868 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
Harvard and later (1868, August 29) he was elected Pro-
fessor of Obstetrics and Medical Jurisprudence. In that chair
he was an instructive and impressive teacher. He had accu-
mulated material for a treatise on Obstetrics which he hoped
to publish, but death intervened on the 19th of February, 1877.
Besides his strictly professional duties in a large practice
which perseverance and merit had won for him, Buckingham
was greatly interested in public affairs. In the organization
of the Massachusetts Board of Health, and in protective meas-
ures against the introduction and spread of smallpox he con-
tributed many able, convincing articles to the daily press, as
well as to the medical journals. In the organization of the
Boston Medical Library Association in 1875 he was active,
and was elected first vice-president. At the time of his death
he was Consulting Physician to the Boston City Hospital, and
the Boston Lying-in Hospital; a Fellow of the London Ob-
stetrical Society, a member of the American Gynecological
Society, corresponding member of the Philadelphia Obstet-
rical Society, and a member of the Massachusetts Medical
Society, before which he delivered the annual discourse in
1873. The Harvard Corporation termed him "a skillful phy-
sician and an accomplished and devoted teacher."
EDWARD HAMMOND CLARKE.
Edward H. Clarke was born at Newton, Massachusetts,
February 2nd, 1820. He entered Harvard College at the age
of sixteen, but was obliged to leave on account of illness, and
consequently was not graduated until 1841. He was studious,
and led his class. Fie was graduated M. D. at the University
of Pennsylvania in 1846, where he had gone on account of a
weak constitution. Holmes says* that Clarke was the only
"first scholar" he ever knew to study medicine. During both
â™¦Letter to S. Weir Mitchell, March 27th, 1871.
EMINENT ALUMNI 869
college and professional courses Clarke was restricted by his
physician to two or three hours of study a day. From this
restriction he acquired such unusual powers of concentration
that he was able in later life, when teaching, to prepare a new
lecture of an hour in less than an hour's time. Those who
remember the brilliancy of his lectures say that such a per-
formance was very remarkable.
After graduating in medicine Clarke studied in Europe,
where he devoted special attention to the diseases of the ear.
Upon returning to Boston he and Henry I. Bowditch. with
some others, revived the Boston Society for Medical Observa-
tion which had been moribund for eight years. In 1850
Clarke was the leader in organizing the Boylston Medical
School as a rival to the Harvard School. His attempt to
obtain legislative authority to grant degrees was unsuccessful,
but it had a good effect upon Harvard. It stimulated her
teachers, and they found in Clarke a formidable rival. In
fact, it was thought wise to take him into the Harvard School,
a great gain for Harvard, and a death blow to the Boylston
School. His appointment was made at the December 30th,
1854, meeting of the Corporation, when Jacob Bigelow re-
signed his dual office of Professor of Materia Medica and
Lecturer on Clinical Medicine.* Clarke held the professor-
ship of Materia Medica until April 8th, 1872. Upon his res-
ignation he gave to the School all the plates and specimens
which he had used as illustrations in his lectures, a valuable
As a teacher he aimed at thoroughness. Nothing was ac-
cepted upon tradition alone. He taught his pupils to ques-
tion everything, to seek the cause, no matter how far hidden
or remote. Possessed of a fine gift of speech, he made his
* George Cheyne Shattuck was elected Professor for the vacancy in
870 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
lessons direct and effective. With a quiet, unassuming man-
ner, he carried his students straight and rapidly through a
mass of work which surprised even those who knew his dili-
gence. In this his love of study, his quick judgment, his
decision and his honesty were transmitted to his hearers.
E. H. Clarke never held a position in any of the hospitals,
although earnestly pressed to accept one at the Boston City
Hospital when it was established. His value to the School
was as a teacher. So great was his success that his lecture
room was always filled, though the hour assigned him was
eight in the morning. Clarke's lectures today might be classed
under "Therapeutics," for he dealt with such questions as the
use of light, heat, air, the effects of imagination, etc., etc., in
the treatment of disease.
His writings, though few, show his learning and wisdom.
"Sex in Education/' published in 1873, and "The Building of
a Brain," published later, are full of advanced thought. His
work on "Bromides," in which Robert Amory was associated
with him remains a standard. His last paper was that on
"Practical Medicine," 1876. Through his lectures he was
able to illustrate the wide experience gained in one of the
most extensive practices of his day. In such practice he was
the quiet, attentive, judicious adviser, inspiring his patients
with such hope as had carried himself successfully to health
when his physical state seemed to indicate an early death. Nor
were his works limited to his teaching and healing. He was
an indefatigable worker as Park Commissioner for the City
of Boston, and gave valuable time to other public questions.
