Autograph letter signed to Nathaniel Bowditch

Silliman, Benjamin

Published by New Haven, 1842
From Jeremy Norman's historyofscience (Novato, CA, U.S.A.)

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Silliman, Benjamin (1779-1864). Autograph letter signed to Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838). 2pp. plus integral address leaf. New Haven, Sept. 5, 1842. 252 x 196 mm. Lightly creased, small portion of address leaf torn away where seal was broken, light soiling along folds but very good. Docketed. From chemist and geologist Benjamin Silliman, one of the first American professors of science (at Yale University), founding faculty member of the Yale Medical School and the first to distill petroleum; to mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, author of The New American Practical Navigator (1802 and subsequent editions to the present), often described as the founder of modern maritime navigation. In the letter Silliman inquires after the health of the wife of his friend Charles Thomas Jackson (1805-80), the Boston chemist and geologist best known for his role in the development of surgical anesthesia (1846). Silliman's letter reads in part: "You are doubtless acquainted with the fact that your neighbor Mrs. Jackson was taken some months since with delirium--which her husband led us to hope was only symptomatic of a fever . . . As we are a long time without information-as Dr. Jackson is probably on his geological survey in New Hampshire & as we have been informed that the ladies of the family are or have been in attendance on Mrs. Jackson in Charlestown I take the liberty to enquire of you whether this interesting friend is restored to her right reason and also in other aspects recovered . . ." Jackson had been appointed state geologist for New Hampshire in 1840 and at the time Silliman wrote this letter was engaged in a geological survey of that state. Jackson's wife, nee Susan Bridge, was a native of Charlestown, a neighborhood in Boston. Wolfe & Patterson, Charles Thomas Jackson: "The Head behind the Hands" (2007), p. 73. Bookseller Inventory # 42479

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Title: Autograph letter signed to Nathaniel Bowditch

Publisher: New Haven

Publication Date: 1842

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

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