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L. Webster Fox papers

Identifier: MSS 2/335

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of personal correspondence between L. Webster Fox and Mrs. Fox (Beatrice Bickerton) both before and after their marriage. The collection also contains other family correspondence, clippings about Dr. Fox's medical practice, a small number of documents relating to the Medico-Chirurgical College, and family memorabilia. There is a photo of Dr. and Mrs. Fox with others on a trip to Alaska.

Series 1 contains Dr. Fox's letters to and from Beatrice Bickerton Fox (1888-1911) and also correspondence sent and received from others. Several are to his daughter, Beatrice; later ones describe his work with the Blackfeet (Sihasapa) Indians.

Series 2 is a small amount of Dr. Fox's professional correspondence (1910-1925).

Series 3 contains primarily correspondence between Beatrice Bickerton Fox and various correspondents including letters relating to the death of the Fox's son, Thomas. Two letters request Dr. Fox's eye lotion and two letters tell how the writers are dealing with Irish problems. A small note tells of Dr. Fox performing an eye operation consisting of grafting a part of a chicken's eye to a man's eye. One letter contains a description of a Native American visitor to the Fox's home. Also included in this series is a letter from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia thanking Beatrice Fox Griffith for her donation of books from the estate of Dr. Fox.

Series 4 concerns Dr. Fox's work at the Medico-Chirurgical College (1915-1916).

Series 5 is composed of miscellaneous items such as newspaper clippings, photographs, and invitations.


  • 1888 - 1939


Biographical / Historical

Lawrence Webster Fox was born on March 19, 1853 in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Dr. Thomas G. and Diana (Hershey) Fox. Fox graduated from the Pennsylvania State Normal School in 1875 and received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in 1878. Dr. Fox spent the next four years studying opthalmology in Berlin, Austria, and London. After returning to the United States, he served as assistant ophthalmologist at Jefferson Medical College (1882-1885) and ophthalmic surgeon at Germantown Hospital (1883-93). Dr. Fox became a professor of ophthalmology at Medico-Chirurgical College in Philadelphia beginning in 1893 and later at the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. A member of the Army Reserve Corps, Dr. Fox was also an officer of the Pennsylvania Home Teaching Society and Free Circulating Library for the Blind.

In September, 1889, Dr. Fox married Beatrice Bickerton of Liverpool, England. He had studied medicine in England with Miss Bickerton's brother, Herbert. Dr. and Mrs. Fox had three children: Beatrice, Thomas, and Lawrence Jr. Thomas died in 1894 at age two from diphtheria.

In Dr. Fox's later years, his work took him to the western United States to treat the Blackfeet Indians. For his role in for bringing about the elimination of trachoma, an eye disease prevalent among native Americans, Dr. Fox was adopted into the Blackfeet tribe. L. Webster Fox died on June 4, 1931.


.8 Linear feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection of the papers of L. Webster Fox was donated to the Historical Collections of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia by Charles E. Letocha, M.D.

The collection was processed in June, 1997.
L. Webster Fox papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States