American Medical Biographies/Hunt, Thomas

Hunt, Thomas (1808–1867).

Thomas Hunt was born in Charleston, South Carolina, May 18, 1808, and died in New Orleans, March 20, 1867. Of good lineage, his early education was under the accomplished scholar Bishop England, his studies being directed to law, but his readings embraced all branches of literature and science. His love of the classics adhered to him through life and his proficiency in Greek was profound. Selecting medicine as his profession, he received his M. D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1829, then went to Paris, but was soon recalled by the death of his father and entered at once into practice. At the age of twenty-three he lectured on anatomy and operative surgery and taught practical anatomy. When the Amelia was wrecked off Folly Island in 1832 he distinguished himself with Dr. Warren Stone (q. v.), a passenger on that vessel, by his treatment and management of the cholera which attacked the unfortunate crew and voyagers.

In 1833 he removed to New Orleans, again to face cholera and to render himself prominent in the warfare against this disease. He was soon elected surgeon to the Charity Hospital, but held the office for a short while as it interfered with larger plans. He entered actively into the enterprise of establishing the Medical College in Louisiana. The introductory lecture on anatomy he delivered in 1834 and the existence and growth of the university were largely due to Hunt. He held the chairs of anatomy and physiology, pathological anatomy and practice, physiology and pathology and special pathology; was dean of the faculty and at the time of his death president of the University of Louisiana, also surgeon to the Marine Hospital, New Orleans.

He wrote a good deal on dermatology, his pamphlets going through three editions; these included: "Practical Observations on Certain Diseases of the Skin generally pronounced Incurable," London, 1847; "Memoir of the Medicinal Uses of Arsenic," 1849.

The professional life of Dr. Hunt extended over thirty-eight years, thirty-four of which were spent in New Orleans.

New Orleans Med. and Surg. Jour., 1867.