MS – 135: George Currier’s Notes on the Lectures Delivered at the Medical Department of Pennsylvania College at Philadelphia, 1849-1850
(1 box, .28 cu. ft.)
Date Range: 1849-1850
Provenance: Gift of William C. Wright, Class of 1961
George Currier (1828-1867) was born in Frederickton, New Brunswick, Canada and matriculated into the Medical Department of Pennsylvania College at Philadelphia, November 1849 and attended lectures through 1851. Dr. Currier returned to New Brunswick where he practiced medicine until his death in 1867.
The Medical Department of Pennsylvania College was created in September1839 by the Board of Trustees in response to a request from Drs. George McClellan, Samuel Calhoun, William Rush and Samuel G. Morton, all Philadelphia physicians. The Trustees appointed the four petitioners to the Faculty of the Medical Department of Pennsylvania College at Philadelphia and Pennsylvania College was the degree granting institution. However, the school was, for the most part, autonomous, and paid one half of the matriculation fee to Pennsylvania College’s treasury. The State Legislature past the Act of March 29, 1849, which created a fifteen-man body of Trustees of the Medical Department of Pennsylvania College and granted its faculty greater independence.
Requisites for graduation were three years of study with a reputable doctor, attendance for two full courses of lectures, and a thesis written in English, German, French or Latin, on some medical or surgical subject. At the beginning of the Civil War, the enrollment and income dropped leaving bills and unpaid taxes causing the school to close at the end of the 1860-61 sessions. For a complete history of the Medical Department, lists of faculty and graduates, and a description of the curriculum, see Harold J. Abrahams’ Extinct Medical Schools of Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966
Scope and Content Note:
The collection consists of George Currier’s three manuscript books of lecture notes on anatomy, clinical work, surgery, case studies, obstetrics, diseases and treatment, herbs, tonics, narcotics, etc. Currier also drew detailed illustrations of sailing and steam ships interspersed among the pages as well as sketches of professors, soldiers, flags, etc. The third journal has extensive fire damage, but the first two are in very good condition.
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