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Benjamin Lincoln Collection

Call Number: Ms Coll 33

Scope and Contents

Papers include letters by Benjamin Lincoln to his family, 1819-1834; a journal of his travel to New Orleans and journal of a geological and natural history voyage to New Brunswick; ephemera from his student period at Bowdoin and from Burlington, Vermont; four letters on medical education published in the Burlington Sentinel; copies or drafts of letters and other writings on slavery and other issues by Thomas Lincoln; photographs of the descendents of Theodore Lincoln and of the family home in Dennysville, Maine; pamphlets; and a copy of the Centennial commemoration of the settlement of Dennyville, Maine, 1886, with genealogical information on the Lincoln family. A lengthy letter by Edmund Lincoln, son of Thomas Lincoln, described his travel to Japan in 1896.


  • 1816-1944
  • Majority of material found within 1819 - 1896


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Yale does not own copyright.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased, 2011.


Organized into two series: 1. Benjamin Lincoln. 2. Thomas Lincoln and the Lincoln family.

Associated Materials

Papers of Benjamin Lincoln, 1823-1835, Countway Library, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Benjamin Lincoln, physician, anatomist, and medical educator, taught anatomy and dissection at the University of Vermont. Papers include family correspondence, two journals of travel to New Orleans and to New Brunswick, circulars, publications in the Burlington Sentinel, ephemera, and photographs, letters, pamphlets, and ephmera by or related to members of the Lincoln family.

Biographical / Historical

Benjamin Lincoln, physician, anatomist, and medical educator, was born in Dennsyville, Maine on October 11, 1802, the son of Theodore Lincoln, a judge and founding settler of Dennysville, and Hannah (Mayhew) Lincoln. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1823. In the period 1825-1827, he spent part of his time in Boston studying medicine under George Cheyne Shattuck and attending selected courses at Harvard Medical School. In 1825-1826, he accompanied an ailing friend, Dr. Henry Little, to New Orleans for Little's health. He received his M.D. from Bowdoin in 1827, after which he began practice in Boston. He was invited to teach the course on anatomy at the University of Vermont in 1828 and was named professor the following year. At the invitation of Nathan Ryno Smith, he taught at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1831. Lincoln was a medical reformer who wanted to upgrade standards for admission to medical schools and graduation from them. He became embroiled in an acrimonious controversy over medical education with Dr. Theodore Woodward, Dean of Castleton Medical College in Castleton, Vermont, detailed in two pamphlets Lincoln published in 1833. He published at least four additional pieces on medical education in the Burlington Sentinel in 1834. Long suffering from rheumatism and by 1833 from tuberculosis, Lincoln left Burlington in 1834 to return to his family in Dennysville, where he died on February 26, 1835.

Thomas Lincoln, born in 1812 in Dennsyville, Maine, was the youngest son of Theodore Lincoln. In 1829 he aided his brother Benjamin Lincoln with making anatomical preparations for medical education in Burlington, Vermont. In 1833, he accompanied John James Audubon to Labrador. The Lincoln's sparrow, located and shot on this trip by Lincoln, was named by Audubon for him. He attended the Medical School of Maine at Bowdoin College in 1830 but did not complete an M.D. there. Independently wealthy, Thomas Lincoln oversaw the farm on the family estate in Dennysville until his death in 1883. His sons were Dr. Arthur Talbot Lincoln and Edmund Lincoln.

Custodial History

Collection is from the family archive, passed down through Edmund Lincoln and Dr. Thomas R. Lincoln, sons of Benjamin Lincoln's brother Thomas Lincoln.

Guide to the Benjamin Lincoln Collection
Finding aid by Toby A. Appel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Repository

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