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Silvester Gardiner

Born: 29-Jun-1708
Birthplace: South Kingston, RI
Died: 8-Aug-1786
Location of death: Newport, RI
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Trinity Church, Newport, RI

Gender: Male
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Doctor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Colonial American pharmacist

Silvester (sometimes Sylvester) Gardiner apprenticed in medicine in Boston, London, and Paris, and became the colonies' leading surgeon, specializing in removal of gallstones and urinary calculus of the bladder and kidneys. He opened three apothecaries, selling large quantities of medicinal drugs to other physicians, and offered well-attended lectures and private lessons on anatomy. Gardiner had been born to moderate wealth, but his Boston practice, chain of pharmaceutical shops, and teaching made him one of New England's richest men. He owned 100,000 acres of land and was a dominant investor in the settlements of the towns of Dresden and Pittston, and the namesake of Gardinerstown Plantation (now Gardiner, Maine). His portrait was painted by John Singleton Copley in 1772.

He was a friend of the Crown's Governor, Thomas Hutchinson, remained loyal to England during the American Revolution, and spent the war years with his family in England. While he was gone, the colonists seized and sold his home and many of his properties, and when he returned to the new nation of America after the war, he was still a wealthy man but nowhere near as wealthy as he had been. He settled in Rhode Island, died in 1786, and his will instructed that most of his property be held in trust for his young grandson, Robert Hallowell, with the stipulation that Hallowell change his name to Gardiner when he came of legal age.

Father: William Gardiner
Mother: Abigail Remington Gardiner
Wife: Anne Gibbins Gardiner (m. 1732, d. 1771, six children)
Son: John Gardiner (attorney, b. 1731, d. 1793)
Daughter: Hannah Gardiner Hallowell
Son: William Gardiner (d. 1787)
Wife: Abigail Pickman Eppes Gardiner (m. 1772, d. 1780)
Wife: Catherine Goldthwaite Gardiner (m. 1785)

    Boston Medical Society



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