Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/17

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tient's expenses out of his own pocket. Between 1872 and 1900 Dr. Homans performed six hundred and one. He was among the first to open the ab- domen for abscess of the appendix. It was considered a great honor by the medical student of the time to be selected as one of his operative assist- ants at St. Margaret's. As an opera- tor he was fearless and painstaking though somewhat excitable when in a tight place. Trouble for the assist- ants was sure to follow when he began to hum "I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls." He was no respecter of persons and would have his joke no matter what happened. He was a surgeon to out-patients at the Massachusetts Gen- eral Hospital from 1879 to 1882, and visiting surgeon from 1882 to 1889, when he was retired on account of age limit.

He did comparatively little writing, his publications being "Three Hun- dred and Eighty-four Laparotomies for Various Diseases," 1887, and vari- ous papers for the medical journals.

Homans was clinical instructor in the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian tumors in the Harvard Medical School after 1881, and member of the American Surgical Association.

He died in his home in Boston, Feb- ruary 7, 1903 in his sixty-sixth year, after a short illness, leaving a widow, three sons and three daughters. One son of the same name followed the pro- fession of medicine in Boston.

W. L. B.

Boston Med. and Surgical Journal, vol.


Bulletin Har. Med. Alumni Association,

April, 1903.

Honyman, Robert (17 1824).

Robert Honyman, Revolutionary surgeon and physician, was born in Scotland about 1752 and educated at Edinburgh University from which he graduated in medicine and entered the British Navy, but resigned and emigrated to America, settling in Louisa

County, Virginia, in 1774. He espoused the cause of his adopted country when the Revolution began, and fought as a private, being soon promoted to the rank of regimental surgeon. After the war he resumed his work, an extensive one, in Louisa and Hanover Counties, and continued to practise until his death.

He is said to have been a profound student and scholar, and a great read- er, and to have possessed a marvelous memory. He read more and remem- bered more of what he read than any man in Virginia. At the age of sixty he is said to have begun the study of Italian as he desired to read that also.

In the earlier j'^ears of his practice when all inflammatory diseases show- ed a highly sthenic type, he used heroic treatment and did not spare the use of the lancet. Later on, when their type became more asthenic, he aban- doned the use of the lancet and resorted to free emesis followed by a stimulating treatment.

He was stern in deportment and vio- lent and demonstrative in his resent- ments. If any one questioned or com- plained of his bill, under no circum- stances would he visit him again. The following extract from his will which is recorded at Hanover Court House, is of interest: "I also give and bequeath to my son, my thermometer, my diploma of doctor of physic, and also a human rib, which will be found in a small trunk in my chest, with my earnest request that he will carefully keep the said rib, which is of James v.. King of Scotland, and transmit it carefully to his descendants."

He married Mildred Brown, a woman of rare beauty and accomplishments, and was the progenitor of some dis- tinguished men.

He died in 1824, leaving a large fortune amassed by his practice, and is said to have written and published numerous articles.

R. M. S.