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Wistar family papers

Identifier: MSS 2/125

Scope and Contents

This small collection contains personal letters, 1827-1859, one from Caspar Wistar, the others received by him from family members, and two undated poems.

The undated letter from Wistar to [Caspar?] Morris describes the concern Wistar feels for his brother's failing eyesight, while the letter from S. M. Waln to Wistar, 10 January 1859, relates the efforts made to locate Wistar's son, Caspar, who disappeared in Australia in 1859. The collection also includes three letters, 1854 and 1856, from Wistar's eldest son, Issac Jones Wistar, then practicing law in San Francisco, which describe his situation and financial prospects.


  • 1827 - 1859


Biographical / Historical

Caspar Wistar, Philadelphia physician, was born on 5 June 1801. He was the second son of Thomas and Mary Waln Wistar and a nephew of physician Caspar Wistar. Wistar was married to Lydia Jones (d. 1878); they had ten children, the eldest of whom was Isaac Jones Wistar (1827-1905).

Wistar received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1824. His thesis was on intermittent fever. From 1824 to 1826, he was Resident Physician at Pennsylvania Hospital. Wistar had an extensive medical practice at 726 Arch Street in Philadelphia, but he withdrew from practice to devote himself to benevolent work. He was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1842 and resigned in 1853.

Caspar Wistar died of serous apoplexy in Philadelphia on 4 April 1867.


1 folder (8 items)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Small collections

Custodial History

The Caspar Wistar family letters and poetry were donated to the Historical Collections of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia by Anna S. Morris of Newtown, Pennsylvania, in 1988. The collection was transferred from Independence National Historical Park to the College of Physicians by Doris Fanelli. The material was formerly in the possession of Elliston P. Morris of Knoxville, Tennessee.

The collection was processed and catalogued in June 1990.
Wistar family papers
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Script of description
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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