Bard Family Papers, 1638 - 1899 5.5 linear feet
This collection documents the life and activities of members of the Bard family over the course of five generations, beginning with Peter Bard (1679-1734), and ending with John Bard (1818-1899), who founded Bard College with his wife, Margaret Johnston Bard (1825-1875). Peter Bard came to the United States in 1706 and settled in Delaware. It was here that he met Dinah Marmion, who he married in 1709 and with whom he had eight children. The eldest son, John (1716-1799), married Susanne Valleau in 1737, and together they moved to Hyde Park, New York. John became a physician and together they had six children, the most notable of whom was Dr. Samuel Bard. Samuel attended King’s college (later Columbia); was imprisoned in France during the Seven Years War; received medical training in Edinburgh; launched and served as the first president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York; and served as a professor and a Trustee of Columbia College. Samuel was a leader in American medical education. He wrote multiple medical books, and, though a Loyalist during the Revolution, served as George Washington’s personal physician. Samuel was not only a successful physician, he also accumulated large amounts of land in the Hyde Park, New York area, renting out parcels of land to tenants. He married his cousin, Mary Bard in 1770, and together they had eight children, three of whom survived to adulthood: Eliza Bard McVickar (1789-1838); William Bard (1778-1853); and Susannah Bard Johnston (1772-1845). Susannah was the eldest daughter of Samuel and Mary. In 1792, she married John Johnstone. Together, Susannah and John had twelve children. Their eldest son, Francis Upton Johnston (1796-1858) studied under his grandfather, Dr. Samuel Bard, attending the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and later was the attending physician at the New York Hospital. This collection contains correspondence documenting family matters, illness, local news, thoughts on religion and books, and academic and professional concerns. Materials also document the business and professional affairs of the family, including deeds of land, leases and indentures, three manuscript volumes containing the text of lectures on natural philosophy delivered by Samuel Bard to students at Columbia College. Also included are several portraits of family members, multiple wills, two framed copies of a genealogical chart, documents about the founding of St. Stephen's College in 1860, and a bound manuscript of family recipes titled "Receipt Book."