williams, Dr. Stephen West, On 
Scull Cap, 322. 

Willoughby, Dr. Westel, Jr., 
203 n, 208; On Fairfield Af- 
fairs, 211, 212, 226, 228, 231, 
234, 235, 237, 238, 239, 242. 

Wilson, Mrs. Lois, 1. 

Wilson, Dr. A. Philip, "On Fe- 
brile Diseases," 285 n, 294. 

Wilson, Rev. Mr. (Hebrew 
Scholar), 292. 

Wilson, Sir Robert, 308 N. 

Wilson, Thomas, 1. 

Wingate, Mr. George, 61 n. 

Wistar, Dr. Caspar, 166; Lec- 
tures, 175; Mentioned, 188; On 
Dr. Spalding's Removal to New 
York, 258; Rumors of Death of, 
271; Death of, 287. 

Woodhouse, Dr. James, 174. 

Woodward, William H., 18 N, 
28 n, 80; On Governor Lang- 
don's Coming to Dartmouth, 
136, 261. 

Yeaton, Capt. William, 180. 
Yellow Fever in Portsmouth, 104. 
Yellow Fever, Dr. Shecut's Theory 

of Electricity in Causation of, 

296, 297. 


Los Angeles 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

ifcfcWED MB. 


Form L9-50?rc-4,'61(B8994s4)444 


AA 001 198 345 9