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Biography of Dr. Algernon Sidney Carpenter

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Dr. Algernon Sidney Carpenter, son of Dr. Eber and Judith (Greene) Carpenter, was born in Alstead, N. H., October 16, 1814, and was descended from a family pre-eminently distinguished by the large number of skillful physicians it produced. He was educated in the common schools of his native town, and at Middlebury Medical college, from which he received the degree of M. D., in June, 1837. While acquiring his education he taught school in various places, and was, for a short time, in a store at Chesterfield. With the exception of a few years spent in Gardner and Northfield, Mass., his entire professional life of forty-eight years was passed in Keene. He stood in the front rank in his profession. and enjoyed a success which was unsurpassed by any practitioner in this part of New Hampshire. He was an honor to a profession which he reverently believed reflected high honors upon its members; and during his long, intelligent and conscientious practice, he gained, in an eminent degree, the respect and confidence of those who were the recipients of his indefatigable, ministrations. He was peculiarly sensitive to any violation of the conventional rules of medical etiquette, and was severe in his condemnation of charlatanism. He felt a deep interest in all that pertained to the welfare of Keene, and was prominent in its social life. He was a conspicuous member of the order of Free and Accepted Masons, and held official rank in many Masonic societies; but at the time of his death, which occurred March 4, 1885, was not in affiliation with them. He was a studious and thoughtful man, well known for the strength and positiveness of his views upon all subjects, especially religion and politics. In theology he was a rationalist, but not of the econoclastic school. His religious convictions were the result of reason and scientific research. He had a deep reverence for truth and sincerity, but was equally abhorrent of what he conceived to be error and hypocrisy. He was unusually familiar with Bible literature, and had memorized many favorite scripture passages. Like all liberal thinkers, he emphasized the spirit more than the letter. In politics he was an ardent Democrat of the old school; believing in the States rights doctrine, and what he regarded the “strict construction of the constitution.” His active brain made him fond of literature. He was a fluent speaker and a clear and terse writer.

November 30, 1859, Dr. Carpenter was married in the Unitarian church at Keene, to Miss Jennie F. Coolidge, daughter of Hon. Henry and Calista (Pond) Coolidge, of Keene. They had two daughters, Miss Mary and Miss Carrie, who, with their mother, survive him.


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