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Edward I. Ford diaries

Identifier: BUSC-2005-001

Scope and Contents

Two diaries kept by Dr. Edward Irving Ford (1825 - 1908) of Binghamton, Broome County, New York.

The 1863 diary begins on January 1, in Binghamton. Dr. Ford chronicles his activities around Binghamton until May 4, when he leaves Binghamton “en route to Indiana to enter army as hospital surgeon.” Thereafter he describes his duties in army hospitals at New Albany, Indiana; Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri; Hospital No. 8, Nashville, Tennessee; and other locations. This diary has 180 pages and 365 entries, as well as notes and cash accounts.

The 1866 diary begins on January 1, in Hospital No. 14, Nashville, Tennessee, and, until he was mustered out in late January, the entries describe his duties in the hospital. The entries from February 15 to March 7 describe the trip from Nashville, Tennessee back to Binghamton. From March through August Dr. Ford traveled extensively through New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, continuing his daily diary entries all the while. In August he began the process of buying a drug store in Binghamton. The remainder of the diary was written in Binghamton and chronicles Dr. Ford’s daily activities at the drug store and about town. This diary has 182 pages and 365 entries, as well as notes and cash accounts.


  • 1863 - 1866


Biographical Note

Edward Irving Ford was born in Newark Valley, Tioga County, New York on June 28, 1825, the oldest son of Rev. Marcus and Clarissa (Clisbie) Ford. He entered Williams College as a sophomore in 1846 and was graduated in 1849. After several years spent teaching school, Ford began the study of medicine with doctors in Elmira and Binghamton before entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, from which he was graduated in 1860. Ford practiced medicine in Binghamton before enlisting for hospital service in May 1863. He was appointed acting assistant surgeon and assigned first to hospitals in Indiana and Missouri before being deployed to a field hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee after the Battle of Chickamauga. In 1864 he was commissioned surgeon of the 101st United States Colored Troops, and was appointed a member of the board of examiners of surgeons for the Colored Troops. He was honorably discharged in January 1866 and returned to Binghamton, where he practiced medicine and operated a drug store. In 1881 he removed to Asbury Park, New Jersey and operated a "Sea side sanatorium" until 1897, when ill health compelled his retirement and return to Binghamton.

Ford married Anna Shepard Perkins of Athens, Pennsylvania on July 16, 1851. She was also engaged in hospital work in Nashville during the Civil War. They had two daughters, both of whom died young. They raised a foster child, Jessie, who later married Frederick E. Hoover.

Ford was elected to membership of the Broome County Medical Society in 1862, and was active in the Grand Army of the Republic and the Presbyterian church.

Dr. Ford died in Binghamton on November 16, 1908. Obituaries were published in the November 17, 1908 issue of the Binghamton Press and Leader, and in the Obituary Record of the Alumni of Williams College (1886). A short biography was published in William S. Lawyer, ed. Binghamton: Its Settlement, Growth and Development (1900), pp. 421-422.


.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection includes two diaries kept by Dr. Edward Irving Ford (1825 - 1908) of Binghamton, Broome County, New York, for the years 1863 and 1866. The 1863 diary records Ford's activities in Binghamton and then his service as an army surgeon in various locations. The 1866 diary records his final month in hospital service, his journey back to Binghamton and various other travels, and his purchase of a drug store in Binghamton.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 2005.

Guide to the Edward I. Ford diaries
Originally processed 2005 by Randall Miles. Revised and updated 2023 by Jeremy Dibbell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Binghamton NY 13902 USA