Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/190

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METTAUER


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METTAUER


as it was possible to be. In the latter part of his career, he undertook jour- nej's, requiriug several weeks, to oper- ate.

On one occasion he went in his carriaE;e as far as Georgia, and it is said that he received $1000; in that day a stupendous fee. Much of his time was given to work from which he derived neither fame nor fortune and he seems to have placed no value upon money.

He invariably wore a tall stovepipe hat which nothing would induce him to remove, and he wore it everywhere and on all occasions, even at meals and it is said, also when in bed. He never attended service in any church, which was attributed to his unwilling- ness to remove his head gear, but was more probably due to the fact that he would not take the time from his work. When called upon to testify in court, he always declined to remove it. He even left directions that he should be buried with it on, and that there should be placed in his cofEn a number of instruments and the letters of his first wife.

Another of his marked peculiarities was his intense affection for his native locality, which he was twice induced to leave and settle in a city, but he only remained away for a few months on each occasion.

He would never assist in an opera- tion, as he had an insuperable object- ion to watching another's work. He wag also remarkable for the care and detail of his preparation for an opera- tion, being far ahead of his time in this. In the last week of his life he did three successful ones, for cataract, for stone, and an excision of the breast, though then in his eighty-eighth year. "Facile princeps of the med- ical and surgical profession of the world" was the opinion of him ex- pressed by Dr. Mutter, a Philadelphia surgeon of note, in 1S45. He is ac- credited, said the "American Journal of Medical Sciences" after his death,


with more improvements in operations and inventions of instruments to date than any other man.

Dr. Mettauer married four times; to a Miss Woodward of Norfolk; to Miss Carter of Prince Edward County; to Miss Mansfield, of a northern state, and to Miss Dyson, of Norfolk. He had six children, three sons and three daughters. His sons were all physi- cians, the last of whom was Dr. Archer Mettauer, of Macon, Georgia.

His long and laborious career came to an end in November, 1875. Hav- ing been called to a case of morphine poisoning a short distance from his house, he got his feet wet in a tramp through the snow and forgetting him- self in his interest in the patient, neglect- ed proper precautions and contracted a cold which developed into pneumonia, and in two days he was dead. A truly heroic death crowned the long and useful life.

Selected with a view of showing the variety of subjects upon which he wrote, the following are a few of Dr. Mettauer's more important contributions to medical literature:

"The Continued Fever of Middle Virginia from 1816 to 1829," inclusive, (" American Journal of Medical Sciences," vol. vi.)

"Experiences with Crusta Genu Equi- nae in Epilepsy." (Ibid., vol. xvi.)

"On Staphylorrhapy." (Ibid., vol. xxi.)

" Vesico- Vaginal Fistula." ("Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," vol. xxii, "American Journal of Medical Sciences," n.s., vol. xiv; " Virginia Med- ical and Surgical Journal", vol. iv, "American Journal of Medical Sciences", n.s., vol. xxvii.)

"Extirpation of the Parotid Gland." (Ibid., vol. xviii.)

"Practical Observations on Hypos- padias and Epispadias." (Ibid., n.s., vol. iv.)

"Lithotomy." (Ibid., n.s., vol. xii.)

"Perineal Repair." (Ibid., n.s., vol. xiii.)