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Warren, Edward (1828–1893)

Edward Warren, made Bey by the Firman of the Khedive, Ismail Pasha, is one of the most bizarre and picturesque figures in the annals of American medicine, having passed through the successive transformations of country doctor, professor, surgeon-general and chevalier of the Legion of Honor, as he journeyed from the swamps of Carolina and the shores of the Chesapeake to the Nile and the Seine, practising on three continents and received everywhere with acclaim.

Born in Tyrrell County, North Carolina, in 1828, descended from good old Virginia families, he was educated at the University of Virginia. In 1851 he received his M. D. from Jefferson Medical College and began to practise in Edenton, North Carolina. He went to Paris in 1854–55.

In 1856 he received the Fiske Fund prize for the essay, "The Influence of Pregnancy on the Development of Tuberculosis;" in 1861 he was editor of the Baltimore Journal of Medicine; from 1860–61, professor of materia medica, University of Maryland; in 1867 he reorganized Washington University Medical School, Baltimore, and was professor of surgery 1867– 71; in 1872 one of the founders of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, and professor there, 1872–73.

Governor Vance of North Carolina appointed him surgeon-general of the state and medical inspector of the Confederate States, 1861–65.

Warren was restless and given to travel. In 1873 he set sail for Liverpool and traversed Europe to arrive at Cairo in the service of Ismail Pasha as chief surgeon of the general staff. Here he made a reputation by his dependableness, decision of character and common sense methods, with an infusion of modern medicine; he was soon fortunate enough to save Kassim Pasha, the minister of war, abandoned by his regular atteendants and dying from a strangulated hernia; this stroke at once brought Warren repute and practice. Badly afflicted with ophthalmia, he escaped a ruse of his enemies to send him south into the hostile desert, and went for the hot season to Paris on a furlough, where the distinguished Landolt forbade his return to Egypt under penalty of total blindness of one eye.

Through Charcot he was made a "licentiate of the University of Paris" and practised there with signal success. As a reward for his skill in ferreting out a case of arsenical poisoning in a prominent Spanish lady, the King of Spain made him a "Knight of the Order of Isabella the Catholic."

Warren invented a splint for treatment of fracture of the clavicle, and "claimed the discovery of hypodermic medication."

He wrote "An Epitome of Practical Surgery for Field and Hospital," Richmond, 1863; "A Doctor's Experience in Three Continents" (1885), a series of letters addressed to Dr. John Morris, of Baltimore, full of charming personal and precious professional reminiscences. Warren, like Marion Sims, had an excellent opinion of himself, but not with such good reason. The University of North Carolina gave him an LL. D. and he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France.

in 1857 Dr. Warren married Elizabeth Cotton, daughter of Samuel Iredell Johnstone, rector of St. Paul's Church (Episcopal) at Edenton.

In 1875 he settled in Paris and died there September 16, 1893.

Med. Ann. Md., Cordell, 1893.
Early Hist. N. C. Med. Soc., Long, 1917.