Wednesday, March 14, 2012
This is Doctor Valentine Mott. Born in Glen Cove Long Island in 1785, the good doctor went on to be called, some circles, the father of American vascular surgery. He was an artist and a pioneer on this new frontier of surgery. He was a firm believer in anesthesia, which he championed stating that "pain is the only evil" and that anesthesia was safe if administered correctly. Doctor Mott was also ambidextrous, a helpful trait in the pre-anesthesia world of surgery. You wanted a surgeon who was good with both hands at the same time as it sped up the procedure. Although there is a Mott Street here in Manhattan, it is named after Joseph Mott, a local butcher and tavern owner who provided support to the patriots during the American Revolution. Doctor Mott, though, did all right.
This is the doctor's summer home. Although the Mott's owned a still extant townhouse at 1 Gramercy Park, this is where he spent a few summers. The village of Bloomingdale retained it's rural character even after the Civil War. The house, built in 1835, was located on approximately 93rd and the middle Broadway. If this is the Bloomingdale Road, as I believe it is, the house faced east, we (and Victor Prevost who took the picture) are facing west. This view was taken in 1853.
This is another view of the house, it is the one in the middle with the columns. It is possible that the this and the above picture were taken on the same day but the above picture is framed better as to only show the one house. Notice the telegraph poles in this picture, everything was getting so up to date on the Bloomingdale Road.