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MUTTER


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MUTTER


period of Prof. Mutter's career as a surgeon. From year to year his efforts increased, and his ambition expanded with success that followed his elevation. From the vantage ground which he then occupied, he could see that a field for honorable distinction was spread immeas- urably before him. The toil of constant preparation, the task of daily appearance before his class in this arena, putting on and off his armor, and his exercise under it in the field, seemed not to oppress or weary him.

Sir William Fergusson, writing in 1867, says " the greatest success recorded before my own views were made public was that achieved by Mutter, of Philadelphia, who operated successfully on nineteen out of twenty cases of harelip."

■'After he became a teacher," says in no unkindly tone Dr. S. D. Gross, "Mutter loved to refer to these men (Dupuytren, Louis, Liston) as his 'friends' and to hold them up to the admiration of his pupils. Like most of the young doctors who went abroad he considered one Frenchmen equal to a dozen Americans."

The failing health of Dr. Thomas Harris made him select Mutter as associate in a summer school of medicine called the Medical Institute, and meanwhile his skill in the special diseases studied abroad brought him private practice. 1841 saw him occupying the chair of surgery in Jefferson Medical College. He carefully prepared himself, whether for lectures or cases, even in the minutest points and then with equal skill and firm- ness, with a sparkling eye and dilating


faculties, advanced to his task. He had a beau ideal of the art of surgery. One weakness — though almost a laudable one — was his great desire to lead and to have personal influence. One of his bi- ographers says he would occasionally adopt the old method of being called out of church or of making an appointment for a pseudo operation with his students, by whom he was adored.

In 1856 a complication of gout and lung disease forced him to resign his chair, though at once elected emeritus professor by the faculty. A winter so- journ at Nice did not fulfill his expecta- tions and he returned in 1858 and passed the next winter at the Mills House, Charleston, with his devoted wife, but his disorders returned and he died there in 1859, leaving a young wife but no children.

His generous gift of his museum to the Philadelphia College of Physicians, with $30,000 for upkeejj and a lectureship in connection witli it will form his best monument now that new men and new methods are in the field of surgery, some of them ignorant of their obligations to the learning and hard work of the men of Mutter's day.

He was not fond of writing and a some- what loosely written treatise on "Club- foot" and his edition of "Liston's Opera- tive Surgery" only remain, nor, oddly, did he ever hold any hospital appoint- ment.

Autobiography, S. D. Gross, Phila., 1887.

HLst. of Med. in Phila., F. P. Henry, Chicago,

1897.

Address by Prof. Pancoast on Mutter, Phila.,

1859.