Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/338

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Quinan, John Russell (1S22-1800).

John Russell Quinan, medical his- torian, was of Irish lineage, one of the six children of the Rev. Thomas Henry Quinan, a native of Balbriggan, Leinster County, Ireland, and Eliza Hamilton (Quinan), native of Enniskillen, Ulster County, Ireland. He was born at Lan- caster, Pennsylvania, August 7, 1822, and educated at Woodward High School, Cin- cinnati, and at Marietta College, Ohio. Studying medicine with Dr. John K. Mitchell, of Philadelphia, he afterwards graduated M. D. at the Jefferson Medical College in 1844, and began practice in Calvert County, Maryland. Here he labored assiduously, as the leading physician of the county, for twenty-five years, achieving much honor, but little profit. He removed to Baltimore City in 1869 where he achieved distinction as the medical historian, par excellence, of Maryland.

Dr. Quinan was president of the Medical and Chirurgical Facultj'- of Maryland in 1885-86. A list of his writings is given in the "Transactions of the Faculty, ' for 1891 . The most impor- tant was a work of two himdred and seventy-four pages, issued by the Faculty in 1884 and entitled, "The Medical Annals of Baltimore from 1608 to 1880, Including Events, Men and Literature; to which is Added a Subject Index and Record of Public Services." This work originated in a celebration of the sesqui- centennial anniversary of the fovmding of the City of Baltimore by the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty in 1880. To Dr. Quinan was assigned the part of writing the records of the "Physicians of the City," and, in doing this, he found it impossible to discharge the duty satis- factoriljr in the brief period assigned him


and asked further time for its execution. The work once luidertaken grew under his hanils and when it was published four years after its inception, it had grown into a volume. Dr. Quinan received no compensation whatever for these great labors, but in his enthusiasm would have proceeded to issue a second and enlarged edition to constitute the " Medical Annals of Maryland," had not his mind been diverted into other channels by his appointment as one of the editors of Foster's "Medical Dictionary," on which he labored during the last year or two of his life, possessing peculiar qualifications for it in his knowledge of ancient and modern languages. Among other more interesting works of Dr. Quinan are his articles on " Inoculation and Vaccination in Maryland," and "A Key to Questions on Orthography," 1865. He died sud- denly November 11, 1890, after attend- ing a case of infantile convulsions, death being probably due to disease of the heart or great arteries.

Dr. Quinan married August 31, 1845, Elizabeth Lydia Billingsley, of Calvert County, Maryland, who survived him with five children.

His greatest pleasure seemed to be in making some historical research in the libraries surrouned by his loved books. In brief, he was a man of the most scholarly tastes, a model physician, a most Christian gentleman.

The only teaching position he ever filled was that of lecturer on medical jurisprudence in the Woman's Medical College, 1883-85.

E. F. C.

For jjortrait and biographical data see Quinan's Medical Annals of Baltimore, 18S4, and Cordell's Medical Annals of Maryland, 1903.