Lyman Spalding papers, 1798-1912 (inclusive), 1798-circa 1820 (bulk)

About this Collection

Spalding, Lyman , 1775-1821
Manuscripts (document genre)Admission tickets.Correspondence.Medical records.Transcriptions.
Collection Title
Lyman Spalding papers, 1798-1912 (inclusive), 1798-circa 1820 (bulk)
.84 cubic feet in 3 flat storage boxes.
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Content Notes

The Lyman Spalding papers, 1798-1912 (inclusive), 1798-circa 1820 (bulk), contain correspondence of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, physician Lyman Spalding (1775-1821) with medical colleagues concerning public health issues, patient case histories, and his appointments and lecturing. Topics covered include smallpox vaccination and requests for cowpox matter, treatment of rabies and other diseases, his medical practice in New Hampshire, establishing a national Pharmacopœia, and exchange of bills of mortality. Also includes manuscripts of addresses on fever, and manuscripts and notes concerning medical and surgical cases, such as midwifery and yellow fever. There is also a small collection of correspondence and manuscripts of Spalding's grandson, James Alfred Spalding (1846-1938), a physician in Portland, Maine.
  • Papers are in English and French.

Biographical Notes

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 Pharmacopœia of the United States of America. Spalding studied under John Warren (1753-1815), Benjamin Waterhouse (1754-1846), and Aaron Dexter (1750-1829), and 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 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 Pharmacopœia be assembled. The United States Pharmacopœia was published in 1820.