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American Medical Biographies/Hartshorne, Edward

Hartshorne, Edward (1818–1885).

Edward Hartshorne, second son of Dr. Joseph Hartshorne, was born in Philadelphia, May 14, 1818. Having prepared for college at a private school in Philadelphia, he went to Princeton, and graduated A. B. in 1837, taking his A. M. in 1840. His desire to study medicine was not at first approved by his father. Edward's choice, however, was very positive, and his father consented. While a student at the University of Pennsylvania, he worked under Dr. W. W. Gerhard (q. v.). His M. D. was taken in 1840, with a thesis on "Pseudarthrosis, its Causes and Treatment," afterwards published by request of the faculty of the university in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences.

Immediately after graduating Dr. Hartshorne was engaged for several months as first assistant physician, under Dr. T. S. Kirkbride (q. v.), in the newly established Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, in West Philadelphia. From 1841 to 1843 he was one of the resident physicians of the Pennsylvania Hospital in the city and, in 1843, first resident physician in the Eastern Penitentiary in Philadelphia.

In 1844 Dr. Hartshorne went to Europe to extend his studies, especially by observation in the large hospitals of the Continent, then returning home he at once began the work of a practitioner. For one year he edited the Philadelphia Journal of Prison Discipline. His contributions to medical literature became frequent; beginning with articles and reviews in the Philadelphia Medical Examiner, then edited by Dr. Hollingsworth; afterwards, reviews and numerous bibliographical notices in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, especially between 1850 and 1870; also, in the North American Medico-Chirurgical Review.

Dr. Hartshorne wrote an extended notice of Wharton and Stillé's "Treatise on Medical Jurisprudence," and delivered one course of lectures on that subject in connection with an association of medical gentlemen. In 1853 he was called upon to edit, with notes and additions, the American edition of Taylor's masterly work on "Medical Jurisprudence," a task so well accomplished as to meet with general approbation.

He married, in 1850, Mrs. Adelia C. Pearse, daughter of John Swett, formerly of Boston. She survived him, with one son, Joseph Hartshorne the only one left of five children.

He was for seven years an attending surgeon to the Wills Hospital for the Blind and Lame; afterwards, till 1864, surgeon to the Pennsylvania Hospital. With many others usually engaged only in civil practice, during the war he was on duty for a time as assistant surgeon, in the field, after the battle of Antietam; and for two or three years, as attending or consulting surgeon at the McClellan, Nicetown, and other Army Hospitals, in and near Philadelphia. In the course of this service, a poisoned wound of his left hand incurred while amputating a very bad limb, induced a severe illness; and this had, no doubt, a depressing influence upon his health throughout the rest of his life. He was actively concerned in the organization of the Philadelphia branch of the United States Sanitary Commission, during the war, being secretary of its executive committee.

He was successively elected vice-president and president, of the Pathological Society, and of the Ophthalmological Society of Philadelphia.

Inheriting from his father a strong constitution, with much capacity for work, he would probably have attained long life but for the impairment of his vital energy by the two attacks of illness which have been mentioned. After contending for eight years with chronic nephritis, he passed tranquilly from this life, June 22, 1885, aged sixty-seven.

Trans. Coll. Phys., Philadelphia, 1837, 3 s., vol. ix. H. Hartshorne.
Med. and Surg. Reporter, Philadelphia, 1885, vol. liii.