Skip to main content
COLLECTION — Box: Small Manuscript Collections 01 Identifier: H MS c521

William Henry Porter papers

Content Description

Consists of letters and other records created and collected by William Henry Porter. There is a two-page writing titled “What Is Man;” a letter from Porter to Brother Harvey inquiring about his coming to Surry, New Hampshire to serve as that community’s physician; a photograph of Porter; a “Receipt for Special Tax” charging Porter $10 for having the occupation of physician in 1869; a letter from Porter and his wife (unnamed) thanking their friends for a surprise on their twentieth wedding anniversary; a contract or bond; a letter from Porter to his sister offering condolences for a death (likely her husband) and providing updates on family and neighbors; a note accompanied by a resolution passed by the Cheshire County Pomona Grange wishing Porter recovery from an illness; a blank postcard with a photograph of a house; a letter from Mrs. O. E. Parsons (unnamed) asking Porter to come to see Mr. Porter; and a letter from G. Harvey and B. Porter to “Friend Harvey” about marriage.


  • 1849-1892 (inclusive)


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

Public domain.


0.01 cubic feet (1 file folder)

Biographical / Historical

William Henry Porter (1830-1894), M.D., 1853, Worcester Medical Institution, Worcester, Massachusetts was a physican in Surry, New Hampshire, where he also served in many roles in town government.

William Henry Porter was born on 10 May 1830. His father, Vine Porter (1801-1843) and his brother, Winslow Burroughs Porter (1823-1891), were physicians serving the Surry, New Hampshire community. Porter attended lectures at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts from 1851 to 1852. He earned a medical degree from Worcester Medical Institution, Worcester, Massachusetts in 1853. He returned to Surry, New Hampshire to practice general medicine, and he also served as town clerk, treasurer, town representative to the state General Court, postmaster, school board member, library trustee, and Surry Grange member (1).

William Henry Porter died on 02 January 1894.

(1) Susan Karcz. "BackStory," Harvard Medicine..

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from Donald Blaufox to the Warren Anatomical Museum, June 11, 2014 (Accession #2017-194); papers transfered within the Center for the History of Medicine to the Harvard Medical Library May 3, 2017.

Separated Materials

Papers comprising H MS c521 were separated from the following William Henry Porter materials:

Book collection BBB81

Warren Anatomical Museum objects:

21542, Medicine chest of Dr. Charles E. Hill, circa 1860 21543, Framed photograph of Dr. and Mrs. Charles E. Hill, circa 1867 21544, Medical bag of Dr. William Henry Porter, 1850-1894 21545, Smellie-style forceps of Dr. William Henry Porter, 1850-1894 21546, Ferguson speculum of Dr. William Henry Porter, 1850-1894 21547, Ferguson speculum of Dr. William Henry Porter, 1850-1894 21548, Framed drawing of Vine Porter, 1842

Processing Information

Processed by Charlotte Lellman in June 2021. Collection was processed according to Level 1 protocol.

Porter, William H. (William Henry), 1830-1894. Papers, 1849-1892 (inclusive): A Finding Aid
Charlotte Lellman
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.

10 Shattuck Street
Boston MA 02115
(617) 432-2170