American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Surgical Set collection from 1860 to 1865 - Civilian and Military

Civil War:  Medicine, Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

 Dr. Michael Echols  &  Dr. Doug Arbittier


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Elisha Bartlett, M.D.

Click here to see the book in this collection by Dr. Bartlett

Doctor or Professor Bartlett (for he was equally known by either title) was the son of Otis and Wait Bartlett, of Smithfield, Rhode Island, where he was born October 6th, 1804. He early betrayed a fondness for scholastic pursuits, books were the companions of his boyhood, his solace and his delight.

His parents were members of the Society of Friends, and while desirous of giving their son the best advantages of education, they yet did not find in the universities of their time such results as they desired him to reach; so that, although it must be said he did not receive a university education, he did yet obtain, by means of excellent schools and close application, as fine a classical education as any American university of his time could have given him.

His inclination was towards the medical profession, a path which he afterwards described in these fine sentences : " It is the path which was trodden by the Sydenhams, the Hallers and the Hunters. It is the path which led Harvey to the most brilliant achievement in the annals of physiological science. It is the path which led the more fortunate Jenner to that discovery which has embalmed his name in the gratitude and the love of all peoples and of all tongues. It is the path which led Newton up to the loftiest pinnacle ever reached by uninspired humanity.

He pursued his studies in this department under several masters in New England, all of them men of distinction. Among these men mention may bo made of Dr. Levi Wheaton, of Providence, (1761— 1852). He attended medical lectures at Boston and in Providence, where, at Brown University, he took his degree of M. D. in 1828, one of the last graduates of that school, which was abandoned at the close of that academic year, although the chairs of several of the professors seem to have been occupied for a year or two after. Solomon Drowne held the position of Professor of Materia Medica and Botany, Levi Wheaton that of Theory and Practice of Physic, Usher Parsons that of Anatomy and Surgery,— names long and well known in Rhode Island.

After his graduation at Brown University, Dr. Bartlett visited Paris, France, where he still further pursued his medical studies, under the distinguished teachers for which the French capital was then and has always since been so celebrated. On his return from France he took up his residence in the town of Lowell, Massachusetts. On its becoming a city, in 1836, Dr. Bartlett became its first Mayor. He was afterwards honored by a seat in the Legislature of Massachusetts. But these positions were uncongenial to his delicate nature, and he soon abandoned them for a more congenial pursuit, that of a medical teacher. He had held a professorship at Pittsfield since 1832. In 1841 he abandoned the practice of medicine and accepted a professorship at Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, at which place he remained six years, and afterwards a year at Louisville. During these years he had also delivered lectures at Woodstock, Vermont, and at other places.

Professor Bartlett's influence over his students during these years must have been of the happiest nature. In a recent conversation with one of them, who was a student at the Berkshire School at Pitts- field, we gather some insight into it. Here were gathered sixty young men so rude, so wild, so rough, that no professor could in quiet order deliver his lecture ; but no sooner did Professor Bartlett enter his lecture-room than perfect order immediately obtained, and a profound silence was maintained until he had finished. Every student loved him. We will not call it the influence of mind over matter; it was the natural force of a pure, simple, earnest and strong intellect.


Sketches Op The Character And Writings Of Eminent Living Surgeons And Physicians Of Paris : Translated by Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 12mo. Portraits, pp.131. Boston. 1831.

Obedience To The Laws Of Health A Moral Duty : A Lecture delivered before the American Physiological Society, January 30, 1838, by Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 12mo. pp. 24. Boston.

An Address Delivered At The Anniversary Celebration Of The Birth Of Spurzheim And The Organization Of The Boston Phrenological Society, January 1st, 1838, by Elisha Bartlett, M D. 8vo. pp. 28. Boston. 1838.

The Head And The Heart, Or The Relative Importance Of Intellectual And Mokal Education : A Lecture delivered before the American Institute of Instruction, in Lowell, August, 1838, by Elisha Bartlett. 8vo. pp. 20. Boston. 1838.

Objects And Nature Of Medical Science : An Introductory Lecture, delivered at Transylvania University, November 3rd, 1841, by Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 8vo. pp. 18. Lexington, Ky. 1841.

History, Diagnosis And Treatment Of The Fevers Ok The United States. By Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 8vo. 1st ed. 1841. 2nd ed. 1847. 3rd ed. 1852. Philadelphia.

Address At The Annual Meeting Of The Orphan Society, at the Court House, Lexington, November 1st, 1842, by Prof. E. Bartlett.


Valedictory Address To The Graduating Class Of TranSylvania University, by Dr. Bartlett. 8vo. pp. 8. 1843.

The Sense Of The Beautiful : A Lecture delivered before the Lexington Lyceum, January 20th, 1843, by Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 8vo. pp. 16. Lexington. 1843.

An Essay On The Philosophy Of Medical Science. By Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 8vo. pp. 312. Philadelphia. 1844.

An Oration Delivered Before The Municipal Authorities And The Citizens Of Lowell, July 4th, 1848, by Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 8vo. pp. 38. Lowell. 1848.

An Inquiry Into The Degree Of Certainty In Medicine And Into The Nature And Extent Of Its Power Over Disease. By Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 8vo. pp. 84. Philadelphia. 1848.

Brief Sketch Of The Life, Character And Writings Of William Charles Wells, M. D., F. R. S.: An Address delivered before the Louisville Medical Society, December 7th, 1849, by Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 8vo. pp. 32. Philadelphia. 1849.

Discourse On The Times, Character, And Writings Of Hippocrates : Read before the Trustees, Faculty and Medical Class of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at the opening of the Term of 1852-3, by Elisha Bartlett, M. D. 8vo. pp. 72. New York. 1852.

Simple Settings In Vekse, For Six Portraits And PicTures. From Mr. Dickens's Gallery. 12mo. pp. 80. Boston. 1855.


Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

Contact Dr. Arbittier or Dr. Echols



Civil War Medical Collections 


Direct links to all medical & Civil War collections on this site                         

American Surgical Sets:

Pre-Civil War:  1 | 2  -   Post-Civil War:  3  -  Civil War 1861-1865:  4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   INDEX

Medical Text-Books:

1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10 | 11 | 12    INDEX

Surgeon General's Office Library printed catalogues: 1840 | 1864 | 1865
Medical Lecture Cards: 1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21    INDEX

Medical Faculty and Authors:


Navy Surgeon Exams:

1863 Navy Surgeon Applicant Exams with Biographies   INDEX ONE | INDEX TWO

Surgeon CDVs, Images:

Army: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8    INDEX

Navy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   

Hosp Dep't Bottles, Tins, 

U.S. Army Pannier:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

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Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016