George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Lincoln, 24 December 1789

From Benjamin Lincoln

Boston Decr 24 1789

My dear General

Docr Oliphant was during the war at the head of the medical department at the southward1—He always supported the character as master of his profession a Gentleman of arangment, of Justice, œconomy & industry—He is among those unhappy men who have suffered by the late war and has seen better days If there should be an opening for him again in the public line I have no doubt but he would honour to any appointment he should receive. I have the honour of being My de[a]r General with the most perfect esteem your most obedient servant

B. Lincoln.


1David Olyphant (Oliphant; 1720–1805), a physician, planter, and politician of Charleston and St. George Dorchester Parish, S.C., was born in Scotland and emigrated to South Carolina after serving as a surgeon at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Olyphant was a member of the state’s legislative council when Congress appointed him director general of the hospitals in the southern department in 1776. He was captured at Charleston and after his exchange served as hospital director under Nathanael Greene and later as deputy director of the medical department of the southern army. After the war he was a member of the South Carolina legislature and practiced medicine, moving to Newport, R.I., in the mid—1780s where he opened a medical practice. Olyphant did not receive a federal appointment.

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