For the next several weeks, we will recount Doc’s base ball (yes, it was two words when Doc played) biography to provide more information to those who may wonder who this 19th century Doctor was and why it is unconscionable that he is not being considered for enshrinement in baseball’s “hallowed hall”.
Before we get into his base ball career next week, we’ll describe his early life in his post.
Daniel Lucius Adams was born in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire on November 1, 1814 to Dr. Daniel Adams MD and Nancy Mulliken.
It is not known where Doc received his earliest schooling but by 1827, at age 12, Doc was enrolled and boarded at the Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire. By late 1828 (or early ’29) he was attending the Mt. Pleasant Institution in Amherst, Massachusetts.
In 1830, Doc enrolled in Amherst College. In 1833, he transferred to Yale College from which he graduated in 1835. Later that year, Doc entered Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1838. It was at Harvard that Doc made the acquaintance of Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.) where they roomed at the same boarding house.
It was at Mt. Pleasant and Amherst that Doc made the acquaintance of Henry Ward Beecher* with whom, in later years according to oft-repeated family stories, he played flute duets in New York City. Beecher was two years ahead of Doc at both schools and both played the flute; these facts are confirmed. But attempts to substantiate the duets have been unsuccessful. Beecher was a famous abolitionist and pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn during most of Doc’s New York years. Considering Doc’s strict Congregational upbringing and his father’s regular urgings for Doc to be part of the various religious revivals (particularly in the 1850’s), it is likely the acquaintance was renewed during their overlapping residence in those two cities.
In 1839/40, Doc moved to New York City and began to play base ball** with the New York Base Ball Club. He also set up his medical practice and was appointed a vaccine physician for the City (for which he was paid $400 a year). He also volunteered his medical services at the New York Infirmary for the Poor.
*a brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe
**two words in the 19th Century
This is part 1 of a 6-part series.