Dr. Valentine Seaman1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

M, b. 2 March 1770, d. 27 June 1817
FatherWillet Seaman b. 15 Oct 1737, d. 5 Apr 1807
MotherMary Searing b. 5 Jul 1739, d. 8 Jun 1813
Dr. Valentine Seaman - This portrait hangs in a room just off the board room of the New York City Hospital. It was painted by Lewis T. Ives.
     Valentine was born on Friday, 2 March 1770 in the Town of North Hempstead, Queens County, Long Island, New York. Valentine's father offered him many inducements to go into business with him. Medicine, however, was too strong of an allurement and Dr. Benjamin Rush [a signer of the Declaration of Independance] had gained a pupil. After graduation, hereturned to the City and & to Anna. He married Anna Ferris on 7 May 1794 at the Quaker Meeting House, Westbury, Hempstead Town, Queens County, Long Island, New York, in a Quaker ceremony.10 They made their home & raised their family on Beekman Street across from the Old Brick Church. It was a large home surrounded with gardens & vineyards. It was here that they lost their first child, Betsy, to smallpox. This tragedy induced Valentine to visit Dr. Edward Jenner in England, the result of which brought Valentine home with the serum & a close friend for life. Thus, his son became the first white child vaccinated in this country. Controversey was raised over the use of the vaccine and almost cost Valentine his medical career. After much debate and effort on the part of Valentine, he was finally given permission to vaccinate his own family and volunteers from the poor house. He was the first to have a class of women to instruct in the care of mid-wifery, writing a book for the instructon & guidance; this was at Alms House in New York. He also published an account of Yellow Fever which prevailed in 1791 & 1800; this may yet be found in the medical repository. In 1800 & 1811, he and others formed a medical institution associated with Queens College in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was an active member of the Manumission Society for the liberation of slaves & their protection and represented New York at various abolitionist conventions. His health began to decline about a year before his death from consumption in 1817. Dr. Seaman's protrait hangs proudly in the board room of New York City Hospital where he was their first operating surgeon. Both Valentine & Anna belonged to
the Society of Friends.11 The 1800 U.S. Federal Census enumerates at the City, County & State of New York, the family of Valentine Seaman [20010:01110].12 He made his will the 22nd day of the 6th month 1815.

I, Valentine Seaman, of the city of New York, physician, do make and publish this my last will & testament in manner & form following. That is to say: first I order & direct, that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be paid & my dues collected as soon after my death as can convientlly be done.
Secondly, I authorize & empower my executor hereinafter named, and the survivors & survivors of them, at their discression, to sell & dispose, in fee simple absolutely of all such of my real estate as I now hold in common with my brothers & sisters, John Seaman, Willett Seaman, Benjamin B. Seaman, Mary Thurston & Rachael Seaman, and with any or either of them; to give good &
sufficient conveyences in the law for the same; to compromise & compound with any & all my debters; & to refer to arbitration any & all disputes & contraversies, that shall or may arise in the settlement of my estate.
Thirdly, I order & direct that the proceeds of my personal estate together with the avails of such part of my real estate as may be soldby virtue of the authority above given, and the rents & profits of the residue thereof, as the same shall be received, be put out & kept at interest on good real security and that out of such interest & income my belovedwife Anna Seaman be supported; and my children, William F. Seaman, James V. Seaman, John F, Seaman, Valentine Seaman, Percival, Willett Seaman, Marianna Seaman, Anna Seaman & Elizabeth Seaman, repectively, be supported & educated until they shall respectively at the age of twenty-ibe years.
Fourthly, it is my will & I heeby direct that as my children above named shall respecitvely arrive at the age of twenty-one years that they each be paid out of my out of my estate or from such income & interest as aforesaid,be from time to time put outand kept at interest such security as aforesaid, until the youngest of my surviving children shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years, and shall have received his or her legacyas aforesaid. And that then what shall remain of all my estate real & personal be divided among my said wife, if she shall then be living,and such of my said children as shall then be living, and the lawful isssue, if any there shall be, of such of mysaid children as shall then have deceased, [equallyto be divived among said issue if these shall then be more than one] share and share alike; and when so divided to be and remain to them, their heir & assigns forever; - hereby meaning and -------------, that the issue of any such of my said children,as shall have died previous to the time of such general distribution, shall receive the shalre or proportion thereof, that his, heror their parentswouldhave received, if living, snf noymore: also, I declare my intention to be the before mentionedappropriationsfor the support of my said wife, shall be in heirand in bar of herdower, right in title of dower, and of all other claimed upon my estate. And I further declaremy will and intentionto be, that the above mentioned legacy of five thousand dollarsto be paid to my children respectively, as they shall arrive at the age of twenty oneyears,shall not be paid to the issue of anyone of my childrenwho shall have died under the age of twenty-one years: but that only such of my said childrenwhoshall attain to that age, shall respectively at such agebe authorized out of my estate the said sum of five thousand dollars, previous to thegeneral divisionand distribution of the above mentioned.
And lastly, I hereby nominate ---- & appoint my eldest son, William F. Seaman, and my brother-in-law, William B. Thurston and my kinsman, SamuelHicks of the cityof New York, merchant Executors of this my last will & testament. In witness thereof I have there unto set myhand and seal this 22 day of the sixth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen.
Valentine Seaman
Signed, sealed, published, and declared
by the above named Valentine Seaman as
and for his last will and testament in the
presence of us who havehere unto subscribed
our namesas witnesses of therequest of the
said testatorand in his presence and in the presence of each other. Isaac Burr, Rob C. Cornell, Benjamin Clark

