Philip Turner papers, 1751-1858, 1881 and undated 6 Linear Feet
The Philip Turner Papers Collection spans from 1751 to 1858 and contains correspondence, military hospital returns, printed material, a logbook, and ledgers documenting Philip Turner's career as a surgeon in private practice in Norwich, Connecticut and New York, New York, in the Continental Army, and in the United States Army. Turner served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, during which he was stationed at Fort Columbus, New York. Included are an extensive collection of military hospital returns from the Eastern Department of the Continental Army describing the state of the Army's sick and wounded and spanning the years 1777 to 1780. Also included is correspondence with George Washington, Tench Coxe, and William Eustis about the procurement of medical supplies and the organization of the Army's medical department during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. After the Revolutionary War, Turner felt that he had not received due compensation for his service, and the collection contains extensive correspondence relating to the decades-long effort of Turner and his heirs to receive this compensation from Congress. This correspondence includes letters to and from Thomas Jefferson, Henry Dearborn, John Morgan, William Shippen, and other prominent Americans. Additional correspondence, especially with Daniel Parker, Chief Clerk of the War Department, documents Turner's efforts to secure a commission during the War of 1812.
Also included in the collection are correspondence, financial and legal papers, and poetry relating to Turner's family. The majority of this series is addressed to or stems from John Turner and Nancy Turner, two of Philip Turner's children. Correspondents represented include Judith Sargent Murray, American essayist and advocate for women's rights, and her husband, John Murray. Some of the material is related to the efforts of John Turner and John Turner Wait (Philip Turner's grandson) to receive compensation for Turner's Revolutionary War service. The collection also includes a small hide-covered trunk bearing the initials A.T., possibly belonging to Turner's mother Ann.
Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.