Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/16

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HOMANS


ROMANS


nil iiiur drugs, mercury, antimony, opium nnil quinine. He did little surgery niul iluring his entire practice is wiid never to liave witnessed the amputation of a limb. He was pre- ceptor to thirty-five medical students and was thus a prominent factor in mcdic.il education in tlie daj^s before the schools.

In a long personal letter to John F. Watson, Esq., of Gcrmantown, written on his hundredth birthday he Kiys: "My health is good. That is, I have a good appetite and sleep as well as at any period of my life, and, thanks to a kind Providence, suffer but little pain except now and then pretty severe cnimps; but my mental faculties are impaired, especially my memory for recent events." W. L. B.

Mass. Med. Society Transactions, vol. iv.

£H>nnon by John Brazer, 1829.

Hist. Har. Med. School, T. F. Harrington,

vol. i.

As to Founding of Mass. Med. Socy., Bost.

Med. and Surg. Jour., vol. civ.

Homans, John (1S36-1903).

John Plomans, a pioneer ovarioto- mist in New England, was born in Boston, November 26, 1836. His grandfather, of the same name, was a graduate of Harvard College, 1772, and an army surgeon during the War of Independence. His father, also John, was a graduate of Harvard Col- lege, 1812, who practised medicine in Boston.

John Homans the third graduated from Harvard College in 1858 and re- ceived his M. D. from her Medical School in 1862. The same spirit which inspired his grandfather in 1776 im- pelled him, at the outbreak of Civil War, to offer his services to the govern- ment. He was at that time house surgeon in the Massachusetts General Hospital, and had not yet taken his medical degree. In January, 1862, he was commissioned assistant surgeon in the United States Navy, and served on the gunboat "Arostook" during the search for the disabled United


States steamship " Vermont," in Hamp- ton Roads, and later on the James River, during McClellan's campaign. He was at the battles at Fort Darling, Virginia, and at Malvern Hill. In November, 1862, he was given a com- mission as assistant surgeon in the regular army. He was at New Or- leans, and later, on the staff of Gen. Banks, took part in the disastrous Red River expedition. Those of his friends who were fortunate enough to have heard his informal accounts of that ill-advised expedition and of the search for the "Vermont" will not soon forget them. As side-lights upon much that passes for history, they were instructive as well as enter- taining. Subsequently he was order- ed to Washington, and held various surgical appointments in connection with the Army of the Shenandoah. He was surgeon-in-chief of the first division of the Nineteenth Army Corps, was present at the battles of Winchester and Cedar Creek, and ulti- mately became medical inspector on the staff of Gen. Sheridan. He resigned the army from May, 1865, after an event- ful career of a Uttle over three years. He immediately went to Europe for study and travel, spending most of his time in Vienna and Paris. In No- vember, 1866, he returned to Boston and began to practise, being appointed successively surgeon to the Boston Dispensary, the Children's Hospital, and in August, 1868, to the Carney Hospital. His second ovariotomy was done there in April, 1873, and he became consulting surgeon in 1880. It was here that he did many ovariotomies and demonstrated that the operation was not as serious as imagined. He developed an antiseptic technic and trained the sisters in charge of the operating-room with great care. Later he transferred his activities to St. Margaret's Hospital, where ovarian tumors from all over New England and the provinces came for operation. Many times Dr. Homans paid the pa-