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MORTON


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MORTON


in West Town, and from there to the private school of John Gummere at Bur- lington, New Jersey, to study the higher mathematics. After studying under John Gummere, Morton was, in 1815, apprenticed to a mercantile house in Philadelphia. He did not take kindly to business life, and after the death of his mother in 1816, he gave it up. Accord- ing to Wood the friendship formed with several eminent physicians who were in attendance on his mother during her protracted illness helped to turn him towards the study of medicine. In 1817, at the age of nineteen, he commenced this study in the office of Dr. Joseph Parrish, who was one of the most success- ful practitioners of his day. He had so many office pupils that in order to provide adequate tuition for them, he had asso- ciated with himself several young instruc- tors in various branches. Among them was the naturalist, Richard Harlan, who exerted a marked influence in turning Morton's thoughts toward science. In his early school days, Morton is said to have shown a fondness for natural history, and this was fostered by his step-father who was an amateur mineralogist. He was thus prepared to be influenced by Harlan and other young physicians who took delight in the study of nature.

While studying under Dr. Parrish, Mor- ton also attended lectures at the medical department of the University of Pennsyl- vania, and 1820 took his M. D. there. In the same year he became a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, an institution subsequently much indebted to him for its development, and of which he was president at the time of his death.

In 1821 Samuel went to Clonmel, Ire- land, to visit his uncle, James Morton. He was received with open arms l)y his relatives, but after a brief visit with them, was persuaded to go to Edinburgh to con- tinue his medical studies. American degrees were not at this time much esteemed in Europe, so that Morton was obliged at Edinburgh to attend the full term of an undergraduate. In 1824 Morton returned to Philadelphia and Vol. 11-13


began to practise, in 1827 marrying Rebecca Pearsall. Soon after his return he was made auditor and a little later recording secretary of the Academy. In this year he published an "Analysis of Tabular Spar from Bucks County," followed by numerous papers dealing with geology and paleontology. The most important of these were collected and published in 1834, in a volume en- titled " Synopsis of the Organic Remains of the Cretaceous Group of the United States," which book at once gave its au- thor a deserved scientific reputation. Ac- cording to Marcon it is the starting-point of all paleontological and systematic work on American fossils. In addition to his contributions to paleontology Morton at this period published various zoological papers, among them one on " A New Species of Hippopotamus," determined from a skull received from Dr. Goheen, of Liberia. Meanwhile Morton's interest in scientific medicine was likewise advancing. His first published essay was one on "Cornine," a new alkaloid, printed in 1825-1826. His " Illustrations of Pulmonary Consumption," published in 1834, was a credit to American science. He followed Dr. Parrish in recommending the open-air treatment of the disease and in 1835 he edited an American edition of Mackintosh's "Principles of Pathology and Physic."

Morton's chief scientific contributions, however, came from still another direc- tion. He was soon after his return selected by Dr. Parrish as one of his associates in teaching, and lectured upon anatomy in that connection from 1830 to 1835-6. His lectures were charac- terized by simplicity and clearness with- out any attempted display, and gave entire satisfaction both to his associates and pupils. In 1839 he was elected professor of anatomy in Pennsylvania College from which his resignation was accepted with regret in 1843. In 1849 he published an elaborate and valuable work on "Human Anatomy," special, general and microscop'c, completed with much labor and care. "Among the