Charles W. Stevens (died 1901) practiced medicine in Boston and his native New Hampshire
throughout much of the 19th century. A Harvard graduate, Stevens cultivated
relationships with several important 19th century figures. He exchanged letters with
prominent Boston area physicians including Jacobi Abraham, a leading figure in the
study of pediatrics. He was personally endorsed by the famed Fireside poet, James
Russell Lowell. He also corresponded with the biblical scholar Osmon C. Baker and
his family. Finally, Stevens conversed with the less well- off: the street dregs,
the unemployed, and the undesired. He published a book, Revelations of a
Boston Doctor (1882), where he described his encounters with poverty.
Several chapters highlighted the plight of orphans, pregnant women, and tuberculosis
victims. Well-born and well-off, Stevens’ concern for society’s less fortunate
suggests the complexity of 19th century class relations.
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