William T.G. Morton practiced dentistry in Boston. He was the first person to give a successful public demonstration of the use of anesthesia, although controversy among other contenders (Crawford W. Long, Horace Wells, and Charles T. Jackson) continued for years and was never clearly resolved.
Correspondence, reprints of general articles, reports of Congressional committees, materials relating to a U.S. patent and testimonials in behalf of Morton's claim. Much of it relates to priority in the discovery of the anesthetic properties of ether in medical and surgical procedures.
Morton Family Collection, 1849-1911, Archives Center, National Museum of American History