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Frank Hastings Hamilton papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: SCA-0513

Content Description

Notebooks, correspondence, reports, and photographs relating to the distinguished medical career of Frank Hastings Hamilton (UC 1830). Includes notebooks of his studies at Union College, as well as his service in the United States Army during the Mexican and Civil Wars. Correspondence tends to focus on military and medical matters, and letters towards the end of his life reflect exchanges with other physicians showing a lack of interest in advances in the field of medicine, particularly antisepsis. As medical inspector, Hamilton's Civil War papers cover the Second Battle of Murfreesboro as evidenced by reports documenting the poor conditions of the field hospital and cases of gangrene from wounds. Medical photographs of James A. Garfield's spine and Charles Guiteau's brain are included which document Hamilton's involvement as an attending physician in the aftermath of President Garfield's assassination attempt.


  • 1818 - 1886

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

·1813, Sept. 10: Born, Wilmington, VT.

·1830: Graduated, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.

·1833: Received license to practice medicine

·1835: M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

·1846: Helped found medical department, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y.

·1859: Appointed professor of Surgery, Long Island Hospital College, Long Island, N.Y.

·1860: Published Treatise on Fractures and Dislocations. Philadelphia: Lea

·1861: Volunteered for service in the Civil War and commissioned surgeon of the Thirty-first New York Regiment of Infantry Published Practical Treatise on Military Surgery. New York : Baillière

·1861 - 1865: Professor of surgery, Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York, N.Y.

·1863: Became medical inspector of the U.S. Army

·1863-1864: Medical inspector during Civil War, U.S. Army

·1872: The Principles and Practice of Surgery. New York: William Wood and Co.

·1881: Consultant to the physician attending to James A. Garfield after the shooting of the president

·1886, Aug. 11: Died, New York, N.Y.


0.43 Cubic Feet

1 Box

Language of Materials



Custodial History

Donated by Leslie Williams, June 1998. Four letters, previously purchased from Goodspeed's in 1975, were transferred to the Hamilton Papers in 2017.

Guide to the Frank Hastings Hamilton papers
Mathew Golebiewski
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Union College
807 Union Street
Schenectady NY 12308 United States