SCUA

Morton, Cyrus

Cyrus Morton Account Book, 1828-1838.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 185 bd

The physician Cyrus Morton, (1797-1873) came from a notable medical family from Plymouth County, Mass. His father Nathaniel and son Thomas were both physicians, and his sister-in-law, Julia A.W. (Drew) Winslow was one of the first female medical doctors in the Commonwealth. Morton’s second wife, Lydia Hall (Drew) Morton, was one of the first teachers at the Perkins School for the Blind, and a member of the first graduating class of the Lexington Normal School. Morton died in Halifax on May 18, 1873.

Morton’s account book contains records of frequent visits to his patients, dispensing medicine, his fees and receipts for payment (often received in kind as pigs, fish, beef, hay, wood, the use of a horse, spinning done by widows or wives, digging a well, carpentry, etc.), and a copy of a prayer in Morton’s hand. Among Morton’s patients were Timothy Wood, Stafford Sturtevant, Jacob Thompson, Capts. Knapp and Cushman, and Cyrus Munroe.

Biographical Note

On January 14, 1797, Cyrus Morton was born into a notable medical family from Plymouth County, Mass. His father Nathaniel and son Thomas were both physicians, and his sister-in-law, Julia A.W. (Drew) Winslow was one of the first female medical doctors in the Commonwealth. Mortons second wife, Lydia Hall (Drew) Morton, was one of the first teachers at the Perkins School for the Blind, and a member of the first graduating class of the Lexington Normal School.

After receiving his medical degree from Brown University in 1820, Morton practiced for many years in Halifax. A generalist, Morton visited patients in wide area including not only Halifax, but Plymouth, Middleboro, Hanson, Bridgewater, and Duxbury. He continued to practice up until his death in Halifax on May 18, 1873.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Dating from the years 1828-1838, Cyrus Morton’s account book is the third of several kept by the physician. It includes careful records of visits to his numerous patients, sometimes every day in times of need, and records of dispensing medicine. Tucked inside the book is a prayer in Morton’s hand asking, “Is the love of God the governing principle of my life?”

The volume records the dates and fees for visits for each patient, but rarely specifies the illness treated or medicine dispensed, with only a few exceptions (e.g., extracting teeth, “delivering your wife”). Payment frequently came in the form of goods and services: pigs, fish, beef, hay, wood, the use of a horse, spinning done by widows or wives, digging a well, carpentry, etc. Among Morton’s patients were Timothy Wood, Stafford Sturtevant, Jacob Thompson, Capts. Knapp and Cushman, and Cyrus Munroe.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Cyrus Morton Account Book (MS 185bd). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Kimberley Foster, 2003.


Additional Information

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Language
English.

Related Materials

See also the account books of a contemporary and fellow medical graduate of Brown, Amory Gale (MS 259bd).

Subjects

  • Halifax (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th centur
  • Physicians--Massachusetts--Halifax--19th century

Contributors

  • Morton, Cyrus, 1797-1873

Types of material

  • Account books
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