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Dyar T. Brainard papers

Identifier: MSS 2/087

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of three holograph addresses of Dyar T. Brainard. Although all three are undated, approximate dates, 1813, 1821, and 1823, can be derived from the contents of each address. The third address, circa 1823, may have been the annual dissertation delivered to the Connecticut State Medical Society; the other two addresses may have been given before the New London County Medical Association.

The first address, circa 1813, describes an unknown disease treated by Brainard in 1813 and, possibly, 1814. The address contains detailed patient histories of the three cases, descriptions of the symptoms, Brainard's treatment, and his assessment.

The second address, circa 1821, concerns hygiene. Brainard argues for sudden and rapid change of habit as a cause of disease and uses many examples from yellow fever epidemics, including the 1820 outbreak in Savannah, Georgia.

The third address, "A dissertation on phthisis pulmonalis", circa 1823, describes the disease and Brainard's assessment of current medical views on tuberculosis. He then describes the symptoms, prevalence, and proximate and remote causes of the disease.


  • 1813 - 1823


Biographical / Historical

Dyar Throop Brainard, Connecticut physician and botanist, was born on 10 June 1790 in New London, Connecticut. He was the son of Jeremiah G. Brainard, a judge, and Sarah (Gardiner) Brainard and an elder brother of poet John G. C. Brainard. Brainard never married and died on 6 February 1863.

Brainard received his B.A. from Yale College in 1810. He studied medicine for two years and then settled in New London. In 1812, he was appointed military surgeon of the 3rd Regiment, Connecticut Militia, and was the military surgeon at New London during the War of 1812.

During the winter of 1819-1820, Brainard studied medicine in New York. He became health officer for the port of New London circa 1822 and was also U.S. Marine Hospital Surgeon there. In 1823, he delivered the annual dissertation before the Connecticut State Medical Society, and, in 1826, the Society voted to confer an honorary M.D. on Brainard. This degree was granted by Yale University in 1826 or 1827.

Brainard became a member of the New London County Medical Association in 1813 and was its clerk in 1816 and 1817. He often represented the Association at meetings of the Connecticut State Medical Society and was vice president of the Society in 1846.


3 items

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Small collections

Custodial History

The three Brainard manuscripts were purchased by the Historical Collections of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia from Trotting Hill Park Books, P.O. Box 1324, Springfield, MA 01101, on 26 January 1989.

The third address, "A dissertation on phthisis pulmonalis" appears to have been in the possession of physician Charles B. Graves, circa 1920, as he mentions it in his article, "Medicine in New London one hundred years ago", printed in The heritage of Connecticut medicine, Herbert Thomas, editor, (New Haven, 1942).
Dyar T. Brainard papers
Language of description
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