JAMES ROSS 1846 - 1849 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY DETAILING THIS YOUNG TEACHER'S EDUCATION TO BECOME A MEDICAL DOCTOR
CASTLETON VERMONT ELIZABETHTOWN NEW JERSEY NJ 1846 Poor Manuscript
On offer is a very interesting, original 1846 - 1849 manuscript diary handwritten by James Ross a hardworking, young teacher turned medical student. James at some point moved to Castleton, Vermont in Rutland County and worked in the area while teaching school. He then goes on to study medicine with a local doctor and eventually moves to Elizabethtown New Jersey [69 Canal Street] where he matriculates at New York City College. His daily life is on every page of this small leather bound journal that he easily carried in his pocket and took it everywhere with him it seems. We learn in Castleton, that he taught school "[had 12 scholars today, a good day"], worked in a small drug store, and studied medicine with Dr. Eliakin Paul. James mentions the name Woodward several times and casual research informs us that Mr. Woodward owned the first drug store in town working from his home. Eventually the drug store was erected on the corner east of the Methodist Church where they did a large business furnishing medicines to physicians in the vicinity, also to graduates of the medical college. The store also sold surgical instruments as James Ross mentions in this diary. James keeps meticulous notations as to the price of numerous items he would purchase, monies paid to him for books, money borrowed from his brother or relative; Reuben Ross, Jr.; where, and with who he lived in a boarding house; where he "staid overnight"; the names of his friends and of his diversions. He mentions Dr. Nichols, Dr. Parker and his lectures, Dr. Paul, Dr. Page, Dr. Clark, Gillman, Barker, Mott, lectures, etc. His daily notes include the 4th of July fire works in Vermont were the best he had ever seen; goes to visit the Woodruff family at Connecticut Farms and rode there with Mr. Fortought; Woodruffs all well, went to a prayer meeting at the old schoolhouse and saw some old friends; apparently James was originally from Connecticut. Got back home to VT, went to work all day, delivered some medicine to A. Hotch; some elixir, and then went to hear Dr. Bostwick speak. James went to the hospital to see soldiers that were sick and being treated with lead wash and liniment. Went to Hope Chapel to listen to Mr. Buckingham and Mr. Chapin talk about capital punishment and came away "fully convinced capital punishment should be established. "Went to a camp meeting in Fairhaven where he attended a lecture with "nearly 30 students together." Went to Chatham Theatre and to the museum where he saw a giant boy, etc. He purchases new clothes, had his boots renailed, sheared sheep for his father, went hunting and killed a pheasant and attended the Methodist church in town. Heard a lot of swearing at a political meeting in Sept. where "men were caucusing in every direction." Went to the fair in Rutland, Vermont, etc. Went to town clerk and took the oath for surveying, closed on a few deeds. Certainly a very busy young man with a lot of "irons in the fire"; teaching, working, studying medicine, and having somewhat of a social life, as he writes of numerous friends. James has written a few names and addresses in this journal to include: H. Fisher, 122 Pearl Street, NY, J. Vaness, corner of Jackson and Johnson Street, Brooklyn, P. S. Denmore and Ed Price, 107 Fulton ST. Doctor Oatman, 111 Eldridge St. Nelson Eddy, 89 Pearl ST. NY, etc. Now he writes about the list of books he will need for medical school and there are quite a few. He took the Sommerville Railroad, and then onto a boat to get to New York. He went to Brooklyn to visit the Navy Yard and eventually on to Elizabethtown NJ where he now settles in to live and attend medical college in NYC. James mentions 77 Fulton Street in New York and O.O. Wickham's class. Condition of the small, 2 1/2 x 4 inch leather bound, 178 pages book is rather poor with several pages are loose, and the interior pages are attempting to come loose from the spine, yet still holding; the outside leather case had a snap cover at one time, however the snap is missing. Leather shows wear and scuffing. Overall Poor.