Thomas Jefferson Papers

John F. Lamb to Thomas Jefferson, 2 January 1822

From John F. Lamb

Philadelphia, 2nd January, 1822—


As a friend to Science, and as a native of Virginia, I feel an interest in the progress of the University, which at present occupies so much of your attention—And for motives, which, (though not expressed,) may appear obvious, should be pleased to receive your answer to the following queries.—

Is it intended that a Medical School shall form a part of the University of Virginia?

If a Medical School,—when is it expected to go into operation?

And what the prospect, of a Professor therein?—together with any additional particulars, which may be deemed interesting.—

I am, Sir, with due Respect—

Yours &c

John F. Lamb

RC (CSmH: JF-BA); at foot of text: “Hon: Thomas Jefferson, Rector of the U. of Va:”; endorsed by TJ as received 13 Jan. 1822 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with Dft of TJ to Bernard Peyton, 13 May 1824, on verso; addressed: “Hon: Thomas Jefferson, Charlottesville, Virginia”; stamped; postmarked Philadelphia, 5 Jan.

John Fergusson Lamb (1791–1869), physician, was born in Virginia, possibly in Pittsylvania County. He attended the New London Academy in Bedford County before moving to Lynchburg, where he studied medicine and was joint proprietor of the Lynchburg Press, 1811–15. During the War of 1812 Lamb served in the militia as a surgeon’s mate. He moved in 1816 to Philadelphia, where he worked as an apothecary and in 1820 received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania with a final essay on rheumatism. Lamb practiced medicine for many years in Frankford (later part of Philadelphia). He joined the American Medical Association in 1851 and served as president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society in 1853. Lamb was also president of the Northern Medical Association of Philadelphia in 1856, vice president of the Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania in 1862, and a fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia beginning in 1863. In 1860 his real estate and personal property were valued at $20,000 and $2,000, respectively. Lamb died in Philadelphia (Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, Transactions, 3d ser., pt. 1 [1862]: 4; 6th ser., pt. 2 [1871]: 419–22; Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 2:1120; Richmond Enquirer, 23 Apr. 1813; John Adems Paxton, The Philadelphia Directory and Register, for 1818 [(Philadelphia, 1818)]; University of Pennsylvania Medical Graduates description begins Catalogue of the Medical Graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, 1836 description ends , 39; American Medical Association, Transactions 20 [1869]: 811; Officers of the Philadelphia County Medical Society since its organization [1874]; Frederick P. Henry, ed., Standard History of the Medical Profession of Philadelphia [1897], 389, 395; William S. W. Ruschenberger, An Account of the Institution and Progress of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia [1887], 241; DNA: RG 29, CS, Pa., Philadelphia, 1860; Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 Apr. 1869).

Index Entries

  • Lamb, John Fergusson; and medical education at University of Virginia search
  • Lamb, John Fergusson; identified search
  • Lamb, John Fergusson; letter from search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; medical school search
  • Virginia, University of; Faculty and Curriculum; medicine professorship search