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Silvester Gardiner. Engraving after a painting by John Singleton Copley. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B012638).

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Gardiner, Silvester (29 June 1708–08 August 1786), physician and land magnate, was born in South Kingston, Rhode Island, the son of William Gardiner and Abigail Remington, members of a prominent New England family. Frail and bookish as a child, he roamed the nearby fields and learned the medicinal value of local plants. His brother-in-law, the Anglican missionary Rev. ...