He was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences. Tn 1872 Clarke was chosen an Overseer of Har-
vard College, and he held the position at the time of his death,
November 30th, 1877. "The good physician, strong thinker,
public hearted citizen is gone. His example remains; .
as an instructor he had the admiration of his pupils" ; and
EMINENT ALUMNI 871
Holmes said of him that he would have become eminent in
HENRY WILLARD WILLIAMS.
Henry W. Williams was born in Boston, Massachusetts,
December nth, 1821. As a youth he went into a business
house, and later held the position of secretary and publishing
agent for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, in which
Phillips, Garrison and Edmund Ouincy were active. While
he was in this latter position he began the study of medicine
(1844) at the Harvard Medical School. After two courses
there he spent three years in Europe, where early he took up
the study of diseases of the eye. Ophthalmic surgery had
reached a high plane, while ophthalmology, as we understand
it, was a comparatively undeveloped science. To ophthal-
mology, then, Williams directed his energies, and was fortu-
nate in having such famous teachers as Sichel, Desmarres,
Jaeger, Rosa, Dalrymple, Lawrence, Dixon, Critchitt, and
Williams was graduated in medicine at Harvard in 1849,
and soon afterwards was appointed Assistant Physician to the
Cholera Hospital at Fort Hill, Boston. From 1849-51 he
was District Visiting Physician to the Boston Dispensary.
In 1850 he was made Instructor in the Theory and Practice
of Medicine at the Tremont Medical School. In 1850 also he
was fortunate in having sufficient clinical material from the
city institutions then in charge of C. E. Buckingham to give
a course of instruction on diseases of the eye to a class of
Harvard Medical students. This course he was able to con-
tinue for many years through the courtesy of Buckingham.
He was soon elected Surgeon, and then Ophthalmic Surgeon
to the Dispensary. The reputation thus gained led Williams
to devote his whole time to ophthalmology, a specialty he ever
872 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
after followed. Those years in the 5o's were notable in the
history of ophthalmology. Helmholtz's newly perfected
ophthalmoscope was giving surgeons their first view of the
marvelous structure and workings of the fundus of the eye.
A new pathology and physiology of the eye were created. Old
and experienced teachers were going back to a second term of
pupilage, which meant the undoing of many chapters in their
former notions of pathology, diagnosis and treatment. Few
inventions so revolutionized accepted truths as did the intro-
duction of the ophthalmoscope. No means was ever so ef-
fective in popularizing a language, for Hemholtz's invention
meant a study of German for hosts of students.
In the readjustment of discoveries in the new laws of optics,
new technique in operations, and new applications of old rules
Williams took a leading part. Naturally conservative, he
brought to bear upon the situation a broad-mindedness and
independence of judgment which soon won him a prominent
place. He was a close observer, and a keen discriminator of
teachers and methods. He never allowed himself to be car-
ried away by the temporary popularity of this school of prac-
tice, nor by that method of operating, but he listened to all
and chose the best from each. In such decisions he enjoyed
a knowledge of the history of former methods, which he was
particular to emphasize should be understood before taking up
the new. In this way he developed an acquaintance with the
subject, which at conventions, made his opinion and utter-
ances almost law.
In operations on the eye Williams was remarkably skillful.
Under the teachers of the Daviel method he came to recognize
the superiority of extracting cataract over the brilliant but
uncertain operation of inclination, and in his long career he
seldom departed from the former method. In this work Will-
iams was exceptionally competent, and was one of the first
( [853), if not the first, to advocate and employ etherization
EMINENT ALUMNI 873
as a general practice in cataract extraction. As to the ques-
tion of method in these operations, Williams adhered to the
classical flap-incision as against iridectomy. He devised and
adopted (1865) the bold and original procedure of inserting
a delicate suture at the vertex of the flap, thereby hastening
the closure of the wound, and lessening the risk of secondary
prolapse of the iris. He lived to see ophthalmic surgery re-
turn to his line of procedure in all these matters and the ex-
perience of latter years confirms the wisdom of his course.
