Physician who worked in and around Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Single volume includes lists of patients, prescriptions, inoculated children, and a record of deaths.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Thomas Bucklin
Thomas Bucklin practiced medicine in and around Hopkinton, Massachusetts, for twenty-three years. Born in 1771, he married Sarah Claflin in 1799. The couple had one surviving child, Mary (b. 1799). By 1820 Bucklin had established a practice in Hopkinton. He stopped working only a month before his death of consumption in 1843, aged 71.
Contents of Collection
This single-volume daybook covers the years 1841-1843. The accounts are chronological, listed under a date heading. The pages are unnumbered.
Bucklin had a busy family practice in Hopkinton, and in nearby towns such as Milford, Unionville, and Holliston. The entries in the volume are brief and in a medical shorthand. Most simply noted "visit and medicine." Frequent cases involved childbirth, broken bones, extraction of teeth, venesection (bleeding), and insertion of catheters. Some of the accounts were marked paid, which may indicate that they were settled at the time of the visit. However, Bucklin did not note what means were used in payment. On the whole, there are almost no credit entries in this volume. They were probably recorded in a final ledger. Besides his medical services, Bucklin also lent money to patients and sold hay, potatoes, apples, and pork.
Frequent patients included members of the Bowker, Bullard, McFarland and Phipps families, as well as the prominent Claflin and Rockwood families. A few, presumably independent women appeared under their own names, but most were listed as wives or widows. Several patients were specifically labeled "Irish," probably farm laborers or workers in the town's developing shoe industry. Besides his regular patients, on occasion Bucklin also treated animals.
There are several interesting items scattered through the volume. The first pages contain prescriptions, some for specific patients and some Bucklin borrowed from other doctors. He also kept a record of deaths in Hopkinton for 1841-1843, with the age of the deceased and cause of death. In the last pages there is a list of children inoculated for kine or cow pox, an early form of vaccination for smallpox. Bucklin also made brief personal notations in the margins of the book, noting holidays, weather conditions, and trips (including one to Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York).
Acquired from: Charles Apfelbaum.
Processed by Lisa May, August 1989.
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cite as: Thomas Bucklin Daybook (MS 260). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.