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Special Collections Research Center

The Jared Potter Kirtland Collection

Kelvin Smith Library: Special Collections Research Center

(1814-1956)

Biography | Scope and Content | Boxlist

Quantity: .834 linear feet

Restrictions:  The Special Collections Research Center is open to any interested researcher upon presentation of a valid CASE ID or other valid official identification card.  The Center is open to other researchers by appointment only.

Acquisition: The Jared Potter Kirtland Collection has been gathered into an artificial collection from the holdings of the Western Reserve College Library and other Case Western Reserve University predecessor libraries. 

 

Biography: Jared Potter Kirtland (1793-1877)

Dr. Jared Potter Kirtland, a man whose influence has stretched throughout the world, was born on November 10, 1793 in Wallingford, Connecticut.  Raised primarily by his grandfather, Dr. Kirtland spent his youth learning horticulture and botany before expanding his interest into the field of medicine.  In 1813, he entered the first class of the medical department of Yale College, while also receiving private lessons in botany, geology, mineralogy, and zoology.  He received his medical degree from Yale in 1815, and his highly diverse professional life began.

Dr. Kirtland commenced his career by practicing medicine in Durham, Connecticut before moving to Poland, Ohio in 1823.  There, he continued practicing medicine as well as studying natural science.  In 1828, he was elected to the House of Representatives for the state of Ohio, and served three terms.  Afterwards, he taught Theory of Medicine at Cincinnati’s Medical College of Ohio until 1841, when he left to teach the subject at Willoughby Medical College.  He departed Willoughby after one year, and in 1844, he, along with Drs. John Delamater, Horace Ackley, and John Cassals, founded the Medical Department of Western Reserve University, also known as the Cleveland Medical College.  He remained at the Medical College as a professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine until his retirement in 1864.

Jared Potter Kirtland’s life encompassed much more than teaching medicine.  Throughout his life, he shared his love of natural history and science.  He spent much of his time researching mollusks, fish, snakes, and other creatures. In 1845, he founded the Cleveland Academy of Science, which became the Kirtland Society of Natural History in 1865, forerunner of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.   He was a prolific and significant contributor to the early published record of botanical, geological and zoological literature on the Ohio valley, particularly northeast Ohio and the Lake Erie region. On his farm in Rockport, Ohio (now Lakewood) Kirtland developed a wide array of agricultural advances which he shared generously with his neighbors and the world.  He died there in 1877 leaving behind a legacy of dedication to enhancing our knowledge of mankind and the world we live in.

Scope and Content 

The Jared Potter Kirtland Collection consists mainly of manuscript works by Kirtland, biographical sketches and newspaper clippings about his life and work. The manuscript items represent a very small part of the much larger library of Jared Potter Kirtland which was placed in the custody of Western Reserve College in 1900 by his granddaughter Caroline Cutter and established as The Kirtland Collections with a unique bookplate. (Bookplate Two below).

There are three bookplates in evidence in this collection:

Bookplate One is Kirtland’s own plate, blue printed on white paper with decorative border: “No.____. Jared P. Kirtland. Cleveland, Ohio.”

Bookplate Two  is the plate created by Western Reserve University for books in the Kirtland Collections, black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.”

Bookplate Three is imprinted with the seal of Western Reserve University, black printed on white paper with double line border “Western Reserve University. University Libraries. Case Library Affiliated”

 

Box list:

 

Box

Folder

 Folder Title

1

1

A Collection of Genera of Plants Found in the Vicinity of New Haven. 1814. 189 ruled pages, handwritten in ink, numbered in his hand. Descriptions of plants observed and recorded by class and order in the style of published botanists of the day such as Amos Eaton’s (1776-1842) North American Botany.  Pages 179-181 consist of an alphabetical index to the work.  Pages 182-187 consist of an index by class [1-23].  20 x 16.5 cm., marbled boards repaired with tape.  Kirtland attended medical school at Yale in 1814-1815 and most likely created this notebook during the year he spent in New Haven, Connecticut.  

