American Medical Biographies/Jackson, James (1810–1834)

Jackson, James (1810–1834)

James Jackson Junior had a short life, dying when only twenty-four years old, but he left behind him an essay on pneumonia that gained the Boylston Prize at Harvard, an account of the cholera epidemic in Paris in 1832, and he first called attention to the prolonged expiratory sound as an important diagnostic sign in incipient phthisis.

The son of the eminent James Jackson (q. v.) and his wife, Elizabeth Cabot Jackson, he was born in Boston, January 1, 1810, and graduated at Harvard in 1828. He began the study of medicine under the direction of his father and attended the lectures at the Harvard Medical School until April, 1831, when he went to Paris and became a pupil and friend of Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis. There he worked at La Pitié, except for a six months' visit to Great Britain and Ireland, until July, 1833. Reaching home, he graduated M. D. from Harvard in 1834, but died of pericarditis a month after graduation, March 27 of that year.

Louis wrote that he thought him a most careful observer and the notes and papers Jackson left behind him attest this judgment.

His father published a memoir of his son in 1835 of 444 pages, reporting his medical cases and printing extracts from his letters.

While in Paris young Jackson was instrumental in founding the Société Médicale d'observation de Paris. To this society he communicated, in 1833, his paper on the prolonged expiratory sound in early phthisis. "Notes on Sixty Cases of Cholera" was published by his father in 1834.