Finding Aid
Alfred E. Bradley
Alfred E. Bradley
1864 - 1922
(Art/Photo Collection, AB-064)

Alfred E. Bradley Collection
1885 - 1935 (bulk 1887-1919)
1.25 Linear Feet (3 Boxes )

Biographical Note
Alfred E. Bradley (1864-1922) was born in Jamestown, NY and graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1887; during the same year, he married Letitia Follett. Dr. Bradley entered the Army medical corps the following year. His first commission was service as 1st Lieutenant and Assistant Surgeon at David's Island, New York Harbor, later known as Fort Slocum. He later served at Fort Omaha, NE and Fort Sully, SD, with temporary duties at the Bellevue Rifle Range and the Sioux uprising at the Rose Bud Indian Agency. He became an Army captain in 1893 and moved on to Fort Custer and Fort Yellowstone.

During the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection, Bradley served on a hospital ship that traveled to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Gibraltar, Japan, and Hawaii. He later served at Fort Snelling, MN, as Attending Surgeon in the Philippines, at Jefferson Barracks, MO, as Commanding Officer of the division hospital in the Philippines, at the Grand Army of the Republic encampment of Civil War veterans at Gettysburg, at Governor's Island, NY, in England as Military Observer with the British and in France as First Chief Surgeon with the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. Bradley was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his services abroad.

Bradley reached the rank of Brigadier General, but was returned to his previous rank of Colonel following a long period of illness. Recurrent illnesses plagued him throughout 1918 and 1919, and he retired from the military in March 1920. Bradley died in 1922 and was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. He and his wife had two children, Follett and Harriet.

* Information on family and locations of service taken from Letitia Follett Bradley's memoirs.

** Information on Army Medical Corps service and Distinguished Service Medal taken from vertical file at Thomas Jefferson University Archives.

Scope and Contents
The collection consists of papers of Alfred E. Bradley from 1885-1935. The papers consist of correspondence, a scrapbook of photographs, clippings and invitations, and personal documents. Topics include medicine in the military and World War I.

The bulk of the correspondence is from Bradley to his wife before and after their marriage. The first group of correspondence (1884) was written during Bradley's studies at Jefferson Medical College. This group includes one letter to him from his wife. The letters provide descriptions of Philadelphia places and events during this time. The second group (1888) was written after the Bradley's marriage during his Army surgeon exams in New York and provides daily accounts of this grueling week. The scrapbook contains photographs and other clippings from 1916-1918 during Bradley's service in England and France.

Of particular interest are a report on medical treatments and sanitary conditions at the 1913 encampment of Civil War Veterans at Gettysburg and the 1935 memoirs of Letitia Follett Bradley. Mrs. Bradley's memoirs provide detailed descriptions of their experiences on a hospital ship during the Spanish-American War, Bradley's later service in the Philippines, and their life in France during World War I. The memoirs also contain additional information about the Bradley's lives and some genealogical information on their families, with many detailed personal recollections. Among the interesting observations is a one-page description of a Sioux pantomime representation of the Custer Massacre; the performance was later banned because of fears that this could incite violence.

Personal documents include passports for the Bradleys, their marriage license and marriage certificate, and Bradley's Army service orders and surgeon's certificates. The collection also includes the original 1887 copy of Bradley's faculty prize-winning essay and booklets from the 1887 commencement exercises of Jefferson Medical College.

Organization and Arrangement

* Indicates the inclusion of legal size materials
** Indicates oversized box storage of materials
*** Indicates both legal size and oversized box materials

  1. Correspondence (1884-1885; 1888)
    Arranged in chronological order; includes typed transcripts

  2. Army Medical Service *
    Arranged by topic then in chronological order

  3. Jefferson Medical College *
    Arranged by item type
    Includes 1887 faculty prize-winning essay and 1887 commencement materials

  4. Legal documents/Certificates ***
    Arranged by item type and then in chronological order

  5. Memoirs of Letitia Follett Bradley

  6. Scrapbook, London and France (1916-1918)
    Includes photographs, invitations, and clippings

  7. Newspaper article on interior designer Elsie DeWolfe (one item)

View and print the full finding aid (including box and folder list) in PDF format (99KB)

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