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American Medical Biographies/Wright, Marmaduke Burr

Wright, Marmaduke Burr (1803–1879)

Marmaduke Burr Wright, a physician and medical teacher of Cincinnati, Ohio, was born in Pemberton, New Jersey, November 10, 1803. His early education was acquired in the Trenton Academy, and at the age of sixteen he began to study medicine with Dr. John McKelway, of Trenton, an alumnus of the University of Edinburgh. After attending three courses of medical lectures in the University of Pennsylvania he received his M. D. there in 1823 and in the same year he settled in Columbus, Ohio, and speedily established his reputation as a skilful physician and surgeon. In 1835 he married Mary E. Olmstead, of Columbus. In 1838 he held the chair of materia medica and therapeutics in the Medical College of Ohio, and two years later was transferred to the chair of obstetrics in the same institution. From this position he was removed by the action of the trustees of the college in 1850, a step which occasioned no little controversy and bitterness of feeling, but he was reelected to the same chair in 1860, and continued to hold this position until his retirement, with the title of professor emeritus, in 1868. During a large portion of his term of service in the Medical College of Ohio Dr. Wright filled the office of dean of the faculty.

Dr. Wright was one of the founders of the Ohio State Medical Society in 1846, president of this society in 1861, corresponding member of the American Society of Physicians of Paris, an honorary member of the American Gynecological Society, president of the Cincinnati Academy of Medicine in 1864, a member of the Cincinnati Obstetrical Society, and for thirty years held a position on the staff of the Commercial and Cincinnati hospitals.

He was an early and persistent advocate of combined cephalic version in obstetrics, "Difficult Labors and Their Treatment." ("Transactions of the Ohio State Medical Society," 1854); and of the establishment of asylums for the care and cure of inebriates. A fluent and logical writer he contributed numerous papers to the journals and societies of his day. Among the more important of these were:

"The Prize Essay of the Ohio State Medical Society," for the year 1854; "Drunkenness, its Nature and Cause or Asylums for Inebriates." ("Transactions of the Ohio State Medical Society," 1859); "Report of the Committee on Obstetrics to the Ohio State Medical Society." ("Transactions of Ohio State Medical Society," 1860).

He died in Cincinnati, August 15, 1879.

Trans Am. Med. Asso., 1880, vol. xxxi, p. 1098–1101. S. Loving.
Trans of the Ohio State Med. Soc. for 1880. Am. Pract., Louisville, 1879, vol. xx, p. 176–188. (T. P.)
Obstet. Gaz., Cincin., 1879–80, vol. ii, p. 262–269. A. G. Drury.
Trans. Am. Gyn. Soc., 1879, Boston, 1880, vol. iv, p. 433–437. T. Parvin. Portrait.