Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/316

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PORTER


27S


PORTER


of American Physicians, and an associate fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The degree of LL. D. was conferred upon him in 1S91 by the Uni- versity of South Carohna.

He was first married to Virginia, daughter of the Hon. Benjamin Watkins Leigh, of Richmond, Virginia. His second wife was Margaret, daughter of the Hon. J. J. Ward, of Georgetown, South Caro- lina. He had five children by his first wife and four by his second. One of his sons became a physician. Dr. Porcher was a man of wonderful capacity for work. He had no higher ambition than the advancement of his profession. It may truthfully be said of him that he "scorned delights and lived laborious days."

During a long illness from paralysis a plant was brought to him which he imme- diately detected to be a specimen of Trillium Pumilum, and he announced that it had not been seen before in one hundred years. He was supported in this statement by the most distinguished authorities. So great was his ambition to excel as a physician that he almost gave up botany in his latter years fearing that his reputation as a botanist might excel his reputation as a physician. He might easily have acquired wealth had his mind been so directed, for he had stated in his book in 1849 that oil from cotton seed was exceedingly valuable, sufficiently so for exportation, and in 1870 others began to accumulate enormous sums from this source.

He died November 19, 1895, leaving to his children that great heritage, a name untarnished. W. P. P.

Tr. South Car. M. Ass., Charleston, 1896.

Porter, Charles Hogeboom (1834-1903).

Charles Hogeboom Porter, medico- jurisprudentist, was of Dutch and EngUsh ancestry and born at Ghent, Columbus County, New York, November 11, 1834.

His art degree was from Yale in 1857, and his professional one from the Albany Medical College in 1861. Settling in Albany, he devoted especial attention to


legal medicine, but throughout the Civil War was assistant surgeon of the Sixth New York volunteer heavy artillery.

He contributed largely to the hterature of medical jurisprudence. Among his more important articles are: "Arsenic in Common Life" ("Berkshire Medical Journal," 1856); "Arsenic, and Cases" ("Transactions, Medical Society of New York," 1861) ; "A Statement of the Case of the People vs. Fere" ("Journal of Psychological Medicine," New York, 1870).

In 1855-6 he was professor of chemis- try at the Vermont Medical College, and from 1859 till 1864 professor of chemistry and medical jurisprudence in the Albany Medical College.

Dr. Porter was of medium height and thickly set. His skin was dark, his hair thin and black, and his eyes a deep brown. These eyes were very express- ive. A former student of the doctor relates that, once, after a lecture, he went to Dr. Porter to ask him some trivial question, not at all in an earnest way but only to "annoy the professor." Dr. Porter fixed his quiet, steady eyes upon the student, and kept them there for some time without uttering a word. " I slunk away," relates the former student, "most thoroughly ashamed." Dr. Por- ter was slow and deUberate in speech and action, always weighing his words most carefully. On the witness stand he was admirable, chiefly for the exactness and care of his utterances. He did not have "a host of friends," but to the few he did possess he was just and loyal.

He died after a Ungering illness at Canandaigua, New York, November 21, 1903, very much regretted by the very few who had known him well.

T. H. S.

Jour. Am. Med. Assn., 1903. Albany Med. Annals, 1904, vol. xxv.

Porter, James Burnham (1806-1879).

" Dr. Jim," as he was famiharly known over a wide territory, was one of a medical family famous in Vermont for a century, and greatly missed when he died in 1879.