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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c2

Lyman Spalding papers,

The Lyman Spalding papers, 1793-1965 (inclusive), 1793-1820 (bulk), contain correspondence of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, physician Lyman Spalding (1775-1821), his lecture notes on anatomy and surgery, Spalding's patient case histories and case reports, essays on medicine and meteorology, and tickets of admission to medical lectures at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. There are also botanical specimens Spalding collected in Portsmouth, and a small amount of twentieth century material on the gift of the collection to Harvard.

Dates

  • 1793-1965 (inclusive),
  • Majority of material found within 1793-1820 .

Language of Materials

Papers are predominately in English, with some material in French.

Conditions Governing Access

Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to Public Services. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from Public Services are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

Extent

1.01 cubic feet (4 flat storage boxes)

The Lyman Spalding papers, 1793-1965 (inclusive), 1793-1820 (bulk), contain correspondence of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, physician Lyman Spalding (1775-1821), his lecture notes on anatomy and surgery, Spalding's patient case histories and case reports, essays on medicine and meteorology, and tickets of admission to medical lectures at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. There are also botanical specimens Spalding collected in Portsmouth, and a small amount of twentieth century material on the gift of the collection to Harvard.

The correspondence in the collection include letters from English physician Edward Jenner (1749-1823) regarding smallpox vaccination and several politicians regarding rabies treatment, in addition to an invitation to tea from Louisa Adams (1775-1852), and correspondence to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York regarding the founding of Fairfield Medical College. Spalding's mostly undated lecture notes cover anatomy and surgery, and may have been delivered while he was a professor at Fairfield Medical College. His essays and writings are on medical ethics, fever, and meteorology. There are also case reports and case histories of Spalding's patients, some of which were published in medical journals.

The papers also include printed tickets of admission for Spalding to attend medical lectures at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, several certificates, and copies of Spalding's calling card. In addition, there are botanical specimens collected by Spalding in Portsmouth, which were removed from his day book.

Twentieth century material contains information about the gift of Spalding's papers to Harvard in 1965, and his work on smallpox vaccination and the founding of the United States Pharmacopoeia.

Papers are entirely in English.

Biographical Note

Lyman Spalding (1775-1821), M.B., honorary M.D., Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, practiced medicine in New Hampshire and New York. He was noted for his work in smallpox vaccination, treatment of yellow fever, and study of anatomy. Spalding taught chemistry at Dartmouth Medical School and Fairfield Medical College for several years. He also founded the Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America.

Lyman Spalding was born on 5 June 1775, in Cornish, New Hampshire, to Elizabeth (1734-1816) and Dyer Spalding (1732-1814). He was educated at Charlestown Academy in Charlestown, New Hampshire, and thereafter enrolled in medical lectures at Harvard, where he studied under John Warren (1753-1815), Benjamin Waterhouse (1754-1846), and Aaron Dexter (1750-1829). He was the twenty-second graduate of the Harvard Medical School in 1797. Physician Nathan Smith (1762-1829) was a mentor to Spalding in his youth, and after graduating Harvard, Spalding moved back to New Hampshire to help Smith found Dartmouth Medical School in 1797. He was a lecturer there in chemistry, and he also established a medical practice in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

In 1800, Spalding resigned from his full-time lectureship at Dartmouth to focus on his medical practice, although he continued to teach part time until 1802. He received cowpox matter from Harvard Medical School Professor Benjamin Waterhouse (1754-1846), who introduced smallpox vaccination in the Unites States, and in 1800, Spalding became the first physician in New Hampshire to vaccinate patients against smallpox. He also initiated an annual bill of mortality for the Portsmouth population.

Spalding was elected to the New Hampshire Medical Society in 1801, and in 1811 he served as its vice president. He extended his education in surgery and dissection while attending lectures held by the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the winter of 1809-1810. Spalding moved his practice and his family to New York City in 1816, and he began giving lectures at Fairfield Medical College. In 1817, at meeting of the New York County Medical Society, Spalding proposed that a national Pharmacopoeia be assembled. The United States Pharmacopoeia was published in 1820.

Spalding married Elizabeth Coues (1779-1838) in 1802, and they had five children: Elizabeth Spalding (1803-1878); Adelaide Spalding Foster (1805-1898); Lyman Dyer (1810-1892); Alfred Peter (1815-1844); and Edward Jenner (1819-1833). Spalding was struck by falling garbage while walking in New York in 1820, and he died from the illness he subsequently contracted in Portsmouth on 30 October 1821.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

  1. I. Correspondence, 1805-1820, undated
  2. II. Manuscripts and printed documents, 1793-1820, undated
  3. ___A. Certificates, tickets of admission, and calling cards, 1793-1820
  4. ___B. Lectures and addresses, 1813-1814, undated
  5. ___C. Case reports and case histories, 1799-circa 1813
  6. ___D. Writings and diary notes, 1809-1818, undated
  7. ___E. Recipe, undated
  8. III. Botanical specimens collected by Lyman Spalding, 1800-1810
  9. IV. Collected records about Lyman Spalding and his papers, 1965, undated

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Lyman Spalding papers were gifted to the Harvard Medical Library by Dorothy Foster Stewart in 1965.

Related Papers in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine

  1. Lyman Spalding papers. B MS c2.

Resources about Lyman Spalding

  • Horrocks, Thomas A. Spalding, Lyman. American National Biography Online, American National Biography Online: 2000.
  • Spalding, James Alfred. Dr. Lyman Spalding : The originator of the United States Pharmacopoeia . Boston: W.M. Leonard, 1916.

Processing Information

Processed by Brooke McManus, 2016 February.

The collection was previously arranged and cataloged by call numbers in four groupings: Correspondence from Lyman Spalding (H MS c2.1); correspondence to Lyman Spalding (H MS c2.2); lectures of Lyman Spalding (H MS c2.5); manuscripts, certificates, tickets of admission, calling cards, and botanical specimens of Lyman Spalding (H MS c2.5).

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, rearranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access in 2016. Processing steps included integrating incoming and outgoing correspondence of Lyman Spalding. Call numbers where extant were eliminated from the finding aid, but the folder titles, as previously devised by staff, were retained.

Please note the following abbreviations have been used in folder titles: "A.D." for autographed document; "A.D.s." for autographed document signed; "A.L." for autographed letter; "A.L.s." for autographed letter signed; "A.M." for autographed manuscript; "A.M.s." for autographed manuscript signed; "MS.D" for manuscript document; "MS.L" for manuscript letter; "P.D." for printed document; and "P.D.s." for printed document signed.
Link to catalog
Title
Spalding, Lyman, 1775-1821. Papers, 1793-1965 (inclusive), 1793-1820 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Author
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Sponsor
Preservation and description was supported in part by the Arcadia-funded Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.
EAD ID
med00236

Repository Details

Part of the Countway Library of Medicine Repository

Contact:
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