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Forster family papers

Identifier: MSS 2/300

Scope and Contents

The collection contains letters sent and received, 1819-1887, by members of the Forster family of Dauphin County, Pa., particularly General John Forster (1777-1863); his second wife, Margaret S. Forster (1804-1891); Mrs. Forster's son, James H. Stuart (1828-1854); and Benjamin L. Forster, the second son of John and Margaret Forster.

Although the content of the Forster family letters is personal in nature, there are many observations concerning matters of individual and public health and homeopathic medical treatment. Of particular interest are the letters from James H. Stuart to his mother and brother, Benjamin, concerning his training and experiences as a medical student in Philadelphia and the establishment of his professional practice in Erie.


  • 1819 - 1877


Biographical / Historical

James Henry Stuart, Erie, Pa., physician, was born on 22 March 1828. His mother's second husband was General John Forster. He received an A.B. from Lafayette College in 1846 and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1850; his thesis concerned physical education. James H. Stuart opened a medical practice in Erie, then became an Assistant Surgeon in the U.S. Navy. He was a member of Commodore Matthew Perry's expedition to Japan in the 1850s and was lost at sea off the Chinese coast in September 1854.


1 Box

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The collection of Forster family letters was purchased by the Historical Collections of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia from Carmen D. Valentino through a gift of the Samuel Lewis Circle on 19 August 1993.

The letters were processed and catalogued in 1993.
Forster family papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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