Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/186

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iial oi the (hiy, I'Ut 1111 tlu- iiuiiniiiji that the first tVuilloton was tci apponr, tho coniimuio hrnkc into the ofhcc ami "|)i<'(l the forms.

Originally intended fur tlieĀ !)ar, his tastes led him into literature; hut repub- lican France making small account of letters, he suddenly resolved to study medicine. After he graduated in that science he practised for three years in Xew Orleads. In ISoO he returned to France, remaining there until the close of the Civil War, when he finally returned to Xew Orleans resuming practice until the end of his life.

His works of fiction include " Le Fou de Palerme" (1873), " La Fille du Pretre" (.1877), "L'Habitation de St. Ybars" (1881), and "Johnelle" (1891. His style was virile and picturescjue, tinged with delicate fancy and indicated true genius and profound scholarship. An ardent lover and comj^lete master of Lat- in prosody, he solaced his last moments with recitations from his favorite Virgil.

Dr. Mercier died in New Orleans on Mav 12, 1894.

J. G. R.

Mettauer, John Peter (1787-1875).

A surgeon, he was the son of Francis Joseph Mettauer, one of two brothers, who came to this country with Lafayette, as regimental surgeons, their regiment being quartered after the battle of York- town in Prince Edward Country, and when it returned to France the elder Mettauer was persuaded by prominent citizens to remain. He later married Elizabeth Gaulding, a resident of the county, and John Peter was born in 1787. He was educated at Hampden-Sidney College and graduated A. B. in 1806, later in life receiving his A. M. and LL. D. After study at the University of Pennsyl- vania he received his M. D. in 1809, the subject of his thesis being "Disease." As a student, he w^as remarkable for his diligence and for being a great reader, ever availing himself of ever}^ opportuni- ty of practice and of gaining experience. He, therefore, was a favorite with his


teachers, among w lioin were such men as Hush, Shippen, Wistar and Physick.

.\fter graduation he returned home and built up a practice, the largest and most arduous, prol)ably, ever had by a Vir- ginia physician before. " Though doomed to labor in the country as a practitioner," he said, " I resolved to continue my studious habits and, if possible, not to fall behind the daily improvements of my profession."

He was a member of the old (antebell- um) Medical Society of Virginia, and also of tlu; present society. From 1848 to its discontinuance (about 1860), he was professor of medicine and surgery, clin- ical medicine and therapeutics, materia medica, midwifery and medical juris- i:)rudence in the medical department of Randolph-Macon College. He also served for a short time as professor of surgerj^ in the Washington University of Baltimore, Maryland.

Of the many able men that Old Dom- inion has given to the medical profession. Dr. Mettauer was, unquestionably, the most remarkable. By nature a great surgeon, he was also an able physician, and a voluminous contributor to medical literature. His marvelous surgical skill and ingenuity soon obtained for him such a reputation that, despite the fact of his work lying in an obscure country village and before the day of numerous railroads, patients flocked to him from all around some even from abroad. He did in num- bers almost, if not every, operation known in his day and it is .certain he did 800 operations for cataract; some have put the number far above this. In operations for vesical calculus, his total exceeded Dudley's 225 by 175, making in all 400. His many contributions to surgery which were freely given to the profession in his published articles, should have obtained for him the position he deserves among the world's greatest surgeons, but this has never been accorded him. In medical history he has received scant mention, and yet, to him, untjuestionably, belongs the priority of the cure of vesico- vaginal fistula. His first successful operation was