R. French (Richard French) Stone.

Biography of eminent American physicians and surgeons online

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Online LibraryR. French (Richard French) StoneBiography of eminent American physicians and surgeons → online text (page 1 of 215)
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THE urgent demand for a new American Medical Biography, and the assurance of hearty
co-operation of the medical profession, fully confirm the editor and publishers in the belief
that the publication of such a work will be duly appreciated. Every reader has recognized
the benefit of the many local and general biographies descriptive of noted men of diversified
professions; but each learned profession should, if possible, have a distinct biographical
cyclopedia of its own representatives, and one that is complete and fully up to date.

To those familiar with the history of American, medical literature, it is needless to say
how lamentably deficient it is in the above respect. Although there is no lack of memoirs,
yet they are, for the most part, either included in voluminous cyclopedias, or scattered through
local and ephemeral publications, practically inaccessible to the great majority of readers,
which renders them almost a nullity as respects the object for which they were written. It
is believed that the first attempt in this country to systematize our knowledge upon the sub-
ject was made by Dr. James Thacher, an eminent physician of Massachusetts, in a work re-
plete with interest and instruction, entitled "American Medical Biography," issued at Bos-
ton in 1828. It was published sixteen years before the author's death, but never reached a
second edition, although highly deserving such a compliment. Dr. Thacher was a distin-
guished Surgeon in the War of the Revolution. His work essentially consisted of a collec-
tion of life sketches of the more illustrious medical men who had flourished during that
period, and up to the date of its publication, contributed mainly by writers familiar with their
personal career. In 1845 appeared a second work, bearing the title of "American Medical Biog-
raphy," edited by the late Dr. Stephen W. Williams, also of Massachusetts, and was intended
as a continuation of the work'of Dr. Thacher, and like it composed of distinguished medical
men, whose careers had extended from 1828 to the date of its appearance. Dr. Williams
died several years ago in the State of Illinois, where he had gone to employ the evening of
his days in the practice of his profession, cherishing to the last a noble and disinterested
attachment for the science of medicine. In 1861 a third publication, also bearing the same
title as the two preceding works, appeared under the editorial management of the late Dr.
Samuel D. Gross. This publication^ consisting of extended memoirs of about thirty of the
most eminent Physicians and Surgeons of America, whose field of labor had extended
from near the beginning to about the middle of the present century. The three works
above mentioned consisted of memoirs of deceased members of the medical profession.
In 1878 a fourth publication of medical biography was edited by Dr. William B. Atkinson,
of Philadelphia, under the title of "Physicians and Surgeons of the United States." The
latter work was intended to include sketches of only the living representative medical
men of the time. As there was no good reason why the true merit of any member of the
profession should remain unknown to the world until read in his obituary, and as there was
a desire to learn something of the life history of the real workers in the field of medicine
and their professional achievements, this publication also met with a very popular apprecia-
tion. So far as our information extends the foregoing are the only works exclusively on
medical biography of national scope. They were all prepared by distinguished authors who
seemed deeply impressed with the conviction that such a labor was necessary in order to
rescue the memoirs of some of their predecessors, as well as contemporaries, from unde-
served oblivion, and so well did they execute their task that their efforts were regarded as
monuments of their industry, zeal, and judgment as well as a legacy to those who follow
them, worthy alike of our admiration and our gratitude. To commemorate those who have
adorned the profession of medicine, is not only a just tribute to such as have earned the
meed of praise, but is at the same time a debt that posterity may claim, in order that it may
emulate their character and participate in the honors of Hiose revered; and as the lapse of
time obliterates the record, it becomes a task of affectionate interest, and of professional
duty to cut afresh the traces of the worn inscriptions, and thus to renew their influence on
the present and succeeding generations of our country.

While acknowledging in the text his obligation to various sources for the materials of
this publication, the editor desires to mention his special indebtedness to the authorities above
mentioned, all of which have been carefully consulted and freely utilized to meet the pur-
poses for which this compilation has been designed. As the preceding works are now out



of print, and not likely to be republished, and as they have successively appeared during the
present century as if in response to a professional demand at intervals of about every fifteen
or twenty years, it is evident that there is now ample room for other volumes of similar
character. The preceding works, though excellent in their day, are no longer available or
sufficiently comprehensive in their scope to meet the demands of the present time. Since
their publication, many years ago, almost a new generation of physicians and surgeons has
come to the front, and by their efforts perhaps more real progress has been made in the
science and practice of medicine than at any other period since the dawn of its history.

