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Abdiel Bliss Carpenter


Abdiel Bliss Carpenter in the 1870sAbdiel Bliss Carpenter was born in Seneca, Ontario County, New York, on May 11, 1809. He was the son of Daniel and Lydia Smith Carpenter, settlers in the Finger Lakes region of central New York, who had emigrated from Attleboro, Ma. at the turn of the 19th century. Carpenter was educated at Geneva Academy in Geneva, N.Y. Although he obtained a certificate to teach in Benton, Yates County, in January 1826, he decided instead to study of medicine in a preceptorship with Dr. Anthony Gage. The following Carpenter year moved to Monroe County, where he continued his medical training in the town of Greece with Dr. M.B. Gage, a relation, perhaps, of Anthony Gage.

As was common at this period, Carpenter followed his preceptorship with formal medical training. In 1830 he enrolled in the College of Physicians & Surgeons of the Western District in Fairfield, N.Y. (commonly known as Fairfield Medical College), from which he received a diploma in 1831. That same year Carpenter purchased the medical practice of Dr. Gage in Greece, a practice that he continued for thirty-four years.

Class card of A. B. Carpenter

Class Card of A. B. Carpenter

In 1864 Carpenter resigned his medical practice to his eldest son, Abdiel Milton Carpenter, M.D. (1833-1898?), an 1857 graduate of the College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York. The elder Carpenter thenceforth devoted himself to farming (and to the sale of agricultural equipment) on the Latta Rd. property that he had acquired in Greece in the 1830s.

In 1830 Carpenter was married to Jane Louisa Rowley (d. 1859), by whom he had seven children. Two years after her death, Carpenter married Caroline E. Sperry, of Greece, by whom he had three more children. Abdiel Bliss Carpenter was paralysed by a stroke and died in Greece at the age of 88 in 1896.

The Records of Abdiel B. Carpenter, M.D. comprise fives ledgers and one box of miscellaneous documents described in the inventory that follows. These materials were donated to the Edward G. Miner Library by Mr. & Mrs. Henry L. Schoonmaker, who circa 1960 purchased the Latta Rd. house built by A.B. Carpenter.

Carpenter house

Carpenter residence in Greece, NY

Inventory of the Collection


  • Handwritten teacher’s certificate from the Inspectors of Common Schools of the town of Benton, Yates Co., N.Y., dated January 7, 1826.
  • Six class cards dated 1830-1831 from the College of Physicians & Surgeons of the Western District, Fairfield, N.Y.
  • Medical license issued by the Medical Society of the County of Herkimer (N.Y.), dated January 8, 1831.
  • Certificate from Monroe County (N.Y.) appointing Carpenter a Commissioner of Deeds for the town of Greece, October 2, 1839.
  • Certificate of membership in the Monroe County Medical Society, November 11, 1840
  • Miscellaneous receipts, 1847-1866.
  • Internal revenue licenses, 1862-1864
  • License authorizing Carpenter to sell Gero & Cooley’s Adjustable Plow Points in the towns of Webster and Irondequoit, N.Y., dated August 18, 1870.
  • Lithograph titled “Res. of Dr. A.B. Carpenter, Greece, Monroe Co., N.Y.” extracted from from W.H. McIntosh’s History of Monroe County, New York (Philadelphia: Ensign & Evarts, 1877). Includes oval portraits of Carpenter and his second wife Caroline.
  • Invitation for the wedding of Annie E. Carpenter and Walter S. Lambert on October 20, 1887.


The ledgers are arranged by name of debtor/creditor. Name indices appear in neither volume. A note on the title-leaf of Ledger B indicates that its content was “transfered [sic] to Ledger C and marked Leg. B.” The items in each debtor/creditor’s entry are made in numerical code.

  • A.B. CARPENTER’S LEGER [i.e., Ledger] B. March 1st 1835. From Day Book C. 1-179 p.; 33 x 21 cm.
  • LEDGER C.1-419 p.; 40 x 16 cm.


Entries in Carpenter’s day books were made daily. The arrangement of each day book is thus chronological. No index is present for the names of debtor/creditors in any of the daybooks. The nature of the transaction that necessitated each entry is seldom indicated. It is likely that the day books record both the medical and agricultural aspects of Carpenter’s economic activity. Payment is indicated as in cash, by note, or in kind.

The final leaves in each day book appear to record the delivery of babies performed by Carpenter. The continuation of this record in Day Book I to October 1865 would indicate that Carpenter continued at least the obstetrical part of his practice after resigning it to his eldest son in 1864. Each obstetrical entry provides the date, the mother’s name, and the gender of the child delivered. Oddly, Day Book II precedes Day Book I in the chronological record.

  • DAY BOOK G. January 28, 1841-October 31, 1848
    1-571 p. + [4] leaves for record of deliveries ; 40 x 16 cm.
  • DAY BOOK II. November 1, 1848-November 30, 1854
    1-452 p. + [3] leaves for record of deliveries ; 40 x 16 cm.
  • DAY BOOK I. December 1, 1854-November 22, 1879
    1-442 p. + [3] leaves for record of deliveries ; 40 x 16 cm.