 

Bookplate: black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.”

 1

2

Three items bound together. Inscribed on frontispiece: “Scraps of Natural History. “My Notebook”” and inside back cover: “This book belongs to Dr. J.P. Kirtland & to him is of immense value – if by accident it falls into the hands of any one it would conferring a great favor on its owner by forwarding it to him.  Either at the Medical College of Ohio, 6St.  Cincinnati or to his place of residence, Cleveland Ohio. (St. Clair Street) It can be of no value to anyone except a naturalist. J.P. Kirtland Cleveland O. Oct. 10th, 1839.”

Item 1: Rafinesque, C. S. (Constantine Samuel), 1783-1840. Ichthyologia ohiensis, or Natural history of the fishes inhabiting the river Ohio and its tributary streams, preceded by a physical description of the Ohio and its branches. Lexington, Ky., Printed for the author by W. G. Hunt, 1820

Item 2: Report of the Zoology of Ohio. By Prof. J.P. Kirtland, M.D. Cincinnati, [Ohio] November 1, 1838.  From the larger publications First-[Second] annual report on the geological survey of the state of Ohio / by W. W. Mather, principal geologist, and the several assistants. Columbus : S. Medary, Printer to the state, 1838

Item 3: 52 pages (some blank) containing hand written notes in sections entitled: “Ornithology” (begins with #224, continuing where the printed report left off on p. 187 of the 1838 report; “Ichthyology” continued notations on fish in Ohio already described in 1838; “fishes figured and described in Boston Journal”; “List of species still to be figured and described. Dec, 11, 1839”; “fishes undescribed. March 20, 1840”; “Singular mortality among the fishes. Cincinnati, Jany. 13th, 1840”; “Fishes completed, brought over.”  ca.1842; “Ornithology.” continued notations on birds in Ohio already described in 1838 with dates ranging from 1839-1843; “Reptiles.” short notation made in 1841; “Coachology. List of new shells not found in my catalogue” no date; “Explanation of an Anatomy of a fish” with hand drawn illustration, no date.

Tipped in at the end are six pages of illustrations of fish; four are engraved prints [with volume and plate numbers] of drawings made by Kirtland; two are hand drawn pictures of fish and eels. no date, and a 2 pp MS “Anguilla Bostoniensis L___(?) Taken at Cleveland, in the Cuyahoga River, opposite Sanford’s Lumber yard by a German who fished it up with a hook. Presented me by Mr. Sanford. – weight lb.4 & 4 oz. Length 3 feet. Remarkable.....”

 

Bookplates: blue printed on white paper with decorative border: “No.____. Jared P. Kirtland. Cleveland, Ohio.” and, black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.”

 1

3

One of eight notebooks that may be lecture notes that Kirtland used when he served on the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (1837-1842), Willoughby University of Lake Erie (1842-1843), the Cleveland Medical College, The Medical Department of Western Reserve College (1844-1864) or possibly all three. ca.1838-1858.

 

Quarto calfskin? bound notebook, 18 ruled, handwritten pages in ink with some pencil, a medical history describing the symptoms, spread and treatment of such epidemic diseases as Cholera in North America from 1620-1856.  Labeled on front cover “I. History of the Epidemic Constitution in North America from 1620 to 1856. [continued] ca.1858. This volume is also numbered 4 in the author’s hand

 

Bookplate: black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.”

 1

4

Second of eight notebooks that may be lecture notes that Kirtland used when he served on the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (1837-1842), Willoughby University of Lake Erie (1842-1843), the Cleveland Medical College, The Medical Department of Western Reserve College (1844-1864) or possibly all three. ca.1838-1858.

 

Quarto calfskin? bound notebook,  42 ruled, handwritten pages, in ink with some pencil, describing the prognosis, causes, treatment of nine medical conditions: “I. Apoplexy continued, II. Nervous Irritation of the Brain, III. Vascular Irritation of the Brain, IV. Passive Congestion of the Brain, V. Epilepsy, VI. Catalepsy, VII. Spinal Irritation, VIII. Spinal Meningetes & Myletes, IX. Chorea.”  This volume is also numbered 23 in the author’s hand.

