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1864 Medical Diploma From Bellevue Hospital Medical College
Signed By The Faculty

Bellevue Hospital Medical College was founded in 1861 and was the 1st medical college in New York with connections to a hospital. The college was responsible for training surgeons for the Civil War. At that time the length of time it took to receive a medical degree was two years. The faculty at the college were responsible for many of the manuals used in Civil War medicine. Listed below are the faculty members in 1864:

  • Frank Hastings Hamilton: Professor of Principles of Surgery and Military Surgery, with Fractures and Dislocations
  • James R. Wood: Professor of Operative Surgery and Surgical Pathology.
  • Alexander B. Mott: Professor of Surgical Anatomy.
  • Lewis A Sayre: Professor of Orthopedic Surgery.
  • Isaac E. Taylor, George T. Elliot, Fordyce Barker: Professors of Obstetrics.
  • Benjamin W. McCready: Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics.
  • Stephen Smith: Professor of Descriptive and Comparative Anatomy.
  • Austin Flint: Professor of the Principles and Practice of Medicine.
  • R. Ogden Doremus: Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology.
  • Austin Flint Jr.: Professor of Physiology and Microscopic Anatomy

  • The diploma is housed in the original leather tube that is stamped in gilt with the name of Franklin Booth and Bellevue Hospital Medical College, 1864.

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    More about the signers of the diploma:

    The signatures on this diploma represent some of the great medical men who participated in the Civil War in some capacity. Frank Hastings Hamilton was a well known military surgeon who not only was a field surgeon but also an instructor in military surgery. Frank Hamilton was also co-founder of the Bellevue Hospital Medical College. Some of the civil war medical books that he wrote are:
    A Practical Treatise on Fractures and Dislocations, 1860, 1863.
    A Practial Treatise on Military Surgery, 1861.
    A Practical Treatise on Military Surgery and Hygiene, 1865.

    Another well known military surgeon that signed this document is Stephen Smith. Dr. Smith wrote one of the most widely used Civil War surgical manuals, Handbook of Surgical Operations, that went through many editions during the war. A U.S.A. Hosp. Dept. marked copy of this civil war medical book can be found on this site.

    Austin Flint Sr. was a leading physician of his time and pioneered the diagnosis of heart ailments. Pictured below is a certificate of private instruction in Auscultation and Percussion belonging to Franklin Booth. The certificate was awarded to Dr. Booth by Austin Flint Sr. for completing a 20 day course on the subject. It is also signed by Dr. Flint Sr.

    Austin Flint Auscultation Percussion

    Alexander Mott was the son of famous surgeon Valentine Mott and co-founder of the Bellevue Hospital Medical College.

    Fordyce Barker was physician to Union General Ulysses S. Grant during his last days.

    Dr. Doremus, along with another physician, patented a firearm cartridge in 1861. The cartridge was made by creating a black powder cake and placing a bullet on top of the cake.

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