Philip Turner (1740-1815) was a noted surgeon from Norwich, Connecticut, where he trained under his foster father, Dr. Elisha Tracy. He served with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, holding the position of Surgeon General of the Eastern Department. After the Revolutionary War, Turner returned to private practice in Norwich, and moved to New York in 1800. He also served as an army surgeon during the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and the War of 1812, when he was stationed at Fort Columbus on Governor's Island, New York. Turner died in 1815.
Philip and Lucy Turner had seven children, two of whom appear as authors of material in the collection. John Turner (1764-1837) was also a doctor in Norwich, Connecticut. Nancy Turner married Marvin Wait in 1810, and had a son, John Turner Wait (1811-1899), who served as a U.S. Representative from Connecticut and also authored material in the collection.
Feb. 25, 1740:
Philip Turner born in Norwich, Connecticut to Captain Philip Turner and Anne Huntington Adgate.
Turner began his military service as a surgeon during the French and Indian War (1754-1763).
April 7, 1763:
Turner married Lucy Tracy, daughter of Dr. Elisha Tracy.
June 17, 1775:
Battle of Bunker Hill. Turner was present as a military surgeon.
July 6, 1775:
Turner was commissioned surgeon to the 8th Regiment Connecticut troops.
Dec. 16, 1775:
Turner was discharged from the army.
Turner received the appointment of Surgeon General of the Hospital, Eastern Department.
Turner retired from military service and returned to Norwich, Connecticut to open a private practice.
Turner moved to New York, New York.
Turner re-entered military service as a surgeon's mate.
Turner was transferred to Fort Columbus on Governor’s Island.
War of 1812
April 20, 1815:
Turner died at the age of seventy-five.
From the guide to the Philip Turner Papers, 1751-1858, 1881 and undated, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)