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he determined to remove to that city, which he did in 1746. He took this step by the advice, and upon the recommendation of Dr. Franklin. This recommendation is contained in the concluding paragraph of a letter,* from Franklin to Cadwallader Colden.f of New York, dated Philadelphia, November 28, 1745:
"I have a friend gone to New York with a view of
Your most humble servant,
An estimate of Dr. Bard's character is as follows: "Dr. John Bard, a man who will not be quickly forgotten where he was once known: in whom native taste and talent made up so fully for the deficiencies of early education, that he was the intimate friend and favourite companion of the few literary men of his period; and in whose manners and conversation, frankness and courtly urbanity were so happily blended, that wherever he went he softened hostility, conciliated good will, and turned accidental acquaintance into personal and warm friendship. This latter talent was accidentally put to the proof in his removal from Philadelphia to the city of New York, which took place in the year 1746, when his eldest son, * * * *, was in his 4th year. The anecdote was taken from the recital of one of the company present. A convivial club of gentlemen had just met at a public house, which, in those days of greater hilarity, was the usual place of entertainment, when the landlord proposed adding to their table a young physician, just arrived from Philadelphia, whom he could not otherwise conveniently accomodate; he was accordingly introduced, an unexpected, if not an unwelcome guest. Whatever may have been the preposessions against him, they were not of long duration. His countenance was engaging, his manners courteous, his conversation attractive, but above all, his wit and good humour, to such a party, were irresistable. The evening and the night were added to the day: they parted, at length, mutually well pleased; and in this festive circle Dr. Bard found his earliest patrons, and warmest, and most lasting friends."
These traits of Dr. Bard became an effectual recommendation to the notice and friendship of the most respectable families in New York, so that he was introduced almost immediately into a valuable business, and soon arrived at the first rank of his profession. This friendship and eminence he kept throughout his long life and career.
"In the year 1750, Dr. Bard assisted Dr. Middleton in the first dissection of a
* "Jared Sparks' Works on Franklin," Vol. VI, p. 70. Cadwallader Golden, physician, naturalist and philosopher, was the son of Reverend Alexander' s Dunse in Scotland, where he was born February 17, 1688. In 1705, he completed his collegiate studies at Edinburgh; the foundations of his liberal education having been first laid by his father. He devoted his time to medicine until 1708, and about 1710 came to America, and practiced there until 1715, when he returned to England. In 1718, Dr. Colden settled in New York, and after relinquishing his profession, became a public character: he held in succession the office of Surveyor-General of the Province, Master in Chancery, Member of the Council, and Lieutenant-Governor in 1761. He died September 28, 1776, in his eighty-ninth year, a few hours before the City of New York was in flames. He was a particular and intimate correspondent of Dr. Benjamin Franklin.—From "American Med. and Philos. Register" Vol. I.
t McVickars "Life of Samuel Bard," p. 7.
human subject in America of which we have any record."* This was upon the body of Hermannus Carrol, an executed murderer. "About the year 1759, the city of New York was alarmed by the arrival of a ship from Amsterdam, freighted for the transportation of Palatines, among whom a malignant fever had broken out during the passage, and destroyed a great number. On this occasion Dr. Bard was employed by the corporation, to take proper measures to prevent the disease from spreading. The sick were quartered at a distance from the city; but notwithstanding every attention, many of the passengers perished; and, although the disease was confined within the limits of the hospital, it was communicated to every nurse and assistant, Dr. Bard only escaping. He immediately drew up a memorial, in which he represented the expediency of providing a pest house against similar occasions, which was immediately effected, by the purchase of Bedlow's Island and the buildings upon it; the care of which, with the appointment of health officer, was given to him. He was likewise appointed surgeon and agent for the sick and wounded seamen of the British navy at New York, "f
At the time of the Revolution, Dr. Bard was living upon his estate at Hyde Park, N. Y., but after peace was declared, in 1783, returned to New York and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1788 he became the first President of the New York Medical Society. When the yellow fever raged in the city, in 1795, though nearly eighty years of age, he remained at his post, but gave up practice in May, 1798, and removed to his residence at Hyde Park, near Poughkeepsie.
Dr. John Bard died at Hyde Park, N. Y., March 30, 1799. "The afternoon which preceded his fatal attack was passed by the father at his son's house. He came, as usual, attended by his servant, [bearing before him two bottles of water from his own favourite spring, with which he contended, with an old man's partiality, none could compare,] occupied, as he was wont, his high backed elbow-chair, and was more than usual the delight and admiration of the family circle. As he sat looking at the brilliancy of the setting sun, the glories of creation seemed to remind him of his own sources of happiness; and he suddenly exclaimed, 'I think I am the happiest old man living.' "§ His son, Dr. Samuel Bard, gives this account of his father's death: "I write to you my dear friends, from the sick chamber of our revered parent, who is in a situation which fills us with the greatest apprehensions for his life. On Friday morning [having parted from us the night before in remarkably good health and spirits,] his servant found that on awaking he spoke incoherently; he, however, attempted to rise, but returned to bed before
* See "Thatcher's Medical Biography." t See "Thatcher's Medical Biography."
