Open main menu

American Medical Biographies/Wright, John

Wright, John (1811–1846)

Wright was born in Troy, New York, February 2, 1811, the son of John Wright. His early education was secured at Allen Fish's School in Troy, where he was prepared for admission to the Rensselaer Institute, where he graduated. His education was further completed at Yale College, where he graduated in medicine in 1833.

He was an ardent student of Natural History. At one time he had a museum of birds and animals which he had procured and mounted himself. Rafinesque and Audubon were his friends and each visited him at Troy. He referred in after years to Mount Rafinesque which he named in honor of his friend, but which is known now as Bald Mountain, about five miles northeast of Troy. Dr. Wright had a pet raccoon, a remarkably fine specimen, of which Audubon made a sketch while on his visit to Troy, reproducing it in his great work on the animals of North America.

Dr. Wright was professor of natural history in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1838–1845; had published a Flora of Troy and vicinity, and was associated with Prof. Amos Eaton in publishing the "North American Botany," (eighth edition).

He was also on the state survey of Michigan in 1837 as state botanist and continued in that work about two years.

For several years he was associated in practice with Dr. Thomas C. Brinsmade of Troy, a combination of talent that gave them the best kind of practice. Dr Wright attended to the surgical cases.

On April 11, 1838, he married Mary Cottrell who died April 10, 1841. They had one son who died September 18, 1841. He married again, Catherine Wyant, December 5, 1844. He died of tuberculosis of the lungs, April 11, 1846, at Aiken, South Carolina. He was a member of the Rensselaer County Medical Society.

The full title of his book was:

"A Catalogue of Plants Growing Without Cultivation in the Vicinity of Troy," by John Wright, M. D., and James Hall, A. M., Troy, 1836.