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COLLECTION Identifier: B MS c116

Charles Wild papers


The collection consists of records created and collected by Charles Wild during his practice as a homeopathic physician in Boston and Brookline, Massachusetts, during the first half of the nineteenth century. The collection also includes records created by one of Wild’s sons, Edward, who shared his father’s medical practice.


  • 1800-1890 (inclusive)
  • Majority of material found within 1830-1870


Language of Materials

Papers are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

Public Domain.


2.9 cubic feet (1 records center carton, 1 document box, 2 microfiche boxes, 1 index card box, 1 legal size document box, 2 flat boxes, 2 flat file folders.)
The Charles Wild papers consist of records created and collected by Charles Wild during the course of his work as a homeopathic physician in the towns of Brookline and Boston, Massachusetts, during the first half of the nineteenth century. At least one of Wild's sons, Edward, practiced with his father and some of his records are included in Series I (Loose financial records), Series II (Financial ledgers), and Series III (Pocket notebooks); the younger Charles may also be represented here.

Loose financial records and correspondence (Series I) consist of a variety of financial records relating either to Wild’s medical practice or to household and personal expenses, including animal feed, groceries, lumber, stationery, paint, and clothing. Also included are invoices for payment to tutors for Wild’s children and a small number of items related to real estate purchases and sales. Many items are annotated to show payments made, in-kind settlements, or other information. There are also a number of printed bills for Wild’s services as a physician.

Financial ledgers (Series II) consist of records similar in nature to those in Series I but in bound ledgers rather than on loose slips of paper.

Pocket notebooks (Series III) consist of small notebooks, some clearly home-made, used by Charles Wild and his son Edward during their daily practice as homeopathic physicians in Brookline and Boston, Massachusetts. The bulk of the notebooks contain notes on patient visits and prescriptions; a smaller number document personal expenses such as meals and lodging.

Papers are entirely in English.

Biographical Note

Charles Wild (1795-1864), B.A., 1814, Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts; M.A., 1817, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; M.D., 1818, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, was a homeopathic physician who practiced in the towns of Brookline and Boston, Massachusetts, during the first half of the nineteenth century. During the final years of his practice, he was joined by at least one son, Edward.

Charles Wild was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in January 1795 to Abraham Wild (1762-1820) and Susannah (Pitman) Wild (1764-1808). Charles Wild received all of his degrees from Harvard University: his bachelor’s degree in 1814, his master’s in 1817, and his M.D. in 1818.

Charles practiced as a homeopathic physician and was one of the founding members of the Massachusetts Homeopathic Medical Society in 1856. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Charles married Mary Joanna Rhodes (1799-1883) in 1819; the couple had at least six children: Susan, Laura, Mary, Charles, Edward, and Walter. Charles Wild died in May 1864 in North Providence, Rhode Island.

Collection Arrangement

  1. I. Loose Financial Records, 1800-1899
  2. II. Financial Ledgers, 1820-1879
  3. III. Pocket Notebooks, 1830-1868

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was purchased by the Center for the History of Medicine in 2011.
  1. 2011-021. Steve Bolick Aiglatson. 2011 January 04.

Processing Information

Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook, 2018 September.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine refoldered and reboxed material and created a finding aid to increase researcher access. Folder titles were transcribed from original folders which were then discarded. Records were cleaned during refoldering.

Items in Pocket Notebooks (Series III) were unfolded, flattened, and arranged in appropriately sized containers. A framed photograph was unframed and can be found in Box 7. One item in Bound Financial Ledgers (Series II) was wrapped in acid-free paper to prevent the migration of red rot from the bindings.
Link to catalog
Wild, Charles, 1795-1864. Papers, 1800-1890 (inclusive), 1830-1870 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

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

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