t Dr. Bard's mansion at Hyde Park on the Hudson, built by him in 1772, is at present owned by Frederick W. Vanderbilt. Mr. Edward Braman states that "the patent of Hyde Park was the con tract to be settled in this part of Dutchess Co. the owners being absentees, owning other tracts, which, being nearer to New York absorbed their attention, as I suppose. The military road from New York to Albany (now called the Post Road) ran through it, and this part was known as the 'long woods.' It was probably about 1762 that Dr. John Bard began settling the patent. By the 'Life of Bard ' it seems that Dr. John was engaged in building here in 1762 and in 1772. The first I think was at the river, at 'Band's Rock,' where it is said there was a store house; and a dwelling; the latter taken down by Dr. Hosack, 1825 to 1830, but no old people whom I asked long ago remembered the store house. The building in 1772, I suppose, was the residence of Dr. John Bard on the Post Road, built just far enough back to miss the fine view of the river, but escaping the full force of the winter winds. In i768 he sold a farm, about a mile and a half north, to a man whose great grd son now owns it; it never having passed out of that family. In 1776 he sold other farms, and others at different dates." Thefollowing letter, written at this period, and found in Peter Force's "American Archives." 5 S., Vol. Ill, p. l0.-l0, is a matter of interest:
"Hyde Park, December 1, 1776
To Colonel Pierre Cortlandt, Vice President of the honorable the Convention of the State of New York." § McVickar's "Life of Samuel Bard," p. 162.
he left the chamber. On arriving I found him with symptoms that indicated an approaching palsy, his ideas incoherent, and his articulation very bad; so that, at his age, I dare not encourage either myself or you with any hopes of his recovery. Our consolation is that he suffers no pain, lying, for the most part, in a sweet sleep, except when we arouse him to take a little nourishment; and farther, that no one circumstance is wanting, which can either alleviate uneasiness, or add in the smallest degree, to his comfort; and that his enjoyment of life, to the last moment was such as to be the continued theme of his discourse, and of gratitude to Almighty God."* In this comatose condition Dr. Bard passed away. He was buried in St. James' Churchyard, Hyde Park, N. Y., and on the wall of the church was placed the following: "This tablet recalls to the affectionate recollection of his family, friends, and neighbours, doctor john Bard. Pious, just, and benevolent, the longer he lived the more he was beloved, and through the various events of 83 years was always more esteemed the better he was known. Ob. 30. March 1799."f
1. Samuel Bard
Samuel, a son of Suzanne Valleau and John Bard, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., April 1, 1742; and baptised at Christ Church, that city, April 26, 1742. He married his cousin, Mary Bard, May 14, 177o.J She was born June 18, 1746, and baptised at Christ Church, Philadelphia, Pa., July 18, 1746. They had ten children, viz.: Susannah, John, Mary, William, Harriet, Sarah, Harriet, and, Eliza, and two others, names unknown, who died young.
Samuel Bard, when a boy, became a pupil at the grammar school of Mr. Smith in New York. "He was regarded at school 'as a quick, industrious and amiable child': and of the opinion entertained of his ability at home, the different treatment of him and his brother, prescribed to the master by their observant mother, affords a simple, but strong proof, 'if Peter,' said she, 'does not know his lesson, excuse him—if Sam, punish him, for he can learn at will.' "§
"When about the age of fourteen, his constitution, which from infancy had been feeble, received so severe a shock by a continued fever, that his father judged it prudent to remove him for a time, both from the city, and his studies. He accordingly passed the ensuing summer at Coldenham, in the family of one of his father's most intimate friends, Cadwallader Colden, lieutenant-governor of the province.'' || Here, under the instruction of Miss Colden, he became skillful in botanizing, and with the knowledge gained abroad on the subject, acquired such a taste for horticultural and agricultural pursuits that he devoted almost his entire time to them when, by reason of old age, he retired to Hyde Park.
With his health improved by this visit, a mind enlarged by new studies, and manners formed by an early intercourse with the best society, he returned to New York, and entered upon the severe duties of the classical course at Kings, now Columbia College; his father placing him as a private pupil in the family of the Reverend Leonard Cutting, a tutor in that department of the institution.
At the age of nineteen, after much anxious preparation, he bade adieu to his native'country, with a mind stored with such learning as the colonies afforded. The University of Edinburgh was his destination, he having decided to study medi
* McVickar's "Life of Samuel Bard," p. 162.
t Vol. 4, "Collection of Epitaphs," 1814, by Reverend Timothy Alden. t Marriage recorded at Trinity Church, New York City.
§ McVickar's "Life of Samuel Bard," p. 7, from which Work the various statements of this Biography have been chiefly compiled. II McVickar, p. 9.