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MUNSON


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MURDOCH


the Rev. John Darbe, of Oyster Ponds, Long Island, and first settled in Bedford, New York, as a physician. Two years later he removed to New Haven to spend the remaining sixty-six years of his life as a physician of great eminence in his native town.

He was among the first to endeavor to incorporate the Connecticut Medical Society, which he served as first vice- president for two years, or, until, by the death of its president, he succeeded to the presidency. This office he held for seven years. The degree of M. D. was con- ferred upon him by the society in 1794. "It is generally believed that, up to the early part of the present century (i. e., nineteenth) Dr. Munson was the ablest physician who ever practised for a long time in New Haven. In the matter of professional learning and scientific infor- mation, he ranked with the eminent men of his country."

On account of his knowledge of mineralogy, chemistry, botany and ma- teria medica he had a wide reputation, which led to his selection to fill the chair of materia medica and botany in 1810, in the newly estabHshed medical institu- tion at Yale, although he was then seventy-nine years old. He was, con- sequently, unable to perform the active duties of this office, which he left to his younger associate. Dr Eli Ives.

His quaint dry humor still survives in many amusing anecdotes. Bronson re- lates that "he was once dining with the Yale corporation at commencement dinner when Pres. Dwight, who was a good trencherman, remarked, prepara- tory to some observation on diet: 'You observe, gentlemen, that I eat a great deal of bread with my meat.' 'Yes,' said the doctor instantly, 'and we notice that you eat much meat with your bread.'"

He married first Susanna, eldest daughter of Stephen and Susanna (Cooper) Howell, on March 15, 1761, and had nine children, all of whom reached adult hfe, and one of them practised medicine for a short while. His wife


dying on April 21, 1803, he married again in November, 1804, Sarah, widow of Job Perit, and daughter of Benjamin and Mary Sanford, of New Haven. She survived him three years.

His death was due to an enlarged prostate, and occurred on June 16, 1826, at the age of ninety-two. His portrait is in the possession of Yale University and an engraving from it is to be seen in Thacher's "Medical Biography." His writings consist of a report of two cases in "Cases and Observations by the Medical Society of New Haven County, New Hampshire," 1788, pp. 25-28, 84-86, and "A Letter on the Treatment most Successful in the Cure of Yellow Fever in New Haven," in 1794; on a collection of papers on the subject of " Bihous Fevers," by Noah Webster, New York, 1796.

W. R. S.

Bronson, H., N. H. Colony, Hist. Society's Papers, ii.

Dexter, F. B., Yale Biographies and An- nals, ii.

Thacher, J., American Med. Biography, i. Bacon, F., Some Account of the Medical Profession in New Haven.

Murdoch, James Bissett (1830-1896).

His father was the Rev. David Murdoch, D. D., who came from Scotland to Canada as a missionary of the London Colonial Missionary Society in 1832, his mother, Elizabeth Bissett, of Glas- gow, Scotland, himself being born in Glasgow, October 16, 1830, and brought to America when a child.

His boyhood was passed in Bath, Canada, and in Catskill, New York, his early education received in these places and in Kinderhook Academy. Some months were spent in Dr. Doane's drug store in Catskill, New York, and later he studied under Dr. Wilham Wey, of Elmira, afterwards going to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, whence he graduated in 1854 and later served as resident physician in Bellevue Hospital.

Dr. Murdoch was a member of the Oswego County (New York) Medical Society and its president in 1865, also a