Welcome to the History Corner!
Celebrating the rich history of Port Byron, New York, an old Erie Canal village in the Town of Mentz. This site is dedicated to the legacy and heritage of our community as well as a variety of regional historical tidbits. I hope you enjoy your visit and will stop by again.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Our Little Woman Connection

Louisa May Alcott
Today's post is dedicated to our very own Joni Lincoln.  I never get tired of the many twists and turns from our historic past and who they connect us with.  Joni, a long time supporter of the performing arts in our community, holds a special bond with the publication of Little Woman, having directed our drama club's performances of the timeless classic.

In the Alumni directory for Bowdoin College located in the Town of Brunswick, Maine is the following entry:

ALVAN HYDE SMEDLEY, b. 6 Oct. 1835, Port Byron, NY.  Med. Sch. 1862, Physician, New York City, 1863; Boston, Mass. 1863-72, d. 10 Oct. 1872.

Dr. Smedley while practicing at Boston had a patient by the name of Amos Bronson Alcott, being none other than the father of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Woman.  In the book Little Woman Abroad: The Alcott Sisters' Letters from Europe, 1870-1871 by Louisa May Alcott, Dr. Smedley cured her father's hearing loss.


History of the Military Company of the Massachusetts Now Called the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts
1868.
page 70

Name: Alvan H. Smedley Alvan H. Smedley(1868), physician, was the proprietor of the Tremont Eye and Ear Institute, at No. 129 Tremont, corner of Winter Street. He was also the principal and consulting physician in that Institution.

He was the son of Dr. James Smedley and Lucy Bridges.  The family did not live long in New York; by 1850 they returned to Williamstown, MA where his parents are buried.

While I have always been a fan of Little Woman, I am grateful to learn we share an unexpected attachment to the Alcott family via Dr. Smedley.

1 comment:

norma miles said...

I REALLY ENJOYED READING THIS. IT IS A WONDERFUL ARTICLE !!