 

Bookplate: black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.”

 1

5

Third of eight notebooks that may be lecture notes that Kirtland used when he served on the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (1837-1842), Willoughby University of Lake Erie (1842-1843), the Cleveland Medical College, The Medical Department of Western Reserve College (1844-1864) or possibly all three. ca.1838-1858.

 

Octavo in marbled boards 52 ruled, handwritten pages in ink with some pencil, describing the pathology, symptoms, prognosis and treatment of inflammations of the nervous system. “In-(label missing)”; “1. Phrenitis”, “2. Arachnitis”, “3. Cerebritis”, “4. Inflam. of the Spinal Cord”, “5. Inflam. of the Respiratory Organs”, “6. Pleuritis”, “7. Pneumonia”, “8. Pneumonia Typhoidum”, “9. Laryngitis”, “10. Cynanche Trachealis”

Bookplates: black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.” and, black printed on white paper, imprinted with the seal of Western Reserve University, with double line border “Western Reserve University. University Libraries. Case Library Affiliated”

 1

6

Fourth of eight notebooks that may be lecture notes that Kirtland used when he served on the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (1837-1842), Willoughby University of Lake Erie (1842-1843), the Cleveland Medical College, The Medical Department of Western Reserve College (1844-1864) or possibly all three. ca.1838-1858.

 

Octavo in marbled boards 42 ruled, handwritten pages in ink with some pencil, describing the pathology, symptoms, prognosis and treatment of : “1. Phthisis Pulmonalis (continued)”, “2. Nephritis”, “3. Cystitis Acute”, “4. Cystitis Chronic”, “5. Pericarditis and Carditis”, “6. Rheumatism Acute”, “7. Rheumatism Chronic”  This volume is also numbered Vol. XIIII, XIV, 14 in the author’s hand

 

Bookplates: black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.” and, black printed on white paper, imprinted with the seal of Western Reserve University, with double line border “Western Reserve University. University Libraries. Case Library Affiliated”

 1

7

Fifth of eight notebooks that may be lecture notes that Kirtland used when he served on the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (1837-1842), Willoughby University of Lake Erie (1842-1843), the Cleveland Medical College, The Medical Department of Western Reserve College (1844-1864) or possibly all three. ca.1838-1858.

 

Octavo in marbled boards 31 ruled, handwritten pages in ink with some pencil, describing the pathology, symptoms, prognosis and treatment of: “1. Dysentery”, “2. Chronic Enteritis”, “3. Acute Peritonitis”, “4. Chronic Peritonitis”, “5. Acute Hepatitis”, “6. Chronic Hepatitis”, “7. Splenitis” Note on page two “Delivered Dec. 18th 1838”  This volume is also numbered Vol. XI 11 in the author’s hand

 

Bookplates: black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.” and, black printed on white paper, imprinted with the seal of Western Reserve University, with double line border “Western Reserve University. University Libraries. Case Library Affiliated”

 1

8

Sixth of eight notebooks that may be lecture notes that Kirtland used when he served on the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (1837-1842), Willoughby University of Lake Erie (1842-1843), the Cleveland Medical College, The Medical Department of Western Reserve College (1844-1864) or possibly all three. ca.1838-1858.

 

Octavo, in marbled boards 42 ruled, handwritten pages in ink with some pencil, describing the pathology, symptoms, prognosis and treatment of: “1. Chronic Rheumatism”, “2. Gout”, “3. Variola”, “4. Vaccina”, “5. Varioloid”, “6. Morbilli measles”, “7. Scarlatina: a. simplex b. anginosa c. maligna”  This volume is also numbered XV 15 in the author’s hand

 

Bookplates: black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.” and, black printed on white paper, imprinted with the seal of Western Reserve University, with double line border “Western Reserve University. University Libraries. Case Library Affiliated”

 1

9

Seventh of eight notebooks that may be lecture notes that Kirtland used when he served on the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (1837-1842), Willoughby University of Lake Erie (1842-1843), the Cleveland Medical College, The Medical Department of Western Reserve College (1844-1864) or possibly all three. ca.1838-1858.

