Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/217

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MORGAN


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MORGAN


which he passed as resident apothecary to the Pennsylvania Hospital. Of this period he writes, "At the same time I had an opportunity of being acquainted with the practice of other eminent physicians in this place; particularly of all the physicians of the hospital, whose pre- scriptions I put up there above the space of one year." After his apprenticeship had expired he spent four years as sur- geon to the Pennsylvania troops in the war between the French and English. Dr. Rush speaks of the excellence of his work in this capacity, stating "I well remember to have heard it said, ' that if it were possible for any man to merit heaven by his good works. Dr. Morgan would deserve it, for his faithful attend- ance upon his patients. ' "

In 1760 he went abroad, studying first in London, especially with the Hunters, and then going to Edinburgh. Norris quotes a letter of introduction which Benjamin Franklin, then living in Lon- don, gave him to Lord Kames, in which he states that he thinks Morgan "will one day make a good figure in the profession, and be of some credit to the school he studies in, if great industry and applica- tion, joined with natural genius and sagacity, afford any foundation for the presage." At Edinburgh he took his M. D. in 1763. His thesis was entitled "De Puopoiesis," and in it he first advanced the view that pus was a secre- tion formed by the blood-vessels in conditions of inflammation.

From Edinburgh he went to Paris, where he particularly studied anatomy. He read a paper on " Suppuration " before the Royal Academy of Surgery in Paris, and demonstrated the methods employed by the Hunters to inject and preserve anatomical specimens, and subsequently a paper " On the Art of Making Ana- tomical Preparations by Corrosion" to the Academy, upon the strength of which he was elected a member.

Continuing his travels into Italy, he met Morgagni. Rush, in his account of Morgan states that Morgagni " was so pleased with the doctor that he claimed


kindred with him, from the resemblance of their names, and on the blank leaf of a copy of his works, which he presented to him, he inscribed with his own hand the following words: "Affini suo, medico praeclarissimo, Johanni Morgan, donat Auctor."' This anecdote has had its veracity impugned because the College of Physicians of Philadelphia contains the original books given by Morgagni to Morgan, and by the latter donated to the college, and there is no such inscription to be found on their fly leaves. Dr. George Dock has recently investigated the sub- ject, and his conclusions would seem to warrant our belief in what has ever been regarded as one of the most pleasant legends of early medical history.

The young American received many substantial honors during his sojourn abroad. He was made a member of the Belles-Lettres Societj' of Rome, and in England was honored by election to the Royal Society as well as by being made a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians.

During his travels Morgan had thought much of the project of founding a medical school in his native city, and, upon his return in 1765, brought with him a letter from the proprietary, Thomas Penn, to the Board of Trustees of the College of Philadelphia, endorsing his scheme to establish a medical school in connection with the college. Dr. Morgan's project met with immediate approval, and on May 3, 1765, they elected him professor of the theory and practice of medicine in the college, thus establishing the school which still flourishes as the department of medicine of the University of Pennsyl- vania. On May 30, 1765, Morgan delivered his celebrated address, entitled "A Discourse upon the Institution of Medical Schools in America." He had written this when in Paris, and it had undergone careful scrutiny by Fother- gill, WiUiam Hunter and Dr. Watson, of London. In it he recommended a very comprehensive preliminary education preparatory to the study of medicine.

Dr. Morgan arrived at home in April,