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COLLECTION Identifier: UAI 15.983

Records of the Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic kept by James Jackson

Overview

This collection documents the teaching and administrative activities of James Jackson, Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic at Harvard from 1817 to 1827. The correspondence, reports, and other related documents provide an overview of Jackson's administration of the Harvard Medical School, including his close involvement in the construction of a new medical building, and also reveal the teaching and classroom activities of both Jackson and other medical professors at Harvard.

Dates

  • 1814-1827 and undated.

Researcher Access

Records of the Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic kept by James Jackson, are open for research. Access to fragile original documents may be restricted. Please consult the Public Services staff for further details.

Copying Restriction

Copying of fragile materials may be limited.

Extent

.17 cubic feet (1 half-document box)

This collection documents the teaching and administrative activities of James Jackson, Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic at Harvard from 1817 to 1827. The correspondence, reports, and other related documents provide an overview of Jackson's administration of the Harvard Medical School, including his close involvement in the construction of a new medical building, and also reveal the teaching and classroom activities of both Jackson and other medical professors at Harvard. Additionally, the records document those students eligible for the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Harvard Medical School, the purchase of medical degrees and diplomas, and contain extracts from Harvard Corporation meeting minutes addressing the residency requirements and annual salaries of medical professors from 1782 to 1816.

The records were assembled as an archival collection by the archivist at an unknown date from various sources without regard to original provenance in order to document University professorships.

Historical Note on James Jackson

James Jackson (1777-1867), a physician in Boston, Massachusetts, served as Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic at Harvard from 1812 to 1836; Hersey Professor Emeritus from 1836 to 1867; and as a member of the Board of Overseers from 1844 to 1846. Jackson practiced medicine in Boston and was one of the first physicians in America to promote vaccination against disease. Recognizing that the quality of medical teaching at Harvard had languished for several years, Jackson joined a reform movement to reorganize and rebuild the Medical School. Appointed Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard in 1810, Jackson was given the task of delivering "courses of clinical lectures, to point out at the bedside of such sick persons when cases may be suitable for the purpose, the symptoms of the disease under which they may labor, and the indications of cure and methods of treatment." Jackson was appointed Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic in 1812 and worked tirelessly with John Collins Warren, Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery, for the establishment of a hospital that could both teach medical students and treat patients. They were largely responsible for the establishment of the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1811, although the hospital was not actually opened until 1821. Jackson published regularly in the New England Journal of Medicine, was the first physician in America to describe the effects of peripheral alcoholic neuritis and the symptoms of appendicitis, and in 1825 published his lecture notes on physiology, hygiene, pathology, and therapeutics in Text Book of a Course of Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Physic.

Historical Note on the Hersey Professorship of the Theory and Practice of Physic

The chair of the Theory and Practice of Physic was established in 1783 but was not endowed as the Hersey Professorship until 1791 by the wills of Ezekiel Hersey, Sarah Derby, his widow, and Abner Hersey, his younger brother.

The previous holder of the Hersey Professorship of the Theory and Practice of Physic was Benjamin Waterhouse (1791-1812).

Arrangement

The records are arranged in five series:

  1. Correspondence, 1814-1827 and undated
  2. Reports, 1822-1827
  3. Lists of candidates for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, 1816-1826
  4. Receipts for medical degrees and diplomas, 1816-1824
  5. Extracts from the Harvard Corporation meeting minutes from 1782 to 1816

Acquisition information

The materials in this collection are University records and were acquired in the course of University business.

Online access

All of the records have been digitized and are available online. Links accompany detailed descriptions.

Related Materials

In the Harvard University Archives

  1. Harvard University. Treasurer. Records of the Treasurer of Harvard University (UAI 50.xx): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua05009: includes a receipt from Doctor James Jackson to Jonathan Jackson, August 28, 1809 (UAI 50.6, Box 2, Folder 17).
  2. Harvard University. Mathematical theses, 1782-1839 (HUC 8782.514): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua17004: includes James Jackson's algebraical solutions of problems, September 1795 (HUC 8782.514).
  3. Kirkland, John Thornton, 1770-1840. Papers of John Thornton Kirkland, 1788-1837 and undated (UAI 15.880): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua22001: refer to Kirkland's activities as a Unitarian minister and as President of Harvard University.
  4. Harvard University. Corporation. Records relating to the founding of the Hersey Professorship of the Theory and Practice of Physic, 1771-1791 (UAI 15.980): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua27011
  5. Student essays composed by James Jackson, 1795: two handwritten student essays composed by James Jackson in 1795 as a Harvard undergraduate (HUC 8795.386.42).

In the Harvard University Countway Library

  1. Papers of James Jackson, 1800-1867 (H MS c8).
  2. A Course of Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Physic, 1814-1815: notes on lectures by Jackson on medicine (H MS b8.3).
  3. Notes from the Medical Lectures of James Jackson, M.D., 1816-1817: lecture notes taken by John Call Dalton (B MS b8.4).
  4. Lectures on the theory and practice of physick, 1817-1819: notes taken by Jonathan Greely Stevenson (H MS b8.2).
  5. Lectures: Therapeutics, ca. 1822: student notes may be in the hand of Charles Jarvis (H MS b8.1).
  6. Lectures on midwifery and lectures on the Theory and Practice of Medicine, 1824-1825: notes taken by David Humphreys Storer from Walter Channing's lectures on midwifery and James Jackson's lectures on medicine (B MS b8.1).
  7. Lecture notes, 1828: notes taken by Abiel Wood Kennedy (Acc. 2000-017).
  8. Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Physic, 1831: student notes from Jackson's lectures (B MS b8.2).

References

  • Bentinck-Smith, William and Elizabeth Stouffer. "Hersey Professorship of the Theory and Practice of Physic, 1791." In Harvard University, History of Named Chairs: Sketches of Donors and Donations. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Secretary to the University, 1991.
  • Fulton, John F. "Jackson, James." Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1943. 545-546.
  • Putnam, James Jackson. A Memoir of Dr. James Jackson, with sketches of his Father Hon. Jonathan Jackson, and his Brothers Robert, Henry, Charles, and Patrick Tracy Jackson; and some account of their ancestry. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1905.
  • Quincy, Josiah. The History of Harvard University. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: John Owen, 1840.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2019 January 14.

Processing Information

This material was first classified and described in a Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1980. The material was re-processed in 2011. Re-processing involved a collection survey, enhanced description of items from the nineteenth century, and the creation of this finding aid.

This finding aid was created by Dominic P. Grandinetti in June 2011.

Title
Jackson, James, 1777-1867. Records of the Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic kept by James Jackson, 1814-1827 and undated: an inventory
Language of description
und
EAD ID
hua29011

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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