Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/144

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McL'LURC;


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McCLURG


Jefferson Medical College was founded in 1825 — in which foundation Dr. McClellan took a leading part. It i.s interesting to note that Dr. McClellan was sued in 1S2S because of a failure in a cataract operation, and the ver- dict of five lunuhed ilollars was in favor of the plaintiff. According to Dr. Gross "the suit had been instigatetl by professional enemies."

He died in Philadelphia in 1847.

H. F.

Hubbell's " Development of Ophthalmology."

McClurg, James (1746-1823).

James McClurg, a Revolutionary sur- geon, was the son of Dr. Walter Mc- Clurg, a wealthy citizen and noted physician of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, who also served his country as a .surgeon in the Virginia State Xavy in the Revolution.

The boy James had the best educa- tional advantages of the day and fully availed himself of them at William and Mary College, from which he grad- uated in 1762. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he attracted the attention and com- mendation of CuUen, Black and other professors. Taking his M. D. from this celebrated institution of medical learn- ing in 1770, his professional studies were then pursued in Paris and London.

Returning to Virginia in 1773, he located at Williamsburg, where he came into competition with such men and practitioners as Arthur Lee, and others of like caliber. In a very short time, however, he made way to the head of his profession in the state, a position which he held for fifty years.

A professorship of anatomy and medicine ha^ang been created at William and Mary, he was elected in 1779 to the chair, but it is not known that he ever gave any instruction in these sub- jects. During the war of the Revolu- tion he served as a surgeon in the earlier years, and later as a medical director, making for himself a great reputation. He was a member of the


convention which framed the Federal Constitution in Phihulelphia in 1787, but did not sign that document. For many years he was a counsellor of the state also. A member of the Medical Society of Virginia, he was elected its president in 1820 and 1821, though then too feeble to take any part in its ])roceedings.

When Richmond became the seat of government. Dr. McClurg removed from AVilliamsburg to that city, and was for the succeeding forty years its leading physician, the latter period of his life being almost entirely given up to consulting practice, a fact that showed well his high standing with both the profession and the laity.

"The Philadelphia Journal of Med- ical and Physical Sciences" was in 1820 dedicated to "The Elegant Scholar and Accomplished Physician, Dr. Mc- Clurg." This shows that his reputa- tion extended beyond the confines of his own state.

No statement of the fact that he was ever married can be found.

He died in Richmond in July, 1823, at the age of seventy-seven, and it may truly be said of him that of the many eminent physicians Virginia has given to our profession, none stood higher than he.

His inaugural essay entitled " De Calore" was regarded as an original and profound production, but was never published. It is said to have contained suggestions from which were thought to have originated some of the opinions afterwards demonstrated by the founders of the French school of chemistry. WTiile residing in Lon- don he published a paper entitled " Experiments upon the Human Bile and Reflections on the Biliary Secre- tions, with an Introductory Essay" (London, 1772), which attracted much attention both on account of its original- ity and charming and elegant style. He made several contributions to the "Philadelphia Journal of Medical and Physical Sciences."