John White Webster
The North Grove Street
Building, circa 1878
Space again became a pressing issue,
and in 1847, Harvard erected another new building, on North Grove
Street, adjoining Massachusetts General Hospital, on land donated by
Dr. George Parkman—whose body
would all too soon be found buried
The school building itself had nearly doubled in size
(134 feet long and 60 feet wide), and the 1849 catalogue
as "…of ample dimensions, and well warmed and ventilated throughout.
It contains, on the second floor,
two large Lecture rooms, the
Chemical Laboratory, and the Library. On the floor above are the
Theatre, in which
the Lectures on Anatomy, Surgery and Pathological
Anatomy, are delivered, the Professors' and Demonstrators'
ground floor is occupied by the Janitor's apartments, rooms attached
to the laboratory, etc.
The Dissecting Room is a separate hall
attached to the main building."
(From the Collections of the
Harvard Medical Library)
Plan of Harvard Medical School, circa 1850
This hand–drawn sketch of the basement of the
Harvard Medical School building on North Grove Street may
used during the John White Webster trial. Dr. Webster’s laboratory is
in the upper left–hand
corner; the tea–chest, furnace, and privy where
the Parkman remains were discovered are all clearly marked.
Dr. George Parkman, one of Boston's richest men. known as
"Restoration of Dr. Parkman's Skeleton," from Trial of
Professor John W. Webster, for the murder of
Doctor George Parkman.
Reported exclusively for the N.Y. Daily Globe... 76 pp. (New
Dental Casts of Dr. George Parkman, 1846
This plaster inferior jaw cast and wax mold were part of the
forensic evidence used during the murder
trial of Dr. John White Webster in 1850. Dr. George Parkman, a noted
Boston physician and Harvard
benefactor, disappeared on November 23, 1849, and a subsequent search
of the premises of
Harvard Medical School revealed parts of a human body -- including
artificial teeth -- in the
laboratory of Dr. Webster, Harvard's Erving Professor of Chemistry.
Dr. Nathan Cooley Keep, who had fitted Parkman with dentures
several years earlier, was called as
a trial witness and stated, "The teeth were brought to me, and I at
once recognized them as the
teeth which I had made for Dr. Parkman and with which I had taken so
There could be no mistake about them."
"Accurate Drawings of Articles found in the
Laboratory of Professor Webster."
Published in Trial of Professor John W. Webster, for the Murder of
Doctor George Parkman.
Reported Exclusively for the N.Y. Daily Globe.
New York: Stringer & Townsend, 1850. Page 79.
The trial began on March 19, 1850, with Chief Justice
of the Massachusetts Supreme
Judicial Court presiding.