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American Medical Biographies/Woodward, Joseph Janvier

Woodward, Joseph Janvier (1833–1884)

This noted surgeon was born in Philadelphia, October 30, 1833. He was educated in his native city and obtained the A. B. and A. M. from the Central High School of Philadelphia, graduating in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1853 and practising medicine in his native city until 1861, when, at the outbreak of the Civil War, he offered his services to the Union and served as assistant surgeon with the Army of the Potomac. In 1862 he was assigned to duty in the surgeon-general's office at Washington. After having organized several military hospitals in that city he was put in charge of the Army Medical Museum. While in this position he collected, in conjunction with Col. Otis, the material for "The Medical and Surgical History of the War." Woodward had charge of the medical part. The first volume of the medical history appeared in 1870, the second in 1879. In the meantime Woodward did valuable work in microscopy and photo-micrography, and his publications in these fields made his name famous among scientists throughout the world. His papers fill some four columns in the catalogue of the surgeon-general's library at Washington, District of Columbia. His unceasing labors gradually undermined his constitution so that, in the summer of 1880, he was compelled to go to Europe for his health. He returned the same year somewhat improved. In July, 1881, he was called to the bedside of Pres. Garfield. This, too, was a great strain on his constitution and he never completely recovered. He died August 17, 1884.

Besides the great work mentioned, Woodward published "The Hospital Steward's Manual" (1862) and "Outlines of the Chief Camp Diseases of the United States Armies, as Observed During the Present War" (1863). He also published numerous articles on microscopy, photo-micrography, cancer and other subjects, the catalogue of the surgeon-general's library containing sixty-one titles. In 1881 he was elected president of the American Medical Association. Woodward was an honorary member of the Royal Microscopical Society and of the Queckett Club of London, of the Liverpool and Belgian Societies of Microscopy and many other societies at home and abroad.

There is a portrait in the Surgeon-General's library, Washington, D. C.

Med. News, Phila., 1884, vol. xiv, p. 249.
Med. Rec., N. Y., 1884, vol. xxvi, p. 215.
Memoir, J. S. Billings, M. D., 1885. Bibliog.