Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/317

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PORTER


His father, James Porter, was one of four brothers, all medical men, and was long a Vermont practitioner. James B. Porter was educated at Middlebury Col- lege, and had his medical education at Castleton and Woodstock, graduating at the latter institution. He was long a member of the Vermont Medical Society.

He was one of the best types of the country doctor, and widely sought in consultation.

He was called to attend the man injured in the construction of the Rut- land Railroad, who became the famous " crow bar case." This case was reported by John Harlow in the " Boston Medical Journal," in November, 1848, and had a wide circulation in medical literature. The patient, who had an iron bar driven through his skull, lived many years, and his skull is still preserved in the Warren Museum at Harvard College.

Dr. Porter married, in 1834, Harriet Griggs, of Brookline, Massachusetts.

Of his four children, one, Charles Burnham, became a surgeon and was a lecturer at Harvard.

c. s. c.

Porter, Robert R. (1811-1876).

Robert R. Porter entered the Univer- sity of Pennsylvania graduating in 1835, and was soon after appointed resident physician of Frankford Insane Hospital, in 1835. He was a member of Delaware State Medical Society, its president in 1858. His practice was confined exclu- sively to Wilmington, Delaware, with the exception of one year's residence at the Frankford Insane Hospital.

Dr. Porter was a physician of ability and of high professional honor; in addi- tion, a man of enterprise and of public spirit and took a leading position in every movement for public good.

He married, in 1841, Lucinda, only daughter of Judge Millard Hall, and had five daughters and one son. Dr. Porter died suddenly of apoplexy, April 14, 1876.

He published in the "American Med- ical Journal" his "Observations on the Condition and Treatment of the Insane,"


279 POST

and also assisted Dr. Samuel Morton in the preparation of his work on "Phthisis Pulmonalis."

H. M. T.

Schraf's Hist, of Delaware.

Post, Alfred Charles (180&-1886).

This clever nephew of a clever uncle — Wright Post — began his classical educa- tion in Columbia College when only four- teen, but was born in New York City, of Joel H. and Ehzabeth Browne Post; his father was a successful merchant. The lad held his B. A. from Columbia and worked under his uncle in 1823, but he took at the same time courses of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Pie also took varoloid, which laid him up for some time until he was able to set to work with new vigor and get his M. D. in 1827. Like most young men of the time, he went to Europe, flitting about from England to Paris and Berlin and Italy. In 1829 he returned to New York and be- came house surgeon to the New York Hospital and in 1836 visiting surgeon. When in 1851 he became professor of surgery his lectures were very popular, particularly those on ophthalmic, aural, orthopedic and plastic surgery. In 1840 he published a small treatise on "Stra- bismus" and on "Stammering," having operated for the latter at an earUer period than any other American surgeon. That same year he devised a new method for doing bilateral lithotomy, employing, to divide the prostate, a canula sliding over a rod and armed with two knives one of which projected on each side. No oper- ation was too great or too small, extirpa- tion of the thyroid, paratoid and cervical glands, making an artificial anus, trache- otomy. As an aside from his surgical duties he was keen on missionary work and said, not irreverently, that the two things he most enjoyed were a good operation and a good prayer meeting.

His colleagues say he could not be said to have passed middle life until he was eighty. During the last ten years of his hfe he performed some of his most deli- cate operations in plastic surgery and