William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Isaiah L. Alden Diary, 1867-1869
Richard Bates, March 2006; Naomi Herman-Aplet and Meg Hixon, October 2011
Isaiah L. Alden diary
Alden, I. L. (Isaiah Leavitt), 1846-1886
The Isaiah L. Alden diary contains the reflections of a medical student and doctor in Michigan and Maine from 1867-1869. Alden provided detailed, near daily accounts of his studies at the University of Michigan and at the Medical School of Maine (now the School of Medicine at Bowdoin College), and described his work at the U. S. Marine Hospital in Portland, Maine.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Isaiah L. Alden Diary, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
Isaiah L. Alden was born on June 8, 1846, and lived in East Turner, Maine. In 1867, he began to study medicine at the University of Michigan, but left for Portland, Maine, in March 1868, where he worked for the U. S. Marine Hospital. During a summer visit to Turner that year, Alden contracted a serious disease, and at the end of the year he quit his job at the hospital. In February 1869, he returned to school, and resumed his medical studies at the Medical School of Maine (now the School of Medicine at Bowdoin College). His health continued to deteriorate, and he was eventually diagnosed with tuberculosis. He survived and moved to Iowa to practice law, though his frail health forced a return to Livermore Falls, Maine, in the early 1870s. Alden married Dora Staples on July 24, 1871, and they had three children: Sibyl, Minnie, and Loyal. He remained in Maine until his death on July 1, 1886.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Isaiah L. Alden diary contains the reflections of a medical student and doctor in Michigan and Maine from 1867-1869. Alden provided detailed, near-daily accounts of his studies at the University of Michigan and at Bowdoin College, and described his work at the U. S. Marine Hospital in Portland, Maine.
Alden commenced the diary on December 1, 1867, while he was studying medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In his early entries, he reflected on his life as a student, and often included descriptions of lectures given by several professors at the university, as well as accounts of medical cases he saw at various clinics. He also made note of various religious meetings he attended during this time, particularly at Ann Arbor's Methodist church. Alden left Ann Arbor for his native Maine in March 1868, and began working at the U. S. Marine Hospital in Portland, Maine, shortly after his arrival in April. He continued to describe his medical work during the period, as well as a lengthy vacation he took in the summer of that year. Upon his return, he experienced chronic discomfort caused by the complications of tuberculosis, and he tried to obtain a life insurance policy in late September, but was rejected. He left the hospital, and resumed his medical education in mid-February 1869. The remainder of the diary contains accounts of his time at the Medical School of Maine (now the School of Medicine at Bowdoin College), including notes about various professors, lectures, and examinations, and about his deteriorating health. The volume's final entry is dated May 11, 1869.
- Hospitals, Naval and marine.
- Medical School of Maine.
- Medicine--United States--History--19th century.
- Portland (Me.)--History.
- University of Michigan. Dept. of Medicine and Surgery.
Additional Descriptive Data
Little, George Thomas, Henry Sweetser Burrage, and Albert Roscoe Stubbs. Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine. Vol. 4. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1909.