Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/119

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LITTELL


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LITTLE


Medicine there. Some time after his return to Philadelphia he married Mary, daughter of Caleb Emlen, but she died early leaving him with an infant son and daughter.

On the Wills HosjMtal being organ- ized in 1834 he was elected one of the surgeons; a fellow in 1836 and after- wards a councillor. Although a general practitioner in every sense, he was best known as an ophthalmist and as a patient and cautious investigator bold in execution when operation was neces- sary. When no longer young he de- voted himself to mastering the difficul- ties of the ophthalmoscope (then new) and using it daily. His " Manual of Diseases of the Eye" was one of the earliest American books on the subject and was favoralily received here and abroad. He also edited " The Month- ly Journal of Foreign Medicine."

Although he always practised vac- cination, he lielievcd neither in the efficacy of that nor in the malarial origin of disease, not from narrow mindedness, for he had widely read and studied.

He was a staunch cluu-chman ami one of the committee to revise tlie Prayer Book in 1838, also editing some journals of the Episcopal Church.

As he neared his eightieth birthday he began to suffer from an affection of the choroid, and to one so fond of books this was a great trial. Early in the spring of 1886 his strength began to fail and he was found dead in bed on July 4, at Bay Head, New Jersey, where he had gone for his health.

His contributions to medical litei-- ature were numerous and of value; they include:

"Disea.ses of the Eye," 1837.

"Tumors at the Base of the Brain producing Amaurosis," 1838.

" Notes on Secondary Variolous Oph- thalmia," 1855.

" Memoir on Granular Ophthalmia (by request) in the Transactions, Con- gres d'Ophthalmologie de Bruxelles," 1857.


"Epithelial Cancer of the Colon," 1873.

Memoir, A. D. Hall, .M. D. Trans. Coll. Phys., Phila., 1887.

Little, James Lawrence (1836-1885),

Of Scotch-Irish and English forbears, he was born in Brooklyn February 19, 1836, and Avent to private schools until nearly twenty when books at- tracted him and he entered a book- store. But, reading more than .selling, particularly the medical works, he soon wanted very much to become a doctor. When a boy he had the same wish and purchased a skull from an old African grave iligger for twenty-five cents. But the skull was a gruesome specimen, unprepared and the lad threw it into Waliabout Bay and postponed med- icine for a while.

One day Dr. Willard Parker was ask- ed to take in another student. He was going to refuse, but somehow the tall earnest young man applying made an impression and Little was admitted and studied with Parker for two years and graduated at the College of Physi- cians and Surgeons, 1860, and resign- ing a position at Bellevue Hospital be- came junior assistant at the New York Hospital. Little brought enthusiasm and thoroughness. He reported cases for the "American Medical Times;" and devised a method of making and applying plaster- -of-Paris splints to supersede the old starch liandage. Eminently painstaking as a lecturer, for one of his class says " Little did not merely tell the men to apply a flax-seed poultice but brought the flaxseed and the cloth and made the poultice liefore the class." His clinics were besieged by crowds of patients from far and near, and everyone knew when they were ])eing held, by the mud stained buggies of the other practitioners standing near the door. He was the first American surgeon to puncture the liladder with the aspirator for the relief of retention of urine. He simul- taneously hgated the subclavian and