. Valentine died on Friday, 27 June 1817 at the family home at 90 Beekman Street [now 21] in the at age 47 years, 3 months and 25 days of consumption in the front room. He was buried at the Friend's Cemetery on North Street. "Friends" [Quakers] did not have headstones to mark their graves. A few years later, all the graves there were moved to a location adjoining the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Valentine's son spent much time and money trying to locate his father's remains but to no avail. Valentine was laid to rest in a grave unknown.

Obituary Notice of Dr. Valentine Seaman, June 27, 1817 - Died, Friday morning last, Dr. Valentine Seaman in the 48th year of his age. -- Rarely has it happened that we have been called to deplore the loss of an individual who was more distinguishedly useful than Dr. Seaman.
Nature had endowed him with uncommonly active and vigorous mental powers, and by study and observation he had stored his mind with a fund of knowledge seldom attained by an individual.
Dr. Seaman has filled several important stations with distinguished honor to himself.
He was for many years one of the surgeons of the New York Hospital, and clinical teacher of surgery in that distinguished charity.
He had held a professorship in one of our medical schools - and as a private practitioner, has had uncommon public patronage.
In whatever point of view we regard his character, we see much to admire, and much that is worthy imitation.
His deportment towards his professional brethren was marked with the scrupulous integrity, and he always acquired thier respect and esteem.
He was most ardently attached to his profession, and a zealous promoter of every improvement in the science conducive to the healing art.
As a public teacher, we venture to assert he has rarely been surpassed by any one in this country.
His instructions were conveyed in a familiar manner, and were calculated to make the strongest impression on the mind of his pupils.
He was ever anxious to imprint on the heart of the student principles of sound morality, and while he labored to make them good physicians, he was desirous of making them good men.
His amiable and unaffected manners endeared him to his patients and the conscientious and unremitted discharge of duty as a physician, induced them to place almost unlimited confidence in his skill.
In the performance of the duties of husband, parent, neighbor and friend, he was a pattern deserving imitation. Such was Dr. Seaman.
"This those who knew him know, and those who loved him tell."13

He was buried at New York City in the Friend's Burying Ground on North Street. His body was removed, along with his famiy members, several years later to the Brooklyn Cemetery, next to the Greenwood Cemetery. The practice among the Quakers was not to mark the graves. His son, John, took great pains in trying to locate his grave, as well as his siblings who were buried there. and finally he was allowed to place stones upon their graves.14


