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American Medical Biographies/Briggs, William Thompson

Briggs, William Thompson (1828–1894)

W. T. Briggs, surgeon and obstetrician, the son of Dr. John McPherson and Harriet Morehead Briggs, was born at Bowling Green, Kentucky, on December 4, 1828. After studying with his father he graduated from the medical department of Transylvania University in 1850 and was made demonstrator of anatomy in the University of Nashville. He settled down at Nashville in partnership with Dr. John M. Watson.

As a surgeon he did good work; ligating the internal carotid artery for traumatic aneurysm, removing both upper jaws for gunshot injury; amputating at the hip joint for elephantiasis arabum (the leg weighed 80 pounds), and he removed over 300 ovarian tumors.

His most important publications were:

"History of Surgery in Middle Tennessee;" "Enchondromatous Tumors of the Head, Forearm and Hand" (1871); "Trephining in Epilepsy" (1869); "The Surgical Treatment of Epilepsy" (1884).

He was one of the founders of the American Surgical Association and its president in 1885; a member of the Southern Surgical and Gynecological Association; staff surgeon to the Nashville City Hospital; adjunct professor of anatomy in the University of Nashville, and in that institution, successively, professor of surgical anatomy and professor of obstetrics and diseases of women and children, and professor of surgery.

He married in 1851, Annie E., daughter of Samuel Stubbins, of Bowling Green, and had four children. The three sons became doctors. Charles S., Waldo, and Samuel S.

Nashville Jour. Med. and Surg., 1890, n. s., vol. xlvi, also 1894, vol. lxxvi; also 1895, vol. lxvii, J. H. Callender.