Journal of John Denison Hartshorn, 1752-1756 (inclusive)

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Content Notes

Journal kept by John Denison Hartshorn (1736-1756) between 1752 and 1756 containing daily entries chronicling Hartshorn's life as a medical apprentice to Boston, Massachusetts, physician and apothecary-shop owner Silvester Gardiner (1708-1786). During this time, Hartshorn observed Gardiner perform surgical procedures such as amputation and lithotomy. The entries reflect the increasing responsibility he was given as his apprenticeship progressed. He treated certain classes of patients, such as servants, without Gardiner's assistance, and after the onset of the French and Indian War, Hartshorn attended to soldiers on his own. In addition to recording his and Gardiner's medical activities, Hartshorn wrote about his life in the Gardiner household and details of his daily meals. The final entries include description of a unnamed "contagion" among the soldiers, which may have infected Hartshorn, resulting in his death in 1756.

Biographical Notes

John Denison Hartshorn (1736-1756) was born in Concord, Massachusetts. His father, Ebenezer Hartshorn, was a physician in Concord. Hartshorn was apprenticed to Silvester Gardiner in 1752, during which time he boarded with the Gardiner family in Boston. He died of an unknown illness before his medical training was completed.