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Dr. F.J.C. Oberdorf, French Army Surgeon Who Attended to Gen. Lafayette, Photograph
6/23/2011 - American History, Including the Civil War
A salted paper or albumen photograph of Dr. Franz Joseph Constantin Oberdorf or Obendorf, oval-length, 3.5 x 4.5 in., on cream-colored mount, housed in a gilt gesso frame, 9.5 x 11 in., with ink identification and the following information written regarding Dr. Oberdorf on verso: Born August Tenth 1776. Baptised at Mingolsheim, Baden. (Parents-Austrian) Died at Covington, Kentucky about ninety years later. He migrated from France in 1818. Serving as Surgeon in the French Army and having attended General Lafayette. When General Lafayette visited in Cincinnati in later years, he honored Dr. Oberdorf at a public reception and had him ride through the streets of Cincinnati in his carriage with him.

Oberdorf (1776-1860) was a botanical physician who used plant extracts to treat patients. After coming to America between 1816-1818, he established a medical practice in Cincinnati in 1833, and his office was on Longworth Street (Mersman, 2007: 337). Between 1824-1825, Lafayette traveled to the United States for a journey that has often been referred to as his "triumphal tour." Throughout the country, Americans greeted him as a hero of the Revolutionary War. On May 20, 1825, a reception was held for Lafayette in Cincinnati, and it is possible that he met with Dr. Oberdorf during this visit.


Condition:  
Not examined outside of frame; some loss to photograph's surface along the margin; some wear to frame.
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