The present publication, therefore, owes its origin to a desire upon the part of the editor
to present a book differing in scope, plan and arrangement from all others hitherto published,
by including an account of the many illustrious medical men who have honored our profes-
sion from the early colonial days to the present time, and to place their services and claims
for remembrance more conspicuously than has yet been done before the American people.
His object is to not only show what has been accomplished by our illustrious predecessors
in the medical profession in the early history of this country as well as by the labors of
those notable pioneers still in the field of action, but to especially present the achievements
of our more recently distinguished medical men who have given American medicine and
surgery a rank as high at least as the science and practice have attained in the older countries
of Europe. With the features indicated, it is believed that such a work will prove of general
interest and permanent historical value, alike complimentary to our profession and the country
in which we live. In every age and among all nations by which medical science has been
cultivated, the names of those who have devoted themselves to its advancement or to the
application of its principles to practical purposes have been inscribed upon the brightest
page of history, whose ample face bears record of the grateful homage paid to worth. If
neither in the forum, the pulpit or the tented field can the physician be heard or admired by
many, yet there are other domains in which his service and his merit are no less revered.
It has been truly said that the ordinary life of the physician is essentially a history of
private benevolence, abounding in charitable acts and deeds of Samaritan kindness, rather
than of public renown. As a rule, it is devoid of stirring adventure by field and flood, and
its current, though deep and strong, is too quiet to fully awaken the interest of the masses.
With the latter, the story of some great military chieftain, whose victorious achievements
consist in the destruction of his fellow-man, is ever more attractive. But if the achievements
of the warrior or the statesman are lauded amid the bustle and agitation of civil strife, the glory
of the physician is reflected in the quiet exercise of that deeper and more important mission
which has for its object the welfare of human interests in the tranquil course of domestic life,
where the affections dwell and the heart finds its repose in sympathy with affliction and be-
reavement, in relief of physical pain and the cure of disease in all its protean forms. It is here
that the physician occupies a place which is second to no other on earth in its sacred importance
and beneficence. Living in and for his art and its scientific development, his constant
endeavor is to ameliorate the condition of the human race. His scene of labor is in the
daily rounds of private practice in the chamber of the sick and in the wards of the hospital.
It is here that he displays his strength and asserts his claims as man's benefactor. The life
of the skillful physician, viewed in the light of his intellectual exertion, his realm of author-
ship, his original research, his investigations of the nature, causes, treatment and prevention
of disease, or in his constant efforts in seeking, finding and imparting with unwearied
industry new and useful knowledge for the alleviation of human suffering, the prolongation
of life and the improvement of public health, will be found to present a panorama of varied
and never-ceasing activity, voluminous and replete with scientific and philanthropic interest.
The faithful rendering of such a biography becomes at once a precept and an example, an
argument and incentive, awakening in the minds of others who may read and reflect upon
its teachings the determination to press steadily forward in a like honorable career. To
those who have grown weary with life-long toil in the vineyard of their profession, such
biographies afford an interest and encouragement, a vindication and a satisfaction in the
choice of their noble avocation, and to all they present chapters of profound importance in
the history of society.

If the achievements of medical men reflect brilliancy in the ordinary and uneventful
pursuit of peaceful life, the annals of history will show 7 that they shine with no less luster
amidst stirring scenes of danger and of public calamity. In the facing of malignant epi-
demics, or in the pursuit of scientific research, in braving the exposures incident to explor-
ing expeditions of unknown regions, or in response to the call for relief of the agonies
and the horrors of cruel and grim-visaged war, whether on the perilous, tempestuous sea


or in the fiery ordeal of battle, the profession of medicine instead of a hindrance has been
the incentive and opportunity for the exercise of a courage and daring unsurpassed by that
of any other avocation of man. If it be said by the thoughtless that the military surgeon is a
non-combatant, and therefore not exposed to the dangers and chances of war, statistics will
answer that in almost every conflict in the history of our nation the proportion of deaths of
officers of the line who were killed in battle, who have died in camp, in hospital, in prison, or
from disease incident to active service, has been exceeded by the mortality among medical
officers. In the present work, therefore, it becomes a duty and a pleasure to record the pro-
fessional achievements of those early and modern military and naval surgeons whose history
is identified with that of our country, from the war for independence to that which was waged
for and against the perpetuity of the Union, and especially of those who nobly took part on
either side in our recent conflict, who followed through the thickest of its dangers, not to
deal out destruction, but to stanch the wounds of friend and foe alike, and who were the
first to extend the fraternal hand across the field of strife when it had ceased between the
opposing armies.

