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RUSSELL


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RUSSELL


in the "Surgeon-general's Catalogue," Washington, District of Columbia.

F. R. P.

Thacher's American Medical Biography, Art., Benjamin Rush.

Benjamin Rush, Address before the Ameri- can Medical Association, June, 1889. Gross, S. D. Lives of Eminent Am. Phys., Phila., 1861.

Lettsom, J. C. Recollections of Dr. Rush, London, 1815.

Mitchell, T. D. The Character of Rush, Phila., 1848.

Ramsay, D. An. Eulogium on Dr. Rush, Phila., 1813.

Am. M. and Phil. Reg., N. York, 1813-14, iv. J. Am. M. Assoc, Chicago, 1890, xiv. N. Eng. J. M. and S., Boston, 1813. There is a portrait in the surg.-gen. collec- tion. Wash., D. C.

Russell, John Wadhams (1804-1887).

His grandfather was Capt. John Russell, "who commanded a privateer brig in 1778; his father, the Hon. Stephen Russell, of Litchfield County, Connecti- cut; his mother, Sarah Wadhams, of Goshen, Connecticut. John Wadhams was born in Canaan, Litchfield County, Connecticut, January 28, 1804.

As a boy he went to the common schools of Litchfield, then entered Hamil- ton College in 1821 with the intention of taking a complete course, but in 1823 health failing, he was compelled to go to South CaroHna, where he recovered and began the study of medicine under Dr. Sheridan. In 1824 he attended a course of lectures in the medical department of Yale College, and the year following a course in Berkshire Medical College of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The following year he studied medicine with Dr. George McClellan, of Philadelphia. In 1826 he entered Jefferson Medical College, and in 1827 took his M. D. there. In 1827 he began to practise at Litchfield, Connecti- cut, in partnership with Dr. Abbey, filling meantime the office of demonstrator of anatomy in the medical department of Yale College. In 1828, by the advice of his physician, he removed to Ohio, with the hope "that the malarial climate might ward off a tendency to consump- tion." He settled first in Sandusky,


Erie County, but finding the lake winds too harsh, moved during the same year to Mt. Vernon, in Knox County, where he remained constantly engaged in practice until 1887.

He was one of the founders of the Ohio State Medical Society, of which he became president in 1862; the State of California Medical Association.

Dr. Russell was of medium height and rather stout. He was lame, a disabiUty resulting from an injury in childhood. He had dark hair, dark complexion, aquiline features, and piercing black eyes. In manner he was cheerful. A fine con- versationalist, but inclined to be abrupt and rather positive. He had the caution of the proverbial Connecticut Yankee, and before performing a dangerous opera- tion, to avoid suits, made it a custom to have the patient sign a proper instrmnent dividing responsibihty and assuming for himself no more than he considered just.

He was in active practive from 1827 until 1SS7, and during that long period performed many of the capital, and most of the minor operations of surgery, oper- ating for stone in the bladder more fre- quently than any other surgeon of Ohio of his day, and, though his facilities were meagre as compared with those of the present, he never lost a case. He pre- ferred the suprapubic operation, and used it in several ca.ses, but, swayed by custom, more frequently chose the lateral.

During the early years of his practice it was impossible to obtain necessary instruments, and he was often compelled to devise such as he needed. He made models of dough for special purposes, and forged them himself, or had silversmiths copy them in silver or other metal. Some of these home-made instruments are now in the possession of his grandson, Dr. John E. Russell, and it is remarkable how closely they resemble in form those now in use, especially the instruments for the removal of stone and those for tracheotomy.

In the early fifties he treated success- fully a case of spina bifida involving cer- vical vertebrae. This operation and its