Anna Ferris b. 8 Dec 1771, d. 5 Nov 1854


  1. [S79] William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Volume III, page 282 - Dr. James V., s/o Valentine & Anna Seaman, b. 3/1/1799; John F. [changed name from Walter], s/o Dr. Valentine & Anna Seaman, b. 3/22/1801; Mary Ann m. ___ Middlebrook, d. 10/16/1831; Percival, s/o Dr. Valentine & Anna Seaman; Dr. Valentine, s/o Henry & Hanna Seaman, b. 4/2/1770, d. 6/27/1817, m. New York 5/07/1794 Anna Ferris, d/o John & Anna Ferris/ b. 12/8/1771, d. 11/05/1854, ch. __ d. 3/23/1796, William F. [Dr.] 2/3/1797, James V. [Dr.] b.3/1/1797, Walter [changed to John F.] b. 3/22/1801, Valentine [Dr.] 9/30/1802, Percival b. 10/11/1804, Willet J. b. 6/9/1808, Mary Anna b. 4/20/1810, Anna b. 3/18/1812, Eliza b. 5/9/1815; Dr. Valentine, s/o Valentine & Anna Seaman, b. 9/3/1802, d. 3/29/1899, m. 1838 Anna Amelia Ferris, d/o Elijah & Amelia Ferris; Willet J., s/o Dr. Valentine & Anna Seaman, b. 7/10/1820; Dr. William F., s/o Dr. Valentine & Anna Seaman, b. 2/3/1797, d. 1/12/1827, m. Elizabeth H. ___, ch. William F. d. 3/26/1825 age 10 months, Sarah H. b. 11/26/1825.
  2. [S6] Getroit Genealogical Society, Marriage Valentine Seaman & Anna Ferris, 1794.
  3. [S117] Mary Thomas Seaman, The Seaman Family of America, pages 127-128 - Valentine Seaman b. 2 April 1770; d. 3 July 1817; m. 7 May 1794 Anne Ferris, d/o James Ferris [She was b. 8 December 1771 Throggs Neck, N.Y. :& d. 5 November 1854 Newburg]; Children: eleven.
  4. [S11] Dr. John Shrady, Contributions to the Medical History of the City of New York, Dr. Valentine Seaman was a prominent physician and surgeon of New York City. President of the Medical Society which was the forerunner of the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.
  5. [S126] Thomas Weston Valentine, The Valentine's in America,, pages 38-39 - Valentine Seaman, M. D. (University of Philadelphia, 1792), physician, the fourth son of Samuel, who married Martha, daughter of Obadiah Valentine, and who was a lineal descendant of Captain John Seaman, who settled at Hempstead, 164o, was born in North Hempstead, L. I., April 2, 1770, and died in New York, July 3, 1817. He studied medicine with Dr. Romayne, and was a surgeon of the New York Hospital from 1796 to his death. He was conspicuous in the introduction of vaccination in New York. He published an " Inaugural Address on Opium," Philadelphia, 1792 ; 44 Waters of Saratoga," 1793; " Midwife's Monitor," r800; " On Vaccination," L816, and a pharmacopia. Dr. Seaman married the second daughter of John Ferris, of Westchester. Like his father, he adhered through life to the Society of Friends. [Note: Valentine was the son on Willett & Mary [Searing] Seaman, grandson of Samuel & Martha. - klm]
  6. [S893] James Joseph Walsh, History of Medicine in New York, pages 295-296 - To Dr. Valentine Seaman, one of the attending physicians of New York Hospital, is due the honor of having conceived and initiated the first system of instruction for nurses on the American continent. This fact is commemorated by an inscription below his portrait in the hospital which contains the words: "In 1798 he organized in the New York Hospital the first regular training school for nurses, from which other schools have since been established and extended their blessings throughout the Community." In connection with the Maternity Department of the New York Hospital, Dr. Seaman, who was far ahead of his time in liberality of view, organized a course of lectures, some twenty-four in number, for nurses, including outlines of anatomy, physiology, and the care of children. The three concluding lectures of this course have been preserved in a small volume called "Midwives' Monitor and Mothers' Mirror," published by Isaac Collins in 1800.
  7. [S895] Minnie Goodnow, Goodnow's History of Nursing, pages 129-130 - The family of Dr. Valentine Seaman, of New York, holds that he was the first person to found a school for nurses. His son says, "In 1798 Dr. Seaman introduced the first regular school for trained nurses, from which other schools have since been established." He had about twenty-four pupils, and gave them a course of lectures in anatomy, physiology, care of children, and midwifery. In 1800 a synopsis of these lectures was published. The report of the New York Hospital for 1882 says: "As long ago as the early part of the present century Dr. Valentine Seaman, connected with this hospital as attending surgeon up to his death in 1817, was in the habit of giving regular instruction to the nurses by lectures and otherwise. Thus early was foreshadowed the more elaborate system which has recently taken shape in the modern training school."
  8. [S1118] Minutes of the Proceedings of the Fifth Convention of Delegates from the Abolition Societies, Established at different Parts of the United States, Assembled at Philadelphia on the First Day of June, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-eight, Present:…
    Edward Miller, Valentine Seaman and Sa-
    muel Boyd, from the Abolition Society of
    New York.
    …Benjamin Rush from Philadelphia.