 

Octavo, in marbled boards 39 ruled, handwritten pages in ink with some pencil, describing the pathology, symptoms, prognosis and treatment of: “1. Asthma”, Whooping Cough”, “3. Asphyxia”, “4. Dyspepsia”, “5. Diarrhoea”, “6. Cholera a. pituitaria b. morbidus c. asiaticus” ”  This volume is also numbered XIX 19 in the author’s hand.

 

Bookplates: black printed on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900.” and, black printed on white paper, imprinted with the seal of Western Reserve University, with double line border “Western Reserve University. University Libraries. Case Library Affiliated”

 1

10

Eighth of eight notebooks that may be lecture notes that Kirtland used when he served on the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (1837-1842), Willoughby University of Lake Erie (1842-1843), the Cleveland Medical College, The Medical Department of Western Reserve College (1844-1864) or possibly all three. ca.1838-1858.

 

Octavo, in marbled boards 39 ruled, handwritten pages in ink with some pencil, consists of two lectures; ‘The History of the Rise and Progress of Medical Science” and “The Nature of Diseased Actions”  This volume is also numbered Vol. 1st in the author’s hand. This item appears to be written in the same hand as the others and is similar in appearance but is without bookplates to establish provenance. This item has been placed in an acid free box and was a gift of Anne and Robert Levine

2

1

 ‘Williams College: August 18, 1852’ 40 lithograph portraits in one bound volume. Portraits of faculty and senior class.  A handwritten note inserted after each portrait with dates and place of birth, profession, marriage, death, and other biographical notes through 1854, possibly by Charles Pease, Jr., grandson of Jared Potter Kirtland.  Inscribed on flyleaf: Charles Pease. 

 

Bookplate: black print on buff paper with line border: “The Kirtland Collections.  From the Library of  Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Placed in the custody of Western Reserve University by his granddaughter Mrs. Caroline P. Cutter, November, 1900”

 2

2

Journal Article.

Waite, Frederick C. “Jared Potter Kirtland: Physician, Teacher, Scientist”. Bulletin of the Cleveland Academy of Medicine. July, 1930. Gift of the author

 2

3

Journal Article and newspaper clipping.

Waite, Frederick C. “Jared Potter Kirtland: Physician, Teacher, Horticulturalist, and Eminent Naturalist”. Ohio Journal of Science. Volume 30, number 3. May, 1930.  Bound with: Wilson, Ella Grant.  “ Pioneer Cleveland Doctors: Jared Potter Kirtland”. Cleveland Plain Dealer, 18 Oct., 1931

 2

4

Journal Article.

Gehr, Agnes Robbins. “Jared Potter Kirtland – 1793-1877: Physician, Eminent Naturalist, Civic Leader, Legislator, Horticulturalist, Editor, Journalist”.  The Explorer.  Volume 2, number 7. 1952.  3 copies. Gift of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

 2

5

Newspaper Clipping.

Ranney, Omar “The Sage of Rockport.”  Cleveland Press . 18, Jan. 1941: 5

 2

6

Newspaper Clippings.

“Death of Doctor Kirtland”  obituary. Publication unknown. ca. 13 Dec., 1877

 “Jared P. Kirtland, L.L. D.” obituary. Cleveland Leader. 11 Dec., 1877
“Dr. Kirtland” obituary. Cleveland Leader . 12 Dec., 1877

“Dr. Kirtland: Biographical Sketch of the Late Eminent Naturalist” Cleveland Herald. 12 Dec., 1877.
“Funeral of Dr. Kirtland” Cleveland Leader. 14 Dec, 1877
Newberry, J.S. “The Ohio Naturalist: Biographical Sketch of Prof. J.P. Kirtland Read before the National Academy of Sciences.” Cleveland Herald . 24 May, 1879: 10
Gift of Mrs. S.L.Severance

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