I t seems ironic, if not prophetic, that Eneas Munson was born in New Haven on the site that is now the Yale School of Medicine. When its predecessor, the Medical Institution of Yale College, opened in 1813, Munson’s name headed the list of faculty as the Professor of Materia Medica and Botany, even though his actual teaching days had ended.
Another ironic circumstance is the way Munson came to practice medicine. On graduation from Yale he taught school briefly in Northampton, Massachusetts, and studied divinity. He preached at Yale between 1755 and 1757, and was a minister in Litchfield and on Long Island until health problems developed. It was the need for something less strenuous that led Munson to study medicine with the Reverend John Darbe (a 1748 Yale graduate).
In 1760 Munson settled in New Haven and embarked on a long, successful career in medicine and business. He represented New Haven seven times between 1778 and 1781 in the state General Assembly. Active in founding the first Connecticut Medical Association in 1792, Munson served as its first vice-president before assuming the presidency in 1794.