    [Note - It was under Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, that Valentine Seaman studied in becoming a doctor. - KLM]
  9. [S1119] Published writings of Dr. Valentine Seaman: "A Dissertarion on the Mineral Waters of Saratoga; Containing a Topographical Descripton of the Country, and the Situation of the Several Springs" 1809, "The Midwives Monitor, and Mother's Mirror: Being Three Concluding Lectures of a Course of Instruction on Midwifery, Containing Directions for Pregnant" 1800, Facts and Observations Relative to the Kine Pock, Drawn Up By the Medical Board of the New York Institution Signed by Dr. Valentine Seaman" 1802, "Pharmacoepia Chirurgica in Usum Nosocomili Novi Ebroracencis: Being an Account of the Appicaion and Formulae of the Remedies Employed in the Clinical ... Surigal Department of the New York City Hospital" 1811, A Short Account of the Death and of the Character of the Late Edward Miller, M.D.: Being an Estract From a Lecture Introductory to a Course of Clinical" 1813.
  10. [S79] William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Volume III: page 282 - Dr. Valentine, s/o Henry & Hanna Seaman, b. 4/2/1770, d. 6/27/1817, m. New York 5/07/1794 Anna Ferris, d/o John & Anna Ferris/ b. 12/8/1771, d. 11/05/1854.
  11. [S506] Note: manumission - the act of freeing or the state of being freed from slavery, servitude, etc.
  12. [S669] 1800 United States Federal Census: City, County, & State of New York - 3rd Ward, page 697 - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  13. [S897] His daughter Eliza Seaman Leggett, Dr. Valentine Seaman, In telling of her father's death, Eliza wrote - "Doctor Valentine Seaman, my most revered father, died of consumption lingering I think my mother said it was twelve years. Over work, over study, in his 43th year he died in Beekman Street, Number 21, New York, in the large front bedroom - in the same room in which I was born. Always my heart has ached to feel that I do not remember him; yet my sister Marianna said that my father said to her, "I give this little sister to thee," so she always was so kind."
  14. [S1240] Elizabeth Seaman Leggett, My Book of Life for my grandson, Augustus Ives - 1 April 1888
    , page 57 - The Ferris family “burying ground” this is the way they were designated, has received, far before the Revolutionary War, the departed of the Ferris family. My grandparents lie there, John and Myannah Ferris, my own mother, brother Percival Seaman, but my brother Doctor William F. Seaman and my sister Marianna Middle brook were buried in North Street - the bodies or as much as could be fathered of them were taken a few years ago to Greenwood, the society of friends burying ground attached to Greenwood Cemetery but as no one knows of a single dear one.