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William Tully Papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 1403

Scope and Contents

The papers contain correspondence between Tully and his colleagues, primarily medical colleagues, and with the medical schools in which he taught. Also present is Tully's autograph diary covering the three months he spent studying medicine with Nathan Smith in Hanover, New Hampshire, drafts of his writings, two catalogues of his library, and a group of certificates and and diplomas he received from schools and professional societies.


  • 1806 - 1859


Language of Materials

Primarily in English with some documents in Greek.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The William Tully Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Sarah and Elizabeth Tully, 1896.


Organized into two series: I. Correspondence, 1806-1858. II. Personal Papers, 1808-1859.

Related Materials

William Tully's three Yale diplomas were removed in 1937 for the Yale Memorabilia Collection, and are in the Yale Diploma Collection (RU 150), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. His Yale College Class of 1806 class album (Vault Yb71 806t), is also in Manuscripts and Archives.


2.08 Linear Feet

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

William Tully Jr. (1785-1859)

William Tully was born at Saybrook Point, Connecticut, on November 18, 1785, the son of Colonel William Tully, and the great-grandson of John Tully, a publisher of almanacs at Saybrook in the eighteenth century. Tully entered Yale College in 1802 and graduated in 1806, after which he studied medicine with Dr. Mason Fitch Cogswell in Hartford. He was granted an A.M. degree from Yale in 1807. In 1808 and 1809 he studied with Dr. Nathan Smith at the medical school at Dartmouth College, and in 1810 with Dr. Samuel Carter in Saybrook and Dr. Eli Ives in New Haven, where he gave particular attention to botany. In October 1810 Tully was licensed to practice medicine in Connecticut. Yale awarded him an honorary M.D. in 1819, as did the Medical College of South Carolina in 1843.

Between 1810 and 1824 Tully practiced medicine in the Connecticut towns of Milford, Enfield, Cromwell, Middletown, and East Hartford, before being appointed as president and professor at the Vermont Academy of Medicine at Castleton; he remained on the faculty until 1838, though he stepped down as president in 1830.

In January 1826 Tully moved to Albany, New York, and formed a practice with Dr. Alden March, a colleague at Castleton. In September 1829 he was appointed to the faculty of medicine at Yale and moved to New Haven, although holding a dual appointment with the Vermont Academy of Medicine. In 1842 Tully resigned from the faculty at Yale, and in 1851 moved with his wife Mary Potter Tully (died 1853) to Springfield, Massachusetts. He died there on February 28, 1859, at the age of 73.

Biographical information taken from "The Peregrinating Dr. William Tully, A.M., M.D.," by H. B. Ferris, in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 5, no. 1 (October 1932), and "William Tully" in Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, volume 6 (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1885-1912), pages 68-73; the latter includes a bibliography of Tully's publications.

Processing Information

This finding aid was produced from a previously existing card set in the Manuscripts Catalog.

Former call numbers: Z117.00191, Z117.221

William Tully Papers
In Progress
by Beinecke Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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