Monday, May 21, 2012

1868 Letter - The Barden Family: Father and Son Homeopaths

 Here is an 1868 letter in my collection with the letterhead of "Ofice and Pharmacy of Barden's Condensed Family Specifics" in Penn Yan, New York.

The letter is addressed to Dr. W. W. Barden ("Dear Sir and Son") fom Henry Barden (the father).

In the letter, Henry Barden writes:

I have the honor to inform you that a Resolution has passed the Propietor and Board of Directors appointing you to the Chair of Pharmacy and Corresponding Sec[re]t[ar]y of The American System for the Promotion of Health and Sanguinity.  Believing the Institution needs your aid and support it is hoped you will not dlay an answer accepting your appointment.

First - I love that name: The American System for the Promotion of Health and Sanguinity!

The father adds that "The business is daily expanding...and absolutely needs more help...you can do more good to humanity and get better paid than in any other Professorship."

I was very happy to add this letter to my collection because it compliments another letter which I have in my collection which I posted previously (here).  That post - "1862 Letter Between Patent/Homeopathic Medicine Dealers" - featured a letter from a ""Mrs. E. R. Benton" - a patent/homeopathic medicine dealer in Cleveland, Ohio - to an "H. Bardin, M.D." - a patent medicine supplier in Penn Yan, NY."  In that post I noted I found some information on Mrs. Benton but not on "H. Bardin."

This 1868 letter solves that "mystery": it's H. Barden, not H. Bardin...and that makes ALL the difference!

There is in fact a LOT of information on Henry Barden and his son!

As I've noted before (here) one of my favorite sources on this topic is An Annotated Catalogue of the Edward C. Atwater Collection of American Popular Medicine and Health Reform (multiple volumes, 2001-).  You can also search a catalog of the Atwater collection via the Rare Books & Serial Department of the Edward G. Miner Library of the University of Rochester (NY) Medical Center (here).

Indeed, the Atwater collection has several entries for the Bardens.  Even better, though, the Smithsonian Institution holds the "Barden Family Papers" (here), which includes family and business correspondence.  I was also able to locate some additional biographical information in Yates County (NY) histories.

The elder Barden died in 1871, but the son, W. W. Barden, coninued the business as witnessed in this newspaper advertisment from 1883:


















1 comment:

Mark Noce said...

Neat to see how the mind has healing properties as well...in a way;)