A common and well-grounded objection urged respecting the various biographical works
and local histories relating to towns, cities, counties and States, purporting to present the
leaders of our profession, is an utter lack of discrimination, or the inclusion of the members
of all schools of medicine, without regard to real merit. But as this work is to be issued in
the interest of Regular Medicine, and as its editor believes the teachings of this school em-
bodies everything essential to medical skill and progress, we trust that its pages will be
found free from such objections. In its publication the editor does not claim that it embraces
biographical notice of all the eminent men of this great country ; he does, however, believe that
he has presented, if not a majority, at least a greater number of those entitled to such distinction,
representing the different periods of American history, than has hitherto been published in
any other work in this line of medical literature. Doubtless there are yet many illustrious
members of our profession who are equally worthy of biographical mention, but if any such
have been omitted, or if the life sketches of any who are included are brief or incom-
plete, it has been neither the fault of the editor nor the publisher, as neither time, labor
or expense has been spared to render the work as complete in all its details as possible. Our
great aim has been to include within this volume biographical sketches that shall present
with sufficient fullness the latest results of original and historical research, and to arrange
them in alphabetical order, thus rendering it a reference book of the most valuable character.
As all articles relating to the "great beacon lights" of the profession have been made as
complete and exhaustive as the limited space of a cyclopedia could afford, it is believed the
work will not only prove entertaining, but instructive, or educational, as well. The field from
which the editor has gleaned is a wide one, in fact national in its range, and its biographical list
includes prominent officials connected with the following organizations: American Medical
Association, American Academy of Medicine, American Association of Genito-Urinary
Surgeons, American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Climatological
Association, American Dermatological Association, American Gynecological Society, Ameri-
can Laryngological Association, American Medical Editors' Association, American Neu-
rological Association, American Ophthalmological Society, American Orthopedic Associa-
tion, American Otological Society, American Pediatric Society, American Physiological
Society, American Public Health Association, American Rhinological Association, American
Surgical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, American Volunteer Med-
ical Corps, Association of American Physicians, Association of Medical Superintendents
of American Institutions for the Insane, International Medical Congress, National Associa-
tion of Railway Surgeons, National Board of Health. National Conference of State Boards
of Health, New England Psychological Society, Rocky Mountain Medical Association,
Sanitary Council of the Mississippi Valley, Southern Surgical and Gynecological Association
and Association of Military Surgeons of the National Guard of the United States. Also,
prominent officers of the United States Army, United States Navy, United States Marine
Hospital Service, United States Pension Bureau, Professors in regular Medical Colleges,
Hospital Physicians and Surgeons, Editors of leading Medical Journals, distinguished Medical
Officials in charge of City and State Benevolent Institutions, as well as those connected with
County and State Medical Societies. Authors who have made important contributions to the
literature of the profession, and those who by long experience or professional success have
become of eminence have likewise been fully recognized. In short, this publication includes
biographies of many noteworthy physicians, surgeons, and specialists in every important
town and city in the United States and Territories. It is not supposed that great medical


men are only found in great cities, and only inferior ones in inferior towns, for sometimes
the most capable men of the profession are recruited by the former from the latter places.
And while it is foreign to the nature of this work to attempt the resurrection of "Village
Hampdens, or mute, inglorious Miltons," yet whenever our researches have led to the dis-
covery in the most obscure and unexpected localities, the names of men,

"On fame's eternal scroll worthy to be inscribed,"
a liberal recognition of their worth has not been omitted.

The book begins with an introductory chapter containing an outline review of the prog-
ress and condition of medical science and medical practice from an early period in our coun-
try's history to the present time, and is supplemented by a complete "Local Medical and
Surgical Index" or alphabetical arrangement under cities and states of the names and busi-
ness address of eminent physicians, surgeons and specialists, as well as the page upon which
their biographies are to be found. This directory is designed to aid those who seek pro-
fessional services at particular places, and is a feature especially desired by correspondents
in every section of the country. The work will be found profusely illustrated by numerous
fine photo-engraved portraits, accompanied by fac-simile autographs, thus securing for the
publication a most valuable and attractive national portrait gallery of the distinguished
medical men of the country.