In the treatment of iritis it had been customary to employ
mercury in large doses up to pronounced ptyalism. In
August, 1856. Williams read a paper before the Boston So-
ciety for Medical Observation, entitled " Treatment of Iritis
without Mercury." This essay became memorable, and in-
augurated a radical reform in ophthalmic therapeutics. For
the mercury, Williams substituted a strong solution of atro-
pine applied locally. He gave only such internal treatment as
iron, quinine, etc., general tonics. The choice of a limited
number of remedies in this new treatment marks his wisdom
as well as his conservatism. He says : " It may seem that in
the treatment of these cases routine has been too closely fol-
lowed, but, in the trial of one plan of treatment instead of an-
other of directly opposite character, it was desirable, in order
to avoid uncertainty as to the results obtained, to deviate as
little as possible from a fixed course. It is by no means as-
sumed that mercurials or other antiphlogistic measures should
be absolutely discarded from the treatment of this disease;
but the results of these cases, many of which were of unusual
severity, prove that it is by no means necessary to resort.
immediately, to this use in all instances." This is a cautious
statement, yet in the treatment thus inaugurated by Williams
the routine practice of mercurialization in the treatment of
iritis was broken up, the efficacy of atropine as a mydriatic in
iritis was established, as was its power to relieve pain and
874 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
promote healing. Williams proved further, that even in
gumma of the iris the local use of atropine and the internal
use of potassium iodide effect a cure.
As a writer Williams was prominent. His first work of
an extensive nature was his translation of Sichel's work
(1850), ''Spectacles; Their Uses and Abuses in Long and
Short-sightedness." In 1862 he published "A Practical Guide
to the Study of the Diseases of the Eye." In 1865 he won
the Boylston Prize with his essay, "Recent Advances in Oph-
thalmic Science." In 1881 his largest work, 476 pages octavo,
entitled "The Diagnosis and Treatment of the Diseases of the
Eye," was published. In these works he shows conclusively
that he is a general practitioner first, then a specialist. His
language is so simple, his diagrams so plain, and his descrip-
tions so full and so free from technicalities, that the book
reads much like a personal letter from the physician to his
colleague. The repeated demands for new editions of this
work show how timely was his presentation of the subject.
Although he was identified with the special branch of oph-
thalmology, Williams never lost his interest in general med-
icine. He attended regularly the meetings of the various
medical societies of which he was a member and took an active
part in the discussions. In the Suffolk District Medical So-
ciety he was secretary (1851), censor (1854), vice-president
(1873) and president (1875). In the Massachusetts Medical
Society he was councillor (1865), anniversary chairman
(1867), and president (1880-81). He belonged also to the
Boston Society for Medical Improvement, the Boston Society
for Medical Observation, and the Boston Medical Associa-
tion. He was the founder and for many years the president
of the Massachusetts Medical Benevolent Society ; secretary
and treasurer of the Boston Medical Book Club: trustee of
the Boylston Medical Prize Fund; president of the Associa-
tion of Physicians and Surgeons of the Boston City Hospital.
EMINENT ALUMNI 875
He was a member of the American Medical Association; the
International Medical Congress of Philadelphia in 1876; Hon-
orary Fellow of the Rhode Island Medical Society, and of the
New Hampshire Medical Society ; Honorary Fellow of the
Edinburgh Medico-Chirurgical Society, and of the Heidil-
berger Ophthalmologische Fesellschaft. Other bodies with
which he was affiliated were the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences, the Boston Society of Natural History, the So-
ciety of Arts of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
the Essex Institute of Salem, Massachusetts, the Thursday
Evening Club and the Examiner Club. He was trustee and
treasurer of the Boston Library Society, a member of the
Boston Young Men's Benevolent Society; the Bostonian So-
ciety, as well as of Church and patriotic societies, â€” a long list.
In 1864 he was one of the nineteen physicians who organized
the American Ophthalmological Society, and for twenty years
he was either its vice-president or president. At the Inter-
national Congress of 1872 in London, Williams was one of
the vice-presidents, and it was mainly through his efforts that
that body met in New York in 1876.
Williams' successful career as a teacher began in T850 as
Clinical Instructor at the City Institutions in South Boston,
and from this followed his appointment as Surgeon, and later
as Surgeon and Ophthalmic Surgeon to the Boston Dispen-
sary. Upon the opening of the City Hospital, of which he
was one of the founders, in 1864, he was appointed Ophthal-
mic Surgeon. He was for many years also Ophthalmic Sur-
geon to the Perkins Institution. In 1866 he was elected by
the Harvard Corporation, University Lecturer on Ophthal-
mology, and on October 19th, 1871, he was made Professor of
Ophthalmology in the Medical School. He resigned in 1S91.
