American Medical Biographies/Alden, Ebenezer

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Alden, Ebenezer (1788–1881)

Dr. Alden, medical biographer, was born at Randolph, Massachusetts, March 17, 1788. He was descended through both father (Dr. Ebenezer Alden) and mother (Sarah Bass) directly from John Alden of the Mayflower.

He graduated from Harvard College in 1808 and received his M. B. from Dartmouth Medical School in 1811 and M. D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1812, during his pupilage coming under the instruction of Nathan Smith, Rush, Barton and Wistar. He settled as a physician in his native town where he passed his entire life.

From 1837 to near the close of life he was a trustee of Phillips Academy and Andover Theological Seminary. He was also a trustee of Amherst College and was one of the original trustees of Thayer Academy of Braintree.

In 1818 he married Anne, daughter of Capt. Edmund Kimball, of Newburyport, and had six children. He was totally blind for the last five or six years of his life.

Some of his writings are: "The Early History of the Medical Profession in the County of Norfolk," May 10, 1853, Boston, 1853; "Memoir of Bartholomew Brown, Esquire," Randolph, 1862; "Memorial of the Descendants of the Hon. John Alden," 1867, p. 184, "Notice of the Founders of the Massachusetts Medical Society" and "Historical Sketch of the Origin and Progress of the Massachusetts Medical Society," 1839.

Dr. Alden was a bibliophile and built up a private library of rare books and pamphlets, especially those appertaining to the Civil War and the ecclesiastical history of New England. He had a strong love for antiquarian and genealogical pursuits, joining the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1846, the year after its organization. As a lecturer on temperance he was well known and equally as a singer. Even when eighty-one years old he made one of the great chorus of the National Peace Jubilee in Boston, in 1869.

Dr. Alden died at his home in Randolph, January 26, 1881, aged ninety-three. There is a portrait in the New England Historic Genealogical Register, 1881, p. 213.