It was found that the extra thickness of paper requisite for printing portraits would make
the book too large for convenient handling if printed in ordinary style, with paragraphs
and leaded lines, but by avoiding this the publishers have been enabled to print with the
present number of pages the same amount of matter that would otherwise occupy a volume
even much larger than the one first intended. The editor deems it due to himself to state
that the idea which first led to the publication of this work was conceived several years ago,
since which time he has gradually gathered material essential for its completion. In 1891 he
issued circulars in which, setting forth the objects of the work, he endeavored to enlist the
interest and co-operation of prominent members of the profession in various parts of the
United States in furtherance of his design. The project met with general favor, and it was
not long before he received sufficient pledges of aid to w r arrant the expectation of its earlier
completion. Some of the pledges were promptly redeemed, others delayed, and some
still remain unfulfilled. According to the systematic arrangement of the work each sketch
required printing in alphabetical order. Any delay, therefore in sending in the data of
sketches caused great hindrance to the progress of the publication. When at length, in the
spring of 1893, a sufficiency of material was gathered to form a large volume, the financial
panic suddenly occurred, prostrating all branches of business, and this also for a time oper-
ated against its more rapid completion. This statement it is considered necessary to make
in order to show that the unlooked-for delay in the appearance of the work was not occa-
sioned by any fault, neglect or mismanagement of the editor, who never for a moment
despaired of the enterprise, and who has been unceasing in his efforts to urge it on to final
completion. His duty has been to exercise great care in the selection and preparation of the
sketches, to superintend the publication in a general manner, and to expunge from its pages
that which was lacking in professional interest, or whatever was likely to prove offensive to
good taste or to be at variance with the amenities of medical ethics.

In facilitating a large professional correspondence, in verifying the data of sketches, and
in securing other important information requisite for the preparation of the work, great
pleasure is taken in acknowledging the obligation the editor is under to the publishers of the
"Medical and Surgical Register of the United States," "Appleton's Cyclopedia of American
Biography," "Carson's History of the University of Pennsylvania," the Journal of the Amer-
ican Medical Association, the Magazine of Western History and other valuable periodicals of the
day. The facts relating to the personal history of the living distinguished representatives of
the profession included in this work have been contributed by friends, colleagues and those
most familiar w T ith the career of the subjects. Many biographical sketches of pioneers in
medicine are from the pen of Dr. N. S. Davis, of Chicago, Dr. Chas. E. Cadwalader, of
Philadelphia, Dr. Joseph Jones, of New Orleans, and other notable American physicians.
Some' of these memoirs were in original manuscript never before published, and some were
extremely rare and of great historic value, and for all of which we desire to express
assurance of our most sincere thanks and especial appreciation.

INDIANAPOLIS, IND., DEC. 30, 1893. Editor and Compiler.



It is kncwn that in the colonial history of our country the first practitioners of the
healing art were educated in their parent country, and following the fortunes of their less
gifted countrymen, became participants of their struggles and trials. "Such were the few
medical men who first landed on our shores and who encountered all the difficulties of
administering to the ailments incident to a new climate, aggravated by deficient facilities of
protection from the elements and exposure. They were in many instances possessed of a
thorough education and of classical accomplishments, and nobly sustained their part in the
untried scenes through which they passed. In some cases the theological and medical pro-
fessions were united in the same individual, medicine being studied as an accessory science
with the especial view (as is now frequently done by our missionaries to foreign lands), to
meet the exigencies of administering, if required, not only in spiritual concerns, but in
bodily derangements." This union of the clerical and medical professions has been
explained by Dr. Thacher as follows: "The inducement to emigrate, with a large propor-
tion of the colonists, was of a religious nature. They were restive and unhappy under the
restrictions and even persecutions which emanated from the bigotry of the church estab-
lishment of England. The Puritan clergy of England were, for more than twenty years
prior to the emigration of the first settlers, subjected to the sharpest persecution. Hence,
as a precautionary measure in case of an ejectment, a considerable number of clergymen of
that period were educated to the medical profession, and not a few were eminent practitioners
before they crossed the Atlantic. When these professional men came to form connections
in the Colonies, it was found that the small congregations were unable to afford them a
comfortable support, hence the necessity and convenience of their resorting to secular
avocations." In a historical address delivered at the opening of the Medical Department of
Columbia College, Washington City, District of Columbia, March 30, 1825, Prof. Thomas

Online LibraryR. French (Richard French) StoneBiography of eminent American physicians and surgeons → online text (page 1 of 215)