Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Lyman Spalding, 22 February 1802

From Lyman Spalding

Portsmouth 22nd. Febry 1802.

Mr. Jefferson,

Will you please to accept the humble offering of a faithful citizen in the Republic of science. If you deem it worthy the attention of the American Philosophical Society, I should think myself highly honoured by their acceptance of a copy.

With great esteem, Sir, I have the honour, to be yours.

L Spalding.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 5 Mch. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Lyman Spalding, “Bill of Mortality, For Portsmouth, Newhampshire, for A.D. 1801,” a printed table recording the number and causes of death, as well as the ages of the victims (MoSHi: Jefferson Papers).

Lyman Spalding (1775–1821) of New Hampshire earned his medical degree from Harvard in 1797, then went on to enjoy a distinguished career as a physician, educator, author, and inventor. He moved to Portsmouth in 1800, where he founded a medical society, established an anatomical museum, introduced smallpox vaccinations, and served on the town’s board of health. From 1801 to 1811, he published a yearly bill of mortality for Portsmouth, a compilation of vital statistics that detailed the number and causes of death of its residents, which he distributed to a variety of recipients. TJ received a number of these annual broadsides from Spalding, as well as a copy of his 1819 publication, A History of the Introduction and Use of Scutellaria Lateriflora, (Scullcap,) As a Remedy for Preventing and Curing Hydrophobia, Occasioned by the Bite of Rabid Animals. Spalding also played a leading role in the 1820 publication of The Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; J. Worth Estes and David M. Goodman, The Changing Humors of Portsmouth: The Medical Biography of an American Town, 1623–1983 [Boston, 1986], 1–41; TJ to Spalding, 11 Dec. 1819).

Index Entries