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American Medical Biographies/Brown, Bedford

Brown, Bedford (1825–1897)

A physician and army surgeon, Bedford Brown was the son of the Hon. Bedford Brown, United States senator from North Carolina from 1828 to 1841, and was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, January 17, 1825. His mother's maiden name was Mary L. Glenn.

In 1845 he studied under Dr. Benjamin W. Dudley (q.v.), of Lexington, Kentucky; attended two courses of lectures in the medical department of the Transylvania University, and graduated in 1848. Two years later he took a course of lectures at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and graduated from that institution in 1855.

Dr. Brown was a member of the Southern Surgical and Gynecological Association of which he was vice-president in 1893, and one of its judicial council from 1894; a member of the Board of Medical Examiners of Virginia from 1885 to 1894, and of the Medical Society of Virginia, of which he was president in 1886.

After graduation he practised three or foul years in Virginia, and about 1855 returned to North Carolina and practised at Yanceyville until the outbreak of the Civil War. At its close he settled in Alexandria, Virginia, where he practised until death.

In the spring of 1861 he was appointed chief surgeon in the camp of instruction at Weldon, North Carolina, then assigned to the troops sent from Richmond, Virginia, to northwestern Virginia and eventually served during the rest of the war as inspector of hospitals and camps.

He always took an active interest in professional affairs. He was also prominent in the Council of Confederate Veterans, and served as surgeon of the R. E. Lee Camp, of Alexandria, from its organization.

Dr. Brown performed many capital operations during his military service, and after the war had a large practice.

He married, in 1852, Mary E. Simpson of Washington, District of Columbia, and had three children, two sons and a daughter. William Bedford, who became a physician in New York City, was one of the sons.

During the last months of his life he was troubled with chronic cystitis, for the relief of which an operation was performed by the late Dr. Hunter McGuire, but failing to rally, he died at his home in Alexandria, September 13, 1897.

The "Transactions of the Medical Society of Virginia," from 1879 to the year of his death, contain many papers read before the society by Dr. Brown, too many indeed to enumerate. Several also are to be found in the "Transactions of the Southern Surgical and Gynecological Association," many of these of great historical interest.

Trans. Med. Soc. of Va., 1898.
Photographs of the doctor are in the possession of his family.