1843: Nathan Staples Pike to Dr. Gunning S. Bedford

Dr. Nathan Staples Pike

This letter was written by Dr. Nathan Staples Pike (1819-1867), the son of Isaac Pike (1770-1842) and Rebecca Briggs (1791-1867). He graduated from the New York University medical school in 1843. He married Jane Frances Perkins (1828-1904) of Sterling, CT, in 1853. She was the daughter of Obed Perkins and Rachel McGregor.

Gunning S. Bedford (1806-1870) was a medical writer, teacher and founder of the United States’ first obstetrical clinic for those too poor to pay a doctor’s fee. Dr. Bedford graduated in 1825 at Mount Saint Mary’s University (then Mount Saint Mary’s College), Emmitsburg, Maryland, and took his medical degree from Rutgers College. He spent two years studying abroad and in 1833 became professor of obstetrics in Charleston Medical College. After this he became a professor in the Albany Medical College.

He later founded the University Medical College in which he established an obstetrical clinic for those too poor to afford a doctor which was the first of in the United States. He retired from teaching for health reasons in 1862 and he died in 1870. His funeral panegyric was preached by Archbishop John McCloskey a fellow student at Mount St. Mary’s.

Two books written by him, “Diseases of Women” and “Practice of Obstetrics” went through a number of editions, were translated into French and German and adopted as textbooks in American schools.

Stampless Cover



Addressed to Gunning S. Bedford, M.D., Professor at the University of New York, New York [City]

Sterling [Connecticut]
March the 1st. 1843

Proff. Bedford,
Dear Sir,

I take this opportunity to inform you that I am in the land of the living & about to ask of you for information about a patient that was confined with her first child a few days ago & she was unfortunate enough to have a laceration of her perineum from the posterior commissure to the rectum. She is in other respects very well indeed except her bowels being rather costive. In consequence of the laceration, she is put in severe pain at every evacuation of the bowels and is unable to sit up at all. If you will give me your treatment in such cases you will do me a favor.

I am located in Sterling with a tolerable prospect for business. Henry Hubbard, a fellow student of mine, has just called on me & he says he thinks you are you are [a] set of fine felllows there at that New York University & thinks that he shall attend his second course & graduate there. If you have a social festival at the close of this session of lectures as you did at the time I graduated, please offer for me this sentiment, viz:

“The New York University — may her second accouchement be as successful and her progeny as numerous as the first, & may her after pains not require the use of anodyne.”

Please write immedate on the receipt of this. — Nathan S. Pike

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Spared & Shared 21

Saving history one letter at a time.

Spared & Shared 20

Saving history one letter at a time

Notes on Western Scenery, Manners, &c.

by Washington Marlatt, 1848

Spared & Shared 19

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Recollections of Army Life

by Charles A. Frey

The Civil War Letters of William Kennedy

Co. B, 91st New York Infantry

The Glorious Dead

Letters from the 23rd Illinois Infantry, the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, the 64th New York Infantry, and the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Cornelius Van Houten

1st New Jersey Light Artillery

Letters of Charley Howe

36th Massachusetts Volunteers

Sgt. Major Fayette Lacey

Co. B, 37th Illinois Volunteers

"These few lines"

the pocket memorandum of Alexander C. Taggart

The Civil War Letters of Will Dunn

Co. F, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Henry McGrath Cannon

Co. A, 124th New York Infantry & Co. B, 16th New York Cavalry

Civil War Letters of Frederick Warren Holmes

Co. H, 77th Illinois Volunteers

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

Building Bluemont

The Origin of Bluemont Central College

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

%d bloggers like this: