Overview: Physician who practiced in Upton, Massachusetts. Ledger includes two-column account entries mentioning the services he performed (such as the extraction of teeth, vaccination, and childbirth), the medicines he prescribed, and patients' (primarily women and families) accounts, which were often settled in cash or promissory notes. Also contains notation of his work presumably for the town's poor and a loose livery stable bill.

R.N. Lambert Ledger

1 volume (0.25 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 256
Special Collections & University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries
154 Hicks Way | Amherst, Mass. 01003-9275 | scua@library.umass.edu | 413-545-2780

Contents of Collection

This ledger documents the medical practice of Dr. R.N. Lambert in Upton, Massachusetts for the years 1829 to 1834. The length of each account entry varies, from a few lines to several pages. The accounts are two-column, with debits and credits probably carried from a daybook. Almost all were balanced and settled at some point. Lambert apparently preferred to settle in cash or promissory notes. A few entries listed goods or services. Credits included sewing, livery work, and payment in grains.

The ledger contains a loose livery stable bill and some scraps of paper, but no personal notations (although one entry implies Lambert boarded with Harvey Bradish). Most of Lambert's entries were simply for "journey, visit, medicine." Other frequent entries include extraction of teeth, vaccination, venesection (bleeding), and childbirth. He prescribed a variety of medicines, from castor oil and camphor to opium and sulpher quinine.

Lambert's accounts indicate he kept a busy family practice with members of the Bradish, Fisk, Putnam, and Rockwood families as regular patients. A separate account listed his work for Upton, presumably for the town's poor. In addition, many of his patients were women, with accounts listed under women's names directly (compared with married women whose accounts are listed among their husband's).

Administrative information


The collection is open for research.




Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Lisa May, July 1989.


Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: R.N. Lambert Ledger (MS 256). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms


  • Childbirth--Massachusetts--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Medicine--Practice--Massachusetts--Upton--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Phlebotomy--Massachusetts--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Physicians--Massachusetts--Upton--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Poor--Medical care--Massachusetts--Upton--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Teeth--Extraction--Massachusetts--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Therapeutics--Massachusetts--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Upton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Vaccination--Massachusetts--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Women's health services--Massachusetts--Upton--History--19th century--Sources.


  • Bradish family.
  • Fisk family.
  • Lambert, R. N.
  • Putnam family.
  • Rockwood family.

Genre terms

  • Account books.