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PRESTON


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PRESTON


King, and in 1775 was made brigadier general of militia by the Supreme Execu- tive Council of the Massachusetts Bay. In 1779 on the death of John Winthrop, he was appointed his successor in the office of judge of probate for the county of Middlesex, and gave great satisfaction by the tactful discharge of his duties.

He was the first president of the trustees of the Groton Academy, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1756 he married Lydia, daughter of David Baldwin, of Sudbury, by whom he had ten children, four of them surviving him.

W. L. B.

The Physicians of Groton, S. A. Green, Gro- ton, 1890. Amer. Med. Biog., 1828, James Thacher.

Preston, Ann (1813-1872).

Ann Preston was the daughter of Amos and Margaret Preston, and born at West Grove, Chester County, Pennsyl- vania. Her reputation as a physician was gained in Philadelphia where she spent the most of her time after leaving her country home.

Being closely confined by grave responsibilities, her early education was not a liberal one.

She took an active interest in the anti- slavery cause and early became known as a forcible writer on the subject. An incident is told of her which illustrates the fearless courage which characterized her actions and the work she did to help those who were fleeing from bondage.

One Sunday morning while her parents were attending a Friend's meeting a fugi- tive slave woman was forwarded to their house, Miss Preston concealed her in a closet in the garret and made her com- fortable, anxiously waiting the time of her removal to the next station. The man at whose house the woman was last concealed came running with the infor- mation that his house was being searched by the slave-catchers and they would be there next.

Miss Preston was alone but with great


coolness she locked the woman into the closet then went to the pasture and caught a horse, harnessed him to a carriage and after dressing the woman in her mother's Quaker clothes, carefully adding the two veils often worn by Friends when riding, they started in the direction from which the slave-catchers were expected. They soon appeared, riding rapidly toward them but seeing only a young girl and an apparently elderly woman leisurely going to meeting, they rode rapidly on. Miss Preston took the woman to the house which had been recently searched and she eventually reached Canada in safety.

When the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania opened in 1850, Miss Pres- ton was one of the first applicants for admission and graduated at the first commencement in 1851-2. The winter after she attended lectures at the college and in the spring accepted the chair of physiology and hygiene then vacant.

At that time it was impossible for a woman to gain admission to any hospital in Philadelphia. So highly did the managers of the Woman's Hospital value Dr. Preston's work at that time that in a report is found the following statement: "To her efforts more than to all other influences may be traced its very origin." She said in speaking of it, "I went to every one whom I thought would give me either money or influence," and when the hospital was opened she was put on the Board and became consulting physician, holding these offices until the time of her death.

In 1866 Dr. Preston was elected dean of the faculty, which position she held for six years. In 1867 she wrote her ever- memorable reply to the preamble and resolutions adopted by the Philadelphia County Medical Society, to the effect that they would neither offer encouragement to women becoming practitioners of medicine nor meet them in consultation. This was one of her ablest literary pro- ductions and so completely did she answer the arguments put forth by the society that no reply was attempted.