The Corporation voted that in accepting the resignation they
wish to "acknowledge their great obligation to Dr. Williams for
876 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
his twenty years of honorable service as Professor of Ophthal-
mology, and for a previous service of five years as University
Lecturer on the same subject ; and that they see with satis-
faction that during this period the subject to which Dr. Will-
iams had devoted himself has won an important place among
the studies of the Medical School."
In nearly all those appointments Williams was the first per-
son to fill the positions, most of which were created for him.
As a teacher he was lucid, practical, and had the happy faculty
of accommodating his language to the requirements of his
particular class of hearers, whether students, practitioners or
laymen. His influence was great, and the lessons he taught
were often the sum total of what many practitioners ever were
to know of the diseases and treatment of the eye. In the
conventions of his associates he was an important person, with
a forcible, persuasive way of speaking and presiding which
often made final his opinions and decisions. He had always
the greatest consideration for the rights and privileges of his
associates, and so won their regard and respect. With a mind
virile, set, yet consistent, he naturally met opposition, but his
untiring patience, his conservativism, his conscientiousness in
the discharge of his duties always secured the admiration of
his opponents. In the Medical Faculty he was opposed to the
entrance of women into the practice of medicine, while in the
suppression of quackery he was relentless. It was said of
him that he never grew old, and was constantly adding to his
store of knowledge.
His ability as an operator deserves special mention. He
had few equals; "To see him extract a double cataract, first
with the right hand and then with the left, with equal pre-
cision and grace, was a surgical coup never to be forgotten,"
is the opinion of D. W. Cheever. Williams sent the following
interesting letter to the President and Fellows of Harvard
College on April 22, 1891 :
EMINENT ALUMNI 877
" When compelled by illness, in 1891, I resigned the position I had for
twenty years held as your first Professor of Ophthalmology, your kind
assurance of ' obligations for twenty years of honorable service,' and of
'seeing with satisfaction rhat during this period the subject had won an
important place among the studies of the Medical School ' were most
grateful to me.
" My experience in these years of teaching at a period when our knowl-
edge of the functions of the Eye and our resources for promoting its
well being and usefulness far surpassed anything before attained ; im-
pressed me with the importance of the Department charged with the
welfare of the Organ of Vision so superlatively essential to scholars ;
and the instrument by the aid of which the major part of all which
increases human welfare and happiness is accomplished.
" Therefore, in the hope of continuing to be useful as a promoter in
this promising field, I offer to the University twenty-five thousand dollars,
as a special fund for the maintenance of a Professorship of Ophthal-
mologyâ€”with the proviso that during the life time of my wife the income
of the Fund shall go to her use, payable to her order. * * * * "
It was voted to establish the "Henry Willard Williams
The last public appearance of Henry W. Williams was at
the meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
on May 8th, 1895, when he read an obituary notice of Pro-
fessor Herman von Helmholtz. Soon after this his health
began to fail rapidly and he died in Boston on June 13, 1895.
1849, Dec. 2 4- Report of the Committee on Internal Health on the
Asiatic Cholera, together with a report of the City Physician on the
Cholera Hospital. The Topographical Statistics by H. W. Williams.
1850. " Spectacles : Their Uses and Abuses in Long and Shortedness."
By J. Sichel, M. D. Translated from the French, by permission of the
author, by Henry W. Williams. M. D. Boston.
1850, June 26, July 3. "Operations for cataract : (1) Microphthalmos
complicated with Congenital Cataract in both Eyes â€” Operation; (2) Ex-
traction of Cataract by Section of the superior half of the Cornea;
(3) Operation for Cataract with Two Instruments, through the Cornea
and Sclerotica at the same time." Host. Med. & Surg. Jour., xlii. 21, 22.
1851, March 24. "Case of Hypospadias." Proc. Boston Soc. for Med-
ical Improvement, Vol. i, p. 149.
878 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
1851, April 28. "Dislocation of the Crystaline Lens without Rupture
of the Capsule." Proc. Boston Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. i,
1851, June 18. ''On the Value of the Operation of Extraction of Cata-
ract, and on the Use of Anaesthetic Agents in Ophthalmic Surgery."
Boston Med. and Surg. Jour., xliv, 20.
1851, July 14. "Traumatic Injuries of the Iris. Proc. of the Boston
Medical Improvement," Vol. i, p. 164.
1851, Sept. 22. " Pracentesis Thoracis in a case of Acute Pleurisy."
Proc. Boston Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. i, p. 176.
1852, Aug. 9. " Carcinomatous Disease of the Uterus and Vagina."
Proc. Boston Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. i, p. 258.
