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Scope and Content Source:
There are five series in this collection. Writings: this series contains the original and typed transcription of Henry Darwin Didama’s diary entitled “Private Journal of the Affairs du Vie, 1842-1852.” Printed materials: these documents include printed materials from and about Henry Darwin Didama from 1875 to 1906. Photographs: these materials are portrait photographs of Henry Darwin Didama and correspondence from 1944 on the donation of two portrait photographs from R.W.S. Vail of Albany, the grandchild of Enos Smith Vail of Romulus. Subject Files: this contains one folder with information on Henry Darwin Didama. Memorabilia: these documents consist of certifications, membership, and diplomas.
Henry Darwin Didama (1823-1905) was born in Perryville on June 17, 1823. His father and grandfather, John and Simon Didama, came from Delft, Holland with the Holland Company to settle in Trenton, NY and both worked as doctors. Henry attended Cazenovia Seminary and was a teacher during the winter of 1840-1841. He began practicing medicine in the office of Doctor David A. Moore of Cazenovia and continued under Doctor Nelson A. Powers of Syracuse. He studied at the Geneva College of Medicine and the Albany Medical School, the latter of which he graduated from in 1846 at the age of 23. He then settled in Romulus, where he remained for 5 years and studied under Enos Smith Vail. At this time, he met and married Sarah Miller, the daughter of Honorable Sherman Miller. Henry came to Syracuse in 1851, and in 1874 he bought the Wescott homestead on South Salina Street and made that his office and home for the remainder of his life. The family had three children; Henry Darwin Jr., who died in infancy; Sherman, who died when a medical student; and Amelia, who married William M. Niven and completed a medical course at Syracuse and assisted her father, but died in 1893 from typhoid fever in Florida. With the establishment of the Medical College in 1872, he was elected as Professor of Clinical Medicine, and in 1873, he was made Professor of the Principles and Practice of Medicine and Clinical Medicine, which he served as until his resignation in 1893. After the death of Dean Frederick Hyde in 1888, he was elected Dean of the College of Medicine and received the degree of LL.D. from Syracuse University that same year. In 1894, he was elected Trustee at Large of Syracuse University, which he served as until his death. In addition, he wrote under the nom de plume Amos Cottle about his observations of foreign customs and people in letters to the local press. He most notably served as president of the Onondaga County Medical Society, the Syracuse City Medical Society, the Central New York Medical Association, the Medical Society of the State of New York, the New York Medical Association, and the Syracuse Academy of Medicine, and Vice President of the American Medical Association before his death on October 4, 1905.