1852, Sept. 8. " Encysted Tumor above Lachrymal Sac." Boston Med.
& Surg. Jour., xlvii, 6.
1852, Oct. 6. " Carcinoma Oculi â€” Extirpation of the Eyeball." Boston
Med. & Surg. Jour., xlvii, 10.
1852, Dec. 22. " Cataract in a Dog ; Successful Operation under the
Influence of Ether." Boston Med. & Surg. Jour., xlvii, 21.
T 853, Jan. 4. " Cataract from Traumatic Injury." Proc. Boston Soc.
for Medical Improvement, Vol. i, p. 305.
" Scrofulous Disease of Testicle." Ibid., p. 305.
l &53, Feb. 28. " Malignant Disease of Eyeball and Tissues of the
Orbit. â€” Extirpation. Death from Haemorrhage during the Operation."
Proc. of Boston Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. i, p. 314.
1853, April 30. An Address delivered before the Suffolk District Med-
ical Soc. at its Fourth Anniversary Meeting, Boston, April 30, 1853.
1853, May 22,. " Fluid Congenital Cataract." Proc. Boston Soc. for
Medical Improvement, Vol. i, p. 339.
1853. June 13. " Operation for Cataract on a Patient aged eighty-eight."
Proc. Boston Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. i, p. 341.
" Anencephalous Foetus." Ibid., p. 346.
1853, Nov. 23. " Extraction of Cataract, the Patient being under the
Influence of Ether. Subsequent Presence and Absorption of Air in the
Anterior Chamber." Boston Med. and Surg. Jour., xlix, 17.
1853, Dec. 26. " Single Congenital Cataract." Proc. Boston Soc. for
Medical Improvement, Vol. ii, p. 39.
1854, Feb. 27. " Pathological Changes of the Cornea, following the
Affection of the Fifth Pair of Nerves." Proc. Boston Soc. for Medical
Improvement, Vol. ii, p. 51.
"Removal of Central Opacity of Cornea." Ibid., p. 53.
1854, Aug. 14. " Operations for Removal of Opacities of the Cornea."
Proc. Boston Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. ii, p. 129.
1854, Aug. 28. "Fracture of Os Hyoides produced by a Fall â€” Suffoca-
EMINENT ALUMNI 879
tion from Effusion around Glottis â€” Tracheotomy â€” Resuscitation by Arti-
ficial Respiration." Proc. Bost. Soc. Med. Improvement, Vol. ii, p. 153.
1854, Nov. 13. " Dislocation of the Crystalline Lens." Proc. Boston
Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. ii, p. 162.
1854, Dec. 11. "Spontaneous Dislocation of the Crystalline Lens in
Both Eyes, without Loss of Transparency. Frequent Prolapse of the Lens
into the Right Anterior Chamber." Proc. Boston Soc. for Medical Im-
provement, Vol. ii.
1855, Feb. 26. " Dislocation of the Crystalline Lens, Resulting from a
Blow on the Eye received some time previously." Proc. Boston Soc. for
Medical Improvement, Vol. ii, p. 189.
1855, March 12. " Cancer of the Stomach." Proc. Boston Soc. for
Medical Improvement, Vol. ii, p. 194.
1855, May 3. " Two Cases of Infantile Syphilis." Read before the
Boston Soc. for Medical Observation, April 16, 1855. Bost. Med. and
Surg. J., Hi, 13.
1855, June 11. "Artificial Pupil." Proc. Boston Soc. for Med. Im-
provement, Vol. ii, p. 239.
1856, April 28. " Crystals of Cholesterine in the Eye." Proc. Boston
Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. ii, p. 341.
1856, June 9. " Vesication of the Epithelial Layer of the Cornea â€”
Absence of Sensibility to Irritation." Proc. Boston Soc. Med. Improve-
ment, Vol. iii.
1856, Aug. 21, 28, Sept. 4. "Iritis: â€” Non-mercurial Treatment." Read
before the Boston Soc. for Medical Observation, Aug. 4, 1856. Boston
Med. and Surg. Jour., lv, 3, 4,* 5.
1857, Feb. 26. " Pyramidal Cataract : Operations by Division and Ex-
traction." Boston Med. and Surg. Jour., hi, 4.
1857, Sept. 28. " Disease of the Eye, probably Cancerous." Proc. Bos-
ton Soc. for Medical Improvement, Vol. iii, p. 138.
1857, Dec. 3. " Operations for Artificial Pupil." Boston Med. and
Surg. Jour., lvii, 18.
1857, Dec. 14. " Remarkable Changes of the Internal Structures of the